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JCLawn and more
10-12-2010, 02:34 PM
ok, I am looking at getting into this. I am looking at a walk behind model 5hp-25hp. What is good, and what is bad? What do you charge? and how? What is the cost used for these little buggers?

JCLawn and more
10-12-2010, 04:49 PM
bump, anyone?

kilgoja
10-12-2010, 10:26 PM
i been thinking of this too...i've seen some in a Northern Tool catalog...they have honda engines in 3 different sizes...starting at $2000 and up....others i've seen are a DR version for $2000 as well and a husqvarna version that was $4000 on their website...the honda engine ones would be great....the smallest one is a 5.5hp engine...and the others are bigger...i have no experience with them so i'm not sure if 5.5hp is enough or if it would bog down on bigger stumps for example....the bigger versions were quite a bit more like around $3000 for the middle one and $4000 for the biggest engine...i have seen some tree guys around but they have the huge stump grinders that are hauled like a trailer behind a truck...they cost a whole lot more i'm sure...probably faster for sure but can't fit them in tight spaces or in backyards with gates/fences and such...the normal rate around here is like $50-$100 a stump depending on the size of it

JB1
10-12-2010, 10:36 PM
I rented a small one like your describing and it beat the crap out of me using it. I see why they have the bigger ones easier and faster to use.

kilgoja
10-12-2010, 10:40 PM
yeah i imagine it would be something similar to running a garden tiller lol

i think they have like a brake thing you lock down on one wheel and you just work it side to side

FLAhaulboy
10-12-2010, 11:00 PM
http://www.amazon.com/Bluebird-Stump-Grinder-390CC-SG1314A/dp/B000RO7S9A

I rented/used one of these last month & it about beat me to death! No self propel, Heavy to pull around on hilly areas. It did the job but was time consuming, rough pulling over grindings, have to pull it back, yard out, rush it back in. Has a lever to lock in one wheel while grinding.

I watched the DR video and it looked like it did a good job

RoyalTree
10-12-2010, 11:03 PM
Do yourself a favor and look for something used like a vermeer 252 or comporable model. We have used small 13 hp models like the ones you describe, beats you up to no end and is very inefficient. The small ones are really only made to be used in very small spots where nothing bigger fits, in my opinion. We use a 100 hp machine for regular work and a small 25 hp 252 for tight spots.

If you want to find a nich look into a real small machine that can go ANYWHERE. Places where normal grinders cant go fetch a BIG premium.

Look into an Alpine Magnum grinder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvrR0ZF8BwM

kilgoja
10-12-2010, 11:34 PM
found a video of one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoIqQn0h3x4

and here is the link at northern tool

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200331668_200331668

JCLawn and more
10-12-2010, 11:44 PM
Do yourself a favor and look for something used like a vermeer 252 or comporable model. We have used small 13 hp models like the ones you describe, beats you up to no end and is very inefficient. The small ones are really only made to be used in very small spots where nothing bigger fits, in my opinion. We use a 100 hp machine for regular work and a small 25 hp 252 for tight spots.

If you want to find a nich look into a real small machine that can go ANYWHERE. Places where normal grinders cant go fetch a BIG premium.

Look into an Alpine Magnum grinder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvrR0ZF8BwM

what the price on that? That looks like what I am looking for.

kilgoja
10-12-2010, 11:53 PM
they have some 24hp and 25hp ones here

http://www.baileysonline.com/search.asp?SKW=Stump%20Grinder&catID=397

JCLawn and more
10-12-2010, 11:57 PM
some how $4-$6,000 if to much for not know how many stumps I would get.

kilgoja
10-13-2010, 12:04 AM
yeah i think i would start out renting one...try to get several jobs lined up for one day and see how it goes...then you could actually keep renting until you made enough money to go buy one if you wanted

JCLawn and more
10-13-2010, 12:09 AM
yeah i think i would start out renting one...try to get several jobs lined up for one day and see how it goes...then you could actually keep renting until you made enough money to go buy one if you wanted

I like the alpine one

kilgoja
10-13-2010, 12:49 AM
i don't...it seems more work than the kind with wheels on it to me but i'm sure either one will get the job done

wild willy
10-16-2010, 11:15 PM
I do stumps every year in the spring to generate quick cash for start up. I go around and line up as many stumps ( cold call knocks) as I can for an entire weekend of mayhem. Average is about 30 stumps in one weekend and IT IS A KILLER!!!!!But I average 50.00 per stump!
After this, I don't want to see another stump for a year so it is totally worth my while to rent 125.00 for the weekend, as opposed to paying all year for a machine. Anything over 3k to buy and use once or 2x a year doesn't make sense for me(except a leaf loader)

