What Is A Stump Grinder?
A stump grinder is a large machine that is designed for the removal of tree stumps from the ground. There are two main types of stump grinder. The first is a stand-alone machine that is wheeled or driven into position over the stump to be ground out. The second is a vertical attachment stump grinder that may be hooked up to a tractor, excavator or similar farm equipment.
The two machines do the same job, however the stand alone machine is often more versatile as it is easier to get into place and operate. Standalone stump grinders are more common in urban areas where trees are removed from suburban backyards. Accessibility is the main strength of standalone machines as they are slightly smaller on average and are able to navigate suburban settings. Attachable stump grinders are more common in large farming areas where manoeuvrability is less necessary due to the acreage many of these machines operate in. These large vertical stump grinders are able to remove tree stumps with a far wider diameter than the smaller machines and excavate out root mass to a greater depth than their smaller counterparts. Regardless of the size of a stump grinder the mechanics that allow it to effectively remove a tree stump are almost the same.
Mechanics Of A Stump Grinder.
The essential components of a stump grinder are basically the same whether it is a large vertical stump remover or a smaller stump grinder. The grinding action that removes stumps from the ground is performed by a whirling cutter disc with carbide teeth. Smaller stump grinders shave sections of the stump away through repeated application. Vertical stump grinders will bore directly down into a stump excavating the biomass out of the ground. The larger stump grinders will completely remove tree stumps up to 150cm in diameter. Smaller stump grinding machinery is capable of removing large stumps, but take much longer and if the tree stump is not fully removed there is a chance the stump will begin to regrow.
Stump Grinder Drive Train
Stump grinders have either a mechanical or hydraulic drive. Often vertical stump grinders that are attached to a tractor will be a mechanical drive system. Hydraulic stump grinders are generally attached to excavators and other earth moving machinery. Smaller stump grinders can be either mechanically driven or hydraulic systems depending on the make and manufacturer.
Stump Grinder Engine
All stump grinders are powered by a petrol or diesel engine. In the case of stand-alone stump grinders the engine is housed as part of the entire machine. Attachable stump grinders generally have no engine of their own and rely on being powered by an external source such as a tractor.
What Happens To The Stump?
Once a stump grinder is correctly positioned above the stump it will be lowered onto the biomass. Smaller grinders will cut away at the stump in sections until the stump has been cut back approximately 10-20cm under the surface level of the soil. Larger stump grinding equipment can bore much deeper into the ground. Once the stump has been ground up it can be used as mulch, or carted away.