By Hand or Blown Mulch Yardage Cutoff

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by sgoalie23, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    I took a look at past posts and found a discussion on blown mulch and how much mulch was laid. We are in the process of finishing 280 yards, 3" thick at my father's house. Needless to say that his idea of payment is "So you want to live in the house another day? Get back to work!" My question is at what amount of mulch should blowing be considered? If blowing is the way to go, what should the split be between myself and the mulch blowing contractor? I understand that prices vary through out the country, therefore a percentage would be helpful. Thank you.

    By the way, I will be glad to pass on any comments you may have for my father. :laugh:
  2. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

  3. dvmcmrhp52

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

    280 yds?????????????????????
    If this is not a typo it would have been blown in.
    We've done 100 at one site,but 280?
    That's more than the average bear has.................
  4. sgoalie23

    sgoalie23 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 195

    Not a typo. My father brought in 12 yards at a time with the dump. What should the split be between the blower and me be?
  5. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    I'm not sure I understand the question, that's why I removed my original response.

    Are you talking about for this job at your fathers, or are you talking about for future reference at other jobs of your own?
  6. gvandora

    gvandora LawnSite Member
    Messages: 143

    You need to look at how much time you have to work. I would say 1 cu. yd. per man hour. For me 280 works out to 280 man hours maybe more if its a long way from the pile to where you want to spread it. If you've got infinite time, go ahead and do it by hand. However, if you consider that even at minimum wage, 280 hours is $1,442.00 worth of work, I would suggest you blow that much. For me, I would blow most jobs over 20 yards.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    over 5 gets blown not worth the time to waste doing it by hand as for cost all depends on the contractor
    my guy gets it in bulk and is happy to blow for $
  8. jkelton

    jkelton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    I'll tell you what I see in my business (I operate a blowing company):

    For most jobs over 10 yards, look at getting a blowing company to do the job. Many landscapers think that every job over 5 yards should be blown in, but in truth (at least in my area), jobs under 10 yards are not profitable for the blowing company. A lot depends on how the job is laid out (big mulch beds much better than a bunch of tree rings for the blower).

    As far as a markup the landscaper charges, I find that most of my clients have in the neighborhood of 20~30% markup from what I charge. Some of this markup is taken up by prep work the landscaper does before the mulch is laid (i.e., trenching, cleaning up debris, etc.). But, take into account that we can generally do the same job at 10~15% less mulch than you can do by hand - again, a lot of this depends on how the job is laid out and how well it has been prepped out.

    I try to explain to my landscaper clients that they should view us as another tool to use, not a complete replacement of their existing methods (i.e., by hand). I like to use analogies to further explain this concept: When a painter buys an air gun to speed up time to paint a house, you do not expect them to throw away all of their paint brushes. Some areas are best done by the air gun, some with paint brushes. The same concept is directly related to blowing mulch. A lot of jobs are best done by the blower company, but there are some jobs that are best done (both aesthetically and financially) done by hand. Small, intricate beds with a lot of annuals and tree rings are two examples of jobs that are best done by hand.

    I hope I explained this well to everyone.
  9. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,254

    Jkelton is right on.
    I also own a blower company.
    We will not do anything under 10 yards, like Jkelton said, It is just not profitable for us to do so. Also on jobs that do not have large beds and are mainly tree rings we tend to charge per tree ring. This is because tree rings for a blower truck take small amounts of mulch but more time. they are tipicaly place a decient distance apart so it is eather alot of hose draging or movment of the truck. Every time we have to shut down the truck to move or add or subtract hose it eats up time. Time in our business is key, more time less mulch = less money. So i would say anything over 10 yards of mulch and not compleatly covered in tree rings or small beds that are cut up around the property should be done by a blower truck. It will save you time and money. 280 yards would be a good amount of mulch for one location we have done larger amounts than that but not typicaly at a residential location, but i must say we have done a few larger amounts than that at residentails but they are typicaly large estates. just my 2 cents
  10. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    Do you have any pics of what you are going to mulch, havent seen a job over 20yards here in the city.

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