So I fell in love with the trade, saved 20K, what to buy first?

What equipment do you recommend me to buy first?

  • Chipper Truck

    Votes: 5 83.3%
  • Forestry truck? old, new, lease to buy?

    Votes: 2 33.3%
  • Chipper

    Votes: 1 16.7%

  • Total voters
    6

Sergio Villegas

New Member
Hello TreeBuzz my name is Sergio Villegas, I live in California and I am on my 20s. I had a landscaping business with my brother and I got into trees. I've been watching videos non-stop ever since because I know that I want to open my tree service soon. My wife hates it..lol
So I fell in love with the trade and I know I want to do this for living now. I managed to save 20K. doing side jobs and my savings from my other job. I would like to know what would you guys buy to open up your tree service first if you were situation? Boom truck, chipper, etc. What do you think made your service go up a level? Thank you all in advance and be safe.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
It's funny you should ask "what made your service go up a level?" As I have grown my business almost every purchase has been strategic with the idea of stepping it up a notch. When I started the ez-dumper was the best thing since sliced bread. And every large purchase since has been a question of "how did I live without it?" But, again it's funny, the most strategic decision I made was to get a full time job with and extremely safe company. With guys willing to teach, learn, share and try everything out there. Sure places like that are few and far between but you want to learn from someone, not YouTube. Sure there is some good stuff, but there is much more garbage then good.
So my vote (not an option above) learn the trade from someone, save the 20k and add to it for a few years. And position yourself to step right into business in a couple years.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
It's funny you should ask "what made your service go up a level?" As I have grown my business almost every purchase has been strategic with the idea of stepping it up a notch. When I started the ez-dumper was the best thing since sliced bread. And every large purchase since has been a question of "how did I live without it?" But, again it's funny, the most strategic decision I made was to get a full time job with and extremely safe company. With guys willing to teach, learn, share and try everything out there. Sure places like that are few and far between but you want to learn from someone, not YouTube. Sure there is some good stuff, but there is much more garbage then good.
So my vote (not an option above) learn the trade from someone, save the 20k and add to it for a few years. And position yourself to step right into business in a couple years.
Words of wisdom, and the best advice anyone could give you. 20k, and some youtube video's don't make a tree-man. Go get some skills and experience working with some real pro's for a few years, and keep on saving.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
I'm in dissent with the "work with the pros for three years" group. I trained on YouTube and treebuzz. I will note that I had a few gaps in my training, and that those gaps may or may not have been addressed by working under someone for a time.

Having said that, you may be able to work your own gigs on weekends during start-up phase while employed by another company, and not skip a beat.

I would invest primarily in wood management. A pickup truck with a 14" dump bed trailer and a mini skid in the bed is a good route.

If you want to take it easy, buy a Stein arbor trolley, put cycle trailer wheels on it for commuting, and hook it to a bicycle. Work that until you have 40k and buy an Avant-type machine.

Try to keep your debt very low and be able to walk away from it if the worst happens.

Know yourself and your market. If you're a bucket truck guy, loner, entrepreneur, etc. If your market manages wood well, and how. These characteristics all lead to very different business structures. I can level up dramatically in my market by adding a crane to my mini skid and van because subbed wood management without chipping is so ubiquitous.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
I urge you to go to the "Awakenings" forum here, and view the "this is what happens when" thread. Watch both video's. That is the product of YouTube and self training! Don't be that guy. Go get a job running ropes for good climber, and work your way into climbing. That's how it's done, and in the end you will be a better tree-man/arborist!
 

colb

Well-Known Member
That is the product of YouTube and self training!
@rico your opinion, or verifiable fact? We've all seen fails from a full spectrum of tree care professionals...

The prudent tree climber understands as many ways to kill or maim oneself before climbing. The awakenings thread is great for that, but not comprehensive.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
I believe the guy in the vids was very honest about his lack of real training and experience. No offense, but this is simply not an occupation to be learn from YouTube video's, and Internet forums. He owes it to his future clients, and himself to go pay some dues, and learn it from the ground up!
 

colb

Well-Known Member
I believe the guy in the vids was very honest about his lack of real training and experience. This is simply not an occupation to be learn from YouTube video's, and Internet forums. He owes it to his future clients, and himself to go pay some dues, and learn it from the ground up!
@rico I understand your sentiment, but it obviously *is* learnable from YouTube videos and Treebuzz. I'm in year 3.7, humming right along, after transferring my middling rock climbing skill set to tree climbing. I know that's inconvenient, but it's 2017... It's no longer good enough to say "don't clone humans" when they are clearly cloneable and may have been cloned already. The discussion, at this point, is what to do about the situation since the gates are open. This guy needs to know how to stay alive, rather than meeting the virtual gatekeepers on the buzz. What has the Buzz done, in terms of curation, to help these new guys out?
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Supplementing with youtube Vids and Internet forums is fine, but it should never be a replacement for real world experience. You can watch all the videos you want of someone doing a 150-200ft removal, but its not gonna help much when the sawdust starts flying! You gotta earn that shit. Just this old-timers opinion.
 

