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Hand Excavation Productivity

 
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Old 12-02-2011, 11:20 AM   #1
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Hand Excavation Productivity


Our guys are going to be getting their hands dirty real soon (hopefully) ... we may be getting a job for Con Ed at a substation in Staten Island.

Everything must be excavated by hand. We're installing Small to Large Pile Caps and Grade Beams.

Just wondering what production you guys would imagine you'd get out of a crew if it all has to be excavated by hand... depth range up to 5' deep. Pile caps range; some are 4' square and some are 30' square. Depth to bottom of grade beams is about 4' and they're 18" wide.

Much of the excavated material needs to be stockpiled for backfill and the stockpile location is within 100' to 150' of the areas of excavation. The surplus must be hauled and disposed.

No machines; it must all be dug by hand. I was figuring a crew of around 9 or 10 men; 6 men digging and 4 men moving the material to the stockpile or loading it to be hauled away for disposal.

How many cubic yards would you guys expect each man could dig per day; or how many cubic yards do you think a crew like this could excavate per day? I was figuring somewhere around 7 bank cubic yards per each man digging; multiplied by 6 men digging is around 42 bcy per day for bidding purposes. In reality they could probably do a little more than that but these jobs tend to move slower than your typical.

Keep in mind we're hand digging because this is a Con Ed substation. There are underground utilities but the majority of the proposed areas of excavation do not have much interferences with existing lines so digging should go relatively quickly. Hoping I didn't screw the pooch on this one.

Soil content is sandy here. And I expect there will be some dewatering required in approx. 20% of the excavation area.

Last edited by SlumberJack; 12-02-2011 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:15 PM   #2
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


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Old 12-02-2011, 06:27 PM   #3
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


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Old 12-02-2011, 06:28 PM   #4
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


The guy running the crew won't be speaking english.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:30 PM   #5
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


i think your production would greatly increase.....when these grunts you have down the holes make ANY attempt to get out, quit? to taser, pepper spray them...just blast their butt. after about 3 hits? it'd be my estimation you're going to get about 15 cubic yards per shovel per hour production...this is just an assumption on my part though...your results may vary.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:02 PM   #6
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestimator View Post
Our guys are going to be getting their hands dirty real soon (hopefully) ... we may be getting a job for Con Ed at a substation in Staten Island.

Everything must be excavated by hand. We're installing Small to Large Pile Caps and Grade Beams.

Just wondering what production you guys would imagine you'd get out of a crew if it all has to be excavated by hand... depth range up to 5' deep. Pile caps range; some are 4' square and some are 30' square. Depth to bottom of grade beams is about 4' and they're 18" wide.

Much of the excavated material needs to be stockpiled for backfill and the stockpile location is within 100' to 150' of the areas of excavation. The surplus must be hauled and disposed.

No machines; it must all be dug by hand. I was figuring a crew of around 9 or 10 men; 6 men digging and 4 men moving the material to the stockpile or loading it to be hauled away for disposal.

How many cubic yards would you guys expect each man could dig per day; or how many cubic yards do you think a crew like this could excavate per day? I was figuring somewhere around 7 bank cubic yards per each man digging; multiplied by 6 men digging is around 42 bcy per day for bidding purposes. In reality they could probably do a little more than that but these jobs tend to move slower than your typical.

Keep in mind we're hand digging because this is a Con Ed substation. There are underground utilities but the majority of the proposed areas of excavation do not have much interferences with existing lines so digging should go relatively quickly. Hoping I didn't screw the pooch on this one.

Soil content is sandy here. And I expect there will be some dewatering required in approx. 20% of the excavation area.
Are they going to put the piles for the pile caps in by hand too? What about doing vacuum excavtion
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:03 PM   #7
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


I gotta ask, why hand work? Can you not get a suck truck in the area? A lot of our clients require soft excavation on their sites. We generally find it more productive to have someone bring a truck out, and excavate that way. Since you need to stock pile, I recommend you use someone who can "air knife" with an air compressor teamed up with the vacuum truck. We have used several companies, but dollar for dollar, Badger seems to be the best. Get a hold of them, and put your crew to better use else where. http://www.badgerinc.com/
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:16 PM   #8
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


I was at Fortress Louisburg this summer, and the museum had a display of the tools used for construction (of the original, not the reconstruction). Workers ate f-all, (bread fish and rum), used mostly wood tools.

A crew of three, with two picks, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow, were expected to move 8 1/2 m3 (about 11 cy) in an eleven hour day. Or 1/3 cy per man per hour.

