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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where I am it's 45 dollars a yard to dump and about an hour and half round trip. I charge 60 per yard. Without my trailer walls built up, it holds 5 yards. Some clearing jobs, I'm packing that thing to the gills two times. I just did a large limb and tree removal where I filled it 4 times (and yes, I'm sawing it down multiple times). I'm hoping to add about 16 inches for now, and that will bring me to about an 8 yard capacity.
So for guys that are in areas like mine, where dumping is substantial, do you bill out every single yard? Do you go by trailer? Depending on who's there you might get charged for 2-3 instead of the 5. Do you bill out the 5 @ 60 dollars? 300 dollar total per truck? I mean, I couldn't bill out 1,200 just for dump fees on the tree job. My bills would be laughably expensive.
Anybody find themselves in a similar situation? Any formulas you came up with?
 

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How does the dump place measure a yard of debris in your trailer?
Depends on whose working but most of the time, they take the length x width x height(depth) of the debris. Then they’ll take that number in “feet” and divide it by 27. That gives them the cubic yard. So a 7’x14’ trailer loaded with 4’ of debris is 14.51 cubic yards of debris. Sometimes, they’ll eye ball it. Depends on whose working that day.
 

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Depends on whose working but most of the time, they take the length x width x height(depth) of the debris. Then they’ll take that number in “feet” and divide it by 27. That gives them the cubic yard. So a 7’x14’ trailer loaded with 4’ of debris is 14.51 cubic yards of debris. Sometimes, they’ll eye ball it. Depends on whose working that day.
All of our places use scales and charge by weight. It didn't sound practical to go out with a tape measure and calculate the size of a load which is why I asked.
 

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All of our places use scales and charge by weight. It didn't sound practical to go out with a tape measure and calculate the size of a load which is why I asked.
It’s yards here instead of weight. Probably due to the cost of a quality scale and keeping it calibrated. It is the city tho.

Doesn’t take any longer to measure a trailer than it does to weigh one, at least not in my experience.
 

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It’s yards here instead of weight. Probably due to the cost of a quality scale and keeping it calibrated. It is the city tho.

Doesn’t take any longer to measure a trailer than it does to weigh one, at least not in my experience.
Do they come out and physically measure the trailer? What if it is only half full? The scale is a real bottleneck where I dump.
 

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Do they come out and physically measure the trailer? What if it is only half full? The scale is a real bottleneck where I dump.
Yeah, kind of. So it’s free for anyone who lives inside city limits, excluding contractors. Most, if not all contractors have been there more than once, so they pretty much know who you are and what size your trailer is but I’ve seen them physically measure before, takes maybe 2-3 minutes. When I first started dumping there, they measured almost everytime but after a season or so, they’d just guess, unless it was a new guy, then he’d measure until he got to know you. It’s pretty easy math tho, 7’x18’ trailer loaded 3’ high is 14 yds. 1/2 that is 7, a 1/4 is 3.5. Depending on who is working you might save a little $. I don’t know if I’d like the weight thing with debris. A trailer load of leaves would weigh less than a trailer load of cut wood from a tree job. A yard is a yard regardless what it weighs.

Yeah, scales at the rock yard are always a pinch point and pita. Those guys kinda know how much will fit in a bucket tho and if your a regular, they don’t weigh you. It’s like a 1/2 ton per bucket so if you need 2 tons, they’ll load up 4 buckets and charge you for 2 tons. They’re usually within 100lbs either way.
 

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Yeah, kind of. So it’s free for anyone who lives inside city limits, excluding contractors. Most, if not all contractors have been there more than once, so they pretty much know who you are and what size your trailer is but I’ve seen them physically measure before, takes maybe 2-3 minutes. When I first started dumping there, they measured almost everytime but after a season or so, they’d just guess, unless it was a new guy, then he’d measure until he got to know you. It’s pretty easy math tho, 7’x18’ trailer loaded 3’ high is 14 yds. 1/2 that is 7, a 1/4 is 3.5. Depending on who is working you might save a little $. I don’t know if I’d like the weight thing with debris. A trailer load of leaves would weigh less than a trailer load of cut wood from a tree job. A yard is a yard regardless what it weighs.

Yeah, scales at the rock yard are always a pinch point and pita. Those guys kinda know how much will fit in a bucket tho and if your a regular, they don’t weigh you. It’s like a 1/2 ton per bucket so if you need 2 tons, they’ll load up 4 buckets and charge you for 2 tons. They’re usually within 100lbs either way.
The yard I use was going to a flat rate a while back. All tandem axle trailers were going to be $120. That didn’t last long. The tree people loved it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I charge about double my dump rate per cubic yard. We only pay $12 a yard to dump and charge $25. I don't think we could get away with doubling it at your rates. I would keep searching for somewhere cheaper to dump.
Yea there's no shopping around where I am. Very unique area. One way in. One way out. Small town. Old families monopolized whichever trades and that's basically it for large business.The only other yard is across the street and they're more money. We had one 2 minutes away (same family that owns the second yard I mentioned), but they closed it without any notice last year. It really screwed a lot of us local guys, and benefited the out of towners. They had multi million dollar contracting jobs through the state and town, and basically said screw those people. Like I said, I usually don't get charged the full yardage (depending on who's there), so I kind of meet in the middle with the customers in order to make profit, and keep their business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
How does the dump place measure a yard of debris in your trailer?
It's all eye balled by whoever is there. I mean, I've consistently seen them charge 3 or 4 yards for 10 yards of brush, easily, but they will still charge 2-3 if you're roughly carrying my current capacity. It's the town dump, so no one is really on their ass. If you get friendly with some of them they help you out big time, get what I mean ; ) The privately owned one across the street is much tougher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just tell them how much I think I have or have them eye ball it.
Yea exactly. If you're like yea I have 2 yards hauling a 12 foot trailer with 4 ft high walls, they'll say no, that's more than that, but if you're within reason, it's usually fine. I'll be paying to haul it out of there soon anyway, be it compost, topsoil, or mulch lol
 

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I usually factor the time & labor into the price of the job. Dump fees go to my truck/trailer usage.
As long as it’s accounted for at full price- way too many small guys give away their time for free or low price. I suspect that the average person should make $200-$300 in profit per load/trip to the dump.
 
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