Marketing your grapple saw

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
Do any of you guys who are using a grapple saw specifically market your grapple saws unique abilities? I am wondering if it is profitable to target a market that is willing to pay more for a grapple saws abilities vs. traditional tree removal methods.
 

Jerad Oren

Active Member
We pm'd but I'll put it here. I don't focus on having and using a unique piece of equipment. If you sell that to a customer then when everyone has one you won't be very effective. Focus on doing good work and keeping a good reputation and your customers will follow. I've been saying this for a while, the industry is changing dramatically very soon but your framework of good business practice shouldn't.
 

cerviarborist

Well-Known Member
Is there any advantage to your clients, other than the machine enabling you to do removals more quickly with less manpower? I'd think that the main advantage to your prospective clients would be a reduction in costs being passed on to them through lower pricing. Perhaps I'm missing something here, but "We can now do more jobs in a day with fewer employees...so you can pay more." seems like a hard sell. There may well be a niche or niches in the removal market where a grapple saw could deliver benefits other than "More/Faster" and if you can find situations where your equipment delivers an outcome not achievable by more conventional means, then that's where you can pitch added value for a higher price.
 

Gareth's Tree

Active Member
I have heard the sales pitch "it is a safer method of tree removal because we do not have to have a climber in the tree" has been used.
 

ROYCE

Well-Known Member
I have heard the sales pitch "it is a safer method of tree removal because we do not have to have a climber in the tree" has been used.
But what happens when something goes wrong? Accidents will happen and even if its safer than having a climber in a tree their is still the potential for an accident to happen. I personally would not be selling on that theme.

BUT.......I would sell on the idea that you have invested in specialized equipment that enable you to remove trees in hard to access areas with little to no disturbance on the customers property. Sell that. Sell that you do not "cut trees down" you "extract them" Find ways to highlight the advantages of your equipment and crew which sets you apart.
 

craneguy1

Well-Known Member
Can't go cheap either with this new grapple/knuckle idea...you're still talking $300,000 for the ONE truck...plus maintenance.
 

96coal449

Well-Known Member
Kinda cool though showing up for a removal with this set up and a trash dump. Do the take down and clean up with one truck / one guy.
 

SJ_Treeguy

Active Member
if you want quality workmanship and a truck you can count on everyday of the week $280,000 to $350,000 is what you will pay. And don't forget service, you know like a company that has been building and servicing for 20 or more years a little extra on the cost for personal service saves you big later on.
 

Jerad Oren

Active Member
Rick your right about service. We've had ours for 1.5 years and that having a good service support has been the most important thing. The last thing we want is to be sitting while waiting for the truck to be fixed or diagnosed with a solution to a problem. Thats the time you realize you better buy from a business who have the ability and know how to get you back on the road. These machines can make you a lot of money or lose you money. When your waiting on parts or someone to fix it, it's doing the later. The TreeMek industry is changing monthly and is advancing with new and improved technology. Better choose wisely because buying the machine is only half of it.
About marketing and lower prices: These machines cost money and make tree work safer. The operators have to be skilled in many ways to be efficient. Having a profecient operator is worth more than 4 guys but it doesn't come cheap. You don't want cheap service then you don't pay cheap prices. The last thing we want is to undercut everyone, that will erode the quality and professionalism of the market.
 
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One thing I've learned from many years in the knuckleboom industry, talking to hundreds of knuckleboom owners and different dealers in North America is that prices have nothing to do with the level of service you get ;)
 

96coal449

Well-Known Member
One thing I've learned from many years in the knuckleboom industry, talking to hundreds of knuckleboom owners and different dealers in North America is that prices have nothing to do with the level of service you get ;)
A good quality K boom will have good service and parts availability. ALL of that costs money which, in the end, comes from the consumer's pocket.
 

SJ_Treeguy

Active Member
It is not the price of the crane it is the company that will stand behind you, my first remote control crane was an Atlas from germany it was well made that was 2002 and they had very little presents in the USA, all of my parts (other than hyd hoses and fittings) had to come from canada all my tech support was over the phone, when it broke down the first time (after two years of flawless service) it sat for three weeks no company to come and service it, it was all up to me and 20 phone calls! Lets fast forward to 2012 and i had the chance to buy a Heila 250 remote with a fly jib 83 feet of reach from Martins tree service it was 5 years old i installed it myself , i called the company that sold it new BIK in canada, i made 5 phone calls to them and they would not talk to me (good customer relations) ! After 17 years of owning and operating Kbooms and making the same mistake twice ,2 years ago when i decide to buy my 4th Kboom truck i went to a company that was within driving distance and that stands behind you PALFINGER AND WESTMINSTER HYD, and that cost a little extra in crane and build cost BUT the pay out has been nothing short of amazing !!!! Every time you call they answer and you don't just talk to a tech guy (and by the way Josh "the tech guy" is a joy to talk to) you speak with the owner Rick !

