Excavation Tenders: Checklist for Bids

Published7th December 2020 AuthorJohn Hudson

Finding Excavation Tenders

Excavation tenders can help your excavation company grow to new heights (or should we say new depths?). Do you want to win work on shorter contracts, boost your experience, and get reputable credentials under your belt? An excavation contract out for tender may run for 2 months and look great as experience for future projects. Or, are you looking to secure work on sizeable, ongoing projects for years at a time? Framework agreements may comprise of multiple lots and run for 1 – 4 years or more! Either way, tendering for work is a no-brainer when it comes to winning a steady stream of construction work.

How can we help?

If you’re looking for tendering opportunities or advice on how to bid for excavation contracts, you’re in the right place. At Hudson, we’ve got expertise in both. Construction Tenders, one of our 11 Hudson Discover tendering portals, can save you time when sourcing relevant excavation tenders. And the bid writers at Hudson Succeed offer tailored levels of expert support to produce successful construction bids for your company.

So, what do our opportunity trackers and bid writers advise? Here’s a quick rundown of what type of excavation tenders your business could be sourcing, right now. We’ll cover how you can put your best foot forward and dig up brand new opportunities to grow your business. (That’s the last of the excavation puns, we promise…) 

What kind of excavation contracts are up for grabs?

Are you aware of the range of work available through excavation tenders? Excavation contracts can include many different techniques using various machinery, tools, equipment and explosives.

Excavation tenders may pertain to a number of processes, for instance:

  • Groundwork
  • Trenching
  • Wall Shafts
  • Tunnelling
  • Mining
  • Environmental restoration.

Most commonly in construction, excavation refers to the groundwork prior to a construction project. Groundwork essentially ensures the site foundations are prepared for building work, enabling the construction project to go ahead smoothly.

Examples of excavation tenders:

Excavation or groundwork may be defined by the type of material it involves. For example:

  • Topsoil excavation – This removes the surface layer of earth, including vegetation or decaying matter. Depth varies from site to site, but is usually between 150-300 mm. For example, a tender hosted on our platform sought topsoil excavation for a pervasive weed: Enabling works including groundworks and Japanese Knotweed removal for Cluid Housing Association.
  • Earth excavation – This involves removing the layer of soil beneath the topsoil. The removed material is often referred to as ‘spoil’ and can be re-used to construct embankments and foundations. For example, a tender hosted on our platform pertained to: Removal and proper disposal of spoil at the Menai Science Park for Bangor University.
  • Rock excavation – This involves using special excavation methods such as drilling or blasting with explosives. For example, a tender hosted on our platform sought contractors for: Quarry Drill and Blast Works and Explosives Supply for Forestry and Land Scotland.

Excavation can also be classified according to the purpose of the work. Here are few classifications along with examples:

  • Trench excavation is when an excavation’s length greatly exceeds its depth. Shallow trenches are usually considered to be less than 6 m deep, and deep trenches more than 6 m. For example, our Opportunity Trackers sourced a tender for: Trenching and base excavations for a new power supply – St James Car Park Cheltenham for Publica Group.
  • Road excavation involves preparation for roadworks. For example, Highways England recently signed a £35m contract with Wessex Archaeology Ltd for archaeology and excavation work. This is in advance of the main construction works on the A303, including a tunnel to divert traffic from Stonehenge.
  • Dredging involves excavating and removing material from below water level, commonly from the bottom of lakes, rivers, or harbours. For example, we hosted an excavation tender for: Crescent Quay – Dredging works for Wrexford County Council.
  • Basement excavation tenders may require auditing and assessment work prior to the building works. For example: Multi-Party Framework Agreement for the Provision of Basement Impact Assessment Auditor Services for Dublin City Council.
  • Bridge excavation involves the removal of material for the footing of bridges. Underwater excavations may require special methods of drill and blast. For example: Bracky Bridge Replacement including excavation adjacent to and in the river for the Department of Infrastructure

This is just a few examples of the types of construction contracts available for excavation workers. On Construction Tenders, we also host tenders for other excavation requirements, including the supply of plants (machinery), such as:

  • Archaeological excavation
  • Mains water excavation repairs
  • Proposed and post excavation assessments
  • Excavation, gritting and road sweeping
  • Supply of grave digging excavators
  • Supply of hydraulic excavators
  • Supply of compact mechanical excavators, and more!

How can excavation contractors boost their chances of success with a bid?

Much like excavation, the tendering process is all about evening the playing field for suppliers and creating fair, regulated competition. Also, at its core, tendering allows buyers to assess market pricing and find the Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT). So, when it comes to tendering, your company needs to prepare to be directly compared to competitors.

Who offers the best price? Who has the most competent workforce? Who has demonstrated the most past experience that is relevant to the project? And, ultimately, who has produced the best bid?

All of these things – and more – may be considered in your tender response, so you must demonstrate your competency clearly. It’s always worth considering – what steps could be taken to put our business in better stead against the competition? Here are a few steps you could take right now to increase your success rate with excavation tenders… 

  1. Use a sector-specific portal with a variety of opportunities.

Use a tendering portal that offers a variety of opportunities, while still being accurate and specific to your industry. Also, make sure you’re investing in a tendering service that supports you.

  • Accuracy.

