View Full Version : planning for this summer....thoughts on mulching

02-04-2003, 10:57 PM
OK i know this isn't exactly the time of year to be thinking about this stuff, but i've been planning alot for the upcoming season. AND i know that much of what i'm about to say has been discussed in previous posts, but i just want to voice my ideas and see what u guys have to say. ok here goes:
I've been thinking about picking up alot more mulching jobs, and i've been discussing with my brother how to quote them. we were thinking of by the yard, price from supplier plus $20 per man hour plus a small price for transportation. For example,

$25 a scoop from the supplier
$40 an hour for my brother and me
$5 for transportation (depending on distance)

$70 a yard

Also, do mulch suppliers offer discounts if you buy large amounts of it?

And lastly, how do i bill for mulch? should i say $25 for materials, 40 for labor and 5 for transportation? or should i just say 75 per yard?

Thanks in advance for all your help!

p.s. my goal is to get enough business to have 30 hours of work a week over the summer

02-05-2003, 12:50 AM
20 $ a piece is not enough money, you could be working for someone else for fifteen,......... you have to figure out another way or it won't be worth it.

02-05-2003, 12:54 AM
you are right, mulching has been discussed over and over again..however i would like to ask you a couple of questions then i'll give you my input...1. are you and your brother partners in the venture...if you are not then why are you going to split the labor cost w/ him...if you are partners, get as many mulch jobs as you guys can handle, hire two people at 6-8hr and have one work w/ each of you..personally i would not want to split profit 50/50..too many expenses to count..2. call your suppliers and ask if they will give you a discount on bulk, say 50yds..you stated 25 bucks a yd..kind of steep even for dbl hammered..several different things will depend on the final quote for the customer, will you have to wheel it up an incline, pitch from the trailer, etc..do a couple of jobs for family so you can judge how much you can do in x time..i would not add any $ for delivery unless it is more than 5 miles..my price structure is as follows...80 bucks a yd to spread, 50 buck to deliver a yd..it takes me and one person about 30-45 mins to spread a yd (i pay him 12hr), takes us 10-15mins to drop a yd..cost for a yd here is 20 bucks yd..profit after a pay my helper is approx 48 yd to spread/22 yd to drop..there is a 2yd minimum..hope this helps some..

02-06-2003, 12:26 PM
In Philadelphia suburbs I am getting $100/yard installed. Up there you can probably get away with $70/yard. Don't break down by manhour. If you are saying $70/yard...you can easily get out 2 yards an hour so you'll be making $40/hour each with those numbers.

02-06-2003, 12:55 PM
We charge by the yard installed - 1-2yards = 75 per cubic yard. for more than3 yards we charge 65 a yard. However, we buy it locally for $7 a cubic yard. $20 a yard seems very high. Tell them you are a company buying it and should give you a discount, e.g in this area homeowners will pay $15 a cubic yard.

Hope this helps.

Randy Scott
02-06-2003, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by troblandscape
20 $ a piece is not enough money, you could be working for someone else for fifteen,......... you have to figure out another way or it won't be worth it.

The kids 15 years old. $20 an hour is fricken' livin' large at that age.

02-07-2003, 12:21 AM
Mulching is a great money maker and I love to install it. We charge by the yard and add any delivery charges on to the total. By myself, I average 2 yds/hr. When my father and I are working together we can put out 6-8 yds/hr. It's much more efficient having to or three people for anything over 10 yds. What we do is take several wheel barrows and have one load while the other dumps ( be sure to switch up often or the one loading wears out fast). The best way I've found to do it is to dump 15 -20 wheel barrows and then spread then repeat process. For really large jobs we take the tractor and load 3 wheel barrows at a time in about 20 seconds. Talk about fast and easy money.
What you need to do is to figure out how many yds YOU can put out an hour and decide how much money you need for you time. Mulching we make anywhere from $50 -$100/hr.
Sat. morning we are going to put out 4 yds of topsoil and twelve yds. of mulch and I know we will be done in 4 hrs. On this particular job my and my father will make $57/hr. That's a little on the low side, but it's for an existing customer.

I just found an old post that had our fastest record for putting out mulch. We did 23 yds. in 2.5 hrs., that comes out to 9.2 yds/hr. that's with 2 people and the tractor.

02-07-2003, 03:46 PM
Don't break down by man hour. ?? Why not? I always work by man hour. What if you have to wheelbarrow everything into a back yard, or the yard is not really accessible? Then you will loose money by just charging by the yard. The way I have been working mulch for over 10 years now is... At LEAST a 25% mark up on product. Delivery charge ( Based on delivery area). and an hourly rate. You can easily get away with a 50% mark up on product alone, if you exclusively deal with the supplier. Not charging by man hour would not make sense to me. Maybe I'm wrong :nono:

02-07-2003, 05:02 PM
I try and do all my Mulch jobs in the late fall and winter. when it's slow.

02-07-2003, 06:37 PM
I charge retail price from the supplier to the customer, plus $20. per yard. I buy the mulch at a wholesale price, so I make a little on the cost of the product. The $20 is for my time and transportation to the site. Depending on where it is being spread one man can do 3 - 5 yards per hour. You can see that you can make more money by adding the cost to the yard and not by charging by the hour.

02-08-2003, 02:07 AM
"You can see that you can make more money by adding the cost to the yard and not by charging by the hour."
That's why you mark up AND charge by the hour as I stated. You make money both ways... plus get a delivery charge. Your going there anyway! Am I wrong? :confused: