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how much time for mulch?

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

  1. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    Bobby, My dump cart takes 2 Wheelbarrow loads and I load it in
    30 seconds. On ONE 2CY job there is an element of lost time in loading/unloading. I make up for it in capacity per load and ereducing load time.
    Honestly I would never do just one 2 CY mulch job in one day
    with all of this equipment. Combining 3,4,or 5 in one day is where you attain efficiency and productivity and make the money.
    How each of us does this and how we feal at the end of the
    day is what is important. I average 2-2.5 cy p/hr with this
    set up as a solo. That includes spreading loading/unloading.
  2. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Frankly, this post can be a great topic.
    Mulch is different for each of us. The solo LCO must find ways to make an “acceptable profit”, and the big guys have high overhead and must address mulching in another way.
    Instead of us “biting each others butt”, sharing information and techniques can help all of us.
    For me, I won’t turn away a 2-yard mulch job. I usually save it for a Saturday, I add a $30 delivery charge, and forget about if it takes more or less to pick up the mulch. As a solo guy, all I lose if it takes more then the equivalent of $65/hour for my delivery costs is “time”. Who cares if I take 15 minutes or 45 minutes for delivery? Money is money, and I’d rather make my $140 for the job, and make a bit less per hour, than over bid the job and make “nothing”. This is one of the ways we solo guy’s make a good living. Yes, we may put a few extra hours, but all that lost time means is “one less trip to Dunkin Donuts”.:D
  3. Katwalk

    Katwalk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    katwalk, i'm afraid that because of my limited intelect, i don't understand what you are trying to say. are you calling me an idiot? if you are, fine, you are now on a list of about 3000 others that have done the same. but i really don't get it. i was trying to make a point, that i didn't think the tractor setup was neccessary for tiny jobs. and yes, the tiny 2 yard jobs are profitable, to me, if i had them all day, every day, i'd make plenty of $$. that's all.
  5. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    Don't worry Bobby,
    You could always be a downsized Computer or At&T worker looking for work. :)
    I'm happy to have a job and benifits.
  6. DJL

    DJL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237


    Myself and my partners first year in the biz was last year. We only did 7 mulch applications ranging from a small 4 yard job to a large (to us) 15 yard job. Keep in mind there were two of us. We averaged ~7-8 yards in two hours. Breaking that down, if my calculations are correct, that equates to 2 yards per man-hour.

    The way we operated, just to give an idea, one person stood at the dump trailer filling an 8CF wheel barrel. The other person was walking the second full barrel and dumping it in the prepared bed and then changing it out with the full one. We'd stop every 6 to 7 barrels full because we would get tired of the walking/shoveling and spread the mulch around the bed. Notice, the time only includes taking the mulch from the dump trailer to the bed and spreading the mulch out. No time is included for weeding, edging, landscape fabric, etc...
  7. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    Bobby, I don't turn away 2CY mulch jobs either. I simply try to schedule 2-3 or 4 of them into one day so I can use the machines. If not, and time was not a factor I would probably leave the loader at home, but more and more time IS a factor it seems.
    Of course the loader I use is not just for mulch. I use it on nearly every landscape Job so the overhead is spread out and easily paid for. 250 p/mo is not allot of overhead.
    Whatever works for you is what matters. I have done it the wheel barrow way and now this way and the wheel barrow while used on occassion, is a backup for the most part.
    I was only trying to provide some alternative ideas that have
    really helped me.
  8. Doc Pete

    Doc Pete LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,469

    And Remember, they do make an electric power wheelbarrow that is supposed handle a 20 degree incline. That would really ease the load of those smaller jobs.
  9. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    Doc..being the old fart that I am, always looking for ways to do things easier...do you know who makes the electric wheelbarrow and a ballpark price?
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    electric wheelbarrow? come on guys, come on. now, you are killing me.how bout you just get a wheelchair too, so you don't have to walk to the truck. what do you do to get or keep your equipment running properly? maintenence, preventative maint, keep it greased, use quality oil, good fuel, etc. well, what are you doing to keep or get yourself in condition during december, jan, feb, march? you should be excersising. when the day comes that i need an electric wheelbarrow, i'll buy some rope and look for a good strong branch

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