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View Full Version : Why Bagged Mulch is a Better Investment


PlantscapeSolutions
09-18-2010, 03:51 AM
I'm still surprised at all the little guys I see running around with trailers loaded past capacity with bulk mulch. Most large companies have bean counters who realized long ago that bulk is not the way to go most of the time.

You can get bagged mulch for only about $10 more a yard here in central Texas and other areas are pretty similar. If you do the math on your labor expenses you will easily see that bagged mulch will save you money and not kill your workers. Bulk mulch here is about $18 per yard and bagged runs about $28.

It is a whole lot easier to use move mulch around a jobsite when it's neatly packaged for you. You should cover the gap in increased material cost by your savings in labor costs. Plus if you have any left over mulch you get to sell it to someone else. You have to use up bulk mulch because it's not cost effective to bring it back to your shop. I usually end up with hundreds of leftover bags of mulch a year that end up getting sold a second time.

My small company uses 5,000 - 8,000 bags a year and we have mulching down to a science. We mulch a lot of yards that require 300 bags. I have a custom made 21' triple axle gooseneck (4' solid sides) with a split ramp and two side doors for side loading the front of the trailer with a forklift. The trailer will hold 390 bags loaded. This puts the trailer weight at about 23,500 lbs. You need a dually with airbags on the axle to pull this kind of a load.

Every property is different but you can usually do 14-18 bags (630 lbs - 810 lbs) per man hour on a big job. This bags per man hour number includes unloading the mulch, moving it where it needs to go and doing any bed prep along the edges of the bed. We use a 1500 lb capacity dolley and Brentwood wheel barrows with dual front tires at the jobsites.

grassman177
09-18-2010, 08:51 AM
i have argued this point for years on here, no one will listen

Tennesseepowerstroke
09-18-2010, 09:05 AM
I'm still surprised at all the little guys I see running around with trailers loaded past capacity with bulk mulch. Most large companies have bean counters who realized long ago that bulk is not the way to go most of the time.

You can get bagged mulch for only about $10 more a yard here in central Texas and other areas are pretty similar. If you do the math on your labor expenses you will easily see that bagged mulch will save you money and not kill your workers. Bulk mulch here is about $18 per yard and bagged runs about $28.

It is a whole lot easier to use move mulch around a jobsite when it's neatly packaged for you. You should cover the gap in increased material cost by your savings in labor costs. Plus if you have any left over mulch you get to sell it to someone else. You have to use up bulk mulch because it's not cost effective to bring it back to your shop. I usually end up with hundreds of leftover bags of mulch a year that end up getting sold a second time.

My small company uses 5,000 - 8,000 bags a year and we have mulching down to a science. We mulch a lot of yards that require 300 bags. I have a custom made 21' triple axle gooseneck (4' solid sides) with a split ramp and two side doors for side loading the front of the trailer with a forklift. The trailer will hold 390 bags loaded. This puts the trailer weight at about 23,500 lbs. You need a dually with airbags on the axle to pull this kind of a load.

Every property is different but you can usually do 14-18 bags (630 lbs - 810 lbs) per man hour on a big job. This bags per man hour number includes unloading the mulch, moving it where it needs to go and doing any bed prep along the edges of the bed. We use a 1500 lb capacity dolley and Brentwood wheel barrows with dual front tires at the jobsites.

And what size dually has a tow rating of 23,500 pounds?

White Gardens
09-18-2010, 09:37 AM
And I'll give you a $1500.00 reason (plant replacement cost) why you shouldn't use bagged mulch.

The HO lost almost all her plants.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=251024&highlight=What+Happened+here


No way will you ever convince me that bagged mulch is better.

CT18fireman
09-18-2010, 09:41 AM
A 2 cu ft bag of brown mulch here is around $3.60 This is both at homecenters and landscape supplies. If you went to large orders (many pallets) you might get it down to $3.30. You need 13.5 bags for a cubic yard. At $.3.60 that's $48.60. I can get a bulk yard of brown for $23. That's more then a $25/yard difference, more then double the price. That's regular mulch. When you get into cedar and hemlock there is even more of a difference.

Its one of the main selling points we have for customers who want material delivered. Even with our delivery fee its cheaper then them loading bags into the back of their BMW.
As far as spreading, we slide some mulch off the back of a truck to a wheelbarrow and wheel it to a spot, dump and return, having another guy spread. I would rather do that then have guys, bend over pick up bags, carry them to a spot, bend over to cut them open and empty them. Plus think of all the plastic waste you are generating.

clydebusa
09-18-2010, 11:04 AM
A 2 cu ft bag of brown mulch here is around $3.60 This is both at homecenters and landscape supplies. If you went to large orders (many pallets) you might get it down to $3.30. You need 13.5 bags for a cubic yard. At $.3.60 that's $48.60. I can get a bulk yard of brown for $23. That's more then a $25/yard difference, more then double the price. That's regular mulch. When you get into cedar and hemlock there is even more of a difference.

Its one of the main selling points we have for customers who want material delivered. Even with our delivery fee its cheaper then them loading bags into the back of their BMW.
As far as spreading, we slide some mulch off the back of a truck to a wheelbarrow and wheel it to a spot, dump and return, having another guy spread. I would rather do that then have guys, bend over pick up bags, carry them to a spot, bend over to cut them open and empty them. Plus think of all the plastic waste you are generating.

I agree with what your saying, but will add that smaller jobs we use bags and use the wheel barrow to carry the bags so this reduces the bending over.

kilgoja
09-18-2010, 12:34 PM
And I'll give you a $1500.00 reason (plant replacement cost) why you shouldn't use bagged mulch.

The HO lost almost all her plants.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=251024&highlight=What+Happened+here


No way will you ever convince me that bagged mulch is better.

i don't agree with this as the bagged mulch is the same as the other mulch lol


anyways i can see where a really big job that it would be better to get a truck load or trailer load of mulch because it's cheaper but i have a property where the flower beds aren't that big and they live on a slope and they have steps going down the side of the yard....so there is noway to load a wheel barrel and roll it around to the side of the house or around back...so using bags works alot better in a situation like this or on smaller jobs

oh and bagged mulch at walmart around here is almost $4 a bag....i found it at marvin's for $3 a bag...so walmart isn't always the cheapest lol

RussellB
09-18-2010, 01:07 PM
John Deere has bagged mulch for $2.57/bag if you purchase a pallet (80 bags) or $2.80/bag for lesser amounts. Works great for me and like someone said, I can store/sell the extra bags. I have never had an issue with bagged mulch but great thread.

CT18fireman
09-18-2010, 01:14 PM
Bagged has its place and we have used it too. We had a small job at a house with no access even for a small mower. This is why they were creating a bed. They had been bringing the mower through the house. We brought all the plant material and bagged mulch through. Much easier and cleaner then wheelbarrowing bulk.

Sammy
09-18-2010, 01:35 PM
..............I usually end up with hundreds of leftover bags of mulch a year that end up getting sold a second time.

My small company uses 5,000 - 8,000 bags a year and we have mulching down to a science.

If you had it down to a science, you would not have hundreds of left over bags.
Stop over charging your customers.....They may catch on about you screwing them.

CT18fireman
09-18-2010, 02:42 PM
According to his math he is doing about 1-1.5 yards of mulch per man per hour. I can do 2-3 yards bulk myself with a wheelbarrow and close access to the truck. When working as a crew two wheelbarrow guys and me raking mulch we usually do 6-8 cubic yards/hour.

If you are estimating mulch well you should never have more then 1/2 yard top leftover. That's equivilant to 6-7 bags. Just spread it over the area a little thicker. No need to bring it back to the shop. Charge the customer for what was used only.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-18-2010, 04:12 PM
If you know anything about Diesel trucks you should know they are underrated for the towing capacity for legal reasons. The 02' Ran 2500 I sold recently would tow 18,000 with no problem. But you must have Firestone or Pacbrake airbags on the axle to make your truck ride level. My 02' had a host of mods that boosted the output to about 600 horsepower and 1300 foot pounds of torque. I had it on a dyno several times.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-18-2010, 04:16 PM
Here's a tip take the mulch out of the bag before you put it on the plants. Ha ha ha! How in the world are you blaming bagged mulch for any sort of problem?

clydebusa
09-18-2010, 05:39 PM
Bagged has its place and we have used it too. We had a small job at a house with no access even for a small mower. This is why they were creating a bed. They had been bringing the mower through the house. We brought all the plant material and bagged mulch through. Much easier and cleaner then wheelbarrowing bulk.

This is the first time I have ever heard of someone taking a mower through a house. I will go have a :drinkup:

CT18fireman
09-18-2010, 05:58 PM
It was only a small push mower. Hard to explain the house layout but the garage was up in front of the house and then the "backyard" was about 1100 sq.ft. That was locked in by a tall rock outcropping, a neighbor's fence and another persons garage. They had no way to get anything in so it all came through the house. They had a small patio and a lawn in the rest of the area. We did a large patio (most of the yard) with a small section of synthetic grass for the look. Then some plantings along the borders to soften things. They also added a swim spa which was craned over the house. I need to add that the house is more traditionally landscaped in the front, with a lawn, walkway beds. So the backyard mulching is just a small part. I think when we refresh the mulch next year, I will just have the guys bring some bulk through in a couple of contractor bags.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-18-2010, 06:30 PM
We do not mess with middle men. We cut out the retailers and re-wholesalers and buy mulch in pallet quantities straight from the mulch company. In central Texas Austin Wood Recycling has the best product. There are a lot of wana-be mulch companies as well but they just aren't as good. You need to age mulch for about a year so the microbes can compost the mulch and give it a good dark color. If mulch isn't composted enough it will bleach quickly. You also need million dollar tub grinder to insure good quality control. The little guys just can afford the good equipment needed to make quality mulch.

We do mostly million dollars homes with vast expanses of flower beds. It might be 40' from the edge of the bed to the back. You can't just run over a bunch of plants in high density beds. You would have to put the mulch in a bucket or something to get the mulch to the back of the beds. That would be a lot of wasted labor. The bags let us carry the mulch to the exact spot we need it and then we can either dump it out a little at a time in tight spots or dump the whole thing. Bags are mulch more flexible then a cumbersome wheel barrow.

Shoveling 29 yards of mulch out of my trailer would be a hell of a lot of work. That's about 17,500 lbs to shovel. I can put 1/2 a yard (6 bags) of bagged mulch on a dolley in about ten seconds. My guys can move the mulch to where it needs to go and dump the bags on the ground. The guys working the beds just keep on working. If we used a fleet of wheel barrows they would bottleneck at the trailer trying to load up.

If you have a tiny two many operation efficiency may not be a concern but when you have 4-5 guys it's a different story. It's important everyone stays busy. Every minute workers are waiting for mulch at the beds or bottle necked at the trailer it's money coming out of my pocket. My guys run mulch like an assembly line where everyone stays busy.

But I will agree with you that if your don't know who your suppliers are and have the proper business paper work to buy the mulch directly from the company your going to pay too much. It pays to be networked and know the green industry suppliers in your area. It's also easier if you live in a large merto area with a good supply chain with lot of competition to keep supply prices down.

Here is something else to ponder. When you look at TruGreen and the other huge companies who have lots of bean counters you won't see bags. They have lot of management in place that nixes wasteful practices. New construction where skid steers can move mulch around is the one exception to the efficiency rule you will see sometimes.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-18-2010, 06:40 PM
My maintenance clients pay for exactly the amount of mulch we use. On landscape jobs we bid in a fudge factor. If I come up short the mulch comes out of my pocket. If I have a few bags or more leftover it's jobsite booty I get to take back to the holding yard. I don't care who you are nobody can look at a job and say with 100% certainty how many bags it will take. Any good estimator will always leave a little room for error.

Having bags left over is part of my bidding science!

MarcSmith
09-18-2010, 07:18 PM
15 buck for bulk by the truck load. 80 yards
2.50 per bag by the truck load. 60 bags per pallet 18 per truckload a pallet ofmulch is 4.4 yards. or 35 bucks per yard...

sorry just the economics of buying bulk, you are getting 2x as much product... granted bag has it place. tree rings, hard to reach areas, ect.. but when you can load up 7 yards on a f-450 stake body and still wheel barrow around.


now this is assuming that you have a place at the yard to store it in bulk, and load onto trucks(skid loader)

but I do close to 1500 yards a year....I don't get ANY bag mulch..but my situation is a bit unique...

PlantscapeSolutions
09-18-2010, 07:23 PM
Mulch here usually weighs about 45 lbs a bag or about 607 lbs a yard. A bag (2 cu) of mulch is good for about 12 sq ft (at 1.5" - 2"). The math shows it should go further but it never does.

At 3 yards (about 40 bags) an hours that's loading 1820 lbs with a shovel, making about 8-10 trips all over the yard, dumping out the mulch and spreading it over an area of almost 1000 sq ft. If you can do this for a 10-12 hour day Your hired!

At most of the houses we do having to haul 100' - 200' feet from the trailer is the norm. Hell I'd like to see you haul mulch at that rate at one of my houses for just one hour. Is there a big "S" on your chest and are you afraid of Kryptonite?

I've done a few jobs with wide open beds where we have done 30 bags an hour on a job that required 650 bags. But it's rare that you have wide open beds where you can sling mulch like a crazy person. The temps in the part of the country or the time of the year you do mulching can also effect your output. We hit 107 F last month and that definitely takes a toll on output.

kilgoja
09-18-2010, 07:46 PM
this might be a weird question but what do you guys mean when you say a yard?...a yard is 3 feet right? so what am i missing here? lol....a square yard would be 3 ft x 3 ft right?...i've been out of school for awhile hahaha

grassman177
09-18-2010, 08:27 PM
to answer above, they are refering to cubic yards, a unit of meaure of volume of mulch.

anyways, we get bagged mulch dyed for about 2 bucks per bag, therefore it is very close to bulk price, stores easier and smaller footprint, and easier to haul around, plus faster to put into a wheel barrow vs pitch fork for bulk.

you guys have to buy in wholesale to get the best price on mulch. we buy fromt he source

CT18fireman
09-18-2010, 09:40 PM
You have to compare apples to aplles though. If you are talking buying a yard of mulch in bulk to a yard in bags there is a price. If you are talking huge quantities in bags then there is a different price, the more you buy the better the price you will get at wholesale. If I get more then 30 yards bulk, my price drops to 18 a yard. Doing the math it still works out better.

We do lots of million dollar homes here as well. Many take 60-70 yards of mulch. We also do lots of more average 1 acre lots that take 12-15 yards. Again 10 yards in the stake body, slid (not shoveled) into wheelbarrows. A good guy with a wheelbarrow can dump mulch around any plantings so well that I barely have to rake it. I usually just follow along smoothing footprints, wheel marks and edges. This year my guys and I did over 1500 yards as well.

LoweJ82
09-18-2010, 10:11 PM
$10/yrd one place

$15 yrd another.

Bags = alot of landfill waste or recycle it still a pita to deal with.

Jobs under a yard then maybe yes.

grassman177
09-18-2010, 10:26 PM
like i was saying, we pay barely over bulk price for our bags per yd, BUT, we are way faster with bags than bulk, even with a power barrow. so we can get more done in a day which makes more money in the end. it is all about how you do it as much as the price of the mulch.

shooterm
09-18-2010, 10:31 PM
Bags all the way unless yah have a open mulch job. Time is money.

knox gsl
09-18-2010, 10:32 PM
Both products have their place but bulk is much cheaper here. I wuld think that if you were buying enough to get tractor trailer loads brought in then you could get bulk at a wholesale price straight from the grinder on let it sit in you holding area and any left overs could just be dumped back on the pile at the end of the day. I also understand only needing a wheelbarrow load and not wanting to have to deal with loadng bulk for a small amount, this is where bagged is a better deal. That's how I see it but everyone has a different way of doing things.

justanotherlawnguy
09-18-2010, 11:11 PM
Here a 3cf bag is 2.75. And I also cannot believe all the jobbers I see with trailers overflowing with bulk mulch. I think the price difference is only a few dollars per yard. It is a total pita as well as colossal waste of time shoveling mulch out of a trailer and then shoveling it out of the wheelbarrow.

Have you ever accidentily tipped a wheelbarrow full of bulk mulch? Have fun picking that up....

Spreading mulch from a bag is far easier then slinging it with a shovel.
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PlantscapeSolutions
09-19-2010, 12:09 AM
Here's a little more info. The biggest mulching job I have ever done was about five minutes from where I live in Buda, TX. The flower beds cover are a little over 30,000 sq ft on a two acre property. We brought in a convoy of trucks from the mulch company to deliver 3510 bags. We used a Bobcat T190 skid steer with tracks to move the mulch over the property. The beds were really wide open so you could sling mulch like a crazy person.

Three guys did all the work in 84 man hours. If you put that into yards you'd be looking at 260 yards. We paid about $1.85 per bag and sold it for $2.99. We charged $1.25 per bag for labor. Normally we would charge $3.89 but this was a volume job. For the labor we would normally be looking at $2 - $2.30 per bag. We got the job done ahead of schedule and made about $6000.

I did not lose even a wink of sleep over have to dispose of 3510 empty bags. Last year I actually burned about 5000 bags at my house. You could probably see the black smoke from the space station! Burn baby burn. I threw a few tires on the fire just for good measure.

MR-G
09-19-2010, 09:18 AM
this might be a weird question but what do you guys mean when you say a yard?...a yard is 3 feet right? so what am i missing here? lol....a square yard would be 3 ft x 3 ft right?...i've been out of school for awhile hahaha

Its measured in CUBIC yards....not square....:hammerhead:

MR-G
09-19-2010, 09:32 AM
we use 3 guys to do bag mulch...its faster and cheaper due to the labor involved in bulk..we pull a garden trailer behind the ztr, it will hold about 15 bags...one guy loades and drives mower, one unloads and dumps bags and one guy spreads....once you get it going its way fast....and we charge per bag...so much easier to keep track of....bulk has its place...and we use it once in a while....:usflag:

kilgoja
09-19-2010, 11:35 AM
Its measured in CUBIC yards....not square....:hammerhead:

how big is a cubic yard? lol

why don't they just measure it by square feet? haha

Tennesseepowerstroke
09-19-2010, 11:45 AM
If you know anything about Diesel trucks you should know they are underrated for the towing capacity for legal reasons. The 02' Ran 2500 I sold recently would tow 18,000 with no problem. But you must have Firestone or Pacbrake airbags on the axle to make your truck ride level. My 02' had a host of mods that boosted the output to about 600 horsepower and 1300 foot pounds of torque. I had it on a dyno several times.

I know a little about diesel trucks. I have been driving them and pulling travel trailers and fifth wheels for a little over 30 years.

If you are interested in what the DOT will have to say if hou hit someone while you are pulling a 23,500 pound trailer with a truck that has a GCWR of around 20,000 pounds I can help you out. You will need a mighty good lawyer.

You never did say what you are pulling this trailer with.

cut level
09-19-2010, 12:17 PM
I know a little about diesel trucks. I have been driving them and pulling travel trailers and fifth wheels for a little over 30 years.

If you are interested in what the DOT will have to say if hou hit someone while you are pulling a 23,500 pound trailer with a truck that has a GCWR of around 20,000 pounds I can help you out. You will need a mighty good lawyer.

You never did say what you are pulling this trailer with.

I ndont think his commercial vehicle insurance policy will be of much help I bet you did need a good lawyer.

I am in thew middle of a truck dilemma. I have been using my GMC 1500 ext cab z71 but fell I need more truck since I have added another ztr to the trailer this year and a mounted toolbox to the trailer. I just dont know wether to buy me a good used one (father in law is a dealer)or get a little newer one and just have one truck. He has his eye out for a cheap diesel for me as everything I do is less than 15 miles from home base and most is less than 10.

soloscaperman
09-19-2010, 01:03 PM
I can't stand using bags! It sucks ripping the bags apart then to find out it is hard to spread since the mulch is so compact and usually moist. I remember buying a customer Scotts mulch because she is obsessive over it. The color never matched and it was a nightmare. I bought another brand of bag mulch and it just took longer. My nursery where I buy bulk mulch is around 24 a yard. They are very fast. I am in and out in under 10 min!

Jelinek61
09-19-2010, 01:45 PM
I did not lose even a wink of sleep over have to dispose of 3510 empty bags. Last year I actually burned about 5000 bags at my house. You could probably see the black smoke from the space station! Burn baby burn. I threw a few tires on the fire just for good measure.

Nice....burning plastic bags is great for the environment. Oh wait........no its not.

You should show us your mulch truck and trailer setup to give us an idea of how you have become so efficient.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-19-2010, 02:27 PM
I have a 09' Ram 3500 4x4 with a 6.7. I used to pull 18K with my 02' 2500 Ram with a 5.9 Cummins. The new GM 3500's trucks are actually rated for towing 20K. If you talk to people who own backhoes, skid steers and other construction equipment you'll find 23.5K is not uncommon. I've also known some ranchers who pulled more than I do.

I've seen an F450 pull a forklift and six huge rolls of sod on a tandem dually. That load was around 30K. The truck must have had gears in the 4:10 range to be able to handle that load.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-19-2010, 02:29 PM
I have a picture of my trailer on the Pictures part of the forum. The tittle is Custom Built Gooseneck or something like that.

yardguy28
09-19-2010, 02:41 PM
i have argued this point for years on here, no one will listen

well add one more on here that won't listen.

it could be better if you have employee's. but i really don't think it's better in the long run period.

i would much rather buy bulk even if it is more expensive in the end because it's easier to move, at least the way i do it it is.

i have a truck unloader. i put the tarp down, get a load in the truck and when i get to the site drop the tail gate, put the wheel barrow under it and crank some mulch into the barrow and dump it where i need it. then i go back and spread it out with a landscaping rake.

the time i did bagged mulch i regretted it 200%. the price of the mulch alone cost more plus loading the bags into the truck and unloading them at the job site was a pain in the @ss.

if you guys wanna buy bags go right ahead. but i can lay down a truck full of mulch a lot quicker and it's alot easier on me physically.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-19-2010, 02:55 PM
All mulches are definitely not created equal. Muchles like Cypress are made for home owners. The stuff bleaches very quickly and looks old. Every try to blow grass clippings out of Cypress or pine bark nuggets? Not much fun. Trying to get hedge trimming out of crappy mulch is even worse. The damn mulch and all blows away.

The Texas Native Mulch we have in central Texas is great. After being irrigated a few times it settles down. It will not wash out easily like nuggets or Cypress. It is super easy to blows lawn clippings or hedge trimmings out of the beds.

Next time I go buy mulch I'll take some pictures of Austin Wood Recycling's operation. They have mountain size piles of mulch that are 60' tall and a few hundred feet wide. They pump water on the piles with a huge commercial size sprinkler rotors. The microbes in the mulch heat it up to close to 180 degree's. The microbes make everything turn dark brown. The microbes are like Mother Natures own staining process.

If you don't compost mulch long enough it will bleach and you will quickly be able to tell what is bark and wood in the mix. I have had many companies try to sell me their cheaper mulch but it did not meet my high standard. If you think all mulches are the same your in the wrong business. I put doing quality work I can be proud of ahead of maximizing the profit.

yardguy28
09-19-2010, 03:00 PM
All mulches are definitely not created equal. Muchles like Cypress are made for home owners. The stuff bleaches very quickly and looks old. Every try to blow grass clippings out of Cypress or pine bark nuggets? Not much fun. Trying to get hedge trimming out of crappy mulch is even worse. The damn mulch and all blows away.

The Texas Native Mulch we have in central Texas is great. After being irrigated a few times it settles down. It will not wash out easily like nuggets or Cypress. It is super easy to blows lawn clippings or hedge trimmings out of the beds.

Next time I go buy mulch I'll take some pictures of Austin Wood Recycling's operation. They have mountain size piles of mulch that are 60' tall and a few hundred feet wide. They pump water on the piles with a huge commercial size sprinkler rotors. The microbes in the mulch heat it up to close to 180 degree's. The microbes make everything turn dark brown. The microbes are like Mother Natures own staining process.

If you don't compost mulch long enough it will bleach and you will quickly be able to tell what is bark and wood in the mix. I have had many companies try to sell me their cheaper mulch but it did not meet my high standard. If you think all mulches are the same your in the wrong business. I put doing quality work I can be proud of ahead of maximizing the profit.

i'll admit i didn't read all the posts in this thread before posting but i don't think anyone said anything about all mulches being the same.

i to care more about doing quality work than maximizing the profit. to me the best way to maximize profit IS to do quality work. the happier the client is with you the longer they will be your client.

around here we usually mulch beds every season or every other season. i usually buy the died brown mulch for most clients.

it holds it color really well for the first season.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-19-2010, 03:18 PM
You need to use a trailer not a truck for mulching. You let the mulch place load your pallets up for you. This way you able to put the bags straight onto the dolley. No unloading from a high truck bed. Super easy. If you have to manually stack bags in a truck or trailer your going to waste a lot of time. Plus you can't get much mulch in a truck.

I've seen many yahoo's throw the bags in a trailer in a huge cluster fruck pile. Then it's a wasteful pain to untangle the pile. Like I said prior I can load a dolley with 1/2 yard (six bags) in ten seconds easily. Try loading a half a yard in a wheel barrow in ten seconds. Not going to happen. Plus you don't see to many wheel barrows that can either hold 13.5 cubic feet or hold the weight if it's a single front tired wheel barrow.

One pallet of mulch is 4.8 yards. I can put 28.8 yards (six pallets) of mulch in my trailer. On an average job with a five man crew we can burn through the whole 390 bag load in 4.8 hours. That's 17,500 pounds of mulch. And best of all there's no damn back breaking shoveling. It is so much more efficient to move bags into high density beds and spread the mulch. My bags pop open with one clean jerk. You can turn a bad sideways and take it behind a hedge or other tight spot a huge shovel won't fit as well.

Pretty much all the big companies TruGreen, Valley Crest, Land West and on and on are all on board with bags for built out properties. They spend tons of money on consultants and bean counters to insure efficiency. Those companies didn't get huge because they are wasteful and don't know what they are doing.

cgaengineer
09-19-2010, 03:46 PM
how big is a cubic yard? lol

why don't they just measure it by square feet? haha

3'x3'x3'=27 cu ft
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yardguy28
09-19-2010, 03:49 PM
You need to use a trailer not a truck for mulching. You let the mulch place load your pallets up for you. This way you able to put the bags straight onto the dolley. No unloading from a high truck bed. Super easy. If you have to manually stack bags in a truck or trailer your going to waste a lot of time. Plus you can't get much mulch in a truck.

I've seen many yahoo's throw the bags in a trailer in a huge cluster fruck pile. Then it's a wasteful pain to untangle the pile. Like I said prior I can load a dolley with 1/2 yard (six bags) in ten seconds easily. Try loading a half a yard in a wheel barrow in ten seconds. Not going to happen. Plus you don't see to many wheel barrows that can either hold 13.5 cubic feet or hold the weight if it's a single front tired wheel barrow.

One pallet of mulch is 4.8 yards. I can put 28.8 yards (six pallets) of mulch in my trailer. On an average job with a five man crew we can burn through the whole 390 bag load in 4.8 hours. That's 17,500 pounds of mulch. And best of all there's no damn back breaking shoveling. It is so much more efficient to move bags into high density beds and spread the mulch. My bags pop open with one clean jerk. You can turn a bad sideways and take it behind a hedge or other tight spot a huge shovel won't fit as well.

Pretty much all the big companies TruGreen, Valley Crest, Land West and on and on are all on board with bags for built out properties. They spend tons of money on consultants and bean counters to insure efficiency. Those companies didn't get huge because they are wasteful and don't know what they are doing.

i'll stick with bulk mulch in my truck thanks. the clients i do mulch for require 4 yard of mulch at most. i can fit 2 yards in my truck bed. i won't take on mulch jobs that i can do myself in a trip or 2. besides i do have a little 5' x 10' trailer i can haul some in if i need to but not much.

the way i do it works for me but it's good to know the information you just posted.

grassman177
09-19-2010, 07:51 PM
it is all out of necessity anways, you either use a big rig like mine or the OP, or you are doing it out of the back of a truck untill you realize no volume of work can be done that way. we have to do volume and have hundreds of mulch jobs everyyear. we buy two semi loads a year and growing

yardguy28
09-19-2010, 08:01 PM
it is all out of necessity anways, you either use a big rig like mine or the OP, or you are doing it out of the back of a truck untill you realize no volume of work can be done that way. we have to do volume and have hundreds of mulch jobs everyyear. we buy two semi loads a year and growing

hundreds of mulch jobs is not something i do. this year i have purchased between 10 and 12 yards of mulch. so i can get done what i need to out of the back of my truck. not to mention none of the jobs i have done were "together" they were all done one at time. one job this month another one that month and so on.

MarcSmith
09-20-2010, 07:39 AM
Pretty much all the big companies TruGreen, Valley Crest, Land West and on and on are all on board with bags WRONG

in my 4 years at trugreen and 3 years at Valley crest... I was a purchaser. we went though 2 truck loads of bagged mulch per year out of 15K yards of mulch....

the cost saving on bulk mulch out weighted the bag. 2:1. So yes we had some jobs were we used bags. steep hills, office courtyards, ect. but by and large bulk was king. And then when we had the mulch blower...it was even easier with bulk...

grassman177
09-20-2010, 08:45 AM
now we are talking, muilc blowers!!!!

MarcSmith
09-20-2010, 08:53 AM
now we are talking, muilc blowers!!!!
better to sub it out than own one. they are high maintenance beeches

PlantscapeSolutions
09-20-2010, 09:55 AM
WRONG

in my 4 years at trugreen and 3 years at Valley crest... I was a purchaser. we went though 2 truck loads of bagged mulch per year out of 15K yards of mulch....

the cost saving on bulk mulch out weighted the bag. 2:1. So yes we had some jobs were we used bags. steep hills, office courtyards, ect. but by and large bulk was king. And then when we had the mulch blower...it was even easier with bulk...

If you check out my "Home Run" thread it's a job we sub's out to a company that had a EBS blower truck years ago. The company had three blower trucks on the road all the time. When Diesel went from $1.25 to $3 or more they lost their ass. There are a lot of companies that can't give away their used blower trucks.

MarcSmith
09-20-2010, 10:03 AM
blowers are still good on larger areas we use one at GU every 2 years on a a hillside we have to keep mulched. but the trucks cost a lot to keep running..

PerfectEarth
09-20-2010, 10:46 AM
Yea, the ValleyCrest statement about bagged mulch is off. I have worked along side a ValleyCrest crew for 5 years now. In the spring, I hear plenty of stories about the prior day, when they had 30 guys at a massive apartment complex spreading bulk semi-trucks of hardwood mulch. They do plenty of bulk, and plenty of bagged.

Anyway, this is a silly argument. No one has even mentioned or discussed mulch TYPE and the needs and wants of specific customers. I do plenty of bulk, plenty of grade A cyprus and cedar in bags, and plenty of baled opine straw. Customers are different. Mulches come packaged in different forms. Sometimes there is no choice.

Do I love taking two pallets of cypress bags to a job? Heck yea- but if I need 10 yards of natural brown bark hardwood, it's getting loaded into my dump truck or dump trailer in bulk. Just makes more sense for me and my labor.

Besides, i'm not sure if I can even get good, bagged natural hardwood at my suppliers. NO one around here does hardwood in bags, it's all bulk.

White Gardens
09-20-2010, 10:55 AM
blowers are still good on larger areas we use one at GU every 2 years on a a hillside we have to keep mulched. but the trucks cost a lot to keep running..

That's the only reason I haven't invested in a blower yet. All I've heard is bad things about how mulch blowers are hard and expensive to maintain, along with them breaking down constantly.

Mark Oomkes
09-20-2010, 01:20 PM
If you had it down to a science, you would not have hundreds of left over bags.
Stop over charging your customers.....They may catch on about you screwing them.

:clapping::clapping::clapping:

If you know anything about Diesel trucks you should know they are underrated for the towing capacity for legal reasons. The 02' Ran 2500 I sold recently would tow 18,000 with no problem. But you must have Firestone or Pacbrake airbags on the axle to make your truck ride level. My 02' had a host of mods that boosted the output to about 600 horsepower and 1300 foot pounds of torque. I had it on a dyno several times.

Pulling isn't the problem, stopping is the issue.

You hit and kill someone with that load behind your 350, someone's lawyer is going to be in contact with you. And then they'll own a landscape company.

Just because you can, doesn't make it right.

Mulch here usually weighs about 45 lbs a bag or about 607 lbs a yard. A bag (2 cu) of mulch is good for about 12 sq ft (at 1.5" - 2"). The math shows it should go further but it never does.

At 3 yards (about 40 bags) an hours that's loading 1820 lbs with a shovel, making about 8-10 trips all over the yard, dumping out the mulch and spreading it over an area of almost 1000 sq ft. If you can do this for a 10-12 hour day Your hired!

At most of the houses we do having to haul 100' - 200' feet from the trailer is the norm. Hell I'd like to see you haul mulch at that rate at one of my houses for just one hour. Is there a big "S" on your chest and are you afraid of Kryptonite?

I've done a few jobs with wide open beds where we have done 30 bags an hour on a job that required 650 bags. But it's rare that you have wide open beds where you can sling mulch like a crazy person. The temps in the part of the country or the time of the year you do mulching can also effect your output. We hit 107 F last month and that definitely takes a toll on output.

I see further down that you used a mulch blowing company.

The ONLY way to go.

What's best is, I can give my list to the sub, and wait for their invoice and send an invoice to my customer who sends me a check. I never have to touch a shovel, pitchfork, wheelbarrow, truck, trailer, pallet, dolly, rake, other than a phone.

I have a 09' Ram 3500 4x4 with a 6.7. I used to pull 18K with my 02' 2500 Ram with a 5.9 Cummins. The new GM 3500's trucks are actually rated for towing 20K. If you talk to people who own backhoes, skid steers and other construction equipment you'll find 23.5K is not uncommon. I've also known some ranchers who pulled more than I do.

I've seen an F450 pull a forklift and six huge rolls of sod on a tandem dually. That load was around 30K. The truck must have had gears in the 4:10 range to be able to handle that load.

You really don't know much about trucks, do you?

That F450 has 19.5 tires on it, so with 4.10 gearing it would be equivalent to maybe 3.55 or so on a 350. That'll destroy a tranny in no time.

450's on up all have 4.88's because of the bigger wheels. They can also carry more weight, LEGALLY.

See the part about stopping your load, has nothing to do with being able to get it moving.

Would also be interested to hear how much weight you have on the rear axle of your 3500.

better to sub it out than own one. they are high maintenance beeches

Yup, local contractor has 6 of them and I've been using them for over 10 years. Diesel prices up\down whatever he keeps right on going, price has changed very little and he provides the material, truck, labor, cleanup for me.

http://www.superiorgroundcover.com/

There is no more efficient way than a blower truck. Before we started using them, we had 100+ yd loads delivered and we would use a compact tractor and a Workman with sides to haul 2 1/2 yds around. Then fork it and rake it. We were doing 3-4 yds per hour, easy. Blower trucks can do 10+ yds per man hour. In any condition, wide open\heavy cover\under trees\slopes\close to the truck\far from the truck\wet\dry\anything in between.

yardguy28
09-20-2010, 08:08 PM
If you check out my "Home Run" thread it's a job we sub's out to a company that had a EBS blower truck years ago. The company had three blower trucks on the road all the time. When Diesel went from $1.25 to $3 or more they lost their ass. There are a lot of companies that can't give away their used blower trucks.

and that little bit of information some how makes blower trucks bad?

they might have there con's but they still know how to get the job done if you can afford one.

if i did enough volume in mulch jobs to justify buying one and had the money i wouldn't think twice about making that purchase.

but for me those are if's that will never happen. i'm not interested in becoming that large. not to mention i hate doing mulch in the first place. give me shrubs to prune or turf to mow any day of the week.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-20-2010, 11:09 PM
We are fortunate to be in a metro are with a million people. We have Austin Wood Recycling's headquarters in town. I can be at the mulch yard in about thirty minutes. They actually have a north and south mulch plant. Bags or bulk you can pick your poison. For only $26.86 a yard bagged I'll always take the bags. Plus many of our properties are hilly here. It's much easier to control my dolley (1500 lb capacity) with huge tires than a wheel barrow with skinny tires. For easier to get to spots we use commercial grade wheel barrows with two front tires.

Here in town all the big companies you see running around have bags on their rigs. Landscape construction is where you might see a skid steer your mulch is where you see bulk some times. I understand if your in a small market you may be stuck using bulk because it's cheaper. Many of the smaller mulch operations here do not have the money to start a bagging operation. Many subcontract out the grinding as well. The rate was $6,000 a day for an equipped grinding crew.

Another benefit of bags not mentioned yet is the fact you can fit a lot more volume on a trailer. More volume means less trips to get mulch which means more money. I get almost 29 yards on my trailer in bags. In bulk it would only hold about 21 yards (6.83' x 4 x 21). My trailer has 4' sides but the guys that don't have monster trailers really benefit from bags. You can't fit much on you average trailer (tandem 7K) 16' with a 12" tall pipe rail around it. Take that same trailer and put four pallets on it and you've got 19.25 yards. In bulk you'd be lucky to get 6-7 yards.

If you live close to New Waverly outside Houston you can get good bagged product from Landscapers Pride for as little as $22.27 a yard bagged. Texas is a great place to be a landscaper.

yardguy28
09-20-2010, 11:13 PM
i wouldn't use bags even it were cheaper........

so just because everyone else is doing it, your doing it too?

if everyone else jumped off a bridge would you?

Richard Martin
09-21-2010, 05:52 AM
I usually end up with hundreds of leftover bags of mulch a year that end up getting sold a second time.

People go to jail for stuff like this. If you sold me 100 bags of mulch and only installed 90 then you'd better leave 10 behind. It's also highly unethical.

Mark Oomkes
09-21-2010, 08:01 AM
We are fortunate to be in a metro are with a million people. We have Austin Wood Recycling's headquarters in town. I can be at the mulch yard in about thirty minutes. They actually have a north and south mulch plant. Bags or bulk you can pick your poison. For only $26.86 a yard bagged I'll always take the bags. Plus many of our properties are hilly here. It's much easier to control my dolley (1500 lb capacity) with huge tires than a wheel barrow with skinny tires. For easier to get to spots we use commercial grade wheel barrows with two front tires.

Here in town all the big companies you see running around have bags on their rigs. Landscape construction is where you might see a skid steer your mulch is where you see bulk some times. I understand if your in a small market you may be stuck using bulk because it's cheaper. Many of the smaller mulch operations here do not have the money to start a bagging operation. Many subcontract out the grinding as well. The rate was $6,000 a day for an equipped grinding crew.

Another benefit of bags not mentioned yet is the fact you can fit a lot more volume on a trailer. More volume means less trips to get mulch which means more money. I get almost 29 yards on my trailer in bags. In bulk it would only hold about 21 yards (6.83' x 4 x 21). My trailer has 4' sides but the guys that don't have monster trailers really benefit from bags. You can't fit much on you average trailer (tandem 7K) 16' with a 12" tall pipe rail around it. Take that same trailer and put four pallets on it and you've got 19.25 yards. In bulk you'd be lucky to get 6-7 yards.

If you live close to New Waverly outside Houston you can get good bagged product from Landscapers Pride for as little as $22.27 a yard bagged. Texas is a great place to be a landscaper.

You wouldn't by any chance be, perhaps, a sales rep for Austin's Wood Recycling now, would you?

