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Fill dirt "ethics"

Discussion in 'Jobsite Coordination' started by digger242j, Jun 15, 2005.

?

What do you do?

  1. Customer pays full contract price--a deal is a deal.

    68 vote(s)
    78.2%
  2. Pass along the savings to the customer. They shouldn't have to pay for material that's free.

    6 vote(s)
    6.9%
  3. Split the difference with the customer somehow.

    13 vote(s)
    14.9%
  1. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    Joe's thread about fill dirt etiquette has me thinking about the ethics of charging for fill dirt. Any further comments about that thread should be posted there, but I want to ask a specific question, and I'll post a poll so your opinions can remain anonymous if you like.

    The situation is this: The customer has agreed to a price that includes an amount for the "purchase" of fill. You are able to find some suitable fill at no cost. How would you handle this?
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2005
  2. Cat420

    Cat420 Senior Member

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    I would say charge the price that they agreed to. If you are able to find free fill, then to me that is part of doing business (reducing your costs). If you found a way to operate your machine that costs less, you would make more profit not charge less right? Unless your location is super competitive, I wouldn't charge less.
     
  3. kamerad47

    kamerad47 Well-Known Member

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    I don't no where you guys are from but getting rid of dirt is one hardest things there is for me !!! 99% of the time you have to pay to dump somewhere, even places that are filling in run a cash dump.
     
  4. cat320

    cat320 Charter Member

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    well on one job i had filling in a yard i got some fill for free from a foundation i dug out and gave them the fill for free well almost free some one has to pay for trucking and equipment rental. But most of the time if you have fill that is so-so i would not think twice as it will cost you to get ride of it but if you have gold so to speak i would charge for it because it's worth something. I'm sure you guys know what I mean
     
  5. DKinWA

    DKinWA Charter Member

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    I also have a problem getting rid of fill material and I swear it gets harder every day to get rid of it. In this particular situation, I'd charge full price and pocket the additional money. I'm also one of those that will charge a customer to take material off their place and turn around and sell it to anyone that will take it. Some folks consider this unethical, but I don't understand why. It becomes my property when I put it in my truck, so why can't I sell something that I own? Load once, dump once, paid twice.
     
  6. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder

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    That's common practice around here too DK. It's not often an opportunity to make a few bucks above the norm comes along, so why not grab it? You're providing a service to both parties, bill accordingly.
     
  7. CharlieFoxtrot

    CharlieFoxtrot Active Member

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    Absolutely charge for fill! Charge for asphalt millings and anything else you might be able to make money on! It's nobody's business but yours whether it cost you anything.

    Anybody want to buy a few loads of sailboat fuel???
     
  8. Bob Horrell

    Bob Horrell Charter Member

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    I just dug a pool today in the best dirt I have seen in a long time. A nice sandy loamy soil without one single rock. Not even a tiny one. The stuff will compact if you want and if you get it too wet, it is still good to work with - doesn't get sticky. This is the stuff landscapers dream about. It is nice having a dump truck and enough property to store this stuff on. It will bring good money from some of the landscapers I do work for and I got paid to haul it away from the job today. Actually, I have to finish hauling it tomorrow. Sometimes you really get lucky with a job. It makes up for the ones that don't exactly go as planned.
     
  9. rino1494

    rino1494 Senior Member

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    We do the same. Fill is like gold around here. There is always places to take it. If this guy isn't willing to pay the price, then I'll sell it to the next guy.
     
  10. tylermckee

    tylermckee Senior Member

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    charge, charge, charge. If the material is good we will either haul it to another job and stockpile it for later. Doesnt happen all that often with the xxxxy soil types we have around here though
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2009
  11. CharlieFoxtrot

    CharlieFoxtrot Active Member

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    I just got myself into the middle of a "learning experience" on this one: make SURE you know the dirt is suitable for the purpose your customer intends and is clean and safe, or you could LOSE YOUR ASS!!! I learned my company only sells materials purchased from a real pit with proper testing and plenty of lawyers so that we don't get blamed for any problems with the material. We lost $22K by not doing so once before (but that was before my time).
     
  12. dwdestroy

    dwdestroy New Member

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    Fill- I'm in Massachusetts and could use some fill

    If you have fill you need to get rid of email me at dwdestroy@yahoo.com. I will pay the trucking fee.
     
