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qcontrol23
07-10-2008, 04:29 PM
I have a client who wants me to install a 3-4' high and 125' long berm in their back yard. I have never had a berm project and need guidance on how many man hours this will take and if anyone has any pointers on things i might not know about this project.

JohnnyRoyale
07-10-2008, 04:32 PM
What are you using to construct the berm?

qcontrol23
07-10-2008, 04:35 PM
Mostly dirt but mulch over the top

JohnnyRoyale
07-10-2008, 04:53 PM
I dont mean to sound sarcastic, but Noooooooooo REALLLLLLY?!?!? :hammerhead:Dirt? :hammerhead:

What i was referring to was;
How was the dirt going to get there? and while we're at it,
What are you using to shape the berm?
Whats the purpose of the berm?
Do you have any idea how much dirt your going to need?
Where is this new berm in relation to where the dirt is being dropped off?

qcontrol23
07-10-2008, 05:13 PM
It will get there by dump truck. I will shape it with a bobcat, its purpose is for looks and to knock down noise. Im trying to figure out how much dirt i need? THe dirt will be dropped off 75 yards from where the berm will be.

AintNoFun
07-10-2008, 05:51 PM
just a heads up make sure its not in anyone right away (town, county, utilities, etc)

another suggestion, i was on a job one time where they built a HUGE berm like 30' tall, they used "overs" as the bulk of it then added about a foot of topsoil, which was then seeded.. and by overs i mean the stuff that comes out of the other end of a screener when someones making/screening topsoil.. im sure whereever you get your topsoil from they would be happy to deliver it for free.....

Lawnworks
07-10-2008, 06:45 PM
If you are good w/ a bobcat and can get that many loads delivered in one day... it should only one day. I don't what it comes to in yards, but I would imagine 10-15 tandem loads. They have calculators for dirt/mulch on the internet and you can calculate how many yards you will need and find out how many yards you get in the tandem.

Isobel
07-10-2008, 08:56 PM
out of curiosity, what's going to keep the dirt in place when it starts raining buckets?

qcontrol23
07-11-2008, 12:43 AM
Im not exactly sure...it should stay in place, right? What should i do to keep it in place? How should i bid the labor portion of this job?

JohnnyRoyale
07-11-2008, 05:48 PM
I'd imagine you'd need approx 100 cu yds (5 triaxle loads). Your bobcat skills would be put to the test here. As for the erosion, you could have a blower truck spray the area with a seed/soil mix engineered for erosion control applications. What to charge? Probably would need a survey guy/labourer to make sure your on grade and within your layout and a bobcat with operator for the day. Total job would be worth whatever your rates would be, plus cost of seeding + markup, plus cost of soil (which should be free)-but homeowner does'nt have to know that. Good luck.

treegal1
07-11-2008, 10:02 PM
plant native plants to control erosion, and use lots of course mulch

qcontrol23
07-13-2008, 05:26 PM
How do you figure the soil would be free? You think i should hire a bobcat operator to run it for me? If i dont get a survey guy/labourer to make sure im on grade and within my layout what could happen? I can look at the property and tell where the water drains, right? As for "layout" you just mean the property lines, right?

JohnnyRoyale
07-14-2008, 06:42 AM
How do you figure the soil would be free? You think i should hire a bobcat operator to run it for me? If i dont get a survey guy/labourer to make sure im on grade and within my layout what could happen? I can look at the property and tell where the water drains, right? As for "layout" you just mean the property lines, right?

Around here, anyone doing bulk excavation will bring you soil for free if its on route to whatever dump they're hauling it too, if it will save them time and $$.

I dont know your abilities on a bobcat, but one who knows what their doing should have no problem with this job and get er done as fast as the soil is being dropped off. Now, if you feel like learning and losing some money through the process and your an entry level operator-good luck, and play safe.

If you think you dont need to stake out the area, and check grades for sloping and berm height because your quite confident in your abilities, then dont bother, but you're going to whish you did. Otherwise, rent a laser and check out your grades as you go-trust me. The laser doesnt lie and our eyes play funny tricks sometimes. We grade something daily and use them religiously.

Not knowing existing grades can throw your material calculations off. Not laying the project out could do the same, and the end result could be a bent, non uniform berm.

Eakern & Dog
07-14-2008, 08:37 AM
http://http://www.pcmg-texas.org/building_soil_berms.pdf

Here is a link with info. There is a berm calculator somewhere in the interenet but I can't seem to find it any more.

Isobel
07-14-2008, 09:58 AM
it should stay in place, right? What should i do to keep it in place? How should i bid the labor portion of this job?

Not necessarily. Once it starts coming down that rain will start forming rills, and small gullies in the soil. Mulch will help a bit, but longterm you'll need to plant it. The roots of the living material will help hold the berm in place.

qcontrol23
07-14-2008, 07:43 PM
Thanks for the help Johnny...can i pick you brain alittle more? If the customer says they know where the property line is and i end up building the berm outside the line wouldnt that be their problem?? Cant i put that in the contract or something?? I will get a laser to check for berm height but for slope cant i just eye it til it looks presentable?? The berm is one what seems to be flat ground. Anything else i should put in the contract would be a big help?? Thanks

JohnnyRoyale
07-15-2008, 06:36 AM
At the end of the day, its your job and you can do it however you want. I gave you some recommedations, and whether you do or dont feel the need to follow them is up to you.

You could just eye it to look presentable, you could proabably do it without a layout, you could probably assume the ground is flat. I dont like to leave all that for interpratation, and choose to do things a certain way. Now, I own everything I mentioned, so the hassles and cost of renting everything while scratching my head trying to figure out where i went wrong are none. I guess it all depends on how picky the client is. If you feel doing it my way is overkill, then do it as easily and most cost effective you find fit.