A brief history of Stumpman

Kevan Blackwell began a stump-removal business in the mid-1980s and realised almost immediately he needed a more versatile machine. So he built one.

I Registered ‘Stumpman’ in 1987,” said the recently retired Victorian. “The company ‘Stumpman Sales and Services Pty Ltd’ was formed in 1994, and that was because I was in the process of designing my own stumpgrinders.”

Won’t sit still

We had to wonder if Kev had an engineering background.

“No,” he chuckled. “With all the stuff I’ve designed, I only designed it because I was born lazy.”

That was a bit hard to cop as we listened enthralled to Kev describing time as a pilot, a telecom technician – “…in the old PMG,” – a certificate in technology and some time in Queensland. Then he discovered stumpgrinders.

“A mate said, ‘Why don’t you buy a stumpgrinder,’” Kev related and laughed, “I didn’t even know what one was.

“He was a mate who’d worked in the PMG and who’d got into tree lopping. He said he needed someone to do stumpgrinding, so I went back to Victoria and started doing some research.”

Image: Stumpman

After a few months Kev decided there had to be a better machine or a better way of grinding stumps, and he started thinking about how he’d design a grinder to do the job. It took a while, but the first machine came into being and more followed.

“After two years of thinking about it I put one together.

“Those early ones are still going. I know of one company that has three of them, even after all these years. They just keep going.”

One feature of Kev’s grinders was them being designed to fit down the sides of houses and into tight-access areas. He also equipped his grinders with another outstanding capability.

“Most machines back then would go nine or 10 inches underground,” he remembered. “My machines would cut nearly 18 inches under, which was more than any machine at the time.”

A great name

Kevan stopped manufacturing Stumpman machines in around 2004, and now, ready to retire and enjoy life, he’s seeking expressions of interest for the sale of the company name: Stumpman Sales and Services Pty Ltd.

 It’s only the name that’s for sale. If you’re interested and want to find out more, email kevanblackwell@gmail.com. 

Kevan Blackwell is selling the Stumpman business name and moving into retirement. Image: Stump man


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