This is really starting to sound like a Billie Mays infomercial.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-21-2010, 10:46 AM
What TX DOT here looks at is your tire capacity. With my triple axle trailer and dually my max legal capacity is slightly over 35,000 combined (GCVWR). This actually gives me a cushion still of about 3500 more pounds I can legally tow. I have an exhaust brake and brakes on all three trailer axles. Stopping is not a problem.

I'm not a Ford guy and was merely speculating about the F450. If you want to be a stickler for details the Ford has 19.5 wheels not tires. The 225\70SR19.5 tires have a height of 32.3". Regular 3500 dually trucks like my own come with 17" wheels. My tires are 235/80R17 with a height of 31.8". That a a difference of only 1/2". That makes a very minimal gearing change. The tires mounted on 19.5's look taller than they are because you see more wheel and less tire.

A lot of heavy haulers will put Alcoa, Rickson, or American Force 19.5's or even 22.5's on their 3500's to legally increase their towing capacity to the same level as a 4500 or 5500. The only problem with 19.5's or 22.5's is the ride quality sucks because of the stiff tires.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-21-2010, 02:02 PM
Here the info from a prior post you must have missed-

"My maintenance clients pay for exactly the amount of mulch we use. On landscape jobs we bid in a fudge factor. If I come up short the mulch comes out of my pocket. If I have a few bags or more leftover it's jobsite booty I get to take back to the holding yard. I don't care who you are nobody can look at a job and say with 100% certainty how many bags it will take. Any good estimator will always leave a little room for error.

Having bags left over is part of my bidding science!"

I realize this post goes on and on and it's easy to miss something. It sounds like your probably a grass guy and not a full service landscaper as well. We do it all from AutoCad design to the install of $100K jobs. Sometimes you come up a little short and other times you end up ahead of the game. That's just the way it is.

Mark Oomkes
09-21-2010, 03:14 PM
If you want to be a stickler for details the Ford has 19.5 wheels not tires.

The 225\70SR19.5 tires

:rolleyes::rolleyes:

yardguy28
09-21-2010, 03:31 PM
Here the info from a prior post you must have missed-

"My maintenance clients pay for exactly the amount of mulch we use. On landscape jobs we bid in a fudge factor. If I come up short the mulch comes out of my pocket. If I have a few bags or more leftover it's jobsite booty I get to take back to the holding yard. I don't care who you are nobody can look at a job and say with 100% certainty how many bags it will take. Any good estimator will always leave a little room for error.

Having bags left over is part of my bidding science!"

I realize this post goes on and on and it's easy to miss something. It sounds like your probably a grass guy and not a full service landscaper as well. We do it all from AutoCad design to the install of $100K jobs. Sometimes you come up a little short and other times you end up ahead of the game. That's just the way it is.

no you can't with 100% certainty get the amount right but.....

if i estimate 2 yards of mulch thats what they get. even if i bring 3. i roughly take back with me 1 yard for the next job. it all depends on how much i have left.

my truck will hold 2 yards of mulch. so i bring with me 2 yards and spread it. if i have a lot left over i estimate how much is left and charge accordingly. if i have say half a yard or less left in the truck i throw that little bit down and charge them for the full 2 yards.

any estimate i give is what i charge, when giving one solid number. if i say 2 yards thats what i put down and charge. if i tell you it's gonna cost $60 to prune your hedges thats what i charge. if i say between $70 and $105 then of course the price will be no less than $70 and no more than $105.

but i would never charge a client for 3 yard of mulch and only put down 2 yards and take the rest with me, or charge them for 20 bags and only use 15 bags and take the rest with me.

RussellB
09-21-2010, 03:43 PM
I am not sure what the point is. I also use bagged mulch. I calulate pretty closely what it will take to cover the area. If I have a bag or two left over they go with me. Customer pays the estimated cost. Next job I may be a bag or two short. I still put down what I estimated and the customer pays that cost. No BIG deal. Customers are happy and so am I. I hear some say they wont even drop their tailgate to mow for less than $40. I don't charge anyone $40 but I don't come on here and say so and so is ripping off their customer. Just my 2 cents. Peace

yardguy28
09-21-2010, 03:48 PM
I am not sure what the point is. I also use bagged mulch. I calulate pretty closely what it will take to cover the area. If I have a bag or two left over they go with me. Customer pays the estimated cost. Next job I may be a bag or two short. I still put down what I estimated and the customer pays that cost. No BIG deal. Customers are happy and so am I. I hear some say they wont even drop their tailgate to mow for less than $40. I don't charge anyone $40 but I don't come on here and say so and so is ripping off their customer. Just my 2 cents. Peace

i thought the point was that some dude on here was charging the client for say 100 bags of mulch and only putting down 90 and taking the other bags with him and of course pocketing that extra money.

i like you charge the client the price i estimated. jobs like mowing and mulch are set prices, so if i tell them $40 its gonna be $40. i usually give a min. and max price on shrub prunning and fall clean ups. because for me those are done by man hours. mulching is charged by the yard so i can take as much time as i want or need to get the job done.

Mark Oomkes
09-21-2010, 03:52 PM
I am not sure what the point is. I also use bagged mulch. I calulate pretty closely what it will take to cover the area. If I have a bag or two left over they go with me. Customer pays the estimated cost. Next job I may be a bag or two short. I still put down what I estimated and the customer pays that cost. No BIG deal. Customers are happy and so am I. I hear some say they wont even drop their tailgate to mow for less than $40. I don't charge anyone $40 but I don't come on here and say so and so is ripping off their customer. Just my 2 cents. Peace

I usually end up with hundreds of leftover bags of mulch a year that end up getting sold a second time.

My small company uses 5,000 - 8,000 bags a year and we have mulching down to a science.

If you had it down to a science, you would not have hundreds of left over bags.
Stop over charging your customers.....They may catch on about you screwing them.

I believe this was the point.

Mr Plantscape Solutions is telling everyone that bagged product is the only way to go: no shortages, no leftovers and scientific and all that rot but ends up with hundreds of bags leftover.

He sort of ruins one of his points of why it is soooooo wonderful.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-21-2010, 03:59 PM
no you can't with 100% certainty get the amount right but.....

if i estimate 2 yards of mulch thats what they get. even if i bring 3. i roughly take back with me 1 yard for the next job. it all depends on how much i have left.

my truck will hold 2 yards of mulch. so i bring with me 2 yards and spread it. if i have a lot left over i estimate how much is left and charge accordingly. if i have say half a yard or less left in the truck i throw that little bit down and charge them for the full 2 yards.

any estimate i give is what i charge, when giving one solid number. if i say 2 yards thats what i put down and charge. if i tell you it's gonna cost $60 to prune your hedges thats what i charge. if i say between $70 and $105 then of course the price will be no less than $70 and no more than $105.

but i would never charge a client for 3 yard of mulch and only put down 2 yards and take the rest with me, or charge them for 20 bags and only use 15 bags and take the rest with me.

Here is a good analogy. I treat my mulch expenses just like my labor expenses on landscape installs. If my guys work hard and get the job done under budget we keep the extra money. I don't tell the customer my crew worked too hard and now I need to give you some of your money back. The mulch is the same way.

As long as the job is done correctly we're going to keep the extra few bags here and there. If there is any spare mulch it's going to usually be a single digit percentage of the whole amount used. If we end up being off by a few bags it's going to come out of my pocket. Landscaping is always a bit of a gamble.

Here's another analogy for you. When you go to a garage to get you truck fixed they look online at a website that tells them exactly what to budget for the labor. An experience mechanic often gets the job done quicker. You never know how long it really took that mechanic to fix your truck but it's a gamble your willing to take. You got the end result you wanted at an agreed upon price. That how I view mulch and labor on landscape install projects. There's always a little bit of a gamble. Some times you finish ahead of the estimate and other times your a little behind.

My maintenance customer are given a variable figure for labor and mulch. They pay for exactly what they get every time. This scenario is most landscapers dream. You do the work and never end up over budget. It's rare to have that trusting relationship with your customers like that but I do. We have the BBB highest AAA rating as well.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-21-2010, 04:10 PM
I am not sure what the point is. I also use bagged mulch. I calulate pretty closely what it will take to cover the area. If I have a bag or two left over they go with me. Customer pays the estimated cost. Next job I may be a bag or two short. I still put down what I estimated and the customer pays that cost. No BIG deal. Customers are happy and so am I. I hear some say they wont even drop their tailgate to mow for less than $40. I don't charge anyone $40 but I don't come on here and say so and so is ripping off their customer. Just my 2 cents. Peace

Glad to see some other people who think like real business people. This is the way the real business world operates. You need to think like a fox not a lamb to survive in this world.

yardguy28
09-21-2010, 04:12 PM
Here is a good analogy. I treat my mulch expenses just like my labor expenses on landscape installs. If my guys work hard and get the job done under budget we keep the extra money. I don't tell the customer my crew worked too hard and now I need to give you some of your money back. The mulch is the same way.

As long as the job is done correctly we're going to keep the extra few bags here and there. If there is any spare mulch it's going to usually be a single digit percentage of the whole amount used. If we end up being off by a few bags it's going to come out of my pocket. Landscaping is always a bit of a gamble.

Here's another analogy for you. When you go to a garage to get you truck fixed they look online at a website that tells them exactly what to budget for the labor. An experience mechanic often gets the job done quicker. You never know how long it really took that mechanic to fix your truck but it's a gamble your willing to take. You got the end result you wanted at an agreed upon price. That how I view mulch and labor on landscape install projects. There's always a little bit of a gamble. Some times you finish ahead of the estimate and other times your a little behind.

My maintenance customer are given a variable figure for labor and mulch. They pay for exactly what they get every time. This scenario is most landscapers dream. You do the work and never end up over budget. It's rare to have that trusting relationship with your customers like that but I do. We have the BBB highest AAA rating as well.

i don't do business that way. i charge for the work performed. thats why when quoting jobs based on labor i give a min. amount and maximum amount. so if i finish in 2 hours it's this much, if it takes 3 it's this much, 2.5 hours this much.

i feel that extra money kept is ripping off the client by over charging.

of course my services that have set prices don't change. if i say i'm gonna cut your grass for $50 bucks it's $50 buckes whether it takes me 2 hours or all day. same with mulch. its charged by the yard. if i spread 2 yards and it takes me an hour i will still charge the same if it took me 3 hours to spread that 2 yards of mulch.

i also wait until the job is finished to charge the client on most services. the exception being 1 time jobs from 1 time clients. those pay 50% up front and the rest when the job is complete.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-21-2010, 04:14 PM
i thought the point was that some dude on here was charging the client for say 100 bags of mulch and only putting down 90 and taking the other bags with him and of course pocketing that extra money.

i like you charge the client the price i estimated. jobs like mowing and mulch are set prices, so if i tell them $40 its gonna be $40. i usually give a min. and max price on shrub prunning and fall clean ups. because for me those are done by man hours. mulching is charged by the yard so i can take as much time as i want or need to get the job done.

Read post 78 on this thread and I think it will clear things up for you.

Richard Martin
09-21-2010, 04:25 PM
I see exactly what he is saying and if he had worded his original post correctly he could have avoided this. He said that he resold the same bag of mulch multiple times.

According to his revised explanation he is now saying that he agrees to do a job for a specific amount of money. When he estimates the job he is consistantly over-estimating the amount of mulch required. That's fine as far as the customer is concerned. The bean counters would tear him a new one for it though.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-21-2010, 08:02 PM
I see exactly what he is saying and if he had worded his original post correctly he could have avoided this. He said that he resold the same bag of mulch multiple times.

According to his revised explanation he is now saying that he agrees to do a job for a specific amount of money. When he estimates the job he is consistantly over-estimating the amount of mulch required. That's fine as far as the customer is concerned. The bean counters would tear him a new one for it though.

OK...Apparently you don't get it. It's simple landscape customers pay a set fee for the mulching portion of the job no matter how many bags and man hours are required.

My bread and butter maintenance accounts pay for exactly what is done.

If you don't comprehend this I don't know what to tell you. It's not that difficult to understand. I've tried my best.

yardguy28
09-21-2010, 08:08 PM
OK...Apparently you don't get it. It's simple landscape customers pay a set fee for the mulching portion of the job no matter how many bags and man hours are required.

My bread and butter maintenance accounts pay for exactly what is done.

If you don't comprehend this I don't know what to tell you. It's not that difficult to understand. I've tried my best.

why gouge the landscape clients with a set fee? that means the guy who has landscaping done and needs only 2 yards of mulch will pay the same amount as the lady who had 6 yards of mulch put down.

that is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!

PlantscapeSolutions
09-21-2010, 09:02 PM
WRONG

in my 4 years at trugreen and 3 years at Valley crest... I was a purchaser. we went though 2 truck loads of bagged mulch per year out of 15K yards of mulch....

the cost saving on bulk mulch out weighted the bag. 2:1. So yes we had some jobs were we used bags. steep hills, office courtyards, ect. but by and large bulk was king. And then when we had the mulch blower...it was even easier with bulk...

I can't vouch for other markets but in Texas I'm CORRECT. Here the price level is low enough for bags that the big guys use it. Just drove by a Valley Crest maintained HOA entrance and what do I see? Pallets of Texas Native Mulch sitting all over the place. If you call one of your amigos down here in Texas they can vouch for what I'm talking about.

In other small markets where bag prices are too high or bulk mulch is dirt cheap the bulk may be more cost effective. But here with Texas Native being $18.50 yd bulk or only $8.36 more bagged the bean counters chose bagged again and again.

Some mulch bags are difficult to open and it makes using bags a ***** but that's not the case here. If you have to use a knife to open bags that hurts you efficiency. The bags here pop open with a quick jerk of the bag and dump out smoothly most of the time. If we get a lot of rain the bagged may have a higher moisture content but the bulk will be the same way.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-21-2010, 09:23 PM
why gouge the landscape clients with a set fee? that means the guy who has landscaping done and needs only 2 yards of mulch will pay the same amount as the lady who had 6 yards of mulch put down.

that is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!

Did you ride the small bus to school? You obviously have no idea how landscape estimates are formulated in this green industry of ours. Clients want a set price when they are getting ready to shell out thousands of dollars for landscaping. If I ask a client to write me a check for tens of thousands of dollars for a down payment they want a concrete figure.

Using variable figures on maintenance can work sometimes. On landscaping projects where the dollar figures tend to be much larger it does not work.

Richard Martin
09-21-2010, 09:48 PM
OK...Apparently you don't get it. It's simple landscape customers pay a set fee for the mulching portion of the job no matter how many bags and man hours are required.

My bread and butter maintenance accounts pay for exactly what is done.

If you don't comprehend this I don't know what to tell you. It's not that difficult to understand. I've tried my best.

What was the difference between what you said and I said? I completely understand exactly what you are saying.

I said: "he is now saying that he agrees to do a job for a specific amount of money. "

You said: "landscape customers pay a set fee for the mulching portion of the job no matter how many bags and man hours are required."

It's the same thing. If YOU can't understand that I don't know what to tell YOU.

yardguy28
09-21-2010, 10:36 PM
Did you ride the small bus to school? You obviously have no idea how landscape estimates are formulated in this green industry of ours. Clients want a set price when they are getting ready to shell out thousands of dollars for landscaping. If I ask a client to write me a check for tens of thousands of dollars for a down payment they want a concrete figure.

Using variable figures on maintenance can work sometimes. On landscaping projects where the dollar figures tend to be much larger it does not work.

i didn't ride a bus to school, i walked.....

i would think just the oposite. if i were to shell out that much i'd rather have a min. and max number hoping it would be the min. number in the end.

i don't want to hear it's gonna cost $10,000. i'd rather hear it's gonna cost between $8,000 and $10,000 when your talking thousands like that. makes me feel better about the purchasing knowing i might not be spending the full 10k for the job.

variable figures on maintenance can work SOMETIMES??? how about most of the time. at least for me it does. i estimate ALL my shrub prunning jobs this way and ALL my fall cleanups this way. and it works great. the client knows it's not gonna be less than X but they also it could cost but won't go over Y. and 9 times out of 10 it ends up being the X amount and they are happier because it was the cheaper of the 2 prices.

Tennesseepowerstroke
09-22-2010, 01:37 AM
What TX DOT here looks at is your tire capacity. With my triple axle trailer and dually my max legal capacity is slightly over 35,000 combined (GCVWR). This actually gives me a cushion still of about 3500 more pounds I can legally tow. I have an exhaust brake and brakes on all three trailer axles. Stopping is not a problem.

Like it or not. Believe it or not. What you you can legaly tow is what the maker of your truck specified as the GCVWR of your truck, minus what the truck with equipment and occupants weighs. Make a call to your attorney or vehicle service department to find out. You sure don't have a clue as to legal matters.

Duffster
09-22-2010, 09:20 AM
Like it or not. Believe it or not. What you you can legaly tow is what the maker of your truck specified as the GCVWR of your truck, minus what the truck with equipment and occupants weighs. Make a call to your attorney or vehicle service department to find out. You sure don't have a clue as to legal matters.

Believe it or not GCWR is not a legal rating.

txgrassguy
09-22-2010, 10:25 AM
Believe it or not GCWR is not a legal rating.

As a matter of fact yes it is - after almost ten years in law enforcement with several as a motor vehicle compliance I know first hand when inspecting a vehicle the first thing the po-po looks at is that little sticker on the inside of the driver's door frame.

Also the VIN # has a specific coding which directly correlates to manufacturer's construction of that particular vehicle and that vehicle's compliance with prevailing federal compliance.

Many people hear in Texas operate under the disbelief that as long as their truck is capable of moving a trailer they are "legal" and this simply isn't true. The simple matter that there is a relative lack of knowledgeable CMV enforcement officers helps in aiding this incorrect perception. However, get into an accident or pulled over for a compliance inspection, and most drivers get a real expensive surprise in the form of several citations plus the vehicle being pulled out of service right there in order for compliance to be met.

Additionally hauling that much weight on a F350 or equivalent vehicle of similar size requires the driver to have, at a minimum, a Class B CDL, current DOT card, specific insurance covering heavier hauling and a vehicle with very very specific construction in terms of transmission, rear end gear ratio and amplified braking to be even remotely safe.

I'm not saying the original poster doesn't have a rare truck in this class which may be legal to operate but it doesn't mean it is safe as it seriously isn't. Maxing out a truck repeatedly in order to haul serious weight leads to accelerated wear on the vehicle, broken components and nasty accidents.

Duffster
09-22-2010, 10:53 AM
As a matter of fact yes it is - after almost ten years in law enforcement with several as a motor vehicle compliance I know first hand when inspecting a vehicle the first thing the po-po looks at is that little sticker on the inside of the driver's door frame.

Also the VIN # has a specific coding which directly correlates to manufacturer's construction of that particular vehicle and that vehicle's compliance with prevailing federal compliance.

Many people hear in Texas operate under the disbelief that as long as their truck is capable of moving a trailer they are "legal" and this simply isn't true. The simple matter that there is a relative lack of knowledgeable CMV enforcement officers helps in aiding this incorrect perception. However, get into an accident or pulled over for a compliance inspection, and most drivers get a real expensive surprise in the form of several citations plus the vehicle being pulled out of service right there in order for compliance to be met.

Additionally hauling that much weight on a F350 or equivalent vehicle of similar size requires the driver to have, at a minimum, a Class B CDL, current DOT card, specific insurance covering heavier hauling and a vehicle with very very specific construction in terms of transmission, rear end gear ratio and amplified braking to be even remotely safe.

I'm not saying the original poster doesn't have a rare truck in this class which may be legal to operate but it doesn't mean it is safe as it seriously isn't. Maxing out a truck repeatedly in order to haul serious weight leads to accelerated wear on the vehicle, broken components and nasty accidents.

