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Posted: 3/19/2013 4:29:46 AM EDT
Looking to expand my offerings a bit I found a few stump grinders for sale around me.

I am not interested in the light duty walk behind ones, more towards the medium/heavy hydraulic and self propelled ones, something that won't take all day to accomplish a task and won't beat the operator up.

My dad takes down a lot of trees, and I do a few from time to time, and it seems like most customers have an old stump or two in their yard.

Is there any market for it, I really don't want to waste my money and time getting and maintaining a machine if I am just going to get undercut on price all over town.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:33:21 AM EDT
Around here there are just a few guys who do it independently, the big outfits will do it but it is $250 -$400 extra.
I had a tree taken down by some locals and it was a $90 extra.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:34:56 AM EDT
Not much of a market for it here.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:35:38 AM EDT
I was completely expecting another topic when I clicked on this....
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:37:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ranchitecture:
Around here there are just a few guys who do it independently, the big outfits will do it but it is $250 -$400 extra.
I had a tree taken down by some locals and it was a $90 extra.


Being able to tack on another $100 to a tree job seems worthwhile.

I am considering just getting one anyway to use in my lawn, I have about 7 stumps from trees I took down when I moved in.

If I had a skidsteer I would get the attachment for it and call it a day, but I don't have one yet.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:37:46 AM EDT
It's bad enough they kill the majestic trees, but then to go after the poor tree's very connection to Mother Earth is just barbaric.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:38:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By bagofcrabs65:
I was completely expecting another topic when I clicked on this....


Did you picture a leg less midget dancing too? I had second thoughts about that one... It would be hard to grind on a legalese midget.. A one legged normal guy getting a lap dance?

There's some money in it.. Problem is finding someone to cash out 396 $1 bills...
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:41:56 AM EDT
guy down the street owns his own biz, logging/trimming etc . he drives by my house more often with his grinder hooked to his truck than any of his other equipment.



gotta be something in it . he has hooked me up a few times for free on his way through. good dude.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:42:23 AM EDT
Theres money in it, checkout the Vermeer SC252 great machine has done everything that I have thrown at it.Bigger machines will do a stump faster but for more money and less versitility.There is also one model above that but cant
remember the model.Both are self propelled
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:46:33 AM EDT
It depends on where you are and if you can compete with a guy who has no insurance and workers comp.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:47:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:51:36 AM EDT
Any motherfucker with a saw can drop a tree. It used to be easy enough to get rid of the stump too, just soak it and torch it, but people get itchy about that shit anymore.

If you can make it work financially at around $100 a pop, do eet.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:53:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 4:54:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2013 5:03:46 AM EDT by USMC6177]
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Looking to expand my offerings a bit I found a few stump grinders for sale around me.

I am not interested in the light duty walk behind ones, more towards the medium/heavy hydraulic and self propelled ones, something that won't take all day to accomplish a task and won't beat the operator up.

My dad takes down a lot of trees, and I do a few from time to time, and it seems like most customers have an old stump or two in their yard.

Is there any market for it, I really don't want to waste my money and time getting and maintaining a machine if I am just going to get undercut on price all over town.


Whatever you do take care of your equipment. I looked at getting one a few years back and every single used one I looked at was sitting out in the yard rusting


ETA where you at in NY I got some stumps need grinding LOL
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:03:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Any motherfucker with a saw can drop a tree. It used to be easy enough to get rid of the stump too, just soak it and torch it, but people get itchy about that shit anymore.

If you can make it work financially at around $100 a pop, do eet.


Anyone can drop a tree, few can climb and limb next to a house without trashing the place.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:04:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By silveradot:
Theres money in it, checkout the Vermeer SC252 great machine has done everything that I have thrown at it.Bigger machines will do a stump faster but for more money and less versitility.There is also one model above that but cant
remember the model.Both are self propelled


Theres one of those machines locally for 3k and it comes with a trailer, I emailed about it this morning to go look at it.

