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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those who haven't read my intro, I'm very new to landscaping and we have been growing at a decent pace. I just got a call yesterday to spread gravel. I know I should give more detail, but I don't have much else to go off of. I am set up to meet a customer tomorrow to see exactly what she needs.

I just went and took a little tour of the gravel supplier store in town to get a feel for what kind of material is out there and sizes and all that. Does anyone have any ideas on what else I should start educating myself in or any good reads on landscape rocks before I go in? I'll be back with more details, but am going to go in tomorrow and take pics and measure then do another half day of research before I give a price.

Right now I ...
Have an idea of differant uses of sizes (clean vs minus) and it's uses
When to use fabric
Differant examples of tonnage and coverage
 

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Develop pricing by the yard. It is sold by the ton or yard depending if the supplier has a scale insite. 1 yard usually equals 1.5 tons but that will change. Figure yards per hour that you can do. Shoveling gravel off the ground nets around 1 yard per hour. Shoveling off the ground suxs and someone with a dump truck/trailer will be able to do it quicker. There are lots of calculators online that convert square footage to yards but for most landscape rock I use 1 yard covers 100 sq ft at 2.5 inches deep. 8 wheelbarrows is about a yard of material. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Also, I did about a half hour of researching and could only find 2 times people mentioned how long it took to spread 1 ton of gravel by hand and a wheelbarrow. I have 2.1 hours per ton and 1 hour per ton. Can anyone else chime in on how long it might take with a trailer full of gravel fairly close by?
 

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I can tell you the following...
With a 10 cubic foot wheelbarrow (that's a large bucket 2-wheeler, not powered).
I can spread two cubic yards of mulch in an hour, keep in mind it's a lot lighter than rock.
For simplicity's sake I have always calculated rock and dirt to come out to 1 yard = 1 ton and done.
That may not be exact but it works for me.
So then...
Gravel generally takes longer because I can only fill the barrow about half way due to the weight.
And thus...
Personally speaking I would price it at 2 yards/tons per hour if I needed the work and 1 per hour if I wanted to be fair to myself, somewhere in between if you need to adjust that.

It's back breaking work, last time I hired a guy to spread 8 cubic yards of gravel on my driveway and to my surprise he got it done in about 4 hours. The pile of gravel was already on top of the driveway, it just needed to be spread.
Tools used: Shovel, 2-wheel 10 cu.ft. barrow, and a landscaper's rake.
I paid him $200 at the time, I personally think I paid too much but it's what we agreed on before he started so that's how it went down. So I think around $40 a cubic yard just for spreading is likely a good price today, but a lot depends how far it needs to go (as well if the surface goes up or down hills, this affects how easy/ hard the job will be).

This is merely opinion based on experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can tell you the following...
With a 10 cubic foot wheelbarrow (that's a large bucket 2-wheeler, not powered).
I can spread two cubic yards of mulch in an hour, keep in mind it's a lot lighter than rock.
For simplicity's sake I have always calculated rock and dirt to come out to 1 yard = 1 ton and done.
That may not be exact but it works for me.
So then...
Gravel generally takes longer because I can only fill the barrow about half way due to the weight.
And thus...
Personally speaking I would price it at 2 yards/tons per hour if I needed the work and 1 per hour if I wanted to be fair to myself, somewhere in between if you need to adjust that.

It's back breaking work, last time I hired a guy to spread 8 cubic yards of gravel on my driveway and to my surprise he got it done in about 4 hours. The pile of gravel was already on top of the driveway, it just needed to be spread.
Tools used: Shovel, 2-wheel 10 cu.ft. barrow, and a landscaper's rake.
I paid him $200 at the time, I personally think I paid too much but it's what we agreed on before he started so that's how it went down. So I think around $40 a cubic yard just for spreading is likely a good price today, but a lot depends how far it needs to go (as well if the surface goes up or down hills, this affects how easy/ hard the job will be).

