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Wanted: Opinions

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by Mick, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I’m wanting opinions here before deciding whether to have this guy do some work for me.

    Situation is that my neighbor is cutting a ¼ mile driveway for a new house. He hired a guy to cut trees and traded the work for the trees (firewood). Then he hired another guy with a dozer to build the road. He’s charging $50 per operating hour, which is what he also quoted me. He gave the neighbor an estimate on the total job. Today, the neighbor is telling me about the progress on the road. First, he got a surprise when he was told he needed some kind of material for the base he wasn’t expecting. But that could be expected. However, I’m really wondering about this - Dozer operator was roughing in the first part of the driveway so the cutter could get in and get the firewood. Then he was to come back and put in the second part. Well, there were a few trees in the way of another good stretch. The dozer operator/owner offered to cut the trees so he could continue. Neighbor said the cutter would cut them when he came and got the first bunch of firewood. Dozer guy said “Oh, I can get them” and proceeded to cut the trees. Took three hours. When the neighbor got the bill, he’d gotten charged $35/hr for tree cutting ($105). But the real kicker was - he left the dozer running while cutting trees; racked up three hours on the “hour meter” and charged $50/hr for the dozer, too (total for three hours - $255).

    My opinion is that he shouldn’t have been charged anything since the arrangement was with the cutter for cutting trees and this guy insisted and, second, even if you agreed to the $35/hr, he shouldn’t get charged for letting the dozer run for three unproductive hours.

    I was going to have him re-gravel my driveway but I think I’ll find somebody else. Am I wrong here?
  2. grotecguy

    grotecguy Senior Member
    Messages: 148

    I'd look elsewhere too.
    Sounds a little crooked to me,
    Mark K
  3. ShannonS

    ShannonS Member
    from IOWA
    Messages: 96

    dont blame you

    I work for my dad and his excavating company, we do stuff like that all the time. He should of stopped the clock on the dozer, and charged a hourly labor rate, for the cutting or not done it at all.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Thanks, guys. That's kind of what I figured, too. Just kind of surprises me, this is a small community - everybody knows you or knows someone who knows you... Deals are made all the time and don't even need a handshake.
  5. Bolts Indus.

    Bolts Indus. PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,176

    As far as resurfacing the driveway. I use my plow to do that. Just have the dump truck roughly spread it along the drive and level etc. yourself.
  6. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Dave, I'm leaning more in that direction. He quoted me $500 to level an area 12'x 100'. I can get 1/2" gravel for $7.50 yd, haul it myself and spread it out with the old 9' plow. It wouldn't be rolled over, but I did that to little area by the house and it turned out real good after we drove over it a few times.
  7. Boast Enterpris

    Boast Enterpris Senior Member
    Messages: 745

    Mick I think you should just do it yourself. Sounds like that guy was trying to make an extra couple hundred at your neighbors expenses. Do you have a rental store nearby? I think a small vibra-packer roller rents for around $75.00 a day here. It sure does a good job packing down a gravel driveway.
  8. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    Have you already talked to the dozer operator? if so tell him why you will not have him do the job. He needs to know so he can correct his practices and others in the future will benifit.
    You can do the job yourself and even if it is not perfice it should cost you less once you have the gravel in place.
    the compactor is important if you want the job to last.

    above all if you do the job yourself you can say you did it (pride) and have fun on different Tonka toys.

  9. The Boss

    The Boss 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,099

    Alright Mick, here's my opinion.
    It sounds like the contractor is a scam. If he would have cut down my trees after I told him not to, he would have done it for free. I also wouldn't be paying for his fuel because he wasn't smart enough to turn off the dozer. I'd be looking elsewhere for another contractor. :nod:
  10. As a Contractor myself, I can give you my advice. First of all, this was a scam from the operator. No way would I pay on those three hours, and I'd be hesitant to pay to cut the trees, since the price wasn't agreed upon. What we usually do is take out all the trees(with the dozer) and set them to the side, stacked nicely. Then go ahead and build the road. To build the driveway properly you will need many loads of base material and top coats of clean gravel.

    On a second note, $50hr for an excavator is cheap(that is probably why he left the machine running :) )around here, its at least $100hr
  11. lb59

    lb59 Junior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 25

    Around here it's 35 to 60 bucks an hour.
    I'm glad I'm not around there .
  12. Ole JIM

    Ole JIM Senior Member
    Messages: 137

    NO! Mick the Dozer man should NOT charge for running the Dozer for three hours--while He cut Trees--I Dono? why? some Guys Do this?--I had a Freind contact ME as He just bought a Home--a bit run Down but Nice!--needed landscaping Bad!--& Me Retired & ********?--I suggsted HE Rent a Dozer!--& I would re-Do his Landscaping--He rented ONe from a local equip rental Co--the hardest part was saving the Loam--stripping the Loam Off & pileing it UP! out of the way--Re-Cutting the Landscape was the Easy part!--re-covering w/ the Loam--& calling the Rental Co to come Pick Up the Dozer!--as We Racked & Rolled the entire Landscaped Area!--seeded IT & covered it w/seed & mulch Hay!--He needs his Driveway built UP a Bit!--but--I suggested He wait until things Dry Up a Little!--as He has Time as most secondary roads are still Posted!--& get a local small contractor to Do His Driveway!--& Hes One very Happy feller--as He saved a Bundel by renting the Dozer!--& I enjoyed doing IT--as it has been a While! --Ole JIM--