Looking for a contract climber in NH

Mcdonder

New Member
Location
Rochester
Hi, I am looking for a climber in or near southern New Hampshire (03868) to take me on as an apprentice. I have been climbing trees several months on my own property doing some removals and pruning and really want to get into the trade professionally. The only problem is I am only available one day a week right now (doesn't matter which day, self employed) so no established companies want to take me on. If I'm getting real experience in a tree, I'll work for free. I'm young, motivated, safety oriented, and have all my own equipment so hopefully this will sound like a deal to someone.

Thanks,
Derek
 

Sfoppema

Well-Known Member
Location
Central MA
Derek,
I appreciate what you're trying to do and what you're offering, but if you want to really get into the business- you need to start from the ground up. You have to start as a ground guy. It's not glamorous, and likely won't pay you anything, but that is how you really learn. It really takes a season or two of ground work to figure out what the hell is going on on the job site, and how to function as a team with the climber/other ground guys/equipment operators. This gives you a feel for what equipment ground guys and climbers use. Where you should and shouldn't be-as a climber/groundy/bucket operator/crane operator. How do you expect to explain a rigging scenario to a ground guy if you aren't experienced in what you're telling him to do. Also, good climbers are phenomenal groundies. If they aren't, they probably aren't good climbers-in my opinion.

As a climber, every day is a new scenario. What type of tree are you in, how does the hinge wood behave, what is the wind doing, how close to power lines are you, what can be dropped, lowered, thrown, what ropes, how strong is your tie in/rigging point. What gear are you going to use. How can you make life easier for your ground guy. You come up with a plan then have to change it. The list goes on and on and on. You need to be able to draw on your experience to solve problems expediently. If you get yourself into some shit you can't get yourself out of and you're stuck up in a tree--that is a very large problem. There's only so much "trial and error" that you are going to be able to get away with before you make a catastrophic mistake.

Sorry if I'm getting carried away here, but I've seen guys who "start as a climber" that watched a lot of videos and got some classroom certifications. One guy basically lied his way into a position where he could do basic removal work, but confidently went with the "trial and error" technique on the stuff he didn't have experience in. He broke shit on a weekly basis and I hated working with him. He thought he was worth big money as well.

My point is, if you think you are going to get into the business by "practicing climbing" for one day a week, and then do side work for people to make big money as a climber....you're going to end up getting your shit rocked. And, it'll take longer for you to figure out what is actually going on-if ever.

On a more positive note, and moving towards sounding less like an asshole: Most companies don't have very good options for ground guys. Lots of drugs and shitty people/shitty workers--partly because dragging brush and raking twigs all day blows. If you get work at a company with a strong desire to learn and work hard-they will love you on and teach you and you'll get where you want to go. I could use a guy like you. I'm in central MA, though. Looks like 2 hours away. I could give you a place to stay for a night or two if needed and certainly pay you. How old are you and aside from cutting on your property what guidance/experience have you had?
 

Mcdonder

New Member
Location
Rochester
Apologies if that sounded harsh, and I like a prick, but it is the truth!

No worries at all. I spent 6 years in the military so I'm used to hearing it like it is and prefer it that way. You bring up some really good points about being a groundsman first and it's pretty much the same conclusion I've drawn after talking to guys from a few different companies. I'm 27 and right now I go to school full time in Beverly MA for furniture making using my GI Bill, and make custom furniture on commission in my remaining time to supplement the GI bill income. I also have a wife, kid, and a mortgage, which makes it difficult to drop everything to earn very little as a full time groundsman. As far as experience, I've only done tree work on my property and my parents. The only guidance I've had is from a friend who used to work as a landscaper who first showed me how to use a chainsaw safely and basic tree felling. Since then I've almost fully cleared my .7 acre backyard which was heavily wooded, including climbing and dismantling the trees close to my house. I also have an alaskan mill that I use with my 661.
 

djm

Active Member
Location
Seacoast NH
Derek- Ground guy position in my company start at 16/hr plus benefits and we are in North Hampton. Why don't you apply and see what happens?
 

Mcdonder

New Member
Location
Rochester
Derek- Ground guy position in my company start at 16/hr plus benefits and we are in North Hampton. Why don't you apply and see what happens?

Hey thanks for the reply. I had actually looked at your company’s website a few times and saw the job postings on Facebook. It says you are looking for a full timer and right now I can only work part time, so I didn’t want to waste your time applying.
 

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