This is merely opinion based on experience.
Thank you so much for this reply. Is this time from rock dumped out in the driveway and wheelbarrows to the backyard or something like that?

I ended up getting my bid at 15 tones at 150 bucks per ton to spread. It will be dumped probably 75-125 feet from where it needs to be. I know a big boy who I'm gonna pay 175 to help me for a day and try to do it all in one day
 

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Thank you so much for this reply. Is this time from rock dumped out in the driveway and wheelbarrows to the backyard or something like that?

I ended up getting my bid at 15 tones at 150 bucks per ton to spread. It will be dumped probably 75-125 feet from where it needs to be. I know a big boy who I'm gonna pay 175 to help me for a day and try to do it all in one day
What does a mini skid cost to rent?
 

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1 million dollars
Depends if your trailer is beefy enough to haul it, the really small ones are light enough but for the cost it's worth using a wheel barrow and shovel... Even thou it is 15 tons, a really decent skid steer is around $800 a day delivered and picked up but there is also the issue of track / tire damage from "skid" steering.
 

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For those who haven't read my intro, I'm very new to landscaping and we have been growing at a decent pace. I just got a call yesterday to spread gravel. I know I should give more detail, but I don't have much else to go off of. I am set up to meet a customer tomorrow to see exactly what she needs.

I just went and took a little tour of the gravel supplier store in town to get a feel for what kind of material is out there and sizes and all that. Does anyone have any ideas on what else I should start educating myself in or any good reads on landscape rocks before I go in? I'll be back with more details, but am going to go in tomorrow and take pics and measure then do another half day of research before I give a price.

Right now I ...
Have an idea of differant uses of sizes (clean vs minus) and it's uses
When to use fabric
Differant examples of tonnage and coverage
In our area, we have a couple of vendors that sell an Arizona River Rock mix, it's considered a "rainbow" mix. We get this at a great price, better than any other gravel or stone of any color or size out there. What I like about this (it sells itself to the customer) is it's mixed colors, ranging from black to gray to tan to brown, approx. 1/2" - 1", $85/.5cy. Delivery is available (somewhere around $75 as long as it fits into their trucks), although we usually pick it up ourselves and I build that into the price I'm quoting.
Since we get it such a great price (I live in Southern California so it may be pricey and other parts of the country), I can pass the savings on to the customer (every single one of our customers goes with this choice). I stress to them that just rock will go with anything. It will look good with brick they may have in their driveway/sidewalks or on their home, it blends well with any color they paint their house, works with plain old concrete, and/or any other wacky combination of colors or materials they have going on at their home or in their yard.
I recommend that when you go to an aggregate supplier, bring large baggies and ask for samples of everything. Note the price per cubic yard on each baggie. Then you have something to show your customers. (I also get samples of their mulch, soils, and decomposed granite as well.)
By the way, you're local supplier may not be the best source to use. Do your homework and check into other vendors. Some don't sell to the public, so be sure to bring your business license or at least a business card when they know you're a legit landscaper.
As far as pricing your job, there's a pretty good website (of course there are many others out there, but this is the one I rely on when necessary) that will give you fairly accurate the pricing information, based on your ZIP code and the square footage you're dealing with. I'm quite experienced so I can do this math off the top of my head, but if necessary this is the site that would go to (Homewyse.com).
What's great about this site? They will have a list of everything you need to consider when you're doing a job like this. They'll remind you to charge for the wear and tear on your equipment, what needs to be prepped, clean up, hauling, etc. They provide the list, you provide the square footage in the zip code, and you can uncheck boxes that don't apply to you (for example, if the homeowner has already cleared the area and it's smooth and level, uncheck that box).
They provide a price range for what you could expect to charge, low too high. I would normally take the average depending on the area I'm working in.
I hope this helps a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey guys, we just finished this job today. I tried to get the owners(house flippers) to lay down landscape fabric and spray pre emergent, but they declined, and although I would like to do this as best as possible, it is their choice and they just wanted some ding dings to spread Rock.

