PTO driven stump grinder

   / PTO driven stump grinder #31  
Hello everyone:

I am in need of a PTO driven stump grinder.

My tractor is a Mahindra 5155 (55 hp) so that gives an idea of what it can handle.

This is new to me, so any suggestion is completely appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

~ Darren
I have a Woodland Mills grinder, and here is my experience.

The grinder itself is rugged, the design is simple, and it is relatively cheap to purchase.

I found that it did not work well for me out of the box. As you use a grinder, especially in my area of the northeast, you are inevitably going to hit rocks. Small rocks and dirt take the edge off the carbide teeth, which from what I have seen is pretty standard for a stump grinder. They don't stay razor sharp like a chainsaw. As the teeth would dull, it would take more pressure to bite into the wood. Makes sense to me, based on how dull saw blades work. The trouble with the woodland setup out of the box, is that the grinder tilts around pivot pins, intentionally. For me, that tilting would not allow the grinder to effectively cut in to the wood. It was very slow, and the chips would be no bigger than chainsaw size chips, unless the teeth were brand new.

Additionally, when the grinder would tilt, it would put the lower U-joint of the pto shaft at an extreme angle. I destroyed a couple PTO shafts in a short time when the grinder was new.

My solution was this: I fabricated an A-frame to move the grinder further back from the machine. I bought a longer, heavier duty PTO shaft. Combined with a hydraulic top link, I now have a good amount of travel, and the u-joints are never placed at an extreme angle. I also added chains to prevent the grinder from tilting. I used 1/4" chain that is tight (my shear pin of sorts), with 3/8" safety chain in case the 1/4" snaps.

I have added hard facing around the edge, as the rocks in my area had worn away a decent amount of metal from the original wheel. Even after my mods, the bearings are in great shape, I disassembled the unit about a year ago, as I was concerned that my locking it in place would overstress something else. So far, I have not found that to be the case. That said, the grinder is one of the rougher things on the tractor, though some of that is how you operate it.

With my mods, the grinder makes big chips now. I've done probably about 100+ stumps with it, some as large as 6 foot. I did a 5-6 foot norway spruce about a month ago, down 6" below the ground in about 2.5 hours including picking up the chips.

As far as transmission choice, I would prefer hydro for operating this grinder, though I don't think it would be impossible at all with gear. With hydro, I am ready to let off the pedal if something bites hard. With gear, you would just need to be ready to hit the clutch (assuming dual stage live pto etc). On hills that could be a little trickier.
 

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   / PTO driven stump grinder #32  
Whatever.

I grind mine and my customers BELOW ground level, usually 10" Far as Greenteeth go, I regrind mine here in the shop using a vertical mill and a bench grinder motor with a diamond impregnated wheel on it. Have s new set but I've never mounted them The SG24 came with an extra set of 900 Greenteech. My total outlay for the grinding jig was 40 bucks for the wheel that will last me for years.

Don't need to pay someone to sharpen them as I have the means myself.

Just like chainsaw loops. Have the tools to grind them as well and they get sharpened when even slightly dull.

Really don't care what you do or don't do but I will tell you that grinding a stump flush only promotes sprouting more quickly. Especially in softwoods.
 
   / PTO driven stump grinder
  • Thread Starter
#33  
I have a Woodland Mills grinder, and here is my experience.

The grinder itself is rugged, the design is simple, and it is relatively cheap to purchase.

I found that it did not work well for me out of the box. As you use a grinder, especially in my area of the northeast, you are inevitably going to hit rocks. Small rocks and dirt take the edge off the carbide teeth, which from what I have seen is pretty standard for a stump grinder. They don't stay razor sharp like a chainsaw. As the teeth would dull, it would take more pressure to bite into the wood. Makes sense to me, based on how dull saw blades work. The trouble with the woodland setup out of the box, is that the grinder tilts around pivot pins, intentionally. For me, that tilting would not allow the grinder to effectively cut in to the wood. It was very slow, and the chips would be no bigger than chainsaw size chips, unless the teeth were brand new.

Additionally, when the grinder would tilt, it would put the lower U-joint of the pto shaft at an extreme angle. I destroyed a couple PTO shafts in a short time when the grinder was new.

