Grading gravel driveways, Info Needed

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by monoshock, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. monoshock

    monoshock LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    I'm thinking about starting to offer a service of grading gravel driveways this fall. There are plenty around here that need graded. So, how do you price this work? By the foot, per hour, or guesstamation.
  2. sehitchman

    sehitchman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 999

    What kind of equipment do you have? I've got a small tractor and a 4' scrape blade, It is slow work if you need to move much stone. I wish I had a small box blade to move material easier. I've used my dingo to push stone around and relocate it, but there is better equipment suited to the task for long driveways. I usually set up work like this for times when the grass is dormant and I've not much to do. I would give a price for the whole job, but if you are not comfortable with a fixed estimate, I'd break it down like this. $120 minimum for showing up and the 1st hour, then $60 per hour after that. My price gets lower just before Christmas and in January when I've got nothing going on. :) I don't compete very well around here as there are a couple of guys who will do tractor work at $40 per hour and a $60 minimum and have full size tractors with loaders.
  3. monoshock

    monoshock LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    I have a 30hp 4x4 with a 7' landscape box blade and a 6' grader blade the has adjustable angles. Also the tractor has a 5' front end loader. I don't have a dunp truck to haul gravel. I think the customers can order the gravel and have it spread if the drive needs extra, I can level and finish the new or existing gravel.
  4. GQLL

    GQLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 846

    We price by the job. Pricing by the hour the customer always watching you and think your wasting time to add more hours. Typical drive way I have from start to finish around an hour. Most jobs are 500 plus depending on stone.
  5. monoshock

    monoshock LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    Most drives around here is 1/2" crusher run lime stone.
  6. Deputy_Swan

    Deputy_Swan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 125

    guys here charge $300 hours for that.. but they also use a road grader
  7. brycesepp

    brycesepp LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    With a skidsteer around here we get 250 for first two hrs (minimum) then 75 per hr after that
  8. monoshock

    monoshock LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    Thanks for the input.
  9. lafrance4078

    lafrance4078 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    We are 75/ hr using a CTL. We order gravel from Butler Bros Trucking. We prep and they deliver/ spread. We use the CTL to clean up the spread if needed. We have a $200 min.
    That said, we estimate total job price. I'm with GQLL. I never give an hourly price but I'm also extremely fair. Plenty of guys around here that will undercut you.
    I submitted a proposal/ estimate last week and wasn't selected. The customer said I was $1,500 more expensive. He calls Fri and asks for a price to fix the work the low ball guy did. Honestly think it's going to be around $2,000. Hate it for the customer.
  10. Bobcatter2

    Bobcatter2 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 21

    I lived in Pennsylvania with a gravel driveway for 30 years. 300 ft driveway, 20 ton of AA gravel, spread, was $300. He used a small skid steer.
    As a homeowner, its unreal what a good drag will do for a gravel driveway. After a few years of buying gravel, I just started dragging it a couple times a year. It brings the gravel back up and lets the rain wash the mud back down till the whole freeze/thaw moves it around again.
    This kind of drag:
    DR makes a driveway "Power Grader" you might look at or fab up something similar:
    My point being is once the driveway is redone, you can offer yearly "freshening" drag to maintain all the driveways you worked on, keep that income flowing.
    I would do mine once a month with the drag harrow and it looked like fresh gravel plus kept the weeds from sprouting in the packed-down areas.

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