Finding Employees



Keep an eye on the Video thread in this forum and on another forum there's a stack of videos you should look thru, pages of them, last look 4 pages. Even showing how to set up cambium savers, rope guides, slings, rigging, felling, etc

If you can find a good climber in your area (preferably with certs), and a suitable tree, then hire him for the day and go up with him. Of course you let him know it's a training role as well as the take down later.

You may be able to get some-one on these forums to either work with for a few days or climb with. Either way if you are upfront and pay the appropriate dues you'll be on your way. I dont know where you guys are in relation to each other but why not start up a thread asking for climbing tuition. I know some blokes work with each other on here, Lumberjack and Tom Dunlap not long ago.

Nathan, a guy like you is like gold to a business, you are in the exceptional bucket, highly skilled and qualified at the right age with a level head ... you do well and deserve it. Good guys are always looked after.

Jay, old traditions sound honourable, most bosses aren't stupid and know when some-one is ready and decent bosses will have a chat about it.

Keep an eye on the Video thread in this forum and on another forum there's a stack of videos you should look thru, pages of them, last look 4 pages. Even showing how to set up cambium savers, rope guides, slings, rigging, felling, etc

Do you need parental consent to view the videos over at MB's place? /forum/images/graemlins/blush.gif
i worked for the same company for over ten years and wound up being a sales rep and foreman before i decided to travel the country and work in other states.
it gave me a good insight to all the headaches involved and i would consider an internship if i were you. it takes many many years to become one with the business.
i still dont know all that i want to know about the behind tthe desk scenes, but i feel as if you are forever learning in this industry.
id love to move on to a consulting arborist internship someday.
i should mention i started on the ground, to trainee climber ,to 2nd climber, to lead climber to foreman and bucket jockey and cdl driver and then certified arborist, and sales rep. to starting my own business which was way more bull#@!$ than i really ever wanted, but it feels like there is no going back.
good luck and all the isa books you can get your paws on.
Here's a question from the other perspective.

I'm looking to get into the business, and certainly intend to run my own as soon as I can.

On the other hand, I need to get some experience first. Seems to me the only way to do so is to work as an employee for a while. So, knowing that I intend to go out on my own someday, what are your thoughts about the appropriate course of action?

Do I tell the guy I'm asking for a job that I intend to start my own business someday? Do I tell him that I hope to do so as soon as I'm competent (that is, the moment he's trained me enough to make me worth anything)? Will I get a job that way? Is there another option?

If you don't mind saying, how did you get to the place you're at (those of you who have your own businesses)?

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Sounds to me that you already know that its wrong and what his answer would be. Nothing wrong with wanting to work for yourself one day but what you just said says a lot about your character. You seem to be lacking very basic moral values.
Character it's what you do when no one is looking.
Sounds to me that you already know that its wrong and what his answer would be. Nothing wrong with wanting to work for yourself one day but what you just said says a lot about your character. You seem to be lacking very basic moral values.
Character it's what you do when no one is looking.

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Thank you for judging my character after learning what you could from one post on a discussion board.

Now, do you have something to add? My guess it that you could probably offer me some real advice, such as that given my Ekka. If so, I'd love to hear it.
hey guys,
Down here in Nz, Arboriculture as in many other places is somewhat a highly demanding and an industry that demands knowledge and understanding otherwise people get hurt... Ive been in the industry here for abour 3 1/2 years and are currently finishing my diploma in Arboriculture at Tech. We have one of the best Arb training facilitys here with in my opinion some of the best guys to teach you, they go out of their way to help you and you come out with alot of knowledge way ahead of any industry based training as well as on the tools, We have a 3 year course, first year plant and tree theory, history, botany and basically setting you up for Arb, second year includes all up to date climbing equipment, tree id classes, herbarium collections, biology, pests and diseases, and a whole lot of climbing including rigging and speedlines. 3rd year includes consultancy, reports, court actions, specialised Arb practices, you name it, it seems to have it. And yet, numbers are dropping every year and the government even wants to can it and make it industry based training which seems to be extremely unorganised and almost qualifications out of a weetbix packet, No wonder theres a shortage and guys who pass make some good coin everywhere. Everyone knows everyone in the industry and companies get a bad name fast... You find out prity fast who to work for and who not too.. Word of mouth can destroy or establish a company very quickly especially here in Nz. How is the training in the US and Australia? what can we do to make our industry a place to work?
I believe if you just look at our infrastructure, foreign policy, energy policies, free-market schemes, re-called prescription drugs, school violence, health care non-programs and federal coffer's in the extreme red, there's not much hope in holding out for outstanding and good subsidized training programs. But then we have standouts like Bob Underwood, etc.


