Solo operator: installing mulch

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Wayne Offiler, Feb 25, 2002.

  1. Wayne Offiler

    Wayne Offiler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    Off to a fast start this year; already contacted by 4 customers to re-mulch beds (I may skip my flyer this Spring). 10 to 13 yards per account; should go over 100 yards of mulching this year. This is a lot for me, as a one-man operation.
    I have been having it dumped in the driveway, then use my 10 cu ft poly wheelbarrow and 10-tine fork to move the mulch into the beds.
    Thought of renting a Bobcat skid steer, but doesn't seem enough of a time saver to justify the cost.
    Could really use some advise from other solo operators as how to best install mulch. Thanks!
  2. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 542

    The work rings around the rest of us!

  3. Mowman

    Mowman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    Try hiring a 12-15 year old student to give you a hand for mulching jobs. CHEAP labor. Maybe you might have a nephew or even a son to give you a hand. Just an IDEA.
    Good Luck,
  4. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    i dont think a bobcat is the answer. if you have some nice lawns, the customers arent going to want a heavy machine driven on their lawn to spread mulch. i spread about 100 yrds last year by myself, and i would just shovel off the trailer into the wheelbarrow. your best bet would be to hire some quick help.
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    Since its too early for cleanups and/or mowing, seems you have plenty of time on your hands if it werent for the mulch jobs. I'd continue the way you're doing it for the next few weeks at least.
  6. f350

    f350 Banned
    from mi
    Messages: 424

    sub the work out to a company with an express blower.
  7. Ssouth

    Ssouth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    Wayne, What you're doing sounds fine. Instead of using a fork to load it, try an aluminum grain scoop. You can fill a 10 cu ft wheelbarrow (heaping) in eleven scoops. As mentioned it does help to have two people. We sometimes hire a guy just to push the wheelbarrow.

    Just a little info:

    The grain scoop is one of my most valuable tools.
    When we first started doing mulch, we used a 6 cu ft wheelbarrow and a regular shovel to load it. It took 26 scoops to fill the wheelbarrow. It didn't take long to start looking for other options. We found scoops to be the best. You can load the same wheelbarrow is 6 scoops. Not only does it save time, it will aslo save your back.
  8. Jet boater

    Jet boater LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    Maybe I'm imagining only large yards, but here's what I do on my own property.

    I use a 5 x 8 trailer with sides that I can fit 3 cu yards in. (I'd suggest something bigger.) Once I get home with the trailer, I just hitch to the back of the turf tiger and pull it around the yard. Shovel directly from the trailer to the final location.

    Point is, try to avoid double handling the mulch whenever you can. Saves your back.
  9. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    absolutely! get the aluminum one.

  10. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    As Jet Boater said...attach a small (it can be a Wal Mart cheapo) cart to a riding mower...I attach mine to a 52 exmark, dump 4 yrds in and off I go...on my own property I used to wheel 35 yards in a 10 cu ft wheelbarrow...I was dead if I hurried...these little trailers(or carts) are inexpensive and save your back and an enormous amount of effort and time...and time is what we're selling...this works very well for the solo operator...we have to find every mechanical aide we can ...if we don't, we'll be in traction in no time...good luck

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