Stump grinding

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by djlawn, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. djlawn

    djlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    Does anybody here offer tree stump grinding with their lawn maintence company or do you just sub that type of work out to a tree company. I am thinking of getting into grinding stumps as a part of the business. I get asked by current customers probably a dozen times a year. I think that it would be a easy add on service. HOw would you charge. How much would you charge? And would it be worth it to do this.
  2. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,574

    I do it....but it is very expensive for my customers because I have to rent the grinder. $75.00 for 4 hours. I try to clump as many as I can for one day to minimize cost and maximize profit. Most average size stumps (12"-15") take 10-15 minutes to do.

  3. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    Usually its $2 to $3.50 per inch. Measure the stump and then again 90 degrees from the first measurement. Then used the average of the measurements to give the price. Its not usaully a repeat business. Takes a long time to regrow trees to cut down and grind the stumps. is the place to go for this question
  4. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    I grind, there is so many people around here doing it that the rates are down to around a buck to a buck fifty per inch, the machine takes a beating and is high maintance, 285 bucks for teeth every other month or so, right now my machine is out in the garage waiting for parts to replace the king pin for the boom, this is not a very profitable side of the business if you are going to grind them right, also need to watch for secondary wiring & plumbing the may be going to a garage or other out buildings, trees have a habit of growing in after the wires were already there.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    The machine IS high-maint, I have a friend who does it BUT he does tree work, not lawncare. As for me, I really despise the grind-guys as most don't remove the debris and leave this big nasty pile and then I am asked to remove it (and of course the customer wants it done for next to nothing since they already paid once, really, could I remove the crap for free?) mufuggas ought to clean up their own mess, lazy fux.

    BUT you are getting customers asking you then that is a big plus (NOBODY ever asks me) and you ought to check into it. YOU can probably charge the regular rate despite competition so long you're doing it for your regulars who are asking about it anyhow, they will not mind paying your normal rates.

    You can also charge / hour, I think it's like $75 / hour but it depends how big a grinder you have due to overhead. If you charge by the hour, you'll just have to grind a few stumps for kicks, see how long it takes, and you get better with time. The charge-by-size thing is good, too, neither method is perfect, you will have to learn over time how different woods / different stumps affect your grinding time.

    Here in VA all the tree guys are sitting at home thou, LOL
  6. grassman5

    grassman5 LawnSite Member
    from zone 6
    Messages: 10

    Be very very careful with stump grinding. There is a story over at where a guy got his leg messed up bad. Almost had to amputate the leg. Will be off work a long long time. He goes into details about what happened and his long recuperation process. Real sad story. :cry:
  7. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    If you read it, just don't look at the pictures. You will throw up.
  8. djlawn

    djlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    I did read the story. Poor guy backed into the grinder. Just shows you can never be too careful. Be observant of your surroundings. I was just looking on input on whether it was a good add on service and what to charge.
  9. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    I charge 2.50 an inch, 3.50 with clean up, I measure the widest point on the stump where the root starts at the ground ( maples are about an extra 10 to 12" out from the base) when I get done with a stump with a clean up and fill you would never know a tree was there, no chips no nothing, I level to where the outer ring dont even show, the way I do it is my little secret that I will not tell, but I do let everyone that I est. a stump for know when I show pics of my work and tell them, others will beat my prices every time but they wont beat my finished job. I lose a lot to others but the cust. are never happy while axing out what was not ground out. I guarantee no Axe work on grinds without clean up, if there is a root or missed part of the stump I will go regrind for no charge.
  10. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    I have never figured how you could charge stump ginding by the inch with a set price per inch. 10 in stump at $2.50 per inch = $25 so a 20 in stump should equal $50 even though there is 4 times as much wood in a 20 inch stump as there is in a 10 inch one???? What about the 40 inch stump for $100 at $2.50 per inch. Thats 16 times as much wood as the 10 inch stump and your cost just went up by a factor of 16 so now you are grinding stumps for $0.15 per inch. A much better pricing would be $x per sqinch. Measure the stump across in two directions and multiple these measurements to determine how many square inches you have to grind and charge accordingly. This way when the size of the stump goes up your price reflects the actual cost. ex. You measure a 10in stump both ways and you get 10 inches both ways so you have 10x10=100sqin. You multiple this by $0.25 and you get $25. Now for the 20x20 inch stump you have 400sqin or 400x0.25 or $100. etc, etc. Now to complicate it even further you can and should go cubic. I have seen a lot of people leave a stump cut 3 ft high. Are you going to still charge the same price as you would for a stump cut 4 inches high. My prices are $10 per stump up to 16 inches. Double if over 6 inchs high. A 32 inch stump is $40 and again double if over 6 inches high. I have a $40 fee just to show up for one stump or 50 and this is in addition to the cost of grinding the stump, You have to have a minimum or you will be ginding one stump in every yard and going broke doing it. I charge for sawing stumps off just the same as if I was grinding them in addition to the grinding fee, and I always saw off anything over 6inches high. Saws need gas and chains to. Removal of the chips, or chuncks if I saw the stump off first, cost extra as well and even more if I have to dispose of them off site.

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