PDA

View Full Version : Hurricane Earl


picframer
09-04-2010, 03:13 PM
Well the worst has passed, hit us around 9 this morning, pretty intense by noon, had five trees down on my property, no power since 10 a.m., 215,000 homes without power, I have been running off the generator of one of our mowing tractors, being on a well it's nice to be able to have water, lights etc.

Went into the city to cut a few trees away from my son's home so that he could stay with me until power is restored which looks like Monday, the city is a mess, trees down everywhere.

My email and phone has been going insane, once the winds die down I will head out with chippers, saws and excavators, have 22 staff on call as it's a long weekend here.

Not a lot of rain with this hurricane, mainly wind and I have seen far worse but a hurricane a few years ago really weakened trees so it doesn't take a lot to bring them down.

This tractor will power the house, workshop and another house off the tractor, uses about 8 gallons of diesel every 24 hours, super quiet which is great.

Steve
09-05-2010, 11:50 AM
Early on, it looked like your area was going to get slammed by Earl. I am glad it was minor when it finally hit.

I bet you are super busy today

Keep us posted on the updates!

Oh and by the way, that generator looks like an awesome addition. What kind of output does it have? How long can that run for like that?

picframer
09-05-2010, 05:14 PM
Early on, it looked like your area was going to get slammed by Earl. I am glad it was minor when it finally hit.

I bet you are super busy today

Keep us posted on the updates!

Oh and by the way, that generator looks like an awesome addition. What kind of output does it have? How long can that run for like that?

Earl came ashore about 15 min or so from my home, it may have been a hurricane however I have seen more damage in storms, the city was the hardest hit, we are still without power but the generator runs everything, it was a desperate busy day and the next few days will be busy.

The generator is amazing, I have well water, hot water, basically everything is as normal, it's 15kv which is enough to run two homes or a number at the same time for basic services. It has 240V outlets and 120V however I have what they call a transfer switch, you plug 240V into a panel in the house and that is it, when the normal power comes back on the generator will shut off.

The house becomes a community gathering place during times like this as some have small generators however it won't run their hot water or well pump.

Steve
09-06-2010, 03:00 AM
Andy,

That is great! You are always so well prepare!

Are you having to do anything special now to market your tree services or do enough people know to call you that it is not even an issue?

I am thinking now is a great time to have your truck and trailer lettered. Nothing makes it easier for a neighbor to choose a tree service company, when they are right outside their door helping another person on the block.

LawnMoore
09-06-2010, 04:34 AM
Andy you know, You are my Role model!

Always Prepared very well!

LawnMoore
09-06-2010, 04:43 AM
I forgot to ask you also, do you have a climber or do you climb?

picframer
09-06-2010, 05:33 AM
Andy,

That is great! You are always so well prepare!

Are you having to do anything special now to market your tree services or do enough people know to call you that it is not even an issue?

I am thinking now is a great time to have your truck and trailer lettered. Nothing makes it easier for a neighbor to choose a tree service company, when they are right outside their door helping another person on the block.

The only marketing I did was late Saturday after the storm and yesterday until noon, I had a student drive around and hand out our cards that are designed for tree cutting and chipping, he gave out almost 600 cards, didn't really have to drive a lot:) The issue is staff, 3/4 of the staff return to university tomorrow, but then again I only have two chippers so what we are doing is getting the critical trees cut and chipped, some staff are out cutting and piling as we have 7 chain saws then we will get to the rest before winter, still have to keep the excavation, lawn care, pressure washing going, this time of the year can be a real challenge.

All the vehicles are lettered, I do need to get the chippers done however.

picframer
09-06-2010, 05:40 AM
I forgot to ask you also, do you have a climber or do you climb?

Myself and two staff are certified climbers, to be honest it's not often we have to climb, I can fall a tree where I want it 90% of the time, if in any doubt at all, we have a small to med excavator stop by and direct the tree.

There is big bucks when you climb, the competition starts at $225.00 a tree, we are around $150.00 then there is a fee to chip and clean up.

When a tree is on a house or building, I won't touch it until the insurance company the owner is with has looked at it, then we use an excavator or tractor to lift it off, cut it, chip 4" and smaller, clean up and move on. Many of our clients burn wood so we offer splitting as well, I have three Bearcat splitters, that group is High School students, they go in and split, stack etc. I would guess we are hired to split 20% of the wood we cut, some clients just want to rent our splitter and get the exercise themselves which is great with us.

Just getting ready to head out as we are starting in 20 min, going to be another 12 hour day, we would go longer but that is all the daylight we have.

LawnMoore
09-06-2010, 05:50 AM
yea 200 around here i start at 150 as well. I just haul for now, again. Remember i bought a chipper a small 6 inch one, however i sold it 2 weeks later for 100% profit!

Ill eventually get me a another 6 incher a little nicer i hope than that one and be happy keeping it, however profit is profit.

Or im wanting to get a small Bobcat S70 the 32 inch wide one.

I hoped Earl would hit closer to me however im very glad it hit near you as well, atleast one of us is getting work off it.

Good luck today Andy.

picframer
09-06-2010, 04:53 PM
yea 200 around here i start at 150 as well. I just haul for now, again. Remember i bought a chipper a small 6 inch one, however i sold it 2 weeks later for 100% profit!

Ill eventually get me a another 6 incher a little nicer i hope than that one and be happy keeping it, however profit is profit.

Or im wanting to get a small Bobcat S70 the 32 inch wide one.

I hoped Earl would hit closer to me however im very glad it hit near you as well, atleast one of us is getting work off it.

Good luck today Andy.

I would really encourage you to rent and try a CUT (Compact Utility Tractor with Loader) before you buy a skid steer.

Earl wasn't really that bad, I have seen tropical storms do more damage but as I mentioned the root systems and trees themselves are weak here, doesn't take a lot to do a lot of damage.

LawnMoore
09-07-2010, 04:48 AM
you mean like the 3000 series Deere?

picframer
09-07-2010, 05:28 AM
you mean like the 3000 series Deere?

Landscape work, box boade, landscape rake, loader work it's tough to beat a 2520 or 2720 due to their size, wod woods type work, heavy landscape (meaning a lot of fill and top soil 12 loads plus) it's hard to beat the 3320, 3520 or 3720.

I find not only myself but site I drive by, a skid steer job is never done and requires a fair bit of manual labor, I do not experience this using a CUT.

The CUTS will run wood shippers and shredders also, it's a lot cheaper getting started then you can get stand alones.

You can run mowers on the CUTS up to 8 feet, bush hogs, sickle bars etc for clearing, grader blades and a host of earth moving equipment not available for a skid, you can add a backhoe that comes off very easy also.

LawnMoore
09-07-2010, 05:41 AM
I dont know Andy, i can find used bobcats for around 2500 - 10,000

where as one of these CUT are 15k without the first attachment..

Thats too much money for me right now i think.

Im only looking to spend about 10k or less, on my next equipment.

picframer
09-07-2010, 06:04 PM
I dont know Andy, i can find used bobcats for around 2500 - 10,000

where as one of these CUT are 15k without the first attachment..

Thats too much money for me right now i think.

Im only looking to spend about 10k or less, on my next equipment.

That would be an issue, I don't think you can get into a CUT for ten grand....but like anything, start with what you can afford and build from there

LawnMoore
09-07-2010, 10:45 PM
That would be an issue, I don't think you can get into a CUT for ten grand....but like anything, start with what you can afford and build from there

Even though, its either i find a good deal for cash, or do a down payment with payments, and i really dont want to do that.

I think i will keep trying to just make profit off buying low and selling high with anything i can. I try to buy only what i can use tho if i have to hold it for a while.

Steve
09-08-2010, 11:27 AM
When you have situations where you get a lot of jobs quickly and all the customers want their tree jobs done now, whats the best way to go about dealing with that?

Do you ever split the crews up to the point where its just one person on the job site, with a chain saw, cutting things up. Then later you would show up with your trimmer? Or what is the best way to utilize your resources when they are needed all at once?

picframer
09-08-2010, 07:28 PM
When you have situations where you get a lot of jobs quickly and all the customers want their tree jobs done now, whats the best way to go about dealing with that?

Do you ever split the crews up to the point where its just one person on the job site, with a chain saw, cutting things up. Then later you would show up with your trimmer? Or what is the best way to utilize your resources when they are needed all at once?

It's tough, I remind people there are trunk slammer showing up every storm and some of them can do the work just make sure they are insured, if something happens and they are not, it's your insurance, most people do not realize this.

Next the competition is as swamped as we are so where are they going to go? They can't rent commercial chippers, no one in the city will rent a commercial chipper unless you are a commercial, registered company, it's been that way for about 6 years.

There is, at the moment, only one experienced person on each crew which is all you need really, there are a few of us, when we have a chainsaw in hand, we can keep three people busy.

Now the upsell, I have three wood splitters, I am getting $35 an hour to put a person on site splitting their wood for firewood, what a friggin easy sell, no one else does it and people rave about it, we will even stack it for $25. an hour, I hired a group of people with no experience, wood splitting, hauling brush from the saw operator and chipping require next to no experience.

