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Sabina Lawn Care
09-21-2011, 05:44 PM
Been thinking of adding this as a service. Does anyone have experience with pricing? Recommendations for a smaller grinder that would fit thru a gate?

Steve
09-23-2011, 01:08 PM
There are a bunch of older discussions here on stump grinding. First off, check out my blog article on how to bid stump grinding (http://lawnchat.com/?p=232) jobs. That should be helpful.

Next, home depot rents smaller sized units you can get through a gate. If you can line up a couple of jobs in a day, you can experiment with renting one of these and make a profit on the day.

http://www.equipmentworld.com/files/2011/03/SG13_1-300x224.jpg

Does this help?

Moki
11-12-2011, 09:24 AM
Interesting I have been working on clearing trees lately just finished a 20" diameter base popular Friday if I had a grinder I know I could get the job removing that stump.

I think I'll go check out the local rental shops and see if they have stump grinders for rent...

CC

Steve
11-14-2011, 11:33 AM
Those little stump grinders work well for their size, especially when their blades are sharp.

Let us know how it works out for you.

Moki
11-15-2011, 12:17 AM
Things have changed a bit I now have a lady asking me to not only clear some trees from her property but to grind at least 3 red cedar stumps two have been cut down for a few years but I am dropping the third one.

This thread had gotten me to check into stump grinding so I already new I could rent a unit locally for $100/day so I was able to quote her like I actually new what I was doing...

:D

Steve
11-15-2011, 11:40 AM
Excellent!

Maybe check into the prices of used ones locally and also maybe look into including this in the services you market.

Check craigslist and see how many others offer this service. Maybe you could stand out by offering it and then mentioning you also offer lawn care or other services.

Using stump grinding may help you get your foot in the front door of new customers.

Lake Area Turf
02-09-2012, 10:55 PM
Hey there,Second post for me been checking this site out quite a bit and just registered.

I just purchased a stump grinding set up. I will be charging a range of prices by the inch, determined by location, number of stumps on the property, and soil type.

for example if a new customer has one or two stumps, 24" dia, in the center of my service area, in a sandy or peat soil, i would charge around $3/ Inch. if he had a few to do i would do maybe $2.5.

More stumps less $ Say 10 + on a property no less than $2/ inch

My goal is to make at least $ 75-100/ hour.

Moki
02-10-2012, 08:21 AM
I finally rented the stump grinder 2 weeks ago it was exactly like the unit in the pic posted above it cost with taxes $116.00 for a 24 hour rental.

I ran it for appr 6 hours grinding 4 red cedar stumps it worked great but WOW talk about work all the stumps had far more roots that I had to deal with than I thought...

I charged the lady 7 hours labour $40.00/hr (I normally charge $50/hr but I gave her a break) + grinder rental + fuel $14.00 + taxes (12%) = appr $450.00 for the job.

thom
02-10-2012, 09:13 AM
Been thinking of adding this as a service. Does anyone have experience with pricing? Recommendations for a smaller grinder that would fit thru a gate?


I added stump grinding to my list of services.I price stump grinding based on a guestimate of time. like quoting a lawn mowing job.
I bought a new DR Stump Grinder.Its a great little machine for very tight spaces.My first job with it was to grind a stump that was 6" from the basement block wall to a house.and 2" from the pvc gutter downspout.the stump was 16" in dia.(pine)This machine is very user friendly.

wandfsmall
02-10-2012, 09:17 AM
remember to make sure your insurance will cover you, a stump grinder is more likely then a mower to break a window or even hurt someone. I think here to do stumps you need tree trimmers insurance.

dpld
02-10-2012, 10:22 AM
remember to make sure your insurance will cover you, a stump grinder is more likely then a mower to break a window or even hurt someone. I think here to do stumps you need tree trimmers insurance.

unless you specifically tell your agent to cover you for stump grinding, you will not be covered.
it is not a throw in for insurers.

secondly, stump grinding charges by the inch not the hour and 3.50 is the minimum for ideal conditions.
depending on what type of teeth a machine has they can be anywhere from 4.00 to 13.00 per tooth and contact with one big rock will wipe out the whole set and whether you rent it or own it you are responsible for the teeth.

my machine holds 34 teeth at 9.00 a pop and if i am doing a 100.00 stump and i am not carefull there goes 300.00 worth of teeth.

lastly, don't let that little machine fool you, always think saftey saftey safety.
always wear a hardhat with face and hearing protection and don't face the machine towards anything of value.
i have had rocks the size of softballs hit me in the shins at a 100 mph and leave lumbs bigger then the rock that hit me.
i have gotten hit in the face countless times while wearing protection because you are dealing with rocks a high velocity and i have had my hardhat with face shield and hearing protection bitch slapped off my head like i was a red headed stepchild.

