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Top 5 Best Excavation Estimating Software 2023

Top 5 Best Excavation Estimating Software 2023

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Top 5 Best Excavation Estimating Software 2023

Creating estimates may be an essential part of running your excavation business, but let’s face it, it can also be a time-consuming chore.

This is why increasing numbers of established contractors use top excavation estimating software solutions instead, speeding up and simplifying the whole process without sacrificing accuracy or quality customer service. 

In this guide, we’ll outline why the likes of HeavyBid, Jobber, and Kubla Cubed are among the best estimation software platforms to use to improve efficiency and win more work.

Best Excavation Estimating Software Review

1. HeavyBid 

Best All-Round Estimating Tool

HeavyBid Review

Since launching in 1986, HCSS has established an enviable reputation as a leader and innovator in the world of construction industry software, so it comes as no surprise that their earthwork cost estimating platform, HeavyBid, is as good as it gets. 

This feature-rich software is cloud-based, meaning you can access it anywhere you go as long as you have a web browser and a reliable Internet connection.

Once signed up, the intuitive user interface makes it a breeze to input all of your takeoff data and use it to generate accurate cost estimates that are fully itemized to minimize the risk of costly mistakes. 

Among the many useful features on offer, a highlight is the impressive grid view, which provides a convenient way to organize large amounts of cost and quantity data so that it’s easier to read.

Beyond that, we like that it integrates seamlessly with other HCSS software like HeavyJob so that you can keep track of every single stage of construction projects, from sending out those estimates to signing off on a job well done. 

2. Insite Elevation Pro

Best Earthwork Estimator Tool to Grow Your Business

Insite Elevation Pro Review

Insite Elevation Pro is the ideal earthwork takeoff software for contractors and small business owners ready to take things to the next level and start landing more lucrative contracts.

Designed to help excavation professionals win more bids with better profit margins, the platform can collect data from several sources, including GPS and laser scans, as well as file formats such as PDF, TIF, DXF, and DWG files. 

It then takes this data and uses it to create precise cost breakdowns that you can use in construction estimates to give your company the best chance of success. 

However, what really makes this such a standout tool for growing businesses is that it also includes invaluable advanced features such as drone support for site surveying and a unique Cut & Fill Contours Map to improve cost planning and quantity validation. 

Finally, we’re also impressed by Insite Elevation Pro’s outstanding custom reports, which can be invaluable for confirming your numbers and ensuring you get paid. 

3. Propeller Aero

Best for Capturing Drone Data

Propeller Aero Review

It’s no secret that the increasing accessibility of commercial drones has had a far-reaching, positive impact on the construction industry, especially when it comes to earthwork. 

With drone technology, it’s possible to gather in-depth, real-time data about the terrain and topography of a potential site, as well as gain vital insights into other factors that affect the cost and feasibility of a project. 

All of this can save hours of time and hundreds of dollars that would usually be spent in the field.

If you’ve been relying more and more on this kind of technology, but you find it can be hit or miss when converting this data into a successful bid, you may want to consider Propeller Aero

The software is available as both a desktop and mobile app, both of which you can use either to import high-resolution ariel images of a site which it then uses to generate detailed 3D maps, models, and survey data, all of which can help you generate reliable, contract-winning estimates with maximum precision. 

The best part is that although Propeller Aero does have a list of recommended drones to use with its software, you’re not limited to those options as the platform is compatible with almost all major drone brands. 

4. Jobber

Best All-in-One Excavation Business Software

Jobber Excavation Review

Jobber has earned rave reviews for its comprehensive business management tools that serve a diverse variety of industries, from auto detailers and mechanics to general contractors, roofing companies, and more. 

Related: Full Jobber review

Their excavation software likewise deserves a ton of praise for eliminating the time, hassle, and costs associated with managing your business. 

This beginner-friendly, cloud-based platform features excellent cost-estimating features that allow you to take work requests over the phone or via a secure online portal built into your website. 

From there, you can devise flexible, tiered bids with optional add-on services to boost profits and schedule automated follow-ups to cut down on the time you’d typically spend chasing up your proposals. 

Jobber’s value doesn’t end there.

Once you’ve successfully won that contract, you can use the labor management tools to schedule your subcontractors, track the time they spend on the job, and provide support to staff while they are on site. 

After the work is complete, Jobber’s customizable invoice templates and seamless integration with QuickBooks Online make it easy to streamline the process of getting paid.

Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that Jobber is one of the very few estimating tools that offer upfront, transparent pricing. 

The others we’ve listed all require you to book a demo and speak to a sales consultant to get a bespoke quote. 

While that can be useful for guaranteeing that you’re only paying for precisely what you need, the more time you spend in sales meetings with software vendors, the less time you have to focus on growing your business and the longer the whole process of picking the right estimating software is going to take. 

The fact that you can access a free trial of Jobber and then immediately put it to use in your business for as little as $9 per month makes it a winner for any excavating professional who wants to avoid a lengthy sales process.

  • Visit Jobber 

5. Kubla Cubed

Best Free Earthwork Software

Kubla Software Review

If you’re still in the early stages of starting your excavation company and don’t yet have the budget to pay for expensive estimating software, don’t give up before you check out Kubla Cubed

One of the only high-quality estimating solutions we know of with a 100% free plan, Kubla Cubed offers practically everything you could need to start winning your first few contracts. 

Site plans spread over multiple PDFs can be merged into one document to make them easier to reference, while levels can be defined using either on-screen take off or by loading data from a host of supported file types, including CAD, LandXml, CSV, and more. 

Elsewhere, a unique TIN prism volume calculation engine ensures that no matter how complicated the project may be, you can generate competitive cut & fill estimates with pinpoint accuracy. 

We’re also big fans of the one-click export process, which allows you to share your work with others in multiple formats, including Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, image files, documents, PDs, and AutoCAD files. 

The only downside is that free users are limited to forum support. For direct access to Kubla’s support team, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version, which costs $295 per year or $737 for a lifetime license.

What is The Best Estimation Software to Use for Your Excavation Business? Our Final Recommendations

As you’ve learned by now, all of the top excavation estimating tools have unique strengths and selling points, meaning any of them could realistically do a fantastic job of making cost estimating more efficient.

So, as with all purchasing decisions you make for your business, picking the one software solution will depend on which one best meets your current needs.

If you’re an independent contractor and spending hundreds of dollars on software isn’t an option right now, the free version of Kubla Cubed is a great place to start, while Insite Elevation Pro is the best option for helping your growing business win bigger and better contracts.

If you’re only concerned with cutting the time and cost of onsite surveying by using drone technology, look at Propeller Aero, or if you want an integrated solution that combines user-friendly estimating features with other helpful tools so that you can manage your entire operation from one platform, the low-cost Jobber may be the one for you. 

However, if you’re on the hunt for the ultimate combination of simplicity, advanced features such as easy-to-manage grid views, and an estimating process that is streamlined for maximum efficiency, then HCSS’ HeavyBid software is a surefire winner.

For more advice on how to get your new company off to the best possible start, see our complete guide to starting an excavating business.


Top 5 Best Excavation Estimating Software 2023

Top 5 Best Excavation Estimating Software 2023

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