How much should i charge for this land clearing job??!

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by rppaving, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. rppaving

    rppaving LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    Whats up everyone, I just got a call for a land clearing job, I went out to take a look at it and there are TWO areas, each approximately 60 ft x 250 feet, that basically look like a forest, highly overgrown area. There are some very big trees in there, but he said he doesnt want those taken down, only medium, small trees, and all the bushes and shrubbery in there as well.

    I need an ESTIMATE price per hour on what to charge the guy, he wants everything hauled away, and in everyones opinion, will you all recommend me renting an excavator, bobcat, dozer??

    So far im thinking $150/hr...hows that look to everyone?
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  2. Vecchio Lawn Care

    Vecchio Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 905

    Dozer rental price plus your hourly rate. Might want to hire a dump truck unless you have one

    GOATMAN GEORGE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    You should probably determine your company expenses then determine how much profit you would like and come up with a total. This type of post is completely useless how can you expect someone to give you an estimate when they have no idea what your operating costs are? You could have one guy with a 4 year degree you are paying $22.50 an hour and another guy could have two in experienced Hispanics he only pays $8.00 per hour.

    A better question would be my company costs are $27.90 per hour, what is a common profit margin for jobs similar to the one described.
  4. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,607

    It all depends on how thick it is. Pictures are best. That depends on whether you need a trackhoe, dozer, or even a ctl..

    Also determine how your gonna haul it and dispose of it. And how much that'll be..
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  5. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Two grand and they pay for dumpsters
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  6. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    What size machines are you going to use? I don't charge by the hour but when costing jobs I charge 100 hour min for skid steer and 100 minimum for 5 tonne mini ex
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  7. F4rm3rj03

    F4rm3rj03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 362

    I can't give you all answers only suggestions and questions.
    1-No dozer. Could you maneuver properly in there without busting bark? See #2.
    2-Careful on not comacting the ground! Some trees are very sensitive to compaction like oaks. They may not die this year but three years from now you could be doing this guy a disservice when he has to cut his trees due to what will to him seems a spontaneous death. Compact track loaders are evil.
    I'm seeing the effect recently of too many dumbasses who think they're landscapers or operators because they know how to rent/purchase a tractor. (A website, book, or blog may happen for this type of problem one day.)
    3-Being in business isn't all about taking on every job but knowing when to walk away or saying no. If you don't know you shouldn't take this on. Know your limits; good way to get respect as a professional.
    4-$150/hr is the base price we charge for two guys and a class 5 truck, equipment extra. Our skid steer has the base price of $150/hr.
  8. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,114

    Looks like you need something to knock stuff down / pull it up, something to load it out, something to haul it, and somewhere for it to go.

    If you can get a 4 or 5 ton mini ex with a thumb, it will let you knock down and load out with the same machine. A CTL can do this too, but if you are loading trucks instead of dumpsters, reach will be marginal and could slow that part of the operation. A grapple is nice for tearing out and organizing the vegetative material but a 4-in-1 bucket will load trucks more fully. Rental around here would be maybe 200 - 250 per day, and another 150 for pickup and delivery.

    To load it out, you could hire a truck to haul it away. Best case scenario, you find a contractor with large trucks and a place to dump the brush and handle it for you. Alternately, you might use dumpsters, which are easier to load and not as time-sensitive (they don't cost extra if it takes a week to load them) but they might not be able to get them to you quick enough to keep up with how fast you load them... which could cost you another day of your time and machine rental.

    If you use dumpsters, you might consider renting a chipper for the brush and small trees; you can fit a LOT more tree in a dumpster if you chip it.

    There a lot of ways to skin this kind of cat and it will come down to which machine you can get and are comfortable with, and what kind of relationships you have to handle the haul off and disposal. Good luck and take some pics!
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Thinking 3 days or so depending on access in and out and density of material to be removed. 4-5 ton mini is what I would definitely recommend, you want to be able to reach high, squash it, grab it and carry it out. Probably could be done with skidsteer but turning around sucks, if you have room to swing a mini around that's the winner. No dozer, won't load any cans and I've found dozers very worthless for clearing unless you're just pushing to a burn pile covering large areas. I'd say at least 3, 40 yard cans but again, without seeing the density of the material that's hard to say.
  10. sven1277

    sven1277 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    I think I'd cut the small trees down. Either rent a chipper or put an ad on cl for free firewood, you haul. Chip the brush, then you only have the chip pile and stumps to worry about. Pull them or rent a grinder for a day. Plenty of ways to do it.

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