View Full Version : 10 tons of 3/4 landscape sonte to spread and I need your advice...

09-19-2002, 08:05 PM
Well here I go again into uncharted territory. Have a commercial customer that wants 2 inches of red 3/4 inch stone laid on top of a very thin layer of mulch. I've worked only a little bit with stone and it takes forever to load, barrow and spread. ONe flat shovel into a barrow at a time will kill me. Thinking of renting a skid steer but I've never run one...it costs $165 a day. I think I can dump with it in piles and then spread. I am about to bid about $1500 for this back breaker...stone will cost about $400...the rest is labor....is my est. way off? The beds are close to where the stone will be dumped.....any tips on the most effcient way to spread stone?? The beds all have small to medium sized perennials and so the stone cant be just dumped in...thanks much for your 2 cents...thanks much

09-19-2002, 08:41 PM
you are a little low if you planning to rent equipment, pay someone to help you, and pay yourself. rent a dingo or bobcat to move the stone and have a helper assist in putting it in the beds. should be a long day, bring your lunch.

09-19-2002, 11:04 PM
We use the front end loader to load stone into 3 wheel barrows at a time. Simple load front end loader and raise; put wheel barrows into place and dump. It works wonderfull with 4 people, and great with 3 people; O.K. with 2 people and sucks with one person. We get appox. $50/yd installed. That does not include cost of material. This is a good money maker for us, but it is hard work. We should actually charge more for this type of work and probably will next year. We make a good profit, but I just found out our prices are wayyyyy under our competitors. Not to mention our work is just as good if not better than most around here!

09-19-2002, 11:10 PM
Don't know of a easy way to do it. Sometimes hard work is just that.. hard work. If you can dump half yard buckets here and there then that will help allot. If you rent a skid steer , make sure it has a smooth bucket , not tooth. I think your price is ok.

09-19-2002, 11:36 PM
Rent the skid steer for sure. It will kill you if you don't. Charge $165 a day to the customer and charge them $20-25 an hour to run it.

09-19-2002, 11:47 PM
You should be aware that a skid steer will rip up a lawn very easily even with a vetran operator. If you plan to cross any turf, a skid steer is best to be reconsidered. Maybe a termite would be better? A Kubota tractor with turf tires would be great is you can rent them where you are at.

Randy Scott
09-20-2002, 12:17 AM
I think everyone has overlooked something here. Putting stone over mulch is not really a good procedure. It's going to be a mess sometime down the road if not while you're doing it. You really should start with empty beds and put down landscape fabric as not to have the stones sink into the dirt after a year or two. Putting the stones over the mulch will eventually have them sinking into the decomposed mulch and soil. Then you'll really have a nightmare on your hands. Stones are put in to eliminate the year after year mulching expense, if you just put them over mulch you'll need some new stone every couples years to keep it above the soil. So I would get that figured out first by explaining it to the customer that it needs to be done right or you'll just be taking his money and down the road he'll be upset with you when it gets nasty looking. And yes, the skidsteer will destroy the lawn without at least putting down plywood. I don't know how much plywood you have, but I've got 30 sheets of 3/4 inch, and at almost twenty bucks a pop, you better have enough work to pay for it. A Dingo is a better unit for this application I think. Still need to be careful with that.

09-20-2002, 01:42 AM
ya man, for sure get a weed barrier down first, or the mulch will turn to dirt, the stone will sink, and the weeds will grow. we charge $125-$140 for 3/4 red stone, this includes everything, except the weed barrier. only 10 ton, dude, thats only 20, 000 lbs of stone, wheelbarrow and shovel it.

09-20-2002, 01:47 AM
Originally posted by Randy Scott
I think everyone has overlooked something here. Putting stone over mulch is not really a good procedure. It's going to be a mess sometime down the road if not while you're doing it. You really should start with empty beds and put down landscape fabric as not to have the stones sink into the dirt after a year or two

BINGO! What he said ^^^^^^

I thought I was the only one who read that. You need to dig those beds out and cover with fabric. If not, the stone is a waste of money because it will mix and have weeds before you know it.

Also, if you will be in the position to tear up the turf, I would go with the terimite also. With some practice, you should be able to "sprinkle" the rock into the large areas of the bed to where there won't be much raking involved.

The price needs to go up though, IF the job will be done correctly.

09-20-2002, 06:33 AM
Ok I get the point on needing to get the mulch off and put the fabric down. I have worked on many properties where the stone is laying directly on the ground and it is in fact messy in spots so I will take your advice. I know skid steers do rip up turf...but most of the skid work will be done from the pavement.
Tell me if I'm wrong, but the best option might be as one of you suggested to use the machine to dump smaller amounts into a dually barrow and them dump these in small piles and spread???
Ok I give up...what is a termite? Are they usually available at rent it centers?? Would you mind giving me a SWAG again on what your estimate would be to do it the RIGHT way?? thanks much guys...forgot one thing...my calculation for stone is that 1 ton covers about 100 sq ft at 2 inches...is this in the ballpark?

09-20-2002, 10:53 AM
A termite is a small rental machine that has a backhoe on one end, ands a bucket in the front. Junky little 20 horsepower machines that don't have 4 wheel drive, but they have thier place.

09-20-2002, 03:39 PM
one ton, 100 sq. ft, 2 inches deep, yes. BUT, not on anything over an inch, keep that in mind.

09-23-2002, 10:33 PM
perennials and stone do not mix !!!!! If this is in full or partial sun, the stone will get too hot and burn the root zones of the delicate perennials....

You could try to use that rubber mulch, that may be a better option....

But if they insist on the stone, you have to put the weed fabric down first, then the stone......... you could just put the wheel barrowws behind the truck under the gate, and use a long hoe to load the barrows ?? Or a skid to load the barrows ... But I think the stone may be a mistake ???? I would be really hesitant with it being through a perennial garden......

09-27-2002, 06:17 PM
$65. a ton of 3/4 stone installed, not icluding weed block fabric which is a must. dont get a skid steer you can bang out 10 tons with 3 guys in no time.

09-28-2002, 12:44 AM
Put the fabric down, rent the skid steer, even if you hire 3 guy at least it's goint to take you 4 hr. let's seee 3 guy for 4 hours, I don't think nobody will want to work 4 hard working hours for less than $10.00 cash $120.00 not deductible expense, also if you don't have much practice using a skid, now it's the time to star, if you plan to be on business longer this will help you a lot if you get bigger jobs, somebody with practice might take'em 2 hours to spread or less, the first time I rent a skid it took me about 6 hours to spread 60 yds of mulch, the first 15 took the longest and also lots of raking, but after I got use to I was able to spred it with almost no hand labor needed and it wasn't just open space.

You might be able to rent it for half day, and if you finish before practice the rest of your time, they aren't hard to control after you get use to you'll want one like me.