PDA

View Full Version : After using bagged mulch I'll never go back to bulk!


MnLefty
05-04-2011, 11:07 AM
After finishing a 25 yd job yesterday using bagged mulch I don't believe I'll ever use bulk mulch again. I know there are pros and cons to both and differing opinions, and much has to do with the cost. For us we were able to get bagged cedar for $2.48/2ft bag which put us right around $35/yd, almost exactly what we pay for bulk. The bags were much easier to unload from the truck, haul, place and spread. No spills, no cleanup, no worry about running short or what to do with the extra since the bags are so easy to store. We laid ~25 yds yesterday in under 9 hrs with 2 guys, and that includes 3 man hours lost to trips to for additional pallets. It was a rush job so I didn't have time to investigate delivery, but I found out after the fact delivery with spider is only $50+$5/pallet. We get a very nice rate for our mulch jobs, so when we start closing in on 2yds installed per man hour we are making some serious $$.

Not trying to start a debate over bulk vs. bagged, just sharing our experience.

THEGOLDPRO
05-04-2011, 11:11 AM
Good for you, bagged mulch is well over $5 per bag in my part of CT. So its not economical to use bagged mulch for bigger jobs.

Landscape Poet
05-04-2011, 10:39 PM
Agreed,

For me the cost difference does not make up for the labor cost of wheeling it all around properties. Charge what you need to charge, bagged or not and make some money!! Here the difference is not enough to make up for the labor spent hauling bulk around on most jobs for me.

grassman177
05-04-2011, 10:41 PM
we share the same ideals for mulching. we have used about 2.5 semi loads so far which is 50 pallets of 60 bags each=3000 bags.

we find it way easier to manipulate and store.

Think Green
05-04-2011, 10:44 PM
Lefty,
Some will disagree as to the cost differences. Here a yard of hardwood mulch is the same price as buying 9 3cu.ft. bags=32.00. The prices at lowe's are more and come in 2cu.ft. bags for the same product. The quality of the mulches will vary drastically but when it comes to cedar and cypress, bags are the same price. We cannot get cedar in bulk anyway.
It all depends on your methods of delivery, labor, and disposal.

j-ville native
05-04-2011, 10:45 PM
I only use bag mulch. Easy to transport around the lawn and it only costs like $2 per bag here in North Florida. I buy it from Walmart. LOL. They always have the cheapest mulch and usually have several pallets of different types

VanAllen's Lawn Service
05-04-2011, 10:55 PM
I live an hour away lol. Walmart landscaping ftw!

MnLefty
05-05-2011, 02:34 PM
Not ashamed to admit my mulch came from Menards. I was pleased with the quality, actually seemed to be a little finer grind than what we get in bulk, which in the cedar had way too many large chunks that looked like they missed the shredder.

I'm just happy to have found something that works this spring. Between a late cold start and a bunch of rain days coupled with early snow last fall that snowed out a week's worth of fall cleanups it's really been a struggle this spring.

MnLefty
05-05-2011, 02:37 PM
The other thing I found is that it is much easier for us to keep tabs on how much we're using along the way and place bags all around the yard in one shot, then be able to get in a groove of spread spread spread.

When we wheel bulk around it tends to be haul, spread, haul, spread and it's much tougher to know how much is left on the pile and estimate if we're spreading thin or thick.

XLS
05-05-2011, 06:59 PM
we haul it with a 30% extra so if we need more we have it and we bill it by the bag for the install and it beats playing with tarps and cleaning up under the trailer when we get done ......all the work is in the beds no lost time . we will be able to store close to 12,000 bags inside our building and not have to worry about theft or rain bag is a win win

MnLefty
05-05-2011, 08:02 PM
A question to my bagged brethren... what do you use to move the bags around the yard?

Again these first two bagged jobs were short notice so we just used our 10cu/ft wheelbarrows loaded 6-8 bags at a time to move bags to the backyard. I'm envisioning though a small utility trailer/cart pulled with a mower that could hold 15-20 bags or more.

grassman177
05-06-2011, 01:21 AM
barrows of course, same amount of bags as you, but large jobs we have a power barrow so you dont have to wear yourself out pushing. it goes fast with one guy spreading, one guy dumping and one guy transporting.

KINGMADE
05-06-2011, 02:00 AM
I LOVE BAGGED MULCH!!!. I did bulk all of last year because of cost. Never again. Tree farm next door to me matched the price on bulk.

Darryl G
05-06-2011, 02:10 AM
The places I get my bulk mulch are pretty generous with it so that makes the cost differential even more. I'd rather keep the revenue in-house as labor than spend it on materials most of the time. And I like being able to fling my mulch, especially when I'm just doing a topdressing. It's harder to do that with bagged since you have to dump it on the ground first. But bagged does have it's place for sure. I love it for deep beds that you can't get a wheelbarrow into....just thow it up on your shoulder and walk in with it.

