Explaining Mulching vs Bagging to Customers

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mastruck04, May 9, 2011.

  1. pullingrass

    pullingrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    Leaving clippings on the lawn in the fall that don't have time to break down in the cool weather will cause lawn molds over the winter under the snow
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  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,261

    Something that no one seems to bring up is bagging on the smaller lawns is actually faster. It eliminates getting clippings in the mulch beds it drastically reduces the amount you have to blow off the walks and driveways and eliminates weirdo maneuvers when mowing to try to keep the grass out of things. And with a 44 gal barrel on the trac vac we can sometimes knock out 3-5 lawns before we have to dump it. The one issue that bothers most of you is the truck requirements go up if you bag. The pick-up is seriously lacking with its 2 yard capacity plus if its a 1500 your pushing it to its limits when you add in 5000 pounds of trailer and mowers. So you want a dump truck but that's not all bad as that truck is more useful for many of our other services then a pick-up.

    As far as dumping when the grass is in hyper mode we can max out our 2 cutting dump trucks with the low sides every day so 5 yards worth of grass per truck. But as the season goes on you can get that down to once a week and often only 2-3 yards of grass each. The cost to dump is 5 a yard here and takes one guy about 30 mins round trip. The vacs cost us 500-1000 a year to maintain them we even have a spare so we can swap out engines in under 30 mins. The real reason we bag is income we bring in 150-250 dollars a day more per crew with working bagging systems (this has been tested year after year when were down a working vac system). Are there lawns we don't bag of course we try to avoid all the large lawns but the small to mediums its more profitable to just suck it up. But to best explain it figure on average 200 a day more per crew on an average 3.5 days a week mowing for a typical 28 week season. I think the additional 39,200 a year more then off sets the cost of bagging for us.
     
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Our lawns are under deep snow often for 5 months at a time, but the snow mold only comes onto lawns that are bagged, recieve too much N, and too much water... What molds have you experienced from mulch mowing?
     
  4. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,142

    Where is your evidence of this. I could say snow mold only occurs when it rains on thursday and snows on wednesday and too much bird seed on the lawn but without some sort of evidence, what you said is strictly opinion.
     
  5. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I discharge, mulch or bag based solely on my discretion...whatever it takes to maintain a neat appearance. I will bag as needed, but not as a matter of course.
     
  6. ralph02813

    ralph02813 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,041

    That's about how I work it.
     
  7. pullingrass

    pullingrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I havent had mold cause I bag starting in october
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  8. DavidsonLandscaping

    DavidsonLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    every yard i have is bagged and hauled by me. of course i charge for the hauling, i also think it looks better than mulched. i hate looking at your boots after a rainy day to see all lawn clippings over it so i can guess the homeowner wouldnt like that as well.
     
  9. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,804

     
  10. PROCUT1

    PROCUT1 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from TN
    Posts: 4,909

    It must vary depending on the types of grass.

    When I was in NY, an average lawn was 15-20 minutes in and out and $30.
    Grass grew like crazy in the spring and early summer and most required at least double cutting. But to bag a lawn would have taken forever. I had bagging systems on the ZTRs and in the spring, if we were bagging a lawn, you would go from one end to the other and have to empty it.

    Id figure a 20 minute lawn would take at least an hour to bag, so right there a $30 lawn turns into a $90 lawn. Then figure on the time for the crew to dump the truck at the end of the day. Which they probably would have to do more than once.

    Since we used Isuzu cabovers landscape beds, we would have had to send a dump truck along the route too. So thats another driver and fuel.

    Then since they go from doing 3-4 lawns an hour now they can do one. So we would have had to add crews and equipment, more trucks, insurance, overhead.

    Then the $125 each time to dump the truck.
    I cant figure on how I could have bagged lawns for less than about $150 a cut.
    So I would have given the customer a price. $30 no bag $150 bag

    Then how do you keep a 3 man crew busy? Usually had 2 mowers and one trimmer. 20 minutes each, and the first mowing guy was blowing as the trimmer finished.

    Now the trimmer would be done in 20 minutes and standing around another 40 minutes waiting for the mowers to be done.

    I dont know. Just seems like it would have been a nightmare.
     

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