JeffGu

Well-Known Member
I have no problems at all with self-starters and self-learners... I've known so many of them across numerous professions, that I know better than to believe that everybody should follow some pre-determined path to success. However, the majority of people are usually much better off following a traditional path. I wouldn't discourage anyone from either method, as long as they are good self-motivators that will explore all learning avenues and avoid the pitfalls associated with thinking they're onto some get rich quick scheme.

A combination of the two can be extremely effective. Do you know any climbers working in the industry? If not, I'd save a little money aside for buying them beer and talking them into helping you out on a few jobs. A guy like @rico could save you enormous pain and shorten the learning curve by a huge amount in a couple of afternoons. Make friends with guys like that... have them show you stuff you just won't learn correctly with guesswork or YouTube videos. There are subtle nuances to every aspect of the business that you really need to see done by someone with lots of experience. That, in itself, will give you the big jump in knowledge and skill that makes it possible for a smart, quick learner to succeed. That, and patience. It's possible for a highly motivated person to shorten a steep learning curve... but you can't shrink it down to three days by sheer force of will. It's still going to take time and vigilance.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
I have no problems at all with self-starters and self-learners... I've known so many of them across numerous professions, that I know better than to believe that everybody should follow some pre-determined path to success. However, the majority of people are usually much better off following a traditional path. I wouldn't discourage anyone from either method, as long as they are good self-motivators that will explore all learning avenues and avoid the pitfalls associated with thinking they're onto some get rich quick scheme.

A combination of the two can be extremely effective. Do you know any climbers working in the industry? If not, I'd save a little money aside for buying them beer and talking them into helping you out on a few jobs. A guy like @rico could save you enormous pain and shorten the learning curve by a huge amount in a couple of afternoons. Make friends with guys like that... have them show you stuff you just won't learn correctly with guesswork or YouTube videos. There are subtle nuances to every aspect of the business that you really need to see done by someone with lots of experience. That, in itself, will give you the big jump in knowledge and skill that makes it possible for a smart, quick learner to succeed. That, and patience. It's possible for a highly motivated person to shorten a steep learning curve... but you can't shrink it down to three days by sheer force of will. It's still going to take time and vigilance.
Great post Mr. Gu! Clearly you are much more articulate than I am. Sure, I have learned some cool new tricks online, but it will never replace 40 years of learning and working with some truly great tree-men/ loggers. That gentlemen, is the funk you can't fake!
 
Last edited:

tc262

Well-Known Member
Hello TreeBuzz my name is Sergio Villegas, I live in California and I am on my 20s. I had a landscaping business with my brother and I got into trees. I've been watching videos non-stop ever since because I know that I want to open my tree service soon. My wife hates it..lol
So I fell in love with the trade and I know I want to do this for living now. I managed to save 20K. doing side jobs and my savings from my other job. I would like to know what would you guys buy to open up your tree service first if you were situation? Boom truck, chipper, etc. What do you think made your service go up a level? Thank you all in advance and be safe.
Education, start with some books (lots of threads on here about which to choose) and Gerry Beranek's video set The Working Climber.
http://www.treestuff.com/store/catalog.asp?category_id=2049&item=1286
 

Oroboros

Well-Known Member
I agree with the heavy pickup and big ass dump trailer to start.

Now for the self education. That entirely depends on you.
I was self taught but had many crossover skills already and worked in a market with small trees in small yards. So I learned to squirrel out to the tips. Only since moving to Ontario have I taken bigger bites and still to some those would be small.
Message: it's all relative. It's your life. Just be careful and respect what you don't know.
 

david1332

Active Member
With $20k your best bet is to invest in some quality climbing & rigging gear, a good top handle, 50-60cc saw and a 75 or 90cc saw. With those things you can take down just about any tree you encounter. That'll run you about $4000 of you shop smart and buy a used bigger saw. The remaining $16k I would invest in a f550 with a 10'-12' stake body and make it into a chip truck for about $10-12k and spend the rest on a chipper. The bigger the better. However you can wait on the chipper for a few months until you save up a bit more coin and allow yourself to buy a solid 12" chipper that still has some life left in it.

For saws I would go with an echo 355T, echo cs590 and either a husky 288xp or a stihl 440/441cm. I own all these saws plus a 201tc and have been happy with all of them.

Spend some time reading up and watching as much as you can , also shadow a few local climbers if you get the chance. As others have said you can learn a lot in a few days form these guys. I'm self taught as well , you do be surprised at how much you can pick up, little tricks you'd never even think of. Let me know if you have any questions
 

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