PDA

View Full Version : spreading top soil


deanslawnservice09
04-03-2011, 08:08 PM
I have a customer who, after his spring clean-up wants 4 areas of his yard top-soiled because the roots of some trees are coming through. I gave him an estimate of about 30 yards of top soil he would need to cover roots and give him a nice layer as needed. Anyone ever spread 30 yards before, if so how much did you charge, and is it worth is to rent a bobcat for about $300 dollars? In other words, about how long would it take with a bobcat and without?

Leo the Landscaper
04-03-2011, 08:21 PM
Get a quote on having it blown in. Then sub it out.

Mudly
04-03-2011, 08:25 PM
I have a customer who, after his spring clean-up wants 4 areas of his yard top-soiled because the roots of some trees are coming through. I gave him an estimate of about 30 yards of top soil he would need to cover roots and give him a nice layer as needed. Anyone ever spread 30 yards before, if so how much did you charge, and is it worth is to rent a bobcat for about $300 dollars? In other words, about how long would it take with a bobcat and without?

you need to consider the trees. you will kill them if you cover the roots. they come up for a reason. they are called air roots this tells me there is a drainage problem in the area. maybe a lot of moss. you need to let the customer know this before you bid. fix the drainage problem then your may cover the roots.

capetrees
04-03-2011, 08:54 PM
I'm going to guess the trees are Norway Maples, notorious for keeping their roots at the surface. You can cover them today but next year and every year after, the roots will continuw to come up.

30 Yards of topsoil is around 2 10 wheel truck loads. My brother, a cheapskate, decided one day to install his lawn and had 30 yards dropped in the yard. Two days later, he was done shoveling and was near death. $300 for the day? Line up a couple jobs. With a Bobcat, you'll have the topsoil spread in about 1 hour and it's well worth it. Then take the machine to another job and make more $$$ there. For a cheaper price, see if you can get the half day rate if they have one. You'll have it spread in no time.

Travel'n Trees
04-04-2011, 12:35 AM
do you guys know what causes this they are large trees and the canopy deflects the water from the trees. You can probably stand under the tree during a light storm and stay some what dry and during dry months nobody waters them and they start looking for water. You can put thirty yards of pulverized by wheel barrel in what 6 hours top and you could go very thin and then a little touch up later
Posted via Mobile Device

Smallaxe
04-04-2011, 09:10 AM
I go along with the idea of a lighter coat of dirt and that 30 yds is way to much... do the actual math yourself with just bringing the soil to the top of the roots +1' for settling...
Bobcats around exposed tree roots and turf is just so irritating...

Get Some...
04-04-2011, 09:41 AM
First: I would use a small tracked loader, not a wheeled bobcat. Takauchi 130 is a good size.

Second: No need to waste $ on pulverived dirt if you have a machine to spread it.
Regular black dirt with clod's will do just fine.

Third: Generally I figure about 1.5 ton's of dirt for a yard.
30 yard's=45 ton's...........3 ten wheeled dump truck's hauling at legal load of 15 ton's per truck load.
Should cover about 3000 square feet at 3" deep.
I yard = 1.5 ton's = 100 square foot at 3".
Dirt weight can vary due to moisture content.........
Some say a yard = a ton, but I have alway's come up short by 1/3 using that formula....
It alway's look's like alot in a pile, then as you spread it you start to wonder where it all went.

Good luck.

starry night
04-04-2011, 09:57 AM
I disagree with trying to cover up the roots and I also disagree with the calculations at 3". Good luck trying to spread that much soil over that size area at exactly 3" .

Get Some...
04-04-2011, 10:06 AM
I disagree with trying to cover up the roots and I also disagree with the calculations at 3". Good luck trying to spread that much soil over that size area at exactly 3" .


A good loader operater can maintain a fairly consistent depth.
How do you calculate it?
I am alway's willing to learn something new. :)

starry night
04-04-2011, 10:29 AM
A good loader operater can maintain a fairly consistent depth.
How do you calculate it?
I am alway's willing to learn something new. :)

Sorry, I didn't use accurate wording. I didn't disagree with the method for calculation. I just meant I would figure some overage because it's impossible to spread at an absolute depth.

deanslawnservice09
04-04-2011, 02:37 PM
I appreciate all the responses, but I was more looking for a way to price out 30 yards. I get a yard of top quality top soil for somewhere in between 15-20 bucks a yard. I know he needs about 30 yards. Approximately 5,000 sq. feet at "about" 2 inches deep. I would have to go back to find out what kind of trees I am covering the roots of, but I would guess they are a few maples and maybe pine roots as well. The drainage is fine, his whole property has a slope to it, which is probably why the roots are starting to expose. I know it would take a lot longer without a bobcat, but it also wont rip up his current grass? About how long to spread 30 yards with lets say, 3 guys working?

Smallaxe
04-05-2011, 10:45 AM
Your not going to cover 5000 sq ft with a bobcat at 2" depth without turning it into a construction zone that look like...

Order 10-15 yards at a time and expect to sweat out a 'GOOD' job... Wheel borrows and rakes... :)

blowerman
04-05-2011, 01:39 PM
I'd blow the soil in. Sub it out. Everyone should know it's a big "no no" to drive all over the roots with a Bobcat.

deanslawnservice09
04-05-2011, 02:23 PM
Yeah I would rather not sub it out or use the bobcat. I want my business to make the money, that's why im in business. The amount of profit with a bobcat will be less and most of you who said it would turn it into a construction zone are right. Wheel barrows and rakes are the way I am going to choose. Now maybe I should just charge the guy 50 bucks a yard delivered and installed? 50 x 30 = $1,500? That would be about 30 profit per yard? Or maybe I should charge $55 or $60. I do want to be fair with the guy as well, as he is a return customer. Any thoughts on if that pricing sounds right?

ron mexico75
04-05-2011, 02:37 PM
Man I'm not positive, but if you want a ballpark figure I'd guess it would take 10-11 hours for 3 guys to spread 30 yards. You know you're gonna take a few brakes and after dumping many loads you have to get a grading rake and spread it. I could be off but that might be pretty close.

deanslawnservice09
04-05-2011, 03:59 PM
Thanks Ron, that does seem about right for my price... maybe i'll add another 100 bucks to be safe. 100 bucks an hour for 3 guys. soil being somewhere between 450-600 bucks. Then I'll talk to him about seeding :dizzy:

betmr
04-06-2011, 12:22 PM
One thing I'm confused about. You are going to put down 3 inches of soil. And you are worried about tearing up what's underneath with a loader, Why? Do you think the old grass is going to grow up through 3 inches of new soil? I don't think so. You are going to be starting all over. After spreading, and grading, will be: New seed, Starter fertilizer, some type of mulching, and regular watering, until it all takes off.

Does your customer realize that? And is all THAT work covered in your estimate? That's my opinion after thinking this through. Why not save some money, and just top dress around the roots? Besides, a job of the type you describe, is much better left to early fall, to do in your area.

grassman88
04-06-2011, 05:03 PM
One thing I'm confused about. You are going to put down 3 inches of soil. And you are worried about tearing up what's underneath with a loader, Why? Do you think the old grass is going to grow up through 3 inches of new soil? I don't think so. You are going to be starting all over. After spreading, and grading, will be: New seed, Starter fertilizer, some type of mulching, and regular watering, until it all takes off.

Does your customer realize that? And is all THAT work covered in your estimate? That's my opinion after thinking this through. Why not save some money, and just top dress around the roots? Besides, a job of the type you describe, is much better left to early fall, to do in your area.

so true lol just make one path back with the bobcat and just fix the ruts after you could do that job in half a day and still have time to start another job. also early fall is the best time to seed around here if theres no irragation and the seed dosnt get the water it needs or the new grass it will burn up in the summer. but then again if you waited he could find someone else to do it now or someone cheaper for in the fall what i have done in the past is wright up a care sheet for the homeowner that tells them how to water it and so on

deanslawnservice09
04-06-2011, 10:05 PM
first off I never said it was 3 inches, that was said by someone else. it might average out to about 2 inches, near the highest roots probably 3 inches, tapering off as needed. It is only isolated spots in the guys yard. So a bobcat isn't out of the question, but it would make more work for myself while making a smaller profit. This is a very high end area, and the guys irrigation will do the watering once everything is all said and done. the $1500 is just for the 30 yards of top soil being spread, that isn't the final estimate. Parts of this guys lawn are already immaculate, he just wants to touch up the areas that wore away over the years, and cover some roots that made they're way to the surface most likely due to being on or near a hill where the water washed away the soil exposing the roots.

betmr
04-07-2011, 08:34 AM
first off I never said it was 3 inches, that was said by someone else. it might average out to about 2 inches, near the highest roots probably 3 inches, tapering off as needed. It is only isolated spots in the guys yard. So a bobcat isn't out of the question, but it would make more work for myself while making a smaller profit. This is a very high end area, and the guys irrigation will do the watering once everything is all said and done. the $1500 is just for the 30 yards of top soil being spread, that isn't the final estimate. Parts of this guys lawn are already immaculate, he just wants to touch up the areas that wore away over the years, and cover some roots that made they're way to the surface most likely due to being on or near a hill where the water washed away the soil exposing the roots.

So far it seems that you don't understand that there are many types of trees, that produce surface roots. It is generally not the water, nor erosion. It's the tree itself.

Smallaxe
04-07-2011, 09:10 AM
With irrigation system in place, and mostly a nice lawn remains, definately keep a bobcat out of there.
I did 10 yds one time with a wheel borrow around to the front of the house. It was hot and I quit after about 4 hours, finished it up the next day in about 2 or 3 more. That included raking it out and seeding it down...

mslawn
04-09-2011, 10:34 PM
Dirt or mulch over long distances, I use my boxer to load it in the back of my Polaris Ranger with turf tires. Narrow gates I just use the boxer, just slower than using the ranger for the hauling. Wheelbarrows belong in the dump.

Smallaxe
04-10-2011, 11:01 AM
Dirt or mulch over long distances, I use my boxer to load it in the back of my Polaris Ranger with turf tires. Narrow gates I just use the boxer, just slower than using the ranger for the hauling. Wheelbarrows belong in the dump.

:laugh: I saw a guy on one of those contruction/gardening shows, rolling 2 miles an hour across the lawn, on a slight slope carrying 2 teaspoons of fill 100' around behind a house... It made me think of Benny Hill and how they should've had wheelbarrows whizzing back and forth around his stupid machine all the while he's crawling along... :laugh:

knox gsl
04-10-2011, 11:19 AM
I did a similar project last fall. 10 yards of soil dumped where I needed it and 5 hours to spread it out to grade.
Posted via Mobile Device

mslawn
04-12-2011, 12:49 AM
:laugh: I saw a guy on one of those contruction/gardening shows, rolling 2 miles an hour across the lawn, on a slight slope carrying 2 teaspoons of fill 100' around behind a house... It made me think of Benny Hill and how they should've had wheelbarrows whizzing back and forth around his stupid machine all the while he's crawling along... :laugh:
In 110 degree heat index, I'll chose the Mini-skid always. Wheelbarrows look good whizzing to the landfill to be smashed by the Dozer that packs the trash. Work smarter, not harder.

Smallaxe
04-12-2011, 07:57 AM
In 110 degree heat index, I'll chose the Mini-skid always. Wheelbarrows look good whizzing to the landfill to be smashed by the Dozer that packs the trash. Work smarter, not harder.

Can't fault you there, because I spent a lot of time on light duty last summer, due to the heat and humidity... But show I referred to was on a pleasant fall day near Boston or whatever, and it dd look pathetic... Like Laurel and Hardy carrying a shovel full of sand to their wheel barrow 20 ' away... :)

The main problem I have with dozers it that they are unnecessarily used to grade a lawn the same way we grade dirt roads. A heavy clay loam is added to every renovation by everybody and the make it into a pottery finish and grow thatch lawn over the top of it, becuz water doesn't perculate at all...