If it is rusted to shit or smokes when its running I could probably talk him down and just plop a new motor into it.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:10:56 AM EDT
Years ago I had one that was pulled behind a truck. The going rate then was 10 to 25 each depending on size and how many. I could do around 7 a hour by my self more if ssomeone else drove the truck. Got started just by knocking on doors by the 3rd year I had more then I could handle. I would pass on the huge tree stumps or charge a few hundred for one because it would take to long. Also I didnt do any clean up after.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:11:30 AM EDT
Buy it I paid 14k brand new for mine.A motor is about 2k if needed and takes about 2.5hrs to put on.There is nothing to these things that cant be fixed fairly cheap.The motor is the most expensive part
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:12:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Any motherfucker with a saw can drop a tree. It used to be easy enough to get rid of the stump too, just soak it and torch it, but people get itchy about that shit anymore.

If you can make it work financially at around $100 a pop, do eet.


Anyone can drop a tree, few can climb and limb next to a house without trashing the place.


No lie there. I'm not too proud to call in pros when a bad move will cost me a roof. Again.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:17:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By whiskerz:
It depends on where you are and if you can compete with a guy who has no insurance and workers comp.

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile


Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:22:19 AM EDT
This is quite coincidental. I was driving behind a stump grinder yesterday, and wondered to myself how business for them. This guy ONLY grinds stumps...it's in his company name, and the only thing in his trailer was a grinder. It was pretty big too, probably the style you're talking about.

What do they charge to grind stumps? What about a 2ft diameter stump that's 3ft tall?
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:27:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Any motherfucker with a saw can drop a tree. It used to be easy enough to get rid of the stump too, just soak it and torch it, but people get itchy about that shit anymore.

If you can make it work financially at around $100 a pop, do eet.


Anyone can drop a tree, few can climb and limb next to a house without trashing the place.


No lie there. I'm not too proud to call in pros when a bad move will cost me a roof. Again.

Like a knife through butta!
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:29:36 AM EDT
Around here, the typical guy gets cash which he doesn't report to the .gov.

So, they get all the FSA bennies and 15-20k per year tax free pocket money.


Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:40:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By FreeFloater:
This is quite coincidental. I was driving behind a stump grinder yesterday, and wondered to myself how business for them. This guy ONLY grinds stumps...it's in his company name, and the only thing in his trailer was a grinder. It was pretty big too, probably the style you're talking about.

What do they charge to grind stumps? What about a 2ft diameter stump that's 3ft tall?


The guy that does it around here, would chainsaw the stump down to as low as he could without fucking up his chain, and charge $50-$75 to grind the stump into the ground. He leaves the chips lay.

He's old, retired, machine payed for years ago, no insurance. He does have maintenance and travel expenses to deal with. I doubt he claims the income.

Link Posted: 3/19/2013 5:50:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
Around here, the typical guy gets cash which he doesn't report to the .gov.

So, they get all the FSA bennies and 15-20k per year tax free pocket money.




I know lots of people that make cash and collect no benefits.

I report everything I make just to pad my credit score, the banks don't like to give loans to people with no reported income.

That said, if I help out a friend on a job and he flips me $100 for a few hours work I usually just take the wife out to dinner and a movie, they don't need to know about a little pocket cash here and there.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 6:03:02 AM EDT
A member here who lives up in MN does it.

I think his screen name is something like BuiltTough_Ford250 or something like that.

Must pay OK ... he posted pics of his gf and she has some nice BOOBIES
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 6:16:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By silveradot:
Theres money in it, checkout the Vermeer SC252 great machine has done everything that I have thrown at it.Bigger machines will do a stump faster but for more money and less versitility.There is also one model above that but cant
remember the model.Both are self propelled


that's the model that i rent out. very good machine


and op. there is a metric shit ton of money to be had in stump grinding.

but be warned, maintenance on these machines can get extreme quick. but ymmv, i am a rental store after all
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 6:19:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ticketme:
Originally Posted By silveradot:
Theres money in it, checkout the Vermeer SC252 great machine has done everything that I have thrown at it.Bigger machines will do a stump faster but for more money and less versitility.There is also one model above that but cant
remember the model.Both are self propelled


that's the model that i rent out. very good machine


and op. there is a metric shit ton of money to be had in stump grinding.

but be warned, maintenance on these machines can get extreme quick. but ymmv, i am a rental store after all


How long does your heavy equipment usually last, when I rent a skidsteer I know what I am doing with it and still work it hard, harvey homeowner must pound the hell out of them trying to dig.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 6:22:09 AM EDT
Had a stump taken out about 7 years ago. Ran me $50. Local guy had a unit attached to the back of his pickup. Took maybe 15 minutes.

