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Lawn-Scapes
10-04-2002, 07:47 PM
I will be placing my first bid on a commercial property and I'm a little unsure of the mulch quote. There are approximately 300 tree rings to mulch. Average diameter is 3 feet. Mulch needs to be 2 inches deep. About 100 are a sound/privacy barrier for the main road. They are staggered down a (fairly level) 725' stretch. Another 100 are staggered down a 1000' stretch but they are on a 5-6' high burm :eek: The final 100 are around the perimeter of an open play area.

According to my calculations I need 13 yards of mulch for the tree rings that I will round up to 15 yards. I also have a few other beds that may take another 5 yards. So I will need 20 yards total. My price would be $18 per yard.

How long do you think this would take 2 guys? How would you tackle it? How much would you quote?

I'm thinking along the lines of $2000.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Darryl G
10-04-2002, 09:05 PM
Tom - Sounds about right to me. Do you have to edge the tree rings first? Weeding? Be sure to mark-up the mulch. I can't even buy mulch for $18/yd.

If the areas are truck accessible, I find I get mulching jobs done faster by delivering the mulch myself 3 yards at a time in my truck and flinging it staight from the truck. Or, from the truck right to a wheelbarrow. Then I just rake it out quick and hit it with the backpack blower (carefully) to knock down any lumps and bumps.

Lawn-Scapes
10-04-2002, 09:13 PM
Darryl,

Thanks for the response. There will be no edging involved and minor weeding. The only problem area will be the burm area. It will be a b-i-t-c-h getting up it with loaded wheelbarrows. :cry:

Ryan Lightning
10-04-2002, 09:20 PM
Tom, get one of those pull behind carts, that dump, and use your mower to pull it up the hills. Harbor freight might have a cheap one.

Green Pastures
10-04-2002, 09:39 PM
Tom,

Sounds like the right amount of mulch to me. I charge $45 - $50 per yard, delivered and spread. That's $1000.00 so if you can get $2000.00, you're the man.

Scott

Albemarle Lawn
10-04-2002, 10:11 PM
Now that LCO's are in sniper crosshairs in MD.

Darryl G
10-04-2002, 10:39 PM
TSG - I sometimes carry 2-5 gallon buckets full of mulch if it's a hard to get spot, carry or drag in/on a tarp, or just fling it with my pitch fork. You may also be able to set up a block & tackle on one of the trees (don't know how big they are), attatch rope to front of wheel barrow, and have one guy pull the rope to assist the guy with the wheel barrow...unless you're working solo. Maybe even rent a mini loader like a Kanga. I don't know if you're familiar with them, so here's a link.

http://www.kanga-loader.com/

Lanelle
10-04-2002, 11:00 PM
This job will go much faster with bag mulch. Its easy for a guy to carry a bag up the berm. I would figure on one bag per tree. Usually there are 9 bags per cu. yard.

Darryl G
10-04-2002, 11:04 PM
Excellent point Lanelle! I never use bags because my only source for them is retail.

Lawn-Scapes
10-04-2002, 11:31 PM
Thanks for the replies all..

I wish I had a picture of this 1000' long berm section. I'm not good at judging angles but it will be difficult to keep a walkbehind mower going parallel on it. It goes up 6' like this: / then levels of for 4-5' then drops down the other side the same angle. It's one of the dumbest things I've seen!

Lanelle.. I just saw your post as I was typing this. It's been a long time since I've used bagged mulch... I forget about that. Thanks!

So if they are 3 cubic feet per bag I'll need 100 bags. I think my costs are going up. 2 cubic feet would be 150 bags.. right?

Lawn-Scapes
10-04-2002, 11:47 PM
Does anyone else think $2000 is out of line?

How long does anyone think it would take him/her and another person to do this job?

