Longevity

colb

Well-Known Member
But think about how quick that stuff improves! It's a bit scary. I prefer 35-60 degrees for working! And cold is way easier to deal with than hot, you can always put more clothes on and work harder, you take too much off and you've got a recipe for some giblet rash and an indecent exposure ticket!
Nah, I've got Zeros and saxx ballpark pouch undies. No giblet rash here! :LOL: But I hear you, when it's 90° out I'd take 50° any day.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
How is the chipper rig working out? You should have a Buzz thread for that build. You got me thinking about picking up a small chipper for pruning - a 4-5" chipper. Right now I stick it in a 12 yard bin which also works well...
 

Sgfinco

Active Member
How is the chipper rig working out? You should have a Buzz thread for that build. You got me thinking about picking up a small chipper for pruning - a 4-5" chipper. Right now I stick it in a 12 yard bin which also works well...
I've got all the stuff, working on how to get everything racked, once I've got it all set up I'll make a thread! The chipper is a little beast! It's light, and takes finesse but it gets work done!
 

Jem4417

Well-Known Member
I recently went on my own as a full time contract climber and love it but my biggest hang up is longevity. I've climb with modern techniques, don't work very hard physically when I climb anymore and have the skill set to handle whatever is thrown at me. I'm 25 now so I figure 10 to 15 good years of production climbing but then what? I can always go full tree service, I enjoy bidding work, talking to clients about the right way to care for their trees but I'm not a mechanic, finding places to dispose of material is a hassle and employees will always be a struggle in our industry.

Ive been considering diversifying my skill set to include industrial rope access, will be attaining my ctsp this year and would love to move into a training focused role eventually.

I've worked for bigger companies, I've trained crew leaders, climbers and lift operators, but I get incredibly bored climbing one real tree per month. Being a full time salesman seems awful. $25 an hour isn't enough to buy a house and live comfortably.

What's the solution for someone like me? Ride the contractor wave as long as possible and see where it goes? Suck it up and be another asshole with a chipper and chip truck saying I'm the best? Or suck it up, take a job and just get by, everyone I contract for wants to offer me a job but the wages aren't there. If I'm just taking a job I might as well be a plumber and make a decent living for an entire career.
I didn’t read all the posts but just start your own tree service with no truck and chipper, have your week basically filled with contracting and slowly build your tree service with a job a week or even a month. Just sub your clean up to one of the guys you climb for. This gives you low overhead and the contracting keeps pressure to make money down. Basically my plan for right now.
 

Sgfinco

Active Member
I didn’t read all the posts but just start your own tree service with no truck and chipper, have your week basically filled with contracting and slowly build your tree service with a job a week or even a month. Just sub your clean up to one of the guys you climb for. This gives you low overhead and the contracting keeps pressure to make money down. Basically my plan for right now.
My whole quandary is that I don't particularly want to own a full tree service, making more competition, driving prices down, etc. I do have a 3" chipper and a cargo bike, offering reduced emissions tree care.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you are making it happen and kudos for getting the rates you want too. For future plans and whatnot my 2 cents resume-wise: add people experience and stay technologically literate. Most professional job postings look for good attitude, experience coordinating people (employees, volunteers, collaborating pros...), and being able to use whatever software that profession utilizes. The specifics of jobs 10-15 yrs down the line are unknown but those attributes will still be desired. Work with your municipality, land trusts, local landscape planners, urban foresters etc. and job opportunities will pop up for sure bud.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
My whole quandary is that I don't particularly want to own a full tree service, making more competition, driving prices down, etc. I do have a 3" chipper and a cargo bike, offering reduced emissions tree care.
You won't drive prices down. Buy the ANSI A300 pruning section and the bmp for $50 and show each client what it says. You will corner the market on pruning and you can charge what you want. I really cannot believe that you have competition, Sam. I think you're probably afraid of failing as a business owner. If that's the case, get a good partner or train up in business management on Youtube. Sorry if I'm speculating, but there is no way that you have competition unless it's the guy that trained you.
 

Sgfinco

Active Member
You won't drive prices down. Buy the ANSI A300 pruning section and the bmp for $50 and show each client what it says. You will corner the market on pruning and you can charge what you want. I really cannot believe that you have competition, Sam. I think you're probably afraid of failing as a business owner. If that's the case, get a good partner or train up in business management on Youtube. Sorry if I'm speculating, but there is no way that you have competition unless it's the guy that trained you.
Haha I wish! Colin Bugg and his crew of absolute rock stars are in the same market, there's another guy who's BCMA and does excellent work and Cameron Lundin who has a few greats working for him. I'm adapting well to managing my own business but getting rid of material and finding employees is terrifying. We'll see where my bike rig takes me and contract climbing goes. I think I can find a nice balance. I love climbing trees, being in the very tips, making cuts that make other climbers think about how I got there, but I'm most scared of burning out and creating a beast I have to feed. Maybe I just actively fight growth and say no more often.
 

