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Grave Digging??

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by AEL, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    I have been asked by a township here to bid on opening and closing of graves at a few of the township owned gravesites. Just inquiring to see if anyone on here has done this type of work in the past and could share some information with me. Any idea of what you charged to dig and backfill the graves ?(I know what it costs, and how long it takes me to dig a 4x10x10 hole and backfill it but when we just paid $2300 to have the hole dug for a family members grave i dont want to be leaving money on the table or over biding) What type of a figure do you work into your price for being on standby? Is repairs due to ground settlement usually an extra(it is not mentioned in the contract), or included in your price? I will be using my john deere 50d and t190(if need be) on this contract.

    Feel free to pm me if you dont want to post anything on here. Thanks!
  2. icex

    icex LawnSite Senior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 389

    $2300 to have a hole dug? Holy ****. We only pay $500 here and they hand dig it.
  3. tailboardtech

    tailboardtech LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    i have helped with it at the church next door to me just some fair warning some graves might have to be dug by hand especially in older sections (they don't let any heavy equipment in our old section) the newer section we use a mini-ex and a skid steer we just dump the dirt in the skid loader bucket. they mostly have a contractor do it its around $1500 one of the caretakers come back in a year or two when it settles and backfill some, a lot of times its at the corners of the vault for some reason.

    on a funner note we were digging in the old section about 5 years ago middle of summer hot as hell of course. we had a younger kid 16 maybe helping. he was in the hole and found a bone i have never seen a person jump out of a hole that quick in my life :laughing: there are parts that go back to the 1700's and some are unmarked slave's graves we just placed the bone back where it was and moved over a little and continued digging. a he came up with a excuse to go home we asked him to help again a year or two later he turned white as a ghost
  4. icex

    icex LawnSite Senior Member
    from WV
    Messages: 389

    I dug a grave with the excavator a couple of years ago far from a grave stone, kept hitting something hard (thought it was rock) and turned out to be the casket.
  5. tailboardtech

    tailboardtech LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    yea been there too there wasn't an accurate map made at church till about the 1970's until then it was just the one caretaker passing it on to the next. that doesn't work to well. and some of the unmarked still are just that.
  6. Jelinek61

    Jelinek61 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    I've dug graves with the city DPW i work for for six summers. we only go down about five feet and use 2x10 boards cut to length to get the exact dimensions of the hole the same everytime and they also support the lowering device for the casket. We dig ours with a case 580 backhoe when we have the room to fit. We always cut and remove the sod before we use the backhoe and pack the hole as we backfill around the vault with a 2x4 and a hand tamper. When were done you cant even tell the grave was dug. We've had people come back a few days later and wonder if they are in the right spot because they cant find the grave they buried their loved one in because it looks undisturbed. We rarely get any settling of the ground afterwards. It usually takes us about an hour in the morning to dig it and another hour after the funeral to fill it in but we usually have a long distance to carry the backfill dirt in with a small JD tractor.
  7. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,787

    I have hand dug a couple of graves many years ago in an 16th century graveyard in new york. The guy I was working with found a skull in a previous excavation. It was all hand work in the old section.. but the ground can and does shift some over time.
  8. 93turbo

    93turbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    Like any job their are plenty of variables so I can just give you my experience and you can go from there. The thing with graves is the time you waste hurrying to wait. It can be pretty easy to spend almost a day on one grave even though you got no more then an hours worth of work. I been digging graves for 16 years I dig for 2 seperate private cemeterys and the other four are for different twps. Each one is a little different but for the most part the main job is still the same. I'm responsible for opening and closing and nothing else. They locate the grave and maintain it after I leave. But with that said I also double check as much as I can by looking to see if they have found the lot markers and are inside them and if theres a headstone seeing if its on the right side if theres someone else already buried and most importantly probe the ground for a vault. If your burial is next to another vault and its wet try and get as close as possible cause it will more then likely cave in anyway. I have a bobcat 334 and a 1 ton dump truck I use and put the dirt in the truck then use the truck to back fill which makes it clean and easy I dig mine 40" wide by 4.5' deep and 8' long at the bottom and I get $325 and $400 on the weekends holidays and after 4 oclock
  9. 5speedpsd

    5speedpsd LawnSite Member
    from NWCT
    Messages: 55

    my boss does this not sure on what he charges. The problem we have ran into a couple times is ledge which means you have to hammer it all out alot of times. We use a kubota kx-121 to dig all our graves and it works pretty good. They also don't make us move the dirt away from the grave though, unless of course its ledge. we place two sheets of plywood down next to the hole and we pill up the dirt their and the cematery covers the pile with like astroturf kinda of stuff. We have another cutout in plywood that we lay down for the plot and then spike to the ground to keep our holes square to where the headstone will be. Pretty easy work but dont put it off because if you mess up your introuble, they will not postpone a funeral for you. usually we try to dig ours a day ahead of time and then fence them off with snow fence and just stop by in the morning and take it down. we also lay down alot of plywood to get in to the graves and out of them we have two 3 quarter inch sheets that are nailed together for each plate to walk the excavator across. We have dug some in an hour and others taken 10 hours all depends on your conditions. Also do you have to help with setting the box we are responsible for being there and helping if needed when the fault is being set. we also do not take care of settling the landscapers do that although we do grade and seed the hole after it has been filled.
  10. bobcatexc

    bobcatexc LawnSite Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 276

    I've thought about this type of work before, but it seems like you have to be on call all the time. I wouldn't want to be on a project and have to pack up all the sudden to go dig a 300 dollar grave. I've always wondered about getting the excess dirt out of there without rutting the hell out it or have to put down a plywood road, sometimes you'd have to get way off the cementary roads. The guy around here got a 1 ton dump, Kubota L39 and a Kubota (gater) with dump bed.

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