Trenching labor

blueheels2

Senior Member
Location
Raleigh, NC
Occupation
Electrical contractor
Im bidding a job and I have someone who is going to bring out their trencher and trench 250'. He'll give me a price for that but he doesn't backfill. Anyone have a labor rate I can use to figure how long its going to take to backfill 250' of 18" deep trench. Best guess is 5 hours but I honestly have no idea. Residential if it matters. Trench is from house to boat dock.

Thanks
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
Good luck finding manual labor for that, best bet is to get a bobcat to back fill. Around here you can rent one for under $200 a day.
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
If its a short run, and small trench, I will (sometimes) use a yard rake turned upside down to backfill the trench. Any larger/longer trenches I sub out and they backfill. I tell customers my labor for filling trenches would be more than if I sub it out or if they do it themselves.
 

blueheels2

Senior Member
Location
Raleigh, NC
Occupation
Electrical contractor
I was trying to get out as cheap as possible but that's not happening. I have a guy who trenches dirt cheap but I have to backfill. He's 80. But I have another guy who will dig it all and backfill so I'll just go that route. I'm with y'all I hate digging.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
Who's installing the pipe?
If the guy digging it installs, then backfilling isn't any big deal. The guy I use for trenching also supplies and installs the pipe. He's got his helper in the ditch for hand digging and putting the pipe together.

If you want him to dig it, then you install the pipe, then he'd backfill, he's working on some unknowns. How quickly are you going to get the pipe in there? That may be why the first guy doesn't want to backfill.

I had a room addition job last year that also had power to a detached workshop about 170 feet away. I gave them a super high price for the trenching and backfilling. They got the framing carpenters to rent a walk behind to dig it and backfill. Honestly, the best digging job I've ever seen
 

Sparky Adam

Member
Location
Los Angeles
Occupation
Electrical Superintendent / PM
Im bidding a job and I have someone who is going to bring out their trencher and trench 250'. He'll give me a price for that but he doesn't backfill. Anyone have a labor rate I can use to figure how long its going to take to backfill 250' of 18" deep trench. Best guess is 5 hours but I honestly have no idea. Residential if it matters. Trench is from house to boat dock.

Thanks
By hand or machine?
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
What’s his reason for not doing the backfill? Seems a bit odd.
Probably because it would require a second trip.

If he's not installing the pipe, or if it has to be inspected before backfill, then that second trip is non-schedulable and would require zero notice.

If he's digging 3 trenches a day, at some point he's gonna also have 3 phone calls every day to come backfill

If he's already busy, he probably doesn't schedule based on when someone calls - rather, proximity is going to count.

In our area it's 70 miles from one end of the metro to the other. All those return trips would double a guy's driving. I wouldn't want to do it.
 

ptonsparky

Senior Member
Location
NE (9.06 miles @5.9 Degrees from Winged Horses)
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Conduit goes in immediately after or as trench is dug. Pictures taken for AHJ. Sub contractor then pushes in exactly 12” of fill so the ribbon is exactly placed. :rolleyes: Sub fills trench and drives over it a couple times. No coming back a second time for short distances.
 

retirede

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
Probably because it would require a second trip.

If he's not installing the pipe, or if it has to be inspected before backfill, then that second trip is non-schedulable and would require zero notice.

If he's digging 3 trenches a day, at some point he's gonna also have 3 phone calls every day to come backfill

If he's already busy, he probably doesn't schedule based on when someone calls - rather, proximity is going to count.

In our area it's 70 miles from one end of the metro to the other. All those return trips would double a guy's driving. I wouldn't want to do it.

If I was in the dirt business, I’d price the situation accordingly, not refuse to do part of it.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Conduit goes in immediately after or as trench is dug. Pictures taken for AHJ. Sub contractor then pushes in exactly 12” of fill so the ribbon is exactly placed. :rolleyes: Sub fills trench and drives over it a couple times. No coming back a second time for short distances.
In what world does the inspector accept pictures?
 
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