“We need something that is portable and easy to use,” our tester suggests. “Anything bigger than the 252 is really for the specialist contractor.”
The SC252 has a reputation in the industry as being a productive, low-maintenance unit. It has a 27hp Kohler engine and 48cm-diameter, 1.3cm-thick wheel fitted with 16 forged teeth. Furthermore, the unit is a convenient size. At 89cm, this stump grinder is going to fit through most standard gateways. And we like the layout of the controls — the panel on the side with the hydraulic levers is uncluttered and the functions are easy to understand.
We’re also impressed with the safety features. For instance, the cutter-wheel brake is integrated into the clutch and applies automatically when the clutch is disengaged, allowing the cutter wheel to stop spinning within a few seconds once the brake is activated. However, there are a lot of options with this machine. The AutoSweep system sounds like a good idea because it should reduce engine stress, but it costs extra. Then there are optional rear dual-tyres to improve travel over soft ground and add stability on uneven terrain, and optional hydraulic front steer for added mobility. The costs could start to stack up.
We take a look at two smaller machines — the SC90 and the SC130 — that first caught our tester’s attention. The other tester notices the lift handles located on either side of the machine. “This should make it easy for two of us to lift off the trailer,” he suggests.
The SC90 and SC130 have nine-horsepower and 13hp Honda engines respectively. Both are designed to remove stumps up to 90cm in diameter and are sufficiently slim that we should have no trouble gaining access to stumps in awkward locations.
The controls look user friendly but we will only find out if they really are easy to use when we put the machine to the test later this year.
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