To prepare for this, I trained my non University staff on chainsaw operation and they worked with me for at least a week before I let them loose, this was to prepare for the storms we get this time of the year and it's working, we have 9 crews out there cutting, two crews chipping, six staff splitting and piling, we are booked solid for 5 weeks at the moment, two jobs will take over 20 days, people have the money and want not only trees down but they want us to silviculture their lot.

I bought two more Stihl FS550K's this morning, these are insane brush clearing saws, 56.5 CC, they stop at nothing, we have brush saws but needed more, what I do is use florscent paint and mark all brush/trees to be cut with the client, staff go in and take care of the rest.

picframer
09-09-2010, 05:57 AM
I forgot to ask you also, do you have a climber or do you climb?

Check your website bud as it's not loading, only the directory is showing

LawnMoore
09-09-2010, 06:08 AM
Check your website bud as it's not loading, only the directory is showing

This happened b4, now if i can remember what to do to correct it..

Oh ill just call Customer Support ;)

Thanks Andy

LawnMoore
09-09-2010, 06:39 AM
I got it figuered out, i accidently made some changes to search engine keywords the other day, however i changed them on my old site and republished it over my new site. The two were clashing.

GOT IT, thanks

Steve
09-09-2010, 12:03 PM
I find not only myself but site I drive by, a skid steer job is never done and requires a fair bit of manual labor, I do not experience this using a CUT.

Andy,

What is your thought on where a skid steer excels? I never understood the design. What advantage does it have over a tractor like yours? Is there any advantage?

LawnMoore
09-09-2010, 02:01 PM
Andy,

What is your thought on where a skid steer excels? I never understood the design. What advantage does it have over a tractor like yours? Is there any advantage?

And also with tracks, any advantages?

picframer
09-09-2010, 08:01 PM
Andy,

What is your thought on where a skid steer excels? I never understood the design. What advantage does it have over a tractor like yours? Is there any advantage?

Tracks give them traction, without tracks they are useless landscaping, but a skid is very heavy and like excavators the rip the crap out of the soil/sod, now with an excavator I can use the bucket to turn to help eliminate this.

Steve, where a skid would blow my doors off is loading say top soil, mulch, turf etc, it lifts very high and can turn on a dime, he could load a truck in 1/3 of the time as me. Other than that, I can't honestly think of anything in our business where it would be better.

LawnMoore
09-10-2010, 08:51 AM
And,.

Where i just went to check on some CUT at my local dealer, they didnt recomend me buying a cut if i wanted to get grapples on it, unless of coarse i payed about an extra thousand dollars to have another hydrolic valve added for opening and closing the grapples. And then again i would lose quite a bit of lifting power because of the extra weight of graples.

My main expertise is Tree removal, so like Andy said i could load a lot faster with a skid.

Also i am almost 100% sure there is not a CUT anything like the unit i want to get.

You guys should google it. Its around 13k but for me, if i get all attachments available, i can do alot more than my normal tree removals.

Bobcat S70


and Andy, the CUT i have looked at is 13,800 with loader only, its a 2010 Kubota BX2660

can you check that out for me online and give me your thoughts on it, as to about which of your models it would be similar to.

Steve
09-10-2010, 02:14 PM
Steve, where a skid would blow my doors off is loading say top soil, mulch, turf etc, it lifts very high and can turn on a dime, he could load a truck in 1/3 of the time as me. Other than that, I can't honestly think of anything in our business where it would be better.

It sounds like they would be better for someplace with a hard surface to work on versus someone's yard.

There seems to be this big perceptual image of the skid steer and that they are a very important tool for landscapers but all in all they seem not to be.

LawnMoore
09-10-2010, 03:18 PM
No you guys ( or just you Steve ;) are actually wrong there i believe, there is a place in landscaping for skidsteers still.

My friend has a large skid steer with the rubber tracks,. and he is constantly busy site prepping and he said he gets so many calls because where as a tractor will have a hard time getting up steep inclines and keeping it clean, he can crawl right up them grade & level and have no problems with getting stuck at all.

Keep in mind these are very large jobs though, and not just your run of the mill yard.

Then again he also helps me loading tree debris, and he can go right across any yard and do absolutely 0 cosmetic damage, then we only have 1 are for turns and staging, where as he cleans it up and levels it back really easy. Or he will drive straigh in and back straight out, load in the road way or down the road on the right of way, using 3-4 poiint turns for turning around.

So theres still a place in landscaping, and like i said the bobcat S70 if you would google it or go to bobcat.com you will see that its very light and will fit through a 36 inch gate!

I have used the S70 for a couple of years with another company i ran a crew for.

I have never had an issue with it tearing up the grass as long as it was gradually turned and not zero turned!

So dont knock it unless you have tried it.