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View Full Version : BIGGEST mulch job I have ever priced help!!!


grassman177
03-07-2010, 03:22 PM
thanks, i have a job that is 30 houses in a very tight HOA that totals about 91-92 yards of mulch. i am having a hard time feeling out what labor time to charge for this bid.

how long do you think it might take for this project, using 4 guys and two wheel barrows, mulch delivered in pallets of bags onsite to make things easier.

i estimated 15 hrs of total time with all, but it seems wrong. what do you guys think and how long does it take you per yard to install considering 4 guys working??

thanks, i need to figure this out by tuesday so hoping some of you can help.!!

grassman177
03-07-2010, 03:27 PM
here is an overhead view, you can see the comunity mulch beds, and there is beds around every house, some are comletely around while others are only a partial around the house landscape.

i would have the pallets of mulch delivered strategically in the area for ease of moving around. probably about 3 specific drop spots to work from, maybe 4

Groomer
03-07-2010, 03:46 PM
15 hrs. for 90 yards? You guys gonna run the entire time? I'd say it will take a few hours just to open every bag. Beds all prepped and ready to spread? My 3 man crew can put down some mulch, but I couldn't do 90 in 15. How's that HOA work, when Mr. A gets twice as much mulch as M. B? Everyone still pay the same fee?

ED'S LAWNCARE
03-07-2010, 05:07 PM
1ST thing I have to ask is why bags? Way too expensive, or are you just going to supply labor? Anyway with no prep work I get $55 yd installed which by the time I take out the mulch it equals to $30/yd. $30 x 92 = $2760 for labor. 15 hrs is about right. I think I could do it with the 2 guys that help me time to time in about 12hrs. Then again I wouldn't be using bags either.

grassman177
03-07-2010, 06:41 PM
hahaha, no we dont run, i was just starting to figure and thought i would shout out here first. i have never done any one place bigger than 30 yds, and that was big.

That job took us about 8-9hrs i think, have to look.(dont keep me held to that time!) but we also had to go back and forth to get the mulch where at this bid, i will have it directly delivered onsite and placed in about 4 different places to aid in ease of moving it around.

BAGS, well, we like it and we can get one or two semi loads delivered at our shop and it is not exposed to the elements being in bags, much much neater and cleaner to store, and seriously, it is still only $30 per yd this way for us including delivery and tax etc. may sound expensive to you guys, but bulk from the same place is still about $26-28 per yd so it is not much more for the convenience. mulch is high here even in wholesale. bags are way easier to handle and lay for us. we have timed it and with the pitch forking and wheel barrows for bulk vs the wheel barrows only and just ripping the bags open( trust me it is not hard at all, very easy like a zip lock is easy, to easy sometimes even) we are about 20%faster with the bags.

No one seems to believe us, but it is true. so therefore my arguement for bags is ease of handling, storage and laying down are all better for us. delivering that much dyed mulch would make a serious mess to the roads onsite there if we did that. i am not into that mess at all. i am sure they would be pissed too!

so, about how long per yd are you guys taking to apply the mulch, and considering your methods, even using bulk, what are your figures?? one guy said 12 hrs, another thinks my guess of 15 is too low??!! so more info needed and thoughts please.

thanks for responding, it all helps!

grassman177
03-07-2010, 06:43 PM
oh, and bed prep is super minimal as there is edging in place so no redefining anything at all, maybe a bit of raking here and there. no plants to cut back either as they have it done in the fall.

RollingZimmer
03-07-2010, 07:44 PM
2760 sounds right.

I shoot for 80 a yard including cost, install, edging and weeding on rough yards and heavily weeded gardens.

Although, I am doing a few bids at banks right now with little to no edging and no weed pulling at all and Im gonna charge 60 a yard to see if I can get the job. I have not really done commercial mulching before so Im giving it a whirl.

I see where you are coming from with bags, but you wouldnt need a wheel barrow so you could have two barrels carry tons of bags, one guy spreads three or four then four or more arive. Might save time, esp. with cleanup and such.

Pray for no wind! youll be chasing bags all day lol.

Good luck mannn

RollingZimmer
03-07-2010, 07:46 PM
when i say dont need a wheel barrow i mean you could still transport bags by carrying them. maybe even load up a truck and back it into the driveway and spread it then move down the road.

this place is gonna smell damn good when your done.

i think thats all i got for responses now.

MarkintheGarden
03-07-2010, 08:36 PM
Grassman, my estimate for this job is total 69 hours labor based on 92 yards.
17.25 hours for the crew of four.
A good crew might make 15 hours.

What is the volume per bag, and how thick are you spreading it?

Sometimes a dolly works as well as a wheelbarrow does for moving bags of mulch.

br549oicu8
03-07-2010, 10:21 PM
We may take a tractor to the site if we get the job to get the mulch closer to where it is needed. I have a Kubota L-3710 with a front loader at home, which happens to be about 1 1/2 blocks from this place. That would help a bunch. I do have turf tires, so as long as it's not wet we would be ok to at least get it close without too much manpower.

grassman177
03-07-2010, 10:34 PM
bags are 2 cu. they wont do 3 cu as with the weight of the dye, they claim it rips the bags too much in 3 cu.

tractor would be nice, never thought of that as I personally dont have access to it being my dads!! hahah.

