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Lost job looking at arborist work

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by FlyingDutchman, Nov 21, 2018.

  1. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    I recently left my professional job (office) of 6 years for a different position at a hydraulic shop. Was a big mistake, 6 months later and a roller coaster of anxiety and long hours and they let me go with no notice, mostly because I cost too much and the company didn't grow to need me for what they hired me for.

    I have a business degree, a very technical background in repair and diagnostics writing tech manuals for forestry equipment, and 15 years experience running saws and messing with them for firewood and odd jobs, such as clearing, storm removal and whatnot.

    The tree service guy/business in question is going to do some work at my girlfriends parents house that requires a boom truck because of fences and other obstacles, and I wanted the logs for firewood. Her dad happened to mention that I wanted the wood and was unemployed. I've done ground work for him before and repaired chainsaws for him before when he did a job at my parents house (to save on the bill). The guy practically came through the phone with interest.

    Any way... I had caught wind on Facebook 6 months agonthat his business was for sale as a train-to-own transition. I'm no pro arborist, but being out of work and dreading another cube farm crucible, this really intrigues me twofold, A as a job, and B acquiring the business and making a career. This is a successful business but he also works assembly at a factory and makes benefits etc there.

    I very much doubt that I'll be able to make what I'm used to as part of a ground crew, I went through the employment forum and it looks like more than 15 bucks an hour to start out is out of the norm. Unless you have a CDL, climbing skills and real world experience/certs. Also doubtful there are benefits. Could be fun for a little while...

    I cannot talk to the guy until next week, out of the country for vacation, so I'm just trying to organize thoughts and maybe hear a little wisdom.
     
  2. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What city is the biz operated out of? Does it come with a shop? How many employees? I looked up scales mound very small population hope the biz is elsewhere.... what equipment does he have? Sales numbers? Is there a climber that comes with the company? It's very hard to make money in a small market if you dont know how to do everything and do it yourself. What is the current owners roll? Is he out on the job?estimator?sits at home?

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  3. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    Not much of a bigger city than that. 3000 people. The shop is there, on his property. 15-20 min from me.

    I am not 100% sure of the equipment, he had a pretty good sized boom truck. He has a chipper and chip truck, and a skidsteer. He has a climber but I think he's a subcontractor. He does most everything with the boom truck.

    Owner is on the job, does bidding, etc. Works full-time at a factory too.

    I'd like to climb, but I a big guy almost 7ft 300 lbs, never tried it although I am fairly nimble for my size.
     
  4. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I think you are going to have one hell of a time trying to make any real money. Does the company operate when hes working his other job? I honestly dont see you having the work load needed to support a fulltime gig. But on the other hand you could probably make enough to make a few hundred bucks a week.

    The big question is what comes with the purchase price and what is that price?

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  5. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    Well, had first day today. It's not a very challenging job besides physically and environmentally. Elements and hard labor. Essentially the same experience as cutting firewood with better equipment.

    A guy is alreadytrying to buy it and is working in the crew. I knew the owner fairly well but not this other fella. We got along okay.

    I'm sort of relieved buying it isn't an option based on what you said no tree too big. For now it feels good to keep from bouncing my mortgage check and get some exercise...
     
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  6. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Lol dont worry about having too much fun itll start to suck soon haha!! Wait till you have to drag out of a back yard a couple hundred feet up hill.


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  7. lknchoppers

    lknchoppers ArboristSite Operative

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    Maybe you can keep some of the wood for firewood, split now and sell it next year. Be careful on the new job.
     
  8. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    The firewood seems to be a strange topic, haven't been able to get any of it yet but supposedly they give a bunch away.

    When they are done at 1 pm they are friggin done... Skid steer stays on the trailer and whole 9 yards and the owner goes to his day job. I think I can get firewood but haven't figured out when that would be...

    Thanks for the warning of being careful. It is quite dangerous yes.
     
