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Need help on big mulch job estimate

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wrm, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. wrm

    wrm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Hey guys, thanks in advance for any advice.
    My partner and I ( 2 man operation- equal owners) wonder what you would charge for a 250 yard job, 20 of which is for ready to go beds, the rest is for 2 long stretches of land that has trees ligned all the way down. We would be mulching around each tree consisting of about 230 yards of mulch, there is grass there now, this area has never been mulched. Normally we get 65-70 per yd. I know that goes down as the yards go up, but what is reasonable? This is an entrance to a neighborhood and we are also bidding on the grass cutting for the entrance ( only maybe 150 per cut).
    Thanks again,
    Clean Cut
  2. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    First thing would be to see how cheap the supply yard would sell you that much mulch for. Are you able to have it dumped on site or are you going to run it out of your truck bed/trailer? What are you gonna do to keep the grass from trying to grow through the mulch? You need to include this info if you want a honest answer.
  3. wrm

    wrm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Yes we can dump it
    we pay 22 per yd, but never got more than 20 yds at a time, may go lower??
    planned on spraying to kill grass.
  4. landgator

    landgator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Where I live the mulch company will deliver a semi truck load of mulch. Buying in bullk is much cheaper then buying 10-12 yrds at a time. Are you going to rent a a tractor or bobcat to help put it down? That is a lot of wheelbarow loads.
  5. wrm

    wrm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    We've thought about Bobcat, but anybody with a rough estimate opinion?
  6. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    If you can buy direct and get a semi load, you should be around $12-15 ayard. Say $3750 for the mulch ( @ $15 a yard), Babcat rental of $250, and labor $1000. Total $5,000. 250 yards is a lot mulch, I wouldn't dare tackle this without a bobcat unless I had a week to do it.
  7. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    I would look to sub out this work to a company that can blow it in. That is a ton of mulch and it sounds like the job would be perfect for a mulch blower. You could save a ton too.... 250 yds at, say, 75$/yd installed is $18,750 alone (if done by you.) (ballpark, of course and price per yd. is a guess)

    A mulch blower might be 500-600 a day. It could probably do 250 yds in 3-4 days (under perfect condidtions)... so that's 2,400 for the truck, 5,500 (this is probably WAY high cause you'd buy in bulk) for your mulch cost= 7,900

    You could charge a lot less than $18,750, like 11-12,000 - make a ton of cash and save your back!
  8. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,633

    This is the way to go. I had a large (45 yds is a lot for me) mulch job, and subbed it to a guy with a blower. The best thing about it was that the blower did a nice job with about 30 yds of mulch. I think the blower chops it up or something, so it goes a lot further.

    I made more profit, and did almost none of the work. I bid $2500 for the job, and paid the blower guy around $1300. No wheelbarrows!
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    My first question is, how do you know it's 250?

    Because you have to know for yourself how much it would take, I wouldn't be for taking someone else's word if you're doing the work... It has been my experience that, depending on whodunit, it can take half as much or twice as much in extreme cases but it's not unusual, what if it only takes you 160 or what if it ends up using 400?

    Then there's no competition when it comes to blower trucks, around here they do it for 40-45 a yard past 10 or 14, not sure about 250 if they'd get another discount... The prices may have gone up some in the past year or two since I last checked, maybe 45-50 but not beyond, not with those guys.

    Now the mulch yard that does it here, Lco's get a 10% discount as members, which we usually either pocket or split it with the customer 50-50.
  10. wrm

    wrm LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    We measured it and are pretty confident it's 250 yds, we'd like to have it dumped and either have bobcat or just wheel barrel it, any suggestions on estimate?
    Clean Cut

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