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Fieldman12
11-10-2007, 11:43 AM
Got a call today about a someone needing some grading and top soil put down at a Duplex that had been for closed on by a bank. The new owners said they would take possession of the Duplex in a few weeks. Now Im going to take a look at the job tomorrow but wanted any idea what to charge. I did not want to be way to high but want to make it worth my while since it is a good hour from where I live. She said there is some clean up such as removing some tree limbs and some broken concrete. I assume she wants the concrete removed so I would have to hire someone with a dump truck to come get the concrete. She said it's about a guarter acre lot and the duplex sets on it. She told me the lot is pretty flat and that it was growed up to about waist high. I informed her all the vegetation would have to be removed before I could do a descent job. Now it's getting late in the year and it could snow or start raining every day at any time so this is one worry for me. I would assume that since it was built not long ago there is probably nails laying around here and there. Would I be too high if I asked $3,000.00 to clean it up? As for the top soil not sure what the price is on it right now and if she wants it put down now or spring. From what I got from here it just sounded like she just wanted to half way smooth it up and do the rest in the spring. Since this job would be split into two parts because of weather I was just wanting to give her a bid on what I would do this fall. The rest may be done by me or someone else in the spring. She also mentioned that her husband could help. I quickly informed her I had a helper (dad) that goes out with me on jobs. I assume she was trying to save some money by that comment. I was thinking a harley rake may make this job allot easier provided that I get the weeds/grass short enough it does not wrap up in the machine. It is too late to try to kill it off wit RoundUp. I could use Gramoxine but that would not be a good idea in the city.

AWJ Services
11-10-2007, 03:27 PM
Here you would not be able too leave the lot in bare dirt for long.
I would bushog the lot and clean the debris up until the spring.
We use dumpsters here instead of Dumptrucks.

Dirt Digger2
11-10-2007, 03:39 PM
agree...get a dumpster because if you hire a dumptruck you are paying all their time plus dump fees...a dumpster you are paying pretty much just for dump fees...we leave bare dirt all the time when we do winter work but we usually cover it with straw until the seed guys come in the spring

Fieldman12
11-10-2007, 05:02 PM
How much does a dumpster usually cost and how long do they usually leave it before they charge you for it another time. I know price varies.

Scag48
11-10-2007, 05:12 PM
X3 on the dumpster. They charge for disposal and a small drop off/pickup fee.

AWJ Services
11-10-2007, 05:23 PM
Here a 20 yard is 300, 30 yard 350 and they will leave them 2 weeks usually.
If there is not much concrete I haul it to my house and or the dump myself.
Same with the limbs and other debris.
Also the good thing about the dubpster is you can take the skid and basically clan the whole lot too bare ground and dump as you go rather than stockpile it first then dump later.

Fieldman12
11-10-2007, 06:11 PM
I had thought about getting a dumpster but thought it may be quicker with a dump truck if there was not too much to haul off. I have considered using my trailer to haul all concrete and so on away with. So they have no problems about me loading big pieces of concrete in a dumpster? Does the 300 or 350 price allow for pickup and disposal fee? I was thinking about allowing $1,000 dollars for the dumpster,fuel, and hopefully enough to rent a harley rake. That would not include my help fee. Thats kinda where I came up with the $3,000 dollar price.

AWJ Services
11-10-2007, 06:18 PM
So they have no problems about me loading big pieces of concrete in a dumpster?

Here they don't but each state has different disposal laws.
Check with a dumpster company first.

Fieldman12
11-11-2007, 07:32 PM
Well, I went and looked at the job today. I did a bunch of research the other day on the auditors site. I saw the layout of the lot and the dimensions. I also zoomed down on it from Satellite (google earth) and could see the low area in the back yard where it was designed to flow into a covert and away from the duplex in the subdvision. The lot was suppose to be 14,500 square feet but it did not look near that big in person. The duplex was around 2,600 square feet. The yard really did not have hardly any trash to pick up. What it did have was all the side walks and both concrete driveways put in to work around. Both the front right and left yard was both a good 1' higher than the concrete driveways. This obviously would have had to be hauled away in a dump truck and new top soil put on top. The dirt that was there was covered with vegitation, some big rocks, concrete, and a bunch of pea gravel. Between the two driveways was an area about 4' wide and the length of the drive that was a good foot taller that would have needed to be taken down by hand. I probably would have had to till it up with a tiller and then scoop it up into a wheel barrow. I really did not want to drive the skid steer on the new concrete and risk breaking or cracking it. I decided to turn the job down because it is just to late in the year, days are short, and it is going to be until the 19th before they will take possession of the land and lack of help. Another thing was the lot was only about 50' wide. Only way I could haul the dirt to the truck was to drive on the driveway or remove both mail boxes on each side of the driveways and load out on the road. Biggest reason Im turning it down was no room, to work and all the concrete. I have not yet purchased any type of excavating insurance for my skid steer. I do feel I could have done the job well but for now between no insurance and short on time i think it would be best to pass.

