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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by hickory, Aug 26, 2004.
Anyone doing stump grinding service? If so, do you find this lucrative?
Well, unfortunately I can't really answer your question, but I'm hoping to make out okay. I recently bought a used Vermeer 603A for $2600. It's old, but with about $90 of parts (oil filter base, oil filter, couple of teeth blocks, and some hydraulic fluid) I got it online, and feel it's reliable. Only other thing I'm doing is adding a front mount receiver hitch to my truck so i can really stick it right where I want it. It's hard to see behind the truck, it's just a little guy.
Stump grinding CAN be lucrative, but you have to get a high volume of stumps to make decent money at it.
I used to own my own stumping equipment. If you want any kind of reliability, you need a good machine. So, I had to charge $2.25/inch to break even.
Now, I sub it all out to a VERY reliable sub who has his own insurance. Cost? $1.50/inch. Better price for the customer, and less I have to deal with.
If you can poick up a decent machine like Kevin did, at a low price, then you'll make more money by default.
In my area, prices are running between $1.75/inch all they way up to around $3/inch. I guess if you have a more expensive unit, you have to charge more to break even. I tend to fall right around $2-2.25/inch. unless it's far away, or a PITA to get to.
I have never figured the pricing by the inch out. If I grind a 10in stump for $2.00 per inch or $20, how can I grind a 20 inch stump for $40. There is more than twice as much wood, (4X's as much) in a 20 in stump than a 10 in stump. I have a set minimum of $40 to show up and $10 per stump up to 16 inches in Dia. A 32 inch dia. stump is $40 bucks, a 64 inch stump is $160, ect. I charge extra for every stump that is higher than 6 inches so a 16 instump that is 7 inches high is $20 instead of $10. The $40 fee just to show up is for all those people that have one little 4 inch stub or a bunch of little stubs scattered all over a lot. Takes longer to unload and load than it does to grind them. These I grind by the hour with a one hour, ($50 per hr) minimum plus the $40 show up fee. And dont ask me to crank up my saw because I charge $50 per hr for it in addition to the machine time, plus I dont hual off the chunks. My back aint what it used to be so I dont pick up heavy chunks of wood.
I think it's up to the individual, as to how to make it worthwhile. In my case, I was mostly figured in as part of the bid anyways; I rarely got calls to just grind a stump,
I can see with you being in the tree removal business that the stumb grinding can become a big part of your business. It is probably more productive for you to sub them out. What I normaly get is the homeowner that has a chainsaw and removes some trees off their own property. They leave the stumps waist high and expect me to grind them off. My pricing structure lets me give them a price over the phone without having to visit the site. Letting them know it will cost extra convinces them to saw the stumps off before I show up. I also get a lot of homeowners that have done a little underbrushing on their lots and are left with a lot of little stubs sticking up. I can grind hundreds of such stubs in a day so I charge by the hour for those. I have to impose the $40 show up fee/ one hour minimum to discourage those that just have one or two little stubs and think I can showup for $20 or some ridiculous amount. This pricing structure seems to work out pretty well for me. If they just have one 16 inch stump I grind it for $50 bucks, ($40+$10) and that seems like a price most people are willing to pay to get a stump removed from their lawn.
You're right, it's mostly in the production end.
I'd have to pay someone to just grind stumps all day at $17/hr (by the time you factor in my share of taxes, unemployment, benefits, etc...) PLUS the fuel and wear and tear of the truck/trailer/stumper/etc.
Just not worth it.
In your case, sounds like it works out quite well. Being able to quote over the phone also eliminates the "shoppers", too.
Wow that is amazing prices around here they dont go by the inch the go buy the hour $75 to be exact. I have just a little Husqvarna self propelled push grinder. but i dont like doing it the machine came with the equipment package that i bought.
Not going to get rich.......but you can make some decent money if you work it.
Been grinding for almost 4 years..........