Blowing Away the Old Method

Blowing Away the Old Method

With the right kind of technology, everybody comes out on top. Mulch and seeding firms in Indiana have been making big investments into equipment that can help them get the job done faster, safer, and with fewer personnel. The end result is a job completed in less time and for less cost, which is definitely turning heads among project owners.


20X More Work Per Hour

Right now, it is estimated that about five companies in Indiana have added mulch blowing trucks to their fleets. These are large machines capable of hauling up to 50 cubic yards of mulch, dirt, compost, playground chips, and various types of grass seeding materials. Whatever the project requires.

To use mulch as an example, materials are typically dumped in a pile near the project site before being hand shoveled into wheelbarrows. Then workers drop and spread the mulch by hand. It’s labor intensive, and typically takes about an hour for an experienced two-person crew to spread 2 to 3 cubic yards, according to data from HomeGuide.

Mulch blowing trucks, on the other hand, can spread up to 60 cubic yards per hour with one to two experienced workers on the job. Operators simply spread the mulch by using a large hose connected to a blower system. It is far less labor intensive, which saves time and helps avoid opportunities for injuries from strenuous work.

In terms of costs, blowing is effectively half the cost of hand spreading mulch. Hand mulching costs approximately $50 to $100 per cubic yard and blowing costs $35 to $60 per cubic yard. The potential for savings is even greater for larger projects.


Mulch-Blowing Cost Comparison

  • Mulch blowing is cheaper and faster, especially for larger jobs.
  • Mulch blowing costs $35 to $60 per cubic yard.
  • Hand mulching costs $50 to $100 per cubic yard.
  • For a typical 250-square-foot flowerbed, mulch spraying costs about $100.

Source: HomeGuide


A Solution for Labor Shortages

Given the convenience for workers and the ability to complete more projects at a faster pace, mulch blowing is becoming a new niche industry in Indiana as a strong subcontracting partner to the landscaping sector. As with many other firms right now, landscaping businesses are always managing the challenges of worker shortages. Contracting out their large mulching or material spreading projects to blowing firms has become an attractive option for many, particularly because there is still plenty of room for a profit.

One new blowing startup that launched this summer is Lafayette-based Precision Mulch Blowing. The company, started by U.S. Navy veteran Ed Gilmore, recently invested nearly $250,000 into a state-of-the-art blowing truck that will be able to rapidly spread multiple types of groundcover and landscaping materials.

“What drew me to start this company was the way it’s so much more efficient than the manual ways. I believe everyone likes getting jobs done easier, and I thought this was a great way to help out other companies complete their projects more effectively,” Gilmore said.

“I grew up on a farm and I’ve worked on all kinds of different outdoor and landscaping projects throughout my life. Any time you can get things done easier and quicker, people will sure appreciate it,” he added.


Getting Things Covered

The versatility of blowing truck companies makes them a solid jack-of-all trades partner for landscaping firms or other contractors. Mulch is only the starting point for blowing machines of this scale. They can be used to seed lawns, fertilize large areas with compost, fill playground bedding, add topsoil, and assist with numerous types of erosion control projects.

When it comes to construction and new installations of landscaping projects, blowing becomes a preferred option for eliminating some of the tasks that create the most manhours on a given project. It’s a key area of project management where outsourcing the work becomes more profitable for everyone involved, including the customer.


A Spreading Trend

With such potential for savings and reductions to hours of hard work, mulch and other landscape material blowing is likely going to become a subsector that will be on an upward trend for some time. It’s an attractive and more efficient option for everyone involved with projects, and those are always the seeds of very good business outcomes.

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