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Brush Clearing Quote?

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by Joseph Walters, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Joseph Walters

    Joseph Walters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I hope you guys can help me out. I've got a job to quote, and not sure which direction to go. I know it's hard to price things without seeing it in person. It's roughly 7,500sq ft of thick thorns and brush, most all of it on a slope. I'd use my weedeater with a brushcutting attachment on it, then rake it up. Although a mini excavator might be possible. There's 3 sections to it. The first section is 60x38. The second section is 27x90. The third is 55x52. These are all rough dimensions. Roughly 7,500 sq ft, or could be rounded to about 1/5 an acre. The ground is also very rocky, so I wouldn't be able to use a flail mower. There's old wood boards and broken glass among the brush, and random tractor tires that need to be hauled away. The owner wants a price for burning (which she's weary of) and a price for hauling it away. Her driveway is pretty steep and hard to get vehicles into, but not impossible. We don't have much overhead though, so pretty much everything is profit, except time. I outlined one of the sections so you could tell what the borders of it are, but it looks much smaller in photos.

    She also possibly wants the land scraped of the roots/stumps so she can plant grass and not have the briars keep coming back. Which we would need the mini excavator for. And a separate price.

    She also wants 3 sheds demolished and hauled away, if you could possibly help me out with that too. There's some junk inside 2 of them that would need hauling off as well. One is 6x10, one is 17x11, one is 16x10. You have to go across a small 2-3ft wide creek to get to them though.

    Any help would be so appreciated. I was thinking $1,000 for whacking/raking the briars at $0.13/sqft. Is that too much? Too little? What would you guys charge? There's more to it than the pictures show, but those are the only ones I have.





    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  2. sehitchman

    sehitchman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,368

    You're on the right track for cutting and raking at 1k. The other stuff would be difficult without machines. Just making burn piles would take a couple of days, then a couple of days to burn it with a close watch to avoid fire danger. How close are you to a disposal site? Do you have a dump trailer?
    My Quote provided I could get in there with equipment.
    Day one, use compact tractor or dingo, cable and chain the building and drag across the creek pile for burn or load on dump trailer $1500
    Day Two, 3-4 dump trailer runs, $40 per each load dump fee plus $60 per hour to complete.
    Day Three, bushog areas that are accessible, Brush cut balance with handlebar brush cutter. $700
    Day Four, or added to day three if time, fell trees larger than 3" with chainsaw, load for haul off or pile for burn. $500
    Day Five, Grub stumps with my mini skid, stump bucket and grapple, pile for burn or load for haul off. $800 labor and equipment time, not including burn,dump or haul off fees.
    Day Six and Seven after a couple months for this stuff to dry out some. if burning, and water access. $650 per day and pushing piles around with mini skid.
    While burning, use the compact tractor with tiller and landscape rake to grub the cleared areas of branches, sticks, briars. If needed to haul off, add another dump fee or two.
    Price some travel time if this is not across the street from you and equipment. If you need to rent stuff add in something to cover the rental. I'm sure I've forgotten some things, and the buildings and tree stump removal could be much more difficult once on the site. A full size skid steer with a forestry mulcher could make quick work of this mess in a couple days.
    I'd probably be at 5-6k for everything. doubt I'd ever get the customer to agree and go forward with the clean up.
  3. Joana Williams

    Joana Williams LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

  4. OP
    Joseph Walters

    Joseph Walters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thank you so much! That helps a lot. I don't have my own dump trailer or heavy equipment, but a dump trailer is around $80 a day. 8k lb Mini ex is $250 plus $50-60 delivery
  5. sehitchman

    sehitchman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,368

    If you rent a Mini Ex, make sure you get it with a thumb to assist moving and loading.
    Joseph Walters likes this.
  6. DLL LLC

    DLL LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    Id be really carefull with any heavy machines in that area. Looks very muddy since it seems there is a ravine or stream near it?
    Joseph Walters and sehitchman like this.
  7. Ticolawnllc

    Ticolawnllc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Wall NJ
    Messages: 505

    Look very uneven. That from photos. Don’t flip the machines. You might have to do the brush by hand because of the terrain. A mini skid with a grapple might be a better option.
    hort101 likes this.
  8. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,421

    If you’re going to need to pay $400 to rent equipment that you don’t seem to have much experience with, I would probably leave this job to the pros. Especially if you have to get it delivered. Nothing wrong with turning down a job because you don’t have the right equipment. Plus, as others have said, that is steep terrain for a mini ex. If you accidentally back into a stump or rock the wrong way you could flip the machine and possibly die.

    Now, back to your question... If I were to do this job I’d be using my mini skid, tooth bucket and grapple rake. Maybe pallet forks too to spearhead the shed. I’d knock this out in a half a day, maybe 6 hours max. It’s one of those jobs where I could make money at $1000, but I’d probably be able to get $1500 for, plus disposal. It comes down to having the right equipment and unless you want to rent all that equipment, mess with delivery etc... I wouldn’t do it. Unless you are really comfortable on the machine.

    At a minimum you need to rent a mini skid, with grapple and tooth bucket and a 14k dump trailer. Unsure what that would cost there but here would be $4-500 I’d think.
    Mark Stark likes this.
  9. Jeff@diyokc

    Jeff@diyokc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 216

    @sehitchman gave you some great direction and advise! You have a lot of labor in that job, as well as fixed costs to rent equipment, disposal as needed, fuel etc!

    I would give an estimate in the range he gave you , or if possible ask her” what is the range you are looking to spend on this cleanup”? That way she gives you the number first! If it’s something like “5 or 6 hundred” then you have your answer, and probably should move on! Don’t work just to work!
  10. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,421

    I disagree with asking her budget. Very unprofessional. If someone asked me, I would say somewhere between a dollar and a million dollars. It is like making the client bid for you. Also, if she says I don’t know, $1500-2500 the guy is obviously gonna say yeah i was thinking $2450 was fair... Makes you look inexperienced IMO
    Mark Stark likes this.

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