A stump grinder rental can save you a lot of money if you do the work yourself. If you have recently had some trees removed from your yard, you probably have several stumps that are now breaking up your lawn. While hiring a stump removal service for one or two stumps may make sense, if you have several stumps to be removed, then you may want to look into doing it yourself with a stump grinder rental.
With stump grinder rentals, it is important to know a little bit about it so that you can assess whether or not you can manage the stump removal yourself. A stump grinder rental is a large power tool that uses a rotating disc or wheel studded with steel teeth to chip away at the wood. The tool itself looks a bit like a tractor with a hydraulic lever extending off of the front. The wheel or disc is attached to this lever, which can be lowered and raised and swung from side to side. The machine ranges from the size of a lawnmower to the size of a truck, though a rented stump grinder is usually on the smaller side of that range. A typical stump grinder weighs about 1,000 pounds, so you will either need to have the rental company deliver the machine to you, or you will need to have a vehicle with a trailer hitch to tow it.
Once you receive your grinder, it is extremely important that you follow several safety precautions. First of all, make sure that the rental company shows you how to operate the machine. Most companies will provide some safety guidelines and specific operating instructions for the model you rent. Second, wear the appropriate safety clothing, including safety glasses, hearing protection, a safety helmet, sturdy footwear, gloves, and a face shield. Third, check the controls and brake each time you start the grinder. Also ensure that no one is within 25 feet of the grinder before you begin. Wood chips will scatter as the machine operates, so try to position the stump grinder so as to protect vehicles, windows, etc. Visibility is very important while operating the stump grinder, so do not use it in poor weather conditions. Leave shields and guards up at all times.
Before you begin stump removal, you will need to remove any rocks from around the base of the stump with a shovel. Failing to remove rocks may dull or damage the teeth of the grinder. Although not necessary, trimming the stump close to the ground with a chainsaw will make grinding the stump easier and faster.
To begin removing the stump, raise the wheel a few inches above the stump and then drive the machine forward until the wheel is positioned just above the stump. Turn the wheel on and then slowly lower the lever until the wheel begins grinding the stump. Using the lever, slowly move the wheel back and forth across the stump until you have dug down at least 4 inches. Raise the wheel, move the machine forward a few inches, and begin again. Continue in this manner until you have cleared out the stump. After every section, check to make sure that your hole is at least 4 inches below the surface.
When you are finished, rake up the resulting wood chips. If your stump was in a garden area, then use the wood chips to fill the hole, and cover with soil. If your stump was in your lawn, then fill the hole with topsoil. Rake and tamp down the soil, spread a layer of grass seed and then rake the seeds into the soil. Water liberally and cover with mulch.
A tree stump grinder rental can save you quite a bit of money, depending on how many stumps you have to remove. A stump removal service will charge between $90 and $150 to remove one 24-inch stump; stump grinder rental prices will range from $100 to $190 for a day. If you are prepared for a little hard work, then the money saved by renting a stump grinder will be worth it.