View Full Version : advice on mulch price

05-15-2001, 12:08 AM
ok. i got a job the other day doing mulch. i will be putting down roughly 30 yards or so. the brown stuff. there is a place i can get it for 13 or 14 dollars a yard delivered. so that is 420 for the mulch. i am charging 35 per yard. so that is 1050 according to my calculator. so i make 600 dollars just off the materials. then i am getting 25 dollars per man hour to apply the stuff. my laborers cost me 110 per day for one guy. and 100 per day for the rest of them. i may get a bobcat for a day to move the stuff around with. so that will be i guess 350 for the day. and it costs me maybe 200? but i have to move it and what not. i am gonna assume that this will take me what? a day? day and a half? so that is 1050 for the mulch, and 2 guys to spread 1 to weed? and me in the bobcat. so 4 guys = 800 for the day and 350 for the machine. now if it takes me another day then that would be another 400 and the machine would go back i guess or if there is too much to move around i would do another day for another 350. so i am looking at a price for 30 yards of about 2500? for 30 yards of mulch. beds have to be weeded and edged. is that absurd? this is bedford, NY lots of millionaires. and this is a million dollar home here. according to the calculator that is about 83.3333 per yard. that i think is high. but my profits would be really nice. what would be a good number for that much work?

little green guy
05-15-2001, 12:15 AM
It seems like it might be a tad on the high side but if your busey just give the guy the number, if he goes for it good, if not on to other work. Thats what I've been doing latley, if I can't make good money then I don't want the job, it's not worth it.

05-15-2001, 12:24 AM
You might want to make the bed edging and weeding separate line items on the quotation to the client. Then the client can see more value for the money being charged. That would reduce your per/yard price for the mulching part of the job.

05-15-2001, 01:02 AM
T & M job. 35 per yard is what i get for just the mulch. then i get 25 dollars per man hour to apply it. the woman approved the rates and everything. but i dont know about hitting her up with a bill like that? because i think originally i had said to her that it would be about 1700 to clean the place up, do the mulch, and a lot of other stuff. however the mulch wasnt supposed to be 30 yards. i think only 12 at that time or something. but i was goin around on the machine and saw stuff so the 30 came into play because of the added areas, plus that is the smallest amount i can get delivered. what do you guys think now? i love going T & M on mulch and what not

05-15-2001, 01:10 AM
lawnboy, just did 24 yards of the black mulch on saturday. mulch got their at 9:30 we started spreading it at 10 when we got done edging the beds. took a 40 minute break for lunch and finished the job at 4 that same day. 4 man crew using 2 8cubic ft. wheel barrels and a 6cubic ft. wheel barrel. the man with the 6cubic foot wheel barrel did all the little islands and trees, and me and the other guy were running the 8 cubic ft. wheel barrels to my father who would spread them after we dumped and let me add he isn't the faster spreader around. almost forgot installed 19 shrubs as well.

did 8 yards of the black stuff yesturday at another funeral home for the company only 2 hours to spread that witha 3 man crew. and this weekend another 24 for a another funeral home owner bby that same company. i love it i never expected her to say ive me a price on mulching them(i cut them) after i gave her a price for the 2 i cut (3rd is cut by a over priced scrub that has worked for them for years) she wants me to mulch the one he cuts and to start maintaining all the landscapes at all 3. sad thing is that they won't give me the 1 the scrub cuts because they are very loyal to the people who work for them, but thats great for me knowing i will serve all their lawn and landscape needs as long as i want to.

05-15-2001, 01:17 AM
you are actually able to do 30 yards of mulch in one day with 4 guys? wow. no bobcat or anything that is great. you guys must really work hard.

05-15-2001, 03:11 PM
yea, i wouldn't see a problem with doing 30 yards of mulcha day, i was looking to get out of their around 6 that same day but the 2 new guys i added to the crew worked like no tommorrow, and we installed 20 shrubs also, they worked so hard i had to give everyone a bonus on the job, and i still made $46 a hour, i took pictures of the place when i get them devolped i'll post them, only thing is its about 6 pics. because of how big it is. very spread out.

just turned the bid in a hour ago for the last funeral home that company owns 25 yards of mulch and 15 shrubs that need to go in place of dead ones, or missing ones. i'll get the job can't wait to do it.

i had the garden center deliver the mulch in 3 big dump truck, when i ordered it people behind me just looked at me like i was crazy, even crazyer when i pulled out $800 to pay for it on the spot.

