Gerasimek's Tree-mek

deevo

Well-Known Member
I see companies running into trouble with these. To many moving parts to break, to much down time and once they are out of warranty I can promise you that the dealer will make you wish you never bought it with the repair bills.
The monthly payment will be tough if work slows down ( insurance, tax and maintenance) and keeping salt off it during the winter would drive me nuts. $400k is a big nut, that thing will have to be going 5 days a week. Once you invest in this equipment you won't enjoy down time during the winter either. It's also something that wouldn't be easy to sell if you had to.
I don't see it being ideal for lots of trees, the farther away the tree the smaller the piece, and it doesn't pick like a crane so you'll have trouble working pieces around other trees once the piece flips over. It's a big truck that'll have limited access. Yes, there will be lots of trees that this will be ideal for, but $400k I want equipment that can get to every single tree.
These are just starting to enter my market in Fairfield County CT. The big removal companies are starting to buy them, with every other piece of equipment they can think of. The biggest problem I see with these is sending an employee out and taking to big of a cut.
They might work out for some guys, if the economy turns they could get into trouble pretty quickly.
Most of the guys who get these get them because of employee issues or lack there of, @Gerasimek was the first one in North America to build and run one, yeah they are expensive but if you are paying 2-3 guys say 60 k a year you can reduce 2 quickly like Glenn did, and Steve’s doing. Then you don’t have the stress of keeping those 2-3 guys busy if it slows down in the winter, yes you won’t reach every single tree, I can’t either with my crane, there’s other alternatives you can use ie. bigger crane which I go to for plan B or use my tracked lift for plan C. There are so many for pros I can list but they are popping up all over now so obviously are working for the guys who have them, you don’t see any on tree trader for sale. I will likely get one built down the road as well, but for now I’m sticking with my stick crane and climbers @SJ_Treeguy was close behind @Gerasimek build and he can probably run his 7 days a week if he wanted.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Please explain, I'm willing to accept that I could be completely wrong .
I would like to defer to Glenn or @sjtreeguy to point out the information. They have long term use under their belt. Mine is in production. I did months of research befor I dumped the money into it. For me it was a sound investment. What the key is, I have 20 years of removals under my belt. Somebody who doesn’t have that experience is gonna make critical mistakes
 

bck56

Member
I would like to defer to Glenn or @sjtreeguy to point out the information. They have long term use under their belt. Mine is in production. I did months of research befor I dumped the money into it. For me it was a sound investment. What the key is, I have 20 years of removals under my belt. Somebody who doesn’t have that experience is gonna make critical mistakes
I just read the whole thread, you're right, I am off. For $230k I can see the value.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
I've got about 375 in mine. As for the long term I can't speak to the durability, however I think careful precise operations are key. Like any tree operation you need a plan and work the plan. Avoid torsional loading of the boom, rapid stresses and pushing the load chart to the max. The head rotates so the tangle factor can be negotiated with a good plan. Using other parts of the tree to dampen the drop factor will reduce the bounce factor as well. There is no silver bullet in this game but for me, this is a game changer. Deevo already pointed out many of the benefits. I think the warranty concern depends on your builder. From what I understand the 2 major players provide amazing customer service even years after the check was cashed. For 1/4 of a mill they better. It's a race to get build contracts so something as small as customer service will make or break them. They are still on their game. I looked at a used truck being worked over at Westminster. It was recently bought and was having major repairs. The key is, it was sold and probably without any difficulty. If your flipping pics over with a stick crane, you are doing it wrong. There is not flipping with either if its done correctly. The difference is you can navigate around trees instead of up and over like a stick crane. Remember they have a horizontal load chart. Stick cranes do not. There is no way you can get a stick to every single tree. Not possible. There is no perfect piece of equipment for every job. Your economy argument is true for even a chipper and that has a ton of moving parts. Tell me what happens if there is too big of a cut with a stick crane? Creates the same issues. However you can do more than cable down to get it back into your chart. Versatility is there. Silver bullet, nope. Smaller picks, yep. Smaller crew yep. I do stick crane work every day. It takes a crew of a lot of guys to process a good pic. Thats cost money in salaries and money as the crane sits doing nothing while the guys are processing. If you have a 6 guys crew and keep them busy maybe a big stick is the key. My market doesn't have those size crews on a regular basis because you can find decent workers or climbers. The treeMek solves both of those issues. Also if I sub out for you I can do your entire job by myself wile you are making money someplace else with your monster crew. How would you like to have a 3k job done while you weren't there. Send the crew, chip the brush and load the wood. I personally have been in the game long enough that I'll stage that tree in the easiest way for your guys to process it. I'm gonna do that every time because I want you to call me again. I want you to make money using me. I don't want your guys cursing the debris pile and having more work than there needs to be. What other sub is gonna lay debris out to make it easy to process. None of the contract guys i've ever worked with.

