Earth moving and site development services perform scraping, grading, hauling, compacting, excavation, and other tasks to prepare construction sites and building lots. Some companies specialize in bulk excavation and trucking, excavating and grading, fine grading and landscape restoration, and underground servicing. Others prepare building sites for roadwork, parking lots, and storm water management facilities. Although earth moving and site development services may differ in terms of specific capabilities, most companies perform activities such as excavation, compacting, dewatering, grading, erosion control, clearing, demolition, landscape restoration, strata and topographical analysis, and earthwork analysis. Consulting and material estimation services are also available.
Selecting earth moving and site development services requires an analysis of supplier capabilities. Most earthmoving services own or lease many different types of tools, equipment, machines and vehicles. Heavy earthmoving equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes, dump trucks, and graders are used to prepare building lots, clear trees, and move fill. Forestry tools and equipment such as log cutters and chainsaws are used to and remove downed tree limbs and other fallen debris. Earth moving services also use heavy equipment to prepare and maintain parking lots, driveways, and access roads. For example, road grading equipment is used to prepare dirt or gravel roadways for subsequent paving with either asphalt or cement.
Earth moving and site development services may use computer aided design (CAD) and other software to model potential sites before work begins. Site development services perform earthwork analysis, quantity take-offs, cost estimates, and soil strata analysis. Earthwork analysis uses conceptual, rough grading, preliminary, or final site plans to produce cut, fill, import, and export volumes. Typically, these analytical models are classified according to soil type, suitability for fill, and intended use. Profiles and three-dimensional views (3D) provide graphic illustrations of existing grades, proposed grades, and multiple substrata layers. Site development services may also use site cut and fill plans to model proposed, existing, and substrata elevations.
Earth moving and site development services with complete site work capabilities can perform a variety clearing, demolition, erosion control, and landscape activities. Often, they work with unsuitable soils, mass rock, and utility rock to prepare construction sites for subsequent landscaping and paving activities. Earth moving and site development services can also prepare building lots for water mains, sanitary sewers, storm sewers, and retaining walls. By using soil boring data, these suppliers can provide quantities and a topographic cutting plan for layers made of rock or clay.