are currently finishing my diploma in Arboriculture at Tech. How is the training in the US and Australia? what can we do to make our industry a place to work?

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I had a guy by the name of Jim, calls himself Jim1NZ on MB's board and AS ... I haven't heard from him for ages do you know him?

Anyway, he came over and the stuff he was studying was truly detailed and impressive. They even did crane work at Tech.

Over here I'm stuck with an L3 qualification and doing seminar style side courses to prop up the deficiency to Dip Hort level.

Over here there is no Diploma in Arboriculture only Horticulture. In fact once you pass L3 there's very little about trees anymore. I needed 8 subjects to complete my dip Hort but cannot find a college to do them at in cowboy county Queensland. I figure if I do the seminar style specific courses I might be able to ROPL and I do write reports to council regardless of their BS stipulation of minimum Dip Hort qualification because the reports are right on the money ... in fact better than some of the junk I've read.

I have worked with landscapers and landscape architects who know little about trees. In fact a recent client I worked for held a degree in Plant Biology and the CSIRO who he worked for made him do a Dip Hort to get a more hands on knowledge of plants and their environment.

I believe, from my experience, the best trained arborists are New Zealanders and Brits .... but in a race I'll back the Kiwi's coz they're a little more tanned. /forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif
hey Ekka,
It really disappointing that you guys have such a lack of training, in bigger country is should definately be the opposite!! Unsure that I know of Jim1Nz but sounds like he probly did the same course that im doing... We have both a Cranes and helicopters course,as well as an advanced climbing techniques course which Bedis from Germany took last year while he was here... It seems to me that Australia (generally speaking) are still of the common thoughts of old style Arboriculture. Hense the many tree companys advertising 'Tree lopping' topping and many dreadful practices :( .... I recently read an article in the Australian Arborage recently that talked about cable bracing and drilling and bolting trees... Although much of this can be still used, absolutely no mention of Cobra bracing or any other non abrasive bracing was mentioned which is disheartening... Good to see that you are making a stand fro professional practice in Australia in a world of tree cowboys :)
I just had a train'em from the ground to climb experiences....

Needless to say how it turned out, much like the other statements above. I did my best to determine his character before hand, seemed alright.......

Didn't take long for him to want out on his own.... The one thing I did right was to not give him much information, just inspiration apparently... So he's on his own with only a rudimentary understanding of tree work and I hear he's trying to be too big for his britches. Taking on stuff that I never trained him to do like TD's.... I told him he is going to hurt himself or someone else.... The best thing to happen to him now as far as I'm concerned would be for him to destroy someone's house and put him in debt and out of business. That way no one is hurt and he puts himself out of the picture, then I can explain to new customers how you don't want to hire un-licensed contractors....

What I have found about training them from basics is a loyalty issue.

You take long periods of time out, lower productivity, train them then they piss of anyway. After the input you may want so output and this is where they get bigger ideas.

I was just having this conversation tonight with another tree company's boss. I was just saying how long it's been since I hired some-one who actually brought skills to the business, that may even show me some new tricks, and may even know a few trees names.

I've had a few visitors from overseas and they were exceptional arborists, but the run of the mill guy around here is an idiot. College was full of pretty good guys too but they're all answered for ... many of the good ones have their own businesses.

It's been a long time since a real tree man worked here ... a long long time, and they're getting more scarce. I get "legends" telling me how good they are and on their first day you have to show them how to tie a knot or what a lifeline is! One after another, wankers. Cant file a chain sharp, cant rig, some had never seen a block before let alone a throw bag or bigshot, ground guys who couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery double handling everything, tangling your ropes, spilling oil all over your saws then sending them up and I've even had an idiot send a saw up with the bar nuts loose.