Not a silver bullet but I don't think you give it 1/4 of the credit you should. These things are amazing and allows me to do what I love without the headache of employees not showing up to work. I only have to count on me.
 
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islandedge

Well-Known Member
Dude, just a couple sentence is all I can say right now, it works I own one. I'll drop in later on. It's definitely not a stick crane, but I'm always consistently working underneath obstacles like service wires and being able to work horizontally and suck it back in and put it into my work Zone.
 

islandedge

Well-Known Member
I've got about 375 in mine. As for the long term I can't speak to the durability, however I think careful precise operations are key. Like any tree operation you need a plan and work the plan. Avoid torsional loading of the boom, rapid stresses and pushing the load chart to the max. The head rotates so the tangle factor can be negotiated with a good plan. Using other parts of the tree to dampen the drop factor will reduce the bounce factor as well. There is no silver bullet in this game but for me, this is a game changer. Deevo already pointed out many of the benefits. I think the warranty concern depends on your builder. From what I understand the 2 major players provide amazing customer service even years after the check was cashed. For 1/4 of a mill they better. It's a race to get build contracts so something as small as customer service will make or break them. They are still on their game. I looked at a used truck being worked over at Westminster. It was recently bought and was having major repairs. The key is, it was sold and probably without any difficulty. If your flipping pics over with a stick crane, you are doing it wrong. There is not flipping with either if its done correctly. The difference is you can navigate around trees instead of up and over like a stick crane. Remember they have a horizontal load chart. Stick cranes do not. There is no way you can get a stick to every single tree. Not possible. There is no perfect piece of equipment for every job. Your economy argument is true for even a chipper and that has a ton of moving parts. Tell me what happens if there is too big of a cut with a stick crane? Creates the same issues. However you can do more than cable down to get it back into your chart. Versatility is there. Silver bullet, nope. Smaller picks, yep. Smaller crew yep. I do stick crane work every day. It takes a crew of a lot of guys to process a good pic. Thats cost money in salaries and money as the crane sits doing nothing while the guys are processing. If you have a 6 guys crew and keep them busy maybe a big stick is the key. My market doesn't have those size crews on a regular basis because you can find decent workers or climbers. The treeMek solves both of those issues. Also if I sub out for you I can do your entire job by myself wile you are making money someplace else with your monster crew. How would you like to have a 3k job done while you weren't there. Send the crew, chip the brush and load the wood. I personally have been in the game long enough that I'll stage that tree in the easiest way for your guys to process it. I'm gonna do that every time because I want you to call me again. I want you to make money using me. I don't want your guys cursing the debris pile and having more work than there needs to be. What other sub is gonna lay debris out to make it easy to process. None of the contract guys i've ever worked with.