  13. stock

    stock Senior Member

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    Having read this thread it brings to mind an incident with a muck shifter I was aligned too a few years back ,the contract was to import fill to a 3 h/acre site and raise the site by 1.5 meters . The fill was to be of good quality compacted 2C capped with 500mm min of compacted 1C.the site was located close to a metropolitan area but a dump permit would not be issued to allow the dumping of spoil (they reckoned the fill would not be of consistent quality ) so where to get the required fill and cost of haulage.
    Close to this site was a quarry owned by a semi state company who had the volume and the quality of fill in both categories but no amount of coaxing would make them give or sell the material.The job was for a municipal council so every thing had to be above board with all material tested for quality, nuclear density and CBR ,with the quality samples being randomly selected.
    All these constraints were making this job impossible from a cost point of view as traffic ,haulage with trucks road maintenance/ cleaning, storm water drains etc etc,were outside the price submitted for the job,so the decision was made to walk away from the contract.In the government tenders a tender appeared for the removal of spoil from the afore mentioned quarry ,so we held off giving up our contract and submitted our price agreeing to meet the required permits with every load having to be documented to show it was tipped legally.
    We stalled the fill job as the weather was exceptionally inclement.We approached the land owners between both jobs gained permission to put in a haul road and waited for the tenders to be opened.We were successful and, a week later we started laying a haul and ran the A25b's down to the site moving the 45000m /3.
    Wound up getting paid to lift it ,shift it dump it ,place it compact it and test it.
     
  14. Hendrik

    Hendrik Senior Member

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    I'd pay the place where you got the fill a few bucks (25%) to build up good will and at the end of the job if everything went smooth, I'd say to the customer "look, I got the fill a bit cheaper than expected here is a bit of a discount (25%)" but pocket the remainder (50%) to pay for those unexpected things. Everybody is happy.
    And there is no option on the poll for spreading the joy, so I didn't vote.
     
  15. Hendrik

    Hendrik Senior Member

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    To be sure, to be sure, to be sure and you had a few Guinness's to celebrate a job well doone. Although I prefer Murphy's stout.
     
  16. Buckethead

    Buckethead Senior Member

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    That sounds fair. I think you should definitely charge something, as long as it's not more than the customer agreed to. You have to make money too, to survive. If you feel bad you could give the customer a discount like Hendrik suggested but I would charge something. Save the money, then you have something in reserve if you lose money on a job.
     
  17. blowerman

    blowerman Well-Known Member

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    The customer is paying to load and truck away the extra material. On the dump site end, if it's our own site, we have already estimated a fee to spread the fill. So nobody is loosing out and we aren't double billing for the trucking. When most guys are looking for dump sites and I'm have someone who is in need of fill, for the purpose of good will, they can have the material for free. If I had to share one more story of the home builder charging the home buyer for fill they needed to get trucked out or trucked in and the sour taste it left them with for the extra charge, fill is free around Milwaukee. I'm in the grading and landscaping business, not the broker service for fill. Years of connections allow me to make 2 or 3 calls and someone will bring you the material.
     
  18. Red Bank

    Red Bank Senior Member

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    Out here on the farm we had a guy come up one day offering dump truck loads of dirt for $10 a load. Turns out he was the grading contractor on a car dealership job, he bid the job to haul out the dirt, he got paid for hauling it out, we got a deal because at the time fill dirt was going for $80 a load. This was before I got my dump truck or loader, but I had the Boss's EX200 out here clearing some land. We ended up buying 280 loads, they would dump it and I would spread it out with the excavator, ending up taking two days to have that many loads delivered but we were happy to get the dirt to fill in behind the farm house. We ended up writing the check to the guy and not his company, if you know what I mean. But now that I have a dump truck and a loader, any time I can "double dip" I will. I go to great extremes to be fair with people I do work for, but how often does these opportunites present themselves and besides everyone with heavy equipment could always use extra money for something. But I will add that if I had a relationship with the end customer that meant I would get more work later or had done a lot of work for them then I would probably cut a deal. There is no wrong answer to handing this situation.
     
  19. tuney443

    tuney443 Senior Member

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    Like I've always said,the best job an excavator can get is getting paid taking the fill out and then selling it.I keep a list of clients who need it and I'm not shy of making as much money as possible.Integrity and honesty is paramount of course but if a client agrees to a price,why would anyone consider giving some sort of ''deal''?
     
  20. Hendrik

    Hendrik Senior Member

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    The problem is if people find out that you cheated them, they paid you in good faith on the basis that you had to buy the fill. It may not be illegal but will leave a sour taste in the mouth of both the person you got the fill for and the person you got the fill from. At least if you give both of them a cut then they are less likely to kick up a stink.
    However everyone is entitled to run their business in whichever fashion they like but if the phone stops ringing because you are seen as being less than completley honest..........