Three Safety Tips To Practice When Using A Stump Grinder

Removing tree stumps around your property is something that you can often accomplish with the right tools and approach. Although it's best to hire a professional tree service (such as Dubois Tree & Land Management LLC) to take down any large trees and remove stumps that are particularly challenging, the average homeowner can often successfully remove smaller tree stumps to make grass cutting a breeze. If you've decided to tackle this project yourself, it's important to make your safety a priority. Here are three important safety tips to follow when you're using a stump grinder. 

Wear The Right Safety Attire

Before you turn on the stump grinder, it's vitally important that you're wearing all the proper safety attire to keep you protected. The grinder's spinning blade can send a piece of bark, wood, and debris such as rock traveling through the air at high rates of speed, causing injury if you aren't dressed correctly. You should always be wearing study work boots or shoes with steel toes, long, heavy pants and a shirt, gloves, and eye protection. It's also ideal to wear hearing protection, given the loud noise of using this piece of machinery. Ensure that any family members or friends who are helping you are dressed in the same way and keep those not dressed for the job indoors.

Work With A Sharp Blade

Given that you'll likely rent the stump grinder at an equipment rental center, it's important to check the condition of the machine's blade and ensure it has been freshly sharpened. Working with a dull blade can lead to injury -- when the blade's cutting edges aren't as sharp as they need to be, you'll naturally push the blade harder against the stump. This extra pressure can cause the blade to break, and it can fly through the air and hurt someone. Always ask the rental agent when the grinder's blade was last sharpened. If it appears dull, ask for it to be sharpened before you take it home. 

Exercise Patience As You Grind

Even though you're probably eager to get the project done quickly--especially if there are multiple stumps that need grinding--patience is the key in avoiding injury. Even with a sharp blade, pressing too hard in an effort to speed up the process can break the blade and cause injury. The best way to handle the grinding process is to apply some firm pressure and allow the blade to do the work. As it cuts through the stump, you can continue to gently push the machine forward and repeat this process until the stump is gone.