Gerasimek's Tree-mek

Gerasimek

Active Member
I chose the crane based on the grapplesaw. I needed reach, not necessarily capacity. This enabled me to build a unit that wasn't too heavy , very maneuverable, but was capable of taking down any tree in my area. It's one aspect of the tree-mek design. The truck, bumper to bumper, is only 26.5'.
 

macswan

Well-Known Member
It looks like a cool tool, I wasn't tryna bag on you with the John henry song, just foolin. Great innovation
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
It looks like a cool tool, I wasn't tryna bag on you with the John henry song, just foolin. Great innovation
Thank you. And by the way, I haven't heard the 'bag on you' expression since high school and I love your avatar. Classic. One of my favorites.
 

chep

Member
I have been doing more logging than tree work. I work on a partially mechanized cut to length crew. We use forwarders and a cut to length processor. Did your design stem from the dangle head harvester design? It is very similar. It is really neat. What is your capacity of control with the head. I see our operators begin losing some control with bigger wood.

It also looks like a lot of force is compounded where the head meets the boom. Im sure you have addressed this, but just curious. Are there any problems that have come up so far?
The dangle head harvesters are a constant battle with hydrolics and electronics. But their mechanical failures happen in the woods... have you had any issues in the urban env? and what failsafes do you have in place if you blow a hose mid pick or a wire comes loose for your arms... etc.

regards
Ben
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
I have been doing more logging than tree work. I work on a partially mechanized cut to length crew. We use forwarders and a cut to length processor. Did your design stem from the dangle head harvester design? It is very similar. It is really neat. What is your capacity of control with the head. I see our operators begin losing some control with bigger wood.

It also looks like a lot of force is compounded where the head meets the boom. Im sure you have addressed this, but just curious. Are there any problems that have come up so far?
The dangle head harvesters are a constant battle with hydrolics and electronics. But their mechanical failures happen in the woods... have you had any issues in the urban env? and what failsafes do you have in place if you blow a hose mid pick or a wire comes loose for your arms... etc.

regards
Ben
Good questions. I'll see if I can address them all.
The head is a Mecanil SG220 RC (remote control). I hope I didn't give the impression that I invented it. I merely designed the unit (which crane, truck,length,super singles,rear mount,etc.) The SG220 has quite a bit of control as far as rotation. Whether or not the piece you cut remains upright or swings down and counterbalances with the head is based on judgement of weight or top heaviness. Say you have a monster limb growing over the roof: if you cut it too big it may swing down and touch the roof, cut it small enough and it will remain in the position in which it was growing. With experience I've learned when I can cut big and when to cut small.
As far as force, again, knowing what is too heavy. There will probably be someone who has their own version of physics that wrecks their crane. Sure, the SG220 can grab and lift something that weighs 4,000lbs...off the ground. Grabbing and cutting things at 95' is a different story. I trained myself to take small pieces. That way if I underestimate a piece it won't be a problem.
It's not traditional 'take huge picks' tree removal. It's surgical, pedictable, and, in my opinion (having used it for going on 2 years) the safest way to take most trees down. (Notice: I didn't say 'all')
Concerning failures in the field, I have had problems here and there. All were my fault. There's definitely a learning curve. I've snagged hoses on things and broken them. (The SG220 has holding valves on the grapple cylinders for obvious reasons. ). The SG220 is pretty durable. You just have to be absolutely sure of what youre grabbing and how it's going to react once you make the cut.
It's fantastic. Now that I have it, it's easy to say that I'd never want to do it the traditional way again. It's fun, safe, productive, and I can do it effectively until I retire.
 

pctree

Well-Known Member
Just curious, wouldnt it be easy to feed the chipper with the grapple too? Now how can I drive 2 trucks...........
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
Just curious, wouldnt it be easy to feed the chipper with the grapple too? Now how can I drive 2 trucks...........
I can feed the chipper with the tree-mek, but setting it at the chipper for my employee to deal with saves time and keeps things moving smoothly. I'm paying him so he might as well do something. The nice thing is that the pieces you bring down are just the right size for one man to process easily. If it's a little too big for him, he can winch it in or make a cut or two.
 

CutHighnLetFly

Well-Known Member
Man you are speaking my language with the work style you have with the tree mek. Damn it that thing is cool. I don't even need video, i can picture your description of the work process
 

treevet

Well-Known Member
If you just had a dump trailer where the wood was laid it would save a second process. 95' reach? That is about perfect.

To most tho it might be putting all your eggs in one basket as not likely much capitol to buy other toys...but I suppose revenue will permit those purchases down the road.

I like it a lot. More vids pls.
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
If you just had a dump trailer where the wood was laid it would save a second process. 95' reach? That is about perfect.

To most tho it might be putting all your eggs in one basket as not likely much capitol to buy other toys...but I suppose revenue will permit those purchases down the road.

