Advice for a 400 yard mulch job

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by zackz28, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. zackz28

    zackz28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    My business has been growing rapidly in the last 2 years, my largest mulch job was a 180 yarder around 2 years ago. My question is this about a new job that I am about to bid on.

    I measure about 65,000 sq feet and this is a remulch from atleast 3 years ago. There are a few spots bare with almost no cover to some spots with 4 inchs remaining, I am planning to put down around 2 inchs on the 65,000 feet. Covering heavier on the thin spots and light on the thick areas. I have a tractor with a 1 yard mulch bucket. Also a ton dump truck, atv with 1 yard dump trailer, along with 2 good size mulch trailers for transfering around the property. There are 18 different mulch beds on the entrance road that im doing. They range in size from 1000sq feet to 20000sq ft. So Im going to be moving the mulch around a bit. Most all the areas I can get to either right off the side of the road or with the tractor or atv so no big wheelbarrow trips.

    I can get the mulch for 20 a yard and the mulch guy said he might could do a little better with that much mulch. Delivery included.maybe 15 ish? I have heard one local guy say he was getting it for 9 with large amounts.

    Im really wanting to get this job but will be bidding against 2 other companys, one of the guys I am trying to out bid owns the only mulch blower around this area. Im guessing his price is no lower than 45 a yard installed. I think with this size job and being able to move the mulch by machine rather quick I could come out between 40 and 45 a yd myself and still turn a decent profit. My total on mulch would be 8000 or less and 100 man hours.

    Any one done any jobs like this where you would be needing 1 inch in area and 3 in others? Have I over estimated with 400 yards? Would the guy with the blower be going lighter? Does a blower make the mulch spread farther? Better mulch mileage so to speak? Wonder if he would just rent me the blower?

    BLGLLC LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 4

    I have done jobs this big and bigger. Are you edging or just mulching? How many guys are you employing during this job. Is the mulch delivered to the property?
  3. grassyfras

    grassyfras LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    I saw a site blown in the other day and it looked thin. I don't know if they did this on purpose or because they knew they could get away with it.

    I'm not in your area but if I was buying 400 yards of mulch I would think I could get it for around $10 a yard delivered. I'm doing a 75-100 yard job right now and received quotes from $13-$15 a yard. Keep shopping and don't be afraid to tell vendors what YOUR COMPANY PAYS FOR MULCH. My friend negotiates for a sandwich company and does this all the time. I know it's alittle different but still your buying a lot of mulch and they don't have to know if this is all you buy in a year or not. He names his own price and the vendors usually just say cave in.
  4. zackz28

    zackz28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

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  5. zackz28

    zackz28 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Most all edging needed is hard edging already in place. Mostly stone work. About 200 ft needs edging but that's included in my mow contract. All my mulch costs are a delivered price. After shopping around looks like I have located mulch at 7 a yard plus delivery which im working on now and it looks like good stuff. Also I believe I might have a hook up on a mulch blower that another local guy I know recently purchased. Will be going to check it out this weekend. What is a good price to pay for renting a blower? He says its supposed to blow 150 yds a day if you stay at it hard.
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    BLGLLC LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 4

    Sounds like you got it figured out , good luck.
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  7. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    I personally think your going to be high at $45/yard. We just bid a site pretty much similar to that and we went in at $40/yard which we know is a few $/yard high just so we can negotiate on the prce when it comes time. Were going to have the mulch delivered right to the site and then just use skid loaders to move it around. We we should be in and out of there in 1 day doing that job with 2 crews of 4. Our cost will be about 7-8k on the job and we will make about 7-8k on it too.

    My site is similar to yours as well in the sense of differences in mulch depth, but I am somewhat lucky becasue most of the areas with heavier mulch are trees so i can keep them seperate. Since you have walked the site, and you can tell what has what, you can probably pull up on google earth and measure and come up with a more accurate total. Maybe plan on 3" in the bare spots and the areas with 4" just take a pitch fork hoe and turn some of the mulch over and top dress it with an inch. Maybe you will still need 400 yards, but maybe you will only need 300 yards and in your bid you can explain your process. Say theres areas with plenty of mulch cover and to reduce the amount of material required you will turn the existing mulch and top dress.
  8. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,614

    I was thinking 7k in labor plus the mulch, you said was 8k? So 15k is 37.50 per yd. which sounds cheap to me so I wonder if it will really only take 100 hours. I guess they are huge open areas so that would go quick. Its working the mulch against the edges and around plants that takes time. Why would someone have all that mulch instead of grass?
  9. OneLineAtATime

    OneLineAtATime LawnSite Member
    Messages: 196

    You can find a bark blower to rent, even if you have to go for a drive. I rent one on any job over a 100 yards. I drive 2 hours to pick it up. Only need two guys to run it, mulch at the site and use a skid loader to load it.
  10. Guzzo856

    Guzzo856 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    rent or buy a bark blower. Its the only way to make money with these larger jobs. Instead of it taking 100 man hrs you will cut it in half.. Also instead of using 400yds you can get it done with 360yds with a bark blower. I would charge about $40 a yard. also im assuming that you have a skid steer?

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