I also don't like to have customers buy materials, but they insisted and we agreed to get a foot in the door with these flippers, who have quite a bit of work. I ended up using Google maps to calculate the square footage and used the equation from the rock supplier to estimate tonnage. Another reason to buy own materials other than up charging, is that we were feeling like maybe they ordered a little more than we guestimated. All in all it was a good learning experience and it turned out nice. For those who might need to calculate how long it takes, me and my helper spread 15 tons from the driveway to the yard and it took us a total of 16 man hours to be completely done with hauling, and spreading so 1 hour per ton(somewhere in between busting ass and a normal place) plus 1 hour of cleanup. Next time I would charge 1.25 hours per ton and take it easy. We are absolutely beat, and only did 4 hours per day.

Wheelbarrow with two wheels, and big plastic shovel(protect the driveway on last scoops) saved my ass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here's some before and after pics. I also charged for grading(did by hand with a pick on high spots) and to remove the old backing board.
 

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For those who haven't read my intro, I'm very new to landscaping and we have been growing at a decent pace. I just got a call yesterday to spread gravel. I know I should give more detail, but I don't have much else to go off of. I am set up to meet a customer tomorrow to see exactly what she needs.

I just went and took a little tour of the gravel supplier store in town to get a feel for what kind of material is out there and sizes and all that. Does anyone have any ideas on what else I should start educating myself in or any good reads on landscape rocks before I go in? I'll be back with more details, but am going to go in tomorrow and take pics and measure then do another half day of research before I give a price.

Right now I ...
Have an idea of differant uses of sizes (clean vs minus) and it's uses
When to use fabric
Differant examples of tonnage and coverage
We spread gravel often. We charge by the ton. We don't recommend fabric. They break down over time, and weeds start to grow through it. It's a pain to treat the weeds from broken fabric. This is the template message we send to clients.


"On the gravel alone. It depends on the area, the rule of thumb is one ton covers 100-150 sq ft space.

Generally speaking the gravel per ton cost ranges from $XX per ton and UP. The labor cost to spread is $XX/ton for the backyard, $XX/ton for the front yard plus gravel delivery and handling fee. 
Please see below rocks spreading work reference:
http://instagr.am/p/BcP_7qdF1jh/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BZzQ6iNlPWr/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BYjbKGuFyjf/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BXufT3flPGL/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BUlTktRliXy/
 

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Here's some before and after pics. I also charged for grading(did by hand with a pick on high spots) and to remove the old backing board.
That looks like half inch pink coral or yavapi coral. We spread them often in Phoenix. The other popular one is madison gold and apache brown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We spread gravel often. We charge by the ton. We don't recommend fabric. They break down over time, and weeds start to grow through it. It's a pain the treat the weeds from broken fabric. This is the template message we send to clients.


"On the gravel alone. It depends on the area, the rule of thumb is one ton covers 100-150 sq ft space.

Generally speaking the gravel per ton cost ranges from $XX per ton and UP. The labor cost to spread is $XX/ton for the backyard, $XX/ton for the front yard plus gravel delivery and handling fee. 
Please see below rocks spreading work reference:
http://instagr.am/p/BcP_7qdF1jh/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BZzQ6iNlPWr/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BYjbKGuFyjf/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BXufT3flPGL/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BUlTktRliXy/
Thanks for that! Especially on the fabric part. I wasn't sure what is happening out in the real world I mean it's only supposed to last for 7(?) years or so anyway.

Another thing is that we had a hard time getting the rock to look ultra flat, but I figured that would happen with time. I spent about 2 or 3 hours just trying to make it look as good as possible.

If it matters to anyone, I didn't have any reference point so I did 15 tons at 65 bucks per ton to spread. My dad was in town and for some reason volunteered to help, so I'm thinking his mind might be starting to go but he saved my ass and I did ok on profit. One man hour per ton is expecting alot out of the human body with th distance we had to go 2200 sqr foot area, maybe 50 feet farthest point away from the pile.
 
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