It made a huge mess.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 6:24:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By ticketme:
Originally Posted By silveradot:
Theres money in it, checkout the Vermeer SC252 great machine has done everything that I have thrown at it.Bigger machines will do a stump faster but for more money and less versitility.There is also one model above that but cant
remember the model.Both are self propelled


that's the model that i rent out. very good machine


and op. there is a metric shit ton of money to be had in stump grinding.

but be warned, maintenance on these machines can get extreme quick. but ymmv, i am a rental store after all


How long does your heavy equipment usually last, when I rent a skidsteer I know what I am doing with it and still work it hard, harvey homeowner must pound the hell out of them trying to dig.


I shoot the shit with the local rental place occasionally and the stories they tell me make me not want to ever get into the rental business. The homeowners are not normally the bad ones. Its the "Contractors" who hire a couple meth monkeys and let them rip with rental equipment.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 6:28:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By USMC6177:
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By ticketme:
Originally Posted By silveradot:
Theres money in it, checkout the Vermeer SC252 great machine has done everything that I have thrown at it.Bigger machines will do a stump faster but for more money and less versitility.There is also one model above that but cant
remember the model.Both are self propelled


that's the model that i rent out. very good machine


and op. there is a metric shit ton of money to be had in stump grinding.

but be warned, maintenance on these machines can get extreme quick. but ymmv, i am a rental store after all


How long does your heavy equipment usually last, when I rent a skidsteer I know what I am doing with it and still work it hard, harvey homeowner must pound the hell out of them trying to dig.


I shoot the shit with the local rental place occasionally and the stories they tell me make me not want to ever get into the rental business. The homeowners are not normally the bad ones. Its the "Contractors" who hire a couple meth monkeys and let them rip with rental equipment.


One place I rent from on occasion is a pain right in the ass, but they have premium stuff. They require a credit check, and two copies of my insurance faxed from my agent, and if my policy doesnt cover rental equipment they tack on 20% to the rental cost.

I like the small places where you toss the guy 300 bucks and drive off with his skidsteer, but on occasion those machines are doing all they can just to make it through another day.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 6:31:16 AM EDT
My best story from the rental place was the guy that rented an excavator to dig out a pond and got the excavator stuck in the middle when rain turned it into a several acre mud puddle. His solution was to rent a bigger excavator to try and tow that one out. They didn't rent him a third one.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 6:34:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AKengineer:
My best story from the rental place was the guy that rented an excavator to dig out a pond and got the excavator stuck in the middle when rain turned it into a several acre mud puddle. His solution was to rent a bigger excavator to try and tow that one out. They didn't rent him a third one.


How the hell do you even get an excavator stuck. They come with their own jack and shovel.

I have seen some guys get them right up the cab in mud and walk right out just pushing backwards with the arm.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 6:51:30 AM EDT
Well, it seems like a worthwhile venture, maybe make a good sunday job, just take calls during the week and drive around all day Sunday grinding.

I'm gonna buy one.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 7:03:14 AM EDT

i used to work with a guy who had a patent on one of the first stump grinders. His family also owns Doskosil who makes gun cases. He usually charged by the inch. The bigger round the tree the more expensive it was. I dont remember what he charged since it has been several years ago.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 7:05:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rjelliott:

i used to work with a guy who had a patent on one of the first stump grinders. His family also owns Doskosil who makes gun cases. He usually charged by the inch. The bigger round the tree the more expensive it was. I dont remember what he charged since it has been several years ago.


I figured the cubic inch would be the best way to charge, diameter of the stump in relation to the height of it from level ground.

No clue how much though, I have a pile of stumps in my yard I could practice on though, give me a good idea of the time frame and a price range.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 7:11:27 AM EDT
Arboristsite.com has some good info on stump grinding in their forums.

Everyone has a different opinion.

Some guys with tree companies buy them as an "add on" or to have a package deal but they

don't really like stump grinding.

Other guys cut the trees down and leave and have a buddy who just grinds stumps come in after.

