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Should you rent a stump grinder, buy one or simply hire a professional tree removalist?

This can be a tough question faced by many home owners, landlords, businesses and farmers. The never ending ambition to find the most cost effective, cheap and reliable way of removing the unwanted stump from your landscape can be quite challenging....but that is, if you don't know what you're doing.

Let's face it, as a home owner...it's not like you have tree stumps to grind everyday and in this case, we don't tend to recommend people to buy a stump grinder outright. That's because purchasing one of these grinding machines can be fairly expensive up to several thousands of dollars. Now, if you're going to grind a stump once every couple of years, then this may not be a very wise choice at all.

Most of these are really just common sense, however as a smart consumer...we should look at a variety of options base on the followng:

1) Price
2) Service
3) Hidden Costs
4) After Service

Most of these are really just common sense, however as a smart consumer...we should look at a variety of options base on the followng:

1) Price
2) Service
3) Hidden Costs
4) After Service

Before you make your decision as to whether you should rent, hire or buy....you should ask yourself questions base on the above 4 points and we will help you out also by breaking down the cons and pros of each option.


The cost of hiring a professional landscapist or tree removalist depends on a number of factors, but we found that the number one contribution to high service cost belongs to the consumers inability to obtain quotes.

That's right! Most people are lazy or lacks the interests of obtaining more than 2 quotes from tree specialist and hence, it keeps that on the mind set that getting people to remove trees are very dear.

So, the very first thing we want to tell you is that...should you decide to hire people for the job, please obtain more than 2 quotes. Seriously, all it takes is a little bit of your time, pick up the phone, dial a few numbers and ask....it's that simple and before you know it, you should have several quotes on hand that you can choose from. This way, you're not limiting your freedom to choose, but more importantly....you have the neccessary data on hand to compare.

Whenever we hear people who's looking for tree removal companies, a number of questions automatically floats in our heads.

1) Service - What type of service they offer and price?
2) Hidden Cost - Are there any hidden costs that they're not telling us?
3) After Service Support - What happens when the stump is removed from the ground, are they going to take it with them?

You see, every company has their own policy and also their own unique pricing structure and it's very important for us as consumers to find out what they are. Generally, the things that determines the pricing are base on the following:

1) How many trees or stumps?
2) What are their sizes in terms of length and diameter?
3) The number of branches
4) Your Landscape condition
5) Type of tree stump (The kind of wood) etc

This is because all these above factors are used to determine the type of equipment and the resources (extra helping hands) they need to bring to the site. For example, if you just have 2 old stumps to grind out, you will be looking at a relatively cheap quote because most likely a gas powered stump grinder (smaller version) will be used and 1 man power is probably enough to handle the work load.

Another important issue you need to take consideration is hidden cost and after service support. This is because there are many small businesses out there who are looking for ways to reap as much profit as possible and this includes but not limited to:

1) Additional Labour Hours
2) Transportation of equipment
3) Rubbish Removal
4) Surcharge (weekends, afterhours, public holiday)

It is very important to be up front with the company you're going to use and ask them these questions. You see, some services might quote you base on an estimate of the number of hours required to do a certain job. However, once they found out later on that the job actually requires more hours, they might charge you additional fees for it.

Always look out for delivery or transportation costs because some companies charge them base on the type of machinery they are required to bring to site. For example, whether a tractor needs to be used, a tow truck and if the stump grinder needs to be powered by PTO...etc.

Also, be sure to ask them what they will do after the stump has been grinded or taken out of the soil? Are they going to leave the stump, all the wood mulch, leaves, vines...etc and let the owner take care of them, or do they offer a complete back end service where they will take care of everything from start to finish. Please bear in mind many companies charge extra for taking out rubbish, organizing tree branches, taking out tree stump and so on. Always put that into the equation!

Lastly...as many house owners tend to be hesitant to have these tree stump removal service people on their premise while they are out at work. Therefore, most people will tend ask for a stump removal service on a weekend. However, please note that most of these services will place a sur-charge on weekend jobs....especially public holidays.


