Baumalight's an impressive company to me. If you look at the industry, there's a couple of companies out there that I would consider innovators, and these guys are definitely one of those. They definitely seem to look at a lot of applications, a lot of tasks that you would like to do with your equipment and say, "Is it possible?" One of those things here that they're looking at is whether a compact track loader with the right attachment on the front can be a viable stump grinding machine.
Today we're going to walk you around their stump grinder, show you some of the things that they've put together here. We are a retailer for these pieces, and we have it in our own rental fleet as well. Maybe we'll learn some things together here today.
One of the most important things to me when looking for an attachment to add to our rental fleet or potentially for you if you're running a business, is versatility. I'm always looking for ways to be able to get more work and more utilization out of the existing power units that I have. One thing that's been a challenge for us on the rental side of things is tools to address stumps. Dedicated stump grinders can be really expensive. The good productive ones are. I've been toying around trying to find the right kind of attachment in order to use our existing tractors, skid steers, stand-on track loaders in order to get that best use, to have that right attachment for our machine, for our customers to be able to have a productive and efficient rental option.
This Baumalight looks like it's going to be a really good option. Now this is going to go along on our Kubota SCL. It's hydraulically driven out to the grinding wheel that's on the end. You have two hydraulic lines and a case drain line that are going to connect back in here in your machine in order to run the wheel that does the grinding of the stump. Now the key thing to these things in their operation is their ability to sweep left to right.
In order to accomplish that, Baumalight's using an electric cylinder out here. That's really easy to install here on the Kubota. We have a cigarette outlet plug up on the dash that we simply plug in with a switch that allows this to toggle left to right to sweep back and forth as it works.
Looking down here at the grinding wheel, I recognize some parts that I've seen on Baumalight's mulchers before. That's these teeth down here. They have a little carrier here that bolts back onto the central disc here that spins, and then these cupped teeth out here on the end are what's actually going to grind their way through your stump as it works.
These teeth can be rotated so you can loosen the nut here behind them. And once you've dulled that grinding surface, you can rotate the tooth around to be able to wear other surfaces off, so you get the greatest life out of these teeth. There's a number of them. If you look here, they're set both inside of the disc in line, but then also there's another set that sits outboard a little bit. As you swing back and forth, those teeth are going to catch different parts of the stump, giving you a smooth grinding action as you go left to right.
We can do a little bit of a demo of the stump grinder here for you. I'm at our Mount Joy Store, and I'm going to work on a stump here that was done by the construction crew. But they left it a little bit too high here, and we catch it with the mower as we go back and forth. There's a couple of benefits to using this kind of stump grinder on a machine here like the SCL versus some other styles of stump grinder. Because it's attached here onto the loader boom, you have a really wide and flexible range of movement, allowing you to really easily get this below grade a lot further than what you can some other styles of stump grinder. That's a side of the versatility that you get with this, with being able to put on buckets and grapples and that kind of thing.
From an operational standpoint, when you first approach a stump, you're going to want to start well before the stump and a little bit underground. Even if you're digging into the dirt, that's because you want to be grinding the stump, but also the roots that are a little bit below the dirt that you may not see. You don't want to take this right into the root of the stump itself. Start in the ground a little bit and sweep back and forth.
As we go through this here, what we're going to do is start the wheel spinning here. This is using the hydraulics of the SCL to bring that up to speed. Then I'm going to use the electric circuit here, this is an electric angle function, no hydraulics to sweep this back and forth. Once I sweep it back and forth, I'm just going to lower it down a little bit and then come back the other direction. Then wash, rinse, and repeat. Very simply here, we're just going to lower this down a little bit further and swing it back the other direction. You simply make these sweeping motions back and forth.
The machine here is able to take off about three quarters to an inch of stump per pass. Again, that's going to be determined by how hard the wood is and how dense of a portion of the stump you're into. Now, if you don't handle the machine properly here, you can stall this out. Just slow and steady wins the race here, right? Too much, too fast can stall the machine so you just vary that speed, vary your depth. You can see there I'm fighting a little bit in order to let the machine work.
Now, the hydraulics on the Kubota here are adjustable. I have my flow turned down a little bit so that I slow the head down a little bit and maybe give a little bit more headroom to the engine. The process here is really simple. If you're used to the controls of your machine, operationally here, this is a piece of cake. Now, if I struggle with anything being back here, it's the sight lines. This setup is very typical of a lot of stump grinders. It's unusual to have one that you look down and you can see the actual spinning wheel. I drive by sound here a little bit. I bring it down and drop it onto the stump and listen for when I hear the teeth start to dig into the stump. Then, that's the point that I start to work back and forth. Really, because this is an attachment that you don't have to worry so much about being in the dirt, it's not so important that you have a beautiful view of your work area. You're just working those controls back and forth and you're letting the tool do its job. It's amazing how fast I can make quick work of this.
One thing I like on this machine is being able to look down here at the digital display and see my engine RPMs. I can do it by ear, but I can also tell how much I'm straining the machine by watching how much it's slowing down. That can help inform if I need to slow that head down a little bit because I'm really in a thick, heavy piece of wood or maybe taking a bite that's just a little bit too hard. We've done videos now with several different tools to remove stumps. One of the things I appreciate about this is the thoroughness. When this sweeps back and forth, you know that you're addressing that entire area as you go back and forth. I like the stump planer a lot. I think it's really cost-effective and very durable and probably faster than what this is, but I found it easy to leave high spots or a little bit more difficult maybe to address those subsurface areas, the roots and stuff that you can't see so well, but this definitely does a little bit more thorough and complete job because you're covering a known area here as the head swings back and forth.
There is ample weight on the machine here for this thing not to bounce back and forth. You've got a ground engaging attachment here that's digging into a stump and there's nothing here that causes the SCL to buck back and forth or pull around or feel unsafe. It's a good platform for this kind of attachment. Like I said earlier, I like the versatility that you get by putting the stump grinder on the front of a compact track loader like this because you're going to be able to use this machine for other tasks as well.
That's a little bit on Baumalight's S16 stump grinder. This made sense in my rental fleet, makes a lot of sense on the front of this machine, and more than likely could make a lot of sense if you're a landscaper or a rental yard, a business, and even a consumer or a homeowner that happens to have one of these things. It's a really affordable way in order to address stumps, and one of the best quality ways of doing it as far as getting the smallest chips and being really thorough with that end result. It's going to give you a finished product that you can be proud of charging for, not necessarily the cheapest way to get the job done, but one of the best as well. Cool, innovative stuff.