Also you can charge more if you clean up, add topsoil and seed afterword.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 7:22:20 AM EDT
Once you get into it and do a couple jobs you will know how long a stump will take you,thats what I go by for charging.Also take into consideration the ground around you if its rocky terrain then there are probly rocks where you are grinding
and rocks cause broken teeth and you digging the rocks out of the stump ,because the tree grows around rocks.And there are the roots that go on forever people want those gone to. All of this is time.Good luck its a fun bussiness
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 7:27:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
Around here, the typical guy gets cash which he doesn't report to the .gov.

So, they get all the FSA bennies and 15-20k per year tax free pocket money.




I know lots of people that make cash and collect no benefits.

I report everything I make just to pad my credit score, the banks don't like to give loans to people with no reported income.

That said, if I help out a friend on a job and he flips me $100 for a few hours work I usually just take the wife out to dinner and a movie, they don't need to know about a little pocket cash here and there.

Not saying that was your intention, but in my neck of the woods, there is no end to 'good ol boys' with a pickup, a trailer, some tools, a decent skill set, a wallet of cash, (just none in the bank), laughing at all us taxpaying suckers while they deer hunt,their wife runs their EBT every week and the kids get free meds on Medicaid.


Link Posted: 3/19/2013 7:57:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2013 7:58:03 AM EDT by sitdwnandhngon]
Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:

Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By Bubbatheredneck:
Around here, the typical guy gets cash which he doesn't report to the .gov.

So, they get all the FSA bennies and 15-20k per year tax free pocket money.




I know lots of people that make cash and collect no benefits.

I report everything I make just to pad my credit score, the banks don't like to give loans to people with no reported income.

That said, if I help out a friend on a job and he flips me $100 for a few hours work I usually just take the wife out to dinner and a movie, they don't need to know about a little pocket cash here and there.

Not saying that was your intention, but in my neck of the woods, there is no end to 'good ol boys' with a pickup, a trailer, some tools, a decent skill set, a wallet of cash, (just none in the bank), laughing at all us taxpaying suckers while they deer hunt,their wife runs their EBT every week and the kids get free meds on Medicaid.




Yeah we have the same.

It sucks because they are willing to give a cash price on jobs and charge less than I would. Pocket most of the cash, low reported income, free school lunches for the kids and all that other junk.

I don't know why they can't think long term though, I am battling it right now every year trying to get small loans, the bank hates me. 26 years old, decent income history and all green on my credit report, yet they still demand a cosigner for a 5k truck loan, I can't imagine how those other guys get loans to do anything.

I am just hoping that by the time I am into my 30s I have a large enough base under me so I can run multiple small businesses and pay other people to actually go do the work while I just manage everything, I don't mind getting my hands dirty, but it doesn't pay well enough to only be in one spot at a time.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 8:35:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By AKengineer:
My best story from the rental place was the guy that rented an excavator to dig out a pond and got the excavator stuck in the middle when rain turned it into a several acre mud puddle. His solution was to rent a bigger excavator to try and tow that one out. They didn't rent him a third one.


How the hell do you even get an excavator stuck. They come with their own jack and shovel.

I have seen some guys get them right up the cab in mud and walk right out just pushing backwards with the arm.


You just have to try hard enough.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 11:18:45 AM EDT
depends on your definition of "money in it" you need the machine, truck, and usually a trailer, buy gas and maintain said machine.

A few years back, I could rent a machine for $125 for the day, then I found a guy and paid him $175 to grind out the stumps. Three of them were to close to my drain field for me to chance using the back hoe and one was damn big and too close to the main water line from the well head to the shop. The chance of damage to either was not worth the $175 to pay the guy. He spent about 5-6 hours and I drank beer and tinkered around in the property.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 12:37:30 PM EDT
Bank called me back, approved another equipment loan.

I'm gonna go check it out and see if it's worth 3k, it comes with it's own trailer, so that is a plus for sure, and I already have my truck.

If I could do 20 jobs at $150 (or more depending on the job I guess) it would be paid for outright, then its just another tool in the arsenal.
Link Posted: 3/19/2013 12:48:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sitdwnandhngon:
Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:
Any motherfucker with a saw can drop a tree. It used to be easy enough to get rid of the stump too, just soak it and torch it, but people get itchy about that shit anymore.

If you can make it work financially at around $100 a pop, do eet.


Anyone can drop a tree, few can climb and limb next to a house without trashing the place.


This. I drop probably 50 trees a year. I paid for someone to cut down a 250 year old oak that died right next to my house.
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