If your project requires dredging, one of your first decisions is whether to do it yourself or hire an expert. Doing it yourself can be a tempting proposition, and with some projects, a smart investment in equipment and training can pay off over the course of years. Unfortunately, that's not often the case with dredging. Most of the time, the smart play is to get an expert and avoid these expensive pitfalls:
Unexpected Equipment Costs
Capital for a dredging project can start adding up quickly. Just consider the many types of machines you might need: there are mechanical and hydraulic dredgers, special low-impact models to deal with contaminated sediment, and truly specialised machines that can't even be categorized easily but are simply the right tool for the right job.
Some of these machines can cost over a $1 million depending on size and including all the support equipment you need to keep them running properly. Each of these machines is only suited to a particular job, or in some cases even part of a job; if you choose the wrong machine or need something else partway through a project, costs can quickly destroy a project budget.
Dredging is a highly regulated industry, even in the world of construction where regulation is already expected. Wisconsin's dredging regulations are extensive, and there are also many federal rules covered by bills like the Federal Clean Water Act and Amendments.
The headaches start just getting the required testing and permits, and they continue throughout the project. An expert dredging company has experience and industry connections so they can help you figure out quickly what permits and permission you need and how to get them as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Expensive Labor Investment
Finding trained and reliable operators for your project is itself a time-consuming task; and getting them hired for your project will be expensive. You can consider training your existing people, but there are significant costs to this, too. Additionally, once you've invested in this training, you have no guarantee your employees might not find a job they like better in a year or two and leave, taking their expertise (and your professional development investment) with them. Hiring an expert means never having to worry about throwing money away or crunching the numbers to decide if it's worth it to make a full-time hire.
The people, equipment, and project all need to be properly insured, and your current project coverage may not cover dredge equipment and the people using it. If you don't have the right insurance and something goes wrong, the financial consequences could be devastating.
If you need to dredge regularly (for more than six months a year most years), it could be worth it to get your own insurance coverage. Otherwise, the smart play is to hire experts who already have the equipment, personnel, and insurance to start and finish a project quickly.
Making the Wrong Call
A final way your project can go wrong is if you choose the wrong process when you dredge or even the wrong timing to start your project. In some cases, you'll have to decide whether to drain and excavate, use a portable hydraulic dredger, or even work from a barge. In the case of hydraulically dredged sediment, you'll need to separate the sediment from the water. You may need to construct a basin, which is time-consuming but cheap. In other cases, a speedy mechanical dewatering process will be required. This is convenient but far more costly.
These are just a few of the decisions you may have to make, and an expert can help you make the right ones for your project timeline and budget.
Contact United Dredging today to get expert advice from a family-owned company with years of experience making dredging as affordable and efficient as possible.
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