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colb

Well-Known Member
Haha I wish! Colin Bugg and his crew of absolute rock stars are in the same market, there's another guy who's BCMA and does excellent work and Cameron Lundin who has a few greats working for him. I'm adapting well to managing my own business but getting rid of material and finding employees is terrifying. We'll see where my bike rig takes me and contract climbing goes. I think I can find a nice balance. I love climbing trees, being in the very tips, making cuts that make other climbers think about how I got there, but I'm most scared of burning out and creating a beast I have to feed. Maybe I just actively fight growth and say no more often.
Better chip the dog. He looks like dead weight. ;)
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Haha I wish! Colin Bugg and his crew of absolute rock stars are in the same market, there's another guy who's BCMA and does excellent work and Cameron Lundin who has a few greats working for him. I'm adapting well to managing my own business but getting rid of material and finding employees is terrifying. We'll see where my bike rig takes me and contract climbing goes. I think I can find a nice balance. I love climbing trees, being in the very tips, making cuts that make other climbers think about how I got there, but I'm most scared of burning out and creating a beast I have to feed. Maybe I just actively fight growth and say no more often.
I guess I'm in a unique spot and you are too. I think there is another guy in my market who can do an ANSI standard prune, but I'm not sure. It's just hack after hack here - all crown raises. I literally create my market by sharing the ANSI standard, then it's all mine because no one else is doing it. I've seen a good cabling installation once, so I know which company in town is capable of that, but I've also seen several installations that were crazy out of spec. It's just nuts. If you really have a crowded market, then you'll have to make some decisions...
 

MicrobeTree

New Member
Sam, first of all, your pruning work is top of the line. You can command almost any price point, anywhere in the world. I'm mainly a one man show. I've diversified from just climbing because I will not be able to climb forever and I can extend my career by climbing 1-4 days per week. Diversifying has led me to understand holistic tree care better, which I then transfer to my clients. I had a job a few weeks ago where I managed the ground and ran a machine on turf for a crane removal, then did a reduction prune/deadwood in a full height live oak, then braced and cabled the live oak, then deadwooded a black cherry. I'm able to monetize tree risk assessments. I'm mulching several of the trees I prune. I'm excavating root crowns. I'm working in a 45 acre natural area with herbicides to help get it structurally ready for regular managed burns. I'm consulting for my local city on a road renovation. I just planted my first niwaki pines. There's a point at which I just felt that climbing, while incredibly fun, is not everything, and I don't want to be a one trick pony late in my career. You'll figure out what is best for you. Just thinking about it here shows that you're on the right track. You actually could be a plumber and a tree guy...
Epic @colb this is precisely the direction I want to be heading. Hell, I'd love to get into biodiversity work once people finally look up from their phones and wonder where all the non-human life went (that's a big IF ). I think this industry has totally by passed what I see as the central role of an arborist and that is essentially urban ecosystem care and progress. Yeah yeah I know I sound like a floofy lefty hippie or whatever term it takes to separate from the idea of a connected life system, but I think we have an opportunity - even a responsibility - as people who spend most of their time interacting with the ecosystem, to advance at least the idea of alternative progress.
People don't know fuck all about the environment, and plant blindness is a true contagious dis-ease but there is a percentage of clients who, upon hearing what little knowledge I have of life systems and trees (which if you know anything at all about them you know they don't exactly end at the root and shoot tips) these folks want to sign up. I could start a ecological landscape firm tomorrow if there were four of me. Keep your mind open and follow your heart Sam. Chase big ideas. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you and totally relate to what you're saying but trust me dude, you are well equipped for whatever path you choose or whatever pile of shit falls on you. The only thing that can harm a high level arborist I think is his own mind.
Not sure if you've met Jamz Luce in the PNW but he's a great example. Can barely walk from overuse but still backcountry skis, long distance kayaks, mountain bikes and climbs trees. Ah, rant over for now.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Epic @colb this is precisely the direction I want to be heading. Hell, I'd love to get into biodiversity work once people finally look up from their phones and wonder where all the non-human life went (that's a big IF ). I think this industry has totally by passed what I see as the central role of an arborist and that is essentially urban ecosystem care and progress. Yeah yeah I know I sound like a floofy lefty hippie or whatever term it takes to separate from the idea of a connected life system, but I think we have an opportunity - even a responsibility - as people who spend most of their time interacting with the ecosystem, to advance at least the idea of alternative progress.
People don't know fuck all about the environment, and plant blindness is a true contagious dis-ease but there is a percentage of clients who, upon hearing what little knowledge I have of life systems and trees (which if you know anything at all about them you know they don't exactly end at the root and shoot tips) these folks want to sign up. I could start a ecological landscape firm tomorrow if there were four of me. Keep your mind open and follow your heart Sam. Chase big ideas. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you and totally relate to what you're saying but trust me dude, you are well equipped for whatever path you choose or whatever pile of shit falls on you. The only thing that can harm a high level arborist I think is his own mind.
Not sure if you've met Jamz Luce in the PNW but he's a great example. Can barely walk from overuse but still backcountry skis, long distance kayaks, mountain bikes and climbs trees. Ah, rant over for now.
Hey, @MicrobeTree Welcome to The Buzz. Now quit checking out @deevo 's profile and do your laundry. Shit gets addictive around here... :LOL::LOL:(y)
 
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