Cutting down the tree you needed to remove may have required effort, so will getting rid of the remaining stump, and for that you’ll probably need a stump grinder.
A stump grinder offers a safe, easy and effective way of removing stumps, but you should only use one if you’re prepared to follow all the instructions carefully. You’ll need to think about the location of the stump(s) to be removed, as well as the surrounding area before starting work.
Stump grinders are, more often than not, rented for a specific task. It’s only really viable to buy one if you know that there’ll be a lot of ongoing work to be done. They come with different specifications in terms of power, sizes and styles. You need to select the stump grinder most suited to the job you are undertaking. Select a model that you personally can physically handle. A walk-behind grinder tends to be easy to transport, fairly simple to operate and effective for first time users. Grinders that are self-propelled are gas or diesel powered and provide access to areas that walk-behind or towed grinders cannot reach. Towable stump grinders tend to require trailers for transportation, and with more power comes a much bulkier machine.
1. Secure Area
Before you start to operate a stump grinder, you should always secure the area around where you’ll be working. Any stray rocks or debris will need to be removed as stump grinders are apt to propel them a great distance if they get too near.
2. Consult Local Utility Companies
Consult local utility companies to ensure that no main supplies run directly above or beneath the place where you’ll be working. Trees and shrubs that are very close to the stump you intend to grind may well require pruning to provide for safe and easy access to the stump grinder.
3. Put Warning Fence
It may be necessary to erect a warning fence to keep members of the public, especially children, away from where you are working.
4. Follow Instructions
Before renting a stump grinder to do a job yourself, take some time to think about whether you’re physically up to it. Keep in mind that stump grinders are heavy and bulky, and that operating them can be dangerous if you don’t follow guidelines very closely. So, make sure you follow all guidelines and instructions for using the stump grinder safely and effectively. This applies to instructions on how to transport stump grinders as well as to their actual use. Follow safe lifting practices for manual handling.
5. Tie it Down
Secure the stump grinder properly when you transport it.
6. Dress Well
Ensure that you’re wearing all the necessary safety clothing and equipment. These will probably include a hard hat, hearing protection and goggles and steel toe-cap boots. All safety clothing should be certified as industry standard.
Beware of jewelry, long hair or clothing that could become tangled in moving parts of the stump grinder.
Ensure that any onlookers or passersby are kept at a safe and appropriate distance from the stump grinder when it’s in operation.