Mark in the garden, thanks for taking the time to help. so i was right in guestimating the 15hrs. we did figure though that is a bag per man every minute spread. that is a high paced work ethic right there. might figure closer to your 17hrs. i still have some ratios to figure on the 30yd job i did, taking out all the driving to get more mulch and see our average yds per hour with that 3 man crew.

grassman177
03-07-2010, 10:36 PM
when i say dont need a wheel barrow i mean you could still transport bags by carrying them. maybe even load up a truck and back it into the driveway and spread it then move down the road.

this place is gonna smell damn good when your done.

i think thats all i got for responses now.

yeah for sure, the wheel barrows are the double wheeled models with huge hoppers so you can easily haul 7-8bags per load, more than you could via using bulk. another reason it is faster this way for us. higher price for mulch, cheaper labor!

grassman177
03-07-2010, 10:45 PM
i also have another serious question for you all, do you ever bid so many yds on a property and find you use much less. for example, on the 30yd job i did i should have used 40 yds by calculations(and these beds are measured accurately as they are rectangle). we did put this down at about 2in but still ran about 70% of total figured.

Is this common especially on large jobs like this, as i figured the 91-92yds for this property i have posted, but can i safely bid that down to 65yds??? i have run into this many times where actual used is not what was bid for. i use a mulch calculator for these figures and the place was measured very accurately with satelite imaging.

Darryl G
03-07-2010, 10:46 PM
4 guys 2 to 2.5 days is my guess but I'd have more wheel barrows there. Don't want anyone standing around at any time. That's doing it nice nice...beds all nice and smooth, everything cleaned up nice. Nothing for anybody to complain about.

silverado212
03-07-2010, 11:10 PM
By my calculation your figuring 6 cu yards per hour. 2-2 men crews 3 cu yards per hour. That is possible. There is gonna be a +/- factor. Not sure how much. You could pad it a few hours to be safe, but you don't wanna go over too much. Someone may be watching say you took 12 hrs and we are paying for 20.

climber338
03-08-2010, 12:46 AM
where i live we have an awesome company that makes and delivers on site. If you have one of these companies around i would use them for this job. They will bring it to the house and dump it on site and all i have to do is spread it. I have only gone to the yard and picked up 15 yards from them but i should have had it all delivered to the site. I was driving back and forth all day with 3 yards in my trailer at a time. My buddy always uses them and he has had allot of good luck with them.

If your going to be doing it with bags i would try to have the pallets dropped at the house if you can. That way you can have 1 guy loading the wheel barrows and 2 guys hauling and dumping the mulch (which will also help with loading there own wheel barrow) and 1 guy spreading it around. If you cant then i would rip them up and put them in the back of the truck and use your wheel barrows out to the back of the truck. Next time i would try to use bulk mulch. Not bashing at all just my 2 cents. good luck and i hope everything work out good for you.

White Gardens
03-08-2010, 02:03 AM
I'd price it at 85 dollars a yard. With that kind of volume though you could easily push it down to 70 or lower if you wanted to in order to secure the job and still make a decent profit.

I still think you should be able to get it in bulk cheaper than what you posted earlier. I'd call around, somebody has got to have a semi-load for 15/yard or less. Try to cut out the middle man and get a hold of a supplier. We have a couple of companies close to Chicago that supply the shops in our area so I call them in if I've got a bigger project and want it dumped on site.

motorscot
03-08-2010, 06:55 AM
thanks, i have a job that is 30 houses in a very tight HOA that totals about 91-92 yards of mulch. i am having a hard time feeling out what labor time to charge for this bid.

how long do you think it might take for this project, using 4 guys and two wheel barrows, mulch delivered in pallets of bags onsite to make things easier.

i estimated 15 hrs of total time with all, but it seems wrong. what do you guys think and how long does it take you per yard to install considering 4 guys working??

thanks, i need to figure this out by tuesday so hoping some of you can help.!!

2 min/bag @ 1229 bags (13.5 bags/yard) = 2458 min/60 = 41 hrs /4 = 10 hrs

3 min/bag @ 1229 = 3687 min/60 = 61.5 hrs /4 = 15.4 hrs

Total time from shop to job to shop (set up, travel, tools, etc) = 12-18 hrs


loads delivered at our shop and it is not exposed to the elements being in bags, much much neater and cleaner to store, and seriously, it is still only $30 per yd this way for us including delivery and tax etc. may sound expensive to you guys, but bulk from the same place is still about $26-28 per yd so it is not much more for the convenience. mulch is high here even in wholesale. bags are way easier to handle and lay for us. we have timed it and with the pitch forking and wheel barrows for bulk vs the wheel barrows only and just ripping the bags open( trust me it is not hard at all, very easy like a zip lock is easy, to easy sometimes even) we are about 20%faster with the bags.