stump grinding for me when it arises is something i have to do more then i want to do.
it is very deceptive to the untrained eye and may lead you to believe it is highly profitable but really is not.
if you own the machine the maintenence is 100 times more then anything you use to cut grass, teeth are exspensive and you go through a ton of them.
those little machines are not cheap for what you get and for the average stump it is just a toy.
sure it will do the job but if you use it all the time you will see what i see.

i have a rayco 1625 self propelled and a tow behind vermeer 630a and the rayco will do a 36 inch hardwood stump in a hour or less depending on the roots and rocks and my vermeer will do it in 10 minutes.
my point is that it is hard to price them hourly because more often then not you will be overchargeing them if you are useing a little rental.

i do everything i can with the big machine and if i have a stump in the back yard with a gate or tough to reach location i use the rayco self propelled and i charge a little more for it because it takes longer.
for example: we have a 36 inch wide stump with easy access in the front yard i charge 4.00 per inch plus tax and i am out of there in 20 minutes for a total of 154.08.
compare that to a guy renting the little machine that is charging lets say 40.00 per hour.
it is gonna take him a few hours to grind it all a solid 10 inches below grade and when it is said and done he will charge 214.00 for the same stump.

the customer pays more and you make less after the rental and if you own the machine you will put a couple bucks more in your pocket but the customer will pay more for the guy renting then the dude that owns the right equipment.

basicly it boils down to that those little machines are designed to be used only when you can not get a bigger machine on the stump and are really not meant to be a stand alone machine.
they are great for little shrub stumps but when you get into the big wood their weaknesses are exposed.

i only say what i am as a way to foreworn anyone about some of the issues to be aware of with stumps and trees.
i am not trying to talk anyone out of it or say its not worth doing, all i am saying is that anything related to trees has a very fickle hand of fate that comes with it and it is very easy to get into trouble doing it or get a reputation of being high priced.

so if stump jumping is what you want to do, good luck and for god's sake be carefull.:)

thegroundscrew
02-10-2012, 12:44 PM
In regards to your stump grinding job, $2.00 (dpld) an inch seems quite low. In my area the going rate is $6.00 an inch usually with a minimum of $150. Also it is very important to have a minimum charge for this because it costs a lot of money to haul, operate, and get around to the job site. If you have to go around the house down a steep hill to the back yard then you should charge more compared to having the trees in a flat surface on the front yard. Stump grinding is a very specialized service and you definitly do not want to charge by the hour because you wont be making enough money. Charge by the inch (diamter). Moki im curious as to what was the total inches of all four of the stumps so I can break down how much you charged per inch. That will also help when bidding future jobs. But $450 seems low when your already paying $115 to rent one plus all of the overhead it costs to operate and get to and from the rental site.

Steve
02-10-2012, 03:12 PM
What made you all add a stump grinder to your equipment roster?

Once you got it, were you glad you did buy it? Did you find there was enough stump grinding work to make it worthwhile or did you have to promote that service to get work?

dpld
02-10-2012, 03:27 PM
What made you all add a stump grinder to your equipment roster?

Once you got it, were you glad you did buy it? Did you find there was enough stump grinding work to make it worthwhile or did you have to promote that service to get work?

i have been a full service tree company as well as a landscaper from day one and i am a certified arborist as well as a certified tree expert.
i do a lot less trees today because i built up the lawn biz the way i want it but if you do trees having a grinder goes hand in hand.
it would have been foolish for me to not incorporate all my skills into the business and i probably would not have what i have today if i did'nt.

dpld
02-10-2012, 03:37 PM
In regards to your stump grinding job, $2.00 (dpld) an inch seems quite low. In my area the going rate is $6.00 an inch usually with a minimum of $150. Also it is very important to have a minimum charge for this because it costs a lot of money to haul, operate, and get around to the job site. If you have to go around the house down a steep hill to the back yard then you should charge more compared to having the trees in a flat surface on the front yard. Stump grinding is a very specialized service and you definitly do not want to charge by the hour because you wont be making enough money. Charge by the inch (diamter). Moki im curious as to what was the total inches of all four of the stumps so I can break down how much you charged per inch. That will also help when bidding future jobs. But $450 seems low when your already paying $115 to rent one plus all of the overhead it costs to operate and get to and from the rental site.

i did not proof read my post but i don't believe i mentioned 2.00 per inch.
3.50 was the base price for a stump under ideal conditions like a rotted stump that you can paractically kick out of the ground anything more would cost more.
for myself, i dont have to worry too much about hills because between my two machines i can do anything without trouble and my rate is higher for the small machine.
having the two machines for me equalizes most of those issues but at the same time i have done some stumps in some really odd situations.

my main point i was trying to make was that allthough it may seem like easy money there is a cost and risk involved which in most cases supercedes the risks of a landscaper.

Lake Area Turf
02-10-2012, 07:09 PM
I mentioned the $2/inch rate. just as an example but forgot to mention that the particular client i had pictured was a golf course a short distance away, with peat soil and over 650 ash trees. Not saying $2/inch is the going rate but in some cases...

thom
02-11-2012, 02:13 PM
What made you all add a stump grinder to your equipment roster?

