Forest Cutting Estimate

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Smithers, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    I was talking to "outrunjason" earlier about bush removal since i was going to give out an estimate today about pulling some bushes out. He did that a few weeks ago and was giving me pointers.

    Anyway, i was sadly mistaken. I went to the place. The guy was a really nice guy with a house sitting on a 5 acre lot.

    He wants to turn 2 of those acres into a few houses and sell them. The problem is that there are a lot of bushes (8-16' tall) and about 10 trees that are about 8-12" diameter.

    In short, when you look, you can't see anything in the "forest" or even the house behind it.

    I told the guy that i can not do it, and that it would cost him at least $25K if her hires a tree company. He did not even blink when i mentioned the money. He said, "Well, i have to do it. I dont care if it takes months".

    Driving home made me really think....I dont have any equipment or the people, but i really have the desire to do it. If i can start on this job, it means i dont have to look for any landscape projects for the rest of the year - just cut grass on weekdays....

    Now, here is what i am thinking...I can hire a few of my friends, give them chainsaws (i have to rent) and have them cut the bushes. it will take at least 2-3 whole days to cut the bushes out.

    When that is done, i can rent a wood chipper and run everything thru a chipper. That will be a pain, but can be done. I can rent a 30 yard dumpster and fill it a few times with the chips.

    When that is all done, he wants to have the stumps removed as well. I told him that it will be really expensive to remove the stumps, and maybe he can just stump grind them instead, he said, "Yeah, we can do that too"....

    At the end, i can rent a big tractor and take many of the stumps out. The tree stumps will not be able to take out since their root will be huge (maybe). Or i can hire a bulldozer with a driver and have him clear the whole 2 acre lot

    2 questions..... i nuts for even thinking that i can do something like that?

    2. How much would you charge for somethine like that? Dan, you have experience with large jobs.....your opinion?

    any comments or input would be greatly appreciated.
  2. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    I would rent a large kabota excavator and start in one corner and work across it. (scheduale week day rental and the cost would be less) a large excavator could move right thru this stuff, cut the trees & dig out the stumps. chip the brush and advertise in a local shoppers guide for free chips laod your own, then just shoot them all into a pile that the public can access to load. a kubota excavetor is very easy to learn to run. the thing with kabota i like is the control levers operate exactly like my head thinks they should so it is a very natural operation in a very short time of getting used to the machine. :D
    depending on location, I maybe willing to take this if you don't want it.
  3. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    steve, how much would you charge for something like that?
  4. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    tough estimate without seeing it but,
    figuring as a 15 day project, due to being rental equip. 15hr days, labor,
    fuel, disposal ect. & allowing a large misc. expense 26175.00 :D payup
  5. northmichigan

    northmichigan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    really you aren't crazy there is money to be made but liability is the important issue. 'friends with chainsaws' on that size of project sound like the first line in a lawsuit.i would start with smaller hardscape project before tackling this one.
  6. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    yeah, i completely agree with you, MJ....but after Steve gave me the idea with the excavator (and easy to learn), i might not even use friends....they are not that crazy about working anyway. how much would you charge?
  7. northmichigan

    northmichigan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    what about that 25,000 you mentioned before? you said he wasn't shocked maybe this could be something you sub out at 20%.
    mj payup
  8. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    thats a good idea, my pricing guess is pretty darn close to the 25k.
    I'm very confident it could get done at a profit for less.
    not seeing it, I allowed for a lot of misc. expense, i went high on equip. rental and allowed for a min. labor of 85. an hour. :D
  9. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,265

    but here is what i was wondering about....i know the clearing with an excavator is really fast and easy....but then you are left with a pile of dirt/stumps/threes and more dirt.

    What the heck do you do with that pile? You can't just leave it there in the middle of the lot. You can't burry it either.

    If you rent a dump truck, it will take many trips, while the tractor sits there and waits for the dump truck to come back for another fill up.

    hmmmmmmm, what do you do with the big pile?
  10. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    well, you could do one of 2 things.
    have big roll offs brought in and fill as you go, or sub the clean up to a local excavating company. I think i would go with roll offs & tumble and shake out the roots as much as possible then use the bucket to pack it in as tight as possible.
    have the roll off emptied once a day and repoitioned to move with you across the area.

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