Storm Debris Removal: Question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MOturkey, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Not really a forum on here, perhaps, for this question, but figured some of you guys have done this type of work, and can help out with some information.

    One of my best friends is thinking of bidding on the removal of debris from our recent ice storms. He has access to a single axle dump truck (7 cubic yard bed), and owns land that he can dump the debris (limbs) on, so no dumping fee, but each dump trip will be about 15-20 miles round trip.

    The bid is to be based on an estimated 1200 cubic yards of debris, and they want the bid to be by the yard. Do any of you have any idea what kind of ballpark figure a job like this usually commands. It is a government entity that is taking bids, if that makes any difference.

    Also, he is thinking of renting a chipper to reduce the number of loads, and was wondering if the bid per cubic yard would remain the same if the intent is to chip the debris, then haul?

    Anyhow, thanks for any help. Neill
  2. Greybeard

    Greybeard LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Questions: How big are the biggest pieces? If everything can go thru a chipper, definitely rent one. What other equipment do you have? A skid with a grapple would save time. If the dump truck is like 26,000 GVW or larger class, I would build taller sides for it, as wood isn't that heavy, and you'll save time. It's a long way between pickup and dump sites, so you will be waiting for the truck to return. You might think about hiring another truck to load while yours is on the road.
  3. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    Having seen too many cleanups from hurricanes, the thought of just 2 trucks is even low if the debris is all in a fairly compact area. A truck will take no more than 15 minutes to load with a skilled operator. If the truck has to travel 15 miles at 30 MPH, it will take atleast 1 hour per roundtrip. Even at 45MPH you're looking at 40 minutes per trip. 3 trucks would be more like it at that distance. Longer distances would require more trucks to keep the loader and operator busy. With a setup like pictured below, you can fill a semi-dump trailer in 15 minutes.



  4. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,049

    7 yard trucks are very small for this job.
  5. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,782

    Thanks for the replies. I believe a skid loader with a grapple is what they are going to use to do most of the loading. Also, the debris isn't all in one location, it will be spread out along a route of approximately 10 miles, so I was kind of averaging the distance to the dump site.

    I realize this is a big job for the equipment, and so does my friend, but there is no time limit on the job, so if he can bid it profitably, he doesn't really care how long it takes, and, at this point, there will only be two of them working, my friend and his cousin.

    Any thoughts as to what to charge for something of this magnitude? Thanks. Neill
  6. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    I've been doing some debris removal post-Hurricane Katrina. I basically do exactly what you're asking about.

    My advice would be:

    Get a bigger truck/trailer. I would run at LEAST a 30+ yard dump trailer. You can pick up a tandem-dually dump trailer (20k lb. capacity) NEW off of ebay for about $10k. You can find them used for much cheaper.

    If all of the debris is in one location, I would try and be running at LEAST two trucks/trailers.

    I would most definitely invest in a skid w/grapple bucket.

    If all of the debris were in small enough pieces to pick up/load with the grapple bucket (ie - no more cutting necessary) I would bid somewhere around $8-10/cu. yd.

    I also run debris for homeowner's and contractors. I usually charge them around $400-$450 for a full trailer load (my trailer is a 33 cu. yd. trailer). Keep in mind, though, that I do pay $4/cu. yd. to dump the debris.

    I don't think I'd compromise my price just because I have the available land to dump the waste OTHER than if I thought that other bidder's had the same advantage.

    Hope this gave you some help...

  7. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    there has to be money in it....the guy who rents the shop next us will take his tractor trailer(53' waste trailer) everywhere for clean-ups. he will drop everything hes doing even plowing snow and go to florida or something
  8. GravelyNut

    GravelyNut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,594

    FEMA money comes in to play with that. If you look at the dump trailer in the picture you'll see a blue sticker on it. That's a dump sticker saying it is under FEMA contract. We see them from all over after a hurricane hits. In the one picture you'll see a dually Chevy with a Big Tex trash trailer also. That day there were 5 semis and 6 of the Big Tex on our road alone.

    And CALandscapes, those are post Katrina pictures for us. They had to hurry the job as we were expecting Rita within 2 days. And not much later we got hit by Wilma. 2005 was a bad year for storms.

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