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Tree Care, Irrigation, Landscaping, Hardscapes
Discuss issues dealing with landscapes, hardscapes, exterior landscape lighting and lighting fixtures, lawn irrigation, sprinklers, sprinkler heads, mulch, retaining walls, etc.

Stump Grinding


Tree Care, Irrigation, Landscaping, Hardscapes

Discuss issues dealing with landscapes, hardscapes, exterior landscape lighting and lighting fixtures, lawn irrigation, sprinklers, sprinkler heads, mulch, retaining walls, etc.
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  #11  
Old 02-10-2012, 09:22 AM
dpld dpld is offline
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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.

Last edited by dpld; 02-10-2012 at 09:27 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2012, 11:44 AM
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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.
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2012, 02:12 PM
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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?
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  #14  
Old 02-10-2012, 02:27 PM
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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.
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2012, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by thegroundscrew View Post
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.
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  #16  
Old 02-10-2012, 06:09 PM
Lake Area Turf Lake Area Turf is offline
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Default $2/ inch

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...
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
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

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  #18  
Old 02-11-2012, 06:53 PM
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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!
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:51 PM
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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.
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Old 02-13-2012, 11:44 PM
Lake Area Turf Lake Area Turf is offline
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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.
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