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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
So once we’re talking about rental equipment we’re going from a grand or so to between $2k to $3k. To rent the machine for a day $350-$400, picking up and returning the machine 2-3 hrs x hourly and actually cleaning out all the below dirt stuff. I was smart enough to tell him that to really get it clean it would be quite a bit more expensive.
 

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If you have an excavator you can pull the stuff out but you have to transport it to a truck or trailer. I always rented disposal bins, can get a 12-40 yard filled with yard waste dropped off/pickup and weight fee for a few hundred bucks.

If its something you can do in a day (the digging out stumps) I would do by hand and save damaging the yard with a machine. I cut up and completely dug out stumps of 6-10" diameter apple trees - 10 foot tall small ones in a day.

If you have loppers and a mattock, shovel, sawzall, small stumps come out easy.

I would do time and material as well or tell the client I am quoting it alot higher than what it should actually take, because I don't care about money and prefer clients to get a fair deal.
 

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This is exactly the kind of project that, if the customer has the time, I like to put on my "winter work" list. Yes, I literally keep a list of work saved for winter where the customers don't mind waiting.
This is part of how I stay busy year round.

And then, to stretch it out because it's not like I have a month or two worth of work on that list...
So...
For the $800 I would spend for a day's rental I can easily do two days worth of work with a chainsaw and some other power and hand tools, use my own utility trailer to haul it all off, charge $1000 and done. It's also fair to the customer since I'm not overcharging rental equipment costs on them.
 

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Looks like you're in privet heaven, or hell since you have to get out the rootballs. I might look at flush cutting and doing basal stump treatments from a licensed arborist. Privet will come back even if you think you've gotten all the roots. I tried to fool my Dad when I was a teen and flush cut the privet below grade and covered the stumps with dirt. I was in a lot of trouble when they all came back! But then they looked good for awhile. You may have to use a multiplicity of methods to get them out as I see chain-link fence. I tiny excavator with a thumb should work well to pull them out. A sawzall will work but not be fun as big as these appear. And depending on access, the tried and true truck and chain method would work. Lots of YouTube examples of how and how not to do that. I have a couple winter projects like that and one has a huge privet that's now 20+ ft. tall!! Remember, if you pull them out, dirt will have to go in the holes.
 

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A mini ex is not a "jump in for the first time and go to work on someone's property" piece of equipment in my opinion if you have never run one before.
Very true!

Mini ex has about 10 minute learning curve to get the basics down. Won't be a pro at it, but no time like the present to gain experience.
If the OP has never run a mini, or a skid for that matter, or a hoe, or anything of that nature, 10 minutes won't even get him past learning the controls let alone learning how to dig with them. Ther'es also some tight spots, a fence, and a pt cruiser to wack!
Wow, 10 minutes? y'all must have diesel in your blood.
Agreed, I think they're all assuming that the OP is a born operator who will just hop in and get it done with zero experience.

My bid would be no root removal and cut it all flush to the ground and clear and haul off. For full root mass removal I'm doubling your price.
 

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This is really a job for an experienced tree care company. Lots of chain saws and stump grinders.
But most of the young brush trees could be pulled out with a chain, or chain plus tractor--with hydraulic lift.
A day with moist soil would probably help--soft soil--pull the roots out, too.
Probably put the chain over an old car wheel to make the pull more nearly vertical.
 

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Different thought… change YOUR thoughts on it. (I’ve had to many times over my 30 years in this biz). How can you work with most of what is theeew and make it look sharp and presentable? Outside the proverbial box thinking.
I agree totally. I have a small hobby farm in Minnesota and a few mid-level tools and a 80 HP ASV track loader that could make VERY quick work of all that. HOWEVER. To make that look decent the trick is NOT to disturb the grass and minimally-invasive brush removal. I use a Stihl FS 74 with a carbide 7 1/2" carbide circular saw blade to cut that stuff. My estimate is it would take me about an hour or so to cut ALL the brush down to about 1" above the ground. I would apply Roundup(Glyphosphate) to all the stumps and let them rot. Or, in the case the OP feels he can't use chemicals on someone's property let him loan owner a pump sprayer and shoot the stumps himself less than a day after they are cut. Chainsaw would easily cut the palm but I would suggest the owner leave it for the buyer; heck, I would love to own a palm tree, what new owner wouldn't ?. . . taking it down seems crazy to me. Rented stump grinder is the way to take out the roots and minimize yard damage. If you damage the grass, you gotta' reseed and wait on that. Not a good idea.

The biggest part of the job is carting away the brush. OP sounds like he can leave it by the curb for city(??) to pick up . . . That may take a few tries / weeks before they grab it all!

I would offer two prices:
$1000 for "my" way and $2000+ using heavier equipment.
 

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If you have loppers and a mattock, shovel, sawzall, small stumps come out easy.
I have done a few solo, shrub removal jobs over the years and bid some others. The some total of what everyone one here is saying is my experience. You can rent a mini-ex or mini-skid and the job is a piece of cake. However, this raises your prices so high, there's a margin of where it's actually worth it. Or the above listed lineup of hand tools is your best option for small stumps.
 
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Also, as someone who cut palms in different yards for weeks earlier this fall (mixed in with lawn maint. of course) 1 hr should be more than enough time to clean that one up by the look of it.
 
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A gentleman I’ve worked for almost since my beginning is renovating the property in preparation to rent it. He asked me my thoughts and to price said thoughts. I walked around the backyard attempting to decide how long it might take to me to remove so much stuff but I was having a hard time fully wrapping my head around it all. Not the work of removing the above ground growth, it’s estimating my time and what the average company would charge.

I asked if he wanted the bulk of the roots out and he said price cutting flush and root mass removal. I mentioned that while I can certainly flush cut everything there may be surface roots visible that might not look that great. I mentioned that to remove the roots and prevent any regrowth would substantially increase the price.

• What type of machinery is needed to make mincemeat out of the roots of this growth with up to 1” diameter trunks?

I can deal with a few bigger ones with my farm jack, old chainsaw and sharp shovels. I’ve used an old plug in chainsaw to cut out small tree roots and shrubs from the ground before and it seems to work well enough. I also can borrow a sawzall if it’s an appropriate tool to cut a circle through the root mass. I’m also open to suggestions on better methods.

• Is it necessary to get the roots out so extensively or can mowing and string trimmer maintenance eventually kill everything. I’m not licensed to apply.

I can bring in hands if I decide to but I like to work alone and would have roughly until the new year and we don’t get frozen ground. My guess is 8-10 hours of hauling everything up to the street with just me working at a medium pace and all the miscellaneous debris bagged with my trusty hrx217 that I use for utility purposes as such.

• A good amount will have to be taken to the yard waste facility as this is way too much to just leave by the street. I could however do it in stages synchronized with the neighborhood’s perodical debris pickup.

I’ve said it a few times here and there but it’s worthwhile for me to say it again. I prefer to multiply my personal hourly to what an experienced and properly equipped outfits man hours would be. In other words I’m not going to charge for my inefficiency and lack of dump trailer and F350. If it takes me 15 hours to go from gate down to the last trip to the dump but an equipped guy can do start to finish in 7 hours then I want to base my pricing on the latter. If my hourly ends up a lot less then I’m used to when mowing it’s ok. The experience is valuable and in December it’s beautiful out and I’m barley working so I’m happy to get the job at a semi low to fair market price.

Anyone that’s kind enough to offer input on this long long post is really appreciated. If left to my own devices I’d charge around $900-$1,200 to flush cut everything and haul away what’s necessary. I don’t know how to even start pricing the below ground work, what equipment to rent or which agency to check on buried utilities.

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I also want to pitch him cleaning up this eyesore palm but haven’t tackled something nearly so in disrepair. I’m thinking $60 and try to keep it under an hour.

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Flush cut to 1" below soil grade, and run through the chipper into the chipper truck.

You can deal with any small sprouts thereafter with the weekly mowing.

That is likely the lowest cost option for your client.
 

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Do you have a mule and a chain? Are you from the country?
Yank all those small woody brush sprouts out--roots and all.

Maybe you can rent--pass this and the transportation cost onto the client--with a bit of markup.
Heck,

IF there are no underground utilities then why not!!!

Mule and Chain.

Methods long forgotten by many....Along our Tow path we are reminded that the Mule did much work with the Canal system.
 
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