Frankly, it's a tough road. Today the EWP driver I was working with said he knows of a couple who have packed it in, in their 50's and still busting themselves as no-one to help or do the job ... at times you think the only people who end up doing this job are those who cant get another job doing something else!

Keep looking, your fortunate enough to have a bigger island with a bigger pool than ours here in Brisbane (cowboy county) ... TAFE here dont even run Arboriculture, what's that they reckon? It's private colleges and tuition around here and that's only if you have the bucks.

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Flip side of the coin is: People looking for work because they have a "on rope" background, have a very good safety background, and are interested in furthering their skills, learn new things, learn a new trade etc BUT they get an EMPLOYER that: pays poorly, has pisspoor equipment, does'nt know what a BigShot is, uses the truck to tension a fastline, does'nt want to learn new techniques (ie: SRT/DRT etc), does'nt offer full time hours (a day here, two days there, a week off here, a week off there), does'nt take taxes off etc etc etc etc.

then you employers wonder why employees switch around all the time.

If i knew a employer was offering 20 - 25+ bucks an hour, taking taxes off and encouraging their employess to use their rope skills (SRT/DRT techniques), you better believe i'd leave and go work for them.

case in point. I can go work in the coffee shop up the street, pouring coffee, making drinks and training staff for $16 CDN an hour, with benefits, taxes taken off, WCB etc VS $15 bucks an hour working for a tree removal company, which as we all know is a very dangerous job + No taxes taken off, no benefits, higher fuel costs to get to work etc......

$16 an hour with taxes off + benefits VS risking my life EVERYDAY for $15. hmmm....and ya'll wonder why finding employees is hard. In terms of loyallty, who do you think is gonna be loyal to your company? the guy that can make a decent living or the guy that has to go to the soup kitchen to get food because he is not getting enough hours?

In 20 years of working (all jobs, not just trees) I've YET to find a happy medium where the employer is happy and i'm happy. I either bust my a$$ and work hard and the employer pays me crap, forcing me to look elsewhere so i can feed myself and pay the bills (not doing this for pocket change people...), or i bust my a$$ and work hard, but the employeer does'nt recognize my efforts. Or i work hard and bust my a$$ in a unsafe work environment, where the employer is more concerned with speed and getting the job done, than employee i refuse to work in a unsafe work environment (as i am legally entitled do to in Canada), and the employer says byebye, dragging some other poor schlep in to work. etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc...all these make us employees constantly seek BETTER.

just saying. 2 sides to every coin.



Participating member
Alot of employees don't realize that in ALOT of cases the skilled super/foreman makes more annual income than the owner. A good 70% of the companies that I am intimately familar with are exactly like that....SRTTech where you at?
If close PM me, I don't advertise for employment opps. I wait for people to fall into my lap, keeps things slower and mellower for the relationship to mature.
I agree with so much of what has been said already.

One of the biggest problems we've found is employee attitude and reliability. For instance, not that long ago we hired someone to learn to do a specific job. Once hired and one the job a few days, when asked to get started they said they wanted to take it slow for a bit, like a YEAR. What the......?
Same guy criticized every bit of the operation, even though they had no tree company experience and knew nothing about running a company. Then they figured they should be paid what is climbers wages here (they were on the high side already of groundsman). Then went around complaining that working as a sub, which is how they were hired in the first place, (with the freedom to do their own side jobs) was actually costing them more money then if they were an employee and that the way were paying them way illegal.....blah blah (too bad they never bothered to talk to an accountant and find out what the law says). Half the time you couldn't get a hold of them because they had no phone..........

Sometimes it just goes on and on. There sometimes is the perception that at the end of the day the owner is making tons of money and life is easy. If only they understood what running a business was really like.

Employees need to realize that employers aren't perfect either, and will make mistakes. If you're truly concerned it's best to talk to them calmly and respectfully about it, rather then slag you to others.

Best thing we ever did was start to teach young, hardworking and willing guys from the ground up.

The most challenging part of running a business will always, in my opinion, be employees. Seems to always be the most common of complaints.

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