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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Mar 2006
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    20
    Location
    Eastern Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Massey 285

    Default Excavator cost per hour????

    Can anyone give me an estimate on what the average (ballpark) cost per hour is on a large excavator with a thumb. I have several stumps to be taken out (in the future after logging) and am trying to figure approximately what it will cost to pop the stumps out after logging. I am in the northeastern Oklahoma area. The area is flat so access and operation for the equipment won't be a factor. Total acreage to be cleard of stumps is approximately 30.

    I have hired a forester to sell the logs for me but we can't find a local logger who is willing to push the trees down before cutting so I've decided to hire a someone to dig the stumps out after being cut. I have heard excavator work is pricey so I'm trying to get a feel for how much I can expect to spend. Any help is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    373
    Location
    Alabama
    Tractor
    JD 5200, NHBoomer 35

    Default Re: Excavator cost per hour????

    $80-100 in this area. Why not rent one and get some seat time. They are FUN!!!

  3. #3
    Silver Member Coyote's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    191
    Location
    North Carolina
    Tractor
    Yanmar 2000B & Skat Trak 1300D skid steer

    Default Re: Excavator cost per hour????

    Count on many hours at that rate for 30 acres, a week maybe.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    373
    Location
    Alabama
    Tractor
    JD 5200, NHBoomer 35

    Default Re: Excavator cost per hour????

    What size trees? A dozer with a root rake may be cheaper.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    17
    Location
    San Juan Islands, Wa. and Sacramento, California
    Tractor
    Kubota 3710, KX121 excavator

    Default Re: Excavator cost per hour????

    $125 where I am and you have to wait in line! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Excavator cost per hour????

    You should have no problem finding a logger in your area that will be willing to cut the trees and remove the stumps. They will pay you less money due to the fact that their cost to acquire the timber would be more.
    If you don't have job then rent an excavator, but if you don't have 40-50 hrs per week to run the machine then you will lose your a@@. Usual prices for hiring someone with an excavator to remove stumps should be 12"-36" $90-$150 per stump,
    36"-60" $150-$350 per stump. 30 acres will cost a fortune!
    My suggestion would be to sell the timber to someone that is willing to remove the stumps for a larger cut in the timber.

  7. #7
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    5,980
    Location
    S. IN
    Tractor
    Jinma, Foton, TYM, Belarus, Yanmar, Branson, Montana, Mahindra and maybe some green and orange too.

    Default Re: Excavator cost per hour????

    Most lumber mills won't take any lumber that has been 'rolled'. Asking someone to push the tree over before they take the timber usually renders the wood worthless. Depending on the job being done and the size of the sawmill saw, a blade can cost thousands of dollars. One heavy oak tree that has been rolled around by a dozer can ruin a blade. That is why nobody would push them over for you.

    Someone mentioned selling your stumps. Unless they are black walnut, they have zero value. Again, that is why you don't have people lined up to take them for you. Almost every place around my area simply digs a giant hole and buries the stumps. Even then, you will get some sinkholes since it's almost impossible to get dirt packed tightly around all the roots. It's usually no big deal, but I wouldn't want sinkholes (even generally small) appearing in my front yard or under my septic tank.

    I assume that you can rent an excavator in your area. Be ready for a delivery and pickup fee on top of the weekly or hourly fee. Also, are you experienced with an excavator? Sure, almost anybody can operate one. The difference is not only the quality of a job that can be done by the experienced operator, but the time it takes to do the job. I'd say that I am an "average" excavator operator, and I can get done in one long day as a totally inexperienced operator can in a week. And, I'm not talking about someone who hasn't been around tractors; just someone who has not run an excavator. A really good excavator operator can get done in a week what would take me a month to do.

    I don't know you at all and I don't know your level of expertise on an excavator, so please don't take my comments as saying that you don't know how to operat an excavator. You very well could be the person who can do in a week what it would take me a month to do. I was only trying to prove a point that sometimes a really "expensive" excavator operator may be cheaper in the long run for doing the job. Besides that, a really good excavator operator will give his opinion on ideas if asked, which may help you some. That same really good operator will also simply keep his mouth shut if you don't want to hear about his thoughts and only do what you hired him to do.

    When I first got to where I figured was competent on an excavator, I'd bid on jobs and then lease a friend's excavator to do those jobs. One older guy I was doing a job for got me good and I still remember his point. In retrospect, I should have paid him for teaching me a good lesson in business. At the end of the first day of work, we were leaning against the machine and I was blabbering on about how much I got done and how I figured he ought to do this, and that etc. When I finished talking, he calmly told me that it was his understanding was that he was hiring me to operate an excavator for him, not to tell him what my opinion was on how he should use his land. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] Obviously he was right.

    I mention this little story for several different reasons. If you get bids for the job, you'll figure out many of what I'm talking about. Also, unless things have changed, I could likely stay busy billing out $65 for just my time operating the machine. That wouldn't include rent for the machine, fuel for the machine, permits to haul the machine, etc. As in most things, you can find jerks out there who will do a crappy job and charge you an arm and a leg for their pathetic work. They most likely won't be around in a few years. Having said that, it wouldn't surprise me at all to have a good company charge $125 to $150 per hour to do your work. Depending on how far their shop is from your place, they will most likely also charge you travel time to get the excavator to your place to start the job and then again to get the machine back to their shop when the job is finished. If it is muddy, many companies also charge a surcharge to clean their machine when they get it back to the shop.

    One of my best buddies owns a huge company that does just this sort of work in addition to specializing in underground boring work, like going under existing buildings and highways etc. He makes an extremely good living in this line of work, but mistakes can be costly. Whatever you do, good luck! If you have any more specific questions, just let me know.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Syncro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    506
    Location
    NW Nevada
    Tractor
    MF 1240, JD 210C TLB

    Default Re: Excavator cost per hour????

    Well said Dargo. Not to mention if you should break something operating the machine.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    9

    Default Re: Excavator cost per hour????

    Hello,

    I think your best bet would be to rent a dozer with a root rake. Takes less experience to run and could get the job done faster. You can rent a D6 for between 3-6k per month and that should be plenty of time to get your land cleared of stumps. The dozer also allows you to push the stumps out of the way once they are out of the ground, something the excavator doesn't. Good luck,

    PD

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    20
    Location
    Eastern Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Massey 285

    Default Re: Excavator cost per hour????

    The trees they are logging are anywhere from 16" to 36" in diameter. Mostly Oak. What size stumps will a d6 or d7 class dozer take out with a root rake? I actually have eighty total acres being logged but I wan't just 30 cleared off. And it doesn't have to look perfect, it will just be cattle pasture. My forester said that it is hard to find someone who will push them over before cutting because he said it is much more dangerous than cutting it while standing. I would think not but I'm not a logger.

    I don't have a problem with spending most of the logging proceeds on cleanup but the more I look into post logging cleanup it may actually cost you money out of pocket to have your place logged off if you wan't some of it cleaned up and cleared unless you have valuable trees.

    Thank you for all your recommendations.


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