Help Quoting this one.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by BigDigger, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. BigDigger

    BigDigger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    OK first thing. Cdn or US dollars, don't matter, just clarify what currency you are referring to.

    I was just asked to quote the following job:

    --Private Job----

    500 trees, ranging from 4-10' high need to be removed from a property transported 22km/12miles *ish* then the holes need to be dug, (tree auger bit) then planted, Wood chips? not sure about that, but soil is required yes.

    they are being planted on an acerage 2.1 acres to be exact. He wants it well treed. Big ones around the edge, smaller ones in the middle

    1) I don't have a tree spade, for this size tree can the manual skid steer mounted tree spade work? or should I go hyd *big sucker*.

    2) I hope I can rent a tree spade

    3) augerring the new holes? or should I use the tree spade??

    4) what kind of waste will I produce (dirt etc)

    5) the customer will also run trees on a trailer from site to site, so a per trip cost is likely the best way to work this out, but correct me if I am wrong.

    I am wondering what I should charge for travel time with trailer and trees in tow, many trips obviously.

    what should I charge per tree I pull out? I need to basket them and will need to hire on some help for this one.

    what should I charge per tree I put in less material costs *dirt,chips*

    This is seriously a first for me. There is no tight time line, it's not commercial so it takes as long as it takes. By the same token this is not rocket science. But here it is.

    Thanks so much for the help, if I have left anything out let me know, I just don't want to screw myself, I have no idea what this service is worth *though this is not my first tree planting party* it will be a first in terms of volume and size of some of the trees.....and well getting paid for it too.

    PS. I have been working my *ASS* off, we have a new baby girl 5weeks now, and yes the second one does destroy you. I know I haven't been on much to keep the Case guys in check but I hope you all been holding your own.:laugh:

    Cheers guys, thanks for the help, I need it.
  2. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    Biggie, Congrats. We haven't ran too far amok. I still say you need to test a PowerTan machine with 'your' controls.:waving:

    I have used a tree spade and the 'scraper' tree spade. With the scraper spade it was about 50/50 on the success rate, some of the trees were too big but they were going to get dozed so we tried using it.

    They make 'pods' around here that you can use the tree spade to set them in and then go to the new location. For 500 trees it may be worth setting something up like that. One bad thing is the size range on the trees, hard to get it all with one size.

    Here for $100-120 they will plant a 5-6' evergreen.
  3. ff1221

    ff1221 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    I moved 20 12-15' Spruce in June with a tow behind spade, 4 miles one way, and it took about an hour round trip with my big tractor. I charged $350 a day for the spade rental, and $70/hr for the tractor. It doesn't take long to spade them, but it sounds like your best bet would be to either ball and burlap or wire basket, or get a trailer for carrying root balls. If you can rent a spade on a truck, it might work ok to transport each one individually, the one I had was to heavy to tow behind a truck. No matter what you do it's going to take time. Hope this helps. These are Canadian funds:canadaflag:
  4. tbi

    tbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 494

    RS Means says $64.50/tree.
  5. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,631

    no bigger than they are your only option is to B&B them. IT WOULD BE cheaper to buy new trees though from a nursery that already has a spade, and most likely they would do better than these trees (I'm assuming they've just growing wild.) If you can rent a spade you'll want a hyd one, you might sub it out to a local nursery... I've done several jobs for other contractors and even help dig for other nurseries.
  6. BigDigger

    BigDigger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Yeah I am starting to see that 65 per hour is cheap.

    Also found out that replants should only be moved after 2nd or 3rd killing frost in fall or in spring before they leaf out. Right now we are in drought to near drought conditions I think this will shock the tree to much to move them now. Also when moving tree's, especially non nursery tree's I think it's dangerous to leave them in the wind over longer distances since the leaves will still look green but are dried right out, so care is required to move them for sure.

    hmmm. I talked to this gentleman and he told me that he can take out approx up to 1000 trees.

