If I were the op I would make a note of all the jobs that would be excluded by not having a machine that fits through a 36” gate. I went back and audited my work load when I was looking at machines and found I rarely, maybe once every five months or so, needed that skinny machine.
They can get scary big. There was three in a row on a state road over a couple tiny houses near the university of Rhode Island. Averaged about 38” or so dbh. They kept falling apart and missing the houses. It took the state years to finally remove them.
I get one mulligan a year. It’s always small. Had the hinge break prematurely on an aspen and the trunk landed on the guy’s shed while he was watching. We just fixed it that weekend. Took four shingles, some flashing and a 2x4.
I pay my bonuses in cash but this year it was a week paid vacation for all my guys around Xmas plus a cash bonus. If your guy doesn’t like it being taxed then he can find another company. Sounds like a fucking baby.
I had this happen with supposed damage to a new stone patio. There was none, just bark scrapes on the stone. I power washed it off and there was nothing but the people pressed it so I filed a claim. The adjuster went and met with them twice, found no damage but still paid out 3k.