Ex: $30/yd x 10% markup = $33/yd x 91 = $3003 material charge
material x 2 = labor rate = $6006 total charge (mat + labor)
16 hrs (2 days) x $15/hr x 4 men = $960 labor
16 hrs x $25/hr x 2 men (grass and pop) = $800 labor
= $1243 gross profit

grassman177
03-08-2010, 10:11 AM
very awesome you guys for helping out and even going as far as to show your calculations. could not ask for a better deal from you. thank so much!! helps out a bunch to see your perspectives and thoughts.

this is a supplier!!! yeah, i know. they make and deliver the mulch direct. some of the other supliers are cheaper, but the quality of mulch is inferior, especially by comparison. but think if the mess, the mess the mess of 92yds in the streets or drives. they would never go for it and i am sure i would get fired after i put down the mulch for doing that!!!

motorscot
03-08-2010, 11:40 AM
BTW, $3003/4 men = $750 per man
$750/16 hrs = $46.88/man hr charged

grassman177
03-08-2010, 06:32 PM
thanks, you guys have been a big help, going to put down the figures now and turn in my bid tomorrow.

ryde307
03-08-2010, 07:39 PM
I know your going with bags but if you went bulk have a bobcat a dingo or something similair there to load wheelbarrows sazes huge amounts of time and energy.

grassman177
03-08-2010, 10:52 PM
we have a tractor with boom and bucket, i forgot about that option. thanks man

R & R Yard Designs
03-08-2010, 11:39 PM
That's what we do and do about 135 yards in less then 2 days with 4 guys
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grassman177
03-09-2010, 09:36 AM
thanks for the info, and that is alot of mulch

R & R Yard Designs
03-09-2010, 10:33 PM
so how did it go, what have you come up with

robertsturf
03-09-2010, 11:31 PM
Hey Ralph, Buddy. You need to check with RSC or your local rental shop and see if they carry Muck Trucks or powered wheel barrows. It would save a lot of time with this much mulch. They are 4 wheel drive and carry anywhere from 8-10 cu ft of mulch.

R & R Yard Designs
03-09-2010, 11:53 PM
Yea but they will tear the hell out of the grass right now
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br549oicu8
03-10-2010, 12:03 AM
Hey Ralph, Buddy. You need to check with RSC or your local rental shop and see if they carry Muck Trucks or powered wheel barrows. It would save a lot of time with this much mulch. They are 4 wheel drive and carry anywhere from 8-10 cu ft of mulch.

I could get things close with my Kubota. I have a loader and pallet forks on the one at my house, which is only 2 blocks from this property. We have to get the job first!!!

grassman177
03-10-2010, 12:39 AM
yeah, i figured less mulch( as i have found i use 70-80% the amount figured based on sqft) so my price was around 4500 bucks. little to no mark up on the mulch, i would rather take a small hit on this and get the job making good on all the other services then not get it at all. just found out today i lost two more large hoa areas i have been doing, getting seriously depressed at the moment. that makes 5 very large accounts i have lost for this year, big chunk of my income. so i really want this one now, and then will make up the rest with new resi and additional fluff services i hope.

DLONGLANDSCAPING
03-10-2010, 01:18 AM
it is scary to loose big accounts. Two years ago, i had 11 accounts, and literally in 4 weeks, 5 of the ladies i worked for mowing their lawn dropped dead within less than a week of eachother, all with different forms of death. I thought that it was a sign or something not to be in the business any more and i could bear the thought of going from 11 to 6 accounts. I felt like i never worked and all of those accounts were 2 acres where as my other accounts are around 1/4- 1/2 an acre.

Sunny Days
03-10-2010, 02:26 AM
I know you already bid this but what about blowing the mulch?

grassman177
03-10-2010, 02:47 AM
we dont do it, and i have no idea what it would cost to have done, i am sure way more than i bid it for thoough. there is not anywhere very local that even has those to rent. plus, do they give a nice even spread look like laying it down by hand does?

R & R Yard Designs
03-10-2010, 02:58 AM
The blower might be cheaper then you think, we get it for about 300-400 a day i think. the best way is to look at Finn's website and find a dealer.

grassman177
03-10-2010, 09:36 AM
are they pretty easy to use compared to by hand, save a good amount of labor?

White Gardens
03-10-2010, 10:47 AM
are they pretty easy to use compared to by hand, save a good amount of labor?

Yes, yes it is. You just have to have one guy load the blower and another to control the hose.

brucec32
03-10-2010, 12:03 PM
I put in 70 yds at one home this winter (2 acre lot)

-I averaged 2.5 yds/hour consistently, doing it 20 yds at a time over a few weeks. I realize that this goes way down depending on various factors like distance, tools used, lay of land, etc. But this is doing it in bursts, not steady all day long.

-I was doing it in 4-5 hour stints so I could work faster than if working all day long. A truckload of 20 yds took two partial days.

-Mulch was placed anywhere from 0 to 300 feet from where it was spread

-Most of it was open, not too many shrubs or plants to work around.

-Not much edging or other work required, it was ready for mulch.

