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Did I underbid this?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by BckYrdLmbrJk, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. BckYrdLmbrJk

    BckYrdLmbrJk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    Customer wants a bed dug about 30x15 and another about 5x5. I'll be renting a dingo to dig it out, load the sod into my truck and move it to another spot on the property (to fill in a berm they are going to cover with mulch at a later time, their project, I'm just dumping the sod there somewhat evenly along the area.) The soil is pretty tough, possibly rocky, but I'm only going down four inches or so to get the sod up.

    Also I'll be bringing in about 6 yards of dirt to spread in the bed area. Told the customer I would do it for $800, but feel like I might be leaving cash on the table. Its not a very big job, I figure I'll have it done in a day, solo. I've never asked for advice on an estimate before, but in my experience on here I've seen people get some very real and helpful advice so I figure what will it hurt. I feel like I should be able to give a reasonable estimate that I'm confident about on such a simple job, but I think the aspect of a rental being in the equation throws me off a little. What do you guys think?
  2. Sprinkler Buddy

    Sprinkler Buddy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,185

    Do you know already the cost of rental? Estimate your travel time, rental cost, possible dump fee and just add it to what your "reasonable estimate" would be. "Possibly rocky", that could make a big difference even just going down 4".

    Might want to give two quotes, 2nd if rock prolongs the dig out longer than expected. You never know until your in it for sure.
  3. M&L

    M&L LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    6 yards of dirt is heavy. 8000ish pounds heavy. That's either a lot of small trips or one with a pretty serious dump truck or trailer. Your logistics on that, could make or break this job. If you can't move it in one shot and can have it delivered for under 100, do it.

    A good top soil mix is about 35$ a yard around here.
    35x6 = 210
    Rental fees = 100
    Gas and windshield time to pick up dingo= an hour +/-
    Vehicle wear and mileage 1$/per mile
    Delivery fees = 40-100
    Should be able to take around half of your bid to the bank. You could probably squeeze a little more, but roughly 400 a day after expenses is pretty good.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. BckYrdLmbrJk

    BckYrdLmbrJk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    The dingo is around 200 depending and probably a ten minute drive or so from the job. The soil will cost me 180 for six yards, I won't be able to have it delivered because a dually won't fit through the back gate but my single rear wheel truck can make it into the gate. So thats six round trips for dirt, one for equipment. Gas will probably run me 60 bucks or so for the day max (hopefully).
  5. LandFakers

    LandFakers LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 6,309

    Cant really dig into how long it will take you or costs, but I put 2 ton in the bed of my 2500HD with an EZ dumper. 6 yards sounds like 2 trips to me, even with a regular pickup bed.
  6. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Where you from Your dirt is high I thought mine was high Mine is sold by the ton $10 per ton I guess mine is cheap where I'm from
  7. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,718

    Your price sounds fair to me. You should be able to do that by yourself in a day. Sounds like you will profit $500 by yourself after your materials and fuel and rental. I'd do it with a smile.
  8. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,099

    Might it be faster to have the dirt delivered and use the dingo to move it?
  9. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    My 550 maxs out around 4 yards. That's about a 10k payload.each yard w weighs roughly 2700lbs but it's heavily dependant on moisture and soil composition.3 yards with a 2500? Have fun paying for truck repair bills and tickets.

    To the op, 6 yards would most likely take 6 trips as you stated.Possibly 5. Depending on your drive time you may have left some on the table. Doing it in a day? Doubt full imo. 6 yards would probably take 6 hours minimum including drive time to spread and how far you have to unload the soil soil to
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. BckYrdLmbrJk

    BckYrdLmbrJk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    Not a bad idea, not sure if it'd be faster but the dingo might tear up the lawn less than all those trips with my truck full-o-dirt. I'm gonna think about that.

    Ha, that sounds absolutely crazy. What year is your HD, any suspension mods? I'd love to see a picture if you have one, curious about how it sits. Mine is a non-HD and its an 01 so a good yard of soil with moderate moisture content will squat it down pretty good from where it usually sits. Also I have a 6.5 foot bed. I try to be very conscious of weight because I try not to break the laws and to feel safe and comfortable with what I'm hauling as shop time is down time with one truck. Safety is also a huge factor, cuz yea it might haul that much weight, but try stopping it. I go through brakes as it is. Someday I'd love to have a truck that could handle that. Sounds like you have a good setup.

    You're right on with the weight situation.

    As far as unloading it, I hope I'm not screwing myself by saying this but I figure I can get that done in 3hrs max.:weightlifter:

    As far as this possibly being the part where I'm leaving some on the table, that's a good point. Unfortunately I think you might be right, hopefully I can get it done in my time frame and maybe next time plan on working a little slower.

    I don't see 500 after 180 in dirt and 200 for rentals (forgot to mention that in the first post) and other expenses. I try to do everything with a smile:).

    I'm definitely right with you on the logistics part. Your breakdown is a little different than mine. Where do you think I could "squeeze a little more"? Out of curiosity. I am always looking for suggestions how to work more efficiently.

    I was curious about this quote because I always try to price fair and competitively in a way that works out best for both me and the customer, but never want to low ball or be working my butt off and leaving cash on the table. In this business you really earn every cent.

    Thanks all for the helpful responses! Much appreciated.

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