RockSet N' Grade
11-11-2007, 09:45 PM
Everytime I do not listen to that little birdie in the back of my head that says "RUN!" on a job like that, I get spanked. Then I think, sheesh, why didn't I listen to myself? Sometimes ya just got to say No. And good for you for not doing it without insurance........that is when you are really set up to take a punch to the jaw.

Fieldman12
11-11-2007, 10:04 PM
You know I just got of the phone about three hours ago with the lady that wanted the job done. I told her honestly that she needed a crew a little bigger than I had that had a dump truck. Now I know some guys that could have hauled for me but getting them there when I was there could have been the trick. Anyway I explained the whole entire jobsite she had the things that I could see that needed to be done and things that was needed. I then told her this is just a figure of my head but I'm guessing the job you have is in the $3,000 to $4,000 dollar range. As soon as I said that she spoke up and said she has someone out already that quoted her a price for $3,000.00.. She said I was very informative and thanked me for being honest. I told her I did not want to drive on the new concrete for fear of possible cracking or breaking it. She seemed to really like that and told me she hopped that I would not drive on it. Anyway I thanked her and told her if she had anything else to let me know. She said I was very helpful, honest, and thanked me. Anyway not trying to burn and bridges and trying to be honest.

Dirt Digger2
11-11-2007, 10:32 PM
thats good...some you win, some you lose. You're better off never driving on concrete anyway...i cracked a new sidewalk this summer in a backhoe:hammerhead: and i would rather not do it again

tell you what though, the best way to get accounts is by word of mouth...a local ""new guy" to the dirt scene called me up this summer to do a little rough grading around a house pad he was digging because he doesn't have any dozer experience. He rented the machine from us and got my number after i somehow ended up drinking a few beers with him one night...anyway it only took me an hour...i told him he could buy me lunch one day and we would call it even because it will all come back to me in the long run...honesty goes a long way, you'll get a call from her again

Construct'O
11-11-2007, 10:37 PM
Just so you know there is a difference in job bid and estimate.Don't get caught between the two.When they ask for a bid thats what you give them.That means what your willing to take for the work rendered period.Unless there is a change in the work order.

Estimate is just that your best guess of what it takes to do the job,and it might be higher or lower depending on how things goes.

So make sure the customer understand the difference right off the bat! I have got caught with this problem before,so something that you need to get settle before you start.Customer sometimes has short,or memory laps ,so better get it in write to be on the safe side.

When they ask for estimate or about how much,i usualy tell them this is my guesstimate!!!!:) Which is pretty close most of the time.But with the increase of material going up, and fuel and everything else it is hard to keep on top of things.

Good luck.:usflag:

Scag48
11-12-2007, 02:00 AM
Construct'O makes a good point, big difference between an estimate and a bid. If you give a bid, be prepared to work for that when they decide. Here's the kicker, always put a deadline on the bid, or a "invalid after certain date" on the bid. The conditions of the job, especially for cleanup jobs, can change over periods of time and you shouldn't be held to the price 6 months after originally looking at the project.

Fieldman12
11-12-2007, 05:31 PM
I had another lady call the other day. She had two jobs for me at two different location. One was pulling shrubs out and the other was grading work. Problem was one job was an hour and twenty minutes away and the other an hour and fourty five minutes away. So far just been advertising on the internet and I have been putting a website together. I will put a sign probably out at the road next year and some of our other farms. For now as late in the year it is Im not too worried about getting work. More worried about getting everything in order. Now if I was starving I would have went to look at those jobs.

Fieldman12
11-12-2007, 05:32 PM
Now if a good job that is close comes up I am on it. :)

RockSet N' Grade
11-12-2007, 08:51 PM
Fieldman, if it was me, I would be all over them. A call is a call........Just figure in windshield time at rate. We just got done with a job an hour plus away.......guy couldn't get anyone to even bid it, let alone show up to do it........we did it and come to find out, he is building high end homes and we may have just landed another contractor.........you never know.......

Fieldman12
11-12-2007, 09:00 PM
Now that where talking a hour plus away. Do most of you guys ask if they already have had bids? Don't get me wrong I dont mind driving and I realize that is part of it but how many of these far away jobs do most of you guys get? Another thing diesel is $3.60 a gallon here. I figure yesterday alone not counting my time and dads cost me a good $15.00 bucks. Could not make too many of those trips without jobs and be able to afford it. I figure close buy I can cut better rates and deals but farther away cost me time, fuel and so on. What Im getting at is I dont think I could compete with someone much closer in price when fuel and time is involved. Yes, if they have had no one else look at it and they did not try then I get the job hopefully.

