When you try and remove a tree from your yard, you’re sometimes left with a stump remaining in the yard. You can choose to deal with the stump a few different ways. The first way is to make it part of the scene – decorate it and get some use out of it. For a lot of us, that won’t work out, so you’ll need to go the second route. Removing the stump can be a real pain, but it may be the only option left. What you need to get the job done is a stump grinder.
Unless you are a tree care professional, a land owner with acres of trees to clear, or you are the caretaker of quite a bit of land such as a housing complex, you probably won’t want to invest in a stump grinder – they can be quite expensive. You will more likely be interested in renting such a piece of equipment. When you are looking at rental units, consider the following:
- Size and Maneuverability: Stump grinders run a wide range of sizes – don’t get one that is too big for the job. They can range up to 1600 pounds, with a width of 35 inches. These are for the largest stumps, and require a lot of room to operate. For tight areas, and for folks who might not be used to operating such a powerful piece of equipment, you can find a grinder like the MacKissic Merry Commercial CPSC, which only clocks in at 25 inches wide and are really light, at only 225 pounds.
- Cutting Power: Consider the type of wood and size of stump you need to remove when looking at the horsepower and the material used for the teeth of the grinder. This can help you avoid overpaying for a model that is more than what you need.
- Operation of the Stump Grinder: Make sure that the handlebar of the grinder is adjustable for the comfort of the operator. An uncomfortable operator may have an issue keeping full control of the grinder, meaning it will be less efficient and possibly dangerous. Plus, a grinder that the operator has to fight all the time will produce fatigue.
- Safety and Visibility: Make sure that the operator of the machine can see where the cutting head is operating – if the user has their view blocked at all by the engine or any other part of the machine, they may end up hitting debris, or missing the stump entirely. Visibility is just part of safety – another feature to try and find is an operator presence system. These systems use sensors to ensure that the operator remains at the controls, and will bring the cutting wheel to a stop if they detect the operator has left the controls for more than a few seconds.
So if a tree on your land falls, or you have any other reason to remove a tree and the remaining stump, take the time to consider the features you may need when you’re looking at machines to rent or buy. While you are at it, check in with the sales or rental clerk, and see if they have any hints or tips for the particular machines you are looking at. Each machine may have some quirks that are unique to that machine, and they can fill you in on those issues that may arise later.