Not a silver bullet but I don't think you give it 1/4 of the credit you should. These things are amazing and allows me to do what I love without the headache of employees not showing up to work. I only have to count on me.
Well put out steve. I just read your post, you hit the nail on the head. @bck56 this ain't going to work for every tree service. Some of us have been at it for while and have seen every aspect of this business from owning equipment to dealing with employees. The best way i can put it, is its easier to make a payment on a treemek than having to deal with some employees.. I turned into a taxi service, loan officer, financial officer, counselor, and so on while employing certain guys in my area. Lol. Of course I think most of the treemek owners had a pretty good percent of their own money down which helps out with the payments. As far as the time off during the winter I enjoy that. You should calibrate your jobs not to be the cheapest. It's probably best to keep any equipment( chippers, dumps, loaders) not just a crane out of salt and snow.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Please explain, I'm willing to accept that I could be completely wrong .
The "gerasimek's treemek" thread is also informative. The onus is on doubters at this point. I appreciate that you are amenable to reconsidering - that's cool.

There are two problems with treemeks (excluding the Altec unit which is just an unfortunate design). First, the upfront cost of about 100k to start your loan. Second, they kind of negative block their pieces onto a low-capacity kboom. If crane technology develops to a double arm configuration that allows for "tip-tie" grapples, or gets kbooms up to stick capacity, then the kboom grapplesaw units will be a headache to pay off. I don't see these "new" crane designs yet, so it seems like a good time to buy one.
 

climbhightree

Well-Known Member
or gets kbooms up to stick capacity, then the kboom grapplesaw units will be a headache to pay off. I don't see these "new" crane designs yet, so it seems like a good time to buy one.
So what can a stick crane hold flat out at 20'? Or 45' vertical at 20' radius?

The knuckle boom that Steve is getting (and similar to the one I ordered) can do around 14k flat out...18k in vertical.

Sure a stick may be able to pick more at my 111' vertical, but at +90' horizontal can it?

A stick does not it have the versatility of a knuckleboom. Nor is it easily able to take limbs that are 15-20' higher than the crane...without going long to make sure they are butt heavy. There are more benefits to the grapple part too (moving logs, base cutting full trees without setting straps etc)


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colb

Well-Known Member
So what can a stick crane hold flat out at 20'? Or 45' vertical at 20' radius?

The knuckle boom that Steve is getting (and similar to the one I ordered) can do around 14k flat out...18k in vertical.

Sure a stick may be able to pick more at my 111' vertical, but at +90' can it?

A stick does not it have the versatility of a knuckleboom. Nor is it easily able to take limbs that are 15-20' higher than the crane...without going long to make sure they are butt heavy. There are more benefits to the grapple part too (moving logs, base cutting full trees without setting straps etc)


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
Hmmm... Firstly, I *love* the treemek units. Second, I may have incorrectly assumed that sticks can lift more than kbooms. I definitely defer to the pros. There is nothing wrong with handling 14k - a guy can get by alright with that... My mini skid handles about 1k. I'd trade it for a treemek any day, lol.
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
I just read the whole thread, you're right, I am off. For $230k I can see the value.
I'm glad you see it now. From the outside it seems really hard to believe. Now, with other operators backing up what I've said, it makes even more sense.
I found after a year or two that even if I paid twice as much I'd still be very profitable and I think that is why many owner/operators now are either adding an additional tree-mek to their businesses or trading up for either a bigger Palfinger, a new chassis, or both.
The profit margins are very impressive when you drop employees and unneeded trucks and equipment.
Good luck to you. If you ever need advice just ask. That's what this post is all about.
 