Once you got it, were you glad you did buy it? Did you find there was enough stump grinding work to make it worthwhile or did you have to promote that service to get work?

I am using the machine that my father bought for his personal use.He used it to remove 40 pine stumps from his back yard. these stumps averaged 16" dia.
the machine does a very good job.

Yes, I agree, a full size machine is nessary for large jobs.When the time is right, I will invest in a larger self propelled machine

.

nickeckes
02-11-2012, 07:53 PM
i had a guy come grind out my stump. theres alot of work involved. .the stump was about 3ft wide by 3ft(big stump) i got a few quotes . 500 bucks here and 400 here. . finally found a guy that said he could do it for 200 bucks. . so i went with him. . started talking to him and he was there for 2 hrs grinding it down. . and he had a HUGE stump grinder that he told me he paid about 6 grand for. . let me tell you it makes a big MESS, wood chips everywhere, now i agreed to pick up the chips myself so i saved alot of money, but that was a work out racking and picking them up. . he said his biggest expense was the part that grinds the stump (the bit) i dont know what they are called lol. .

another thing u need to worry about is underground lines/wires. . .you are pretty screwed if you hit one of them . .

is there money in it?? im sure there is if you know what your doing and can get a few jobs a week doing it on the side!!

just my thoughts!

Steve
02-13-2012, 02:51 PM
is there money in it?? im sure there is if you know what your doing and can get a few jobs a week doing it on the side!!

I would think if you perform tree services, this would be a great upsell. Also maybe if you happen to have a bunch of stumps in your area, this could be helpful. But just buying one and hoping you pick up some stump grinding services might be tough to do.

Lake Area Turf
02-14-2012, 12:44 AM
Just purchased a late 60's Vermeer big wheel stumper part of a package deal but i figure it to be worth about 1500 bucks as i break down the package. The heart of my new company. I have secured jobs at 4 golf courses in my area, and with a tree service that just isnt intrested in grinding stumps, this may be a lucrative approach in marketing for me. I also do tree work so it was a no brainer to make the purchase.

If you buy a stump grinder hit up your local golf course superintendent and tree services. Might be easier than you think.:D

Moki
02-14-2012, 03:29 AM
I have a new contract for the grounds care at a 110 townhouse complex turns out they have a ton of trees that that I have been pruning/trimming for the last 1 1/2 months and I have at least 3 more weeks of of pruing/trimming to do.

These trees are 20 + years old just yesterday I was asked to drop 7 more of the trees this is exclusive to my contract so I will be billing extra for these fortunately (or is that unfortunately) for me I do not have to grind out the stumps though these stumps average 1' - 1 1/2' in diameter.

Steve
02-14-2012, 06:44 PM
I do not have to grind out the stumps though these stumps average 1' - 1 1/2' in diameter.

Is this a service they could use though or do they not want the stumps ground down? Would it be worthwhile asking them and then renting a machine for the day to do it?

Moki
02-15-2012, 01:20 AM
They could definitely use the service but the townhouse council has decided that they cannot afford grinding the stumps out and can live with the stumps cut right to the ground.

This is really ok with me with all of the work that I have taken on I do not have the time to even think of doing it and I even have a helper working for me for 2 - 4 days a week.

wandfsmall
02-15-2012, 08:32 AM
They could definitely use the service but the townhouse council has decided that they cannot afford grinding the stumps out and can live with the stumps cut right to the ground.

This is really ok with me with all of the work that I have taken on I do not have the time to even think of doing it and I even have a helper working for me for 2 - 4 days a week.

I would charge them more for mowing, as leaving stumps cut to the ground WILL someday bend a blade on your mower if not your deck. At least think of burning them down with charcoal... also remind them that a broken ankle will cost them more in a lawsuit then grinding them and you might get the extra work or a referral that could pay you back.

Moki
02-15-2012, 08:56 AM
Mowing, aerating, general lawn care, pruning, trimming are all inclusive pricing in my contract so I'm not able to charge more this year.

I should have been clearer the only trees in the lawn areas that need to come down are smaller I easily nip them down to ground level so my mowers will easily pass over them.

The larger trees are all in garden areas = no issue to me if they do not care if they have a stump sticking out an 1" or so here and there.

Here is the bonus dropping these trees is actually a plus for me = every tree I drop is one less tree I have to prune/trim/rake up leaves or pine needles from and I can drop them and cleanup faster than I can prune them.

I do not pay green dump fees either our local green dump is also the place where I buy bark mulch/gravel/sand etc so it is a free service seeing as they grind it up right there and sell it back to us...

stevef1201
05-31-2012, 06:19 AM
Around here they charge per inch with a minimum of 50 buck per. i dont know what the per inch is though sorry