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Yard Elements
08-22-2011, 12:28 AM
I am looking into moving into tree service. I am going to learn to climb. I can fell but no climb. I need to get into this with minimal investment. But I need to keep our look professional. That is OUR selling point we wear uniforms and keep everything looking nice and clean. I am looking for advice on how to do this.

CHEESE2009
08-22-2011, 01:16 AM
I am looking into moving into tree service. I am going to learn to climb. I can fell but no climb. I need to get into this with minimal investment. But I need to keep our look professional. That is OUR selling point we wear uniforms and keep everything looking nice and clean. I am looking for advice on how to do this.



Good luck with that.

You can make a lot of money, but I think it's a safer bet to get into "Stump Removal". The cost is still there, but you wont kill anyone including yourself.

Taking down trees is expensive to operate, and very dangerous. Last thing you want is for a branch to go through a house or car. It's common down where I am. Our trees are from hell.


http://www.jniosh.go.jp/icpro/jicosh-old/english/cases/cases/case31-2.gif


So cutting down trees does sound fun, but how do you plan on hauling the crap away? Wood chipper? Those are about $10,000.00+ aren't they?

Yard Elements
08-22-2011, 01:47 AM
Used wood chippers are 4-5 Thousand Used,

I am attending a climbing seminar on the 16th of sept.

Of course it is dangerous, but I get calls a lot for tree service type work, and get asked about it frequently. This would be a slow move into. Not an overnight deal. I know Andy on here runs tree service.

Don't be so scared Cheese. :)

picframer
08-22-2011, 08:48 AM
Used wood chippers are 4-5 Thousand Used,

I am attending a climbing seminar on the 16th of sept.

Of course it is dangerous, but I get calls a lot for tree service type work, and get asked about it frequently. This would be a slow move into. Not an overnight deal. I know Andy on here runs tree service.

Don't be so scared Cheese. :)

Big bucks in tree climbing and as long as you use common sense, it is not dangerous at all. Generally speaking we get $150 to $350 per tree to climb, then $65 an hour to chip, I haul the hardwood away at no cost as I sell it, hardwood is $265.00 a cord here, last year we sold around 35 cord and I kept 10 cord for my own home and workshop.

If the cutomer wants to keep the firewood, here is an example:

Bring the tree down $250.00 - one person - no time limit

Chip the branches and leave the chips $65.00 hour - One staff

Additional staff $25.00 hr

Buck logs up $35.00 hr - one staff

Split hardwood - $35.00 hr - one staff (we own chippers and splitters)

I also have two contract employees, they are also certified tree climbers and work for the power company, I pay them 50% comission.

Insurance is high however it goes down based on your performance.

Steve
08-22-2011, 12:16 PM
Buck logs up $35.00 hr - one staff

What is that?

picframer
08-22-2011, 02:11 PM
What is that?

Cut a log into pieces the length of the clients stove, 15, 16, 18 or 24"

Steve
08-23-2011, 12:18 PM
Oh very interesting!

I also have two contract employees, they are also certified tree climbers and work for the power company, I pay them 50% comission.

Do you only higher certified tree climbers or would you hire someone that was able to show you a certain level of climbing proficiency?

With the level of risk involved, I do wonder if it is a good idea or not for an owner of a lawn care business to be performing this job themselves.

One slip up could stop a business in it's tracks if the owner is injured.

Maybe it would just be better to hire the work out?

Do you have to carry insurance on the work you pay out the 50% commission to or do the climbers have their own insurance?

picframer
08-23-2011, 04:03 PM
Oh very interesting!



Do you only higher certified tree climbers or would you hire someone that was able to show you a certain level of climbing proficiency?

With the level of risk involved, I do wonder if it is a good idea or not for an owner of a lawn care business to be performing this job themselves.

One slip up could stop a business in it's tracks if the owner is injured.

Maybe it would just be better to hire the work out?

Do you have to carry insurance on the work you pay out the 50% commission to or do the climbers have their own insurance?

I only higher certified climbers, not worth the risk no matter how long the person may tell you they have been cutting trees, it's an Insurance and Workers Comp requirement anyhow.

With proper training, it is really not that dangerous assuming you wear the safety gear, I have been in some very difficult situations, it really boils down to experience and training, never had an issue yet.

I carry Insurance no matter what we do, to me I have far to much to loose for the few hundred dollars it costs for insurance.

In many cases it's probably better to cub the work out, I have been climbing trees for over 30 years, received my training shortly after high school as I worked a summer for the power company which is where I received my training, big, big bucks in climbing.

Johnny_boy02
08-23-2011, 11:45 PM
Call your insurance and see if you are covered.

I have a pole saw I will trim trees with if a customer asks. But that is far as I go.

Steve
08-24-2011, 01:51 PM
I also have two contract employees, they are also certified tree climbers and work for the power company, I pay them 50% comission.

What is your view on this pay structure? Is it worthwhile to offer services this way when you have to pay for things like insurance and other expenses?

How about using a bucket, would that make the process easier and safer?

picframer
08-24-2011, 02:09 PM
What is your view on this pay structure? Is it worthwhile to offer services this way when you have to pay for things like insurance and other expenses?

How about using a bucket, would that make the process easier and safer?

My view on the pay structure is pretty simple, I have no cost other than the initial quote and the company makes 50%, almost always more as I would have staff on site to chip the wood.

Looked into a bucket, roof mount on a van, truck mount, kitty crane and rentals, not worth the time or effort.

In my case a kitty bucket crane could have been used by the pressure washing crews, law here is we can not use a ladder over 10 feet, rental of a bucket is $250 a day plus $125 delivery and pick up, in 30 months we only rented one twice so it wasn't worth the expense, the one(s) I was looking at were $35,000

Yard Elements
08-24-2011, 09:39 PM
If you are good you don't really need a bucket, plus a lot of places you can't get a bucket in. As far as it being dangerous so is driving a truck and trailer or running a shop saw. I don't plan on just climbing way up my first shot. i am going to take a few seminars and practice. I think it will be fun.

I am sure I will need to add to my insurance and I am sure it will be costly, it is obviously worth it. Take a look a most of the top 100 as far as profit on lawn and landscape, they almost all offer tree service as well. I find it to be part of landscape maintenance. I figure a good truck to chip into and a chipper can be used for more than just "tree service" on clean ups it will save tons of time. We won't have two or three trips to the dump unloading by hand it would be one trip with a quick dump. Yes I know it is $20,000 or more investment. I don't plan on doing it right away. It is part of the company plan. i was soliciting advice from forum members like well. Andy.

picframer
08-25-2011, 05:59 AM
If you are good you don't really need a bucket, plus a lot of places you can't get a bucket in. As far as it being dangerous so is driving a truck and trailer or running a shop saw. I don't plan on just climbing way up my first shot. i am going to take a few seminars and practice. I think it will be fun.



Although I sold the lawn care and landscaping, I kept pressure washing, one chipper and several chainsaws. I work full time running a large market however I still have time for quotes in the evenings and staff that look after the jobs, so far it works with no issues. For the tree climbing I sub out the climbing and send staff for the chipping/cutting the trunk and large limbs up.

As far as profit margin vs return on investment, pressure washing in my case was and is #1, followed by tree work. I live in a region where there is not a deep soil system due to granite and bedrock, storms here have become more intense in the past 10 years which results in a lot of tree work.

There isn't a lot of competition for what we do on the tree side so it works well, with pressure washing it's repeat customers and word of mouth.

When you get ready to buy a chipper make sure you post, I can tell you based on an expensive experience what not to buy, I finally have equipment that chips well however this is my 5th setup in 3 years, it's been a costly experience.