Stumpgrinder rates!!


Sep 25, 2006
Vernon, B.C.
Ok I'm planning on being into the stumpgrinding market here shortly but am wondering about rates?

If ya wouldn't mind letting me know how you charge by the hour? I remember people talking about by the inch?

Also wondering what type of machine any of y'all are using?

By the job.
Per inch rates make little sense-Doubling diameter quadruples area/volume so the only way to make it really work is to bracket sizes and change cost per inch as size increases. If you just half to have a per inch price for over the phone quotes then I suggest priceing per CIRCUMFERENCE inch at ground level-$1 per inch equals $3.14 per diameter inch but sounds lower to the price shoppr plus circumference is measurable by any moron even if the tree has not been cut yet. Make your price per inch jump some if circumference exceeds 90 inches. If people ask, explain that volume increases at 4x the rate of C so they are still getting a volume discount for big stumps.
It takes time to figure out how much to charge. Silver maples are the biggest pains around here because they flair out so much underground. Stump grinding here is not a big money maker. My range is from $40 for an arborvitus stump to $400 for a big silver maple stump. I would rather not do the big stump because of the wear and tear on my machine. I bought a used machine and seem to have to work on the thing constantly to keep it going.
I generally only grind what we produce. Sub the huge ones. Sometimes I price it as part of the removal. Or add 10% to the bottom line. If you haven't bought a machine yet......GO BIG as you can.
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My machine won't be huge, it'll be a mini attachment :/:. But a good one.

I sub out stumps right now to a guy who runs a bobcat with a stumper on it, his rates seem ridiculously low to me at $75/hr. With wear and tear and his time I hardly see much money in it at that price. I'll continue to sub bigger easy access stumps his way but I need it mostly to be able to put the full package together.
I give bids based on a per hour rate. The rate decreases on bigger jobs w/o having to worry about people, cars, windows, ect, and increases when those factors go up.

Nearly all my grinding is done with an RG85, an all hydrualic 83hp grinder from Rayco.
Justin, You are correct-$75 per hour is ridiculously low. Stump grinding rates have dropped quite a bit ove rthe years due to competiion. 20 years ago most of N.America had not even heard of such an option. Greater competition lowered costs(as is normal)and then ( at least for my area) costs ramained pretty static for the past 10 years while the value of the US dollar has declined. Still it remains a specialized service using specialized equipment and most service calls are measured in minutes rather than hours. Charging by the hour is alousy way to deal with the public since they don't know how long things take and they want to know "How much?" but I believe that a stumper operator should gross over $100 per hour on the job if he expects to maintain equipment replace teeth, and earn a little money. WHen things are priced by the job speed is not my enemy-I change teeth as needed to keep cutting efficiently and knock out stumps in awe inspiring time with a mini-stumper. Typical reactions are positive. If it was worth $250 to them,the fact that I did it in an hour and 20 minutes isn't really relevant.-They understand that it would have taken days by hand.
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Cool thanks for the info guys, atleast gives me something to go on. I ain't in to working cheap.:D
I have a $150 min. on even a 3 inch stump, unless we also removed the tree. I have noticed that stump grinding in the 48 states are a lot cheaper than in Hawaii. I can get $250 for grinding a 24 inch dia. stump on softwoods like mango. A very hardwood like lychee or kiawe would be around $300.
Might have something to do with selling of land by the square foot. ;)

If the job is in a convient location, for a $75 minimum charge, I'd grind a 32" stump if it was under 8" tall. Granted it'd only take about 10-15 minutes to get it 10" below grade.

The most expensive stump we've done (started in 98) was $300 bucks. The stump was 5' in diameter, a house was being built and the foundation was going to be over it. They dug down with their dozers making the top of the stump 3' above grade, and we ground 2' below grade, a box roughly 6'x6'x5'. Took all of an hour and a half.
I have said this before that I could care less if I ground another stump or not because there is no real profits in grinding stumps. I do it only because like others you offer the whole package for doing a tree removal and you keep the service in house.

I put a few pictures in of my present machine and a big stump from a tree we cut down.

Just curious what some of you guys would charge for a stump like this if you were to tackle it.

I don't like doing stumps like this with a small machine because of all the side shifting that needs to be done to get those buttress roots, also two passes have to be made. One pass to get the stump to grade and another one for depth. Not to mention the small mountain of chips that is produced from the grinding that have to be manuvered through to keep yoour depth at an even depth as the wheels of the machine start to ride up on the chips.

I didn't have the camera when we started grinding. So the first pic shows my 630 B tow behind at about the halfway point of the stump we are doing. We had to clean-up on this one so we leveled the spot for easier grinding. Second and third pics are the second half and the finished area. Luckly on this one we were able to have three a three truck set-up for clean-up and grinding. One truck for the grinder, another for the chips and another to clam and load the debris.

When we finished the grinding area was roughly 15' x13' because of the buttress roots from this old Elm. The trunck of the tree when we cut it to fall the spar was about 42 to 45 inches.

So how much would this be worth???


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Not including cleanup, assuming you had it cut as low as it is in the pics, you'd be looking at $100-125 for me, and it'd take about 20-25 minutes.
I little hard to tell without the full "before' view but probably about $285-no hauling
Thats a $150.00 to grind stump. Add $100.00 to clean it up as nice as you did.
I would have bid about $200.00 for that stump, with no cleanup. I sub out the bigger stumps and usually bid them about 20% higher than my sub gets. Add another $200 to haul away the chips.
Thanks for those few guesstimates based on the pictures I put up. I see were pricing these stumps for what is basically the norm. I was in the middle of what you guys posted a tad over $ 200 for the grinding and a $100 for clean-up. A little light on the clean-up but the job was very close to home and having a way to load the chips other than with a shovel was a big plus.

Butch 's use of the word slaving was on par using a small machine for a stump like that. Takes forever to get through them. But for now it is the only thing I have. I miss my bigger machine that gets the level and depth in one pass. It is on the kaput list for now. Been waiting for a bigger machine that I can afford to pop up . A big wheel and a big engine makes a big difference. Cuts your time in half.

I do know one thing with the recent jump of another dime in fuel in our area and the rise in teeth and block costs. Grinding prices are going up. Just how much the market will bear remains to be seen.