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Stump grinding - how to bid a job

Discussion in 'Commercial Tree Care and Climbing' started by AAASTUMPSERVICE, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. AAASTUMPSERVICE

    AAASTUMPSERVICE ArboristSite Operative

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    I have been under bidding jobs left and right and have only found that people are still so extremely tight with their money, and rightfully so in this economy...just curious what the average is per inch everyone out there is charging or trying to make per hour in this horrible economy. I have been quoting $3 an inch for easily accessable stumps and $4 an inch for the tough to get to stumps with rocky soil.
     
  2. treeman82

    treeman82 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I try to get anywhere between $5 and $20 per inch for stumps.
     
  3. lxt

    lxt Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I dont & never did bid by the inch! what do you need to make an hr? & how long will it take to grind the stump?

    I charge a minimum for any size unless im in the neighborhood then I can cut em a brake!


    LXT....................
     
  4. Menchhofer

    Menchhofer AboristSite Guru

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    Charging by the hour is best for you and the customer. Pricing by the inch never worked for us.
     
  5. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I wouldn't get into stump grinding as a biz for nothing.. Try pricing grinding at $20 an inch and see if you don't get punched in the head...... Where the F did that price come from?!!!! Maybe in Danbury, or Ridgefield, but I doubt it.......
     
  6. treeman82

    treeman82 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Limited access = higher $. I like grinding per inch... for my average grinding days there may only be 1 or 2 jobs where I will stay on a single property for an hour or more... everything else is in and out in 15 - 40 min.
     
  7. NCTREE

    NCTREE Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I usaully charge by the inch too with a minimum charge. Access also plays into the factor. When I get into the large stumps where I could be there a while then I charge by the hour. I think if you charge by the inch on large stumps you will lose out.
     
  8. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse Addicted to ArboristSite

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    200 an hour RUNTIME for a late model mid weight machine, I've heard that before. It's so hard to compete with a stand alone stumping biz vs tree service. I throw in grinding as a perk more than half the time......
     
  9. ozzy42

    ozzy42 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I don't charge by the inch.It may work for some stumps but you run the chance of screwing yourself out of a job ,or worse,into one that you regret taking.
    All stumps are not created equal.I ground a huge sheflara with roots going everywhere last week for a bill and a half.Even with halfway dull teeth,I finished in less than an hour.
    If that had been an oak stump the same size,it would have been worth 4bills easy.

    What I do to weed thru the bargain hunter/curiosity seekers is ask them for the basics ie true dia. surface roots,type of wood,etc ,etc. then give them a $ range it might fit into.If they like the range ,I tell them I'll be there at so and so date and time with the grinder.
     
  10. ducaticorse

    ducaticorse Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Agreed
     
  11. Koa Man

    Koa Man Kahuna giganticus

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    When you guys say you are charging by the inch, do you mean inches in diameter or square inch. Big difference. Figure the square inches of a 12 inch and 24 inch diameter stump. Are you going to charge only twice as much if you are basing your charges in inch diameter? If so, you lose big time.

    I have always based my charge on how long I think it is going to take. Some 30 inch dia. stumps can be quicker than some 18 inch dia. stumps. Accessibility is also a huge factor. Premium price if my Alpine is the only kind of machine that can get there. I have a $1600 stump job coming up in 3 weeks. Banyan stump 30 in. dia. with lots of runners. Removing stump and runners up to 6 ft. away from trunk. Tree is in an open area, but you need to go down some stairs and a narrow passage first. No access for even a Rayco Jr. type machine. I plan to use my Alpine and figure it should take no longer than a full day.
     
  12. paccity

    paccity Addicted to ArboristSite

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    by the hour with a min, access adds to it . mostly works out good.
     
  13. sgreanbeans

    sgreanbeans Treeaculterologist

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    I bid them a straight price, if it takes me longer, on me, if I blast thru it in no time, same price. We usually clean and back fill with topsoil. I try and not seed. To many people do not understand that seed needs water, and u shouldn't run a mower over it until you have grass to cut!
     
  14. Treetom

    Treetom AboristSite Guru

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    $150.00-$200.00 per hour sounds about right. Of course, I rarley just grind a stump, there are fees for cleaning up the grindings and delivering topsoil to consider.
     
  15. TreeClimber57

    TreeClimber57 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Agreed.

    It maybe is a good reference or starting point if you are starting out and have no idea on how long something will take.. but even at that you would need to have a chart with charges changing as diameter increases and if deciduous or conifer... unless you want to spend a lot of time not getting any money when doing a large oak tree.

    But once you get to know job.. then you can pretty much do better pricing other ways than by the inch.

    I do have one in office that is a wall chart for quick reference.. but doubt a single job last year was actually quoted or billed that would match chart exactly.
     
  16. AAASTUMPSERVICE

    AAASTUMPSERVICE ArboristSite Operative

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    Thank alot for all your input, i bid a job yesterday on a 7.5' stump and totally underbid! Oh well live and learn. I have since reconcidered how i do bids on 5' + stumps HaHa! Thanks all!
     
  17. Don't-B-Stumped

    Don't-B-Stumped ArboristSite Member

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    I never bid by the inch. I always look at a job and try to make sure I'll make whatever number I need by the hour. After you do a few thousand stumps you'll be pretty good at knowing just how long you're gonna be there.
    And always have a minimum charge. When you call a plumber or an electrician or any professional you're gonna be billed just for him showing up. It should be the same for a Stump Grinder. You have a license, insurance, equipment, maintainence on your machine so why wouldn't you have a minimum charge.
    After you screw yourself on a few jobs you'll figure it out pretty quick.
     
  18. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    We have so few standard jobs ie stumps out in the middle of the lawn, that we have to bid based on an hourly rate. Need to consider travel time, access (do you need to remove a fence or get through a narrow gate), stump species, working around irrigation lines, how close to cars/windows (how much protection needs to be installed).
     
  19. a_lopa

    a_lopa Overhead downunder

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    $100 a meter across the stump,X by the width,fluctuates depending on species/decay/root chasing.But generally $100 a meter tow behind grinder.

    Small stumps i pass on
     
  20. Saw Dust Smoken

    Saw Dust Smoken ArboristSite Operative

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    stumps

    Like he said have a minimum charge. Whats the minimum at the rental place. 4-hr minimum or all day minimum charge. 80-90 bucks 4-hr minimum or 150-180 bucks beyond the 4-hr minimum.
    Some stumper charge way to little for time and equipment. Doing something for nothing. A year or two latter their equipment will show this big time. If their still in business at all!!
     

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