KLMlawn
10-04-2002, 11:57 PM
If you are going with the bag method, then you will need about 180 bags to equal 20 yards. The average cost of a bag being say $2.50 you will be spending $450 for the mulch. If you buy it in bulk, I can't see it being more than $15 a yard for regular double hammered. This would cost about $300, then add in you picking it up and hauling or the cost for the place you buy it from to deliver it. I can't see them charging $150 for a trailer to drop 20 yards!!!
For moving the mulch, I would employ the tarp idea along with using one of your machines to pull it close to the designated trees and shovel it from there, quick rake job and you are done with that one. One guy shoveling, the other raking, move to the next one....
for 300 trees, I am guessing but I would say that 10 tree rings an hour is do-able so say 30 hours (two man rate) or three days labor.
Double whatever your cost is on the mulch and then add 3 days labor for two men to that and you have your bid number.
I would say $2500 for that job. NO?????

wayne volz
10-05-2002, 12:06 AM
:rolleyes:

Tom,

An easy way to calculate mulch necessary for any job is to take the length * width * depth / 27. This will give you the cubic yards necessary to complete the task. An example of this would be 100ft *5ft = 500 sq ft * 2 inches deep or .17 = 85 cubic feet of mulch needed. 85 / 27 (the amount of cubic feet per yard) = 3.15 yards. Round your total as you see necessary.

The labor part of your job seems very interesting at best. What an angle. Maybe an hour per yard for mulch required for this job should get you close.

Good luck with that one!

Have a Profitable Day
Wayne

greenman
10-05-2002, 12:57 AM
If you can get $2000, I say you are doing good. I charge $20 per yard, then double that for my labor. $60 per yard x 20 yards=$1200. Then because of the distance of the trees and the slope multiply by 1.5. thats $1800. Thats my estimate. Bags may be the way to go on this. Make sure your calculations are right for your yardage. As far as how long to do the job, I don't know. At least two weekends.

65hoss
10-05-2002, 06:18 AM
Sub it out! The companys that run the spray mulch trucks are awesome. Huge time savings, no labor expense, and enough room for your profit without lifting a finger.

The times I use them, I show up with a lawn chair and a Dr. Pepper. They put down material very fast. I sit and watch, then write the check to them. Then bill my customer.

They charge me $28 per yard installed and material. I charge $65 per yard.

crawdad
10-05-2002, 07:10 AM
Yes, look for someone with the mulch sprayers. From what I hear, it is the thing. Haven't seen it yet, but it sounds cool.
Crawdad

roscioli
10-05-2002, 07:38 AM
Originally posted by 65hoss
Sub it out!

They charge me $28 per yard installed and material. I charge $65 per yard.

If I could get it for that around here I would sub ALL of my mulch work, I am gonna have to look into that. I can't even do mulching for that price. For a job at that angle and difficulty, this option which most didn't think of seems the ONLY option.
However, if you arent willing to sub it, think of this. Will you regret getting the job if you get it for $2000? Or will $2000 allow for enough profit to cover the "holy crap this job is pure hell and I wish I never bid it" factor?
Seems to me you could probably do 15 rings per hour to being with, then once you lose motivation and stamina, down to 8-10. So 30 hours sounds about right. At $50 per hour thats $1500 in just labor. 50/hour in my area would be damn good, and would cover the factor listed earlier.
Keep this in mind though- If you have any competition bidding that doesn't know what they are doing, you will lose out to them on price. I can almost gaurantee it. Can't you just see the guy and his white trash wife sitting in their trailer with their wheelbarrow (and murray 21) looking at it thinking about how rich they are "gunna be" when they get this job for $900? "Marn, thats enuf to buy me that new televersion set."

soccer coach
10-05-2002, 07:56 AM
Hoss has a good idea if your customers will go for it. I used a company last year to blos in mulch. The customer came out and told me if he wanted them to do it we would have called them. Told me if I didn't want to work then he will toss my number. Had to do some good customer relations to save a 1000.00 per month customer. I tried to explain it was more cost effective for me to use them but followed with it was more cost effectice for him to use them as well.:( I don't think your price is out of line and here at walmart a 2 cubic yd bag of cypress is 1.10 without a bulck discount added even. I would think that with dirt and everything 2 guys should get it in a day easy. My grandma could do it in 3 by herself:D . Good luck

JasperStorm
10-05-2002, 08:20 AM
Doing tree rings with a blower truck? Don't make me laugh-my lips are chapped.

I only use blown in mulch for larger beds, otherwise the cleanup is a nightmare. Do it with wheelbarrows.

65hoss
10-05-2002, 10:00 AM
Originally posted by JasperStorm
Doing tree rings with a blower truck? Don't make me laugh-my lips are chapped.

I only use blown in mulch for larger beds, otherwise the cleanup is a nightmare. Do it with wheelbarrows.

Yes tree rings! The guys are pretty good with the blowers. They have a 2nd guy with them that has a bp blower on and does the cleanup after the other sprays. There are a lot of tree rings. This is where he will save the most time.

