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National Earthwork & Heavy Equipment Estimator

By: Dan Atcheson

 (there will be no printed version)

Updated National Earthwork & Heavy Equipment Costs are available on CD Estimator

Complete labor, material, and manhour prices for estimating most earthmoving projects.

You’ll find how to read site plans, what’s necessary in site preparation, how to determine site cut and fill quantities, how to determine soil swell and compaction, how to work with topsoil, slabs and paving, road work, curbs and gutters, and trench excavation.

Includes factors affecting equipment production and how to include it in your estimate, as well as production rates for excavators, trucks, dozers, scrapers, compactors, graders, pavers, as well as blasting, ripping rock, and soil stabilization.

Includes a CD-ROM with an electronic version of the book with National Estimator, a stand-alone Windows estimating program, plus an interactive multimedia video that shows how to use the disk to compile construction cost estimates. Revised annually.

Site preparation -- Surveying, site clearing

Cut and fill operations -- Cross section method, average end area method, zero (daylight) line

Topsoil, slabs and paving -- Topsoil volumes, net cut and fill volumes, land slope affecting topsoil quantities

Roadwork -- Centerline profiles, road cross sections, mass diagrams, asphalt quantities, curbs and gutters

Soil swell and shrinkage -- Fundamental states of soil, ground loss

Spoil, borrow and soil balancing -- Site balancing, interim spoil and soil piles

Basement excavation -- Determining quantities, safe bank slope, pencil plane method for volume calculation

Trench excavation -- Depth and shape, footing trench excavation volumes, utility trenches, dewatering

Grade beams and drilled piers -- Calculating volumes

Excavating equipment -- Production rates, bucket capacities, power shovels, draglines, clamshells, trenching

Moving vehicle performance -- Grade resistance and assistance, travel time charts

Loaders -- Productivity, soil state cubic yard conversions

Trucks and wagons -- Excavator and hauling unit production rates, turning and dump time

Tractors and bulldozers -- Dozing techniques, dozer blades, dozer productivity
Scraper -- Uses and limitations, scraper varieties, scraper cycle time, push loading, maneuver and dump time

Soil compaction -- Testing, grading, calculating dry density, compaction, stabilization

Rock blasting and ripping -- Blasting, ripping

Paving -- Aggregate, binder, bituminous and aggregate surface treatments, asphalt paving, compaction, recycling


1. Estimating Earthwork, 5
Variables Affecting Earthwork Project Costs, 6
Getting Started with Earthwork, 7
Using National Estimator, 10
Material and Labor Costs in This Book, 11
Area Modification Factors, 18

2. Contour Maps, 23
Contour Lines in Lakes and Ponds, 25
Adjusting Elevations to Achieve Site Balance, 26

3. Site Preparation, 29
Surveying, 29
Site Clearing, 31

4. Cut and Fill Operations, 33
The Cross Section Method, 34
The Average End Area Method, 37
The Zero (Daylight) Line, 38

5. Topsoil, Slabs and Paving, 45
Topsoil Volumes, 46
Net Cut and Fill Volumes, 47
How Land Slope Affects Topsoil Quantities, 50

6. Roadwork, 53
Centerline Profiles, 53
Road Cross Sections, 54
Mass Diagrams, 56
Asphalt Quantities, 60
Curbs and Gutters, 62

7. Soil Swell and Shrinkage, 63
The Fundamental States of Soil, 63
Ground Loss, 67

8. Spoil, Borrow and Soil Balancing, 69
Site Balancing, 69
Interim Spoil and Soil Piles, 71

9. Basement Excavation, 73
Determining Basement Excavation Quantities, 74
Safe Bank Slope, 75
Pencil Plane Method for Volume Calculation, 75

10. Trench Excavation, 81
Trench Depth and Shape, 81
Footing Trench Excavation Volumes, 82
Utility Trenches, 84
Dewatering, 88

11. Grade Beams and Drilled Piers, 91
Calculating Pier-Drilling Volumes, 92

12. Excavating Equipment, 95
Excavator Production, 95
Excavator Bucket Capacities, 96
Cable-Operated Power Shovels, 98
Cable-Operated Draglines, 102
Clamshells, 103
Crane Lifting Capacities, 106
Cable-Operated Hoes, 107
Hydraulic Excavators, 109
Hydraulic Shovels, 113
Trenching Machines, 114
Backhoe Loaders, 116
Excavation Cost Estimates, 117

13. Moving Vehicle Performance, 189
Grade Resistance and Assistance, 190
Travel Time Charts, 191

14. Loaders, 193
Loader Productivity, 196
Soil State Cubic Yard Conversions, 199
Loading Cost Estimates, 202

15. Trucks and Wagons, 205
Excavator & Hauling Unit Production Rates, 207
Turning and Dump Time, 208
Hauling Cost Estimates, 212

16. Tractors and Bulldozers, 217
Dozing Techniques, 218
Dozer Blades, 219
Dozer Productivity, 222
Dozing Cost Estimates, 226

17. Scrapers, 235
Scraper Uses and Limitations, 235
Scraper Varieties, 237
Scraper Cycle Time, 239
Push Loading, 240
Maneuver and Dump Time, 241
Scraper Cost Estimates, 244

18. Soil Compaction, 251
Compaction Fundamentals, 251
Soil Testing, 253
Grading Soil Particles, 256
Calculating Dry Density, 259
Field (In-Place) Soil Density Testing, 260
Compaction Forces & Compaction Equipment, 261
Estimating Compactor Productivity, 268
Soil Stabilization, 271
Soil Compaction Cost Estimates, 272

19. Motor Graders, 273
Material Blending and Spreading, 274
Motor Grader Productivity, 276
Grading Cost Estimates, 278

20. Paving, 285
Aggregate, 285
Binder, 287
Bituminous Surface Treatments, 289
Aggregate Surface Treatments, 291
Installing Asphalt Paving, 294
Pavement Compaction, 297
Pavement Recycling, 299

21. Rock Blasting and Ripping, 303
Rock Blasting, 303
Ripping Rock, 305
Estimating Ripper Productivity, 307
Ripping Cost Estimates, 311

Index, 313

Included with National Estimator CD-ROM:

  • Job Cost Wizard – turns estimates into invoices and exports both in QuickBooks
  • Free Online Technical Support – for the National Estimator Software
  • Free Monthly National Estimator Updates – Updates to the 2010 costbooks and zip code modification factors are updated monthly. Monthly price updates on the Web are free and automatic all during 2010. You'll be prompted when it's time to collect the next update. A connection to the Web is required.

    The National Estimator System Requirements:

    • Operating Systems:
      • Windows 7, Vista or XP. Note: Windows 7 and Vista 64-bit now supported.
    • PC with 1 gigahertz (GHz) or higher Intel (or equivalent) processor recommended.
    • Requires up to 160 megabytes (MB) of hard disk space.
    • 512 MB system memory.
    • 1024 x 768 or higher video resolution, video adapter and monitor.
    • CD-ROM or DVD drive.
    • To listen to video tutorial - Sound card and speakers or headphones.
    • DSL or Cable internet connection is recommended for automatic updates and other optional program features.

    Job Cost Wizard
    Turns estimates into invoices and exports both to QuickBooks. Export entire estimates or invoices to track job costs for each item or category in your estimate. Then compare estimated and actual costs for each part of any job. Handles progressive billing (invoices for each part of the job) with QuickBooks Pro.

    Softcover -  320 Pages
    8-1/2 x 11 in.


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