Dirt Digger2
11-12-2007, 09:09 PM
we do jobs an hour, hour and a half, etc... now...you almost have to if you want to make any money in todays economy. We have different rates, like if just two guys in a pickup truck, a truck pulling equipment, big dump truck, tractor trailer, etc...its usually an hourly fee, not per mile

Construct'O
11-12-2007, 10:57 PM
Now that where talking a hour plus away. Do most of you guys ask if they already have had bids? Don't get me wrong I dont mind driving and I realize that is part of it but how many of these far away jobs do most of you guys get? Another thing diesel is $3.60 a gallon here. I figure yesterday alone not counting my time and dads cost me a good $15.00 bucks. Could not make too many of those trips without jobs and be able to afford it. I figure close buy I can cut better rates and deals but farther away cost me time, fuel and so on. What Im getting at is I dont think I could compete with someone much closer in price when fuel and time is involved. Yes, if they have had no one else look at it and they did not try then I get the job hopefully.

One of the reason you might be getting far off calls are because the way you are advertising.( I think you said something about website didn't you???)

If your using a website and yellow pages you will be getting people that is farther away ,then if your using local paper ads,flyers posted in your local place.Word of mouth.

I quit using the yellow papers because of this reason and wanting to just work local,but if you need the work then the other ways are needed.

For me no work is over a half hour from where i live.Almost every customer is repeat customer that i have been working for over the spane of my business since it was started.

New customers are usually from older customers that refer me to the new customers.Lots of my older customers farm more ground and get new farms to farm that needs work,so they give the new land owners my name and i usually get the job.Especially if they like the person doing there farming.

The boom for me is now with the high prices for grains and lands prices high.They want to get every inch of farmable ground in prduction now.

Farmers for the higher grain prices and the land investers who are asking and wanting the higher cash rent.

I know the house thing has been good ,but gone south now,but it has been that way for me also and not long ago.The wheel just keeps turning.What goes around ,comes around.:usflag:

Construct'O
11-12-2007, 11:07 PM
Another area is business cards.Check with your local real estate people for local work!

I work with one major realitor that furnishs me big jobs and trys to work with me on off times of work to scheudle his work when things are slow.

I return when he gets in a picth and needs something done right now i work in it,so thats what it takes.I scratch their back and they scratch mine!

He is a great guy to work for and with.Worked over a month on just his farms alone this summer.

Hope this helps.:usflag:

YellowDogSVC
11-12-2007, 11:10 PM
agree...get a dumpster because if you hire a dumptruck you are paying all their time plus dump fees...a dumpster you are paying pretty much just for dump fees...we leave bare dirt all the time when we do winter work but we usually cover it with straw until the seed guys come in the spring

yes and the dump truck may have trouble dumping large limbs which may get hung up.

Other than not knowing how much dirt is called for, you could probably clean this job up in a day and fill a 30yd dumpster and really make it look like you did a lot unless, of course, it's a whole parking lot worth of concrete or many trees worth of limbs but it sounds like a small job if it sits on a 1/4AC. Other than the dirt part, I think 1500 labor for the clean up plus dumpster would be safe bid but I haven't seen it.. :)

YellowDogSVC
11-12-2007, 11:13 PM
Construct'O makes a good point, big difference between an estimate and a bid. If you give a bid, be prepared to work for that when they decide. Here's the kicker, always put a deadline on the bid, or a "invalid after certain date" on the bid. The conditions of the job, especially for cleanup jobs, can change over periods of time and you shouldn't be held to the price 6 months after originally looking at the project.

and take pictures of the condition you bid on

Fieldman12
11-13-2007, 09:46 PM
Actually i took my camera with me that day but decided against the pics at the last minute.

YellowDogSVC
11-13-2007, 11:01 PM
Well, I went and looked at the job today. I did a bunch of research the other day on the auditors site. I saw the layout of the lot and the dimensions. I also zoomed down on it from Satellite (google earth) and could see the low area in the back yard where it was designed to flow into a covert and away from the duplex in the subdvision. The lot was suppose to be 14,500 square feet but it did not look near that big in person. The duplex was around 2,600 square feet. The yard really did not have hardly any trash to pick up. What it did have was all the side walks and both concrete driveways put in to work around. Both the front right and left yard was both a good 1' higher than the concrete driveways. This obviously would have had to be hauled away in a dump truck and new top soil put on top. The dirt that was there was covered with vegitation, some big rocks, concrete, and a bunch of pea gravel. Between the two driveways was an area about 4' wide and the length of the drive that was a good foot taller that would have needed to be taken down by hand. I probably would have had to till it up with a tiller and then scoop it up into a wheel barrow. I really did not want to drive the skid steer on the new concrete and risk breaking or cracking it. I decided to turn the job down because it is just to late in the year, days are short, and it is going to be until the 19th before they will take possession of the land and lack of help. Another thing was the lot was only about 50' wide. Only way I could haul the dirt to the truck was to drive on the driveway or remove both mail boxes on each side of the driveways and load out on the road. Biggest reason Im turning it down was no room, to work and all the concrete. I have not yet purchased any type of excavating insurance for my skid steer. I do feel I could have done the job well but for now between no insurance and short on time i think it would be best to pass.

geez, i totally missed this post. Disregard my other posts!