How much to charge to deliver a truck load of mulch?

Part of your spring yard cleanups may include a fresh layer of mulch on your customer’s flower beds. But how much should you charge to pickup mulch and deliver it? That is the question which was asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. As we will see here, it doesn’t hurt to call around and see what your competitors are charging when creating your own price but you also need to take into consideration other variables as well.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I need help on giving an estimate for a truck load of mulch. The total will be about 2 1/2 cubic yards. So how much should I charge for delivery and installation. I get the 2 1/2 cubic yards of mulch for $25.00 at a local material supplier. Should I up the price on them or just charge delivery and installation?

I can put 2.5 cubic yards in my truck and just put a tarp over it. The installation of the mulch would all be manual. I wish I had a dump truck. But I have two workers that I would take and they would unload my truck and dump it and spread it around. The distance between my truck and the yard won’t be that far, it’s just a few yards or so. Does this help? I was looking to charge around $200.00 is that fair?

I haven’t asked the customer about installing weed barrier fabric, but hey it’s extra money so I will ask. I am going to pay my two guys a total of $35.00 each so my profit will be around $100.00 or so.”

A second lawn care business owner said “for me it depends on a number of factors. Do you have a dump on your truck or a dump trailer? Can you actually haul 2.5 yards? When you get it to the site how far do you have to take it and what equipment do you have to take it to the spots? If it’s an all manual job, I have no idea. If a client called us and we determined they needed 2.5 yards the cost for all would be around $290.00 unless we are building the beds. If so, then add another $150.00.

Two yards is a pretty small job, I would recommend you will lay weed barrier fabric under the mulch. $200 to $250 would be the range in my area.”

A third shared “for a mulch install job like that I would charge $197.50 plus tax.

This includes delivery of the mulch, dumping, and spreading it. It does not include any prep work that would have to be done to the area and it does not include weed fabric, that would be an upsell. Around here we rarely lay fabric under mulch but we do for all rock jobs.”

A fourth said “I can get hemlock bark for $29/yard. It takes me about an hour to spread a yard. I charge about $50/yard installed. That doesn’t include laying fabric. That’s just doing a top-dressing of bark.

Every now and then I call around to other companies in my area to check my prices. A company called me back recently and told me they charge $38-$48/yard depending on bark quality. So that range is right where I guessed it would be.

I could probably hold 2.5 yard in my small trailer, but you need to be careful of the weight. Also the cost of bark is higher than mulch in my area but I prefer the way it looks.”

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