A time-saving way to find excavation tenders is through a sector-specific tendering portal which offers keyword tracking and customer support. Construction Tenders focuses on opportunities in construction – and doesn’t rely on inaccurate CPV codes. Our Opportunity Trackers are real people who manually source contracts for our clients, who can then filter opportunities by:

    • Keywords
    • Sector
    • Budget
    • Location

Construction Tenders sources contracts both big and small, from Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) to single supplier contracts. When there’s a range of work to be won, you have a higher chance of finding something suitable for your services.

For example, we host opportunities for excavation work on framework agreements. If you’re a smaller company, this may be more suited to your needs. A framework agreement for a building project may be made up of ten lots. Lot 1 could be the groundwork, requiring excavation of site and preparation for the foundations. This experience could provide a manageable workload for your company and act as a stepping stone to bigger projects. 

  • Bid writing support.

Once you’ve found an excavation tender that’s perfect for your business, you’re not on your own! We have a bid writing division, Hudson Succeed, who can support with every step of the tendering process. They have a range support packages to help you see success in your tendering efforts:

  1. Prepare to tender with Tender Ready.
  2. Outsource a bid with Tender Writing.
  3. Improve your success rate with Tender Improvement.
  4. Get feedback on your current bid with Tender Mentor.

Get in touch for more information about our bid management consultancy services.

  1. Tighten up your bid with the relevant qualifications.

Getting your business ready to tender includes preparing any relevant documentation to prove your qualifications and competency. Excavation work can be highly dangerous. Large plants (machinery) are bound to be on site to excavate and remove heavy loads of materials. It’s not uncommon for accidents to occur, so watertight accreditations and health and safety regulations are paramount.

How can you demonstrate competence effectively?

  • PAS91 and accreditations.

Any construction tender will generally always require a PAS91. This is essentially a standardised Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) for the construction industry in the UK. Its purpose is to ensure that buyers only engage ethical companies with safe practices. Our blog on the PQQ and PAS91 can shed more light on this stage of the tender.

A Constructionline Gold membership will exempt you from most sections of a PAS91. Other accreditations – such as ISO or CHAS – allow you to bypass certain sections, too. Consider obtaining these relevant accreditations if you want to streamline the bidding process for future excavation tenders.

  • CPCS cards.

Another method of improving site practices and boosting your reputation is investing in the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS). This scheme is devised to prove the competence of plant operators and improve safety awareness. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) website hosts a range of excavation training courses to gain CPCS cards. The National Construction College (NCC) offers the following courses to gain a CPCS card for excavation machinery, for instance:

  • CPCS Excavator 180° Wheeled A10 and A12
  • CPCS Excavator 360° Tracked A59
  • CPCS Excavator 180˚ Wheeled and 360˚ Tracked Combined A12 and A59
  • CPCS Forward Tipping Dumpers A09
  • CPCS Lifting with Excavators A59C
  • CPCS Mini Excavator A58
  • Applicants can take the courses for up to 14 days if they have no prior experience. Or, if they have experience operating machinery but need a formal qualification, they can take condensed courses for as short as 2 days. Each course requires you have a CITB health, safety and environment test prior to attending. It’s worth considering if investing in further qualifications will put your company and employees in a better bidding position.

Need support preparing tender documents? The Tender Ready package helps your company prepare all the relevant documentation needed for a bid. Hudson Succeed works with your excavation experts to ensure your tenders are precise, concise and well-presented. Get in touch today to see how they can help. 

  1. Don’t skip social value.

Social value is becoming increasingly important in tender responses. Some things you can ask yourself in regard to this are:

  • Have you considered the environmental implications?

Excavation projects can be damaging to the scenery and landscapes. Can you demonstrate how you’ll minimise damage, and use environmentally friendly techniques and supplies? Always consider the local community and promote sustainability in your practices.

  • Can you make use of apprenticeship schemes and government initiatives?

Employing local people, apprentices, and relieving unemployment are all strong ways of demonstrating social value in a contract.

If you’re a company who specialises in excavation, you could be benefiting from apprenticeship incentives. The government currently offers payments to companies who hire new apprentices. For instance, gov.uk recently spotlighted excavation company C. Bamford Excavators Limited and their use of the apprenticeship scheme. They won The BT Award for Advanced Apprentice of the Year.

Also, the government’s sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) gives recently unemployed or redundant people new skills. Gov.uk also highlighted how the scheme is giving learners up-to-date experience and knowledge in groundworks. For example, through college tutoring and work placements with Highways England. 

What are you waiting for? Start winning excavation tenders today!

Excavation tenders can open the door to a range of work, and buyers seek contractors for a wide variety of projects. Tendering can help you improve and evolve your practices and workforce, as long as you’re well-prepared and well-informed. So, now’s the time to unearth new opportunities and start growing your business! (Sorry – we couldn’t help ourselves!)

Why use Construction Tenders?

If you’re searching for excavation tenders, Construction Tenders, powered by Hudson Discover, will save you time and get you results. When you sign up, you’ll receive an email bulletin when new excavation tenders and construction leads are published, plus 24-hour portal access. Browse all the available excavation tenders, large and small, as often as you need!

At Construction Tenders, we source opportunities for;

Book a free live demo for a quick tour of our service. See how we can help your business grow!

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