I had a great opportunity to interview Eric who offers stump grinding services and sells used stump grinders about the business of stump grinding. You can read more about this topic on the post at The Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum here.
Steve: “Can you share with us some of your insight on how a lawn care business owner can best make money with stump grinders?
How much could they make using such stump grinders?”
Eric: “The first thing you do is put your phone number on the grinder. Especially on the back of the grinder. Get business cards printed with space for a cost estimate you can write in. Going rate in my area is $5 per inch of stump with a $100-150 minimum. Measure the widest part.
Don’t haggle over an inch or two, just write the estimate. With these grinders a 36″ stump might take 20 minutes, you figure your hourly rate from there.
As you go about your daily lawn care service routine, keep a sharp eye out for stumps. Knock on doors and leave a card with the estimate, or note the address and mail one with pricing. Contact your local tree services. Even if they have their own grinder, tell them to call if they get too busy or it’s broke down.
Take out a small classified ad for a month or two introducing your service. Hand out cards to your existing customers or mail with their bill. Look for dead trees, they have a habit of leaving a stump later. On the weekend go for a drive with your grinder and listen out for chainsaws. The only reason a chainsaw makes noise is cuttin’ trees. Pull up and introduce yourself. There’s lots of ways to get work for the machine.
Golf courses can’t have stumps because the mower operators always hit them. It costs more to fix the mower once than grinding the stump to eliminate the problem forever.
Remember that clean-up and hauling away the debris is EXTRA charge. That’s where one of our pick-up dump kits comes in very handy. Dig a big enough stump hole and you can charge to bring them back topsoil to fill it.”
Steve: “Here is another way to estimate stump grinding jobs. Stump Grinding (Chip) Per Inch of Stump Diameter $ 3.00 /inch.”