Class B LOL:laugh:

If GCWR was a legal rating it would be on the door tag with the rest of the LEGAL ratings.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-22-2010, 12:07 PM
Like it or not. Believe it or not. What you you can legaly tow is what the maker of your truck specified as the GCVWR of your truck, minus what the truck with equipment and occupants weighs. Make a call to your attorney or vehicle service department to find out. You sure don't have a clue as to legal matters.

What the DOT looks at is your axle weight ratings which is not the same as your OEM GCVWR. If I were a hot shot guy towing for a living I could register my truck with DOT to tow 48K if I wanted to. DOT doesn't give a crap about the OEM GCVWR. The OEM GCVWR is simply a marketing and liability number used by manufactures. The axles on your truck and trailer dictate what you can actually tow. Different states have different regs as well. Go to one of the many different hot shot websites and your point of view will be deflated very, very quickly.

Because the manufacturers do not know what will be towed behind your truck they have no way of telling you what you can legally tow. If I went by the OEM number I could only tow 13,850. What a load of crap. That number is so underrated it's ridiculous. According to that logic all the guys with tandem dually trailers that weight around 8K can only put about 6K on them. That would rule out towing the bigger skid steers, backhoe's and a whole lot of other stuff. See how silly your logic is starting to look.

Mark Oomkes
09-22-2010, 12:23 PM
liability number used by manufactures.

Things that make you say Hmmmmm :cool2:

PlantscapeSolutions
09-22-2010, 12:38 PM
As a matter of fact yes it is - after almost ten years in law enforcement with several as a motor vehicle compliance I know first hand when inspecting a vehicle the first thing the po-po looks at is that little sticker on the inside of the driver's door frame.

Also the VIN # has a specific coding which directly correlates to manufacturer's construction of that particular vehicle and that vehicle's compliance with prevailing federal compliance.

Many people hear in Texas operate under the disbelief that as long as their truck is capable of moving a trailer they are "legal" and this simply isn't true. The simple matter that there is a relative lack of knowledgeable CMV enforcement officers helps in aiding this incorrect perception. However, get into an accident or pulled over for a compliance inspection, and most drivers get a real expensive surprise in the form of several citations plus the vehicle being pulled out of service right there in order for compliance to be met.

Additionally hauling that much weight on a F350 or equivalent vehicle of similar size requires the driver to have, at a minimum, a Class B CDL, current DOT card, specific insurance covering heavier hauling and a vehicle with very very specific construction in terms of transmission, rear end gear ratio and amplified braking to be even remotely safe.

I'm not saying the original poster doesn't have a rare truck in this class which may be legal to operate but it doesn't mean it is safe as it seriously isn't. Maxing out a truck repeatedly in order to haul serious weight leads to accelerated wear on the vehicle, broken components and nasty accidents.

The only sticker on my door states axle weight ratings but does not state what you can tow. The AWR only dictates how much of the load my truck can legally hold on each axle. One restriction that does come into play in TX is the need for a CDL if your combined weight exceeds 26K.

Duffster
09-22-2010, 12:42 PM
The only sticker on my door states axle weight ratings but does not state what you can tow. The AWR only dictates how much of the load my truck can legally hold on each axle. One restriction that does come into play in TX is the need for a CDL if your combined weight exceeds 26K.

You can go to 36k with the right combination without a CDL.;)

PlantscapeSolutions
09-22-2010, 04:11 PM
You can go to 36k with the right combination without a CDL.;)

In Texas it either 24K or 26K for a CDL. This is a state law not a Fed DOT law.

Duffster
09-22-2010, 04:34 PM
In Texas it either 24K or 26K for a CDL. This is a state law not a Fed DOT law.

My previous statement applies for TX as well.

Mark Oomkes
09-22-2010, 04:44 PM
My previous statement applies for TX as well.

I've been waiting sooooo long to use this.

Duffster
09-22-2010, 04:54 PM
I've been waiting sooooo long to use this.

You forgot the " Copywrite Toby". :dancing:

bradseabridge
09-22-2010, 05:29 PM
Doesn't federal law supersede all state law? That's what the keep telling me in my ADJ classes I'm taking. I don't know if it affects state and fed vehicle regulations.

Mark Oomkes
09-22-2010, 05:30 PM
You forgot the " Copywrite Toby". :dancing:

How about this one.

Mark Oomkes
09-22-2010, 05:32 PM
Doesn't federal law supersede all state law? That's what the keep telling me in my ADJ classes I'm taking. I don't know if it affects state and fed vehicle regulations.

Not on Lawnsite they don't.

Duffster
09-22-2010, 05:33 PM
Doesn't federal law supersede all state law? That's what the keep telling me in my ADJ classes I'm taking. I don't know if it affects state and fed vehicle regulations.

Well, that depends.

How about this one.

:)

bradseabridge
09-22-2010, 05:37 PM
Not on Lawnsite they don't.

Lawnsite is the wild west of message boards, there are no rules.

Richard Martin
09-22-2010, 05:39 PM
Doesn't federal law supersede all state law? That's what the keep telling me in my ADJ classes I'm taking. I don't know if it affects state and fed vehicle regulations.

State laws can only make federal laws stronger. In other words if the Feds say it's illegal to cross state lines with more than 82,000 pounds then state law may not increase it to 100,000 pounds. But remember, USDOT doesn't apply to intrastate, only interstate. Locally we have tractor trailers running around without DOT numbers. That is legal as long as they don't cross into another state.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-22-2010, 06:19 PM
Doesn't federal law supersede all state law? That's what the keep telling me in my ADJ classes I'm taking. I don't know if it affects state and fed vehicle regulations.

The states can set stricter lawn then the Feds if they desire. A well known example of this is the strict CARB standards in CA. States just cant trump Feds rules and do what they like. Here in Texas the state has been in in trouble for trying to set more slack emissions rules for the deep pocketed oil industry. Anybody care to live next to a oil refinery or petrochemical plant belching crap into the air 247/7?

txgrassguy
09-22-2010, 06:53 PM
The only sticker on my door states axle weight ratings but does not state what you can tow. The AWR only dictates how much of the load my truck can legally hold on each axle. One restriction that does come into play in TX is the need for a CDL if your combined weight exceeds 26K.

You need to look again as all of it is there.
By federal D.O.T. regs is HAS to be - and if it isn't that's the very first citation the motor vehicle compliance cop will write.
There will be a combined weight load indicating how much the truck is allowed to weigh without exceeding manufacturer's rating and this includes trailer weight as well.
I would be highly surprised if you have an F350 or equivalent capable of lawfully towing the amount of weight you are claiming.
For instance, I have a cab and chassis F350 with the lower geared rear axle, a heavier frame than a standard dually pick-up and the maximum I can lawfully weigh is 27,520 pounds.
When I ordered this truck from Ford I had it built as heavy as possible but the only way I could get to that elusive 33K max weight was to have a diesel and I said No Way to those 6 liter time bombs Ford was selling for a few years.
I also have a Class A CDL with air and triples endorsement, I only last year dropped my Haz Mat endorsement due to the fees Texas was charging for background checks - something like $275.00. Since I no longer haul either explosives or bulk fuel or heavy equipment with fuel capacities exceeding 90 gallons I let it go.
One more point of caution - you need to Carefully read your insurance policy disclaimer as if you have an accident regardless of fault and your truck is found to be over weight you have abrogated the coverage - meaning you are screwed.
This is the same for those of you running a heavily loaded F150 or equivalent as well.

yardguy28
09-22-2010, 07:32 PM
As a matter of fact yes it is - after almost ten years in law enforcement with several as a motor vehicle compliance I know first hand when inspecting a vehicle the first thing the po-po looks at is that little sticker on the inside of the driver's door frame.

Also the VIN # has a specific coding which directly correlates to manufacturer's construction of that particular vehicle and that vehicle's compliance with prevailing federal compliance.

Many people hear in Texas operate under the disbelief that as long as their truck is capable of moving a trailer they are "legal" and this simply isn't true. The simple matter that there is a relative lack of knowledgeable CMV enforcement officers helps in aiding this incorrect perception. However, get into an accident or pulled over for a compliance inspection, and most drivers get a real expensive surprise in the form of several citations plus the vehicle being pulled out of service right there in order for compliance to be met.

Additionally hauling that much weight on a F350 or equivalent vehicle of similar size requires the driver to have, at a minimum, a Class B CDL, current DOT card, specific insurance covering heavier hauling and a vehicle with very very specific construction in terms of transmission, rear end gear ratio and amplified braking to be even remotely safe.

I'm not saying the original poster doesn't have a rare truck in this class which may be legal to operate but it doesn't mean it is safe as it seriously isn't. Maxing out a truck repeatedly in order to haul serious weight leads to accelerated wear on the vehicle, broken components and nasty accidents.

maybe in texas thats what they look at....but when i got pulled in over in indiana he never even let me open my door.

he got out his scales and weighed me.....then when he found out i was under the 10,001 lb requirement for DOT numbers he sent me on my way.

i never opened any vehicle doors, never got out of the vehilce, nothing. just weighed and sent on my way......

txgrassguy
09-22-2010, 07:53 PM
That's because Indiana has a decent computer system so when your tag is run all sorts of data comes over the screen in his car.
Which is why he didn't open the door - however, he would have if there was either a discrepancy or you were over weight - then he would of confirmed the info on the sticker.
Also D.O.T. number requirement posting varies greatly from state to state - some state's require numbers on essentially any commercial use vehicle, other state's only want to see interstate use vehicles with numbers.
Personally, way back when if I had to yank out those heavyass scales to confirm weight status you were probably already in trouble to begin with - poor tire condition, class B leaks, load uncovered - something caught my eye in the first place - and since I'm pretty sure you weren't one of those hot bikini wearing chicks peddling hot dogs on the side of the road in S. Fl unless you had a really interesting/compelling/story I hadn't heard before - paper started flying.
I will say one of the more interesting stops I had was one of the most beat up p.o.s. bobtails I have ever seen - and that includes all the crap on our roads coming out of Mexico - thanks to clinton and nafta.
Probably one of the prettiest faces on a woman I had seen in quite some time, nice smile, good haircut until I had her step out of the truck to show her the problems I noticed - and when she opened the door she was not wearing any pants - nothing, going commando from the door frame down.
Didn't give me a warning, nada - just pops open the door and wiggles her cute butt all the way to the street. She told me after I had her put some pants on she usually drove around in a bikini bottom and if a male cop pulled her over she dropped trou to avoid a ticket.

Duffster
09-22-2010, 08:08 PM
By federal D.O.T. regs is HAS to be -

Really? :laugh:

Every DOT officer I have talked to had no idea that that particular GCWR existed let alone care what it is.

Duffster
09-22-2010, 08:10 PM
maybe in texas thats what they look at....but when i got pulled in over in indiana he never even let me open my door.

he got out his scales and weighed me.....then when he found out i was under the 10,001 lb requirement for DOT numbers he sent me on my way.

i never opened any vehicle doors, never got out of the vehilce, nothing. just weighed and sent on my way......

The 10k requirement for numbers isn't determined by a scale.

White Gardens
09-22-2010, 08:49 PM
Wow, this thread got off track quick.

yardguy28
09-22-2010, 08:59 PM
The 10k requirement for numbers isn't determined by a scale.

well i was actually told by an INDOT official it is the weight posted on the inside of the door of truck plus the weight posted on the tongue of the trailer.

i was also told the actual scale weight does play a part in the DOT but i forget what part it does play. that might be if your working out of state.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-22-2010, 11:43 PM
You need to look again as all of it is there.
By federal D.O.T. regs is HAS to be - and if it isn't that's the very first citation the motor vehicle compliance cop will write.
There will be a combined weight load indicating how much the truck is allowed to weigh without exceeding manufacturer's rating and this includes trailer weight as well.
I would be highly surprised if you have an F350 or equivalent capable of lawfully towing the amount of weight you are claiming.
For instance, I have a cab and chassis F350 with the lower geared rear axle, a heavier frame than a standard dually pick-up and the maximum I can lawfully weigh is 27,520 pounds.
When I ordered this truck from Ford I had it built as heavy as possible but the only way I could get to that elusive 33K max weight was to have a diesel and I said No Way to those 6 liter time bombs Ford was selling for a few years.
I also have a Class A CDL with air and triples endorsement, I only last year dropped my Haz Mat endorsement due to the fees Texas was charging for background checks - something like $275.00. Since I no longer haul either explosives or bulk fuel or heavy equipment with fuel capacities exceeding 90 gallons I let it go.
One more point of caution - you need to Carefully read your insurance policy disclaimer as if you have an accident regardless of fault and your truck is found to be over weight you have abrogated the coverage - meaning you are screwed.
This is the same for those of you running a heavily loaded F150 or equivalent as well.

My door stickers tell the axle weight ratings, passenger configuration, maximum cargo weight allowed in the bed, and there is an emissions sticker. My owners manual doesn't even tell the towing capacity anymore. The owners manual directs you to a website for detailed towing information. My 02' manual had the towing info but not the new manuals.

You may be meaning that the max axle weight ratings sticker includes the burden put on the truck by the trailer. I can't tell by your wording if you implying this or that there is supposed to be a GCVWR sticker as well. I never seen a truck with a GCVWR sticker.

I like the comment about the 1/2 ton gasser guys. I would say 90% of the time when you see a truck with the ass down and front bumper pointing skyward it's a 1/2 ton. I do not miss my 98' 1/2 ton at all. Strictly Diesel since 02'. I hate the feeling of trying to tow even 5K with a gasser.

Richard Martin
09-23-2010, 05:56 AM
In NC another area they could burn a whole lot of LCOs on is the weighted license plate. If you operate a business and pull a trailer in NC you are required to have weighted tags. The price of the weighted tags is based on your own expected maximum gross weight. I look at other LCO tags when I get a chance and it's pretty rare to see them. I got mine at max 13,000 pounds. My trailer can weigh up to 7,000 pounds and the truck is almost 5,000 sitting empty with gas. That's 12,000 pounds right there. I gave it a 1,000 pound fudge factor.

Mark Oomkes
09-23-2010, 08:35 AM
I also have a Class A CDL with air and triples endorsement,

Uhh, Duffster? You're slipping, you missed this one.

Duffster
09-23-2010, 08:52 AM
Uhh, Duffster? You're slipping, you missed this one.

Ya I saw it. LOL

Tennesseepowerstroke
09-23-2010, 10:13 AM
Really? :laugh:

Every DOT officer I have talked to had no idea that that particular GCWR existed let alone care what it is.

A DOT officer may not be able to figure this out or even care. If you are involved in an accident involving a fatality, you can rest assured an attorney will be able to figure this out.

Duffster
09-23-2010, 10:25 AM
A DOT officer may not be able to figure this out or even care. If you are involved in an accident involving a fatality, you can rest assured an attorney will be able to figure this out.

I never said it was smart or safe, just legal.

Everyone always brings up the lawyer thing but IMO if your at fault your screwed either way.

Grass cutter Al
02-20-2011, 04:12 PM
I need grade a cypress mulch delivered to me in louisville ky made by fargo over 1000 bags

grassman177
02-20-2011, 05:04 PM
well that is very special!

thanks for letting us know.

RECESSION PROOF MOWING
02-21-2011, 09:00 PM
I'm still surprised at all the little guys I see running around with trailers loaded past capacity with bulk mulch. Most large companies have bean counters who realized long ago that bulk is not the way to go most of the time.

You can get bagged mulch for only about $10 more a yard here in central Texas and other areas are pretty similar. If you do the math on your labor expenses you will easily see that bagged mulch will save you money and not kill your workers. Bulk mulch here is about $18 per yard and bagged runs about $28.

It is a whole lot easier to use move mulch around a jobsite when it's neatly packaged for you. You should cover the gap in increased material cost by your savings in labor costs. Plus if you have any left over mulch you get to sell it to someone else. You have to use up bulk mulch because it's not cost effective to bring it back to your shop. I usually end up with hundreds of leftover bags of mulch a year that end up getting sold a second time.

My small company uses 5,000 - 8,000 bags a year and we have mulching down to a science. We mulch a lot of yards that require 300 bags. I have a custom made 21' triple axle gooseneck (4' solid sides) with a split ramp and two side doors for side loading the front of the trailer with a forklift. The trailer will hold 390 bags loaded. This puts the trailer weight at about 23,500 lbs. You need a dually with airbags on the axle to pull this kind of a load.

Every property is different but you can usually do 14-18 bags (630 lbs - 810 lbs) per man hour on a big job. This bags per man hour number includes unloading the mulch, moving it where it needs to go and doing any bed prep along the edges of the bed. We use a 1500 lb capacity dolley and Brentwood wheel barrows with dual front tires at the jobsites.

This is so true. Take what this guy says to heart, LCO's. Bulk mulch ruins your margins in overall time compared to placing the mulch EXACTLY where you want it when you want it. You're probably beating a dead horse here because so many guys are locked into the bulk mulch thing...

grassman177
02-21-2011, 11:03 PM
like i said on this thread a while ago, that is how we roll

XLS
02-21-2011, 11:27 PM
we do some thing close to 6300 yards of muclh a cycle and if it was lose it would suck i would rather load a pallet and if they unload 35 bags we bill for the 35 bags if its 45 bags then so be it , we get 3 cuft bags and a pallet holds 45 so its 5 Cu,yards for $25.00 pine

White Gardens
02-22-2011, 07:13 AM
we do some thing close to 6300 yards of muclh a cycle and if it was lose it would suck i would rather load a pallet and if they unload 35 bags we bill for the 35 bags if its 45 bags then so be it , we get 3 cuft bags and a pallet holds 45 so its 5 Cu,yards for $25.00 pine

I'm crying foul on that one. That would be over 63 semi loads of mulch a cycle.

David Haggerty
02-22-2011, 07:47 AM
http://www.mulchmule.com/
You could get one of these and install bulk mulch yourself. Or you could hire a mulch company and have it installed for what you're paying for it by-the-bag.

XLS
02-23-2011, 12:27 PM
cry all you want we fully maintain about 2100 properties in total so its in the neigborhood of 3 yards a property but we have many that use more so it was a conservative number.
and the mulch manufacture is only about 45 miles south of us . With 20+ locations in the state and 3 in alabama its alot of mulch yes but its not alot of mulch per location.

GrassesGuy
02-25-2011, 12:36 PM
Put the pipe down dude, are you kidding. A yard here is 15 dollars and I have used bagged maybe 10 times in ten years only because it was a logistic issue and I didn't have much time. When I get mulch different guys load and some fill the bucket higher than others. So make friends and you will be surprised how a foot or so higher above the bucket line adds up.

Fgearheart
12-12-2012, 07:15 PM
And what size dually has a tow rating of 23,500 pounds?
where are you buying your bagged mulch?

herler
12-12-2012, 07:25 PM
I do find it odd how in certain threads some folks seem to forget one inconvenient truth, and that is that no matter how brilliant the idea and how great the profit looks on paper, we still need the customer's consent AND willingness to foot the bill!

Because I can sell turd on a shingle $100 a slice too, why fool with mulch, this is way easier!
But...
Where are the customers?

No matter what, and don't get me wrong but in my years of working in people's yards I can tell you the customer who paid too much tends to wise up a lot faster than those who aren't paying enough, if you get my drift, you can quote what you like... But they still have to agree to it, last but not least they might talk to their neighbors and friends later and figure it all out too, customers may be a lot of things but they are not stupid.

Anyhow...

PlantscapeSolutions
12-12-2012, 09:29 PM
I do find it odd how in certain threads some folks seem to forget one inconvenient truth, and that is that no matter how brilliant the idea and how great the profit looks on paper, we still need the customer's consent AND willingness to foot the bill!

Because I can sell turd on a shingle $100 a slice too, why fool with mulch, this is way easier!
But...
Where are the customers?

No matter what, and don't get me wrong but in my years of working in people's yards I can tell you the customer who paid too much tends to wise up a lot faster than those who aren't paying enough, if you get my drift, you can quote what you like... But they still have to agree to it, last but not least they might talk to their neighbors and friends later and figure it all out too, customers may be a lot of things but they are not stupid.

