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Here’s the thing: I know this is going to be bad. You know this is going to be bad. Reader Jer*ry knew it was going to be bad. We know that because everyone of us has been there. Basically it’s the luck of the draw that a stiff wind, shifting trailers, or some other slight alignment issue doesn’t topple this stump outright.

If by some chance it goes well, it’ll be a funny story. If it goes badly it will be a really great story with witnesses and a hospital bill, property damage and scars. You hope it’s not, but much like the time Chuck and I managed to drop an anvil on my leg, the worse the damage the better it’ll be around the coffee machine.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


30 Responses to From The Flickr Pool: Stumped

  1. John says:

    Come on, you have to at least give them credit for using jack stands instead of just being there with only the jack holding the thing up. 🙂

  2. Bajajoaquin says:

    You do what you gotta do…. When I was moving stuff into one of those storage things they bring to your door, I was kinda stuck, because my help had gone away, and I had to put my Atlas horizontal mill up on a table. So I looked around, and found a pry bar and a hydraulic floor jack. There were a couple sketchy moments, but it worked.

  3. Rembret says:

    Hello…yeah, just a minute…Hey! Darwin’s on the phone. He has some kind of award for you.

  4. Bob says:

    I thought this was when you called everyone you knew with a strong back and a weak mind.

  5. Steve says:

    Sometime you have to do really dumb stuff, just to have the story. No way these guys saw the photographer and thought “He must want to document our great ingenuity.”

  6. Gil says:

    Had you been filming this, you would have died. Rules of the internet.

  7. zoomzoomjeff says:

    LOL, Sean, your writing is great entertainment!

    Switching to a serious note, if this stump is a valuable hardwood, I can’t imagine the dollar value it in terms of burled wood. Maybe that’s why he was so desperate to load it in the back of a truck?

    Any guesses on the weight??

  8. Rembret says:

    OK, at 2 lbs/board ft, I estimate that would weigh about 1500 lbs easy. I want to see the truck after they get it loaded.

  9. Toolhearty says:

    zoomzoomjeff Says:
    …if this stump is a valuable hardwood, I can’t imagine the dollar value it in terms of burled wood.

    The hospital bills could very easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Is it worth it?

    Seriously, that is stupid/scary.

    What kind of shoes is this guy wearing, btw? Looks to be canvas sneakers. He just needs to drop one of those cinder blocks in the right spot for a trip to the ER.

  10. Pete D says:

    More like “crotched,” but, still, even if they get that loaded without disaster, I have to believe the truck will never be the same again.

  11. Bob says:

    I’ll guarantee that his better half drove away after one good long look (and perhaps some shouting). 🙂

  12. Jake says:

    That is absolutely the worst orientation for those cinder blocks to be in. All but one of them.

  13. Fong says:

    I’ll admit I’ve done some questionable things in the past but the consequences of failure were much less severe than this. It might’ve been a bruised limb or a dented tool but nothing requiring a hospital visit or a crane. All the broken pieces of cement block seem to suggest he’s used up a few lives already. If the photographer is reading this, I’m sure we’d All like to hear the whole story here.

  14. Toolhearty says:

    Jake Says:
    That is absolutely the worst orientation for those cinder blocks to be in. All but one of them.

    Depends on whether you want them to support weight, or you’re trying to break them into smaller, more manageable pieces.

  15. hmbemis says:

    and you KNOW they’re going to unload it by getting up to top speed in reverse and slamming on the brakes!

  16. Mike47 says:

    A later picture shows a second attempt, utilzing a rented trailer. +1 for that idea.

  17. Loock says:

    Crane and pulley are to old, thousands of year old….

  18. Steve says:

    Reminds me of dumb things my dad has done. Like welding without a mask and driving home blind afterwards (had to stop and feel his way to a gas station, call my mother to pick him up.) Or trim a tree branch with a latter resting on said branch. Not the part he was cutting off, but the bounch once it released would have knocked him off. The pro tree trimmer that was out neighbor almost had a heart attack when he saw it. He has trimmed the trees for free ever since.

  19. Gary says:

    To me, that looks like olive. I don’t see any burl, just multiple trunks. I think olive weighs about 50 lbs per cubic foot.

    What I can see looks like 4 feet tall. If that holds true for the other dimensions, that thing weighs 3200 lbs. Call it 2000-2500 lbs, maybe.

    He (they) are lucky if that thing fell. Olive is expensive, but I would have rented a chainsaw with a 4 foot bar and cut it up before trying to load it.

  20. zoomzoomjeff says:

    I know any stump that size can be wicked heavy. A large payloader recently dug up two in my yard and when he picked them up, the back end raised several inches.

  21. Sean says:

    Three stout poles and a chain hoist. You can easily lift a ton and a half without putting yourself in harm’s way.

  22. mike says:

    Maybe even a cheap hand crank winch from harbor freight could make this little project a little easier.

  23. mickeyrat says:

    Im stumped.whats this post abput??

  24. DoItRite says:

    Waddya mean drive away?
    When he gets this thing loaded, the front wheels of the pickup truck are going to be two feet off of the ground!

  25. Brau says:

    As usual, so much in a thoughtless hurry that they waste massive amounts of time with blocks and jacks instead of just doing it the right way first time, either by pulling it up with a crane or winch and a decent set of ratchet straps or chain securing the load.

  26. Toolfreak says:

    A stump that big, with the right kind of trimming using a chainsaw, just rolls like a ball. Back a trailer up the sloped driveway or to the curb, and roll it on, strap it down, then roll it off when it gets to where it’s going.

    It’s sad that people insist on raising things several feet to the level of a raised pickup bed from the lowest possible point, rather than making it easier on themselves, and safer, by backing up to a point where the ground is closer, and using a ramp to take care of the rest.

    Pic looks like a bad idea anyway. Not just the blocks and jackstands, but putting a stump that big and heavy in the back of a Tacoma? Hope it’s got a V6. And some add-a-leafs or some other heavy duty load carrying mods.

  27. IronHerder says:

    I do love the comments, some more than others, though.

    I agree, that pickup is not up to the job. Bad ideas include the cinder blocks, starting from the lowest point possible, and the sneakers. But also, leaving the tailgate on strikes me as particularly dumb.

    Doable with these conditions: appropriate truck; higher, but flat, starting point; tailgate removed; professional-quality ratcheting straps around the trunk for the winch to pull on; a 2 ton come-along winch attached to the front of the bed, after the front is braced from side to side with a 2X4; jack stands; hydraulic jacks; levers; a supply of 2X6s to build a square base as the stump is raised; one safety officer/observer; two or so lever operators; one base assembler (the guy with the best health insurance).


  28. Rick says:

    Are they loading it or unloading it? Either way most tailgates aren’t up to that much weight.
    Thank is a cool looking stump though!

  29. Toolhearty says:

    IronHerder Says:
    …one safety officer/observer…

    I am available for this job. Also, I work for beer.

    (if I start laughing and reach for my cellphone to pre-dial 9 and 1, you know you’re screwing up badly)

  30. IronHerder says:


    Steve Says:
    …trim a tree branch with a ladder resting on said branch. Not the part he was cutting off, but the bounce once it released would have knocked him off…

    My brother did that with an elm branch so heavy that his ladder went from two foot above the branch to free-standing, soon free-falling. He hung on long enough to choose his landing spot. But, unlike Steve’s prediction, he wasn’t knocked off.

    Finally, some unanswered questions:

    Where’s the dirt?
    How’d the stump get cut away from the roots? (Not by those guys, I think)
    How’d it get pulled out of the ground?
    And why not load it as part of the same operation?


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