Home > Mulch, Orchard > 100 Cubic Yards of Mulch… Yes, 100.

100 Cubic Yards of Mulch… Yes, 100.

Unfortunately, all my sources of free mulch has dried up. Only half of the orchard has been mulched. The other half of the orchard is cleared so I have been anxious to get it covered with mulch to prevent soil quality degradation, soil erosion, and weed/kudzu growth. It’s been great getting free mulch, however, seeing how I wanted to finish the orchard this year, I finally broke down and decided to pay for mulch.

The remaining orchard space is approximately 10,000 square feet and to cover that with 4 inches of mulch, I needed approximately 100 cubic yards of mulch. So just how much mulch is that? To put it into perspective, the standard bag of mulch you get at the store is 2 cubic FEET which translates of 0.07 cubic yard. So, 100 cubic feet is equivalent to 1,428 bags of the mulch you would get in the store. Since this mulch is not for decoration, I was interested in “single ground” mulch which is produced when tree limbs are passed through the chipper once.

When I inquired about my purchase, I was a bit surprised when the vendor told me the mulch would be delivered in one load. This is because the standard dump trucks have a capacity somewhere between 15 to 20 cubic yards so I fully expected that multiple loads would have to be made. I interrogated the vendor on the dimensions of the truck’s cargo space just to make sure that I would be getting what I was paying for. He provided me with dimensions of 53 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, and 13.5 feet high and clarified that the entire cargo space would be filled. By my calculations, this actually translated to 225 cubic yards.

Despite, all the back-and-forth verification and reverification, I fully expected there to be a misunderstanding when the truck arrived. Well, that was not the case. I got a call from the driver and drove out to meet him. When I saw the truck, I was pretty certain that it was in fact 53 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, and 13.5 feet high.

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While I was glad there was no misunderstanding, we were quickly subdued by the dilemma of getting this massive truck onto the orchard lot. The truck required a huge turning radius and therefore could not turn onto either one of the alleys unless all cars were moved off the street. Even if that were possible, then there was the issue of the tree limbs overhead due to the truck’s height. Lastly, the driver had no confidence that he could get his truck back out even if he was able to get onto the lot.

I was reluctant to throw in the towel so we finally agreed on having the load dumped in front of the front yard of the street lot I own which is adjacent to the orchard lot. This would mean longer trips for the bobcat I am going to have to rent to spread the mulch but at least I would not have to send the delivery back.

Given that the front yard is on a slope, the only space left was a 50 feet by 15 feet space consisting of the sidewalk and the city right of way. After chopping down a Crape Myrtle in the city’s right of way, we finally managed to get the truck in position and ready for unloading.

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Rear view of the unloading:

Side view of the unloading:

Once the truck had unloaded half of the mulch, I asked the driver to move the truck forward so the pile would not spill in front of the neighbor’s house. To my surprise, he began moving the truck forward without getting back in the driver’s seat. Apparently, the truck comes equipped with external controls to scoot the truck forward. Very cool!

Here’s the mechanism which allows the load to be pushed out of the cargo compartment without raising the bed.

View of “Mulch Mountain” after unloading was completed.

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