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Stump Grinding: By the inch vs. by the hour

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by treepig, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. treepig

    treepig ArboristSite Lurker

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    So I finally bought my own machine to start a small stump grinding business on my own. I am all ready to go but had one question I cannot seem to decide which is the best way to go. Is it better to bill by the inch of the stumps I am grinding or by the hour? Any advice or arguments in any direction would be great. Thanks!
     
  2. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I don't have one, but refer grinding to others. If it was by the hour, I'd have to guess about how long it would take. By the inch, I can measure it and tell them the cost. So if somebody calls you, you can quote over the phone...a lot of people would appreciate that AND it would save you lot of time running around to do quotes. You could quote over the phone and just show up to do the work.

    I would suggest based on what I have seen with the subcontractors who help me that you have a minimum charge...
     
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  3. treepig

    treepig ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks for the information. I was planning on having a minimum charge as well.
     
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  4. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I’ve always billed by the inch, widest point to widest point on the flare. 3 levels the customer can select:
    Grind
    Grind and clean up
    Grind, clean up, soil and seed
    The price goes up per inch accordingly.
     
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  5. capetrees

    capetrees Addicted to ArboristSite

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    minimum charge, charge both by the hour and by the inch and even by the square inch.

    Minimum charge is for just loading up and traveling to the site. You have to get at least XXX

    Charge by the hour for jobs with multiple small stumps that would be ground out in seconds each.

    Charge by the inch for stumps up to a certain diameter

    Charge by the square inch for large stumps. For instance, a 12" diameter stump ground out for $3/inch comes to $36 but a 48" stump at that rate would be $144. However, comparing the area you grind, the 12" stump is 113 sq. inches while the 48" stump is 1808 sq.inches, or about 16 times the area for 4 times the price. CRAZY

    For stumps over 20", I charge by the square inch. $3/inch up to 20 inches, after 20" I charge 20 cents per square inch.

    The math shows diameter and area cross at 20" at those rates. You could also charge $4/inch diameter and then 25 cents per square inch based on 20 inches and still have the same cross.

    based on diameter, 20" x $3/in = $60

    based on by the sq. inch, (pi x r squared based on 20") 3.14 x (10x10)=314 x .20 cents = $62.80

    so by that math, a 12" stump costs $36 by diameter while a 48" stump costs $361.73
     
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  6. treepig

    treepig ArboristSite Lurker

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    Ok I admit that math is not really my strongest suit, but how are you coming up with your value for "r" in your equation for the 20" stump? BTW I grew up on the Cape. DY Class of 93!
     
  7. capetrees

    capetrees Addicted to ArboristSite

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    area of a circle is defined as pi (3.14) x r squared, r being radius or half the diameter

    3.14 x (10 squared) = 314 x .20 = $62.80
     
  8. treepig

    treepig ArboristSite Lurker

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    Ok got it. Finally figured it out. Thanks for the info. That is a method I totally did not consider.
     
  9. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    @capetrees proposal to do it by square inch certainly makes a lot of sense, but I think it would confuse people if you tried to quote it that way over the phone. If they can measure the diameter, you could tell them the price (and correct the price if they measured wrong - show them if they are home or take a picture of the measuring tape if they are not...).

    Of course access is the other hidden gem that nobody will tell you about over the phone. I assume you could have the utilities marked without having to see it first, right? When I sub the stumps out, I mark it with a flag, but tell the grinder to contact utility locations so if they have questions when they get there it is "their" ticket, not mine that they can call in.
     

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