Anyhow...

Boy, you went way back to bring my thread back to life and I'm not sure why?

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-12-2012, 09:34 PM
I realize this thread is old and I didnt read all the way through, but I have a couple points to make. If I do a job that is 2.5 yards or less, the mulch gets loaded at the yard directly into my wheel barrows. Just wheel to the beds and fork in! As for large jobs, I can fork a 10 cubic feet wheel barrow heaping full quicker than you can open the bags needed to do so. If these points were addressed earlier I apologize for bringing them back up and resurrecting this old thread.

JLSLLC
12-12-2012, 10:24 PM
I cant see making money in my area dealing with bagged mulch... Maybe if i had a nursery? Thats why i bought a bigger vehicle, to do mulch installs easier (hopefully) and deliver bulk mulch ( hopefully as well, fingers crossed)... Id love to hear others success.

Ive never seen a mulch in a bag ive liked, Its usually dry as saltines or like topsoil lol, But great point brought up about how mulch in a bag is a benefit in areas that are tight, etc.. good luck everyone!

cpllawncare
12-12-2012, 11:27 PM
We tried something last spring that turned out to work very well, instead of wheelbarrows we used a x large gorilla cart to haul mulch around, the first job we tried it on was a 15 yard job we had one guy spreading and one loading and one transporting and dumping the cart we were in and out in about two hours, we it went so well that we went and bought another cart and now we have three carts for mulch jobs unstead of pushing wheelbarrows we can even hook one up behind the mower or both mowers if need be. Just thought I would share that.

Tennesseepowerstroke
12-13-2012, 08:59 AM
where are you buying your bagged mulch?

:confused:

I only buy bagged mulch on a very rare occasion. Once or twice in 5 years.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-13-2012, 11:01 AM
I'm very glad the Austin, TX market is huge and has two local places that offer bagged or bulk mulch for cheap. You can also get black or red dyed mulch for very little more. I would be bummed if I were in a small market where there was only bulk or bagged cost a fortune.

I've done bulk jobs that were 30 yards and it was much more labor intensive then the same sized bagged job. Way too much bending over to scoop and load mulch. On pallets for 2/3rds of the loading your not bending over all all and that is a huge back saver for you and your workers.

I've done bagged jobs that were 260 yards worth of mulch. The best we've managed in easy to mulch beds was 30 bags per man hour. That includes hauling, dumping and spreading. That's 1350 lbs of mulch to haul, dump, and spread, per man hour.

My 260 yard job was once done by two blower trucks as well back when Diesel was $1.20 per gallon. They first bid the job sight unseen for about $10K. I did my client bid at $17.5K. I then told the EBS blowers folks to go look at the house. They lowered the bid to $6750 and during this time my $17.5K bid was approved.

If any of you bulk fanatics are fortunate to one day get good bagged mulch for cheap you will be very grateful as will your laborers. Yes you will pay more for even cheap bagged mulch but your reduced labor costs will easily recoup the difference.

In even moderate density flower beds a bag of mulch turned on it's side under your arm is the most efficient way to spread mulch period. You can change the angle of the bag and sprinkle a little or a lot. You can get the bag behind hedge and into lots of places a wheel barrow or a pitch fork isn't going to go.

The bags we use pop open with just a quick jerk. If your unfortunate enough to have have one of those bagging places that darn near welds the bags shut it hurts you efficiency and it will drive your crazy in no time.

If your doing tiny 1-3 yard bulk jobs your not going to realize what a pain it is as easily. Try doing many of the 22 yard size jobs I do and you will be cursing the bulk stuff compared to the ease of bags.

Richard Martin
12-13-2012, 11:18 AM
I only buy bagged mulch on a very rare occasion. Once or twice in 5 years.

In 18 years I've only bought it once. It was easier to get down 2 flights of stairs.

Florida Gardener
12-13-2012, 11:40 AM
Bagged is more common here as most landscape beds have a lot of plants. It is way easier to break a bag open and sprinkle in between plants. I think bulk is a PITA in my area....not many beds that have only one or two plants. Even at that....i still think bagged is easier.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-13-2012, 12:47 PM
Bagged is more common here as most landscape beds have a lot of plants. It is way easier to break a bag open and sprinkle in between plants. I think bulk is a PITA in my area....not many beds that have only one or two plants. Even at that....i still think bagged is easier.

I think many guys get tunnel vision on the mulch topic. All they have ever used is bulk or a sampling of mediocre bags and they assume bulk is the best way. For saving your back and working in beds with any density at all you just can't beat working with packaged product if the price is right. To me bulk is like volunteering for slave labor.

KrayzKajun
12-13-2012, 12:55 PM
I agree on the with yall on the bag mulch. I order it by the pallet and store it in my shop out of the weather etc. i keep a few bags of each color(softscape, cypress, pine straw) iin my traler incase we need to touch up a bed at a customers when doing weekly maintenance. Plus on large enough jobs i put extra into the bids so over time i accumulate a nice stock pile of mulch for future jobs etc.. Plus saving my back from using a shovel etc.. And save on cleanup from having mulch dumped at a job.
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yardguy28
12-13-2012, 02:31 PM
bulk mulch is much, much better in my opinion. always will be.

I've done it both ways so I speak from experience. I would much rather fill wheel barrows than move around all those bags.

it's also cheaper by bulk.

knox gsl
12-13-2012, 09:00 PM
How much does a pallet of mulch weight on average? I know that most of it is lighter than bulk in the same product.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-13-2012, 11:30 PM
Something I haven't touched on enough is pallets is the only way to with bagged mulch. If you have to hand load your mulch bags your losing the advantage. I've seen guys with bags thrown into a trailer where it was a huge pile with bags over lapping each other. That is a nightmare scenario. You end up killing yourself trying to get the bags unstuck from the Chinese torture puzzle.

I usually get 5-6 pallets at a time. When you load your dolly or wheel barrow for an easy 75% of the pallet your not bending over at all to load like bulk that your shoveling from the floor of the trailer floor or ground level. Bending over to shovel 20-30 yards of mulch sucks and I'd like to hear someone tells me something to the contrary.

I can load a dolly or wheel barrow with 12 cu ft (six bags) of mulch in under ten seconds all day long without killing myself. I might be able to load bulk for a very brief period of time in ten seconds if I sling it like a crazy person but it's going to take a toll on me very quickly.

What I'm getting at is that if your able to get mulch at a decent price like I can, you buy it in pallet quantities, and load it a pallet at a time (not loose bags), your going to see the advantage in saved labor and you will protect your body from the back braking job of bending over to shovel. Your workers will thank you as well. I have super hard working guys from Mexico and Guatemala and they have no trouble telling that bags is a back saver.

yardguy28
12-14-2012, 07:40 AM
Something I haven't touched on enough is pallets is the only way to with bagged mulch. If you have to hand load your mulch bags your losing the advantage. I've seen guys with bags thrown into a trailer where it was a huge pile with bags over lapping each other. That is a nightmare scenario. You end up killing yourself trying to get the bags unstuck from the Chinese torture puzzle.

I usually get 5-6 pallets at a time. When you load your dolly or wheel barrow for an easy 75% of the pallet your not bending over at all to load like bulk that your shoveling from the floor of the trailer floor or ground level. Bending over to shovel 20-30 yards of mulch sucks and I'd like to hear someone tells me something to the contrary.

I can load a dolly or wheel barrow with 12 cu ft (six bags) of mulch in under ten seconds all day long without killing myself. I might be able to load bulk for a very brief period of time in ten seconds if I sling it like a crazy person but it's going to take a toll on me very quickly.

What I'm getting at is that if your able to get mulch at a decent price like I can, you buy it in pallet quantities, and load it a pallet at a time (not loose bags), your going to see the advantage in saved labor and you will protect your body from the back braking job of bending over to shovel. Your workers will thank you as well. I have super hard working guys from Mexico and Guatemala and they have no trouble telling that bags is a back saver.

it all depends on how many yards your doing and how you bring your bulk mulch.

I personally use my truck and the unloader it has. drop the tailgate, drop the wheel barrow at the end of the gate, and crank out some mulch. no bending over with a shovel.

on larger jobs I use a dump bed and just tip the bed a bit and rake it into the wheel barrow. again no bending over with a shovel.

and in my neck of the woods bulk is ALWAYS cheaper than bagged.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-14-2012, 10:20 AM
It's a given that bulk mulch is always going to be cheaper. Nobody is debating that point. If your dealing with some tiny mulching job where the mulch fits in the back of your truck your not going to realize a whole lot of difference between using bagged or bulk. It's not going to be a butt kicker. You still have to deal with getting your unpackaged mulch into tight spots though which is a pain. A bag beats a shovel all day long in tight spots.

If your a one man show or one man and possibly a helper sized company the labor mathematics may be something that is something you don't ever ponder or scutinize. If your a slightly larger company where you deal with jobs that require 20-30 yards of mulch on a regular basis you likely are going to look at the material versus labor costs in a whole different light. I'm a small outfit but I can use as much as 600 yards/8000 bags of mulch in a year. I buy my mulch straight from the mulch company as well and cut out any middle man. You have to have a CDL to carry the volume I deal with.

Lots of little guys get tunnel vision on how they do things. They see how others do things and assume that is the way things should be done. Kind of like all the idiots who chop up Crepe Myrtles down south. If bagged mulch is expensive in your neck of the woods you may be screwed and have to use bulk. But if it's only $10-12 a yard to get it bagged you will recoup the difference in saved labor all day long. Plus you will make your workers job less difficult and help insure good longevity. If this doesn't make sense to you I'd be willing to bet your company is small with a narrow focus and is likely to stay that way.

yardguy28
12-14-2012, 10:54 AM
well I do things the way I think they should be done and what works best for me.

the one and only time I did a bagged mulch job, it about killed me, lugging all those bags off the truck to the mulch beds.

even doing 20-30 yards of mulch I'd still truck it in with the dump truck I use occasionally.

I don't use shovels to spread mulch into tight spaces or any spaces. I dumb the piles in there places and either use my hands or rakes to get into the tight spaces.

call it tunnel vision if you want. I just personally don't agree bagged mulch is the way to go, I'll never do it again and I would never recommend it.

weeze
12-14-2012, 03:52 PM
i use bagged mulch whenever i can. it's easier than shoveling mulch out of the back of a truck. i rarely do mulch jobs anyways. if it's a small job i'll always use bagged. the only time it makes sense to use bulk mulch if it's on a large mulching job. if it's that big being solo i'd probably just pass on the job since i have no help anyways. lol

PlantscapeSolutions
12-14-2012, 04:01 PM
well I do things the way I think they should be done and what works best for me.

the one and only time I did a bagged mulch job, it about killed me, lugging all those bags off the truck to the mulch beds.

even doing 20-30 yards of mulch I'd still truck it in with the dump truck I use occasionally.

I don't use shovels to spread mulch into tight spaces or any spaces. I dumb the piles in there places and either use my hands or rakes to get into the tight spaces.

call it tunnel vision if you want. I just personally don't agree bagged mulch is the way to go, I'll never do it again and I would never recommend it.

Did you lug the bags to the beds without a dolly? Either way the mulch weighs the same so I'm not sure why lugging it in bags would be more difficult. You need to use a trailer for bagged mulch or even bulk if you have a bunch of it. This way you can get close to the load your working with. It's super easy to cruise down a trailer ramp with material but less efficient to walk back and forth moving bags in the back of a truck. Like I mentioned prior pallet quantities are a must.

We do not do work out of the back of a truck sized jobs ever. If we have small jobs we always couple it up with other jobs so if we're rolling out it's going to be to do at least 195 bags (14 1/2 yards) of mulch. Tiny solo jobs are really wasteful when you are paying workers to go to the job site.

yardguy28
12-14-2012, 06:08 PM
well your more than welcome to come do all my large mulch jobs.

I don't normally mess with any mulch job I can't use my truck or dump truck for and only make a trip or 2 to get done.

like Jason I'm solo and I can rarely get help so if I can't handle it by myself forget.

but good luck and have fun with bagged mulch. your still not convincing me its better than bulk.

Florida Gardener
12-14-2012, 07:06 PM
Bagged is def. the way to go. Almost every landscaper here uses bagged. The cheap homeowners who have the mulch delivered in bulk and then go pick up the illegals are the ones who use it. FACT.
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Patriot Services
12-14-2012, 07:11 PM
Bagged is def. the way to go. Almost every landscaper here uses bagged. The cheap homeowners who have the mulch delivered in bulk and then go pick up the illegals are the ones who use it. FACT.
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Yea, but bulk is funny as hell when they put it in the trunk of their cars and jump on the expressway.
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Florida Gardener
12-14-2012, 07:28 PM
Yea, but bulk is funny as hell when they put it in the trunk of their cars and jump on the expressway.
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Hahaha...take a pic next time. I've yet to see that. I've seen the sod, not the mulch. Hahahaha
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PlantscapeSolutions
12-14-2012, 08:06 PM
well your more than welcome to come do all my large mulch jobs.

I don't normally mess with any mulch job I can't use my truck or dump truck for and only make a trip or 2 to get done.

like Jason I'm solo and I can rarely get help so if I can't handle it by myself forget.

but good luck and have fun with bagged mulch. your still not convincing me its better than bulk.

My tunnel vision solo mentality comment appears to have been on the mark. Don't mean to break your balls so much. Getting decent help is definitely a challenge.

As the economy improves the problem will only worsen. I'm glad I'm in Texas where the south of the border help is available. But even here the inflow of workers from points south has slowed down. When you get good help like I found four years ago you've gotta treat them right and make sure they stay your help. Staying solo seriously limits your growth and income potential. If you get hurt you could lose everything.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-14-2012, 08:35 PM
How much does a pallet of mulch weight on average? I know that most of it is lighter than bulk in the same product.

The mulch I use is 65 bags per pallet and the weight can range from 35 (lightly moist) to 45 (wet). This puts you in the 2600 range on average. I can haul as many as six pallets (15,600). With my trailer with mulch is about 20,100 lbs. Add my truck and I'm around 28K.

yardguy28
12-14-2012, 09:45 PM
My tunnel vision solo mentality comment appears to have been on the mark. Don't mean to break your balls so much. Getting decent help is definitely a challenge.

As the economy improves the problem will only worsen. I'm glad I'm in Texas where the south of the border help is available. But even here the inflow of workers from points south has slowed down. When you get good help like I found four years ago you've gotta treat them right and make sure they stay your help. Staying solo seriously limits your growth and income potential. If you get hurt you could lose everything.

it's not tunnel vision but whatever.

I just don't agree with all the info you've posted that bagged mulch is the way to go over bulk. has nothing to do with what others are doing or think.

around here you can't get it by the pallet and have that pallet loaded on a trailer. you'd have to load it bag by bag on the truck or trailer.

I'd rather load wheel barrows with mulch all day long than mess with bags.

as for looking good help. I didn't know I was.

Will P.C.
12-14-2012, 10:14 PM
it's not tunnel vision but whatever.

I just don't agree with all the info you've posted that bagged mulch is the way to go over bulk. has nothing to do with what others are doing or think.

around here you can't get it by the pallet and have that pallet loaded on a trailer. you'd have to load it bag by bag on the truck or trailer.

I'd rather load wheel barrows with mulch all day long than mess with bags.

as for looking good help. I didn't know I was.

Never heard of any nursery or even home depot not willing to load the whole pallet onto a trailer. One place made me pay a deposit for each pallet I took so I had to bring them back.

yardguy28
12-15-2012, 12:04 AM
Never heard of any nursery or even home depot not willing to load the whole pallet onto a trailer. One place made me pay a deposit for each pallet I took so I had to bring them back.

I'd never buy mulch at Home Depot or lowes or any big box store.

the nurserys in my neck of the woods don't sell bags of mulch. it's by the bulk or go to a big box store.

herler
12-15-2012, 12:25 AM
Well who has to be the dang moron figures out bagged mulch at a cost of $3 a bag containing TWO cubic feet of mulch takes FIFTEEN bags to equal ONE cubic yard of bulk mulch, they'd rather spend $45 on that and then have to fool around with all that plastic and the disposal instead of just having a $25 cubic yard of bulk, I tell you who, the SAME morons who will spread bulk with a homeowner's "flat" 4 cubic foot wheel barrow as they have their head so far up the culo they'll go behind my back and get the guy with the dump truck to deliver the SAME bulk I would have delivered AND spread, they'll save themselves $5 a cubic yard over ordering 6 cubic yards they are really saving it now as they will SLAVE 8 HOURS husband and wife BOTH in 90 degree weather for a $30 net savings, I give up when I see that because I know I done seen it all and they got me there, but to each their own.

I am telling you, $30 for a husband and a wife in 8 hours?
Nickel getting in the way of a dollar.

Now, next time...
Throw that sorry flat 4 cubic foot one wheel barrow in the garbage.
And try the real deal, a 10 cubic foot two wheel MAN barrow.
Four barrow loads of that, and the cubic yard of bulk is SPREAD.
They're probably still fooling with bags hours after I'm gone.

Lawnvision
12-15-2012, 08:45 AM
I agree! Bagged mulch is often clumpy and wet... hard to spread and you end up applying too much.

Lawnvision
12-15-2012, 08:59 AM
To each their own logic, but I will give you the following reasons to use Bulk over bagged;
1. Bagged Mulch is typically produced in high capacity from Dec.-March so it sits and gets moldy all winter.
2. Bagged mulch is often wet and clumpy...causing it to be applied too thick, costing you more money.
3. Bulk mulch is light and fluffy and spreads evenly, faster.
4. Bulk costs significantly less...I buy by the Semi-80 yds at a time
5. Have fun with bags on a windy day!
6. More lifting and labor if bags are wet(too heavy for your crew to lug around each and every day.

There are a few times when I will use them.

When you need a minimal amount or when you are trying to load plants, soil and mulch all on one truck. Or if you need to do some touch ups while you are mowing.

Otherwise I disagree with the argument.

Florida Gardener
12-15-2012, 09:06 AM
To each their own logic, but I will give you the following reasons to use Bulk over bagged;
1. Bagged Mulch is typically produced in high capacity from Dec.-March so it sits and gets moldy all winter.
2. Bagged mulch is often wet and clumpy...causing it to be applied too thick, costing you more money.
3. Bulk mulch is light and fluffy and spreads evenly, faster.
4. Bulk costs significantly less...I buy by the Semi-80 yds at a time
5. Have fun with bags on a windy day!
6. More lifting and labor if bags are wet(too heavy for your crew to lug around each and every day.

There are a few times when I will use them.

When you need a minimal amount or when you are trying to load plants, soil and mulch all on one truck. Or if you need to do some touch ups while you are mowing.

Otherwise I disagree with the argument.

None of that works for Florida. We use most of our mulch from October-January so it is brought in fresh. Our dry season is winter so dogg have to worry about wet mulch. Yes, bulk is cheaper, but there is more labor involved so your labor costs go up. We have crammed landscape beds here. You will be spending all day using bulk mulch here.
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Lawnvision
12-15-2012, 09:19 AM
True, Florida is a different ball game. Damn I wish I was going there again this winter. In the end its a chicken vs. egg argument. For me mulching is the easy part of any job. Its the clean up, edging, pruning where our hours add up.

yardguy28
12-15-2012, 10:03 AM
I've been to parts of FL plenty of times and while some areas may be different I have yet to see an area in FL where I couldn't do bulk mulch. landscaping seems to be laid out pretty similar to the lay outs I deal with in IN.

not sure where the myth/opinion that bulk mulch cost more in labor. I've done it both ways on one property and it took me considerably more time doing it with bags than with bulk.

maybe I'm superman or something because I can load wheel barrows all day long vs moving around bags and I can load the wheel barrows quick, whether shovel loading them or just using my truck unloader or tipping a dump bed.

in the end everyone will do what works best for them as they should but these types of discussing rub me the wrong way because you have guys insisting there way is the only way.

it's really a matter of opinion and situation as to whether bagged mulch is better than bulk mulch. in my opinion and situations I'll always do bulk hands down. the mulch is cheaper and so is the labor.

