A dam good grinder

ESTABLISHED in 2010, Chorley-based Geko Engineering serves a variety of markets including agricultural, arboricultural and rental. The firm’s flagship Stump Beaver product is described as an alternative to the traditional pedestrian or walk-behind grinder and is suited to most models of excavator in 1–3 tonne class.

The Stump Beaver incorporates a wraparound guard, intended to increase safety for both the operator and bystanders. It is also described as having a low maintenance cost, with the grinder teeth typically lasting 20 hours before they should be checked for replacement teeth. This, according to Geko, can offer hire companies peace of mind by reducing the need to replace the attachment’s teeth after each job.

WM Plant of Carlisle purchased the Stump Beaver in 2011. Ian Gray of WM Plant commented: “We could see the potential of having the Stump Beaver as part of our own rental fleet because it was something different. It allowed us to increase revenue from our mini digger hires by appealing to new customers, and an alternate use for excavators during the winter months when building work was slow.”

The Stump Beaver is also well suited to work on golf courses, where groundworks tend to be carried out towards the end and beginning of the year. This is how Burton-on-Trent Golf Course’s groundskeeper, Leon Dalton, discovered Geko Engineering.

He explained: “It was seeing the Stump Beaver in action that really caught my attention. It immediately got me thinking about how this product could benefit our golf course. Previously we hired in a pedestrian grinder or employed a contractor for stump removal, but availability when we wanted a grinder or weather always seemed to work against us. Since we already owned an excavator it made sense to get maximum utilisation from it.

“For me, a product needs to be able to speed up the process of getting the course ready for the public and the Stump Beaver definitely does that. Additionally, the lads are safe, warm and dry in the cab even on bad weather days.”

Leon added: “We use our Stump Beaver to remove the tree stumps below ground level then fill the hole with topsoil to level and add seed. It means that I can patch the area quicker and minimise disruption to play on the course.”

Geko Engineering also does a lot of work on arboretums and garden redesign for domestic and commercial clients. Most of the firm’s work requires it to use its excavator during planting or remodelling and this usually includes tree stumps that require removal.

Richard Kemp of Richard Kemp Landscapes said: “The Stump Beaver helps to reduce the amount of equipment I need to move around – if the excavator is going to site then I take the Stump Beaver along as well. Another benefit is that it doesn’t require a lot of space to store – compared to the length of a pedestrian grinder.”

Geko also custom makes individual brackets and supplies the correct hoses and couplings with each purchase, ensuring the stump grinder is able to fit the customer’s excavator.

Graham Dewhurst, owner of Geko Engineering, added: “It’s important to us that the customer feels confident in their ability to get as much out of the Stump Beaver as possible, so they feel as though they have true value for money. Adding a personal touch to each and every sale ensures a lasting, working relationship with our customers that benefits all.”


A versatile beast

Forestry Journal:

WHEN Predator’s new 56RX stump grinder came onto the market, James Jackman of Treeline Services, couldn’t wait to get his hands on the sought-after machine that many arborists have been talking about. 

Working in the south east of England since 1985, Treeline has been covering all aspects of tree surgery, making them one of the largest independent group of tree surgeons in the area, it’s no surprise that they needed one of the most powerful stump grinders on the market. 

The radio controlled tracked Predator 56RX is described as offering narrow access, high performance and capability for the big jobs, making it the perfect machine for Treeline’s operations. With a width of only 31 inches, the 56RX delivers serious results when tough access arises. The variable tracks quickly extend up to 46 inches, allowing for stability on rough terrain and inclines.

James said: “We have just purchased the all new predator 56RX from Predator, we previously had the 50RX and was very impressed with its power and manoeuvrability for a big machine. Its retractable tracks make it possible to get it through most gateways which is always an advantage when competing on cost and timeframes for work. 

“When it came to upgrading our 56RX it was a straight forward decision for my company to get another Predator machine. The Predator team is always very accommodating and put together a great part exchange deal for us and made the whole process very easy.”

With a rear hydraulic PTO that caters to a variety of attachments including a powerful forestry mulcher and a seven-tonne winch, this machine quickly turns from grinding to a versatile clearance tool. 

“The 56RX seems to have a lot of power with the most noticeable increase being a lot more low-end torque and the feedback from my operators of this machine has been nothing but positive with the machine being quieter and easier to maintain.”

At the touch of a button the variable tracks extend from 31 to 46 inches, allowing for excellent stability on rough sites and inclines, according to Predator. Combined with radio control and rugged tracks, this machine will handle any contract.