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Estimating Earthwork Construction

Attendees of this two-day course will learn to accurately estimate earthwork construction costs. Using a real set of drawings, students will complete a variety of earthwork take-offs and will apply labor and material costs to each take-off. Students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to produce accurate earthwork estimates using efficient and reliable estimating techniques.

This course covers all aspects of earthwork with which the estimator must be familiar, including terminology, soil classifications, terrain conditions, and site restrictions. How each of these aspects affects the cost of earthwork projects is covered in detail. This course is designed to improve the skills and knowledge the estimator draws upon while estimating the earthwork portion of a project. Detailed estimating procedures will be covered. Various earthwork practice problems and conditions will be presented. A working set of drawings will be assigned and estimated. Material and labor costs will be presented, utilizing a cost data book and other references.

Class size is limited. Register early to guarantee your space.

Price: $995.00

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Additional Information

  • Pre-bid investigation
  • Plans and specifications
  • Site visit and soil borings
  • Pre-estimate checklists
  • Area and perimeter calculations
  • Cut/fill calculations: average end area method
  • Soils shrink and swell
  • Cut/fill calculations: grid cell method
  • Soils classifications
  • Matching equipment to soil type
  • Excavation production
  • Bulk excavation exercise
  • Crew analysis
  • Trucking optimization
  • Bidding and mark-up discussion
  • Equipment costing
  • Road calculations
  • Mass haul diagrams
  • Earthwork “Rules of Thumb”
  • Complexity of work
  • Site haul planning
  • Road cross sections profile
  • Depths of subsidence
  • Haul and place process
  • Indirect and Direct costs
  • Balanced vs. Unbalanced bidding
  • Cycle times for hauling units
  • Earthwork reference data


Upon completion, students will be able to accurately measure quantities of cut and fill using both the average end area method and the grid cell method. They will be able to properly adjust the measured quantities of cut and fill, allowing for swell and shrink based on soil type and operation. Students will know how to select appropriate equipment, both size and type, that represents the most cost-efficient approach to constructing the earthwork portion of the project. Students will be able to determine accurate productivity rates for projects based on soil conditions, site restrictions, excavating depths, special requirements, etc., and zero in on the true cost incurred in the operation of specific machines. They will be able to extend the production cost estimate of a project using the crew analysis method of estimating, and will have the confidence to complete the earthwork estimate by combining the production estimate with the fixed costs of the earthmoving project. Finally, students will be able to convert the cost estimate to a correct bid by incorporating the four basic pricing premises: business plan pricing, asset utilization, risk analysis, and market conditions.

Course dates (Course times are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm):

  • September 26-27, 2022 - Sarasota, FL
  • October 24-25, 2022 - Sarasota, FL
  • December 12-13, 2022 - Sarasota, FL
  • March 27-28, 2023 - Atlanta, GA (Near ATL Airport)

Location details provided upon registration.

This course is available as a video home study. This format is ideal for busy construction professionals who are unable to attend a live course. It is also beneficial as an in house training tool for human resource departments. The video home study format includes everything that is presented in the live version of the course. video home study courses are shipped via UPS to the shipping address that you select upon checkout.

The video home study course includes: 

  • Instructor video presentation on USB flash drive
  • Course workbook
  • Practice blueprints
  • Reference book
  • Engineering scale
  • Calculator
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