    He told me he wanted a complete job price or a per hour price not a per tree price. I could not imagine screwing myself any faster than doing a per hour or job price. The more I research what it takes to move a tree without killing it the more I realize how much of a pain it is, besides burlap and wire for 1000 trees isn't cheap, the only way to control costs is to know what it will cost me per tree to do, and then add something in there for myself.

    travel time
    hydrolic spade rental
    wire baskets/burlap *maybe just burlap*
    auger work on the other end
    hired help
    soil for planting
    staking trees
    etc. Per tree is the only I won't screw myself. But perhaps others of you can shed some light on this.


    Oh I should add that the local greenhouses charge $75 per tree just to plant at 10 gal, $130 for 10-15 gal etc
    I am talking digging, transporting, planting $65 per tree??. granted at 500-1000 tree's that adds up. I am not sure this guy has worked that out yet. but time will tell. It is cheaper than buying new and having someone plant them, no question.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  7. Votum Gardens LLC

    Votum Gardens LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Having not seen the sites or the trees I am going to make some assumptions. Well for us to do this job right and as quick as possible, we would be looking at least three machines. The A300 and MXU125 at the dig site for digging and loading of trees. Probaly the Farmall 60 at the planting site, though I would prefer to have the Toolcat there as well. Add in at least one truck and trailer for hauling the trees. Plenty of Wilt Proof as well.

    So let's see
    A300 w/ 30" Treespade :$130 an hour
    MXU125 w/ Tree Rex: $110 an hour
    Farmall 60 w/ pallet forks & auger: $100 an hour
    Toolcat: $80 an hour
    Wiltproof:$10 a gallon

    Yeah you try doing that at $65.00 an hour you're going to screw yourself.
  8. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    That's per tree not per hour as I took it?
  9. BigDigger

    BigDigger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    yeah that's right. Also I will be doing this will less equipment than that. This is not a commercial job so it's not so critical time wise. But there is a window. With that said I think I will pre auger all of the holes and clean up the dirt. The holes will be pre marked by the owner. So after that it's a matter of digging them out, bagging them and transporting them. Yeah the Wilt preventer stuff will be required. I will run a 2 man crew maybe even one man on the other end with the driver helping unload. It should be plenty since we can only send so many trees at a time.

    These are my thoughts so far.

    the 65 per tree should be sufficient but I don't as yet know the cost of the baskets and burlap. I may use a dump trailer with high walls and just burlap them since it's a short ish trip, but I don't know what effect that will have on the trees, just make them harder to move I imagine.

    Cheers Keep the feedback coming guys.
  10. sgbotsford

    sgbotsford LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    Hmm. Depends on size of tree.

    If it is at all possible, water the trees thoroughly 72 hours before you move them.

    A 10 foot tree doesn't take a huge root ball. Figure on 1 foot spade diameter per inch of trunk diameter. Poplar and spruce can be moved with shallow root balls. Up to a 10 foot poplar, and up to a 6 foot spruce can be moved with a shovel, a roll of burlap, and a spool of baler twine. Digging time is about 15 minutes each. This is if done while trees are dormant.

    Trees with tap roots (Pine, oak here.) take deeper root balls. Really you should prune the tap root the fall before moving them.

    Easiest way would be to rent a potting spade and a bunch of pots of appropraite diameter. One for #20 pots would probably be sufficient. Whatever number of pots fits on a trailer, get twice that many pots. OR get 500 + load pots.

    First scenario: The spade moves back and forth with each load.

    Dig a tree. Drop into pot.
    Repeat LOAD times.
    Change to bucket.
    Load a tree onto trailer.
    Repeat LOAD times.

    Take trees to new site.
    Take potting spade to new site.
    Use spade to dig hole. Put dirt into empty pot.
    Repeat LOAD times.
    Unpot tree, and plop into hole.
    Repeat LOAD times.

    Change to bucket.
    Load pots full of dirt onto trailer.
    Return to source site.
    Empty pots into holes.

    Start next load.

    If you have enough pots, you can get multiple loads ready at source site, and manhandle them onto trailer with a ramp and dolly. Loading time is higher, but the potting spade moves back and forth less often.

    You will lose some. Probably about 10% if you do this in early spring before they break dormancy. Somewhat less if you do it in fall. (Roots have more time to establish before bud break)

    Would the following work:

    At the source site, lift

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