Subcontractor Agreement

MikePowers321

Well-Known Member
Location
Leeds, Ny
Wow thats quite the clause not sure you would have many clients if you tried using it...
That's what I was thinking too, Timberjack. If I hired a climber for a day, I'd want him to be responsible for making catastrophic errors that could certainly be avoided.

I can see things getting sketchy with subcontracting climbers though, because I can envision times that no one was truly at fault, yet there is property damage involved. Sometimes shit does happen.

I'm curious to hear from any other contract climbers and their experiences or from business owners that use climbers on occasion.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Olympia, WA
Seems to me that if its a team-effort, its a team responsibility. Contract Climber could bring his own roper and rigging, and be fully responsible. Could work way below capacity for no chance of rope failure if fully locked-off by General Contractor's employee when it should be let run, or only cut what can be self-lowered.

Seems like a gray area.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
Location
South East, PA
I’m a little late to this conversation, but better late than never.
It’s really tough to assign blame for damage sometimes. The sub just shows up and not a bunch of time for planning and making sure the right equipment is on the job. The ability to walk is a key to this. The Forman/salesman bid the job and probably had an idea of how it was going to go down.
A recent job we did come to mind that clarifies my point. Dead maple along drive, leaning ever so slightly down hill and back. We obviously want to go cross hill against the lean (at time of estimate).
Show up on the job and I had miss identified the tree because I had been talking to the HO. It was a dead hickory. We get a rope set. Plan is to pull by hand across slope against the back lean. Notch is cut (wood doesn’t look happy) but the sub and I agree to continue. Back cut is made, well before the hinge is set the tree breaks off approximately 90 degrees from our fall direction and goes crashing down the hill. I did all I could do on the rope, it even took the grippy off my gloves. Luckily no damage, but it could have been realllllly bad. My plan my fault, sure he cut it. But I miss identified it, didn’t change the work plan when we knew, and allowed it to happen on my clients property.
Another project sub is climbing a tulip poplar. Rigging wood out. “Ok I can drop chunks”. First one comes off and lands smack on a nearby fence.... his plan, his fault. It’s really dependent on the situation.
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
Location
South East, PA
What difference did it make if it were maple or hickory. 5 to 1 sure wouldnt have noticed.

Hickory, when alive, is very stringy and hinges extremely well. When dead the tree is more like a pile of corn flakes held together by Elmer’s glue. Even if only dead a short time (year or so). There was zero chance of it hinging. I have never had that feeling about maples or experience with them. The problem with 5:1 is I have to move 20 feet to get 4, I’m light on my feet but when a tree starts to move I’m not that quick. Using the pull line more as a guy line and pull up hill with it was our determination on what could have been better or even a second line.
 

CutHighnLetFly

Well-Known Member
Location
Cape Cod, MA
I think if your a contract climber, if it's a toss up who the caused damage after the fact, it's gunna be on the climber. Even if the climber feels it's on someone else.
It's on me (the sub) to make a plan that fits. If key rope running and timing is essential for a quick plan, but the grou nd skill isn't there, well then it's a long day of slow rigging, controlling swings and quickly ending pendulums.
If I rig things as if I had a skilled roper and something gets damaged cause the groundie was under qualified, that's on me. It was my plan. It a a tough spot to be in, so avoiding It with planning and PATIENCE has been extremely key. I have the pleasure of having a guy work with me so it's awesome, but even then, there needs to be an agreement so that if something happens him and I aren't pointing at each other
 

RyanCafferky

Well-Known Member
Unexpected incidents and property damage will happen from time to time. Being humble and owning up to your part of mistakes will pay dividneds in the future even if it is a bitter pill to swallow in the moment. It takes a good relationship and repor with the client to avoid conflict when and if things do go wrong. A few years ago I broke two windows mere weeks apart. Both of those instances were my fault and I paid for them myself without hesitation. Basically I worked for next to nothing for two days. But that client gives me a tremendous amount of work so I accept the bad days with the good just like he and every other tree service has to from time to time.

What I always like to clarify with people during rigging operations is that when I am climbing if I tell the ground guy 2 wraps and he takes one and smashes something it is his fault. If I tell him one wrap and he can’t hold or control the load, that is my error. I just try and always start small with new people I haven’t worked with before and in general just be conservative. Being the hero and going big rarely speeds the job up in the areas I work in anyway (tight urban environments with minimal equipment to deal with wood). Things go wrong when I start going too fast (ie too big) or when I don’t communicate my plan well enough to those I’m working with.

These days with the technology available, it seems like body cameras or Gopro type units might be a good idea just to cover your ass when things are getting interesting. Especially during rigging intensive removals.
 

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