-Bulk mulch was all dropped in one spot (4 different truckloads on different days, but still free delivery due to volume bought)

TIPS:

Buy a few large cheap tarps. If you want dyed mulch cheaper arrange to be there at delivery time and put the mulch on the tarps to avoid staining. 10 yds will fit on a 15x15 quite neatly if the driver is any good. Saves about $10-$15/yd on materials cost . ($900-$1350 less cost of tarps minus a little extra labor here and there perhaps)

Keep in mind that when delivered on pallets, some suppliers may just dump pallets of bags off a truck, leaving a tangle of pallets and bags that might not go over well with residents, especially if left overnight.

It's a heck of a lot easier for someone to come in and steal your bags of mulch if for some reason you have to leave it unattended.

Consider doing the job in stages so as not to block the streets or annoy residents anymore than one has to. Five to ten huge piles of mulch in the street might not go over so well. Also you're asking a lot for your workers to hump mulch for 8 hours straight 2 days in a row. Their productivity will plummet after half a day as they begin to tire. Then again, your estimate of time may already factor that in.

Get a dump cart to tow behind a mower and use it to transport mulch! Wheelbarrowing that stuff around sounds almost medevial. I'd say it's half the effort/time of even the biggest wheelbarrows. And if it happens to get wet, that stuff is heavier than you think.

Pitchforking finely shredded mulch like they dye is pretty easy. The bags don't save a ton of time except maybe you can stack a little more on the cart/barrow at one time.

Sunny Days
03-10-2010, 12:31 PM
I know your in Kansas but so not sure what your pricing is there. Here in Southern California we have a Mulch Wholesaler that brings in train cars from up north. Then has a series of blowers. In this economy they are hurting like everyone else. So they qouted 3-5 dollars per yard to blow in place. They do this along all the freeways here.

They load it deliver it and blow in place. No workmans comp, little overhead and great entertainment. Plus it gets laid down really smooth with little cleanup.

Sunny Days
03-10-2010, 12:33 PM
Also very quick. In and out.

grassman177
03-10-2010, 09:25 PM
i may have to look into that blower as an option then, sounds good. also doing it in stages might be a good thing for productivity like you metioned. all great advice and things to consider for sure.

I hope i get the job!!!!!

robertsturf
03-10-2010, 10:15 PM
Ralph, Missouri Organic in KCMO has a mulch blower truck. I dump all our organic waste there. Give them a call.

grassman177
03-11-2010, 12:25 AM
i will, are you saying they do the work, or rent the blower?

robertsturf
03-11-2010, 12:40 AM
I think they do the work. I have never priced that service from them though.

Sunny Days
03-11-2010, 01:56 AM
The price that was quoted for me included them doing all the work. Try and have them do it, if reasonably priced.

grassman177
03-11-2010, 09:38 AM
i will look into it, as after i bid of course i found out my mulch supplier is no longer offering a foklift to unload for you, which means i could not get delivered onsite for this job. we have a option with a local const comp of unloading it for us, but who knows the cost of that.

STRINGALATION
03-11-2010, 10:13 AM
with all those locations and srry i did not read past first page

1 i would use bags because of all the logistics
2 i would have either twelve drop points or i would rent a fork lift to place the pallets. not a skiddy because the price diff. is amazing.
3 on bigger jobs i do end up using less mulch?...mmmmm.... well good that means i did not skimp on putting it down.
4 thats gonna take way longer than you think i like that we did 30 in 8
5 hahaha lololololo deeeeep breathe lololololool you said " very accurately with a satellite" no wonder you are way off on your mulch amount. i did not mean by 30 yrds

STRINGALATION
03-11-2010, 10:24 AM
or get a skiddy all day and knock it out if you can afford too.
for the record i'm 110.00 per yard period to compromise my price in that paticular situation woul bite me in the boo boo i'm gonna make some coin doing 90 yards in alllllllllllllllll those houses and the other. are you already doing other work. r u pricing this to get that. ?????? i hope not tttt they know that game and you wont get the mowing and leaves your hoping for buddy ohhh the hedges upselll

grassman177
03-11-2010, 07:41 PM
it is a full service contract so you get it all, landscape, irrigation, mow, spray, shrub trimming, aeration etc

Southern Elegance
03-11-2010, 11:56 PM
we have 1 house that takes 22 pallets ( 110 yds ) takes 6 guys 16 hrs (96 man hrs ) to just put the mulch down. we have the pallets set out around the yard to save time. Also we have all prep work done before mulch is delivered.

we have contracted it out to an express blower truck before, took him about 4 hrs
, because he had to drive back to his shop ( 50 miles away ) to reload. Said it was the biggest job he has ever done.

we have also done it with bulk mulch ( not fun ) to much longer, took more workers, to more fuel driving 3 trailers back and fourth

bags are the only way to mulch, most people dont and will never understand that. it took me a while to believe. the cost difference is more than made up in what it saves u in labor.

grassman177
03-12-2010, 10:23 AM
we have 1 house that takes 22 pallets ( 110 yds ) takes 6 guys 16 hrs (96 man hrs ) to just put the mulch down. we have the pallets set out around the yard to save time. Also we have all prep work done before mulch is delivered.

we have contracted it out to an express blower truck before, took him about 4 hrs
, because he had to drive back to his shop ( 50 miles away ) to reload. Said it was the biggest job he has ever done.

we have also done it with bulk mulch ( not fun ) to much longer, took more workers, to more fuel driving 3 trailers back and fourth

bags are the only way to mulch, most people dont and will never understand that. it took me a while to believe. the cost difference is more than made up in what it saves u in labor.

fially i guy who gets it with bags!

deanslawnservice09
03-12-2010, 04:15 PM
$7000-$8000

grassman177
03-12-2010, 06:21 PM
that is your price!! i appreciate if it is and you took the time to calculate, but that is very high imo. is that standard pricing per yd from your area?

deanslawnservice09
03-12-2010, 07:06 PM
around here no one really gets less than 85 per yard... i usually charge 75 or 80 to guarentee jobs

grassman177
03-12-2010, 09:33 PM
i wish it was the same here

stlcmsuguy
03-12-2010, 11:09 PM
i also have another serious question for you all, do you ever bid so many yds on a property and find you use much less. for example, on the 30yd job i did i should have used 40 yds by calculations(and these beds are measured accurately as they are rectangle). we did put this down at about 2in but still ran about 70% of total figured.

Is this common especially on large jobs like this, as i figured the 91-92yds for this property i have posted, but can i safely bid that down to 65yds??? i have run into this many times where actual used is not what was bid for. i use a mulch calculator for these figures and the place was measured very accurately with satelite imaging.

On large jobs you'll usually end up having too much mulch if you are JUST measuring the beds and calculating for putting it down at 2 inches. You have to factor in shrubs and landscaping. For example if you measure a bed that has no shrubs, trees, or landscaping in it then you should use all of the mulch you bid it for if its at 2 inches. But when you have shrubs, ivy, and groundcover in the mulch beds you have to figure what percentage of the bed isn't mulch when you are doing large bids.(this doesn't apply if you're one of those companies that puts two inches of mulch on everything, like ivy....haha) For instance you have a 30000 sq ft bed that is full of landscaping, figure out what percentage of the bed is landscaped, doesn't have to be 100% exact, generally 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 90% ...eyeball it on a few small beds to practice and then measure around the landscaping and see how close you were....this example bed is mostly ivy with very few open areas, so we'll go with one of the higher percentages(remember percentage of how much of the bed is landscaped). multiply 30,000 sq ft by .75 (for 75%)=22,500 sq ft of the bed is landscaped. 30,000 sq ft-22,500 sq ft =7,500 sq ......see how this can affect things on a large bid?

grassman177
03-13-2010, 02:24 AM
great way to put it, and hence the reason for not using all the mulch. i did bid slightly less mulch on this job to factor in that, but never put two and two together. thanks alot for that tid bit .

Cutter1
03-13-2010, 10:06 AM
a bark blower isn't something you just rent and use.....it takes time to figure out how to use it. Is the mulch wet, dry, are you loading too much, not enough, are you up hill down hill, how much throttle to use with out blowing too much dust, but not get clogged. They are very useful more on material saved than anything else. Figure 30% less mulch than usual. 2 guys won't do it. Especially if you are using it at a condo community. Hose is 150 ft and you need to move it a lot!! That is the worst part and the most tiresome. Plan on taking some time to figure out how to use it. It WILL GET CLOGGED. No matter what they say at finn all new operators will get it clogged. Just like anything else, takes time to master. I own a blower by the way. It is great and has made a huge difference. You have to find the right combination of deck speed and air flow. Just a matter of time with the machine. I have done smaller jobs with two of us, hard on the shoveler.......but loading with your kubota would save that. 2 of us have done 12 yards on a hill in 30 minutes. Those are the jobs I like.....unload the hose one time, in and out. 3 guys is the most effecient. One shoveling two moving the hose........one on the hose keeping the hose from going over bushes and other obstacles. Guying applying the mulch has the remote with him. then the other two guys can switch when the shoveler gets tired.

grassman177
03-13-2010, 10:15 AM
i would love to own one, but event he cheapy ones are high dollar. a man and his toys!

