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#496758 09/23/18 12:33 PM
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I've been on this forum for a while, just reading and learning. I purchased 50 acres 18 yrs ago with a watering hole for livestock. Never would hold much water. I purchased a KX080 excavator a year ago to work on my place a nod build new ponds. I fixed my leaking watering hole. I purchased Mike Otto's book Just add Water. Great reading. Now I have neighbors asking me to fix their ponds. I'm not sure where to start with pricing and bidding, or just as a base. Measurements of cubic yards, hourly rates? Any input would be appreciated.

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If you're a quick worker, charge by the cubic yard.
If you're not, charge by the hour! laugh

Seriously, there are people here who can advise you better than I can re pricing. I would say that it is super important to learn the soils, the watershed, and to understand what can be fixed and what cannot. You don't want to promise what you can't deliver, which may mean sometimes not taking jobs. Especially when you are first starting out, failures can really hurt your reputation.


7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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Well said Ant!! Great advise.


Dear Alcohol, We had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter, and a better dancer... I saw the video... We need to talk.
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I can probably get with my son to give you some idea of what rate to charge. He is an estimator for a construction company. He would need to know the size of the bucket that you have on your machine, i.e. 18", 24", ok? Please understand that digging new ponds is not the same deal as cleaning out ponds, especially older ponds with deep
muck. You can sink your track machine to your eyeballs in that muck.
This forum has quite a bit of information on the subject of cleaning
the muck out of ponds. Some of the nightmares were very informative.

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Originally Posted By: ronman
I can probably get with my son to give you some idea of what rate to charge. He is an estimator for a construction company. He would need to know the size of the bucket that you have on your machine, i.e. 18", 24", ok? Please understand that digging new ponds is not the same deal as cleaning out ponds, especially older ponds with deep
muck. You can sink your track machine to your eyeballs in that muck.
This forum has quite a bit of information on the subject of cleaning
the muck out of ponds. Some of the nightmares were very informative.


Wisdom comes from experience. Experience comes from a lack of wisdom, as I've proven time and again.

Last edited by anthropic; 09/23/18 03:18 PM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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Thanks, Flame! Hope your hot rod pond is getting plenty of rain, mine is FINALLY starting to rise after being two feet low for months.

Last edited by anthropic; 09/23/18 03:22 PM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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36 in bucket.

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I've seen the baptism of equipment cleaning out a pond. Friend had 2 dozers, skid steer stuck in the muck. Took a little excavator to dig all 3 out.

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We have had 8 1/2 inches of rain this month but scattered out too much. Pond has come up about 6 inches but am still near 3 foot low. Visibility is very low...only about 6 inches and fish are feeding very slow. Little worried.


Dear Alcohol, We had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter, and a better dancer... I saw the video... We need to talk.
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I have a 36 in bucket, .44 cubic yard.

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To 45operator: In our central Texas area the rate runs about $125 per hour for an operator with a large excavator using a 36" bucket. Also,
the equipment moving cost is quite high. The move-in and move-out for only a short distance can run a total of about #750.
Hope this information is helpful. Ron

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It's an 18000 lb machine.

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Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
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Call Mike Otto and go spend some time riding around with him. I expect he'd be happy to talk and share his experiences.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
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Agree with Bob. Contact Otto.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
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Call Mike Otto - none better.

940-665-2258
















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Hello and welcome aboard!

By the way, just in case anyone’s interested, my old college buddy is selling an American Force Trax SS and Ironman tire package. If anyone’s interested, feel free to PM me.

Last edited by BobMoff; 11/06/19 03:05 PM.
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Welcome to the forum and you will find lots of good info here.


Nothing like seeing your bobber bobbing.
1 acre pond with LMB BG GSF BH CC and whatever else I can find
Not after trophies I just like catching and eating fish
Buddy R Hill


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