Most of the guys who get these get them because of employee issues or lack there of, @Gerasimek was the first one in North America to build and run one, yeah they are expensive but if you are paying 2-3 guys say 60 k a year you can reduce 2 quickly like Glenn did, and Steve’s doing. Then you don’t have the stress of keeping those 2-3 guys busy if it slows down in the winter, yes you won’t reach every single tree, I can’t either with my crane, there’s other alternatives you can use ie. bigger crane which I go to for plan B or use my tracked lift for plan C. There are so many for pros I can list but they are popping up all over now so obviously are working for the guys who have them, you don’t see any on tree trader for sale. I will likely get one built down the road as well, but for now I’m sticking with my stick crane and climbers @SJ_Treeguy was close behind @Gerasimek build and he can probably run his 7 days a week if he wanted.I see companies running into trouble with these. To many moving parts to break, to much down time and once they are out of warranty I can promise you that the dealer will make you wish you never bought it with the repair bills.
The monthly payment will be tough if work slows down ( insurance, tax and maintenance) and keeping salt off it during the winter would drive me nuts. $400k is a big nut, that thing will have to be going 5 days a week. Once you invest in this equipment you won't enjoy down time during the winter either. It's also something that wouldn't be easy to sell if you had to.
I don't see it being ideal for lots of trees, the farther away the tree the smaller the piece, and it doesn't pick like a crane so you'll have trouble working pieces around other trees once the piece flips over. It's a big truck that'll have limited access. Yes, there will be lots of trees that this will be ideal for, but $400k I want equipment that can get to every single tree.
These are just starting to enter my market in Fairfield County CT. The big removal companies are starting to buy them, with every other piece of equipment they can think of. The biggest problem I see with these is sending an employee out and taking to big of a cut.
They might work out for some guys, if the economy turns they could get into trouble pretty quickly.