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how long does it take you to install mulch?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GrassMasterNC, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. GrassMasterNC

    GrassMasterNC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    I charge $45.00 per yard and $45.00 per hour of labor to prep the mulch bed, edge it, lay a barrier, and spread the mulch, etc.
    I am just figuring costs and time and wanted to make a profit, but be fair and competitive.
    I never looked at how long it took me before, but I think somewhere around 1 - 1.5 yards an hour...how about ya'll?

    Thanks, Matt
  2. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    $90 a yard installed in NC and you actually have takers?? Everyone I know in the business in NC is in the range of $55 a yard installed
  3. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    If you get the mulch in bags it goes down much faster. Using bagged mulch I can put down about 3 yards per hour. If you use bulk mulch the application rate drops off to about 1.5 yards per hour. Bagged mulch is much easier to handle and place in the beds. I just load 5 or 6 bags on the wheel barrow and haul it to the beds, then start tearing open bags and spreading it. Much faster.

    The going rate here in Florida is $45 per yard including the mulch.
  4. GrassMasterNC

    GrassMasterNC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Really? Cost to me is 38.00 per yard + labor. If I charged $55.00, I'd be doing it for cost. And no takers yet - I didnt do it last year - just my home and homes with a few friends - wanted to be proficient before I did it for the business....hmmm...gotta figure the labor, delivery, bed prep, edging, installation...how do you make a profit at that rate? How long does it take you from start to finish?

    Thanks! Matt
  5. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    Why are you paying $38 per yard for mulch? I can get mulch for $20 per yard bagged and $17 bulk.
  6. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,569

    You are getting ROBBED then at $38! Where/how are you buying it? I pay $19-$22 a yard. I promise you at $90 a yard you won't have any takers either. Spreading mulch is also fast once you've done it a few times. I have timed it lately but I'm sure we are probably in the 30 minute range per yard.
  7. GrassMasterNC

    GrassMasterNC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    Dang I hate being new at this...It's $38.00 per bobcat bucket, which is approx. a yard I think, which equates to something like 108 sq ft at 3" thick...or something like that..I don't have my conversion hootus with me right now. This guy sells his mulch like hot cakes and appears to be the biggest show in town. Everyone goes to him for installs (golden coral, banks, golds gym, etc) So I figured he was the go-to guy. All of the other places just looked shabby and their quality poor. He also has a HUGE selection - cypress - 3 colors, hardwood 2 colors, chip brick, stone, bark, etc.

    Now, The only place I can find bagged mulch is at Lowes - and I think that runs about $3 - $4 per bag of 3 cubic feet, which covers 12 sq ft at 2" thick. The choices are limited and quality is not as high.

    If you do the Math, there is not but about a $10.00 difference per yard, but the quality is much better with this fella, than anywhere else I've looked. Granted, I didn't price shop...if I pulled up and the mulch or lot looked like crap, I just left...

    I wish I could find it cheaper...but it's going for $38.00 per bobcat bucket and people are buying the hell out of it. And I'm only really making money on the install - not the mulch.

    If I missed something, PLEASE let me know? Thanks for your help fellas!

  8. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 1,381

    In Florida at Lowes plain bagged Cypress mulch is $1.47 for a 2 cf bag. There are 13.5 bags per yard.

    $1.47 X 13.5 = $19.85 per yard.

    Bulk Cypress at nursery is $17 per yard which is about 1 bucket load on a Bobcat.
  9. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    The only thing you are missing is getting contractor pricing rather than retail pricing.

    $38/ yard is retail pricing.
  10. Sir Mow-A-Lot

    Sir Mow-A-Lot LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    Mulch has been going through the roof here in the northeast! Still, trailerload quantities are about $18/CY for pine bark. Most cash and carry places are around $25-$32/CY.

    I would introduce yourself to your supplier and tell him your in the business and hope to buy a lot of mulch from him. Maybe, he can cut ya a break. If not move on, mulch is mulch.
    Also, i think most bob-cat (skid-steer) buckets are only 1/2 CY. Anyways, Good Luck!

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