05-15-2001, 07:54 PM
One guy can lay roughly a yard an hour. Sometimes much faster, sometimes slower depending on how far you have to go, amount of plant material in the way, etc.


John from OH
05-15-2001, 10:37 PM
We use the 10 cubic feet wheelbarrows with the dual wheels. 3 full wheelbarrows is 1 yard. I expect my employees to wheel and spread 1.5 yards per hour on average jobs. Thats 4.5 wheelbarrow loads in an hour or about 13 minutes a load. You would be looking at about 20 production hours for that job plus your edging and weeding time.

05-15-2001, 11:45 PM
wow, john if this seems right your guys were slacking it or we just fly. from my calculations we were doing 3.42 yards a hour and sprending. no lie.

little green guy
05-16-2001, 01:52 AM
We did 75 yard in a day and a half last year with 5 guys. We had to have it dumped on a cul-da-sac at the end of the driveway. So I scooped it up with the skid steer and drove down the driveway and dumped into the wheel barrows.:p

05-16-2001, 09:20 AM
Aound here I have been seeing alot of guys with the Finn mulch spreaders/blowers they spread more per hour with half the crew.There are even guys just going around and doing the jobs for contractors.Look into it you might svae money in labor costs and time.

John from OH
05-16-2001, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by joshua
wow, john if this seems right your guys were slacking it or we just fly. from my calculations we were doing 3.42 yards a hour and sprending. no lie.


My figures are per person, a crew of 4 would be spreading a minimum of 6 yards per hour. Double check your numbers, you spread 24 yards from 9:30 - 4:00, - 40 minutes for lunch. Thats 22 hours - 2.5+ hours, leaving you with about 19.5 hour for the mulching, or about 1.25 yards per hour. If you spread 3.42 yards per hour per person, you should have only 7 man hours in the job, or 1.75 hours with a crew of 4. If the edging and planting 20 shrubs took you crew 12.50 hours, then your crew did indeed spread 3.42 yards per hour.

Starling Lawn
05-16-2001, 05:51 PM
Where can I find a 10 cu. ft. wheelbarrow?

05-16-2001, 07:05 PM
Home Depot has the 2 wheel, 10 cu. ft., poly ones for around $90. Assembly costs around $10 if you want to buy it assembled.


05-16-2001, 10:00 PM
I love hearing other peoples numbers on things like this. There are WAY too many varibles involved to "have a contest to see who can spread the most mulch in an hour".

Some things that will effect your time:
1. Plant Density. # of plants in a given bed. A bed with many plants will take considerably longet to mulch than one that is open and clear.
2. Accessibility. HOw far are the beds from the truck, or pile? Can you get to the beds with a wheelbarrow? (I once did a 5 yard mulch job, carrying each and every bit of that mulch in a 5 gallon bucket. There were no mulch blowers in those days).
3. Type of mulch. The recycled dyed wood chips are a lot lighter than shredded hardwood bark. This will make a difference.
4. Terrain. HIlly, flat, uphill, or down.
5. Weather. You are not as efficent on a 100 degree day compared with a 65 degree day.

John from OH
05-16-2001, 11:10 PM
jaclawn, I agree with you, thats why I stated production numbers on an average job. You have to start with a known average and tweak the numbers to each individual job. I've done the 5 gallon bucket routine and I've loaded the beds with a loader. I personally prefer the loader route.

05-17-2001, 01:49 AM
john, my bad, i miss read that you put 1 man can spread x amount i thought you meant as a crew.

plants the shrubs took about 30 mins. and edging was 1 hour.

05-17-2001, 01:59 PM
30 yds with 4 guys is only 7 .5 per man, its not that much. we get mulch for $8 per yd. and deliver and in stall it for $65. i love doing mulch, high profit, wish i could do nothing but mulch every day. 30 yds =$240, $20 for fuel, installation price $1950, help $300. thats around $1400 for good ole bobby. cant beat it

05-17-2001, 08:44 PM
Had a company look at a job for me.

The said they could blow down 34 yards of mulch in approximately two hours. Two Finn Mulch Blower trucks carrying 17 yds each, each with a two man crew. Hoses run out 300 to 400 feet.

Charge $46.00 a yard for what they call their premium dark mulch(mulch included in price) Cedar was higher in price I think it was $53.00 a yd installed. They say that they can blow it as thin as one inch deep or as heavy as 4 inches deep.

Seems reasonable to me if you need a lot of mulch applied in a short period of time.

Question is How valuable is your time, and how much other work can you be doing if you sub this out.