After being around the block a few times in 30 plus years in this business trust me do your homework and make your choice wisely that extra $15,000 or $20,000 you my spend on a truck could be how much you lose when it breaks down and sits for two or more weeks because you had to make numerous calls to fix it yourself because there is no service supplied by the company that is 1000 miles away .
 

deevo

Well-Known Member
It is not the price of the crane it is the company that will stand behind you, my first remote control crane was an Atlas from germany it was well made that was 2002 and they had very little presents in the USA, all of my parts (other than hyd hoses and fittings) had to come from canada all my tech support was over the phone, when it broke down the first time (after two years of flawless service) it sat for three weeks no company to come and service it, it was all up to me and 20 phone calls! Lets fast forward to 2012 and i had the chance to buy a Heila 250 remote with a fly jib 83 feet of reach from Martins tree service it was 5 years old i installed it myself , i called the company that sold it new BIK in canada, i made 5 phone calls to them and they would not talk to me (good customer relations) ! After 17 years of owning and operating Kbooms and making the same mistake twice ,2 years ago when i decide to buy my 4th Kboom truck i went to a company that was within driving distance and that stands behind you PALFINGER AND WESTMINSTER HYD, and that cost a little extra in crane and build cost BUT the pay out has been nothing short of amazing !!!! Every time you call they answer and you don't just talk to a tech guy (and by the way Josh "the tech guy" is a joy to talk to) you speak with the owner Rick !

After being around the block a few times in 30 plus years in this business trust me do your homework and make your choice wisely that extra $15,000 or $20,000 you my spend on a truck could be how much you lose when it breaks down and sits for two or more weeks because you had to make numerous calls to fix it yourself because there is no service supplied by the company that is 1000 miles away .
That's exactly what I wanted to hear Rick, as I'm up in the air on whether to buy a truck like yours ( I like the way yours is set up and where the cranes mounted ) or a stick crane. I've called and emailed that company you mentioned in Toronto also which is an hour away, either no call backs or absolutely no reply to me emails about trucks, getting a crane mounted. That's my biggest fear also is service, I know with my lift which I was one of the few to have first around here you've gotta have it, I can't be talking to someone across the pond about a breakdown or this or that, time is money not being made if your main piece of equipments down like you stated. Seems like everything sales and service wise is way better there ! I've toyed with buying the truck getting someone to mount a crane and do everything but no ones done it up here yet and that scares me a little. Here's to hope our dollar goes up a bit! Or I'll just keep waiting to pull the trigger!
Devon
 

Jerad Oren

Active Member
I've always been brutally honest on this forum, so I will say what the others cannot. Currently there is only two places that build and service the treemeks that I would consider buying from. Tiffin Palfleet in Tiffin Ohio and Westminster Hydraulics in New Jersey. I bought mine at Tiffin and have the 3rd one built (though Rick may have had his right before mine to be determined later). Rick worked with his at Westminster. I will step carefully because I have respect for Westminster but have personal experience with Tiffin. I can tell that they (Tiffin and Westminster) work together to problem solve and diagnose issues. There is probably over 50 treemek operators giving feedback on a group forum that is privy to these two companies. If there is a problem that one or more is having then it gets resolved quickly. There has been times we have had issues that effect several machines and they all get diagnosed and fixed because operators have a instant platform to the techs and sales. There is nothing like this in any other industry.
So in short I'm telling you that Tiffin Palfleet and Westminster Hydraulics are currently the only legitimate places that build and service these trucks. In full disclosure I'm not paid by anyone to say this, just a happy customer that likes to give it straight because there is a lot of people with different agendas.
 
