How much time to mulch a bed per cu yard?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by 32vld, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,982

    Have a person that wants new beds put in, planted, and mulched where an existing lawn is along a fence.

    I know mulch can be bought by the bag or bulk.
    I need to know how much time on average it takes to put down mulch to price the job.

    The bed will be in the back yard, so the mulch will have to be wheel barreled through a 36" gate. So in this case I think bag will be faster to get into the back yard from the front.

    Thank you for your advice.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If you're needing more that 15 or 20 bags of mulch, get a pickup load and spread it as the plants go in... I think mulch is your quickest and easiest part of the job, if you plan to do it right...
    Just add 10% to your prep and planting time, that should be enough... :)
  3. yardatwork

    yardatwork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    In my takes 1.5 hours per yard to load wheel barrow, walk it to the site, dump it, and spread it out. Some people will say it takes less time, but I'm super picky about getting under shrubs, evenly spread, etc. This is with one person doing the job. I try to get $65 per yard spread labor charge. As for bags...I've seen people say $3.00-$5.00 per bag spread labor charge.
  4. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Hey. We make sure our clients know that we need to have the best, closest parking spot or area clear for our use. Write it in the contract if you need to.

    We get truckloads of mulch and soil, up to 18 cubic yards at a time. If some-one goes to work and leaves their car parked where we supposed the truck would dump the load
    then the company would have to add alot of extra work to their day.
    There goes the profit.

    My estimating books say
    Moving materials by wheelbarrow (2-3 cubic feet each)(20-22 shovels full)

    Load, wheel, dump and return. Speed varies according to density and weight of material

    100 feet 4-5 minutes (50 feet there, 50 feet back)
    200 feet 5-6 minutes
    300 feet 6-8 minutes
  5. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 942

    We have a three man ground cover install crew, and usually with with 2 wheel barrow going and 1 man spreading we can knock out about 4 cubic yards per hour give or take....we usually book all installs out about a week, therefore we are able to prep the day before so there is nothing else needing to be done but spreading the mulch....we have a set rate of $65 per cubic yard plus Prep work, extra material needed, delivery and dumping.....unless there is some problem that will prevent us from the avg install we use this formula.....and always charge a little extra for obstacle like hills, hard to get areas, and distance to and from mulch pile.....just dont leave money on the table by low balling yourself....once you find out how much it really cost you per hour, then you can come up with what works best for prep work and misc cost usually covers most of the labor as well.....
  6. Travel'n Trees

    Travel'n Trees LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 631

    Around here here average rate is $75 a yard complete. No extra charges. 5 yards should take around 40 minutes or less max with the right equipment.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,064

    There are way too many variables to give you a decent answer. How big is the bed, how far do you need to hump it, etc. Bagged mulch is way more expensive compared to bulk, an average price for mulch is around 25 bucks (double ground brown) which cover's roughly 27-30sqft and bagged mulch is about 3-5 bucks and only covers about 3sqft. As far as time, again, depends where you need to lay it at, I can unload 2 yards out of the back of a truck and wheel barrow it 10 feet away and be done in an hour start to finish but if we have to go up hill 30 yards get the gist.
  8. Jpeg lawn maintenance

    Jpeg lawn maintenance LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    5 yards in 40 min ? if thats true thats serious production
  9. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 942

    lol...i have seen it done that fast, but we had 6 people working ....
  10. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,064

    40 minutes for 5 yards? really? I would almost hate to see the end result.

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