how much time for mulch?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by bobbygedd, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Bobby you wrote: "and increase overhead by double/tripple. then i'll be like that hamster, running on that wheel, running, running, running......getting nowhere.

    Bobby, All the equipment I own is paid for except my new loader and of course a truck payment. I have not doubled or trippled my overhead.
    IMO, those trying to maximize the efficiency of their pitchfork and wheelbarrow are the Hampsters you described.
    When you can afford it, spend money to make what you do faster and easier. Allow for diversification and work smarter not harder.
    If staying small is what you want that is fine too. Just don't see much neeed to time anything for things will be pretty close to what they were last year. Just ask the hampster.
     
  2. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    we are talking about 2 yds of mulch. by the time you load and unload your little tractor and whatever apparatus u described, i'm done and gone. i'd say the biggest part of the expense of doing mulch is the time u need to clean the truck, go to the mulch place, wait in line to pay, wait in line to be loaded, drive to the jobsite, clean out truck. the actual time/labor involved in pitching, and spreading is nothing. for 2 yards i spend more time doing everything but unloading it and spreading it. if i have to buy "special " equipment now to install mulch, i'd have to charge $100 a yard. most guys don't make money on mulch, they only think they do. if "getting big" is your goal, my advice is don't take on tiny jobs like 2 yds of mulch, your overhead is too high to make it worth your while. i "maximize" efficiancy, by keeping my overhead down to pennies an hour. now i don't have the need to gross $ 2000 a day to scrape out a $200 payday, see what i'm saying? hey, maybe i'm wrong, it's happened once or twice before. as a part time op, i was very efficiant and very proffitable, all i'm doing is trying to do more of the same. more, of a good thing, SHOULD equal, more good results. right?
     
  3. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Bobby, I don't know how you guy's do it, but I sure can't sell mulch to the customer at $40 or $50 a yard, when they can buy it themselves for $35 a yard and have it deliver for another $30 from a garden center. You tell me, what am I missing???

    Why would customer pay you $88/yard, when they can buy it from the garden center at $35 or $40/yard?
     
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    pete, it's labor they are paying for. my prices: double ground root mulch=$65. cedar=$88. red or black dyed mulch=$92. look, if you charge $50 a yard, it's like this: you get $100 for the two yards. it cost you $24 to buy it, now you're down to $76. it took you how long to clean the truck, so you can pick the mulch up? at least an hour to pick it up, and get to the site. another hour to unload/spread it. i bet that entire 2 yd mulch job including drive time,truck cleaning, etc, took you 2.5 hrs. you had $76 left after purchase. let $6 bucks go for gas. u r left with $70, for 2.5 hrs? i'd rather cut grass. in 2.5 hrs i can do 4 lawns at $30 each, no cost for material. now, if you're selling 40 yds a week, you are ok. but just the little stuff like 2 yds here and there, aint worth it. it becomes worth it to me, when i'm doing flowers along with it, or a cleanup, u know what i mean. hey, i know guys here that do mulch for $40 a yard. those are the guys who are so broke, they were out today diggin thru the snow to get thier spring clean ups done
     
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Bobby..I wouldn't knock guys to much for high overhead ...it's all relevant right? I think what is important is to have a handle on your overhead no matter what size you are. Overhead costs also go in cycles .... we are at a point where we are max'ed out for our overhead. One example would be our shop.... we'll be running 9 plus crews out of it this season. Next winter we will more than likely expand it so you have the extra overhead of all that is involved...after that we'll be OK for some years until we build it up to another 9 crews... and the cycle continues. Same goes for office staff, You get to a point where your max ed out ...you hope that the extra sales even it all out but chances are it doesn't...tricky thing that overhead is.
     
  6. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    For what it's worth Bobby, read the above statement. This is what originally caused my questions. You talk about selling at $65/yard, when you should have explained you "sell and install" for that price. This is a big difference. Also, I charge the customer a flat $30 delivery charge on top of my "sell and install" price. I suggest you may need to be a bit more specific when talking about mulch. That OK, with you????
    DP
     
  7. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    for you sir, anything. please excuse me for not being thorough.
     
  8. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,469

    Sorry, if I took you too literally.........
     
  9. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 660

    Bobby, It would take me under 1 hr to do what you describe and it takes 2 minutes to unload the machine. The difference is if you
    have 4-5 jobs a day how efficient are you on the 4th and 5th job?
    Unless its over 85F, I don't break a sweat even on the 5th job.
    Some jobs I drop the machine off and pick up the mulch and others I have it delivered.
    Best to you Bobby.. Keep an open mind
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    if i keep my mind open, all that smart stuff might leak out. i follow you strawbridge, if you have alot of mulch to do, your little go cart thing may be worth it. but, if you are doing only a little, trying to be "efficient" may cost you more time. here is the way i'm picturing it: you take everything off your trailer, load up the little tractor and dump trailer. go to the mulch place, get your mulch, go to the site. now, you still have to shovel the mulch from the truck, into the little trailer, correct? so the only thing you are eliminating is pushing the wheelbarrow from point A to point B. i can't see the big savings here on time or energy. i'm think it would be more efficient to keep your mowers on your trailer, do the mulch like i do it, when your done, there is no going back to the shop for mowers, you just get to your next job. unless, of course, you are spending the whole day doing mulch, in which case your way is great. anyhow, i'm open minded enough to understand that my part time venture turning full time is yet another learning/development stage i'll be going through.
     

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