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Help with estimating big dirt job

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Surferbum21, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. Surferbum21

    Surferbum21 LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW OKC
    Posts: 392

    Have a customer taking out an above ground pool and wants the hole filled in. Measures 2 foot deep and 28 feet in diameter. The place I order the topsoil from says it will take 46 yards to fill this in. Truck loads are 16 yards @ $281. So looking at 3 truckloads totaling $847 just for the top soil. Bobcat rental is $75/3 hours and $150 all day. Would I be able to move all this dirt in one day or should I do 3 seperate days at the 3 hour rate and move 3 different truck loads? Also, how much should I even charge for my labor on something like this? I have no idea how long it will take. Or is there a basic rate most of you guys charge for moving each yard? Thanks.
  2. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    We'll need a little more info before giving you any kind of idea. How far are you moving the dirt? If it's in the back yard what do you have to drive around to get to the pool site? How much damage are you going to cause driving over the existing grass with 46 yards of topsoil? Can you get to the back yard with the skidder you are going to rent? Can you dump the load in the driveway or street while you haul it to the back yard?
    Might be cheaper to rent a mulch blower to get the soil to the pool area, no damage and all you would have to rent is a packer to level it as it's filled.
    I have my own tractors and equipment to do a job like this so my costs would be much lower than your's. So I could price this job lower and end up with more in my pocket keep this in mind when you do jobs like this. Sometimes it's better to pass up a job if you have to rent all the equipment to do it, the only guy that makes money is the rental place.
    Maybe sell the guy on a pond install, you already have the hole. :canadaflag:
  3. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    Without knowing how far it will be between the soil pile and the pool site, you should be able to move and spread 46 cubic yards in one day with a Bobcat.
  4. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946

  5. Gabby

    Gabby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 140

    Also, why do you have to fill the whole 2 feet in with topsoil. Why not fill the first 18" with bank run or something (a lot cheaper). and the last 6" with topsoil. Just a thought.
  6. BillyRgn

    BillyRgn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 248

    i agree, also would it be possible to drive the truck right to the pool and dump the dirt right in the hole ?? also how far will you have to travel with the dirt to the hole ?? also plan for some extra top soil, seed , and straw to repair the damage from driving the skid steer and or truck on the grass, no matter how easy you go or how hard you try not to there will be damage to the lawn, also all the dirt weighs a real lot so there will also be sinking on the lawn ware it is transported. check the price of the skid steer again, because in my area a day rental is almost $300 per day plus diesel, and even more if you need the trailer to transport it. as far as your other material, seed, straw, and starter fertilizer, that will probably be around $200. Also don't take this the wrong way, but ask your self these questions. Am i capable of doing this kind of work ? Do i have enough time to do this job with out affecting my other clients / schedule ? Do i have access to all the necessary tools / machinery ? Does my insurance cover this kind of work ? Can i run a skid steer safely and efficiently ? Would i be better off subbing this job out to someone that has the necessary equipment and experience to do this job ? remember if you sub it out, you can still make a few bucks and not have the headaches, that way if it does not get compacted enough and settles, you don't have to fix it, which will end up costing you if you do the job. maybe just sub out the filling part, and seed it your self, so you can make a little more money.
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    46 yards is the right answer for how much are you have to fill....but the wrong answer for how much fill and dirt you need. I can't believe a trucking company would give you advice like this. you have to figure ATLEAST 20% for packing and settling. If you are using a skid steer to fill this in, you need to put about a foot in (preferably less), and roll over the whole area. fill some more, do the same thing, and roll over it again when complete. If you just dump it all in level it and roll over it, you are leaving to much space. If you use only 46 yards, you know what yo will have in 1 to 2 years? Another hole ready for a smaller pool. When dirt and topsoil is loaded, it is measured as loose material. You have to compensate. Have you ever noticed then when they dig a hole to repair something, or hook up water, when they are done, there is a mound of dirt left? This is from the displacement of not being compacted.
  8. gorknoids

    gorknoids LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 316

  9. chevydump03

    chevydump03 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 124

    I filled one in a couple of years ago. I forget the demensions, but it had a deep end. As said above, started out with bank run. We were able to dump right in the pool. Owner wanted the cement slab left for some reason. Anyway, started at the shallow end filled and compacted. We were then able to back the trucks into the pool, so we didn't have to move the material far at all. This also compacted it alot. Finished off with topsoil. One day job, with 2 one ton dumps and a skid, 2 people. Not a bad deal, if material is close, as ours was.

    Good luck.

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