Landed a big brush clearing job.

Have you ever been called to give an estimate on clearing a large wooded area of brush? Such projects can appear daunting at first because it’s hard to get a full grasp of what is in front of you and how long the job will take. That is why some lawn care business owners bid these jobs at a daily rate. Let’s check out an example of this type of bidding on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “last week I got a call from a man who got my number from a realtor who sold them 10 acres of land about a mile or so outside my service area.
They want to build a nice big home on this land, but the land is pretty well overgrown with pines, oaks, and a lot of brush.

I walked the property with the wife, who is basically in charge of the project, and she says she wants me to clear the brush so she can see what the land looks like under it all so she can decide where to build the house/ driveway, etc. This is the first phase of brush clearing she wants done. The next phase will be after she decides where to put the house, I will clear all the large trees, etc. That will be a separate job not included in this bid.

I tell her my charge is $800 per day for a 3 man crew and that the job can take between 7 to 14 days. She said that’s fine. I wrote out the contract and she gave me a check for $2,000 to get started. I start next Monday.

She is an actress who just got out of the business and they left L.A. 2 weeks ago and moved up here. I can’t say I blame them. This is an amazing area and everyone moves from the city to here. I was lucky enough to be raised here.

I have done a lot of jobs like this, usually about half this size though. There is no brush burning this time of year so I will end up chipping it all at the end of the job. Until then it all goes into piles. I use a 12″ top handle saw to cut all the brush. It weighs 6.6 lbs, so it is easy on fatigue.

I hire 2 guys to help me usually at $15 per hour. $240 in labor per day means about $560 per day in my pocket. At the end of the job, I will drop one of the guys and pick up a chipper so I will still be profiting about the same. They paid me the $2,000 down and I will collect the rest at the end of the job. I sort of based the down on a 25% figure, but rounded off.

They called me and I met with them once. Talked on the phone a couple of times. That was it. Emailed a couple times too.

When conditions are dry like they are here. I always pick up several fire extinguishers and have them nearby and ready to go just in case. Always safety first. I keep my guys hydrated with gatorades and such and usually feed them lunches and powerbars and stuff. A happy, well hydrated crew is a productive crew. My guys love working for me.

I will have nothing to do with the actual construction of the home, but I know they have already done all the perk tests and everything.”

A second lawn care business owner said “Congradulations!!! I like these projects and your price is good for this type of project.

Will this house be on a well and or septic field? If so, check with your county office, within reason (here) you can place the house pretty much where you want it, most of the time. What they do however is make you dig perk holes first so they can check drainage, then they look for brooks, lakes, other wells and or septic fields in the area and give you the green light to clear for a house in a specified spot.

If plan on doing any burning of the brush, check with your insurance agent first. We are not allowed to so we chip everything.

Finally a brush saw makes quick work of the small trees (up to 4″), I find them to be worth their weight in gold.”

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