Turf Dawg
05-06-2011, 09:12 PM
I LOVE BAGGED MULCH!!!. I did bulk all of last year because of cost. Never again. Tree farm next door to me matched the price on bulk.

Right there with ya'll. I have posed several times I prefer the bagged. If I have help on places without gates I can put several bags in the bucket of my Kubota and just go around dumping them and it does not get everywhere.

Darryl G
05-06-2011, 09:21 PM
Right there with ya'll. I have posed several times I prefer the bagged. If I have help on places without gates I can put several bags in the bucket of my Kubota and just go around dumping them and it does not get everywhere.

You know you can put bulk mulch in that bucket too and then you only have to handle it once. :P

MLC404
05-06-2011, 10:39 PM
I could never do bagged mulch. We have 4 condo complexes, 3 take 100 yards and 1 takes 250 yards. We buy direct at $21/yard for pine bark dropped at each place. Then use a bobcat to fill wheelbarrows.

Turf Dawg
05-07-2011, 01:24 AM
You know you can put bulk mulch in that bucket too and then you only have to handle it once. :P

Tried it before several times and did not care for it at all. Companies with several employees may like bulk better but not me. If I have my wife and son [part time during college] I can load bags into bucket and just dump them in yard while son opens and pours while wife spreads the mulch. The last time I had 15 yards of bulk drooped off, I said that was the last time, too messy for my liking. I guess that is why they sell it both ways.

KINGMADE
05-07-2011, 01:35 AM
Right there with ya'll. I have posed several times I prefer the bagged. If I have help on places without gates I can put several bags in the bucket of my Kubota and just go around dumping them and it does not get everywhere.


I just load up 5 or so bags on the deck of my walk behind and use it as a powered wheelbarrow. Very very easy.

Patriot Services
05-07-2011, 08:40 AM
I prefer the bagged too. When prices are cheap I buy several pallets and keep them in my shop. The extra savings for me is in less time to pick up and clean up. Being a 2-3 man operation it goes down quick.
Posted via Mobile Device

JB1
05-07-2011, 11:48 AM
after reading about your cost of bulk mulch, I think I'll go hug my mulch supplier now.

cpllawncare
05-08-2011, 12:46 AM
after reading about your cost of bulk mulch, I think I'll go hug my mulch supplier now.

No doubt! I just did a mulch job with 10 yards and got bulk double ground brown for $20/yd. I wish I had gone with bagged mulch though, at least for this particular job.

Cutter1
05-08-2011, 08:26 AM
I have been seeing a lot of companies doing bagged mulch. Some big companies as well (Brickman) I cheat and have a bark blower!! 160 yards in a little over 3 days. Not bad, we try to do about 80 a day, but we were moving the hose a lot.

orlawncaresvc
05-08-2011, 09:54 PM
Good for you. Here it's more economical to go with bulk. If we tried doing with bagged mulch we would have to charge a lot more than we do now. The price you got your bags for? Sounds like a may be a cheap mulch. Do you know how long it will last? How long will it hold it's color. Most time that's the difference in price also.
Posted via Mobile Device

RSMProperty
05-10-2011, 11:43 PM
F$&@ brickman only hire illegals
Posted via Mobile Device

PROCUT1
05-11-2011, 09:36 AM
F$&@ brickman only hire illegals
Posted via Mobile Device

Really?

And you have that info how?

Surely not just because they have Mexicans working for them....

Darryl G
05-11-2011, 09:48 AM
Yeah, I'm sure that largest commercial landscape maintenance firm in the United States doesn't have their act together enough to only hire documented workers. :hammerhead:

RSMProperty
05-11-2011, 09:52 AM
There's a reason they have a "foreman" driving the vehicles, and why else would they pay them in cash....

It's common knowledge where I'm from that is their practice
Posted via Mobile Device

Darryl G
05-11-2011, 10:10 AM
I would recommend you pass you info on to your state Dept. of Labor then. But I find it hard to believe that they would risk it all with such practices....bit off topic though.

XLS
05-11-2011, 02:54 PM
hands down bagged is the way most guys make money on mulching . you can get great prices if you haul it on your trucks and not their . we have a peterbuilt tractor and 42' heavy flat hauler and we get it way cheaper then what they charged us last fall we paid
1800.00 for 100 cu yds after they delivered and it cost 1460 plus our fuel and time for the same load the other day

PROCUT1
05-11-2011, 04:40 PM
There's a reason they have a "foreman" driving the vehicles, and why else would they pay them in cash....

It's common knowledge where I'm from that is their practice
Posted via Mobile Device

Thats the practice thats assumed by disgruntled lawn guys because Brickman uses Mexican workers.

As far as how they actually do operate.....

They dont pay cash
They dont use illegals.

KINGMADE
05-11-2011, 05:32 PM
Thats the practice thats assumed by disgruntled lawn guys because Brickman uses Mexican workers.