bck56

Member
I've been driving around now looking at trees from a treemek perspective, they definitely can reach a ton of trees and would be much faster and safer than a lift or a crane. For larger operations I can see investing in one, especially if it can double as a log truck. That replaces a log truck, lift and or crane. For smaller guys I can see it as well and being contracted out by other companies will most likely keep you busy. I would contract one out if the numbers made sense.
I can see the competitive edge that they have.
The problems I see are the initial cost. Whats the total nut on a new unit on a new truck?
I think they are still limited, if you have one you'll probably have to specialize in the removals that they can access. Lot's of jobs we did last year these would be pretty much useless, and even if I had one I wouldn't be able to justify the cost. Whats a monthly payment on one of these with insurance?
It's still new technology, I don't know if they are proven yet. The more moving parts the more leaks and issues and ext...that means down time. Repairs are probably an unknown.
If you're doing just big removals with these, can you still get by with just a two man crew? I do see bigger wood being an issue because they can only cut 18". You still have to rig up bigger wood to remove it.
Can you get into trouble cutting bigger pieces or will there be issues with chronic stress on the boom?
If you have one, you'll probably need the biggest chipper you can get to keep up with production and eliminate ground work, which is the idea. Bigger chipper, bigger truck more money.
But if you have the work lined up and makes you more competitive and its making a return I really cant argue with the guys that own one.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
$375000 for mine. $100,000 down. Insurance $11000 a year. About $5000 a month. 4 days work with some profit. As far as lifting bit wood. No problem. It’s a crane first and I can do it alone. The moving parts with the wear and tear, if they slapped them together they’d be out of business. People in other industries make thousands of lifts a year with their units. Why are trees different. These units without the saws have been in our industry for years. For the cost I’ll do pruning with it also then I’ll place myself around the tree to cut numb. Easy day.
 

Lumberjack

Well-Known Member
For comparison's sake, my insurance was less than $2k/year, with the tag being under $1k.year, $107k down (excluding the mountain of incidental stuff), and $3200/month for the payment. $295k for the truck (PK40/PJ10 D/D).
 

bck56

Member
$375000 for mine. $100,000 down. Insurance $11000 a year. About $5000 a month. 4 days work with some profit. As far as lifting bit wood. No problem. It’s a crane first and I can do it alone. The moving parts with the wear and tear, if they slapped them together they’d be out of business. People in other industries make thousands of lifts a year with their units. Why are trees different. These units without the saws have been in our industry for years. For the cost I’ll do pruning with it also then I’ll place myself around the tree to cut numb. Easy day.
My hats off to you. That's some serious cash to put down. I would love to see one of them in action.
 

islandedge

Well-Known Member
I've been driving around now looking at trees from a treemek perspective, they definitely can reach a ton of trees and would be much faster and safer than a lift or a crane. For larger operations I can see investing in one, especially if it can double as a log truck. That replaces a log truck, lift and or crane. For smaller guys I can see it as well and being contracted out by other companies will most likely keep you busy. I would contract one out if the numbers made sense.
I can see the competitive edge that they have.
The problems I see are the initial cost. Whats the total nut on a new unit on a new truck?
I think they are still limited, if you have one you'll probably have to specialize in the removals that they can access. Lot's of jobs we did last year these would be pretty much useless, and even if I had one I wouldn't be able to justify the cost. Whats a monthly payment on one of these with insurance?
It's still new technology, I don't know if they are proven yet. The more moving parts the more leaks and issues and ext...that means down time. Repairs are probably an unknown.
If you're doing just big removals with these, can you still get by with just a two man crew? I do see bigger wood being an issue because they can only cut 18". You still have to rig up bigger wood to remove it.
Can you get into trouble cutting bigger pieces or will there be issues with chronic stress on the boom?
If you have one, you'll probably need the biggest chipper you can get to keep up with production and eliminate ground work, which is the idea. Bigger chipper, bigger truck more money.
But if you have the work lined up and makes you more competitive and its making a return I really cant argue with the guys that own one.
I chip with a bandit 1890. It will chip most of the stuff that comes down with minimal trimming/ pressure cuts. People find it hard to believe im taking huge trees down with just a guy (2 if i need my log truck with grinder there also) i can literally feed the chipper with the mecanil if i didn't bring the mini.20171117_103914_Film3.jpg 20171117_101156_Film3.jpg
 
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