My solution was this: I fabricated an A-frame to move the grinder further back from the machine. I bought a longer, heavier duty PTO shaft. Combined with a hydraulic top link, I now have a good amount of travel, and the u-joints are never placed at an extreme angle. I also added chains to prevent the grinder from tilting. I used 1/4" chain that is tight (my shear pin of sorts), with 3/8" safety chain in case the 1/4" snaps.

I have added hard facing around the edge, as the rocks in my area had worn away a decent amount of metal from the original wheel. Even after my mods, the bearings are in great shape, I disassembled the unit about a year ago, as I was concerned that my locking it in place would overstress something else. So far, I have not found that to be the case. That said, the grinder is one of the rougher things on the tractor, though some of that is how you operate it.

With my mods, the grinder makes big chips now. I've done probably about 100+ stumps with it, some as large as 6 foot. I did a 5-6 foot norway spruce about a month ago, down 6" below the ground in about 2.5 hours including picking up the chips.

As far as transmission choice, I would prefer hydro for operating this grinder, though I don't think it would be impossible at all with gear. With hydro, I am ready to let off the pedal if something bites hard. With gear, you would just need to be ready to hit the clutch (assuming dual stage live pto etc). On hills that could be a little trickier.
Thank you for this. This is what I am looking for, real world, personal experience. I'm still shopping, and I may just go with a dedicated grinder instead of a tractor mounted one. Lot's of work to be had here, and I am just looking for something to do now that I am retired. I will most likely rent one and get some time on it, then make my decision. I truly appreciate your post.. thank you for taking the time to really answer my question.
 
   / PTO driven stump grinder #34  
Gee, my SG24 was about a grand more than the Woodland Mills to buy. Certainly not a break the bank deal breaker in my view. Because both my tractors are gear drive, I get over a stump and drop the FEL bucket down with the cutting edge on the ground, put the tractor in neutral and advance the grinder using the bucket. Works quite well actually and I can advance the grinder as required. Of course depth of cut is controlled by a hydraulic cylinder as is the swing over the stump itself so once I'm aligned, I never have to reposition the tractor.

Like I said previously, I would have preferred a Rayco or a Carleton or even a Bandit but the price of admission was way too high and I didn't want a smaller unit like a Toro because I don't need to get beat up grinding stumps.

Different strokes for different folks. What works for you may not for me.
 
   / PTO driven stump grinder #35  
Thank you for this. This is what I am looking for, real world, personal experience. I'm still shopping, and I may just go with a dedicated grinder instead of a tractor mounted one. Lot's of work to be had here, and I am just looking for something to do now that I am retired. I will most likely rent one and get some time on it, then make my decision. I truly appreciate your post.. thank you for taking the time to really answer my question.
For what it's worth, I have a buddy that cuts trees professionally that has a vermeer self driven grinder. It uses a 20ish HP gas motor. I've used those before, and they are fine for what they are. They will get the job done, but it doesn't come close to what my grinder will do now. And the purchase price is much more than I paid for the attachment (plus mods).

That same buddy has basically given up on using his smaller one, and hires out now. The guy that he uses has a much larger, diesel grinder with something like 80 HP I think. I have not seen that one run, but from what my buddy says watching them both, that grinder is almost as fast as mine. For my purposes and area, I also love having the tractor with grapple there. I can often pop out medium size rocks around the stumps, and I can use the machine to help rough grade and move the chips.

I think if I was doing this day in and day out, my tractor would probably break something before a large dedicated grinder will, but knock on wood, it's been fine so far even with my mods.

Not totally sure your situation, and whether hiring or renting a dedicated unit would be an option. For me, I cut trees as a side business, and I use the tractor for a lot of different tasks. I could not justify the purchase of a dedicated stump grinder, but an attachment made sense. The grinder has chewed through a lot of wood, and made me a fair amount of money so far. It is also very nice to have for around my own property, in the event I have a little job to do, it's quick to pop on and take care of.
 
   / PTO driven stump grinder
  • Thread Starter
#36  
Gee, my SG24 was about a grand more than the Woodland Mills to buy. Certainly not a break the bank deal breaker in my view. Because both my tractors are gear drive, I get over a stump and drop the FEL bucket down with the cutting edge on the ground, put the tractor in neutral and advance the grinder using the bucket. Works quite well actually and I can advance the grinder as required. Of course depth of cut is controlled by a hydraulic cylinder as is the swing over the stump itself so once I'm aligned, I never have to reposition the tractor.