As far as how they actually do operate.....

They dont pay cash
They dont use illegals.

I am sure there are one or two that slip through the cracks, but I doubt it is an epidemic. I only hire latino's now. Legit Latino's.

Patriot Services
05-11-2011, 05:59 PM
Definition of legit latino= only carries one SS card actually issued to them.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
05-11-2011, 08:36 PM
Definition of legit latino= only carries one SS card actually issued to them.
Posted via Mobile Device

I've not got anything against a legal latino, but I know for a fact that they have a system set up in this country that the even the wealthy legals cover for the illegals, they have access to basically any document they need, I was personally exposed to this by a wealthy legal mexican that owned a restaraunt chain that only hired illegals, he paid them cash and paid them very well, most of the money they made was sent back to mexico. This IS happening in OUR country. Back to the topic at hand.

BrunoT
05-20-2011, 12:48 AM
Really?

And you have that info how?

Surely not just because they have Mexicans working for them....



Several people thought that too and reported them to this website. The beauty of hiring illegals is that a) it's hard to prove if you aren't in law enforcement, and b) law enforcement agencies don't really care anymore. I just read of a slew of McDonalds who had illegals working even in management positions.

http://wehirealiens.com/results/index.asp Here's some comments on Brickman there.


Hey, which is faster and easier?

1. Bagged mulch delivered on pallets and hand loaded into a cart (12-15 at a time) and moved to where its needed, then hand unloaded and spread.

2. Bulk mulch delivered to a single 20 yd pile (there's space) and moved with a compact tractor bucket (maybe 1/2 yd at a time) then dumped where needed and spread.

Number 1 sure seems harder on the back. I've done bulk and bagged and prefer bags, but with a tractor the equation might change. The price here is more like $18/$20/yd bulk vs $27/$34 for bagged.

BrunoT
05-20-2011, 01:05 AM
I am sure there are one or two that slip through the cracks, but I doubt it is an epidemic. I only hire latino's now. Legit Latino's.

I guess bigotry against your own countrymen is ok, then. Try changing the word "latino" to "white guys" and maybe it'll better illustrate what a bigot you are. "white guys are better... I only hire white guys" sounds a lot more ignorant, doesn't it?

Wait, don't tell me. Latinos have a gene that makes them better workers. It's not that they're simply more desperate and desperation and poverty focuses people. And you're only trying to help poor people by employing them. And of course it's a mere coincidence that by helping them you also help yourself. What humanitarians you guys are.

The fact is, you can't figure out a way to make it in the biz world w/o your cheap labor. Unemployment is 10% and there are numerous news stories of motivated Americans standing in lines to get crummy McDonald's jobs. But they might not be so pliable and controllable. After all, you can't threaten to take their H2B visa away if they quit or you have to fire them. So rather than find another line of work, work smarter, find a niche where you can compete, etc, you take the easy way out. So what if the rest of us have to cover the hidden costs because you can't live on what they're making. At least not a full life. So when they're 55 and can't do this stuff anymore and haven't been able to save for retirement, we get to support them on SSD, because hey, they're "legal", right?

ralph02813
05-22-2011, 10:40 AM
I use both depending on the location of the customer and suppliers. I buy bulk from Agway $28, and a big landscaping company for $32.50 bagged at Agway 35/yd. I try to keep in mind gas is $4.00, so a round trip of 10 miles cost $8.00

XLS
05-22-2011, 01:38 PM
i have never paid those high prices for bagged T and when you consider the needed truck trailer and tractor the price invested for the simple task of mulching becomes over bearing to almost all guys that are smaller in setups or larger companies that dont want to invest in a tractor for mulching only task

i can run a 2 man mulch crew in 1 truck and not have to haul a thing besides a few rakes and a cart and mulch and if its a big job a 5 man crew can still do more then a tractor man and a rake man on your crew unless your job was on a hard surface ............considering a tractor would tare up most lawns after all the steering to the dump spot .....

PROCUT1
05-22-2011, 02:05 PM
Several people thought that too and reported them to this website. The beauty of hiring illegals is that a) it's hard to prove if you aren't in law enforcement, and b) law enforcement agencies don't really care anymore. I just read of a slew of McDonalds who had illegals working even in management positions.

http://wehirealiens.com/results/index.asp Here's some comments on Brickman there.


Hey, which is faster and easier?

1. Bagged mulch delivered on pallets and hand loaded into a cart (12-15 at a time) and moved to where its needed, then hand unloaded and spread.

2. Bulk mulch delivered to a single 20 yd pile (there's space) and moved with a compact tractor bucket (maybe 1/2 yd at a time) then dumped where needed and spread.

Number 1 sure seems harder on the back. I've done bulk and bagged and prefer bags, but with a tractor the equation might change. The price here is more like $18/$20/yd bulk vs $27/$34 for bagged.

So a like to a site that says the same thing you did.

"I hear they hire illegals"