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Discussion in 'Water Features' started by TRBIGCREEK, Feb 21, 2008.
Anyone use something other than 4 men, 4 shovels, and 4 hours to dig ponds?
How big of a pound are you building.
4 Men for four hours isn't too bad a return. Here that would be about $160 labor. I personally haven't used one on a job yet but our big wholesaler uses a mini excavator on every pond they build and in the pond build seminars at their facility. They are very good and very fast with it.
They are able to get pretty close with their shelves and contours. In addition to the moving capacity, they are able to move a lot of dirt with the blade. They build up the berm and stream bed that way. They can also move large boulders by "tucking" the boulder between the bucket and the blade.
I will definitely rent one for the next medium to large size pond I do.
I'm just talking in general, most of mine range from 5 by 9 to 20 by 40. I've tried min x's and mini backhoes but prefer hand digging.
I love to see the work of other contractors. Especially on the larger features.
20x40 no shovel there.
That's the biggest. I was more like 6 men, 6 shovels, 12 hours. Early on used equipment some but not in about five years.
I'll post the new ones as they are available. I mentioned on another thread about a former employee stealing my camera with all my pics on the mc. I've got a few from 6-7 years ago but there not really worth looking at. In fact, when I see those old pics from when I was just learning I feel bad for charging money for those jobs. But I gusee you gotta learn somehow.
I've thought about a backhoe for a dingo. Anyone else have one?
TRBigCreek, I have dug many water features with the method you refer to...four men, four shovels and four hours...or more! But I learned very quickly that labor costs are one of the most significant expenses that we incurr with water feature construction. Around here, heavy equipment rentals are a dime a dozen and you can pick up a small track hoe or excavator or even a back hoe and dig a pond in a fraction of the time saving you a bundle of cash. THis is even taking in to concideration the cost of the equipment.
Another option I have used many times on my really big projects is to sub out the excavation work. If it is a really big job, I can hire an excavation company to come in with their equipment and their personnel and knock out a large pond in a few hours saving me several days work and lots of money.
If you know up front you may need heavy equipment to do a job, you can easily price that into the quote to cover any excessive expenses that may arise...ie: pick up or delivery of the equipment if you do not have a truck big enough to haul it, insurance, fuel, etc.
Lots of options out there. And if you have never run a piece of heavy equipment, no sweat! These things could not be easier to run. Hydrostatic drive, automatic tranny, etc. If you can drive a car, you can operate any number of these machines available on the market today.
Check out the rental places in your area. Walkin' On Water.