Carlton SP018 TRX

The Carlton SP8018 TRX is loaned to us by Howard King Tree Surgeons of Horsham and delivered by Liston Equipment, importer of Carlton machinery from the US.
The unit is quickly unloaded from the trailer. The SP8018 is mounted on wide turf tracks that are great on the straight runs, but they mark the lawn when the machine is slewed into position.
With a four-speed ground drive system providing travel up to 5.6km/h, it takes just a couple of minutes to reach the stump and we predict this job could be done quickly. Not quite. This stump cutter is controlled remotely, and wireless broadband or mobile phone signals are causing background disturbance. It takes a few adjustments to ensure the remote and machine are listening to each other.
Fired-up and put to work, the Carlton shows it has an enormous appetite. This cutter has a giant swing — over 2m of travel — to minimise repositioning. Being mounted on a turntable, the SP8018 TRX has a low centre of gravity and is very stable. The turntable ensures the engine is kept level during operation. If you are a contractor looking for a machine to work on slopes, this model has a true-grit, go anywhere mentality.
The operator has total control over the machine while standing at a safe distance — not that there is much in the way of flying debris — and he gently nudges the cutter forward a little at a time. It is belt-driven, but there is ample power from the high-torque, 79hp engine and more than sufficient manoeuvrability in the cutter head to smash through the stump.
The wheel has been fitted with Green teeth. These are not standard on the Carlton machine but they are popular with contractors because they are designed to stay sharp. A total of 32 teeth spread the workload.
Maintenance on the SP8018 has been kept to a minimum. There are grease nipples on the head bearing, turntable, output shaft and tracks. Adjusting the belts means pulling the engine back. We like the way the breather is also the filler for the hydraulic tank — nobody should get confused and put diesel in by mistake. A daily checklist is displayed on the side of the machine, along with operating instructions.
Forty minutes later, we are left with a pile of chippings.
A dozer blade at the rear of the machine is brought into use to push the chippings into a neat mound. We reckon you’ll need the blade. Chippings are really awkward to shovel.

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