how much to dig a hole?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by jpmako, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 593

    I got a call from someone that is going to put in a giant koi pond.

    The dimensions are 25' wide x 15' long and 4' deep.
    Approximately what would some of you guys charge?
    I have a small backhoe and I think that for this particular job I would rent a bigger machine to get this done faster.
    all of the dirt is going to be used by the homeowner to level off some low spots so I just need some ideas on price for digging the hole!

  2. stxkyboy

    stxkyboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    thats 55 yards of dirt
  3. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 593


    Yup its a lot of dirt and rocks...
    So how much?
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    Never fails, when I dig a big hole I usually end up hitting rock. Hard to tell whats down there before you start digging. Put a rock clause in your contract and charge by the hour. What about electric and phone lines and sewer and water lines. Need to protect yourself there as well. Most home owners dont have a clue where all this stuff is located but if you hit it they expect you to pay for it. Most utilities want you to call before you dig so they can locate their undergrounds for you but dont bet on them being accurate. I have seen them be off by 10 or more feet when locating power and phone lines. They might even charge you for locating the wires and pipes so be sure and check before you give a price for the hole.
  5. CuLayTur

    CuLayTur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    To answer this, you still need to give more information. The amount of material is 55.58 Banked Cubic yards and depending on the type of material removed (loam, clay, sand, etc) will translated in to a different Loose Cubic yards. If you have a loam, this will be close to 73 Loose Cubic yards of material.

    Next you say you have a small backhoe, what is the heaped capacity of the backhoe bucket. Also what is the operators ability level (expert, or novice) and the cycle time to remove one bucket full of material and move machine to next dig location..

    If you go with a expert operator with a 50 minute per hour work time and a .35 Heaped Cubic yard bucket and 75% effiicent operator and a cycle time of 20 seconds it would take roughly 7 hours to remove the material.

    I would charge out here about $675 which includes tranport fees to and from the site.

  6. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Great figuring Curt .... so many guys forget that excavation "fluffs up" I did'nt check your 55.58 figure but it looks like you use around the same 35% extra that I use for the loose material. Makes a huge difference ...especially when trucking it away!

    Do you use the efficient % of the operator much?

    Jp ... I would probably give them my best guesstimate and then go in at an hourly rate..... never know what your going to run into and how much time you will spend piling up the spoils.
  7. CuLayTur

    CuLayTur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Kris - I use that calculation everytime I give an excavation estimation. I have a spreadsheet will every piece of equipment (dozer, front end loader, backhoe and tractor with a box blade) created. Just enter the information about the job site and it will calculate everything.. It's working pretty good once you get the right information about employees.

    Operator effiency will very depending on the operator, my business partner has more experience in the drivers seat of a backhoe, so I would give him a 80% rating, myself since I have less experience would give myself a 65% rating. It all depends on who is available for a given job.

  8. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    Labor + Machine Cost + Dirt and Stone Relocation/Trucking Costs.

    Might wanna have the area marked out as well jus to be sure, septic, gas n what not.


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