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  #11  
Old 11-21-2010, 06:54 PM
roccon31 roccon31 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: upper bucks co, pa
Posts: 118
wow, at over double your price, i find it very hard to make much money at spreading compost!
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2010, 09:04 PM
adam.neusbaum adam.neusbaum is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: summerfield, fl
Posts: 467
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marquis de sod View Post
Adam,
The "placer" is merely a straight handle with a solid flat blade on the end situated like a rake. for example: http://www.jimslimstools.com/Departm...es--Rakes.aspx
I tip the bed up a little and drag the compost into the spreader. I adjust the tailgate and lift the bed as I need more compost. Definitely easier than scooping!
Doesn't sound like you are charging very much for your compost at $55 a yard. Are you covering all your material and equipment costs?
Thanks for the link- I'll be buying one of those, I could see that working quite well instead of the ol' scoop shovel.

My main focus is delivering the Composted Cow Manure & Top-dressing is secondary. It's easier (not easy) scheduling deliveries compared to topdressing but I (as a one man band) want to try & do both during my days off from the regular job. Can definitely be tricky being 2 & 3 places at the same time but I'm getting pretty good with time management.

I look at it this way:
Customer A: Orders bulk soil for their garden-
Great, I deliver 5 cubic yards.
Customer B: Orders a topdressing service.
Great, I delivery 5 cubic yards.

Question: To which customer would I have not sold 5 cubic yards to if I had not had the Top-dressing unit (even if it's a slow Turfco)?

Answer: Customer B never would have purchased 5 yards from me without the TD service offered.

Friday the friendly Ecolawn rep & I had a very nice visit. He suggested I wasn't charging enough for our services but then a short time later when discussing dumptrucks etc- he suggested that when the economy turned south he had to sell all his TD equipment & trucks. I gleaned from his observation that my pricing was actually right on cue. At least I'm getting the work while turning even a moderate profit right? $275 for a layer of organic compost spread over my entire lawn- not a bad deal. Now try and sell a $500+ service, I just can't see it happening. The proof is in the pudding,,,,even with my bargain pricing---neighbors aren't beating down our doors for the same service.
Have to say, i love this opportunity to learn from others in the same occupation. Thanks for all your insight!
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  #13  
Old 11-22-2010, 06:15 PM
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JDUtah JDUtah is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UT
Posts: 2,671
Quote:
Originally Posted by adam.neusbaum View Post
Currently I'm charging $55 cubic yard. Our average yard takes all 5 yards for $275. It definitely feels like a lot of work with my Turfco but I couldn't do much else to make $190 over 3 hours time. I'm interested in this "cement placer" since my retrofitted LOADHANDLER didn't work as I'd hoped. With my International dumptruck I can only tilt it a little while the machine is parked under the rear-end & besides I don't want all 5 yards dumping out and around the machine. So I used two individual drag sheets and steel rod cranks but my design was flawed. Our last job I used our Skidsteer to fill the hopper after dumping the 10 yards right in the road, I was sure glad I didn't try shoveling all that dirt.
Err wrong. Not to criticize but you need to factor in equipment cost, insurance, professional services (payroll), Taxes, etc. Before you tell yourself how much "money you are making".

For three hours time, I would factor out anywhere from 45 to 90 bucks for cost of doing business. Thus $275 - $85(materials) - $60(cost of doing business) = $130. Divide that by how long it took you to advertise, bid the job, load the compost, get to the site, finish application, and billing/bookkeeping... and you will get a better idea of how much you make per hour charging that rate. Just my .02
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  #14  
Old 11-22-2010, 08:39 PM
NattyLawn NattyLawn is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 1,648
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDUtah View Post
Err wrong. Not to criticize but you need to factor in equipment cost, insurance, professional services (payroll), Taxes, etc. Before you tell yourself how much "money you are making".

For three hours time, I would factor out anywhere from 45 to 90 bucks for cost of doing business. Thus $275 - $85(materials) - $60(cost of doing business) = $130. Divide that by how long it took you to advertise, bid the job, load the compost, get to the site, finish application, and billing/bookkeeping... and you will get a better idea of how much you make per hour charging that rate. Just my .02
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  #15  
Old 11-22-2010, 08:44 PM
Tim Wilson Tim Wilson is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 797
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDUtah View Post
Err wrong. Not to criticize but you need to factor in equipment cost, insurance, professional services (payroll), Taxes, etc. Before you tell yourself how much "money you are making".

For three hours time, I would factor out anywhere from 45 to 90 bucks for cost of doing business. Thus $275 - $85(materials) - $60(cost of doing business) = $130. Divide that by how long it took you to advertise, bid the job, load the compost, get to the site, finish application, and billing/bookkeeping... and you will get a better idea of how much you make per hour charging that rate. Just my .02
Good advice JD. Also sometimes its just the cash flow, the bucket of chicken and case of beer at the end of the day that really matters.
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  #16  
Old 11-22-2010, 11:40 PM
adam.neusbaum adam.neusbaum is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: summerfield, fl
Posts: 467
Thumbs up Great advice!

All great points throughout the last few replies- Very true indeed concerning the bottom-line.
Unfortunately I'm tickled to just be working my tiny business that has evolved out of a microcosm.
Indeed I need you guys to keep me focused on what pays the bills.

Concerning my advertising time- Thankfully while delivering pizzas for a small restaurant three weeks ago I was able to hang some of our yard signs on my way back in. Was like I was getting paid to hang my signs- WORKED GREAT! Even better was three days later I scheduled several compost deliveries--& they'd all seen our new signs.

Loving this thread!
Thanks-Adam
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