Southern Elegance
03-13-2010, 04:30 PM
7000 - 8000 is really not that high

STRINGALATION
03-13-2010, 07:38 PM
thats where i'd be. i might have dropped it to 75 -80 per yard because i was bidding

deanslawnservice09
03-13-2010, 07:48 PM
exactly...7500 divided by 30 people who live in the HOA is only 250 bucks a house which isnt that expensive.. but if you want to really guarantee the job bid it at 6,750 you'll still make a decent profit just not as high margin as it would be if it were at 8000

P.S. maybe the supplier will give you a little discount for ordering so much :weightlifter:

grassman177
03-13-2010, 07:50 PM
it is expensive here, at least in that volume. normally i agree with about $80 a yd installed as we are somewhere in that price too, but on these large jobs the labor cost or mulch cost is lowered or it will never be awarded to anyone with a price of $80 per yd installed.

i bid it at around $62 per yd installed which is too damn cheap i know, but it is the game here for these very large jobs. i hate it, i get beat up on price from a bunch of newbies here and have lost many a job already to them and was bidding against them on this one too. i decided to go lower on the mulch in attept to ge the job. i did not however discount my other services at all. i thought i would try this approach to see what happened as i have never been one to discount like that.

stlcmsuguy
03-15-2010, 01:15 AM
It really helps on the 200 yard plus jobs.

great way to put it, and hence the reason for not using all the mulch. i did bid slightly less mulch on this job to factor in that, but never put two and two together. thanks alot for that tid bit .
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grassman177
03-15-2010, 03:10 AM
they are supposed to have a meeting tomorrow for this HOA so i am praying to get thsi contract to help make up for the big ones i have lost over the last month or so. wish me luck as i think i will know in the next few days to the decision.

rusty_keg_3
03-15-2010, 11:57 PM
I think we charge 75-100 per yard, that includes the mulch, and spreading it... No prep or edging tho...

Idk the time it takes tho...

Chilehead
03-15-2010, 11:59 PM
I'd charge $60.00 per yard installed plus delivery.

grassman177
03-16-2010, 01:25 AM
that is a good price chilehead, and by the way what ever came of your lawn intruders??

Juan91
03-16-2010, 01:37 AM
im not doing this big of a job, but i just take my calculations, find how many yards, than take the per yard charge and double it or times it 2.25 if the beds need to be prepped

brucec32
03-16-2010, 05:57 PM
fially i guy who gets it with bags!

My experience isn't immense with mulch but I've done several hundred yds of it. I used to fear the labor on bulk mulch as well. I even went with mulch types based on how cheaply I could get it bagged. If something was on sale for $2/ 2 cu ft bag rather than $2.95 I'd go with it even if the color wasn't my first choice, just to avoid the bulk mulch issue.

Then I tried bulk and was surprised that while it is somewhat more labor it wasn't as much as I feared.

The above job I mentioned I was doing 2.5 yds/hour even having to haul it around a house or down a driveway to another section of a large lot. I'm 46 and not near as productive as in the past and I think that employees managing to do barely more than 1 yd/man hour shows exactly why employees would drive me insane.

Also, I didn't mention this before but trying to spread mulch thin actually adds quite a bit to the labor.

Chilehead
03-16-2010, 07:28 PM
that is a good price chilehead, and by the way what ever came of your lawn intruders??

The lawn intruders are about to be nailed. My wife & son are going down to my inlaws' house for spring break the first week of April. During this time, I will do everything she would never approve of...... Phase I- lying in wait after dark in order to follow every trespasser to their destination. Once I have a list of where my targets dwell, I shall move on to Phase II. "What is Phase II", you ask? It should be clear that I am on a hell-bent search & destroy mission. Phase I is the "search" part. Phase II shall be the "destroy" part..........
"Destruction cometh surely to those who cross The Chile." --Chilehead :angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::angry:

SilverTouch
03-16-2010, 08:14 PM
i try and keep around $55 -$65 a yard installed as well.... however I've seen alot of $35-$40 installed this year. Not good for business.

grassman177
03-16-2010, 08:51 PM
yup, i bid it at 65 per yd installed. i am anxiously waiting to hear back to see if i get the job or not. i hope so, as if i lose one more bid to this local lowballer kid i am going to scream and pull my hari out!!! well, maybe not but i am near wits end with this kid

BCSteel
03-17-2010, 10:21 AM
I find it extremly hard to believe that you have been in lawn care for 29 years and yet you still dont know how to bid a mulch job.

br549oicu8
03-17-2010, 01:36 PM
I find it extremly hard to believe that you have been in lawn care for 29 years and yet you still dont know how to bid a mulch job.

Grassman, my son, has been working with me since he was knee high to a grasshopper. The business has been going successfully since 1981. This is the largest mulching bid he has been asked for so he is simply asking opinions from other peers to help with his accuracy. Why do you feel you have to go on a "I can't believe" verbal assault. I thought this board was good to ask questions of when you just needed another angle or the experience of a COURTEOUS peer. If u wanna compare businesses and sizes of whatever, feel free to do a search on us. It's not like I have to prove anything to you, cuz u really don't mean anything to us.
www.buddyrodgersandson.com

We hang on the porch.....not by the curb.

IN2MOWN
03-17-2010, 01:59 PM
I wouldnt put to much effort into it Buddy. This used to be a site of pro's where people could come and discuss things now its mostly hacks criticizing each other.

brucec32
03-17-2010, 05:17 PM
Don't ***** at him too much. He was only going with the odds. 9 out of 10 threads the last few years seem to be started by , let's just say, "experience challenged" individuals just coming here to sponge up enough info to toss their hats into the ring.