Like I said previously, I would have preferred a Rayco or a Carleton or even a Bandit but the price of admission was way too high and I didn't want a smaller unit like a Toro because I don't need to get beat up grinding stumps.

Different strokes for different folks. What works for you may not for me.

For the life of me, I can not find the SG24. They make an SSG24 now, but it is for a Compct Track Loader.

Is this similar to what you are using? I like the fact that you can plant the tractor in one spot, and move the grinder side to side.

 
   / PTO driven stump grinder #37  
That is it but mine has a 24" cutting wheel. Being 73, I'm hell on numbers.. LOL. Shaver as well as Erskine offers them but the LP unit is less costly. Besides, the LP unit comes in Kubota orange (as well as other colors, so it matches my Kubota's.

I purchased a Shaver at an out of state farm auction and had it delivered here to the farm and then found out the gearbox was shot and the frame was welded and all the teeth needed replaced. The gearbox for the Shaver is over 1000 bucks and a full set of teeth (Green Teeth again) was 500 so I parted it out, chalked it up to my ignorance and bought the new Landpride. Was obviously run hard and put away wet.
 
   / PTO driven stump grinder #38  
Kind of like PTO driven wood chippers. Had one of them and sold it for what I paid for it and now I roast branches. If I need serious tree work done, I'll call one of the arborists I sharpen chipper knives (and chain loops) for and they will come over with their bucket truck and commercial chipper and take care of any issue I have and it's always tit for tat. IOW, don't cost me anything. I have no issue trading services. Never have.

Besides, any wood 4" in diameter or larger cuts get piled up and one of them will come by and load it up as most all of them sell firewood as a side business. I don't heat with wood and don't want to.

Have a buddy in Maine that rented a walk behind, tracked stump grinder from Sun Belt Rentals and ground 30+ butts in one day (for a 600 buck rental fee) and spent the next 2 weeks recovering from the beating he took, running it.
 
   / PTO driven stump grinder
  • Thread Starter
#39  
Kind of like PTO driven wood chippers. Had one of them and sold it for what I paid for it and now I roast branches. If I need serious tree work done, I'll call one of the arborists I sharpen chipper knives (and chain loops) for and they will come over with their bucket truck and commercial chipper and take care of any issue I have and it's always tit for tat. IOW, don't cost me anything. I have no issue trading services. Never have.

Besides, any wood 4" in diameter or larger cuts get piled up and one of them will come by and load it up as most all of them sell firewood as a side business. I don't heat with wood and don't want to.

Have a buddy in Maine that rented a walk behind, tracked stump grinder from Sun Belt Rentals and ground 30+ butts in one day (for a 600 buck rental fee) and spent the next 2 weeks recovering from the beating he took, running it.
I just retired from the US Army (05 AUG 1987 to 28 FEB 2023). Starting up a small business here in SC to stay busy. Driveway work, finish homesite grading, bush hog / lot clearing, etc... figured since I need a stump grinder for my own property, might as well add that to the equipment my business is purchasing. I like the Land Pride one, like how it works. Now I just need to find one, and see it in use. ;)
 
   / PTO driven stump grinder #40  
Please understand something and I'll only say it ONE time... Don't really care what grinder you have, you can use a shovel if you want...

I bought what I bought because I'm grinding stumps for customers and I don't want to spend all day ( and lose my butt) on grinding jobs because it takes X number of hours to remove them. I want to do it quick and make money and pay for the machine as expeditiously as possible. At a buck a base inch, I'm doing just fine, in fact, I'm getting more jobs than I really want presently. I seriously considered a Rayco or Carleton but the initial cost was too much and being retired, I need to watch my money and I never buy used equipment, especially equipment like a stump grinder and the SG25 was not a whole lot more than the Woodland Mills unit anyway. Of course you do need something larger than a compact tractor to run one and you need remotes as well. Neither are an issue with me.

Put the unit on the Gooseneck and go grind.
A buck an inch 😳
I’ve been getting 2$ an inch for the last 9 years with my Miller and I grind 150-200 inches per hour.
 
 
 
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