  9. waross

    waross ArboristSite Member

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    If he has all that equipment then count on all the money to buy it and maintain it. Too many guys jump into this business with a bucket, chip truck and chipper without having the proper skills and knowledge to take care of trees. Then they undergird every job just to try to make ends meet and don't take the time to learn the job properly.

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  10. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    He just got 153 trees to remove in the city limits 150,000+ job... and is still a year behind on tree work with normal customers, which is unbelievable to me with all the people doing tree work...

    I agree... Anyone that takes on his equipment had better have some savings to deal with the age of some of his equipment. I worked at a hydraulic shop before this... Rebuilding the cylinders and running new lines on a boom truck can be close to $10,0000, and it's pump is run by an old tractor engine... His boom truck is old. His chipper is very big, I think it can fit a 12 or 14" tree and will eat it no problem but it has a few hydraulic leaks. Looks very expensive to buy and maintain.

    I did get two dump truck loads of cottonwood today at my house and we smashed an MS460 with a log. I did get to run the 460 before it got smashed, now I want one! Not sure what tomorrow will bring...
     
  11. waross

    waross ArboristSite Member

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    If you smashed a saw on the job today, then someone wasn't following safety protocols.

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  12. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    I didn't smash it, the owner did. I am not sure what safety protocols were violated even though I saw it happen.
     
  13. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A year behind working half days? But still if you are a year behind you are not providing a great service to your customers. If we are a month out people are asking questions and threatening to cancel... 150 trees depending on size might only be a couple weeks for a solid 4 man crew this winter I was on the golf coarse and we got 130 sumthin in 4 days decent size trees too.
    But 150k is a couple months of $ for a 4 man crew so maybe they are big trees

    Why was the 460 just sitting on the ground or was it being used when it got smushed? Who was the last one to set it down? Why was it within smashing distance?

    2 loads of cotton wood? Who won on that deal lol clearly not the one who's splitting and burning it!


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  14. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    We are a 2-3 man crew. Only one experienced guy (the owner). I would not want to be that far out.... We didn't work Monday because of the ice/snow, for instance. Spend a lot of time cleaning up and being low impact. Most crews couldn't work because of rain making the ground too soft

    I don't mind a bit of cottonwood. I have an outdoor boiler.

    Guy was making a back cut on a big trunk to tug away from a garage. It was starting to fall so he killed the saw and was getting clear. Might have tripped or saw blade caught just as he was pulling it out. Saw went flying and rolled into path of the trunk.
     
  15. waross

    waross ArboristSite Member

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    Stay away from inexperienced and untrained crews. This is far too dangerous of a career for amateurs. I see crews all the time doing unsafe, dangerous stuff. Makes my stomach churn.

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  16. lknchoppers

    lknchoppers ArboristSite Operative

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    A year behind, that is insane. I don't think anybody would wait a year to get a tree taken down, they may fall down before that. Learn what you can.
     
  17. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Row Seatin'

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    Been tuned down for multiple job apps i wanted so far. Getting really disappointed.

    The owner was trying to get me buying into the business today, worried the other guy doesn't have the drive to do it.

    To be honest, I don't understand the year behind thing. I'm not involved in the bidding and stuff. I would also think that people would not wait that long.

    Today we got the boom truck stuck sideways in a side yard and had to cut the fence to get it out. Despite being 11 degrees out this morning, ground is still soft.
     
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  18. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Dude run away now it sounds like this guy might get u killed! Saws flying trucks sliding next is heads rollin.... maybe wear a suit of armor around this guy!

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  19. lknchoppers

    lknchoppers ArboristSite Operative

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    You are the only one that can make the call about buying his business. With him working a full time job and doing the tree biz I can understand how things are hectic. I do the same with a firewood business but that is a different animal. Ask to look at his books when the time is right, many people are full of BS and make things sound great at times. You will need favorable terms that protect you, should you decide to proceed and try to buy the business. If it was such a great deal it would have already been sold. Just my two cents.
     

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