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Advice: Which Stump Grinder for my Small Business


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I am after some advice on which Stump Grinder would be best for my Small Business (Grounds Maintenance and Tree Surgery).
The problem: When I have to collect a Stump Grinder from a hire company it takes 1/2 a day to go and collect it, and another 1/2 a day to return it. So you end up with 2-3 days hire for 1x days income. So this is a service I don't push because it interferes with undertaking other work. 
So I was wondering if this should be a new piece of kit to expand the business's range of services.
I have been looking at the following and these are my thoughts:
 
Brands:
I have been looking mainly at the Preditor, although I have used a couple of Torro machines.
Question 1: So advice from people on what they find good and bad about brands would be helpful.
 
Size of Machine:
1) Predator 360 Stump Grinder or Toro SGR-13 Stump Grinder / I thought that maybe it's ok for small job, but would it be painful on a bigger job and would I out grow it before really get started?
 
2) Predator 460 Stump Grinder  / I thought that maybe it's a better starting point for the smaller job that could do the occasional bigger job. Still good for narrow access. But would you out grow this machine too quickly?
 
3) Predator 38X Tracked Manual Stump Grinder or Toro STX-26 Stump Grinder or Toro STX-38 Stump Grinder / But then I thought do you just go for a bigger tracked Stump Grinder like this as a starting point? This will obviously be in a much higher price bracket, knowing that you might just cover your costs initially without much return, until you can build the business up in the longer term.

Question 2: So I would be most grateful for advice from people who have been in this quandary as to where to start with machine size.
 
Question 3: The machine size might change the pricing that you charge, along with the volume of work that you can undertake that might change the view on what you would choose to buy. So advice on job pricing with the different sized machines would be helpful?

All advice is most welcome...

 

Stump_Grinders.JPG

Edited by Jamie Jones
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I would say if you are only doing small jobs then a predator 360 would be enough. But if you are doing it regularly then a 28x might be a better choice. We are a small/medium sized firm and cope with most things with a 360 but that’s because grinding is a small part of our business. Horses for courses really and it will depend on how many narrow gates you have to get through

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I have a fsi b20, small but does 95%+ of stumps we do. Weighs about 130kg, which means we can get it up steps etc in places big machines can't go. There are benefits with a small light machine. Obviously not as powerful as the tracked ones etc but we make it work.

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I have a fsi b20, small but does 95%+ of stumps we do. Weighs about 130kg, which means we can get it up steps etc in places big machines can't go. There are benefits with a small light machine. Obviously not as powerful as the tracked ones etc but we make it work.

Yes I agree, I miss having a small machine to do small stumps in difficult areas.
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  • 2 weeks later...

I would suggest the FSI or Predator brands.  Both are affordable with good product support and perform well.

The Torro is a great little machine but is too underpowered.

With a larger budget go for a Carlton, product support is back but not many parts are really needed.

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