bales of pinestraw per man hour

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by grassmasterswilson, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,536

    How many bales of pine straw do you guys figure 1 man could spread and clean up per hour? I'm assuming all the bales are on site.

    I've always charged a flat fee per bale (bale cost + estimated labor). I'm thinking of changing to a hourly labor rate.
     
  2. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Posts: 483

    5-6 bales in tight beds working around plants
    7-8 bales in wide open areas
     
  3. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,536

    That doesn't sound like very many. I was thinking more like 20-30 bales an hour. Is that not possible?
     
  4. GunnPropertyServices

    GunnPropertyServices LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 374

    i would say 10 to 12 including clean up any more then that i dont think you would be spreading it evenly
     
  5. mslawn

    mslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    from LA
    Posts: 483

    Oh, I have lots of experience with pinestraw and I hear tons of people say how many more they can throw out in an hour. I like to live in the real world though. The figures posted are real world figures. I guess if I was running and throwing we would do more bales per man per hour. Myself or my 100% American workforce just can't put out the numbers some people post. I would rather price it to do it right than to price it to try to kill myself to make a buck. I almost always figure on 5 bales per man hour on estimates, no matter if I think I can do it faster. I would rather send a bill that is less than the original estimate, than to have no profit cause I priced it to run and throw.

    If you can do 20 bales an hour, please come to work for me.
     
  6. FLCthes4:11-12

    FLCthes4:11-12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    Assuming straw is on site and no abnormally tight beds. I would say 20 per hour including clean-up and that figure is here in the real world.
     
  7. MeandMyself

    MeandMyself LawnSite Member
    from GA
    Posts: 4

    What we have found is the first hour of spreading can be as high as 20+ bales in open area. Each hour thereafter it drops continuously by approx 5-15%, moreso in summer. Shrubs, groundcovers, and other obstacles make it drop as well. There are a lot of variables including bale size and how tightly packed they are. Tucking edges and cleanups vary as well.

    We charge $7.50/bale for our regular clients and more for anyone else. I don't make money with it, and we rarely get any new clients from it, which is fine by me.

    I would say 8-12 bales/hour is reasonable including cleanup on average.
     
  8. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    Maybe its just me, but I sub out my needles. I got some guys that I pay to do it that can spread about 3 times as fast as me. If i spread, I dont really make any money..if they spread, then I do pretty good for just estimating and making a phone call. I charge my customers 6.75 per bale delivered and install then get my guys to do it for a little less. I dont make much on needles, but a little is better then none. I know what I am good at, and needles isnt one of those things
     
  9. grassmasterswilson

    grassmasterswilson LawnSite Platinum Member
    from nc
    Posts: 4,536

    don't think I could get $5 per bale labor here in North Carolina.

    Just curious what everyone was doing. I've been chargine a flat per bale charge, but have started thinking about going hourly for labor.
     
  10. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,652

    you should be able to get around 3.5 per bale depending on how much you get them for. I pay 3 per bale and charge between 6.5 and 8 depending on the app and im in the Charlotte area.
     

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