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spreading top soil

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by deanslawnservice09, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. deanslawnservice09

    deanslawnservice09 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 78

    I have a customer who, after his spring clean-up wants 4 areas of his yard top-soiled because the roots of some trees are coming through. I gave him an estimate of about 30 yards of top soil he would need to cover roots and give him a nice layer as needed. Anyone ever spread 30 yards before, if so how much did you charge, and is it worth is to rent a bobcat for about $300 dollars? In other words, about how long would it take with a bobcat and without?
  2. Leo the Landscaper

    Leo the Landscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Get a quote on having it blown in. Then sub it out.
  3. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    you need to consider the trees. you will kill them if you cover the roots. they come up for a reason. they are called air roots this tells me there is a drainage problem in the area. maybe a lot of moss. you need to let the customer know this before you bid. fix the drainage problem then your may cover the roots.
  4. capetrees

    capetrees LawnSite Member
    from ma
    Messages: 221

    I'm going to guess the trees are Norway Maples, notorious for keeping their roots at the surface. You can cover them today but next year and every year after, the roots will continuw to come up.

    30 Yards of topsoil is around 2 10 wheel truck loads. My brother, a cheapskate, decided one day to install his lawn and had 30 yards dropped in the yard. Two days later, he was done shoveling and was near death. $300 for the day? Line up a couple jobs. With a Bobcat, you'll have the topsoil spread in about 1 hour and it's well worth it. Then take the machine to another job and make more $$$ there. For a cheaper price, see if you can get the half day rate if they have one. You'll have it spread in no time.
  5. Travel'n Trees

    Travel'n Trees LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    do you guys know what causes this they are large trees and the canopy deflects the water from the trees. You can probably stand under the tree during a light storm and stay some what dry and during dry months nobody waters them and they start looking for water. You can put thirty yards of pulverized by wheel barrel in what 6 hours top and you could go very thin and then a little touch up later
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  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I go along with the idea of a lighter coat of dirt and that 30 yds is way to much... do the actual math yourself with just bringing the soil to the top of the roots +1' for settling...
    Bobcats around exposed tree roots and turf is just so irritating...
  7. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 651

    First: I would use a small tracked loader, not a wheeled bobcat. Takauchi 130 is a good size.

    Second: No need to waste $ on pulverived dirt if you have a machine to spread it.
    Regular black dirt with clod's will do just fine.

    Third: Generally I figure about 1.5 ton's of dirt for a yard.
    30 yard's=45 ton's...........3 ten wheeled dump truck's hauling at legal load of 15 ton's per truck load.
    Should cover about 3000 square feet at 3" deep.
    I yard = 1.5 ton's = 100 square foot at 3".
    Dirt weight can vary due to moisture content.........
    Some say a yard = a ton, but I have alway's come up short by 1/3 using that formula....
    It alway's look's like alot in a pile, then as you spread it you start to wonder where it all went.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,268

    I disagree with trying to cover up the roots and I also disagree with the calculations at 3". Good luck trying to spread that much soil over that size area at exactly 3" .
  9. Get Some...

    Get Some... LawnSite Senior Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 651

    A good loader operater can maintain a fairly consistent depth.
    How do you calculate it?
    I am alway's willing to learn something new. :)
  10. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,268

    Sorry, I didn't use accurate wording. I didn't disagree with the method for calculation. I just meant I would figure some overage because it's impossible to spread at an absolute depth.

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