Words by Mat Smith, for The Australian Arbor Age
It seems that tracks are all the rage these days and Vermeer have definitely cottoned on to this.
The new Vermeer SC40TX Stump Grinder has taken full advantage of a tracked under carriage. It’s a new offering to the ever popular mid-size stump grinder range and with a few tricks up its sleeve the SC40TX should fair well against its competitors. Let us take a closer look at what this brand new grinder has to offer.
We will start from the ground up; the SC40TX is built around a proven design – the Vermeer skid steer loader. The tracks have a High-mount rear sprocket which keeps the drive mechanism out of the dirt, therefore allowing less wear/contact with abrasive material such as sand and rocks as well as keeping the hydraulic motor out of the debris and contamination.
Overall the SC40TX weighs in at 1400kg, its 3.3m long and just shy of 3ft wide. The cutter wheel has a diameter of 18″ and can grind to an impressive depth of up to 16″ while still being able to grind stumps 2ft above ground level. The sweep is 50″.
Power is fed from a straight bevel gear box, which in turn feeds from a direct couple with a hydraulic motor, this means no clutch, and no belts to replace or maintain, saving you time and money in the long run. The power plant behind all this is a 3-cylinder turbo diesel Kohler engine, kicking out 40-horse power and 133 ft-lb of torque. These are good numbers for a medium size machine, especially one equipped with some smart electronics designed to help the operator with his business of turning tree stumps in to mulch.
The SC40TX grinder can be operated in 2 modes, the first being the ‘ride on’ position, this being the normal position you would be to transport the grinder between stumps and it’s ideal for sites where you have multiple small/medium stumps to deal with. The Grinder can be easily tracked from stump to stump, then with the flick of a switch you can grind away. When you’re done simply track to the next stump then grind some more. Track, flick, grind, repeat. Secondly, if you have something a little tastier to grind, or you would like to get a little more intimate with your tree stump, simply track over to your stump, hop down from the ‘ride on’ position, swing out the ‘side operator’s station’ (that is neatly stowed away while not in use) and continue your grinding while enjoying the front row view!
Operator safety was a large factor in the design of the SC40TX. With its ‘Operator Presence System’, you wont be going near the spinning cutter wheel. Basically you have to be present in the ‘ride on’ position or present at the ‘side operator’s station. This is achieved by a load sensing switch at the ‘ride on’, and a nifty touch sensitive knob at the ‘side operator’s station’. The moment either is ‘Tripped’ the cutter wheel comes to a swift stop, making a foolproof system and a safer working environment.
So how well does the SC40TX grind stumps?
Due to the low down grunt, solid build and ‘SmartSweep’ its an impressive mid sized machine. The SmartSweep control system monitors engine load and provides continuous feedback resulting in a smooth and consistent cutter-wheel sweep rate. This feature improves efficiency and productivity at the stump while helping to decrease wear and tear on the machine. It grinds slightly different to what I am used to, but in a good way. Its some thing one has to experience for themselves, to truly see the benefits.
At a glance, if you buy a SC40TX Stump Grinder, you are getting a solid, stable, manoverable track machine, with a powerful, reliable and smart grinding head that is safe and easy to operate. All this at a price that is very competitive. What more would you like?