Epic VA Treemek Build

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
You're On It, Sir!!

Tree-mek Q and A?
Q: Does the Tree-mek ever call in from County Jail, putting the rest of the crew into stand-by or scramble?
A: No. The Tree-mek has a spotless Criminal Record. Never even been arrested.

Q: Does the Tree-mek ever come down with the flu?
A: No. The Tree-mek doesn't even need vaccinations.

Q: Does the Tree-mek make decisions that could drive your Worker's Comp rates through the roof, like dropping something on ground workers from height, a "struck-by".
A: No. The Tree-mek can be operator without personnel beneath the tree.

Q: Does the Tree-mek need weeks of recover from shoulder surgery?
A: No. Its a new crane and Tree-mek, with minimal maintenance. Should a blown hose occur, it can be fixed in under an hour, and the Tree-mek is fully operational.

Q: Does the Tree-mek ever come to work frazzled from a poor night's sleep because of the new baby, or having had a blow-out with the baby-mama or kid.
A: No, the Tree-mek is single, no dependents.

Q: Does the Tree-mek ever break into your shop to steal your tools to feed a drug habit.
A: No. Full Disclosure, the Tree-mek had a diesel and grease habit, and am the source.




Does your area support Put On Ground Only work? If you work directly for the homeowner, you cut out the middle man. I do a fair bit. People around here know how to cut stuff up that's on the ground well enough.

Same work.
Maybe you know someone who would be a landscaper/ property clean-up type who might do clean-up, directly between the homeowner and themselves, not you in the middle.

I know a number of trustworthy people (my mortgage broker, a commercial fisherman friend who has brought me and the homeowner salmon fillets, a retired white collar guy who wants to cut some wood filling the beat up trailer behind his Hummer), who will cut up and pick up wood, not CL wood ticks.
People will rent a chipper and use the mulch, or burn the brush.

Its a small segment, but a good, profitable, simple segment of my market, and that's without advertising for POGO service.


Are you in the Norfolk market?
I am in the Norfolk Market.

I have done a few chop and drops. I am slowly working my way into the local demo companies where they just need trees down low enough to pull with the excavator. I tried large landscape companies for the same but no leads so far. Some homeowners will do it but most see the pile and then ask for a price for cleanup. "didn't know it would be some much stuff" Kinda like stump mulch.
All super ideas and great Q/A questions.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
August always seems to suck. I figure all the last minute vacations trump getting anything done around the house. Keep on keeping on Steve. You’ll have great times and not so good times.

The job I did yesterday was prime for a mec. A large white oak with room to bomb, a dead as hell white oak that could’ve been felled but clean up would’ve sucked, and a medium sized dead ash with a tightish drop zone. All could’ve been done with a mec in 5-6 hours instead of the 12 we put in.
Too bad i'm not closer
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
My thoughts on rentals your trading time for money. When storms roll through you don’t have the opportunity to make the increased pay of doing the hazard work to stockpile for the monthly payments , the Tree company is just making more profit. It will probably take 2-3 yrs to develop 5 day a week rental. Their are some owner operators in my area booked out for at least a month all year stick cranes though. They have been doing it a long time and have a great client base. August is always a slower month. You will build up to it. People either understand the mek concept or they don’t. I feel as if most guys renting cranes like to see big pieces come down and then don’t realize how long they take to process. Maybe a timed job to show you can do a decent tree in 4 Hrs.
Best of luck
The mek can release pieces from height.
It is truly an amazing machine
Trust me, when storms roll in I will be increasing my rate proportionally to what I know the tree services are doing. When they take a 5k job and charge 15k, I won't be 175 an hour. Thats for damn sure. I won't even need them since FEMA will dispose of the debris. I can pluck off a house and put it at the street with just me. I can roll down the street doing 5k insurance jobs all day. So far I haven't had a single unbooked day in 6 months. This week will be my first. Not bad for a start up i'd say. I agree with your assessment and am working all those angles. I have a timed job on here in another thread.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Sooo...what is the job 'worth'?

Is the billing rate for climbing $X.XX/hour and $2xX.XX for the Mec making the job worth the same?

Where is value created?

I had to learn this value lesson when I hired my first climber. I bid at my rate but realized he did good work but wasn't as fast as me. Uh oh...time to adjust
Can you explain your point more Tom?
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Depends on the weight. Release can cause just as much of a shock load as a weigh dropping into the boom
Kinda figured it would shock load. I've had heavy round come out of my BMG which shook the machine for real.

I'm wondering, for the odd, odd tree if you can free drop little pieces because of instability or something, or you could drop stuff over a bank if small, or they will have an excavator on a construction site, or you pick too big and the crane can't hold it, or who knows what.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Yes to all of the above. I did make the mistake of biting off more than I could chew on a job. Crane was locked out. Luckily there was nothing underneath the tree and I let it rip. SHockload wasn't too too bad but I certainly wouldn't do it often.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Yes to all of the above. I did make the mistake of biting off more than I could chew on a job. Crane was locked out. Luckily there was nothing underneath the tree and I let it rip. SHockload wasn't too too bad but I certainly wouldn't do it often.
Probably not a clear shot on the boom to toss a throwline, and pull a rope over the boom to dampen the rocking.
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Spent an entire day with learning curve on big wood. Picked a 9000lb, 8700, 7300, and the rest were 5000lb range. Some real pucker picks. I might do things differently next time but none the less it worked out well.
 

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Ryan Keats

Active Member
Steve, when you have someone else making the cuts, do you tell them roughly where to cut from a weight standpoint, or do you leave it up to the climber?
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
Steve, when you have someone else making the cuts, do you tell them roughly where to cut from a weight standpoint, or do you leave it up to the climber?
I always tell them where to cut and most of the time how to cut. I have a much better prospective on where the kerf is gonna open or close during their cut. I really have 1 maybe 2 climbers who get it. Most of the others have a very difficult time with crane work. The thing with kbooms IMHO is good saw work is so much more critical. I have seen the absolute worst saw work watching from the deck. You can fight a pinched saw and a mismatched cut a little easier with a cable than a boom. Most of the time the head room is so minimal when I have to correct a climbers crappy saw work I have to get some torque on my boom just to move with piece a little due to all the boom deflection I have. Honestly I can say I believe taking logs with a kboom is much more difficult than a stick crane. There's always an uncut strap at the 2:00 of the log from the climber. Nobody walks around the logs to make the cut and they all want to pull the saw out and start the cut again in a more comfortable position. 1 cut and work the tip in and follow around the log with the butt of the saw. It's easy but seems to be an issue. I generally don't have climbers who are even interested in what the pick weighed. They are just as happy with me walking them through every cut on every tree every time. You have to understand my market. Again I have a few good ones out there and newbies who have the potential to be really good with a bit more practice but for the most part I'm their first crane.

Someone suggested I should change my tag line to "instant tree service, just add TreeMek." Unfortunately I make my money off the jack legs and super small companies. I love the occasion where I get to work with a real profession outfit. There are a few around here and a couple I work for frequently. My daily though is a crap show what I'm getting myself into. I'm like a mobile crane training circus. @BRT you are on the good list my friend. LOL
 
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