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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just ground three stumps for a friend of mine this weekend... Unfortunately, he HAD 4... Never DID get going on MY stump... So, here's what I learned about stump grinders this weekend, thought I should share...

The local rental store rented us a Dosko 337 grinder first, a big beefy thing with about a 12" cutting wheel and I think an 11 hp one-lunger on it (not sure what make). Thing went through a 6 inch Douglas fir stump and a 12-15 inch Mountain Ash stump like they were butter! Right down to 6" underground, just like you want if you want to be able to pull the rest of the roots... REALLY nice piece of hardware... Except.... Right at the end of the last stump, the brake cable broke (1/8" aircraft cable, and it frayed right where it passed through the band brake... not enough grease, if you ask me). Rather than fix it myself (since my buddy and I had paid big bucks to the rental guys, AND where am I gonna find 1/8" 9 strand cable on a Sunday afternoon on a long weekend) I phoned the emergency number for the company (Spose I could have used it without the brake, BUT the last stump was pretty close to a concrete pad, and you DON'T want a big grinder to lurch forward into something like that at top speed)...Okay, they said, they'd bring out their other stump grinder...

They brought out a Vermeer grinder (not sure what model number...) with about a 5" wheel with integrated teeth and a 7.5 horse Honda engine... So, while it was easier to start, just NOT the same quality of machine... It was like moving from using a chainsaw to using a sander (with the accompanying difference in cuttings... we covered his whole deck with a fine coating of sawdust after 10 minutes of use)... We never did get his last stump done, just could NOT get the thing to dig deep enough... And there's NO way it would do my 15" pine stump... I know, because this was the same bloody one I got given 2 years ago the FIRST time I tried taking out that stump... Wasted $80 on rental THAT time, then just covered the bloody thing with gravel and hoped that driving my truck over it would wear it down (no such luck, my gravel STILL looks like I've got a very short Jimmy Hoffa buried in it... hence my reason for wanting to try again with a real stump grinder)...

So, at least NOW I know which grinder to ask for.... Maybe when I go take it back tomorrow, I'll be able to convince them to let me have it some other Saturday night to see if I can get my big stump made gone...
 

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A very good friend of mine rented a stump grinder couple different times. First time he had rented the small model. The next time he said he stepped up to the larger one. No comparison . . . Bigger is better!!!
 

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I doubt that the second one was a Vermeer. The smallest one they make is 27HP, an SC252. If you can get your hands on one of them, it is a very good grinder, just make sure the teeth are sharp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I doubt that the second one was a Vermeer. The smallest one they make is 27HP, an SC252. If you can get your hands on one of them, it is a very good grinder, just make sure the teeth are sharp.
It was definitely a Vermeer, but a very teeny tiny one, certainly NOT a 27 hp one (can you even pull-start a 27 hp?). A quick Google search turned up an image of what I was given, a Vermeer SC130


Versus the Dosko 337, pictured here:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Must be a new item for Vermeer. It's not on their website.
Or possibly an old item they haven't continued with, as I rented the same one in 2008 with just about as much success as I had this time (very little). Those biggies on their website are pretty impressive looking, but are probably outside the price range of the average rental company/day-renter...
 

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I had a 252 in my rental fleet. Much more durable than the walk behind units. Rental rate was $225 per day, had a bunch of regular customers. Many professionals don't want to own stump grinders because of the maintenance involved.
 

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Sounds like it has been a pain. I have seen some of the bigger grinders fly through some huge stumps. I am glad my stump remover is fire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had a 252 in my rental fleet. Much more durable than the walk behind units. Rental rate was $225 per day, had a bunch of regular customers. Many professionals don't want to own stump grinders because of the maintenance involved.
Ya, I can imagine... Changing out the teeth/blade has got to be a pricey thing... Our local rental place doesn't really cater to professionals, just mostly to us "armchair landscapers", so they don't bring a lot of "big iron" like those 252s in... And since we're a pretty small municipality (population-wise), there aren't that many small companies that would have a "big" one, so I'd imagine they just have to either do without or eat the cost of having one and maintaining it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds like it has been a pain. I have seen some of the bigger grinders fly through some huge stumps. I am glad my stump remover is fire.
To their credit, the rental guys have put a note on my contract saying I can have the Dosko back once its fixed so I can finish the job....
 

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Ya, I can imagine... Changing out the teeth/blade has got to be a pricey thing... Our local rental place doesn't really cater to professionals, just mostly to us "armchair landscapers", so they don't bring a lot of "big iron" like those 252s in... And since we're a pretty small municipality (population-wise), there aren't that many small companies that would have a "big" one, so I'd imagine they just have to either do without or eat the cost of having one and maintaining it.
It wasn't bad. I hooked up with a saw sharpening company who had a special sharpener to do SG teeth automatically, charged about $1.50 per tooth, and they were as good as new. Labor wasn't too bad, as they didn't all have to be changed all the time. The thing you had to keep in mind is that at a certain point, you simply have to replace all the pockets, bolts, the wheel itself, and less frequently, all the belts and pillow blocks. The real important thing with a machine like this is to keep the stupid people away from it, I had several I absolutely would not rent to, as they could put six months worth of wear on it in one day.
 
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