Renting a Stump Grinder? Follow These Safety Precautions

There are many compelling reasons to finally remove that stump in your backyard. Leaving a stump in your yard may come back to haunt you while mowing, a decaying stump can attract nasty bugs and pests, and a stray stump may pose a safety hazard to children and guests.

Renting a stump grinder is a great option to dispose of stumps on your property — as long as you take the right precautions. To keep stump grinding as safe as possible:

Make the Right Preparations

Safely grinding a stump takes considerable foresight. After picking up a stump grinder from your chosen equipment rental company, make sure to do the following.

  • Double-check equipment for necessary safeguards. Before operating a stump grinder, double-check that any guards or shields are in place. Never operate equipment without checking these safeguards first.
  • Make sure the immediate area is clear. Stump grinders may propel any stray materials out of the grinder and hit unsuspecting persons or objects nearby. Clear the immediate area and put up a fence or barrier to warn others to stay away.
  • Be aware of potential hazards in your yard. Know the location of any buried gas lines, pipes, or cables before using your equipment rental. If you do not know where to find buried lines in your yard, contact utility companies before operating your stump grinder.
  • Check the stump for anything that may stall, jam, or otherwise damage your rental equipment. Some stumps may be embedded with wire, small — or not so small — stones and rocks, and/or wire or metal fencing. Examine stumps for these hazards first and carefully remove them. Should you fail to remove them, these metal bits and pieces may be thrown about or act as projectiles when you put them into a stump grinder.

Remain Cautious While You Work

While the right preparations will go a long way to keep you safe, there are several things to keep in mind while operating equipment as well. They include:

  • Knowing emergency safety measures. Before you begin grinding your stump, do you know how to shut down the equipment in the event of an emergency? Learn how to operate the equipment if it is running as expected and if it should malfunction.
  • Wearing the appropriate gear. Operating heavy-duty equipment like a stump grinder demands all due caution. Wear steel toe boots, goggles, a hard hat, and gloves to make sure you are up for the task. Never wear your hair loose and take off long jewelry before operating a stump grinder.

Take steps to finally discard that stump in your backyard. Use the tips and pointers above to do it as safely as possible.

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