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what is your break even cost per yard of mulch??

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by MacLawnCo, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    Im attempting to gather some info and wanting to know simply what is your break even point $ (essentiall cost) for laying a yard of tripple shredded hardwood mulch wheel barrel and pitchfork style. Please include all costs including overhead, labor burden, etc... in your figure. Im not asking for simply "I pay $10 per yard from my supplier, i know that figure." Thanks!
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    I hope you are not looking for that number for your own business needs... Everyone on here will have a different idea of what their "break-even" point is on mulch. Some have a better handle on what their overhead is and that will be reflected....

    For our mulch, we carry two kinds, I assume both are double shredded (to me, triple shredded is basically fines). They are both hardwood bark mulch, the only difference is one is dyed brown, which makes the color last longer. IIRC, the dyed runs $17/yard delivered to us, the natural is $13/yard delivered, our cost....

    And for most normal jobs we figure about 3/4 of a man hour per yard. Final price goes up if it's an excessive amount of drive time, if there is a lot of hills, long wheelbarrow hauls, etc....

    There's too many variables involved to give an accurate "break even" point on mulch. It will vary with every job. Besides, I don't even know where that point would be, that's not my normal end of the business.:)

  3. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    I keep reading how cheap mulch is everywhere.. It's $27 around here for dyed. Why is it so f'ing expensive?

    Anyway.. I don't really understand what your asking Mac. How much is a wheel barrow and pitch fork in your neck of the woods? :D

    I try to get $80-90 per yard installed which includes edging... Can you tell me what my break even point should be?
  4. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    Tom, that will vary with nearly every business. Your breakeven point is going to be determined by aspects such as your fixed overhead (building, insurance on said building, property taxes, administrative assistant's salary, owners salary, sales peoples salaries, marketing costs... etc) but then on top of that it is going to vary even more based on how a business decides to allocate those costs to different activities such as mowing division, fert division, landscape division... etc. To add to the variation, you have your variable costs such as wages, workers comp, benefits (if paid), fuel economy of truck, and the list could continue. Lastly, it is going to vary even still based on the productivity of your crew.

    There really is no right or wrong answer as to where your break even point is, the only thing that matters is that your charge profit on top of that figure.

    For the record, im not asking so i can use your figures in my business. As i just showed, thats about insane. The only point to this thread is to get a fealer for where other landscape companies break even point is... a census if you will for a project of mine.
  5. dvmcmrhp52

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

    Roughly $30/yd for us.
  6. Meadowbrook

    Meadowbrook LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 467

    $27.00 a yard for dyed is cheap compared to what we got up here, some places are charging (and getting) $35.00 a yard for dyed mulch (red, black, brown). That $35.00 means that somebody gets in their truck, uses his or her own fuel to get to the distribution area, and waits for the loader operator to come out and load them up. All that was really used up on behalf of the landscape co. or nursery was a lil' diesel, and about 5 or 10 minutes (depending on the size load)

  7. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,432

    I get it for 32 red dyed and 26 for brown.I have checked a few other places around me and they were even higher :mad:
  8. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 663

    Mulch $14.50-17. Labor Myself .5 hour $25 so 2 yds. per hour. Fixed Overhead is much lower than most $3.50 per hour last time that I figured. Fuel expense is $.20 per mile. SO 14.5+12.5+1.75=$28.75-31.25 plus $.20 per mile. I usually don't pick up less than 6 yards at a time up to 14 so the time spent picking up is spread pretty thin per yard and the supplier I use is less than 3 miles from where I live and usually I am there to pick up other trees/plants. Efficientcy=More money
  9. jbell113

    jbell113 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 654

    I am just curious to how much coverage is 1 yard at 1 1/2 inches deep. I put mulch out all the time and where i buy it goes for $15 a scoop from a tractor with a loader on the front and a scoop covers 100 sq feet. I charge between $30 to $37.50 per 100 sq ft.
  10. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,898

    I could tell you how much coverage is, but you can figure it out for yourself. Think of it this way.... A cubic yard is 3'x3'x3', or 27 cubic feet. 1 1/2 inches is .125 feet (1.5/12=.125).

    You should be able to figure it out from there.:rolleyes:


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