JCLawn and more
10-17-2010, 09:50 AM
I do stumps every year in the spring to generate quick cash for start up. I go around and line up as many stumps ( cold call knocks) as I can for an entire weekend of mayhem. Average is about 30 stumps in one weekend and IT IS A KILLER!!!!!But I average 50.00 per stump!
After this, I don't want to see another stump for a year so it is totally worth my while to rent 125.00 for the weekend, as opposed to paying all year for a machine. Anything over 3k to buy and use once or 2x a year doesn't make sense for me(except a leaf loader)

ya, I wan't that Alpine one used for $2,000. I don't know if that will happen. I know I could never rent one for 125 here. I bet it would be $200 a day.

Mowingman
10-17-2010, 10:50 AM
I have been in the stump grinding business for 10 years. If you buy any of those small machines, (less than 25HP), you are throwing your money away. They ALL, will beat you to death on anything you grind, and are useless on stumps bigger than 6" dia. Sure, you can grind bigger stumps with them. However, it will take you an hour or so, and then you will have a wrecked back. Those little machines show up for sale all the time on Craigslist and on Ebay. The reason?? It is because the seller figured out pretty quickly that they are useless.
Now, if you are serious about stump grinding, go with a small, self propelled machine like a Rayco 1625 Super Jr., or the equivilent Carlton or Vermeer machines to start with. They will fit through most gates, and can do larger stumps in a reasonable amount of time. Figure on spending $7000.00 for a good used one, or $16000-$20,000 for a new one.
Renting stump grinders when you need one, can be an option. However, you will have to have several jobs lined up, and knock them all out on the same day, to make this profitable. The rental cost can kill your profit. The downside is that a lot of people do not want to wait until you have enough work lined up to get a grinder for a day. so, they will go on and find someone who can do it NOW. Also, 100% of the rental machines I have looked at are not kept in good condition. Dull teath and breakdowns are very common on rental grinders.
Make sure the machine you select will go through a 36" gate for access into back yards. Over 60% of my jobs are in gated yards and this business would be lost with a wider machine.
I started with a Super Jr. now, I have a Carlton 7015 TRX. This is a 60HP diesel on tracks. The tracks slide in, so it can go through a 36" gate. This machine is around $50,000 now.
Stump grinding can be a good business with nice profits. Due to the high cost of machines, not many people choose to enter the business.
good luck, and forget about those "lawnmower-size" machines.

Hamatsa
10-17-2010, 02:02 PM
I bought the smallest commercial Carlton and it allows me to get into very tight spots. It is not made for anything very large (found that out the hard way). It will beat you to death.

Be aware that some States require a contractor's license to operate one. Found that out the hard way too!!!

JCLawn and more
10-18-2010, 12:44 AM
I have been in the stump grinding business for 10 years. If you buy any of those small machines, (less than 25HP), you are throwing your money away. They ALL, will beat you to death on anything you grind, and are useless on stumps bigger than 6" dia. Sure, you can grind bigger stumps with them. However, it will take you an hour or so, and then you will have a wrecked back. Those little machines show up for sale all the time on Craigslist and on Ebay. The reason?? It is because the seller figured out pretty quickly that they are useless.
Now, if you are serious about stump grinding, go with a small, self propelled machine like a Rayco 1625 Super Jr., or the equivilent Carlton or Vermeer machines to start with. They will fit through most gates, and can do larger stumps in a reasonable amount of time. Figure on spending $7000.00 for a good used one, or $16000-$20,000 for a new one.
Renting stump grinders when you need one, can be an option. However, you will have to have several jobs lined up, and knock them all out on the same day, to make this profitable. The rental cost can kill your profit. The downside is that a lot of people do not want to wait until you have enough work lined up to get a grinder for a day. so, they will go on and find someone who can do it NOW. Also, 100% of the rental machines I have looked at are not kept in good condition. Dull teath and breakdowns are very common on rental grinders.
Make sure the machine you select will go through a 36" gate for access into back yards. Over 60% of my jobs are in gated yards and this business would be lost with a wider machine.
I started with a Super Jr. now, I have a Carlton 7015 TRX. This is a 60HP diesel on tracks. The tracks slide in, so it can go through a 36" gate. This machine is around $50,000 now.
Stump grinding can be a good business with nice profits. Due to the high cost of machines, not many people choose to enter the business.
good luck, and forget about those "lawnmower-size" machines.


Did you see the alpine one? They said it takes about a hour to hour and a half to do a 5 foot diameter hard wood stump. You go vertically rather than horizontal, so it does not look to hard on your back.

