River Rock

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by Johnagain, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. Johnagain

    Johnagain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 376

    I have never spread rock before but I have a subdivision that is using it more and more instead of mulch. I have to give a bid Thursday and I don't know a labor charge yet. How long does it take to spread a yard of rock verses mulch. With mulch I have priced it out for 5 yards and 3.5 hrs labor. I know rock will take longer to smooth than mulch. Any one have any estimates, will it take 15 minutes per yard longer, maybe 30 minutes. Should I figure a yard a hour. Just not sure. I will be shoveling out of my dump trailer and wheelbarrow to back yard.
     
  2. If its bagged I double the bag price and I make good money doing that. Now, by the yard you figure is way more labor intensive so I would estimate it taking longer. Plus you put less in the wb since it is heavier. I would budget an hour per yard to be on the safe side. Make sure you have a flat shovel and metal rake. Good luck.
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  3. Johnagain

    Johnagain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 376

    Diamond,
    Thanks for the info. I was thinking about a charging a hour per yard. Just needed a 2nd or 3rd opinion. I know mulch is easier in the bag but I think rock might be easier in bulk. The wheelbarrow will fit under the lip of the trailer so I can just slide the shovel and don't have to pick it up. When I need the rock closer to the gate I just lift the dump. I can see getting real tired by the 4th or 5th yard.
     
  4. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    An hour a yard, maybe an hour and fifteen would be about where I would put it. I did 15 yards on a place a few years ago and it took a while, I know that. That's a bunch of trips with the wheelbarrow. You just can't put much more weight in there than maybe 3 cu ft. Even that tends to get smaller as the day rolls on. Double wheel wheelbarrows did not work well for this. I found my best friend was a single with a poly body. Depending on how far you have to move it, adjust from there. If it's more than 100 ft a trip, I would look think you might be closer to an 1 1/2 hours per yard.
     
  5. Like Keith said and what you are thinking is that fatigue will start to set in after so much. Maybe you do want to budget 1.25 hours per yard. It's always better IMO to be a little higher than kill yourself on a job like this.
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  6. greenpoint

    greenpoint LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    I agree with the others - especially when going into a back yard, river/lava rock seems to take double the time that mulch does. Plus the fatigue factor and back pains when you're done. I'd budget 6-7 hours of HARD work... make it worth your time!
     
  7. Johnagain

    Johnagain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 376

    Thanks guys for the good advice. I think I'll budget labor at 1.25 hrs per yard. If it takes a little longer then I'll know exactly what to charge in the future. I'm not sure they will want to spend that amount of money but we'll find out. Rock is $115 a yard plus my labor. Hope they don't have a heart attack when I give them an estimate.
     
  8. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    That happens. People with big ideas and empty wallets. Honestly, I hate doing rock for this reason. I mean, how much can you mark it up? I am not getting any better deal on it than they would. You can tack on a delivery fee, otherwise you are stuck making any profit on the labor only.

    I usually never mention "yards" to the customer. If a job is going to take 5 yards of mulch, chances are it will not take that much rock. If you think it will take four, give an estimate based on 5 yards and 6 hours labor. I'd slap a total of about $850 to 900 on that job. Worst case, 5 yards at around $625 + $50 for delivery + labor charge. If I was right about it, and it only took four yards, I'd have another $125 in the bank and about an hour less time doing it.

    But then again, some customers will realize how back breaking the job is. No way could they do it themselves. You could just straight up tell them that you pay exactly the same as they would. It's going to be right at $125 a yard and you are going to charge $200-225 a yard delivered and installed. It all depends on the customer. No matter how you do it, it's a dusty, nasty job :D

    I don't know where you are getting it, but be careful that you don't get a bunch of fines mixed in there. I've bought a yard before and unloaded it out of the truck and about half of it looked like sand.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  9. Just doing a rock job does kinda suck cause your only making labor. I pretty much only do it for maintenance customers and if someone else wants it done it will cost more. It is backbreaking and very labor intensive. I don't even like picking it up, I just have the spot deliver it to the location. Less wear and tear on my stuff
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  10. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,977

    Oh yeah, don't forget the price of the fabric. I usually use Dewitt Pro5. A 750 sq ft roll will set you back about $100. That's just about enough for 5 yards of rock at the depth of 2-2 1/4".
     

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