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Stump Grinder


I run a small maintenance business up in Fife and am looking to purchase a stump grinder for the occasional days stump grinding. I currently hire one for £100 per day when needed but would rather buy a cheapish one to save the hassle. Any recommendations?

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  • PRO

    I used to do the same.... £100 for the day for no hassle hire of a working machine, versus several thousand pounds hard earned cash to use it maybe once a month seems {for me} difficult to justify.

    I used to pass on the hire cost, + delivery, collection + 10% for organising it + my time .... it worked well

    • PRO

      I agree that hiring is virtually risk free, but figure that I'd rather pocket the hire charges myself, plus I quite like buying machinery

  • PRO

    Quite a few years ago I worked for a guy who had a sawmill, one of the tree surgeons had bought two stump grinders and was storing them in the sawmill yard, they did not move and were not started for two years.

    If you are going to buy a bit of specialist kit you do actually need to advertise the additional service you offering and make the kit pay for itself.

    On the other hand I have seen guys pay more than it would have cost to buy small tools to hire them, because they took too long to return them after them had finished using them, at £100/day people are quick to off-hire, but when it's only a couple of quid per day they keep procrastinating thinking they will drop the tool back when they are passing, because it's not worth a special trip.

  • I think the important word in your post is "occasional" , as others have said several thousands of pounds outlay for a machine that you only use once in a blue moon is not justifiable. I too love buying good tools but only if they will pay for themselves.

    let's say you use the machine 4 times a year.

    hire charge = £400

    purchase price of decent stump grinder £10000 (result of a 2 min internet search, there are cheaper ones but I went for a pro quality one)  so 25 years to pay back without maintenance and insurance. Even at a grinder half that price it's 12 years. If it breaks you have to pay someone to fix it etc

    i would keep hiring.

  • Cheap grinders aren't worth the hassle and running a stump grinder isn't cheap.

    I'll burn through £40 worth of fuel a day on the machine, then I have maintenance, so my tooth cost (£10 a tooth plus nuts for replacements), cost of pockets (£18 plus bolts at £3 a pair twice a year unless I break one), Belts at £200 each and all the other bits that get forgotten like grease and oil.

    Hit a lump of metal, at best it's an hour down and £100 in bits, worse case is a set of teeth, all 24 on one of my machines, plus broken pockets and a new drive belt, So £600 plus in bits and a day written off. The last time I changed a set of head bearings it was £500 a day's work, and my workshop is better equipped than the average groundscare dealer or hire place. 

    Having said all that, I sold my big grinder six months ago but kept the pedestrian one and the mid-size remote-controlled machine. Neither of them has been out for two months, it doesn't bother me as they're paid for, but with stump grinding prices where they are I'd rather park them up than go out and lose money.  

    • PRO

      If you have the demand or can create a demand for a service it's worth investing .

      An add on service can be a game changer and add benefit .

      Entry level I suspect is the way forward and researching which stump grinder ticks all the boxes .

      Do hire companies hold the answer and have carefully researched which stump grinders can tolerate the most abuse and can be serviced cost effectively ? 

      Worth picking their brains they are in business to make money and will be used to customer feedback on their machinerys performance .


    • PRO

      This seems sound advice to me

  • We are pritty much in the same position 

    I dont mind the cost of the hire but hate the time lost running about collecting and returning the stump grinder 

    So i now wait if possible for several stumps to do and the hire the machine for two or three days and ha e a spell on grinding 

    That makes it more profitable overall 

  • Buy, it will earn you money we have a pedestrian Lumag stump grinder BSF15 been very reliable. Paid for its self in less than a year. £1755.00 including vat.

  • PRO Supplier

    I would be careful about purchasing a stump grinder, Alexander, as they can be expensive to run. If you have lots of work for the machine, then that's different. I appreciate that it's very time-consuming running around after hire equipment. Have you thought about finding a contractor who could maybe carry out the job on your behalf?

    I'm not making the statement above because I have a stump grinder; sometimes, it's just better to get a professional in rather than outlaying lots of money.

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