Duekster
12-15-2012, 10:12 AM
Well who has to be the dang moron figures out bagged mulch at a cost of $3 a bag containing TWO cubic feet of mulch takes FIFTEEN bags to equal ONE cubic yard of bulk mulch, they'd rather spend $45 on that and then have to fool around with all that plastic and the disposal instead of just having a $25 cubic yard of bulk, I tell you who, the SAME morons who will spread bulk with a homeowner's "flat" 4 cubic foot wheel barrow as they have their head so far up the culo they'll go behind my back and get the guy with the dump truck to deliver the SAME bulk I would have delivered AND spread, they'll save themselves $5 a cubic yard over ordering 6 cubic yards they are really saving it now as they will SLAVE 8 HOURS husband and wife BOTH in 90 degree weather for a $30 net savings, I give up when I see that because I know I done seen it all and they got me there, but to each their own.

I am telling you, $30 for a husband and a wife in 8 hours?
Nickel getting in the way of a dollar.

Now, next time...
Throw that sorry flat 4 cubic foot one wheel barrow in the garbage.
And try the real deal, a 10 cubic foot two wheel MAN barrow.
Four barrow loads of that, and the cubic yard of bulk is SPREAD.
They're probably still fooling with bags hours after I'm gone.

We are now seeing around $3.25 for 3 CF cedar and that is a pretty good deal.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-15-2012, 01:12 PM
I think if we deleted all the pro bulk posts (in areas where bags are cost effective and can be done in pallets) that were from guys who have not done 20-30 yard size jobs too many times to count there would be very few pro bulk mulch posts left. Inexperience in doing things on what I consider a moderate scale I think bias's people quite a bit.

Doing tiny one man jobs with a few yards of mulch and 20-30 yard bagged jobs where your paying workers to do the work are night and day different. There a big mentality difference between the I'll do the work myself mind set and the I'm bankrolling payroll mindset.

Here in central Texas all the educated companies use bags to re-mulch most of the time. It's the guys lacking papers, insurance, getting paid in cash, driving junk trucks and barely getting buy who favor bulk and these guys will likely always be stuck at this level.

I can honestly say I've done 30 yard size bulk and bagged jobs and speak from experience and not just speculation.

yardguy28
12-15-2012, 01:39 PM
hmmm guess I don't know what I'm talking about then oh mulch king.

maybe you care to explain why there isn't a single nursery in my neck of the woods that offers bagged mulch. purhaps the largest LCO company in my neck of the woods who has probably 20 crews at least and doesn't use a single bag of mulch is doing it wrong as well. hell I guess we are all doing it wrong then because the only people I've ever seen using bags are home owners.

these large business with crews of employees that I assure you are doing 20 yards of mulch on a single location either stop at the nursery and pick up bulk themselves, have it delivered in bulk or they have a shop where semis deliver bulk and they take it from there.

I guess I better pass your name out so we can all call you and get educated by the mulch god.

for those who wanna know what I mean by posts where people try and pass there way as the only way and there way as fact just look above this post.

Florida Gardener
12-15-2012, 01:44 PM
hmmm guess I don't know what I'm talking about then oh mulch king.

maybe you care to explain why there isn't a single nursery in my neck of the woods that offers bagged mulch. purhaps the largest LCO company in my neck of the woods who has probably 20 crews at least and doesn't use a single bag of mulch is doing it wrong as well. hell I guess we are all doing it wrong then because the only people I've ever seen using bags are home owners.

these large business with crews of employees that I assure you are doing 20 yards of mulch on a single location either stop at the nursery and pick up bulk themselves, have it delivered in bulk or they have a shop where semis deliver bulk and they take it from there.

I guess I better pass your name out so we can all call you and get educated by the mulch god.

for those who wanna know what I mean by posts where people try and pass there way as the only way and there way as fact just look above this post.
Or we can look at your posts to see people who argue everything to death. I guess your an expert on Florida since you've vacationed to one area a couple times.
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Greg78
12-15-2012, 02:09 PM
hmmm guess I don't know what I'm talking about then oh mulch king.

maybe you care to explain why there isn't a single nursery in my neck of the woods that offers bagged mulch. purhaps the largest LCO company in my neck of the woods who has probably 20 crews at least and doesn't use a single bag of mulch is doing it wrong as well. hell I guess we are all doing it wrong then because the only people I've ever seen using bags are home owners.

these large business with crews of employees that I assure you are doing 20 yards of mulch on a single location either stop at the nursery and pick up bulk themselves, have it delivered in bulk or they have a shop where semis deliver bulk and they take it from there.

I guess I better pass your name out so we can all call you and get educated by the mulch god.

for those who wanna know what I mean by posts where people try and pass there way as the only way and there way as fact just look above this post.

What is your neck of the woods?

Duekster
12-15-2012, 07:29 PM
I think if we deleted all the pro bulk posts (in areas where bags are cost effective and can be done in pallets) that were from guys who have not done 20-30 yard size jobs too many times to count there would be very few pro bulk mulch posts left. Inexperience in doing things on what I consider a moderate scale I think bias's people quite a bit.

Doing tiny one man jobs with a few yards of mulch and 20-30 yard bagged jobs where your paying workers to do the work are night and day different. There a big mentality difference between the I'll do the work myself mind set and the I'm bankrolling payroll mindset.

Here in central Texas all the educated companies use bags to re-mulch most of the time. It's the guys lacking papers, insurance, getting paid in cash, driving junk trucks and barely getting buy who favor bulk and these guys will likely always be stuck at this level.

I can honestly say I've done 30 yard size bulk and bagged jobs and speak from experience and not just speculation.

Oh yeah, are we talking 3 truck loads and skid loader or a mulch blower?

PineyPower
12-15-2012, 07:42 PM
At the begining of the season, Home Depot normally has a pretty good sale of bagged and I'll buy a few dozen bags. I will use them for either small jobs but I also will bring a few just as a back up since i HATE having to only cover about 3 square feet and have non mulch left. Sure beats going back for another full yard. Now, before people start saying how bagged is different from bulk, color, size, etc, if you mix it in when your running short, you'll never know the difference. But thats just my 2 cents.

yardguy28
12-15-2012, 08:51 PM
Or we can look at your posts to see people who argue everything to death. I guess your an expert on Florida since you've vacationed to one area a couple times.
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What is your neck of the woods?

well I can tell you both I never claimed to be a FL expert but plantsolution is claiming to be an overall mulch expert claiming no matter where you are bagged mulch is the better deal.

maybe it is in FL. I'm from IN and we don't even have access to bagged mulch unless we wanna buy it from home depot or lowes. at least in my city.

I never said I vacationed to one area a couple of times. I said I've been to several areas of FL before. there's a diff but whatever. I really don't wanna argue despite everyone on seeming to think I do.

never understood why it's ok for everyone else to put there opinion down but me. every time I do it I get accused of arguing.

GMLC
12-15-2012, 09:36 PM
The only places in NH with bagged mulch is HD and Lowes and its very expensive. Bulk is much cheaper here and its everywhere. I think its because a lot of mulch is made in NH and in states with a good logging industry.

Large companies here use bark blowers and small and mid sized companies like myself use bulk and spread it by hand. I have used bagged before and It was much slower for me and I hated dealing with the plastic waste.
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knox gsl
12-15-2012, 10:31 PM
PlantScape, I'm not wanting to argue the point at all but am interested in the material+labor cost for a 20 yard job installed. I am looking at buying a half truck load of mulch in 3cuft bags if it breaks down right, if not I can sub out mulch blowing for $48/yard installed under 15 yards and a little less/ yard on bigger projects. This is the best way to go for me now and all I have to do is prep and make the phone call. If I can get the product, labor, and trasportation cost down to around $38/ yard then it may be worth me doing it in house. Anything under 7 yards now I'm doing in bulk but am really looking at bagged for that as well.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-16-2012, 03:15 PM
hmmm guess I don't know what I'm talking about then oh mulch king.

maybe you care to explain why there isn't a single nursery in my neck of the woods that offers bagged mulch. purhaps the largest LCO company in my neck of the woods who has probably 20 crews at least and doesn't use a single bag of mulch is doing it wrong as well. hell I guess we are all doing it wrong then because the only people I've ever seen using bags are home owners.

these large business with crews of employees that I assure you are doing 20 yards of mulch on a single location either stop at the nursery and pick up bulk themselves, have it delivered in bulk or they have a shop where semis deliver bulk and they take it from there.

I guess I better pass your name out so we can all call you and get educated by the mulch god.

for those who wanna know what I mean by posts where people try and pass there way as the only way and there way as fact just look above this post.

You need to where your from in your signature. You keep talking about your area but I have no idea what area your from. Setting up a bagging production line is very expensive which is why you see more bulk then bagged places. Not because bulk is more efficient. Large new commercial construction projects where you can skid steer in the mulch is one area where even the bean counters will allow bulk.

Many small mulch places do not even own a tub grinder. They subcontract out the grinding. A tub grinder, big (4-5 yard bucket) front end loader, and a dozer with a bucket for digging into stockpiles will run your over $5000 a day. Some of the tub grinders can run close to a million dollars to buy one. This is why in smaller markets bulk is king. Little guys usually can't afford a really good grinder or in a smaller market there may not be the volume to make it cost effective. The upkeep on a tub grinder can run you another $100K per year.

Austin Wood Recycling owns at least three grinders but they also own a land clearing company so they take their grinder to job sites as well. You have to be a really big outfit to afford the high end grinders that make the best most consistent mulch.

Richard Martin
12-16-2012, 04:29 PM
This is why in smaller markets bulk is king.

Bulk is king in the Washington D.C./Baltimore region and I wouldn't call it a small market.

Here in Greenville it is a small market. Pinestraw is king here for budget customers with money customers opting for bulk.

I see very little bags of mulch anywhere.

Richard Martin
12-16-2012, 04:51 PM
BTW, blowing bulk mulch is hands and feet above any other style of mulch or pinestraw installation. It is brutally fast, regardless of the conditions.

http://www.apolloequipment.net/equipment/B269m/B269m.1.JPG

Patriot Services
12-16-2012, 04:57 PM
I wouldn't touch "recycled" mulch. Not even homeowners are dumb enough to touch the free crap around here. Go ahead if you want every type of weed and a high percentage of vegetation that will decompose nicely to feed the new weed seeds you just sowed. I've seen some real sloppy mulch jobs that looked like woody mashed potatos. Mulch all over plants, windowsills, undefined edges. There was a blow in company here last year, lost their butts on labor. Trucks couldn't get close enough, tons of cleanup and grooming.
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Richard Martin
12-16-2012, 05:17 PM
Mulch all over plants, windowsills, undefined edges. There was a blow in company here last year, lost their butts on labor. Trucks couldn't get close enough, tons of cleanup and grooming.


And some guys do a nice job with cutting grass and others don't. Don't judge an entire method of installation just because one company did a crappy job.

Patriot Services
12-16-2012, 05:45 PM
And some guys do a nice job with cutting grass and others don't. Don't judge an entire method of installation just because one company did a crappy job.

The blow in job looked fine it just didn't save anything by the time it was all done. The crappy job was a USL truck, driving down the sidewalk slinging it over the side.
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mdlwn1
12-16-2012, 06:10 PM
You need to buy 20+pallets to make the price work on bagged. Even then it's only on the challenging jobs (hills/lots of plants/tough to reach areas). Blowing mulch has it's place, the problem though is the mess that is made. If your even the slightest bit fussy or charge for immaculate work, you will spend more than the savings when you try to clean up after the truck goes.

yardguy28
12-16-2012, 06:19 PM
You need to where your from in your signature. You keep talking about your area but I have no idea what area your from. Setting up a bagging production line is very expensive which is why you see more bulk then bagged places. Not because bulk is more efficient. Large new commercial construction projects where you can skid steer in the mulch is one area where even the bean counters will allow bulk.

Many small mulch places do not even own a tub grinder. They subcontract out the grinding. A tub grinder, big (4-5 yard bucket) front end loader, and a dozer with a bucket for digging into stockpiles will run your over $5000 a day. Some of the tub grinders can run close to a million dollars to buy one. This is why in smaller markets bulk is king. Little guys usually can't afford a really good grinder or in a smaller market there may not be the volume to make it cost effective. The upkeep on a tub grinder can run you another $100K per year.

Austin Wood Recycling owns at least three grinders but they also own a land clearing company so they take their grinder to job sites as well. You have to be a really big outfit to afford the high end grinders that make the best most consistent mulch.

I'm from IN.

I'll call my nursery tomorrow and tell them to start using there tub grinders and front loaders to make bagged mulch.

fact is the reason any location wouldn't have bagged vs bulk or vise versa is a thing called demand. no enough landscapers demand bagged mulch. there is a reason for this.

there isn't a demand because it isn't the most efficient and cost effective way to do mulch in IN.

apparently it works in texas although no matter where I live unless bagged is the only thing available you'll never find me going the bagged route.

Lawnvision
12-16-2012, 08:19 PM
@plantscape solution- here in columbus, ohio we have 5 or 6 options to choose from as far as mulch suppliers go. Mulch mfg. Inc is literally 2 miles down the road from me. They primarily produce bagged mulch and bring material from Fla. Via railroad. They charge me $ 150 for freight to deliver 20 pallets of mulch, again this is a 5 minute trip. I can have the same amount of bulk product delivered from 25 miles away for $80 freight. Im definitely pro bulk and I do 4-5 100 yd + jobs every year, not to mention my 80 or so 5-30 yd jobs. My margins are always above industry standard, bottom line is this, you started this thread. You should and expect contrasting views. Whether its bulk or bag, if you are a smart business owner and know your costs then it doesnt matter. If you price it right, you will be successful. But if I can direct ship bulk to an apt complex and put a bobcat on site, its a pretty easy choice for me.
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herler
12-16-2012, 09:24 PM
Well it gets to the point I don't actually want to educate no more, if some folks think one is better than the other so be it, let them have at it, why be the fool, competition is hard enough as it is, maybe their method is better than mine but you got a method that works, so do I, yup, no sense in making it easy.

ed2hess
12-16-2012, 09:29 PM
Bags is a lot easier and faster and no quibbling with customer...all bids are expected to be per bag. And I can see myself running up and down and across the road in front of cars with a little scoop of mulch. You simply drive along at 10mpg and guys pitch bags to where it is needed.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-16-2012, 10:29 PM
The only places in NH with bagged mulch is HD and Lowes and its very expensive. Bulk is much cheaper here and its everywhere. I think its because a lot of mulch is made in NH and in states with a good logging industry.

Large companies here use bark blowers and small and mid sized companies like myself use bulk and spread it by hand. I have used bagged before and It was much slower for me and I hated dealing with the plastic waste.
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I'm originally from Maine myself. The market up there is just too small to support much bagging. The landscape market in just in the Austin area where I am is probably bigger then VT, NH, and ME combined. The Austin market is a one billion dollar a year market. We have two bagging companies here and many more that will deliver here from other areas of Texas.

The sunbelt here is a year round market with a huge demand for mulch. Up north the other challenge is you only have about six months to compost mulch. It really takes 10-12 months of microbial activity to create good fade resistant mulch. It's hard to invest in a bagging operating that is going to sit unused from November thru April in the snowbelt.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-16-2012, 10:41 PM
@plantscape solution- here in columbus, ohio we have 5 or 6 options to choose from as far as mulch suppliers go. Mulch mfg. Inc is literally 2 miles down the road from me. They primarily produce bagged mulch and bring material from Fla. Via railroad. They charge me $ 150 for freight to deliver 20 pallets of mulch, again this is a 5 minute trip. I can have the same amount of bulk product delivered from 25 miles away for $80 freight. Im definitely pro bulk and I do 4-5 100 yd + jobs every year, not to mention my 80 or so 5-30 yd jobs. My margins are always above industry standard, bottom line is this, you started this thread. You should and expect contrasting views. Whether its bulk or bag, if you are a smart business owner and know your costs then it doesnt matter. If you price it right, you will be successful. But if I can direct ship bulk to an apt complex and put a bobcat on site, its a pretty easy choice for me.
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What is the cost per bag (2 cu ft or 3) in your area versus per yard? And I do expect a good debate. I'm glad to hear some volume people chime in. Is the stuff coming in from FL cypress crap or is it something else. Cypress is a nightmare for anyone who has to mow or trim with it in the beds.

Will P.C.
12-16-2012, 11:43 PM
I don't know why so many guys want to 'hate' on someone who has found an assembly line effiency for mulching that works for him. The guy is simply sharing some insight into the mulching business that might be worth looking into depending on circumstances.

Florida Gardener
12-16-2012, 11:57 PM
I don't know why so many guys want to 'hate' on someone who has found an assembly line effiency for mulching that works for him. The guy is simply sharing some insight into the mulching business that might be worth looking into depending on circumstances.

It works for me too as well as about 99% of landscapers here in south Florida. We have a place that sells bulk and bagged yet your landscaper will buy bags and pallets whereas the cheapo homeowner buys bulk and has the illegals put it down. If the guys who swear by bulk(which is fine if it works for them) would see how our beds are laid out, I'm sure they would see why bags work so well down here. Much easier for the truck to drive slow, have 2 guys throw out the bags and the rest of the guys lay the mulch. I agree, do what works for you, but down here, it's bags all day long.
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THEGOLDPRO
12-16-2012, 11:58 PM
I Woulden't say its a "better" investment, Its easier usually but that's about it. Around here bagged mulch is $225+ per pallet. While bulk much is $25 ish a yard. So its really no comparison.

Florida Gardener
12-17-2012, 12:03 AM
I Woulden't say its a "better" investment, Its easier usually but that's about it. Around here bagged mulch is $225+ per pallet. While bulk much is $25 ish a yard. So its really no comparison.

That's pretty expensive...not sure what kind that is tho....cypress which is what most use here is is about $150/pallet.
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THEGOLDPRO
12-17-2012, 12:03 AM
It works for me too as well as about 99% of landscapers here in south Florida. We have a place that sells bulk and bagged yet your landscaper will buy bags and pallets whereas the cheapo homeowner buys bulk and has the illegals put it down. If the guys who swear by bulk(which is fine if it works for them) would see how our beds are laid out, I'm sure they would see why bags work so well down here. Much easier for the truck to drive slow, have 2 guys throw out the bags and the rest of the guys lay the mulch. I agree, do what works for you, but down here, it's bags all day long.
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How many yards of much do you typically do per year??

THEGOLDPRO
12-17-2012, 12:04 AM
Yea well everything is more expensive in CT lol

Florida Gardener
12-17-2012, 12:17 AM
How many yards of much do you typically do per year??

Not much...just a couple....but for the landscape beds I have, bulk mulch would take way too much time. Bags fly fast.
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PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 12:27 AM
That's pretty expensive...not sure what kind that is tho....cypress which is what most use here is is about $150/pallet.
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I would think Cypress would be pretty cheap there. Back when I worked at the Home Depot garden center in Austin, TX as a student I would order it in by the truckload for home owners. I bet our cost was about the same as the better mulch that was made locally. I educated a lot of home owners and turned then onto the better the local mulch that didn't bleach, trap trimmings/grass clippings, or wash away like the cypress.

I don't think the Cypress is composted at all. It's just shredded and blown into bags. This is why it is so cheap and bad about fading. The company in FL we bought mulch from was Corbitt in Lake City.

THEGOLDPRO
12-17-2012, 12:31 AM
When i first started out and barely did any mulch i used bagged mulch, It worked fine and made life easy. As the years have gone by and we put down 400+ yards of mulch per year, Bagged mulch has become pretty much worthless to us not to mention too expensive.

