1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Help With An Estimate

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by dozerman21, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    I posted this in the Commercial Landscaping forum, but it's probably better suited for here.

    I've got a job that's bigger than most that I do. Here's what I'm looking at:

    App. 84,500 SF (almost 2 acres) that needs the sod stripped off and carried app. 50 yards to stock pile.

    The lot is fairly level, however I do need to fill in some low spots and cut down some high spots that hold water, along with one corner that need a 5-6 loads of fill dirt to make the area level (no charge on hauling the dirt, just to grade it). Nothing real major, I'm figuring it will take around 6 hours to get it pretty level using a dozer.

    Harley Rake the entire area graded.

    I would also like to know how much seed and straw I would need, and what to charge for that, separate from the dirt work.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I realize you have dozer and may not have grader but I have had good luck on similiar jobs bring in a grader for a couple of hours putting it all into windrows then using a loader to move to pile (or use your dozer). The blade does such a nice job leveling its hard to beat with anything else. just my thoughts.
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I don't think you will be done in 6 hours. Without seeing what you have to do its hard to day what your best move to make.

    If I was doing a job like that I would use a excavator with a clean up bucket and a dump truck. If the property is level enough and a truck can run around it would be easy to scrape up the sod and dump it into the truck. Or if you don't have a excavator a rubber tired backhoe or a large enough skid steer.

    I can't see using a bulldozer doing a clean enough job.
  4. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    KSSS- You're right, a grader would be ideal, but I don't own one, and I woundn't come out good enough on the profit to rent one. I can do it with my dozer, it will just take longer.

    Gravel Rat- I'll be doing this job just with my dozer and CTL. The 6 hours is just for the time on the dozer. I can get it pretty slick with that, and then I plan to use a Harley Rake to finish the area.

    I'm new to the landscaping/finish grade side of this, that's why I'm not sure what to charge for the entire job. Any ideas?
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    What does the homeowner want done with the ground after you clear off the sod ?

    Do they want to plant sod agian or ?

    How big is your bulldozer if the people want to plant grass again or do any kind of gardening work I doubt your going to want a heavy machine packing the ground. If you can do the whole job with your CTL would be better less ground disturbance.

    As for charging I would plan on minimum 2 days if it takes less only charge them for less. I only do things by the hour because you always run into the unknowns I give the customer a high ball price and usually they say okay. You start on the job and you end up hitting a huge rock or your machine hits a sink hole :laugh: it takes time to work around it.

    Like I said I don't know how big your dozer is or how big your CTL is but I know for one thing in my area bulldozers on residential jobs disapeared in the late 60s early 70s. A excavator is used for pretty well 95% of the jobs a good operator with a clean up bucket can scrape that sod off quickly. You just keep raking the material back till you get it all scraped off then take a skid steer and back blade the ground.
  6. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    dozerman......we just did a 1/2 acre lot kinda like what you are doing. We striped and piled with a dozer and contoured a hillside and then I ran over it with a tractor with a grading bucket and roller. I would have prefered to have a skid with preparator, but that wasn't the case.....so I made do. I charged the guy $2,800. The dozer was in and out in less than four hours for the half acre. I spent the better part of the day fine tuning.The only catch I see to what you are bidding on is not the field work, but the edges. Does the work come up to the house, how to blend into adjoining properties....that is where the time can be chewed up if youre not careful....so check your edges.
    The dozer was $1200 for the 4 hrs and if you are good, you can really slick things up nice with the dozer.
  7. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    oh ya, forgot this.....as far as by the hour or bid.........bid that bad-boy. You'll never make any money by rental/by the hour. If you aren't comfortable, by the hour is guaranteed....don't forget transport fees. In my contracts, I have a cavaet for unforseen things like sink-holes, boulders, blasting, hitting a rubbish pile, and yada yada....that usually takes care of the unforseen's.
  8. Construct'O

    Construct'O LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Sw Iowa
    Posts: 1,387

    Dozerman ! Glad to see i'm not the only one that beleives in dozers getting the job done in this do it with a excavator world ????????

    If you got it i say use it!!!!!!! Rent is like pouring good money done a rat hole.Plus if like me dozer is paid for so use it.If not paid for you still need to be using it.Good luck.
  9. Construct'O

    Construct'O LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Sw Iowa
    Posts: 1,387

    O! By the way a 2 acres isn't like working in a backyard 50 ft by 100 ft.That a far size area to be working on.

    Just got a call from a guy that wants a 10 acre wetland built and i'm not planning on useing any stinking excavator unless just maybe???????????;)
  10. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    The only time we see a bulldozer is in a gravel pit up on a hillside pushing material the finess work is all left with excavators. Nowwadays in this area your hardpressed to find a good catskinner if you do find a good guy they are in their 70s :laugh:

    When we did one of the school fields a grader works good for keeping things flat the old 740 Champion with its 6/71 screaming.

    Does the home owner really want to strip off the whole 2 acres at once what happens if the weather changes and you get heavy rain etc.

Share This Page