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Rookie question: Red Flags?

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by BrushDragger, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. BrushDragger

    BrushDragger New Member

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    New to the industry, been landscaping for a long time and decided I needed a change. Here's the question: When you're looking for and starting a new tree job, are there any 'red flags' you're looking for? I ask because I walked off the first job on the third day due to a total lack of respect for electricity and the more I think about the first two days the more I realize there was really no concern for anyone's safety.

    Let's see how long it takes to check off all the problems I had!
     
    capetrees and hseII like this.
  2. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    Sounds like a big red flag to me and that you’re smart enough to realize it.
     
    capetrees, ATH and CacaoBoy like this.
  3. BrushDragger

    BrushDragger New Member

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    I'll just go ahead and list all the things I think are red flags in regards to safety that I saw. I'd appreciate it if people would tell me I'm being over cautious.

    Told me I had to supply my own hard hat, and eye and ear protection. Figured they'd have chaps for me but brought my own anyway. Good thing I brought the chaps, the climber ended up making fun of me for wearing them and told me the story of when he got twenty stitches in his left thigh when he cut himself in a tree.

    Never had me full out any paperwork, just texted him my full name.

    Tried to tighten the chain on the ground saw, he stopped me. He threw the chain later that day. The climbing saw chain was loose enough I could see light between the drive teeth and the bottom of the bar as he walked over to tie into the ball in the crane.

    Only attached to the crane with his climb line.

    No chainsaw lanyard.

    Rode back a few times under picks, through tree branches.

    Landed almost every pick close enough to secondary and primary lines to brush them with branches.

    Dragged tail of climbing line across the primaries on the way in and out.

    Landed logs on the side of the street with the crane cable inches from secondary lines.

    The other groundy told me they had told him you couldn't really teach someone how to run a chainsaw, you just had to watch and figure it out. It was obvious no one had ever told him anything other than how to start a saw.

    Boom of the crane within inches of secondary lines.

    The last straw was the crane (uninsulated, according to the safety decals) parked right under the power lines, the counterbalance would have been swinging a few feet below the secondaries. Three primaries, the closest to the tree was only a few inches away. Secondary running across the road to a house right above the chipper.

    The boss said "What's the problem? You're not gonna be the one touching the lines!" I told him they knew how to get in touch with me so they could get me the money they owed me for the past two days and walked away.

    This was seriously the first tree company I've ever worked for, so I have no idea if this is the type of thing that's normal. Am I off base with any of my concerns?
     
    Jason Douglas, rngrchad and ATH like this.
  4. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Best thing for your career (and life) was to walk. Learn good habits in your first job!.

    I am not a TCIA CTSP and my company is not TCIA accredited...I don't see the market value for it here. However, it may make it easier to find a better employer. Not that non accredited companies can't be good...just that you have a better chance. Of course, they may also have higher expectations of new hires. But most companies would take on somebody who will show up wanting to work and learn in a safe environment...who shows up on time and sober.
     
    jefflovstrom and Jason Douglas like this.
  5. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    I don’t understand why you would ask if you are “off base”. People get injured and killed the same ways they always have. From reading your post I see that you understand quite well the hazards to which you were exposed. I admire that you realized this at the time and had the self respect to walk away. Some people don’t for fear of embarrassment. And as such they end up dead. I am curious as to your use of terminology as it relates to power lines, crane operations, chainsaws, and tree work. You seem familiar with these things so you have obviously gained knowledge and understanding from somewhere. Where and what was it?
     
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  6. Del_

    Del_ Life is but a song we sing.

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    Sounds like a pain in the ass new guy.

    I bet they miss him. :)
     
  7. B Brown

    B Brown ArboristSite Lurker

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    Walking away from that job was a SMART MOVE! Betting you'll eventually see their name mentioned in the paper, industrial accident, law suit, its just a matter of time.
     
    CacaoBoy likes this.
  8. BrushDragger

    BrushDragger New Member

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    I decided recently that after being a landscaper for twenty years I could make better money and have better job satisfaction if I stopped procrastinating getting a forestry degree (because there's not much work for it in my area) and just switched that dream a little bit to becoming an arborist. That was in the off season for landscaping, so I had plenty of time to read everything I could get my hands on about it. I watched a lot of YouTube videos too, but those are hit or miss as far as actual useful knowledge goes. I've been running chainsaws for years, most of what I know about that I learned from a guy that used to do a bunch of logging and firewood. He wouldn't let me buck up logs for firewood in an open field without a helmet on when I was working for him so I feel naked without one when I'm running a saw, and chaps are a no brainer because I like my legs attached.

