Need help with land clearing job.

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by radracer, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Thanks for reading. Any and all replies are appreciated. I was recently given the opportunity to bid on the clearing of .85 acre near Zephyrhills Fl. The property is fairly wooded but all of the trees that they want cut are under 6” diameter. Most of the property is covered with thick brush and palmettos (see attached photos). The property is next door to an acre of land with a house on it and on the other side it is woods, across the back there is a lake and across the front there is a dirt road. It is in the middle of nowhere so pretty much anything goes. I have done some decent sized cleanup jobs but this would be the biggest that I have done so far. I currently have 1 employee but for this project I will probably hire a laborer from day labor for a few days. I was thinking of going in with 2 brush cutters and clearing all of the brush first. While we are cutting the laborer will be piling it up. Then we will pick up all of the trees and logs that are already down. As far as the trees and palmettos go I was thinking of getting a mini excavator or a bobcat. But will a mini excavator tear down a 4” tree and can it dig up the stump and palmettos. Or would I be better off doing it manually? I spoke with the fire chief and he said that I could burn the debris if I had an excavator or tractor on site to help put it out if necessary. I have a price in mind but I would like to hear your suggestions of both price and method.

    What would you charge for a job like this?

    Is a mini excavator capable of pulling out the stumps of the trees and palmettos?

    Is the mini excavator worth the price to rent? ($180 per day $750 a week)

    To get rid of the debris would you burn it, rent a dumpster or would you go the landfill?

    Note: If I did burn I would probably just burn the brush and take the logs to the dump.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
    Harold Burgess
  2. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Had to resize pics.



  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    An excavator is a good way to clear brush. Personally, I would start in the middle of the site and work outward, pushing and pileing the brush in the center and starting one big bond fire. I dont know how deep rooted the trees and palmettos are, if you dig one side of the tree before cutting it down, you should be alble to reach the excavator bucket up into the tree and just push it over. This will roll the root ball to the top of the ground and is a lot easier than digging up a stump. After you have pushed the tree over you can cut the stump off. If you start the brush pile burning will you work it should be burnt up by the time you are finished pileing it. I always start with a small pile by setting it on fire and then pileing on top of it. If it gets to hot I can always stop pileing and push or cut up more brush while the pile burns down. I also place all stumps on top of the fire, this way they will burn up also and not have to be hualed off or buried. Depending on how big a mini excavator you rent, you could have the area cleared in a few short hours or it could take you a couple of days. With excavtors, size does matter.
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Sounds a lot like a controlled hurricane. :p
  5. radracer

    radracer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 53

    Any suggestions on size of excavator? Thanks.
  6. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    A deere 550h or 650h (or any 100hp dozer) will take all that down in 1 day easily. Why even bother with a mini ex?

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