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Dirt Work: A Complex Job With Many Layers

Unless you work in the construction industry or perhaps in natural resources management, you probably give little thought to the dirt work involved in construction, other than wondering why it takes so long for the excavation process to be completed. These beginning stages of construction actually often are some of the most complicated and time-consuming.

At Earth Calc, we focus on providing our clients with highly accurate dirt estimates, and while these are a crucial part of the construction process, there are many other crucial issues regarding soil that engineers, city planners and other professionals must handle on any given construction project.

When it comes to dirt work, which probably more accurately should be called soil work, it really doesn’t matter how big or small your project might be soil is going to be a huge part of your project.

Let’s think about it in simple terms. Even for the very smallest dirt work project, such as the construction of a garden, the soil conditions are crucial. Is the soil too dry? Is the soil too wet? Are there contaminants in the soil? Is the soil too alkaline or too acidic? Does the soil lack organic matter?

Of course, construction teams don’t have to worry about soil in terms of growing crops or flowers, but issues such as soil content and compaction are huge. Another huge issue facing construction engineers is what to do with the excess soil. In some cases, it certainly can be used as fill, but there are times when you just don’t need as much fill as the soil that was cut away.

Where Does Soil Go?

That’s the million-dollar question. In some cases, a construction company can simply move the dirt to the site of another construction site and use it for fill. In other cases, the cut can be sold and used for another project.

In a perfect world, these would be two great, cost-effective options. Unfortunately, you don’t always need the cut for one of your own projects and you might not find a convenient buyer. Additionally, there are times when the soil might be contaminated and really not suitable for use at another site. Particularly rocky soil also typically is unsuitable for use as fill.

So, where does the cut end up going? Often, it must be transported to a landfill or a quarry, and this is definitely not a cheap option. After all, you have to load up truck after truck with dirt and pay to transport it to the landfill, paying for labor and transportation costs as well as fees at the landfill. If soil is contaminated, it becomes even more difficult to find a location to place it because it cannot simply be dumped at a landfill.

There are companies that specialize in the removal of soil and even those that focus on the removal of contaminated soil. Some of these companies also help with the remediation of the soil that remains on the construction site. But again, these are additional costs that drive up the total cost of the project.

How We Can Help

While we don’t provide cut and fill services and cannot solve all of your soil issues, our portion of “dirt work” involves the creation of highly accurate dirt estimates for any size construction project. Once you’re ready to start grading, we also can provide you with machine control files.

Using an experienced outsourcer for dirt estimates and machine control files can save you money in the long run, freeing up portions of your budget which then can be used to pay for soil removal and possibly remediation, if needed.

How do we save you money? Expert outsourcers improve accuracy at a construction site, and mistakes are costly, both in terms of time and money. We’ve been providing dirt estimates for more than 35 years, and our team has the skills necessary to ensure that your dirt estimates are completed correctly the first time around.

We can come in at any point in the construction process, such as during the bidding or planning phases, or even to double-check a large or particularly complex project. We’ve handled a wide range of projects around the globe, including dirt estimates for the George Bush Airport, Facebook’s Menlo Park facility, the Pearl Harbor Berths and many more.

Additionally, the use of machine control systems improves accuracy and the speed at which construction projects can be completed, both of which save you money in the long run. We can provide you with accurate machine control files for your Trimble, Topcon or AGTEK machine control systems.

We know that dirt work is complicated and expensive, and we do our best to provide you with work as quickly as possible to keep your project on schedule. If you need dirt estimates or machine control files, give us a call today or click on the Send Us Work tab on our homepage.