    The power line stuff I thought was common knowledge, but I guess some people don't realize the subtle difference between lines that give you a tingle and lines that cook you.
     
    Jason Douglas likes this.
  9. JTM

    JTM ArboristSite Guru

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    There you go! Hope you find a more professional bunch than what you experienced.
     
  10. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'll say it I work too close to power often, according to osha, but when I'm close I do so with no questions about if shits gonna work. I am not scared of service wires or secondaires I'll go grab either right now if you double dog dare me I try to stay away from primaries best as possible but if it's an easy maneuver I ain't saying nuttin. There are times you just gotta know ur gonna die then it's time to rethink your plan...

    We dont touch primaries with anything be it a rope or branch. That's just dumb

    I've never gone over secondaires and under primaries ever before nope never, with a bucket or crane that's just a silly idea but I'm a silly minded fellow so it just seems normal to me.

    Most of our climbers are ex line guys so they be used to it.
    You should ask to see my write up book yes I have a book just kidding but I should, hell I've been late to work almost every day for 4 years, I think they just moved my start time up 15 mins, maybe I've been on time? Crap now I can get another 15 mins of sleep now. One day I asked how many times you gotta be written up around this joint to get fired they laughed at me, "your punishment is still being employed"

    Some times I run my chains loose so there is less friction on the bar for a faster cut. Time is money bro! Just cause your chain is loose dont mean u gonna toss a chain I've tossed plenty of chains that were properly tightened...

    Yes there are regulations but we are after all just tree guys... most of us just suck it up and deal its life.


    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
     
  11. anymanusa

    anymanusa ArboristSite Guru

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    It's "too" big.
     
  12. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm well aware, hasn't been very high on my priority list to get fixed...

    Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
     
  13. jomoco

    jomoco Tree Freak

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    Any CO worth his salt knows how to insulate his mainline from uncomfortably close proximity to primaries.

    It's done with lots of stick and 30-40 foot long nylon/polyester straps.

    Rookie CO's can kill maim n reek hazard far n wide.

    Jomoco
     
  14. Mustang71

    Mustang71 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Just make sure you dont mistake confidence and experience with carelessness. I do hvac and I'm sure I can seem careless at times but its because I know what's what. I have taken limbs off of secondary wires and grabbed them. Assessing the situation before attacking it is what makes someone good at their job.

    Being expected to bring your own safety gear doesn't seem odd and letting the new guy adjust tools doesn't seem smart. Just my 2 cents.
     
  15. beastmaster

    beastmaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    There are some unsafe people working out there to be sure. But what may seem dangerous to you might be just another day for seasoned professionals. Lot of stuff seems crazy for people seeing it for the first time. Ask your self were they nuts or where they good. And do you have the experience to know the differents? Be safe and follow your gut. If you don't feel safe you did right. And again taco bell is hirering.
     
  16. Tape

    Tape ArboristSite Lurker

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    The problem is;
    That you experts make it look so easy that anyone interested or needs to fell a tree in their yard; they buy a chainsaw and a rope and go to work.
    I've been doing serious tree work (serious to me) since May, yeah that's right, May this year :D
    I quickly found DEEeeep and serious respect for you guys. I have learned a lot from you guys and I'm deeply grateful for your help and advice. I see people posting threads about wanting to start a tree business JUST because they do "landscaping work" and think they can do the work that you make so gracefully easy. It's just ridiculous IMO.

    Yesterday a neighbor fell 30ft out of a tree and broke both legs, his wrist and a serious concussion, after talking to his wife she said that he saw me (56yr old man) felling trees in my yard and told his wife "if he can do it I know I can, he's an old man" he is 34yr old. What he didn't know is I joined aboristsite.com and have the proper equipment and scared shipless climbing around those vines, hell I'm nervous just cutting one down when both feet are planted on the ground. Anyways, just a thought reading these threads and thanking you experts for your help, OP I didn't mean to highjack your thread but please be careful and think 3 time before making your next move. GL!
     

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