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First Stump Grinder Advice

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by VASteve, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. VASteve

    VASteve New Member

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    I'm looking for some advice on which stump grinder to buy for my business. I do not plan on grinding stumps full time; however, I plan on adding this to my list of services with the intent of growing my business. Most of the work is in a city/metro area with smaller yards and tighter spaces.

    I've been considering the following used stump grinders:

    · Vermeer SC252 - $5800, lots of hours/rough condition.
    · Toro STX26 - $7000, works great, but leaks some hydraulic fluid
    Hydrostatic Handlebar Machines:
    · BeeLine 25hp Kohler - $2500, hard to get parts
    · Bandit 27HP Kohler - $4200, good condition
    · Rayco 20Hp - $3500, older machine with low hours


    I’m leaning toward a handlebar machine due to weight, simplicity, price, and maneuverability. Any advice for someone just getting started?

    Thank You!
     
  2. Eq Broker

    Eq Broker GlobalEquip

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    Hi Steve,

    I would get a small self propelled stump grinder. You would hate the handle bar machine, as it will wear you out. The Toro is used by many of my customers and they like it. I would check the leaks as it might be hoses that need replacing. Sometimes it is as simply as an o rings. When buying a stump grinder, grab the cutter wheel and try to move it up/down and side to side as you're checking for bearing play. If you feel any play, you'll need to replace the cutter wheel bearings and that can be a 3-4 job plus the price of the bearings. If it's a belt driven cutter wheel, check the poly chain belt and sprockets. Those belts are very expensive. Check the sprockets the belt rides on as the teeth on the sprockets need to be flat on top. If the teeth are the sprockets are sharp, they will need replacing as well.

    When checking the engine, remove the oil fill cap and start the engine. Hold a white paper towel over the oil fill cap and see if there is any oil residue on the towel. Oil residue means there's oil by passing the rings and you'll need an engine rebuild or replacement.

    I would keep searching for a small Vermeer, Rayco, or Carlton. A 25hp to 27hp is good starter machine.

    Hope this helps!

    Dave
    Global Equipment Exporters
    770-420-6400
     
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  3. VASteve

    VASteve New Member

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    Thank you very much for the advice, Dave! I'll definitely check the bearings, belts, and other items before making a purchase. I'm considering the Rayco RG20HD, but I'm a little hesitant to buy a handlebar machine since it sounds like I'll need to upgrade down the road if I start getting a lot of grinding work. Although, it is self-propelled so that should help a little. I also found an older Rayco 1620, but I'm having trouble finding much information about it (Weight, size, parts availability etc).

    Does anyone have information or detailed specification on the Rayco 1620?

    I'll likely be making an overnight trip to purchase any of these machines so I want I'm getting into. Thanks!
     
  4. Eq Broker

    Eq Broker GlobalEquip

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    The Rayco RG1620 should have a an old Kohler Command 20hp engine unless it's been upgraded. I carry the bearings, poly belt, and sprockets for this machine. I would prefer this machine above and beyond any handle bar machine. Parts are still available for this machine through Rayco.

    Hope this helps!

    Dave
    Global Equipment Exporters
    770-420-6400
     
  5. rarefish383

    rarefish383 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'd stay away from the 252 also, too much work. I had a little Vermeer 630A. It's an ancient machine now, but the price on one should be right. It will inch worm it's self around a yard, but much slower than a true self propelled machine. I used mine on my John Deere 265. It will fit through 36" gates. Made me lots of money as a one man gig after I retired.
     

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