Mowingman
10-18-2010, 07:20 AM
The Alpine is probably the best of the small stumpgrinders. Still, not the kind of machine you want if you are really serious about making money in this business. It would be fine if you were doing one or two SMALL stumps/month.
As for that claim about the 5' hardwood stump: Forget it, that is a joke. Not going to happen in this lifetime. Even if it were reality, do you want to stand there and manhandle that bouncing grinder for an hour and a half?

JCLawn and more
10-18-2010, 08:56 AM
I have done worse. I don't think we would hardly get any that size. That number of stumps would be what I would expect, not a lot for now.

godzilla
10-18-2010, 11:02 AM
The Alpine Magnum is designed for doing stumps that are in hard to reach areas. That is what it was meant to be used for. Can you use it for stumps in open areas, yes... however it's like bringing a 21" push mower to a half acre field.

Hamatsa
10-18-2010, 11:35 AM
I second Godzilla based on real life torture. Large hardwood stumps (unless they're rotten) are better left to larger machines. I've done 30" conifer stumps along with the roots in a reasonable amount of time with my little Carlton. Tried a hardrock Maple ((4') and it took hours.....never again!!

JCLawn and more
10-18-2010, 03:05 PM
The Alpine Magnum is designed for doing stumps that are in hard to reach areas. That is what it was meant to be used for. Can you use it for stumps in open areas, yes... however it's like bringing a 21" push mower to a half acre field.

true, but I can't justify 7-10,000 on a machine when I may get 10-20 stumps for the year. Know what I mean? In the future I have thought about a tractor mounted one.

Patriot Services
10-18-2010, 09:42 PM
And this is why stump services charge what they do.
Posted via Mobile Device

JCLawn and more
10-18-2010, 10:31 PM
dynamite would work lol that would be cheap and fun lol How do the tractor mounted ones work? any good?

sdk1959
10-18-2010, 10:53 PM
I like the alpine one
I called them a couple years ago. I think the price they quoted for the bigger 9 HP model was $4000.00. I saw a used one once on ebay, set up a search to notify you when one comes up for auction if you want to save $$ buying a used one.

If you run a ad in the local paper "stump grinding for hard to reach stumps" ex: on steep hills, next to fences, close to shrubs or other trees, etc, you should get a good response. You can also call a few tree companies for referrals.

With a small stump grinder like the Alpine you would have a niche market & get stump jobs no else could do. Good luck in your decision.

RoyalTree
10-19-2010, 12:09 AM
I called them a couple years ago. I think the price they quoted for the bigger 9 HP model was $4000.00. I saw a used one once on ebay, set up a search to notify you when one comes up for auction if you want to save $$ buying a used one.

If you run a ad in the local paper "stump grinding for hard to reach stumps" ex: on steep hills, next to fences, close to shrubs or other trees, etc, you should get a good response. You can also call a few tree companies for referrals.

With a small stump grinder like the Alpine you would have a niche market & get stump jobs no else could do. Good luck in your decision.

This was really the point I was trying to make when I brought up the alpine grinder. You would most likely be the only guy in town that can get the hard to reach stumps and can charge a big big big premium. The idea would be to contact all the tree and stump companies in the area and offer them your service. Around here there is only one guy that I know of that has one. I have contracted him in the past to take out stumps in raised blanting beds. He charges and average of about 250 per hour.

This is defenitly not a machine for every stump. I wouldnt attack a 5 ft hardwood with anything under 50 hp.

JCLawn and more
10-19-2010, 08:54 AM
This was really the point I was trying to make when I brought up the alpine grinder. You would most likely be the only guy in town that can get the hard to reach stumps and can charge a big big big premium. The idea would be to contact all the tree and stump companies in the area and offer them your service. Around here there is only one guy that I know of that has one. I have contracted him in the past to take out stumps in raised blanting beds. He charges and average of about 250 per hour.

This is defenitly not a machine for every stump. I wouldnt attack a 5 ft hardwood with anything under 50 hp.

lol, ya. Unless your 19 and willing to suffer for make 500 bucks. What do you all charge by?

RoyalTree
10-19-2010, 11:20 AM
Never said it is an easy machine to run. *trucewhiteflag* It takes lots of work and muscle to move around and fight with any of the small non hydraulic driven machines. There are lots of people running grinders around here so the price on most stumps is not to much.

We bid each job based on many factors. Type of tree, location, access and so forth. We try to get around 150-200 per hour for the big machine and around 100 per hour for the small machine.

Around here the the only way I see breaking into stumping work is to offer something most others cant do, hence the alpine magnum.