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  • Clear and haul brush?

    Ok so the big job I last spoke about fell through but they called me this morning with an offer. The water district need all the brush cleared 5 feet from the fence surrounding the property. They will provide the container to put it in and the tools for the job. Its kinda funny but without even giving a price they say "We know this will cost several thousand dollars and it will be a year round thing" But want a bid to do it. Now mind you the last time I mad the hour drive I didn't pay attention to the property line. I find it hard to even give a bid bit I am also told there are several 40+ foot trees there and manly will need to come down. Any suggestions on a reasonable hourly rate for clearing brush and trees in N. Cali?
    White Company

  • #2
    What equipment are you going to be using to do all this? Do you have it or will you have to buy/rent it?
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    • #3
      Steve. I am not completely sure. I was told the county would buy anything I need to get it done. All I know is that and there are a lot of blackberry bushes, poison oak and trees that need to come out. I was also told they would get a container to put it all in but I am planning to "If I do the job" cut the trees down, chop them up and haul them out to sell to a local fire wood place. I am just not sure what a reasonable price would be or how to even bid this. They want an hourly price as well as a price for the whole job. I have never had to do anything on this level before. Thus far all my bids have just been kinda guessing but I would hate to lose it for bidding to high or lose money by bidding to low.
      White Company

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      • #4
        I was told the county would buy anything I need to get it done.
        They would buy it and store it for you? What about fuel? Would they fuel it up?

        This does seem like a big project.

        Why not make a list of equipment that would be needed and present it to them and then include in the bid your time?

        If they will buy the equipment, would that make it easier for you to simply have your bid include your labor costs?
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        • #5
          IMHO hauling the brush is, well I would sell them on this, a waste of time and money. I would use a chipper. It would be expensive for you but if you rented a chipper and something small and four wheel drive to pull it with (I would use one of our ATV's or the X749), for clearing it, can't beat the walk behind trimmers for brush up to the size of your small finger, we use the Oregon Nylium Nylsaw Serrated Sharp Teeth .170 OMG this stuff seems to go through whatever is in front of it.

          For the trees chip everything 4" and under, find a spot to haul the larger wood to and sell it, we do this all the time, we get paid to haul the wood away (I have a spot on my property I cleared where I can store about 40 cords) then we simply split, stack and sell it, pick up only as we do not deliver firewood so we make money on both ends. We probably sell 80 cord of wood a year, to me that is just gravy money.

          Can't tell you how to bid as I would have to see it, I suspect by the hour and I could pull the sale off explaining why I would bid it this way, what experience and equipment we would use and why, supply references and put a clause in the contract that it could be dissolved at any time should the client feel that the cost did not equate to the amount of work being performed, it's never happened but it's a hidden selling feature, we have the confidence that we can do the job at hand far beyond the clients expectations so we throw this clause in as it says hey you have a way out if you feel your dollar isn't going far enough. Trust me it works and I do this on a regular basis, especially tree or clearing work.

          For bigger stuff we use the FS series of Stihl with the professional comfort harness and a host of blades, depending on what the staff are up against, they know the blade or piece of equipment that will yield the best results.
          Andy
          Halifax, Nova Scotia

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          • #6
            Since you are only clearing 5' then just rent a walk behind bush hog. Blackberry bushes suck... LOL

            You need to do this yourself. Rent the equipment if you have to. Seems to me the county is wasting your time and trying to justify their own employees. If it were me, I would give them an all inclusive price. I would probably rent a tractor with a bushog and a bucket. Use the bucket to clear the black berries and such and then you can cut the trees and use the tractor to drag the logs to your truck and even load the wood. After all that you can grind the stumps and bush hog the whole area for a finish.

            1. Rent tractor - Clear blackberries and cut and haul trees
            2. Rent Chipper - Do as Andy suggested and chip all the smallr stuff
            3. Rent Stump Grinder - Self explanatory
            4. Rent Bush Hog - Self explanatory

            Now with that I have not seen the site, also does your insurance cover you for falling trees? Probably not, and the gov't will come after you if anything is damaged. I would still deal with them but not waste as much time talking to them. They either want your services or not.
            Pat

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            • #7
              Ok lets see if I can keep up here. As far as insurance Its not a problem because I dont have it. I have a walk behind weed eater so that's covered. Got the ATV, The county has a host of tractors I can use now the chipper is the problem. I am not sure they have one. They said they were going to have a bin brought in to put everything in. I dont quite understand there reasoning behind all of this. I know the BOS told them to contract it out and not use county employee time. I am baffled as to why they would buy all the equipment I need. I mean bet your *** if I hire a contractor he better bring his own hammer. I figured giving a price for the entire job was out of the question I am just not quite sure what to charge per hour. The only real instruction is it has to all be to the ground so they can get there tractor and discs back there.
              White Company

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              • #8
                Ok so I just talked to them again and all the ideas "Rent tractor, chipper, stump grinder" were pretty much shot down. They said the county is providing the 8X60 containers as well as dumping them so its a county expense and since they are county funded they do what the county tells them. They said if in fact I get started and its just impossible then they will look into getting heavy equipment in there but not until they are sure they need it. I can only work out there 3 days per week and they understand and agree with that and my initial quote was around $1,050 per week which is $35 per hour 10 hours per day. This was not protested at all so I guess that's good.
                White Company

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                • #9
                  Sorry but this is typical government, it would be cheaper for them in the short and long term to chip it and it's better for the environment then hauling it to a dump, but I know what you are up against. I deal with problems every week created by the dept of transportation outting the wrong grade on newly paved roads and washing out customer driveways, some are pretty serious, they are a nightmare to deal with.
                  Andy
                  Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                  • #10
                    God I didn't know what I was getting into. I just got back from the location and its bad. My initial estimate comes in around 26K however i am going to try to massage it down to at most 20K Its about a half mile of fairly heavily wooded Oak land. I will toss a video together here in a little bit to share.
                    White Company

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                    • #11
                      Ok here is the video. We were talking business so I cut out the audio. For the most part everything you see green needs to come out.
                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCgYBmaAEMs
                      White Company

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                      • #12
                        what even qualifies u to do this work? how come the county chose you? did u advertise online?
                        It takes at least two steps to be 3 steps ahead!

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                        • #13
                          what even qualifies u to do this work? how come the county chose you? did u advertise online?
                          Nothing qualifies me to do it. I know I can but have never taken on a project like this. The reason they chose me is I have family and friends in high places.
                          White Company

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                          • #14
                            Ok here is the video. We were talking business so I cut out the audio. For the most part everything you see green needs to come out.
                            That looks like ALOT of work.

                            Ok this might sound crazy but have you considered subcontracting these different jobs out and just manage to make sure it all gets done?
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                            • #15
                              That is a very big job, people around here will pay up to $140.00 a cord for the hardwood 3" and larger, there is a lot of wood there, chipping is the answer, they will be forever hauling that away in the 16' bins, if it's the very large commercial bins that I am thinking of.
                              Andy
                              Halifax, Nova Scotia

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