If they could do it, ........
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:17 AM   #9
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


If we have alot of utilities to dig around, we use a air compressor to chisel away at the dirt. You can do this and use a vaccum truck. It is way cheaper and way faster. If you told me that I had to dig that much by had, I would tell you to go get f***ed !!!
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


Good suggestions... what do you guys end up paying per day for the vaccuum truck and how much material does it carry?
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:43 AM   #11
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


I think you'll find hydro-vaccing to be more reliable in this scenario due to the large volumes that need to be moved. I don't think you'll get 7cy per man per day.

You should be able to get 10-12cy per day from each truck, depending on how far the dump site and water source is.

Your local supplier should give you a better estimate on productivity, I think the capacity is 4cy or there-about before dumping.

Last edited by Sar-Con; 12-03-2011 at 11:45 AM. Reason: added content
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:28 PM   #12
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


This morning I just cleaned out inlets for a good customer of ours in their parking lot. The parking lot is stone and they get filled in from snow plowing.

Cleaned out (4) 2 x 4 inlets with a avg of 2' deep of material. Took 2 of us 3 hrs. That works out to .4 yds per man hr. I'm sure if I had to do it all day, my production rate would drop.

If you do do it by hand, you better put an ad in the paper for a steady stream of employees, because you will have a hard time getting those guys to come back a 2nd day.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:09 AM   #13
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


I used a vac once to excavate an elevator pit in a basement of a building. It was about 10' x 12' x 5' deep. It took us about 16 hours to complete. We were using a trailer mounted vac of 500 cfm and a 500 gal tank. All the material had to go through a 4" pipe down a hallway, up 2 flights of stairs then out the door to the vac.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:13 PM   #14
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


We cleaned out some vaults last year towards the end of october. each vault was about 12x8 or so and had a minimum of 6in of mud across the bottom. We used shovels, five gallon buckets and a rope. At the end of the day we all made it clear to the boss this wasnt going to fly ever again, at least not with our crew.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:23 PM   #15
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


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...had a minimum of 6in of mud across the bottom. We used shovels, five gallon buckets and a rope. At the end of the day we all made it clear to the boss this wasnt going to fly ever again, at least not with our crew.
I had to laugh at myself when I read this. My first construction job consisted of doing just what you described for about 3 months - by myself. I wish I had a nickel for every time that backwoods NC hillbilly of a foreman of mine told me "git a bucket'n a rope and climb in the back and I'll carry y'on up to XYZ street to clean out a manhole".
I also laughed remembering a time in 1981 that my whole "pipe crew" threatened to quit because the only job the comapny had (all 12 of us including office staff, truck driver and mechanic) was building a gabion dam and we had to build it.
It's funny how different it all seems now knowing that way back then it wasn't some kind of conspiracy against my pride but just the effort of a guy who was trying to make his way in the world with a motley collection of rag tag young boys full of nothin' but beer, piss'n vinegar.
I've really come to think over the years "what's it matter what I'm doing if it pays the same as the next thing".
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:16 PM   #16
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


I was going to say if you can get 8 yards a day out of a guy, you are doing well. And I would expect this only in the best conditions-cool temperature, fair digging, not more than 6' deep. I base this on some mechanic's pits I have dug.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:23 AM   #17
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


I think you'll be lucky to get 3-4 cu. yards a day from a worker and only that if the material is not too difficult to remove. It starts out good but as the day goes on the productivity really drops off.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:00 PM   #18
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
The guy running the crew won't be speaking english.
so true

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Old 12-07-2011, 06:38 PM   #19
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


bestimator, quick question? you even consider the vac venue vs. jose and a spade venue? for a seasoned estimator...some of your posts make me question either your experience...or you're playing with us. most of us here aren't quite "that" naive. if your bidding/estimating experience causes you to ask these questions, and questions from your other threads you've started...let's hope the responders give you the answers you need.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:24 PM   #20
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Re: Hand Excavation Productivity


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bestimator, quick question? you even consider the vac venue vs. jose and a spade venue? for a seasoned estimator...some of your posts make me question either your experience...or you're playing with us. most of us here aren't quite "that" naive. if your bidding/estimating experience causes you to ask these questions, and questions from your other threads you've started...let's hope the responders give you the answers you need.
Either way, it still keeps the forums alive and kickin and allows for some discussion from everybody. We all can learn something from each other.

Remember, there are no stupid questions, only stupid answers

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