Its not in our best interest to continue to dole this stuff out to them for free, helping create more competitors, which just means lower prices if you have any conception of economics. Some of us are wising up to that fact. And because of that, new guys have also wised up and some threads omit the fact that they're not experienced. Some might even lie about it. I didn't catch the 29 years thing, but I also would have to wonder what the person has been doing all that time soas not to know exactly how long it takes to spread a yd of mulch, what the going rate for it is, etc. Maybe it's a new service for him. But don't blame someone for wondering what's up.

br549oicu8
03-17-2010, 05:49 PM
Not a new service at all. Just the largest one he has ever bid. He decided to throw things out there so he could get advice and opinions as we do the same in reverse all the time.

grassman177
03-17-2010, 07:49 PM
yeah, what my dad said dude, jsut wanted to feel it out a bit to make sure o was not going to over charge, as the longer you are on a job the cheaper it gets etc, so thanks for being a ****** when we help anyone we feel we can on here, but i will take note of your threads and be sure to bash you abit

White Gardens
03-17-2010, 09:27 PM
In the defense of grassman.....

First off, going by his user name and other posts he has made, I'm guessing he primarily offers lawn services and not too much in the way of landscaping. Maybe the oddball 3-6 yards of mulch jobs. I know a lot of lawn guys around here that don't even touch mulch and call me in to do the work.

Heck, I'm a landscaper/maintenance and can bid out 25k jobs but when it comes to estimating mowing/fert/squirt etc.... I don't have a clue half the time and shoot from the hip on my estimates.

I can see where he has never bid a job that high before. Personally the biggest jobs I've been asked to do don't go over 20, and most condo associations and businesses in general here have mostly landscaping rock and little mulch. So even the biggest jobs rarely get over 30 yards.

And the jobs that are bigger, then generally speaking only the top tier, been in business 40 years, landscaping companies have those jobs locked up and have had them locked up for eons. The larger companies seems to be in Cahoots with all the larger businessmen around here, and it all smells ugly.

Even as well as I know how to do stuff, it's nice to get others opinions on the task at hand to ensure that I'm quoting a good price to my customers and not losing money on the issue. And I think most importantly we as an industry need to make sure that we are charging the correct market value for services in order for our industry to prosper.

grassman177
03-17-2010, 10:07 PM
hit the nail on the head white gardens. we do mulching, but nothing huge like this and it is rare to find anything over 30yds which i had one account for this. i wanted to see how much cheaper most guys went per yd when dealing with this large of a job, and some dont budge a bit. i in no way feel like there was any newbie tone to this thread. i like talking shop and this is part of it as none of you are my competitors. thanks for all the help and ideas etc from everyone here except the naysayer from BC

Champion-Lawn
03-17-2010, 11:34 PM
Im sure Im a bit late on helping you out with your bid, however I hope you come back and tell us how long this job actually took.

My .02 is that this job would take your 4 employees two full 10 hour days to complete (20 total hours & 80 man/hrs) with the clean-up, and that is if you are able to drop your bags, roughly (3yrds of mulch) at each property using a pickup truck. If you are transporting the mulch from a central location, with wheel barrows your time is going to increase dramatically.

If you are doing all the prep work, ie: killing weeds, cutting bed edges, clean out, etc.. you can double the mulch man/hrs and that will put you in the ball park.

This is coming from a lot of knowledge installing thousands of yards by hand, hope its helpful for the future, however your own numbers that you find by completing this job maybe your golden rule of thumb unless its some crazy high number.

grassman177
03-18-2010, 09:53 AM
yeah, i hope it goes well if i even get it, wont find out till after the weekend now. there is no bed prep but i may spray some weeds to help ensure a good looking bed, but nothing overboard. prep was not included and really not needed as they are clean end not too thick on previous mulch or any plants to cut back.

Southern Elegance
03-18-2010, 10:32 PM
if you are going to budge on price dont do it on a large job, these people are use to paying for it.

mike174
03-19-2010, 03:28 AM
thanks, i have a job that is 30 houses in a very tight HOA that totals about 91-92 yards of mulch. i am having a hard time feeling out what labor time to charge for this bid.

how long do you think it might take for this project, using 4 guys and two wheel barrows, mulch delivered in pallets of bags onsite to make things easier.

i estimated 15 hrs of total time with all, but it seems wrong. what do you guys think and how long does it take you per yard to install considering 4 guys working??

thanks, i need to figure this out by tuesday so hoping some of you can help.!!

Grassman,

15 hours sounds right on. Assume 1 yard per man hour for planted beds and 2 yards per man hour for open beds. So, the average is 1.5 yard per man hour, which equals 6 yards per hour with 4 guys. 92/6 = 15.3 hours. This is assuming no edging or weeding.

Just a question: why bagged? In NJ you will pay a lot more for bagged than bulk.

grassman177
03-19-2010, 09:22 AM
you pay more here too, just easier to move around for us. but we may go bulk in the near future and have it stored at our shop. just dont really have the tools to move bulk effiecently. we do have a tractor with loader, but it resides at my dads house and is his personal tractor, plus we just this year got a dump truck so those two things are gearing up for the capability to do bulk, otherwise we would have to get local at $48 per yd which aint gonna happen or drive like 40 min to get bulk wholesale. we are going to be setting up looks like a place at our shop to handle a 100yd delivery of bullk mulch nest year maybe. i do however personally prefer bags and have about a 20%faster time laying bags so it is a time saver it that respect.

Southern Elegance
03-19-2010, 09:38 PM
we have equipment to handle bulk mulch and sale in a retail location. but when we do a job we use bags, no shoveling, less laborers, and faster. check with your bulk suppliers, most sell bagged too, for about same price if ordering full loads ( 22 pallets)

mike174
03-19-2010, 11:44 PM
Thanks Grassman & Southern Elegance. I guess I'm just lucky to have a wholesale bulk supplier in town & they deliver for free (in town) and charge me $25 to deliver to some of my out of town jobs. I do understand how it's probably easier to move the bags around though.

thelawnkid
03-20-2010, 12:22 AM
you pay more here too, just easier to move around for us. but we may go bulk in the near future and have it stored at our shop. just dont really have the tools to move bulk effiecently. we do have a tractor with loader, but it resides at my dads house and is his personal tractor, plus we just this year got a dump truck so those two things are gearing up for the capability to do bulk, otherwise we would have to get local at $48 per yd which aint gonna happen or drive like 40 min to get bulk wholesale. we are going to be setting up looks like a place at our shop to handle a 100yd delivery of bullk mulch nest year maybe. i do however personally prefer bags and have about a 20%faster time laying bags so it is a time saver it that respect.

Wow your not to terribly far away from me. I pay 27 a yard for a very very good product. I have never seen it in bags though. It is a chocolate brown color and it is chipps very consistant never any big chunks. I can get a 90 yard semi load of the same product delivered for about 17 a yard. I use enough but don't have access to anything to load the trailers yet. I would imagine the same suppliers would deliver to you up in leavenworth.

br549oicu8
03-20-2010, 01:02 AM
Where in KC are you getting your bulk mulch?

grassman177
03-20-2010, 01:05 AM
we are using green country soil right now, and they are one of the three suppliers i have found in the area to offer bags. they are the cheapest too by far, and have a nicer product this year than last due to new chippers, screeners and dye tumblers. they do bulk i found for 19 a yd, and will consider it in the near future as i was mentioning earlier. who do you use though as i am always interested!!???

thelawnkid
03-20-2010, 02:17 AM
grassman you got mail

White Gardens
03-20-2010, 11:40 AM
just dont really have the tools to move bulk effiecently. we do have a tractor with loader, but it resides at my dads house and is his personal tractor, plus we just this year got a dump truck so those two things are gearing up for the capability to do bulk


That's one of the dilemmas I have ran into the last couple of years. I can get 100 yard loads of mulch and have a place for it, but loading it is the issue.

The way I look at it is I can buy a skid at the minimum to load it, but I would have to make payments, and insurance on the skid when I don't have a whole lot of other work that I could use it on. On top of it, my multiple suppliers are closer to my job sites, and I can spend 1/3rd of the time going to go get loads of mulch rather than run back to where I would store it, so I'm loosing money on efficiency.

R & R Yard Designs
03-24-2010, 02:12 AM
so tell us how it went, did you get it or not

grassman177
03-24-2010, 05:59 AM
just found out, NO. i was evidently underbid. i thought i priced it cheap too. i let them know my prices would still be valid to take over the contract if they are not pleased with their decision. too bad, as i know it wouldhave looked awesome with us doing it. not to mention, the mulch we have recieved this year is phenominal. really nice grind, very rich and thorough dark chocolate brown dye. best we have seen and used

White Gardens
03-24-2010, 10:03 AM
That sucks. Always some idiot out there that can do it faster and cheaper. That's the game I guess, especially when it comes to commercial properties.

Chilehead
03-24-2010, 02:52 PM
just found out, NO. i was evidently underbid. i thought i priced it cheap too. i let them know my prices would still be valid to take over the contract if they are not pleased with their decision. too bad, as i know it wouldhave looked awesome with us doing it. not to mention, the mulch we have recieved this year is phenominal. really nice grind, very rich and thorough dark chocolate brown dye. best we have seen and used

Tis better to not get the job than lose money on an underbid one.:)

grassman177
03-24-2010, 03:14 PM
i agree, i would not touch it for less money. i know my times and we have costs to go with those times and less is not acceptable

Champion-Lawn
03-25-2010, 01:47 AM
I didnt see what your final bid ended up being that you submitted, did I miss that? Using the 91 cubic yards and no prep work, 8 man/hrs of clean up we can have a blower truck install everything at $39 per/yard or $3549 + (8 man/hrs x $labor rate) = ~$3789

If this was an annual contract we would have it installed by hand.

grassman177
03-25-2010, 08:27 PM
i dont think i quoted on here, and it was higher than that, but we dont have a blower truck. that seems to be the cheapest way to go, as most guys i have heard blow it for less than $40 a yd, installed. which is cheap as heck, but so fast it is easily made up in volume i would think