KenH
10-05-2002, 03:31 PM
I think he was talking about going from tree to tree. The blower truck doesnt turn off very quick. They are great for larger areas...but tree rings????

GarPA
10-06-2002, 05:38 AM
Roscioli...that was just too funny!!! but you're right...TSG you've been in this biz I think for awhile so you know this already...dont agonize over the bid too long if others are bidding...you'll lose it anyway to the guy Roscioli referred to...my wife is a pretty sharp person and has finally got me trained on bidding...if I were in your shoes, she'd say ok whats your best guesstimate...I tell her $2000..she says a ***** job right? yep...she says add 20% to 25%...used to tell her she was nuts....but after many jobs statistics we've reviewed she has been right 65% of the time. I'd say around $2400....this is an ugly one if you do it manually..and we've all had those jobs where we get beat up so bad that we can't or don't want to work for a couple days

65hoss
10-06-2002, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by KenH
I think he was talking about going from tree to tree. The blower truck doesnt turn off very quick. They are great for larger areas...but tree rings????


Have you ever seen the newer trucks work? The guy with the sprayer has a remote control on his belt. It stops blowing almost immediately.

Darryl G
10-06-2002, 12:59 PM
Guys - I don't see how this could be more than a $2,000 job. Anything more than $100/yd for mulch installed is just too high IMO.

I just pulled my notes from a mulch job I did in July. I had to weed a large rhodedendron, mountain laurel and white pine bed on a steep slope (weeds were up to 3 ft. tall) and installed 16 yards of mulch by myself. Total time 22 hours, including all travel time. Rate $40/hr. $10/yd hauling fee. Mulch cost $24/yd, sold at $30/yd. Total cost $1,520 .

I hauled all the mulch in my pick-up 2 to 3 yards at a time (6 loads). Time from leaving site to returning with another load averaged an hour, so that's 6 hours. Weeding time about 8 hrs. Mulching time about 8 hours (2 yds/hour). Had to wheel barrow about 3/4 of the mulch down steep slope, weaving through the plantings. The rest was tossed from truck (had to 4 wheel that down steep slope).

I think one man should be able to do this job in 3 days, easily, without blowing it in. That would allow 1 man/hour per yard to spread the mulch (which is pretty slow) and 1/2 day for weeding/clean-up. Even if you figure a 10 hour day instead of 8, at $50/hr, that's only $1,500. Sell the mulch for $500 and you've got $2000.

Just my 2 cents.

jkelton
10-06-2002, 01:24 PM
In regards to using blower trucks - it really depends on the size and shape of the tree ring on how well the blower truck works. Small tree rings (2-1/2 ~3' diameter) are difficult to do correctly without some overspray. One way to make it easier for the blower truck operator (whether it be tree rings or beds) is to cut a trench around the area to be mulched - helps hold the mulch in place to give a clean edge. Plus, stay away from the "mulch volcanoes" - I would rather put less depth on and extend the diameter of the ring (optimally for the tree would be to the edge of the canopy, but I rarely see that in my area). Blowing it in can save you tremendous amount of time, but doing tree rings take much more time (yard/hr) than mulch beds. But, having the tree rings in a line would save the operator some time - he can get a rhythem going.

65Hoss - who do you use in Memphis? I met a couple last week in Las Vegas who own a couple of blower trucks in that area. They were extremely nice people.

KenH
10-06-2002, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by 65hoss
Have you ever seen the newer trucks work? The guy with the sprayer has a remote control on his belt. It stops blowing almost immediately.

I subbed out a mulch job one year, and the guy had trouble moving from bed to bed. Didnt shutoff immediately and clogged when retsarted. Probably wasnt a new truck.

65hoss
10-07-2002, 05:30 AM
Originally posted by jkelton
65Hoss - who do you use in Memphis? I met a couple last week in Las Vegas who own a couple of blower trucks in that area. They were extremely nice people.

I use Mulchworks. They get their materials from the same place I do. Which is a plus to me, because the quality of the mulch is better.

jkelton
10-07-2002, 09:11 AM
Yep, that the same people. The $28/yard material - what type is that (black, brown hardwood, etc.)? Does that include the material? Which material do you use most often?

baddboygeorge
10-16-2002, 12:51 AM
bags are the best drop, pop an spread 1 bag per ring on a 3 cubic foot bag goes quick!