View Full Version : Any other way than the hard way?

Green Gopher
02-17-2004, 02:45 PM
I looked at a bid this weekend that I thought was going to be a fairly simple job.

The client has a 35 x 75ft sloped yard that he wants leveled, or at the very least the slope decreased. He wants soil moved from the high side to the low side and then extra fill brought in. Once that's completed he wants the lawn installed.

Now for the hard part! All the soil has to be moved by hand, and any soil brought in has to be moved by hand, or blown in from the street 250ft away. At it's lowest point the yard must be raised 4' 6" for the regrade. There is no way to bring in any equipment larger than wheelbarrows, and I will have to remove two small gates just to fit them into the backyard.

To say the least the cost and man hours will be high, much higher than I think this guy will pay. Leaving the slope is not an option for this client. Is there any easier way to move all that soil that would cut labor cost? Have any of you done similar jobs to this one?

02-17-2004, 03:22 PM
use a dingo and a power buggy to move the dirt

02-17-2004, 03:42 PM
what dusty said

02-17-2004, 05:54 PM
Yes, I have done jobs similar to this and like any other bid, you have to take into consideration the difficulty to access the job site. The customer should realize that the labor rate will be high due to the lack of access to his yard.
Definitely rent a Dingo and bid it so the customer pays for the rental and you make a good profit. Good luck.

Green Gopher
02-17-2004, 06:06 PM
I'll have to check the rental shop, but I thought a Dingo was about 3' wide. The only access without steps is only as wide a wheelbarrow(after I remove the gates).

02-17-2004, 07:20 PM
Take a section of fence out if possible????

hole in one lco
02-17-2004, 07:27 PM
Do you have any access from a neighbors yard.

Green Gopher
02-17-2004, 07:27 PM

I wish I could, High rock wall on the left and house on the right. The gates go between to keep a dog in. A true rock & hard-place job. I explained to the client the bid will be high. I just don't think he has any idea how expensive labor is. He had already received one bid and said "It was way to high and would take six weeks to complete". My bid will be the same way.

Green Gopher
02-17-2004, 07:32 PM
No other possible access. North property has a 15' rock wall, south has house then decking, East 400' straight down view cliff, west of course is the path I stated before. This place is on an island and the homes are as close together as they could make them. Plus the strong elevation change required all the walls between properties.

02-17-2004, 07:47 PM
I'm not sure how wide our mt50 bobcat is but do a search on this forum and I posted the specs once before. 32" rings a bell. We did a large job last summer that we built ramps over the steps for the machine to go up and down(very steep). A back and time saver for sure..... Otherwise price it accordingly...jobs like that can sink you in a hurry and you'll be cursing yourself for ever taking it.

02-17-2004, 07:56 PM
hm why not crane in a bobcat or dingo over the wall aint gonna be that much for an hours rental on a crane include it in the quote

02-17-2004, 08:07 PM
Highpoint....I like the way your thinking "outside of the box". It's an option worth looking at but it doesn't help bring materials in. Plus keep in mind that cranes have minimim charges...usually 3-4 hours. ..... Again.... it's good to think of any option possible.

02-17-2004, 09:10 PM
What type of retaining wall is at the end being raised?

D Felix
02-17-2004, 10:19 PM
Another option: Build a soil ramp on both sides of the rock wall for the Dingo/MT50 to cross the wall with. Line the sides of the wall with fabric or a tarp to make the clean-up easier, and build a platform of some sort over the top of the wall to take the load off of the wall when the machine passes over.

If you can lift a Dingo/MT50 over the wall, use a regular skidsteer to dump buckets of soil over the wall and use the Dingo/MT50 to transfer the soil from there.

Do you have any pics of the site? I can visualize it the way you describe it, but there are things you might be overlooking that a picture wouldn't....


02-17-2004, 11:32 PM
this might work
get a conveyor like the 1s they put rock on flat roof with
with i or more u can put the dirt wher ever u want it they r cheep to rent :blob3:

02-18-2004, 08:05 AM
Originally posted by kris
Highpoint....I like the way your thinking "outside of the box". It's an option worth looking at but it doesn't help bring materials in. Plus keep in mind that cranes have minimim charges...usually 3-4 hours. ..... Again.... it's good to think of any option possible.
I was thinking about that option, too, but you would need the crane there at the end of the day to get the machine out, too.
This is gonna be an expensive job no matter what.

Green Gopher
02-18-2004, 12:28 PM
Thank you for all the help.

I think the crane is a great idea. If they can work on a slope. The ramp idea down the steps may work also, but might take a bit of skill to build. The side walk on the south side has multiple steps and is 2' wide with another three feet of downward slope outside of that. Also I would have the eve of the roof to deal with there, but there may be a way to build a ramp. I took a few pictures of the site, but those are of the work to be done. I'll post them tonight. Maybe looking in the background of the shot will give someone an idea. I really wish I could take a section of rail off the deck next door and drive a skid steer across. My luck the deck was built by Joe fix it' and would collapse under me.

This place had a great landscape at one time. It has been left unattended for a few years. Someone put a lot of time in to plants and design, but this new owner want grass, one level, and low to no maintenance. It is kind of a shame.

Thank you again,

02-18-2004, 06:51 PM
You said the house is on an island. Is it inland or on the water? If it is on the water, any chance of renting a barge type boat and loading as much material on that along with the loader (dingo whatever) and then docking the boat? Just another idea.

D Felix
02-18-2004, 11:46 PM
If you want to look into a crane, get in touch with Roger (rbtree) over on Arboristsite. He's in Seattle, which isn't too terribly far from you... He ought to be able to tell you what a crane will run in your area, may even be able to reccomend one... I'm pretty sure he's done tree removals with cranes before.