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Several questions for skidloader owners....

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Green Pastures, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    I'm going to do a job that requires a total of 200 cubic yards of dirt to be moved and graded out.

    I need to get 50 cubic yards of fill dirt dumped on a property to fill the deepest depression up towards the house. While the dump trucks are going back for 150 cubic yards of 50% compost, 50% top sill mix I can be moving and grading the 50 yards of fill dirt around.

    Then by the time they get back with the first load of 50%/50% I will be ready to start spreading and grading it out.

    I have a Cat 257B with a 66" bucket and a 7' Harley rake.

    My questions are.....

    How long will this take?

    Moving and grading a total of 200 yards of dirt. For the MOST PART, the dirt will be dumped within a few feet of where it will be needed..........The property is pretty flat to begin with, I'm working to clean up after a geothermal heat and A/C system was sunk in their front yard.

    How much would you charge?

    I know, I know, just do the best you can....

    I just want to make sure the figure I have is in the right ballpark.

    Thanks very much......

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426


    We are on one now that took one 257B 6 hours to cut, move and pile 260 yards of DG. It was compacted to 90%. We then loaded it into end dumps and it was trucked off in an 8 hour day, the trucks could not move as fast as the machine would load.

    In your situation, since you have trucks and a time factor, I would calculate a 10 hour day and you should be in good shape.

    That machine rocks doesn't it?

    Good luck Scott, let me know how you made out. Hey have you checked out Groundtradesxchange.com? Are you on that site? It rocks!
  3. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    What's DG?
  4. TerraFirma Excavating

    TerraFirma Excavating LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163


    I think your machine will be waiting on the trucks. The round trip time is going to be the ultimate factor on this job. How far do the trucks have to travel and how many trucks will be hauling? Will the trucks have to wait very long at the pit to be loaded?

    Filling in the depression will take no time at all, especially if the trucks can dump at the edge of the depression. Utilize your machine like a dozer and push the piles. How well have you calculated the 50 yards of fill? Did you factor in compaction of the material? You will need add about 20% more material to account for settling. I would hate for the trucks to show up with topsoil/compost mix only to find your sub-base is still too low after the first 50 yards. Could get expensive to make the area level with topsoil.

    When spreading topsoil, I like to dump the bucket into a pile then utilize the cutting edge to backdrag the topsoil to grade. I work my way backwards until the entire area is covered, then drive the machine over it to smooth everything out. Once again, you will probably have the load spread before another load shows up. After all the material is in place you will probably have a couple of hours getting everything just right. What is the dimensions of the area you are working in? Hard to get an idea of how long it's take without knowing the size.
  5. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    All of the dimensions on the left colum are in feet.

    50/50 is the 50% top soil 50% compost mix that I use for a seed bed.

    Fill dirt is just that, needs to be fairly clean.

    44 x 21 @ 2' = 68 yds of fill

    total of 68 yds of fill

    72 x 66 @ 6" = 88 yds of 50/50
    76 x 47 @ 2" = 22 yds of 50/50
    80 x 12 @ 5" = 15 yds of 50/50
    17 x 12 @ 5" = 3 yds of 50/50
    27 x 25 @ 3" = 6 yds of 50/50
    42 x 8 @ 8" = 8 yds of 50/50
    + 7 yds of 50/50 for beds

    total of 149 yds of 50/50

    So I've revised my numbers a bit. I'll get 70 cubic yards of fill and 150 cubic yards of 50/50.

    What do ya think?
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Well, I'm not nearly as experienced an operator as you. :)

    About 15 miles depending on where I get the material from. # of trucks depends on from where I get the material from as well. Sorry...

    Yes, but not for long at either place.

    The actual area that needs 2 full feet of fill is smaller than the area I used to calculate that I need 68 yards. It's such an irregular shaped area and the depth is also very irregular. There are many spots where it needs 3' of fill right next to an area where it only needs 1'. I am forced to just "guesstimate", being careful to "over-guesstimate".

    I hear ya!

    Don't forget I have the 7' wide Harley rake too!

    See above post.

  7. TerraFirma Excavating

    TerraFirma Excavating LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163


    I think I'd personally go with 80 yards of fill. By the time you get 60 yards spread, you will be able to tell if 70 yards will finish it or not.

    15 miles at 45 MPH would be 20 minutes each way. 40 minutes roundtrip, plus time for loading, traffic, stoplights, etc.., better figure 1 hour roundtrip. With 2 trucks hauling, just the fill dirt will take 1/2 a day and the topsoil will take a full day. You'd have no problems spreading this material in the time it may take them to haul it.

    Maybe they could haul the fill dirt the day before you show up. Then you could finish the job with your machine on site for only 1 day rather than a day and a half. This is assuming they can dump a couple of loads of topsoil in a different area while you're spreading the fill.

    You're harley rake should really save some time preparing the area. It sounds like you have a 1/4 acre to finish. I only used a soil conditioner once. I think you should be able to make 2 passes over this area in 1.5 to 2 hours. Does this sound right to you?

    I think one long 10 hour day should cover it, if the material hauling goes well. 2 trucks would be a good number to start with, 3 may even be better, but they may start piling up with 4, especially if it's a tight lot you're working on.
  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457


    Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    I believe you are right to suggest more fill.

    I'll let you know how it goes.....
  9. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I think with a Harley rake that you can prepare the soil for seed or sod with out the expense of adding top-soil or any amendments. Grass will grow in just about any soil if the preperation is done right. If YOU are seeding the area you might want to consider passing along a little savings to your customer and keeping a larger portion for yourself, by eliminating some of the 50/50 top mix and using more fill dirt and just spending an extra hr on the machine making an extra pass or two over the area. I would also have the dirt delievered the day before. I hate waiting on delieveries its "dead" time
  10. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    That's a great idea but this house is down on the water.

    They recently had a geothermal heating and A/C ground water pump system installed. There are areas in the front yard of this house that are easily 3 foot below grade. Ground water pools in these areas because of the proximity to the river....

    I have to build up the land.....

    I have to use ALOT of fill and ALOT of high quality mixed dirt because they want fescue....... It's marshland, very salty and VERY sandy.

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