Blake Gibson is a cheerful sort of bloke. And why wouldn’t he be? Owner of Gibson’s Stump Grinding in the tropical paradise of Townsville in far north Queensland, Blake’s business is thriving.
“I’ve been running now since April 2021, so almost two years,” said Blake, “and I’ve been running the Vermeer SC30TX stump grinder.”
Gibson’s Stump Grinding provides safe, efficient and affordable stump removal services to residential and commercial clients, and Blake credits a big part of his success to the Vermeer product.
“I’m super happy with it,” he insisted on telling us. “It does all the jobs I need to do.”
“And just the places I can get it to! And the manoeuvrability!” beamed Blake, starting to get quite excited. “I can get into some really tight places with ease. It’s only 700kg, so I can walk it across pavers without doing any damage. No worries. It’ll get up into garden beds and through tight spaces, and it gets through probably 90 per cent of side gates and pool gates. It gives really good accessibility, and with it being on tracks it’s got superb manoeuvrability. I can take the thing anywhere.”
With a focus on ease-of-operation, the compact design of the SC30TX offers intuitive controls, minimal service points and the performance of a machine that gets the job done. Some of the specs include:
* 88.9cm width (minimum transport)
* 703.1kg weight
* A 25hp, fuel-injected petrol motor, and
* A 16″ cutter wheel.
AutoSweep monitors engine speed and automatically adjusts the cutter wheel sweep rate, and the hydrostatic ground drive and hydraulic cutter-wheel drive eliminates belts and pulleys, reducing maintenance time and cost.
One feature Blake finds especially advantageous is the machine’s ground disturbance being minimised thanks to the long tracks which provide lower ground pressure and improved stability.
“Even in wet yards it doesn’t leave too much of a rut,” grinned Blake from the driver’s seat of the HiLux he uses to tow the 10×5 trailer with the Vermeer on board. “I think it’s, like, 3.4psi ground pressure. It spreads the weight nice and even, so it doesn’t rut like a wheeled machine would.”
Good equipment. Good team.
While Blake is obviously a pro who understands his work, he offers the reliability of the SC30TX as a significant factor in his business operation.
“I’ve got about 470 hours on the Vermeer now and it’s very low maintenance. That’s one of the things I like about it,” he explained. “With the hydraulically-driven cutting wheel there’s no belt tensioning, nothing like that. All I have to do most days is give it a bit of a clean and maybe flip around some of the double-sided teeth.
“That’s another great thing about the Vermeer,” he beamed. “The teeth spin 180 degrees and it makes it easy to keep working with a sharp edge.
“Most days I just grease it, fuel it up and it’s ready to go. It’s simple as.”
Business is good for Gibson’s Stump Grinding, and Blake is justifiably ready to point that out. But he’s also quick to give credit where it’s due.
“I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now,” he told us. “I think I have 46 or 47 five-star reviews on Google, and I’ve made a bit of a name for myself here in Townsville. I’m pretty proud of that.
“It’s going really well, and I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it if I hadn’t had that machine. It’s been a massive help to me. And the Vermeer dealer, RDO Equipment here in Townsville, has been absolutely amazing. They’re a bloody awesome bunch, to be honest. They’ve been very helpful.”