Need help on rock removal pricing!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by green-pa, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I have a mowing customer from last year that is wanting a big job on his one acre prop. Mainly just around his house. He has probably over 1,000 sq foot of beds surrounding his house filled with lava rock and other small rocks. he says he wants them all removed and some leveling dirt and mulch put in instead. Also wants a few med sized ever greens cut down and removed. I know how to price the mulch install and plant removal as I've had experience there. But as far as removing all that stone???? I really have no clue. It could take 40 hours or 80. I know it's going to be a tough and back breaking work to shuvel all that heavy rock and then wheel barell it out of there. ( I know I mispelled barell). Should I just give a flat estimate for all but the rock removal and tell him since I'm not sure how long it will take, that I must give an hourly rate? Is there a way to do a proper estimate on removing this rock?
  2. S L C

    S L C LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    you mispelled shovel too... sorry! :rolleyes:

    anyways... I have removed rock by shovel b4 and it sux!! Give him an hourly rate of $45 and if he doesn't like it, throw him a real high figure of 3 g's or tell him to hire some illegal's... :clapping::dancing::clapping::clapping:
  3. YoungGun

    YoungGun LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    I Usually give them one for the whole job
    or a starting figure plus a lower hour wage metally they feel like it less!
    and a huge part is moving them like hauling away so break down the price i have had costomers who will pay for me to take um out but just put them under the deck or the woods instead of charge 500 to haul away
  4. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    They have like power wheel barrows right? Or some kind of mini-truck to use to transport small amounts of rocks, mulch, ect by hand? I know it is going to suck using a shovel. But I'm hoping with a heavy duty one with a point, it will cut in between the lava rock so it can be transported. Then I'm wondering if I'm going to have to do that again to put it in my truck. I don't have a dump style truck or trailer. If I have to rent one of those, this is going to get really expensive. There is a woods behind his house, but I may have to get the permission of the man behind him who owns more acreage I'm hoping.
  5. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    Yeah, I was thinking that is what I'd really want. He pays me the equiv. of about $35/hr to cut and trim ( last year). That job is MUCH easier than shuveling heavy debrit for hours on end.

    Can u think of a way to get it in the truck though after it's in the wheel barrel? My trailer has a ramp, but no real sides, I'd have to lay a strong tarp down or something, and then, how would I get it out of my trailer to dump it?

    I see a lot of potential for $ in this job that could get me through the next few weeks so I could quit my night job that's paying the bills ( but only paying like $14/hr), so I really want to get it done. But am I in over my head?

    Will I need a dump truck?

    Maybe I could rent a dump trailer?

    I've got a lot of ideas floating but not sure how to get rid of these rocks with my regular truck and trailer.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    How do you figure on netting more than what your night job pays you?

    'Only' 14 / hr, what the hell is wrong with you people? :laugh:

    But that's all right, we'll just keep on going until our money becomes worthless.
    Then, when a thousand dollars isn't worth what a dollar buys today, then the
    cold hard truth just might smack some folks square enough in the face that maybe,
    just maybe there's change for the better.

    Not that I'm holding my breath, but maybe that's what we need.
  7. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    I always net more than that in this biz. I keep my expenses low and my profits high. I feel sorry for anyone in this that doesn't.
  8. green-pa

    green-pa LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 737

    And $14 hr isn't much compared to many people I know. My mom's bf made like $120/hr ( or $250k/yr) in his insurance business. My dad worked on the railroad and made $30/hr+ working overtime. RN's I know make $35-40/hr or more. I have like 18,000 in debt. So yeah, $14/hr isn't so good 2 me anymore.
  9. goodgreen

    goodgreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    I did the same type of rock removal last year and was sorry I took the job. Just used my regular hourly rate. But I did not realize how deep the rock went and it took me days to finish. Also gave the guy a cap on hours and went over that by about 3 hours. Earned quite a bit but it was the worst job I've ever taken on. Also rained for 2 days and had to do it in the wet - ever see wet lava rock?
  10. Smith Lawn & Landscaping

    Smith Lawn & Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    You could use one of those load handlers to get the rock out of the truck and dump it where ever?? Or just include a rental dump trailer in the price? don't be scared to make ur money on this job!!! check with local shops too see if anyone rents out those electric wheel barrows. good luck man!!!

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