How much to charge for lime application

Discussion in 'Fertilizer Application' started by jarabe1, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,675

    Frequent fill-ups and heavy rates of product make this time-consuming and a back breaker. Might need a dust mask. Probably be covered with lime dust. Abrasive; it might kill your spreader, also.
    I say add the cost of the product.
    Add the spread time, say 2 minutes per thousand sqft. 5 hours.
    Add the refill time, say 5 minutes per bag. ( You need to take about a minute just to go back to the truck and a minute to go back to the left-off point). 1.5 hours. At 60 dollars per hour that is $396 in labor.
    Add your stop charge for transportation and gas. Say $25.
    Add a dollar per mile to pickup lime, cost in driver's time and truck cost. Say $30
    Add your cost per stop for overhead (postage, rent, phone, office supplies, insurance) Say $10.
    Add your profit to reward you for the risk of being in business. Say $20 per stop.

    Its only $1381. Add 5 percent for the chance of callbacks and the chance that they will not pay on time. Not sure if its worth it to you.
    If you are licensed or consider yourself skilled labor--or have to sweat or breathe the dust--increase your labor rate per hour.
    Add your labor burden per hour--you have to pay FICA tax and benefits like health insurance and worker's compensation.

    Use tractor mounted equipment if you can. Of course, if it is an agricultural situation and the site can be accessed and driven on by a big truck--it is much cheaper--hire it done--and take a percent mark-up for your troubles.
  2. ETM

    ETM LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 1,068

    $9 for lime????? Now thats KraZy
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. wrooster

    wrooster LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 79

    In general, lime comes in two physical forms:
    -- granular
    -- pelletized

    Granular lime can only be applied using a drop spreader. Pelletized lime, on the other hand, can be applied with a broadcast (rotary) spreader. Pelletized lime is somewhat more expensive than granular lime, so pick your poison: cheaper material but more time with a drop spreader, or more expensive material and less time with a broadcast spreader. For large areas, applying pelletized lime via a tow-behind or PTO-driven broadcast spreader would seem to be ideal.

    Because I don't own a drop spreader, I purchase pelletized lime. My supplier offer two pelletized lime options, calcitic lime (Cal-Turf Pro) and dolomitic lime (Mag-Turf Pro). Depending on what my soil test(s) show, I go with one or the other; for example, if a recent soil test shows higher than average Mg, I would select the calcitic lime.

    Now then, lime that you buy in granular or pelletized form will have, as stated by the manufacturer on the bag, a comparative value called "ECCE" -- you can learn more about ECCE and also find a calculator for figuring out how much "equivalent" lime value your specific product has, here:

    See also this thread:











  4. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Except that nobody is going to pay you $10-$12 per thousand square feet to put it down. That is my quick calculation if you were to mark up the material 20%.

    $2,700 - (900 x 1.2) = $1,620
    $1,620/155 = $10.45 labor, profit, and overhead per thousand square feet which is the same as $16.20 per bag to apply assuming 100 bags - 40# bags at that. Using Riggle,s time estimates, which I would have a lot of faith in, you're somewhere around $270/hr.
  5. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,015

    Why don't you just use sol u cal? Yeah a little more money but one bag is like 4-5 bags of what you're considering right?

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