Stumps and grinding them!
After having a tree cut down you are obviously left with a tree stump. In some circumstances, the stump can provide a great habitat for insects and over time rot away. In some cases, it might not be practical for several reasons to leave the stump to degenerate naturally. This maybe for safety reasons in the form the stump maybe a trip hazard or some of the fungal material that grows on the stump may affect nearby plants, In some circumstances the stump maybe just unsightly.
What to do with the stump?
Traditionally stumps have had to be dug out, digging out stumps manually is hard work and very time consuming some people with a very small stump in there garden may wish to dig it out by hand, but anything but the smallest stumps would need to be dug out using an excavator. This is much faster than digging by hand but is also expensive and will cause collateral damage to the area again causing more work. In some situations, it may not be possible to access the offending stump with an excavator. This is where the stump grinder comes in handy!
A stump grinder is a mechanical device designed to solve the problems described above. Stump grinders are available in several sizes from a cut of saw derived handheld machine to machines the size of trucks. Whether big or small the stump grinders work in a similar manner.
How do stump grinders work?
Stump grinders are equipped with metal teeth these rotate at 1000s of revolutions per minute, grinding away at the stump like thousands of little chisel blows. Most stump grinder teeth are made with a carbide cutting tip or entirely from carbide, this incredibly hard material is perfect for grinding away at the stump, most stump grinder teeth can be sharpened several times before have to be replaced. Stump grinders in most cases are powered by petrol or diesel engines these in turn power the stump grinding wheel either via a belt drive system as you would on a smaller pedestrian machine or hydraulically driven in the case of bigger stump grinders. Other stump grinders operate with the same stump grinder wheel design but powered by the PTO shaft on a tractor.
Different types of a stump grinder.
-Pedestrian stump grinder, these are the most common and are often used for removing stumps in gardens and other areas where access is poor.
-Small self-propelled stump grinders, these are the second most common machines and are used in more commercial applications.
-Large stump grinders, these machines can be huge and are used for clearing the biggest stumps, often in preparation of building work.
-Tractor mounted stump grinder, these are PTO powered and are mounted on the 3 point linkage of the tractor and come in a selection of sizes.
Stump grinder hire or buy?
Stump grinders have come down a lot in price over the years and if you have a large property or a small business you could easily justify the cost of buying a stump grinder of your own, you could also hire this out a make a little extra income! If you have only a few small stumps to grind then hiring a stump grinder maybe better for you, here is a link to a reputable hire company.
First things first always do the relevant assessments of the risks, always follow the operator’s instructions every stump grinder will have its own directions of use and you must be familiar with the specific machine you will use. Before using the stump grinder, you will need to be prepared with the correct PPE and other safety gear. When you proceed to move forward with the stump you will need to ensure the stump is cut as low to the ground as possible with a chainsaw, the stump will need to be dug all around and the debris cleaned from the log. Leaving debris on the log can cause premature wear to the teeth, the stump grinder could also throw loose debris causing a risk of injury to the operator and other people. Depending on the type of stump grinder the stump grinder cutting wheel will be moved from side to side milling the stump away, progressively lower until you grind below ground level. The spoil material can be raked over the area where the stump was removed helping fill the hole.
Stump grinder service
Stump grinders will need to be well maintained to ensure safe and efficient operation. Keeping your stump grinders engine well service will retain its performance, keeping your stump grinders teeth sharp will also keep the stump grinder working effectively.