I like it a lot. More vids pls.
In the past I had a bunch of trucks and employees. Being the efficiency nerd that I am, I was constantly trying to develop a system that required fewer trucks, fewer employees, and still make great money.
Here is my equipment list:
1 tree-mek
1 Mitsubishi FG switchngo (chipbox, flatbed, dumpster box)
1 Bobcat MT55 mini loader
1 Vermeer 1152 stump grinder
1 18' equipment trailer that hauls the grinder and mini at the same time.
1 18" brush chipper.
That's pretty much it. The amazing thing isn't just the money I can make with this stuff, it's the money that I don't have to spend: workers comp on a few guys, truck registrations, insurance, maintenance, and not to mention all the money and time you lose having employees.
All that time saved is used making more money.
 

treevet

Well-Known Member
I am with ya on employees but I'd kinda like to have at least one bucket...and one log truck that doesn't have to double as a chip truck. No Plowing? And don't even think about taking my Wraptor away :) Do you just let the jobs go when they don't fit your equipmt.?
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
I am with ya on employees but I'd kinda like to have at least one bucket...and one log truck that doesn't have to double as a chip truck. No Plowing? And don't even think about taking my Wraptor away :) Do you just let the jobs go when they don't fit your equipmt.?
I have a basket for my crane if I need it. I've only used it twice.
My tree-mek has removable log bunks if I need to haul logs.
I have a sweet snowplow for my FG, but I don't do commercial plowing. I just have it to do my driveway. (I take the winters off).
If I come across a job that I can't do (very few), I tell them to call a guy with a wraptor.
Check out my Facebook. (Gerasimek Tree & Stump Removal). There are lots of pictures on there of my setup.
 

Weise_D

Member
So Gerasimek, what was the final price to put that crane together? Just interested to see if the payments would be less than the reduction in payroll. Also, do you do much tree care/pruning? Did you before and now don't. I can see how a machine like that would push you in the direction of giving away all the small pruning jobs. Right now I try to take every job our lead system generates, so I have a small crew and a larger crew. That way I can get our company name into as many check books as possible. A lot of time if you do the small cherry tree pruning this year, then next year they may think to call you first for the hairy removal in the back yard or recommend you to a friend. Thanks in advance. I have been thinking about your Tree-Mek so weeks now.
Dan.
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
So Gerasimek, what was the final price to put that crane together? Just interested to see if the payments would be less than the reduction in payroll. Also, do you do much tree care/pruning? Did you before and now don't. I can see how a machine like that would push you in the direction of giving away all the small pruning jobs. Right now I try to take every job our lead system generates, so I have a small crew and a larger crew. That way I can get our company name into as many check books as possible. A lot of time if you do the small cherry tree pruning this year, then next year they may think to call you first for the hairy removal in the back yard or recommend you to a friend. Thanks in advance. I have been thinking about your Tree-Mek so weeks now.
Dan.
Dan,
Glad you like my tree-mek and ask good questions.
I used to offer full service tree care and had several employees and a bunch of trucks. I found over the years that the very old saying, 'it's hard to find good help' is very true. I was determined to find a way to keep doing what I love and make more money doing it. For me, the tree-mek has done that. I have one good employee, own only 2 trucks (tree-mek & fuso switchngo ), most of my work is removals, and I refer all the jobs I don't want to tree services that hire me for takedowns. It's a win-win.
Tree-mek #2 in Cleveland, Ohio has followed suit finding 1 employee and the same equipment to be the way to go. Tree-mek #3 in New Jersey plans to add the tree-mek to his existing arsenal to expand his presence, keeping his crews trimming while he does removals with 1 guy and a chipper. His tree-mek will be on display at the TCI Expo in November.
Whichever way you go, you'll find that you're getting more work done with less employees and that means way more money in your pocket.
The biggest thing for me though, was the peace of mind. Not only is it safe for me, but it's safe for my employee and my customers as well. I don't worry about injury or property damage.
Let me know if you have any more questions.
 

Gerasimek

Active Member
So Gerasimek, what was the final price to put that crane together? Just interested to see if the payments would be less than the reduction in payroll. Also, do you do much tree care/pruning? Did you before and now don't. I can see how a machine like that would push you in the direction of giving away all the small pruning jobs. Right now I try to take every job our lead system generates, so I have a small crew and a larger crew. That way I can get our company name into as many check books as possible. A lot of time if you do the small cherry tree pruning this year, then next year they may think to call you first for the hairy removal in the back yard or recommend you to a friend. Thanks in advance. I have been thinking about your Tree-Mek so weeks now.
Dan.
Dan,
I almost forgot to answer your 1st question. I paid about $230k. Keep in mind, I only own 2 trucks. I sold my old crane and my 75' rear mount elevator. The tree-mek does many jobs.
 

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