Most of our mulch jobs are 30-40 yards per place, with a few bigger amounts for our commercials. Its easier to have the mulch yard drop off a tri-axle full of mulch then load pallets on a trailer.
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/40577_428645214590_5965957_n.jpg

italianstallion69
12-17-2012, 12:55 AM
what all equipment do you need to make mulch?

cheap water supply
tub grinder
loader?

wood waste from forestry and old pallets?

I see a few of these tub grinders under 150g. might be worth looking at versus a blower truck. bagged mulch is definitely faster to spread/move but in pa costs much more. i use it when we cant get mulch delivered- like 6pm on sunday.

forgive my mulch ignorance!

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 01:07 AM
@plantscape solution- here in columbus, ohio we have 5 or 6 options to choose from as far as mulch suppliers go. Mulch mfg. Inc is literally 2 miles down the road from me. They primarily produce bagged mulch and bring material from Fla. Via railroad. They charge me $ 150 for freight to deliver 20 pallets of mulch, again this is a 5 minute trip. I can have the same amount of bulk product delivered from 25 miles away for $80 freight. Im definitely pro bulk and I do 4-5 100 yd + jobs every year, not to mention my 80 or so 5-30 yd jobs. My margins are always above industry standard, bottom line is this, you started this thread. You should and expect contrasting views. Whether its bulk or bag, if you are a smart business owner and know your costs then it doesnt matter. If you price it right, you will be successful. But if I can direct ship bulk to an apt complex and put a bobcat on site, its a pretty easy choice for me.
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Is that new construction or re-mulching apartments. Here the management companies would probably have a cow if you started dumping dump trucks loads, dropping roll offs, or marking up the pavement with a skid steer. A loud skid steer with limited visibility and cars every where would not be some thing I would want to deal with. I'd rather have a small 40"x48" footprint that holds almost five yards of mulch if I had to do high density apartment type work.

Maybe things are better up in OH with multi-family work but down here apartment complex type work gets bid to death and most companies avoid it like the plague.

Florida Gardener
12-17-2012, 01:09 AM
Is that new construction or re-mulching apartments. Here the management companies would probably have a cow if you started dumping dump trucks loads, dropping roll offs, or marking up the pavement with a skid steer. A loud skid steer with limited visibility and cars every where would not be some thing I would want to deal with. I'd rather have a small 40"x48" footprint that holds almost five yards of mulch if I had to do high density apartment type work.

Maybe things are better up in OH with multi-family work but down here apartment complex type work gets bid to death and most companies avoid it like the plague.

Same here. They are accounts that pay almost nothing. Prices are beat down to the ground. Lowballers game.
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PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 01:11 AM
what all equipment do you need to make mulch?

cheap water supply
tub grinder
loader?

wood waste from forestry and old pallets?

I see a few of these tub grinders under 150g. might be worth looking at versus a blower truck. bagged mulch is definitely faster to spread/move but in pa costs much more. i use it when we cant get mulch delivered- like 6pm on sunday.

forgive my mulch ignorance!

The older tub grinders are OK for grinding material for making soil but the quality control is just not there for making high quality mulch.

knox gsl
12-17-2012, 01:16 AM
what all equipment do you need to make mulch?

cheap water supply
tub grinder
loader?

wood waste from forestry and old pallets?

I see a few of these tub grinders under 150g. might be worth looking at versus a blower truck. bagged mulch is definitely faster to spread/move but in pa costs much more. i use it when we cant get mulch delivered- like 6pm on sunday.

forgive my mulch ignorance!

10-20 flat acres
200ish excavator with thumb
delivery trucks
truck scale
office building

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 01:19 AM
I Woulden't say its a "better" investment, Its easier usually but that's about it. Around here bagged mulch is $225+ per pallet. While bulk much is $25 ish a yard. So its really no comparison.

Here we can get bagged for almost the price your paying for bulk. Here bulk is about $18 per yard and the same amount in bags would be $27.67. If you want mulch that is similar but not quite good enough for super picky people like myself you can get bagged for $24.30 per yard.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 01:36 AM
This thread is due for some more pictures. This is my rig picking up 300 bags of mulch a while back. This company charged $1.80 a bag (2 cu ft). I actually have gone back to a company that charges $2.05 a bag because I like their mulch better. Most guys are happy with the $1.80 mulch.

ralph02813
12-17-2012, 07:19 AM
According to his math he is doing about 1-1.5 yards of mulch per man per hour. I can do 2-3 yards bulk myself with a wheelbarrow and close access to the truck. When working as a crew two wheelbarrow guys and me raking mulch we usually do 6-8 cubic yards/hour.

If you are estimating mulch well you should never have more then 1/2 yard top leftover. That's equivilant to 6-7 bags. Just spread it over the area a little thicker. No need to bring it back to the shop. Charge the customer for what was used only.

Ok, I give, and not to pick on you CT18fireman - but how big is a bag of mulch? Answer: depends where you buy it.

GMLC
12-17-2012, 08:08 AM
I can spread 2 yards an hour of bulk mulch and I have seen faster workers than me. Sorry but I fail to see the efficiency of bagged as it was stated earlier 14-18 bags an hour. No question it costs more and you also have to deal with plastic bags, pallets and pallet wrap disposal. Doesn't add up to me...
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PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 09:54 AM
Ok, I give, and not to pick on you CT18fireman - but how big is a bag of mulch? Answer: depends where you buy it.

For mulching the 2 cu ft is the way to go and I should have touched on this sooner. The 2 cu ft is the perfect size while the 3 cu ft some people may have experience using is 50% too big and cumbersome. I would never do a job with 3 cu ft bags even if the mulch was half price. To me not killing my workers is number one on the priority list. If you think using bags is difficult based on using 3 cu ft bags you would be correct.

To expound on the CT18firemen quote we simply take the pallets back to the mulch company on our next trip to get mulch. We can take about 50 empty bags and simply stuff them inside one empty bag. The amount of trash from even a decent 300 bags job will fit in one wheel barrow. Not a big deal.

Most flower beds I deal with have reasonable plant density which tends to be the norm for most of us I assume. Getting the mulch to the beds is usually only 30-50% of the work depending on the jobsite. Spreading the mulch neatly between plantings, behind hedges and such is a large portion of the work. This is where a bag (2 cu ft not 3) will ALWAYS beat a shovel in the rock, paper, scissors game.

Your not going to be able to put 45 lbs of mulch in a shovel and neatly spread a little or a lot between delicate planting that can often be damaged by a large gob of mulch falling off a shovel. A bag is a great adjustable spreading tool while a big shovel full is pretty much like a bull in a China shop in high density areas.

While the guy with a 45 lbs bag can spread that mulch in one trip all day long the guy with a shovel or pitch fork can not. If you have some gravity defying device that allows you to easily move, control, and easily spread 45 lbs of mulch a little or a lot in one trip please send me a picture.

Working upright with a bag of mulch turned sideways under your arm will also beat walking partially bent over all day with a shovel. With a shovel or fork your going to have to have one hand forward and one back which forces you to work partially bent over all day. Not exactly an ergonomically correct position to work in all day. I try to work smart and minimize working bent over when it can easily be prevented.

I also think my BS detector is going off for anyone who is claiming they can unload, haul, dump and spread 2-3 yards of mulch an hour on a regular basis. Here that would be 1215-2430 lbs of mulch per hour to haul, dump, and spread. For a super easy job two yards per hour can be done but your easy jobs are not going to be the norm. When I talk about production I'm talking about the average job where the best case scenario, worst case scenario, and everything in between has been averaged.

GMLC
12-17-2012, 10:14 AM
So 14-18 bags is only 1-1.3 yards an hour. 2 yards an hour bulk is not hard to do alone and there is no plastic bags, pallets and wrap to clean up. The more people working bulk the more efficient it becomes as some dump and some spread. Bulk is still cheaper so even if you could do 2 yards an hour bagged your still loosing. The numbers don't add up nor does bagged efficiency based on 14-18 bags per hour compared to bulk.

We create small piles and spread with a rake or by hand in tight areas. Not just a shovel full at a time, that would be ridiculous. If the beds are so dense you cant create piles I can see where bags would be handy. I have use 5 gallon buckets before in super dense beds.

yardguy28
12-17-2012, 10:44 AM
I don't know why so many guys want to 'hate' on someone who has found an assembly line effiency for mulching that works for him. The guy is simply sharing some insight into the mulching business that might be worth looking into depending on circumstances.

probably because he seems to be insisting bagged mulch is the way to go everywhere like its some sort of fact.

if it works for him great. but not everyone is gonna find the same results as he has.

in IN its more expensive all the way around to do bagged mulch vs bulk. and from my personal experience it's more work not less.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 11:04 AM
So 14-18 bags is only 1-1.3 yards an hour. 2 yards an hour bulk is not hard to do alone and there is no plastic bags, pallets and wrap to clean up. The more people working bulk the more efficient it becomes as some dump and some spread. Bulk is still cheaper so even if you could do 2 yards an hour bagged your still loosing. The numbers don't add up nor does bagged efficiency based on 14-18 bags per hour compared to bulk.

We create small piles and spread with a rake or by hand in tight areas. Not just a shovel full at a time, that would be ridiculous. If the beds are so dense you cant create piles I can see where bags would be handy. I have use 5 gallon buckets before in super dense beds.

All the properties I do are high end with lots of tight gaps between hedges and the home and other smaller plantings that are close together. I'd be spending all day loading little buckets and the bucket is still not skinny like a bag of mulch that fits behind hedges.

The one 30 yard bulk job I did was in very open flower beds and I still hated all the back breaking shoveling to load wheel barrows. I run and used to be able to bench 325 lbs so I'm in decent shape. I can do palatalized bags all day long with a fraction of the back fatigue. I'll take working upright to load and spread versus being bent over to all day long any day.

Austin is a billion dollar landscape market. We have every national company in the United states here. Brinkman, TruGreen, Valley Crest and all the others are here. We also have local companies doing 10-30 million in sales. For existing landscapes bags are king here so I'm not going against the grain here. For some reason all the bean counters here do things the same way I do them. If a 900 million dollar a year company is using bags in the Austin market I've got to think my math adds up on material cost versus saved labor.

I'm very, very grateful to not be in smaller market where cheap bagged quality mulch is not the norm. Another benefit of being in the sunbelt. Plus we have a year round season for mulching here. It's going to be almost 80F here today.

herler
12-17-2012, 11:38 AM
I mean just because baggers ain't never figured out how to properly spread bulk doesn't mean it's better, and it certainly is not cheaper.

Bagged mulch is as big a load of crap as folks who ask me if I'd bag the leaves.

Read: I don't DO plastic!
We don't MIX organic materials with petrol based products.

The only person who was brilliant in this entire process is the wise guy who first thought of stuffing a small amount of bulk mulch in a bag, sealing it, and then selling it to box stores by the pallet, now that person there, I can easily see and admit how that was a smart move.

herler
12-17-2012, 11:50 AM
For mulching the 2 cu ft is the way to go and I should have touched on this sooner. The 2 cu ft is the perfect size while the 3 cu ft some people may have experience using is 50% too big and cumbersome. I would never do a job with 3 cu ft bags even if the mulch was half price. To me not killing my workers is number one on the priority list. If you think using bags is difficult based on using 3 cu ft bags you would be correct.

Well at least now I know you're pulling my leg.

This thread is due for some more pictures. This is my rig picking up 300 bags of mulch a while back. This company charged $1.80 a bag (2 cu ft). I actually have gone back to a company that charges $2.05 a bag because I like their mulch better. Most guys are happy with the $1.80 mulch.

That's a funny picture with that truck bag loaded with bulk mulch right behind it...
Are you sure that's your truck and not someone else made you laugh so hard you just had to take a picture?

two cubic feet ...
At that rate you'd have to get twenty bags to equal A cubic yard of bulk, about $40.

I'd bet the bulk mulch right behind that truck hardly costs $20 a yard.
Whoever paid for that probably did pay about twice as much as the bulk would have cost.
Worse still is they drove UP to the yard that sells the bulk.

yardguy28
12-17-2012, 12:01 PM
i speak from doing mulch both ways so i know what i'm talking about. it's not just my opinion from what i see around or what my little brain is thinking.

i use to work for my great aunt. she had about 4 yards of mulch each time i would mulch. the first 2 years i mulched it, i did bulk mulch. was finished in 2 hours tops. the following year she wanted this bagged crap from lowes. it was dyed red with preene in it.

holy crap was that a sheot load of work and it cost a lot more too.

GMLC
12-17-2012, 12:01 PM
Things we all agree on:

Bagged is more expensive everywhere.
Bagged has more clean up due to plastic bags, pallets and wrap.
Bagged is easier in tight dense areas.
Bagged is easier to store in small areas.
Bagged can be spread 14-18 bags per man hour(1-1.3 yards per hour)


Bulk is cheaper.
Bulk has less clean up.
Bulk is easier in open areas.


Things we disagree on:

I say: Bulk can be spread at 2 yards per man hour and gets more efficient with more help.

You say: 2 yards an hour can not be sustained.

Conclusion

So the real question is how much more bagged mulch has to be spread per an hour to over come the cost difference?

Because even if we spread the same amount of mulch per hour(which would be around half of what I say I can do), bulk still is more cost effective.

GMLC
12-17-2012, 12:32 PM
Conclusion

So the real question is how much more bagged mulch has to be spread per an hour to over come the cost difference?

Because even if we spread the same amount of mulch per hour(which would be around half of what I say I can do), bulk still is more cost effective.

So if your paying $28 per yard for bagged vs. $18 per yard bulk(according to your first post) you would have to spread 1.6 yards bagged for every 1 yard bulk just to break even on the cost difference. So you have to be a little over 50% faster with bagged just to break even. This doesn't include clean up or disposal.

Richard Martin
12-17-2012, 12:49 PM
two cubic feet ...
At that rate you'd have to get twenty bags to equal A cubic yard of bulk, about $40.

I'd bet the bulk mulch right behind that truck hardly costs $20 a yard.

Use a calculator next time. :cry: A cubic yard is 27 cubic feet, not 40 (20 bags X 2 cu. ft. per bag). It takes 13-1/2 bags to make a cubic yard. At $2+/- per bag that right at $27 per yard. That's less than I pay for bulk here. :dizzy:

Mark Oomkes
12-17-2012, 01:43 PM
BTW, blowing bulk mulch is hands and feet above any other style of mulch or pinestraw installation. It is brutally fast, regardless of the conditions.

http://www.apolloequipment.net/equipment/B269m/B269m.1.JPG

No kidding. The sub I use does a fantastic job cleaning up and can do a better job than I can dream of.

And 2 yds\hr is on the slow side for them. Try 10 yds\hour, or more.

I'd probably never use bagged. But we do very little by hand as well. My sub can do it cheaper than I can.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 02:27 PM
probably because he seems to be insisting bagged mulch is the way to go everywhere like its some sort of fact.

if it works for him great. but not everyone is gonna find the same results as he has.

in IN its more expensive all the way around to do bagged mulch vs bulk. and from my personal experience it's more work not less.

I never said every where. I've mentioned multiple times if your market is fortunate enough to have cost effective bags (2 cu ft), you buy it in pallets, your work from a trailer, and some other factors the math adds up. If any of the factors I covered are skipped it's going to mess up the efficiency in a big way.

Unfortunately, for many guys they are in smaller markets where there is only bulk mulch made locally. I'm lucky enough to be in a big market where we have a cost effective choice. Thank God for that!

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 02:36 PM
No kidding. The sub I use does a fantastic job cleaning up and can do a better job than I can dream of.

And 2 yds\hr is on the slow side for them. Try 10 yds\hour, or more.

I'd probably never use bagged. But we do very little by hand as well. My sub can do it cheaper than I can.

I've done one 260 yard EBS job as well. But when the price of fuel went up using the EBS service here became too expensive. I could do it myself for the same price. Back around 2003 I paid about $25 a yard for EBS. When fuel was $1.20 a gallon EBS was a way save money. Now it seems more just like a way to do work you don't have time to do yourself but it's not going to save you big bucks.

Darryl G
12-17-2012, 03:22 PM
I haven't read all of the replies but...I prefer to use bulk mulch unless it's a small job or a job where getting wheel barrows close to the beds is difficult. If I do use bagged mulch, it is natural mulches such as Cedar bark mulch. I will not use bagged, dyed mulches. It has been documented that these types of mulches are often comtaminated with arsenic and chromium, which are toxic heavy metals. The reason for this is that dyed mulches often consist largely of contruction and demolition (C&D) debris that can contain chromated copper arsenate (CCA), also know as pressure treated wood and who knows what else. I don't want to be handling it or putting it on a customer's property and potentially contaminating it...simple as that.

Here's a link. There's much more info available on the subject. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17174544

GMLC
12-17-2012, 03:26 PM
Even if he could only spread 1 yard an hour with bulk he would still come out ahead! $10 per yard more for bagged(his numbers) is to much to make up. The math doesn't lie.
Posted via Mobile Device

yardguy28
12-17-2012, 04:07 PM
Use a calculator next time. :cry: A cubic yard is 27 cubic feet, not 40 (20 bags X 2 cu. ft. per bag). It takes 13-1/2 bags to make a cubic yard. At $2+/- per bag that right at $27 per yard. That's less than I pay for bulk here. :dizzy:

so take that 13-1/2 bags per yard and times that by say 4 if your putting down 4 yards.

hmmm, I'm not messing with that many bags. that's ALOT of bags to be spreading around a property. I know because I did it once. never, ever again, no matter how much cheaper it would be.

Darryl G
12-17-2012, 04:28 PM
Again, I didn't read the whole thread, but other than not wanting to work with toxic waste, there are other things I like about bulk mulch over bagged. With bulk mulch I can spread it without ever picking it up. It gets loaded into my dump trailer at the yard, dragged out of the trailer with a rake into wheelbarrows and then dumped. If it were a bag I would have to pick it up at least twice. Also, sometimes I do spread it with a fork rather than dumping it...cases where there's heavy plant coverage or I'm just putting down a veneer coat...I just fling it. I suppose you could empty a bag and then fork fling it, but that's just extra handling to me. And finially, I don't like how bagged mulch is all compressed...I like nice light, fluffy mulch.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2012, 07:57 PM
Well at least now I know you're pulling my leg.



That's a funny picture with that truck bag loaded with bulk mulch right behind it...
Are you sure that's your truck and not someone else made you laugh so hard you just had to take a picture?

two cubic feet ...
At that rate you'd have to get twenty bags to equal A cubic yard of bulk, about $40.

I'd bet the bulk mulch right behind that truck hardly costs $20 a yard.
Whoever paid for that probably did pay about twice as much as the bulk would have cost.
Worse still is they drove UP to the yard that sells the bulk.

1. 13.5 bags X 2 cu ft= one yard.
2. 13.5 X $2.05=$27.67 in bags
3. $18 bulk per yard
4. Paying only $9.67 per yard to not have to work bent over all day shoveling= Happy employees who work harder and get more done in less time.
5. This trailer was custom built with hauling mulch in mind. It will hold 29 yards of mulch (390 bags). What's your rig look like?

mdlwn1
12-17-2012, 08:25 PM
i lol at the 2 cubic ft bags....you know they make bigger ones right?

Richard Martin
12-17-2012, 08:54 PM
5. This trailer was custom built with hauling mulch in mind. It will hold 29 yards of mulch (390 bags). What's your rig look like?

I don't know if he still has this trailer but this is the one he posted back in 2006.

http://i208.photobucket.com/albums/bb56/RMartin631/topsitestrailer_zps3ba5d800.jpg

weeze
12-17-2012, 08:59 PM
to me bulk mulch has more cleanup. you have to sweep out the back of your truck. bagged there's no mulch left in the truck when you're done as long as you get bags without holes in them lol.

i wouldn't take on a job where i had to use a whole truck load of mulch. i'm just solo. that would be more work than i would want to do. they'd have to pay me really good or i wouldn't even consider shoveling a truck load by myself.

knox gsl
12-17-2012, 10:10 PM
to me bulk mulch has more cleanup. you have to sweep out the back of your truck. bagged there's no mulch left in the truck when you're done as long as you get bags without holes in them lol.

i wouldn't take on a job where i had to use a whole truck load of mulch. i'm just solo. that would be more work than i would want to do. they'd have to pay me really good or i wouldn't even consider shoveling a truck load by myself.