So in short I'm telling you that Tiffin Palfleet and Westminster Hydraulics are currently the only legitimate places that build and service these trucks. In full disclosure I'm not paid by anyone to say this, just a happy customer that likes to give it straight because there is a lot of people with different agendas.
Sorry but this is totally ridiculous. The grapple saw is not rocket science, there are many different knuckleboom dealers and independent shops that are more than competent enough to setup a grapplesaw. It really makes me mad when I get phone calls from people asking me about the grapple saw and telling me a certain Palfinger dealer told them the Mecanil grapple saw only works on Palfinger cranes... this is a total bush league sales tactic and they should be ashamed of themselves for lying to people that are new to knucklebooms in order to get a sale. Westminster is a good company and Rick seems like a good guy, I've even sent him leads.

I've spent thousands of hours talking to people about knucklebooms and grapple saws, answering their many questions. I've talked to many people from this board for hours on the phone and have told nothing but the truth. There are other brands of quality knucklebooms available, and lots of great dealers as well.

I contacted Glenn several months ago about creating a forum for grapple saw owners and dealers to help share ideas... he told me there was an instagram group and I can't join because I don't own a grapple saw. Thanks for the love Glenn.

If anyone wants an unbiased opinion on different knuckleboom options or just wants to talk about knucklebooms and grapple saws, give me a call 786-361-8491.
 

Jerad Oren

Active Member
No its no too complicated to build one, I didn't mean to alienate you with that statement. We are merely talking about service and our experience with fixing issues that come up. Anyone can figure out how to build one. It's nice to have many units built alike, like most technology and machines, they seem to replicate a problem when one is presented. Sometimes this is truck specific, crane, hydraulic or electrical. Having many minds working on the same problem is key. I can call Tiffins tech and have a part overnighted and it be there the next day, every part every time. I know this because what's not told to anyone is you will tear expensive and likley important parts off this machine. In the air, above a customers house, you better have a place that can commit to the level of service needed during those times.
 
I have bought parts from Bik when I owned heila pretty much a nightmare parts guy pretty much didnt want to help you. Have bought equipment from Westminster and Tiffin. Mike over at Tiffin has been hands down amazing. Mike fixed problems I had been having with my crane and put my mecanil on. Mike traveled to my shop in a middle of snow storm did everything he said and more. I was helicopter mechanic and corporate jet mechanic for 20 years. I haven't mechanic like Mike so well rounded from electronics to Hydraulics and most of all his work ethic! We worked for 3 days 12 hour days to get me up and running. He wouldn't even stop for lunch. I have Mikes cell and I bother him after hours quite abit. He answers my calls after hours and on weekends as we all know when we are down we are not making money. I hope Tiffin knows what kind of mechanic Mike is and how well he represents their company. What ever they are paying him it's not enough.
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
Sorry but this is totally ridiculous. The grapple saw is not rocket science, there are many different knuckleboom dealers and independent shops that are more than competent enough to setup a grapplesaw. It really makes me mad when I get phone calls from people asking me about the grapple saw and telling me a certain Palfinger dealer told them the Mecanil grapple saw only works on Palfinger cranes... this is a total bush league sales tactic and they should be ashamed of themselves for lying to people that are new to knucklebooms in order to get a sale. Westminster is a good company and Rick seems like a good guy, I've even sent him leads.

I've spent thousands of hours talking to people about knucklebooms and grapple saws, answering their many questions. I've talked to many people from this board for hours on the phone and have told nothing but the truth. There are other brands of quality knucklebooms available, and lots of great dealers as well.

I contacted Glenn several months ago about creating a forum for grapple saw owners and dealers to help share ideas... he told me there was an instagram group and I can't join because I don't own a grapple saw. Thanks for the love Glenn.

If anyone wants an unbiased opinion on different knuckleboom options or just wants to talk about knucklebooms and grapple saws, give me a call 786-361-8491.
I wasn't trying to not love you, Todd. My little Instagram conversation could only accommodate 15 and I wanted to make sure guys that had just bought their tree-meks could get in and we could all support one another. The consensus was nobody wanted a salesman that had nothing to do with their machine taking up limited space for owner/operators. I told you you could make your own and invite people in. Why don't you do that?
I don't want you to be upset with me. I wasn't in a position to accommodate you.
I do love you,Todd. You work hard and I know you're making a good effort in Canada to spread the Mecanil gospel. My friend, Mark, is very excited to get rolling near Toronto with your help.
Relax. There's enough for everybody. Good luck to you and I mean it.
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
Just a side note. I first used a Mecanil SG220 on my little Hiab and I really didn't know how slow it was working until Palfleet set it up on my new Palfinger. It cuts like a freaking laser beam now.
 
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