Before you decide to rent a stump grinder, be sure to check out our post regarding the different types of grinder to ensure you're getting the right equipment for the job. Think about it, there is absolutely no need for a self propelled or a tracked grinder if there are only 1 or 2 stumps you wanted to remove or if they're really small in size. Usually, for this type of job...a walk behind model is more than enough to get the desired result.

This is the very first thing you need to ask when you go to your rental dealer and that is to ask them about the type of stump grinder you need. Tell them the type of work you're trying to accomplish and ask them to recommend one within your budget.

Generally speaking, you will be looking at spending $125-$300 for a day rental, depending on the type of equipment.

Most of these rental companies lease out used or second hand stump grinder base on a daily rate. That's why if you only have 1-3 stumps to grind, then it's always best to hire professional people for the job because at the end of the day, you will be spending around the same amount of money, but doing the dirty work yourself. However, if you're planning to share the cost with your neighbours or friends, then it is well worth the rental fees.

However, before you approach your dealer...make sure you ask them the following questions:

1) Does the quote include delivery charge?
2) Does it come with a full tank and are you required to refill the gas once you're done?
3) Rental Period and time you need to return the equipment by?
4) Does it come with easy-to-read safety guide?
5) Does it come with easy-to-read user menu?
6) If the stump grinder is broken during operation, are you required to pay the full market price?
7) Are there any other hidden costs?
8) Are there any extra cost for weekend, public holiday rentals?

These are some of the questions and answers you should seek from your authorized dealer and always do some research to ensure you're getting a good machine for your money. Go for brands that are trusted like vermeer, If you still believe renting is a better option, then by all means go for it! However, because you will be running the machine yourself, please don't forget to read our safety tips to ensure you're reducing your risk of injury.


Let's face it, a stump grinder is a very powerful machine and often not required by home use. Therefore, buying one is not ideal for many home owners. However, if you're a business or a farmer who have big lands to maintain, then investing in one of these machines can prove cost effective in a long run.

This is when owners have to make a decicion on whether to purchase a brand new machine or a used one. You see a second hand stump grinder is always going to be cheaper and just like a car, their values are depreciated the moment they are on the road. However, a used stump grinder can incurr high maintainence cost if you're not careful from the start.

With all that taken into consideration, investing in one is still always going to be an advantage for businesses. This is also one of the reason why you will see many big corporations and even government bodies (like the councils) who are willing to spend the big bucks on such equipment because analysis have shown that if you have many trees to cut, stumps to grind and landscape to maintain, then it is indeed wise to purchase one. This is not to mention that you can get some tax cuts or benefits from doing so.

Before you head towards your nearest or cheapest dealer in town, make sure you have these in mind:

1) Is this the cheapest price i'm able to get?
2) Is this the best brand to buy?
3) Are you eligible for discounts if you purchase in bulk (not just the grinder itself, but parts and accessories as well)?
4) How many years warranty?
5) After sales service and customer support (How good are they)?
6) Delivery cost?
7) Is this the best model or version to buy?
8) Are you able to finance the grinder (Pay off monthly)?
9) Are you able to claim back from your tax?
10) Is this built by a reliable manufacturer?
11) Is it the right type (Suitable for your requirements)?

As you see, there are many questions you can ask the moment you come face to face with the salesman and don't feel bad asking too many questions, because no one will feel sorry for you once you've bought the product. If there's anything you don't understand or unsure, simply ask! Remember, it is their job to look after you can to help you answer all the queries you may have.

So, there you have it people....we sincerely hope this article have helped you decide what you want to do and which option to take with your stump grinding journey.

Tips Of The Day!
One of the best way to obtain cheap quote is by calling directly. However, voice conversations can sometimes lead to misunderstanding and wrong judgement, especially if the other person is good at closing off sale. If your stump removal company have email address, why not use it instead? This way, you will have something to refer to.

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Sometimes, the best way to work out your budget is by taking out your calculator and work it out one step at a time. It's amazing though how many people are not willing to do it and instead blame others for their own negligence. Always do your research thoroughly and work out the best deal using a calculator...that's all it takes!

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