Load it on your trailer, not in your truck. Use a seed scoop to unload it and when you get to the front its clean. BTW a whole truckload (pickup) is a whole yard maybe in a Tacoma.

weeze
12-17-2012, 10:31 PM
i don't have a seed scoop lol. i have other trucks i could use if that's an issue for you. lol

i'd rather get paid to sit on a mower than shovel mulch out of a truck. that's why i started my own business. to do things my way instead of being a slave working for people like you lol.

StihlBR600
12-17-2012, 10:36 PM
After reading this I cannot understand why anyone would use bagged mulch. It costs more per yard for us to buy, you have to deal with all the plastic bags at the end of the job, you have to load and unload each individual bag, you have to cut the bag open, and what people are saying aout the mess of bulk mulch in their trailers it is not a big deal. At the end of the job i just blow my trailer out with the blower. To be completely honest mulch for me is where i make the most profit. I would think that messing around with bags would slow us down

weeze
12-17-2012, 10:43 PM
it's about practicality. on small jobs the bags are better and easier to work with without having to shovel or make such a mess. you just pick up a bag out of the truck and take it where you want it in the flower bed and lay it down. a simple cut with a razor knife and pull on the bag and all the mulch falls out. spread it out with a rake or whatever.

on larger jobs of course bulk mulch is better because it's cheaper and you need alot of mulch to do the job.

i've done mulch jobs as small as needing only 5 bags of mulch. why would i get bulk mulch for that? lol

knox gsl
12-17-2012, 11:21 PM
it's about practicality. on small jobs the bags are better and easier to work with without having to shovel or make such a mess. you just pick up a bag out of the truck and take it where you want it in the flower bed and lay it down. a simple cut with a razor knife and pull on the bag and all the mulch falls out. spread it out with a rake or whatever.

on larger jobs of course bulk mulch is better because it's cheaper and you need alot of mulch to do the job.

i've done mulch jobs as small as needing only 5 bags of mulch. why would i get bulk mulch for that? lol

This I agree 100% with, less mess and easier to handle on a small job. I've tried every which way to figure it and with my material cost bulk is more profitable on anything over a yard although bagged seems to be easier to me.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2012, 01:48 AM
Here's a tip for you other pro bag guys on here. I'm probably the only one on here who gets 5-6 pallets at a time but this tip is good for even three pallets. I always bring a backpack sprayer with four gallons of really soapy water.

I chalk block my truck and trailer tires, lock up my six trailer brakes using the controller, and then spray down the wood trailer floor as the pallets are being loaded. It allows the pallets too slide right in without damaging them or beating up my trailer.

I also do not remove the trailer ramp during loading. The mulch places I deal with have the huge loaders that can reach right over my open 5' ramp and shove in the pallets. Taking off the ramp is too time consuming.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2012, 12:46 PM
A topic one person touched on was margins. I'd like to know what you guys are able to do with your bulk or even bagged mulch margins. Here is what I'm able to do.

1. Mulch wholesale $2.05 /$3.94 retail. That's would be a $25.52 per yard markup or $53.19 per yard retail. If I use my almost as good supplier the mulch is $1.80 per bag and I retail it for $3.79.

2. Labor ($1.25 per bag average)- I get about $2.34 per bag on average to spread it. That would be $31.59 in yards.

3. If we roll out with a 390 bag load the markup is going to total about $1162.20. This will be for about a 30 man hour project (with drive time) at two properties on average.

KrayzKajun
12-18-2012, 02:01 PM
Lol mulch sucks! Yall should use pea gravel. Lol david you know this is like talking to a wall.
Posted via Mobile Device

yardguy28
12-18-2012, 02:13 PM
it's about practicality. on small jobs the bags are better and easier to work with without having to shovel or make such a mess. you just pick up a bag out of the truck and take it where you want it in the flower bed and lay it down. a simple cut with a razor knife and pull on the bag and all the mulch falls out. spread it out with a rake or whatever.

on larger jobs of course bulk mulch is better because it's cheaper and you need alot of mulch to do the job.

i've done mulch jobs as small as needing only 5 bags of mulch. why would i get bulk mulch for that? lol

I don't really find bulk mulch all that messy.

depending on how many yards I'm putting down I'll put say 2 yards in my trailer, 2 yards in the truck. unload the trailer first then the truck. when I empty the trailer I blow it out with the blower and scoop it up to use. same with the truck and by the time I'm all done you'd never know I was there.

Darryl G
12-18-2012, 03:15 PM
I don't really find bulk mulch all that messy.

depending on how many yards I'm putting down I'll put say 2 yards in my trailer, 2 yards in the truck. unload the trailer first then the truck. when I empty the trailer I blow it out with the blower and scoop it up to use. same with the truck and by the time I'm all done you'd never know I was there.

I agree. Mess? Really?

I acknowledge that there are some reasons one might want to use bagged rather than bulk, but mess would be pretty far down the list. I put a heavy duty tarp under my loading zone, use a handheld blower to blow out the trailer, gather up the tarp and dump in a bed and done. The tarp is optional...if you're on pavement you can just shovel up anything that falls and blow off what remains. Takes more time to pick up and dispose of the bags.

What I don't really understand is for large scale mulching jobs why someone would use bags over bulk and a front-end loader of some sort. For big jobs I use my landscape tractor...not gonna do much good using bags...sure you can use to transport but you have to load/unload by hand.

Does anyone else find it a problem that bagged mulch is so compressed rather than fluffy like bulk?

PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2012, 04:07 PM
I agree. Mess? Really?

Does anyone else find it a problem that bagged mulch is so compressed rather than fluffy like bulk?

I acknowledge that there are some reasons one might want to use bagged rather than bulk, but mess would be pretty far down the list. I put a heavy duty tarp under my loading zone, use a handheld blower to blow out the trailer, gather up the tarp and dump in a bed and done. The tarp is optional...if you're on pavement you can just shovel up anything that falls and blow off what remains. Takes more time to pick up and dispose of the bags.

What I don't really understand is for large scale mulching jobs why someone would use bags over bulk and a front-end loader of some sort. For big jobs I use my landscape tractor...not gonna do much good using bags...sure you can use to transport but you have to load/unload by hand.

If you get a 30 yard pile that weighs about 9 tons delivered it's going to get compressed as well. I've done it before. I have one job where we use 3510 bags of mulch (54 pallets for one house!). It was four semi trucks of mulch to unload. We used a T190 to move the mulch around. The pallets allowed us to move 4.8 yards of mulch per trip. This could not be done with bulk and it saves the yard a tremendous amount of wear and tear. Three guys did 260 yards of mulch in four days.

That's 21.6 yards per person per day. I marked off 550 square foot sections of the flower beds with paint and set a pallet in each section. The guys knew all the mulch from each pallet had to go in assigned section. I doubt there are many guys who can say they have done 260 yard residential jobs. Total job cost with tax $16,283.13. This client has spent over $210K since mid 2003.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2012, 04:28 PM
Lol mulch sucks! Yall should use pea gravel. Lol david you know this is like talking to a wall.
Posted via Mobile Device

I know Jacob. In general Lawnsite is 90% yahoo's and 10% guys who actually have a clue. I joked with one of the site advertisers and he agreed 100%. If you get your rocks off by taking pictures of lawns you have mowed you are likely a yahoo. I peeked at one CT guys site that mentions being a landscape company and it mostly just cut grass pictures. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

I give a lot more credibility to guys who are licensed applicators, know lighting, horticulture, landscape design, arbor care, and in general are diverse smart guys who want to master their industry knowledge wise and are not just tunnel vision grass cutters. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and I think there are a lot of grass cutters who are content to use about 10% of their brain at most. Sad.

If you find yourself posting in the specialty forums like holiday lighting, landscape design, landscape lighting, or other specialty forums where you find no cut lawn pics you are highly likely to be in the 10%. Congratulations, you'll probably get a laugh out of this posting! If this posting bothers you well, I'm sorry to say you are likely in the other 90%. Now get over it and go take some more cut grass pictures to brag about.

hackitdown
12-18-2012, 04:39 PM
I acknowledge that there are some reasons one might want to use bagged rather than bulk, but mess would be pretty far down the list. I put a heavy duty tarp under my loading zone, use a handheld blower to blow out the trailer, gather up the tarp and dump in a bed and done. The tarp is optional...if you're on pavement you can just shovel up anything that falls and blow off what remains. Takes more time to pick up and dispose of the bags.

What I don't really understand is for large scale mulching jobs why someone would use bags over bulk and a front-end loader of some sort. For big jobs I use my landscape tractor...not gonna do much good using bags...sure you can use to transport but you have to load/unload by hand.

If you get a 30 yard pile that weighs about 9 tons delivered it's going to get compressed as well. I've done it before. I have one job where we use 3510 bags of mulch (54 pallets for one house!). It was four semi trucks of mulch to unload. We used a T190 to move the mulch around. The pallets allowed us to move 4.8 yards of mulch per trip. This could not be done with bulk and it saves the yard a tremendous amount of wear and tear. Three guys did 260 yards of mulch in four days.

That's 21.6 yards per person per day. I marked off 550 square foot sections of the flower beds with paint and set a pallet in each section. The guys knew all the mulch from each pallet had to go in assigned section. I doubt there are many guys who can say they have done 260 yard residential jobs. Total job cost with tax $16,283.13. This client has spent over $210K since mid 2003.

Most guys around here would use a bark blower for a job of that scale. They blow quite a lot of mulch per hour. I understand that they use less mulch per sq/ft.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2012, 04:44 PM
Most guys around here would use a bark blower for a job of that scale. They blow quite a lot of mulch per hour. I understand that they use less mulch per sq/ft.

The first time we did this job it was with two EBS trucks. With the price of fuel now we can make more money doing it our selves in the slower off season.

GMLC
12-18-2012, 05:30 PM
I know Jacob. In general Lawnsite is 90% yahoo's and 10% guys who actually have a clue. I joked with one of the site advertisers and he agreed 100%. If you get your rocks off by taking pictures of lawns you have mowed you are likely a yahoo. I peeked at one CT guys site that mentions being a landscape company and it mostly just cut grass pictures. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

I give a lot more credibility to guys who are licensed applicators, know lighting, horticulture, landscape design, arbor care, and in general are diverse smart guys who want to master their industry knowledge wise and are not just tunnel vision grass cutters. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and I think there are a lot of grass cutters who are content to use about 10% of their brain at most. Sad.

If you find yourself posting in the specialty forums like holiday lighting, landscape design, landscape lighting, or other specialty forums where you find no cut lawn pics you are highly likely to be in the 10%. Congratulations, you'll probably get a laugh out of this posting! If this posting bothers you well, I'm sorry to say you are likely in the other 90%. Now get over it and go take some more cut grass pictures to brag about.

Feel better now?

I'm really sorry your not impressing anyone...

Mark Oomkes
12-18-2012, 05:41 PM
I acknowledge that there are some reasons one might want to use bagged rather than bulk, but mess would be pretty far down the list. I put a heavy duty tarp under my loading zone, use a handheld blower to blow out the trailer, gather up the tarp and dump in a bed and done. The tarp is optional...if you're on pavement you can just shovel up anything that falls and blow off what remains. Takes more time to pick up and dispose of the bags.

What I don't really understand is for large scale mulching jobs why someone would use bags over bulk and a front-end loader of some sort. For big jobs I use my landscape tractor...not gonna do much good using bags...sure you can use to transport but you have to load/unload by hand.

If you get a 30 yard pile that weighs about 9 tons delivered it's going to get compressed as well. I've done it before. I have one job where we use 3510 bags of mulch (54 pallets for one house!). It was four semi trucks of mulch to unload. We used a T190 to move the mulch around. The pallets allowed us to move 4.8 yards of mulch per trip. This could not be done with bulk and it saves the yard a tremendous amount of wear and tear. Three guys did 260 yards of mulch in four days.

That's 21.6 yards per person per day. I marked off 550 square foot sections of the flower beds with paint and set a pallet in each section. The guys knew all the mulch from each pallet had to go in assigned section. I doubt there are many guys who can say they have done 260 yard residential jobs. Total job cost with tax $16,283.13. This client has spent over $210K since mid 2003.

When I grow up I want to be just like you.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2012, 05:43 PM
Feel better now?

I'm really sorry your not impressing anyone...

I see you have a mowed lawn in your signature....

GMLC
12-18-2012, 05:47 PM
I see you have a mowed lawn in your signature....

I see your gross sales and credentials in yours....
Posted via Mobile Device

yardguy28
12-18-2012, 06:22 PM
I agree. Mess? Really?

I acknowledge that there are some reasons one might want to use bagged rather than bulk, but mess would be pretty far down the list. I put a heavy duty tarp under my loading zone, use a handheld blower to blow out the trailer, gather up the tarp and dump in a bed and done. The tarp is optional...if you're on pavement you can just shovel up anything that falls and blow off what remains. Takes more time to pick up and dispose of the bags.

What I don't really understand is for large scale mulching jobs why someone would use bags over bulk and a front-end loader of some sort. For big jobs I use my landscape tractor...not gonna do much good using bags...sure you can use to transport but you have to load/unload by hand.

Does anyone else find it a problem that bagged mulch is so compressed rather than fluffy like bulk?

the time I did use bags the overall quality was the worst mulch I've ever seen. I was extremely embarrassed of that job. and yes it was compressed.

the way I unload mulch even if the bulk is compressed it gets fluffed while loading in the wheel barrow.

coming out of my trailer I have to shovel it into the wheel barrow. coming out of my truck I have an unloader, I crank the mulch to the end of the tailgate and rake it into the wheel barrow.

I'd rather unload that trailer and truck all day long than deal with bagged mulch of any quantity.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2012, 06:29 PM
I see your gross sales and credentials in yours....
Posted via Mobile Device

I'm an open book with no grass pictures. I even use my real company name.

GMLC
12-18-2012, 06:38 PM
I'm an open book with no grass pictures. I even use my real company name.

Congratulations!!!

I use another companies name and grass pictures....

PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2012, 06:47 PM
I'm an open book with no grass pictures. I even use my real company name.

Also, my website (not saying it's the best either) isn't just a half dozen pictures of lawns that have been mowed. The red brick home picture you have looks very nice but I would delete the others pictures with disfigured pine tree's, dormant tree's, or just plain ugly tree's tree's that detract from the otherwise mediocre picture. Surely being in business for 32 years you can do better then that and should realize those are awful pictures to prominently display as though it's your best work.

GMLC
12-18-2012, 07:08 PM
Also, my website (not saying it's the best either) isn't just a half dozen pictures of lawns that have been mowed. The red brick home picture you have looks very nice but I would delete the others pictures with disfigured pine tree's, dormant tree's, or just plain ugly tree's tree's that detract from the otherwise mediocre picture. Surely being in business for 32 years you can do better then that and should realize those are awful pictures to prominently display as though it's your best work.

Im actually a med student doing a case study on ego maniacs...
Posted via Mobile Device

yardguy28
12-18-2012, 07:48 PM
Im actually a med student doing a case study on ego maniacs...
Posted via Mobile Device

:clapping::clapping::clapping::clapping:

captken
12-18-2012, 07:52 PM
Im actually a med student doing a case study on ego maniacs...
Posted via Mobile Device

My thoughts exactly, egomaniac. This guy is so full of himself that he will not let well enough alone.

Either you do or you don't in regard to using bulk or bagged mulch.
Trying to persuade others by demeaning them. In regards to what ever they post on what ever topic.
This one should get locked and closed.

Grandiose delusions might fit as well.

weeze
12-18-2012, 09:05 PM
Lol mulch sucks! Yall should use pea gravel. Lol david you know this is like talking to a wall.
Posted via Mobile Device

i totally agree with this. or use white rocks. that way the job is only done once and never again. lol

knox gsl
12-18-2012, 09:44 PM
i totally agree with this. or use white rocks. that way the job is only done once and never again. lol

Where's the money in that?

Darryl G
12-18-2012, 09:46 PM
Yahooooooo!!!!!!!

knox gsl
12-18-2012, 09:51 PM
I know Jacob. In general Lawnsite is 90% yahoo's and 10% guys who actually have a clue. I joked with one of the site advertisers and he agreed 100%. If you get your rocks off by taking pictures of lawns you have mowed you are likely a yahoo. I peeked at one CT guys site that mentions being a landscape company and it mostly just cut grass pictures. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

I give a lot more credibility to guys who are licensed applicators, know lighting, horticulture, landscape design, arbor care, and in general are diverse smart guys who want to master their industry knowledge wise and are not just tunnel vision grass cutters. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and I think there are a lot of grass cutters who are content to use about 10% of their brain at most. Sad.

If you find yourself posting in the specialty forums like holiday lighting, landscape design, landscape lighting, or other specialty forums where you find no cut lawn pics you are highly likely to be in the 10%. Congratulations, you'll probably get a laugh out of this posting! If this posting bothers you well, I'm sorry to say you are likely in the other 90%. Now get over it and go take some more cut grass pictures to brag about.

While I agree with you on this you do seem a little cocky about what you've done business wise. I would also like to say that while bag is easier to use its not for my market. The quality isn't there and is more than twice what I pay for high quality oak bark mulch. I do use bagged for cypress and pine bark nuggets. I can say that its nice to be able to spread 40-3cuft bags in 30 minutes but still doesn't offset the negatives in this market. I would be willing to say that most of the GRASS CUTTERS on here have at least figured out the most cost effective way of getting mulch on the ground.

Husky05
12-18-2012, 10:02 PM
Honestly the best situation is whatever works for you. I live in the Pittsburgh area and I am set up for bulk mulch. I have been to Southern Florida several times, (not to work) just to visit but have noticed all the landscape crews seem to use bagged mulch. I was reading a few of these posts above here and some people were saying that the mulch beds are smaller and its easier to maneuver.

When I first started doing this kid of work, I would load my pick up truck with 2-3 yards and have myself and 2 other guys edge all the beds and spread the mulch by hand. (Making as many trips as possible for more mulch) As my business grew I needed a faster way of doing things. I was luckily enough to have a piece of property were my business was located to build large mulch bins. I get walking floors of mulch delivered right to my business, 80 yards at a time from a supplier in West Virgina. I have double shredded dyed brown, black, and red mulch all the time and if I run out or am getting low another 80 yards is just a phone call away. 2 years ago I was installing so much mulch I needed a faster way to do it, so I invested into a Finn302 Bark blower. Believe me I was shaking when I was signing the paper for that machine because they are very expensive, however after using that machine and seeing what is capable of doing, I would hate to go back to the old manuel way. In my busy season, when we are doing mulch jobs on a daily basis, I can send out 2-3 guys ahead of me to a property and edge all the beds and clean up and have 2 other guys with me 1-2 hours behind them blowing mulch. I can mulch 10-12 yards of mulch per hour, the machine puts mulch down smoother and more consistent then you can with a rake. Last year alone I installed over 2,200 yards of mulch.

One other added bonus to the bark blower is in the fall when seeding really starts to pick up, all the yards I do not hydro seed, I obviously dry seed, after I am done prepping the soil, and applying the grass seed, I use the bark blower to blow mushroom manure. (Which I also have in bulk)

So really to get back to the point of this conversation, whatever works for you bagged or bulk is really the best situation. Because I don't know about everyone else but I enjoy doing this kind of work or else I wouldn't be doing it but the aside from running a business and taking pride in my work, I am doing this to make a living. If someone can make good money installing bagged mulch, that's awesome.

Michael J. Donovan
12-18-2012, 11:11 PM
I think we can wrap this one up...agree to disagree, whether you like using bagged or not, up to each person, their company needs and their preference

thanks:waving: