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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When doing trenching work is your labor rate for digging the danger as your doing electrical. Dont see home owners wanting to pay that much lol


What is labor time or productivity on average for trenching a 18-2' deep trench per foot 130'???

Not asking your prices cause wa all have different business cost. Just seeking guidance on how you charge for a labor type job thats incorporated into your scope of work
 

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I don't charge the customer a "per foot price", just a flat rate price with my own per foot prices built in.

2' deep trench is about $10/foot with a $500 min. If there are lots of trees or I know the area is more rocky, the price is closer to $15/ft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't charge the customer a "per foot price", just a flat rate price with my own per foot prices built in.

2' deep trench is about $10/foot with a $500 min. If there are lots of trees or I know the area is more rocky, the price is closer to $15/ft.
Im not charging the customer a per ft rate im trying to figur out what is the rate for labor on trenching and productivity.

Meaninng on average normal helper can dig an 18"-2' deep trench of 10' per hr thats an examplr.
 

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It costs anywhere from $75-$150 hr for a machine , plus delivery & dig safe costs .

That said, do you really want my haz-been grumpy 'ol posterior to take 3 days to go 130', or do you want a machine to knock it off & backfill it by lunch?

~CS~
 

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chicken steve said:
It costs anywhere from $75-$150 hr for a machine , plus delivery & dig safe costs . That said, do you really want my haz-been grumpy 'ol posterior to take 3 days to go 130', or do you want a machine to knock it off & backfill it by lunch? ~CS~
I agree, we don't dig by hand unless it's absolutely necessary. We rent the the correct size mini excavator and do it ourselves or sub it out on bigger projects. As for pricing, I don't break out the trench I include the pricing in my quote for the complete job. I have had homeowners ask if they can dig the trench themselves to save money which is fine, but then I give them back 75% of my costs to dig it, so we're making more profit. Digging with a machine is easy to estimate, rental, delivery, diesel, and a couple hours to dig and backfill. Once you get good with the machines controls the machine rental and delivery will be cheaper than digging by hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I agree, we don't dig by hand unless it's absolutely necessary. We rent the the correct size mini excavator and do it ourselves or sub it out on bigger projects. As for pricing, I don't break out the trench I include the pricing in my quote for the complete job. I have had homeowners ask if they can dig the trench themselves to save money which is fine, but then I give them back 75% of my costs to dig it, so we're making more profit. Digging with a machine is easy to estimate, rental, delivery, diesel, and a couple hours to dig and backfill. Once you get good with the machines controls the machine rental and delivery will be cheaper than digging by hand.
I just dont see the point of destroying the yard when they make a 4" wide trenching shovel that will make less damage to lawn. Imo

I do think rentals have there place I just dont know if this case it is worth it where yard is existing and intact.

Im not seperating the trench cost. Im tryi g to figure how I should charge and what the rate of productivity is????
 

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Im not charging the customer a per ft rate im trying to figur out what is the rate for labor on trenching and productivity.

Meaninng on average normal helper can dig an 18"-2' deep trench of 10' per hr thats an examplr.
Remember you cannot leave a helper alone digging, so you'll need a journeymen there Just to yell at the helper to dig faster :laughing:
 

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Again how long does it take to dig on average so many ft/per hr based on a 18"-2' deep.
I'm consistent at 1.732 ft/hr, unless there's beers waiting at the end.

A 3rd year apprentice can get up to 6ft/hr.

A 2nd year apprentice can hit 10ft/hr.

A brand new hire can do about 30ft/hr.
 

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Again how long does it take to dig on average so many ft/per hr based on a 18"-2' deep.

Do you charge same labor rate as when doing resi/commercial etc??
I use a trencher for soil. Its about 100' per hour, with all kinds of exceptions. In other words its insanely easy money. Why the hell would you trench 130' by hand? Go rent a trencher for $250 for the day.

If we are talking asphalt for commercial I sub it out.
 

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24 big guy said:
I just dont see the point of destroying the yard when they make a 4" wide trenching shovel that will make less damage to lawn. Imo I do think rentals have there place I just dont know if this case it is worth it where yard is existing and intact. Im not seperating the trench cost. Im tryi g to figure how I should charge and what the rate of productivity is????
Yeah most of my work is new construction so I don't have to worry about damaging the grass. They do rent a chain trencher that works ok I guess in our soil conditions (gumble) and is small enough not to do to much damage. What your looking for a flat rate for trenching doesn't exist in my opinion unless it's extremely high and takes into considerations all the bs your going to come across trenching by hand. I would say when we did trench by hand I just guessed at it and then added some more time just in case. Say a 30' trench here 6" wide and 18-24" deep would take me 3-4 hrs in my soil conditions. I would allow 6 hours for it in my estimate. If the yard has trees, the soil is rocky the labour will be more. If the situation and wiring methods are exactly the same in residential or commercial your pricing should be the same, just cause it's commercial doesn't make it cheaper or more expensive to be in business. Although in commercial you will encounter way more obstacles to work around this will affect your pricing.
 

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My company charges the same hourly rate whether we are digging, or troubleshooting. Who cares what I'm doing. You hired me, this is what it costs. When I work on the side, I charge $100 per foot of trench. That way I usually don't do it, and if I do, it's worth my time.
 
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