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Grading Cost

Grading Cost

Grading Cost

I wanted to get some input on general cost of earthwork. While the unit cost per cubuc yard varies by different factors such as gepgraphic location, complexity of earthwork involved, total earthwork, and remediation measures as needed to name a few, what unit cost would any of you have across under current prices? For instance, one of the projects I'm working on is located in northern California. Any input is appreciated.

RE: Grading Cost

I usually come around $3/cy for labor and equipment for flat rough excavation, $5/cy for rough pit excavation $.20/cy for compaction $10/cy for backfill (pit) somewhere 30 cy/ man hr excavation those are rough and vague numbers.

RE: Grading Cost

In addition you can also get the CAT performance handbook which gives you some performance characteristics of some equipment call up a local rental shop ask for rates and figure it out that way as well.

RE: Grading Cost

Quantity and haul distance will probably be your biggest factors.

Large quantity projects (>100,000 cu. yds) that can utilize scrapers can be $1-$2 per cu. yds.

Smaller quantity projects that require excavators and dump trucks can get up to $6-$12 per cu. yd. (varies by haul distance).

FYI - I'm in Colorado.

RE: Grading Cost

A standard 10-wheeler dump truck has the capacity to carry 10 CY. A tandem axle dump truck will hold about 16 CY. The unit price for moving dirt for medium size projects is about $10-15/CY. Having said that, the hauling distance is very important in determining the cost.

RE: Grading Cost

what the heck is a "medium sized project?" those numbers sound more like very small. dump trucks are usually only needed for borrow and export projects, long hauls, or for bringing in aggregate. most earthwork projects are balanced or waste on site, trucks might not be needed

depends on your point of reference, but this might be a guide:
very small <100 yards
small <5,000 yards
medium <50,000 yards
large >50,000 yards

RE: Grading Cost

So based on your ranges, what units costs do you recommend?

RE: Grading Cost

I'm not recommending anything until you give up some more information. size is just one useful bit of information, there are a lot more. Frankly, recommending a unit cost without knowing any of the particulars of the project is a waste of time.

  • size
  • type of project / scope of work - roadway, dam, building site, mass grading, subdivision, trenching, clearing
  • equipment used - grader, bulldozer, scrapers, loader and dump truck, skip loader, bobcat, backhoe
  • green or brownfield
  • private / public / industrial
  • geotech - granular, silty, clay, rocky, rock
  • groundwater / surface water
  • steep / flat
  • borrow / balanced / waste on site / haul off
  • compaction required?
  • blasting?

RE: Grading Cost

cvg - very thorough list.

I would add that haul distance, as in on-site haul distance, is very important.

As a rough example, when constructing a 2-3 mile road, if your entire cut is on one end of the project, and your fill is on the other side of the project, this will significantly increase earthwork unit costs. Also, what's the distance between the borrow area and the fill areas, or the distance from the cut areas to the designated stockpile location? This is why road contractors very often request a mass diagram when bidding on a project.

I would also add under the geotech portion: swell/shrinkage factor (if applicable)

RE: Grading Cost

Call a local contractor and ask him.

RE: Grading Cost

RS Means gives you the breakdowns on haul lengths and various material factors. If you think you'll have to defend your "opinion of probable cost" (not estimate) in court, use a standard reference publication like Means. Adjust for the project factors (rock, haul distance, compaction requirements, ...) and apply the regional factors in the back of the book for labor and materials to localize their national averages. I also like to compare my final Means numbers to published DOT bid units in the area, these are usually available free online.

See http://rsmeans.reedconstructiondata.com/, you might want Heavy or Site depending on the project.

RE: Grading Cost

I respect your opinion and you have given me very valuable information in other threads that I have posted. I appreciated your input but don't necessarily like the tone of your last post. "I'm not recommending anything until you give up some information" - Really? I'm withholding information? Maybe I should have asked "What do you suggest?" rather than recommend. Not sure if that makes a difference. See my original post, I have been doing this for a while and I know there so many factors/variables that can affect the cost. I know there is always room for improvement; for me to learn something new everyday but I was simply asking for what others have come across. You said, "...recommending a unit cost without knowing any of the particulars of the project is a waste of time." Well if a question on here is a waste of time, then simply don't respond. I'm sure you are as busy as the rest of us and our time is valuable. Thank you for your time.

Thank you for your input. As always this site is such a great forum to exchange information. I will take everyone's input to further review the specifics of my projects.

RE: Grading Cost

you still havent provided any details

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