A neighbor has some ground that was logged off before he bought it and has been having the stumps cleared a little at a time so he can level it and seed it in pasture. The guy that has been digging out the stumps did not have a big enough rig to do the job, so he has been digging around a lot without getting much done. Chris decided to hire a retired man who has a stump grinder to do take them down to about 6 inches below ground level. I have seen some stump grinders in use, but never anything quite like this.
It is powered by what appears to be a 6 cylinder Ford engine, and has a gear drive to a heavy chain to turn the saw. Saw is about 3 1/2 feet or a little bigger with carbide teeth similar to those on a backhoe bucket for digging limestone. The operator has controls that allow raising and lowering of the blade, as well as throttle and clutch. In addition the rig has a hydraulically telescoping tongue that has a travel of about 6 to 8 feet, and the tongue pivots just in front of the axle, also controlled by a set of hydraulic cylinders.
The rig is backed up to a stump and he lets the blade down and starts swinging it side to side, extending the tongue as he does. Takes roughly 3 or 4 minutes to do a 24 inch stump. My first thoughts were that it would be a lot handier if he had a hitch on the front of the truck, but as I watched his wife backing it from stump to stump I was truly impressed with how well she was backing the rig, even after I realized he was guiding her by steering the grinder with the hydraulics and she was just following along with the truck. Watching how well they worked together it was obvious thay have been doing this quite a while.