View Full Version : Mulch Blower
03-06-2005, 05:53 PM
I have just joined a large commercial landscape company. I was looking at last years numbers and notice that the guys were spending way too many man hours mulching in spring. Last year they used about 800yds of mulch and seemed to have a small profit margin.
To the point, I am considering using a Finn mulch blower and was wondering if anyone has experience with one. I have found used 15yd blowers for 70k, which is expensive if it doesn't pay. Has anyone found it to be a cost savings investment?
Thank you in advance for all of your help.
03-06-2005, 08:22 PM
If you are only spreading 800 yards of mulch, that machine is way too big. On their used units you need to make sure that the airlock, I think, has been upgraded, a huge expense. I really believe in buying new equipment.
We spread about 2000 yards a year and just bought a 302 model, we can spread 50-75 yards a day with it. It only costs in the mid 30k's
03-06-2005, 09:55 PM
if you don't plan on marketing it and doing sub work then I would just sub out your work. We have clients that do in excess of 11,000 yards per year and they find it more cost effective to sub the work out. Seeing that we have 4 trucks and can get it done much faster even if they had there own truck. I would say look at subbing it out and see what your savings would be. there is a lot of maintenance and other aspects involved it is not just a plug and play option.
03-06-2005, 10:17 PM
If you don't mind me asking what size are your trucks? Also how many yards per year do you do?
03-07-2005, 12:13 AM
we run four Express BLower EB-60 units. They hold an avarge of 60 yards of material. I do not know totals for the year. The company has two locations my location operates one truck and the other location operates 3 more. But we share work load by moving trucks from location to location. Yards per year is not a huge concern we base everything off of profits, which is you would expect. We also do different appliactions wether it be by seeding or topsoil applications. These are specalty services and comand a higher price. during our busy season we try to put down 120 yards per day (two truck loads) per truck. our busy season runs anywhere from mid march to mid june.
03-07-2005, 12:33 AM
we have a finn mulch truck and we always stay busy. the truck is run almost everyday. 16yds of mulch in 45mins. their is your savings. and it looks good. you can adjust the pressure with a remote and blow right up to to the base of the shrubs. the initial investment hurts but if you use it enough its worth it.
03-07-2005, 08:24 PM
http://eaquinn.com/images/truck.jpg we have a blower truck as well. we keep it running pretty much every day. we spread over 5,000 yards last year and expect to do hopefully 1,000 more this year. I see your in boston. we do a lot of sub work for other landscapers and we travel to mass and Ny a lot for bigger jobs. if you are interested, give me a call at (860)633-0115 ext 23. my name is matt. i dont know what size places you have but if they are big enough places yardage wise we'll drive up and shoot them for you.
03-07-2005, 08:37 PM
we have problems with the radiator on ours. we cant keep then in it. you guys have any trouble?
03-07-2005, 08:40 PM
nope no problems with the radiator. we do go through airlocks about once a season. we have two, and we always get the one out of the truck rebuilt and have it ready to go back in at any time. we are thinking about spending the big coin and getting the new air lock they are making now put on the truck.
03-10-2005, 08:11 PM
My experience with blowers has not been favorable. I know there is a place for them such as in wide open areas. They are great for spreading soil, gravel, etc., in large areas. In beds occupied by mature trees/shrubs, they are great for mulching. Beds containing smaller sized shrubs and perennials will get abused by a blower. I've seen it done too many times by a few different outfits with experience using blowers. The mulch comes out too fast.
03-10-2005, 08:35 PM
you just need to know the limits of the blower.........no way is that a big enough con to not use them. we just shoot a pile off to the side and use a pitch fork to do the tough areas or perennial gardens. the productivity of these machines is unreal. i know for one i am spoiled and will never go back to the wheel barrow and pitch fork.
03-10-2005, 09:17 PM
True enough! My issue is that the gardens I maintain are heavily planted. This would require that the mulch be shot in a pile and pitch forked around all day. The cost of the blower cannot be justified when used exclusively in this manner. Thisis not to say that blowers are no good, but their use should be tempered.
03-10-2005, 10:07 PM
I can not speak as far as Finn equipment goes because I don't know there system or controls. But as far as my EB trucks go I can easily turn the blower down to a rate that can put mulch down around the most delicate flowers and plantings. All of our employees that operate the truck are highly trained and we stress the up-most quality. I have seen other blower companies, also running EB trucks in my area, put material around extremely poorly. They are going for quantity over quality. I have seen them bury medium to large plants and shrubs. So personally it is the operator and people in charge that account for poor quality. This is how we have gotten some of our largest contracts, through other blower companies poor quality.
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