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  • Adam Bourne

    Article: So you want to be a freelance climber do you?

    Not something I ever thought about doing to be perfectly honest. And if I'm even more honest I thought I'd still be employed on the books at a good company working 7:30 till 4. Funny how life changes things around for you.

    So you want to be a freelance climber do you? Good for you! But let me tell you this, it won't be easy.

    Let's start from the beginning shall we. Say for arguments sake your at a firm on the books earning a decent wage and have some quality benefits! £10/12/14 an hour plus over time 20 days paid holiday plus bank holidays, statuary sick pay, the boss also lets you have a credit check for those pieces of gear you want but can't yet afford and your crap at saving money!. So you come to work each morning to a good days graft then go home, you have a couple of early days here or there that when you get back to yard by 1:30/2pm you either do a little maintaining of the equipment! Or just tidy up. Or if your super lucky the boss will say call it a day you may even get paid for going home!! You may also not. One day you fancy doing a Saturday for a bit extra money, it might be because you've had a barny with the mrs or you just want to earn a little more in the wage packet. Either way your helping the boss out clearing his busy schedule everyone's a winner! (Except the mrs)

    Fancy a day of because it's cheaper to go to Alton towers on a Wednesday than it is on a Saturday? That's ok make sure you give the boss a week or 2's notice and you'll even get paid for ride on the nemesis.

    So your in the work shop on a rainy afternoon you decide to go through all the rigging gear and do your own LOLER weekly/monthly checks and you start to accumulate a fair bit of gear! Now you have a replacement list for these little bits the boss is going to love you! What a little star you are spending his money! ;) week later and the boss calls you and a fellow worker into the office, awesome news you've just been told your doing an extensive first aid course in 2 weeks time! Not only does this cost you nothing your also getting paid for it. Just as your about to leave the office with a sense of "yeah that's going to be a right laugh Barry" haha he gives you the a box full of all the replacement gear you ordered! You also catch a glimpse of the receipt!! £580!!! Jeez "glad I didn't have to pay for all that" you blurt out!!

    So it's Xmas and your off work again all paid for and thinking about how much food and alcohol content your going to have to work of when you get back in 2 weeks!! It's ok though the boss being the boss will understand you want a steady week back into the job so organises a cushy weeks work.

    Spring time and your out on a job but you forgot something! Just ring the boss he will bring it down!! Wow that phone call didn't go down to well! I know he's got a lot on his plate what with the tax returns the huge amount of quotes he's got coming in and all the LA paper work he's got to rake through, not to mention the 3 electric shutdowns and 4 roadside traffic management sites to organise!! But did he just call me a F'ing bell end and put the phone down???

    So after a couple of weeks of have you got everything, don't forget the fuel, sticky note reminders in the cab of the truck you've obviously learnt a lesson!

    You need to leave early to get to the dentist, it's ok the boss has said half a day is fine to finish at dinner. I doubt he'll pay you for this one BUT I've seen it happen.




    That's enough about you lets talk about Brad! He's a freelance climber!! WOW!! He must be on footballers wages look at that gear he's got! You ain't never seen one of them thingy majigs before!!! Wtf is it? Wow and double wow he's got a pair of pfanner Zermatts on! There like £240.. Wow. That's like a years wage to kevin the collage lad!


    "Bet you earn loads of money don't you Brad?" You say.

    "Haha if only I had half of it, if only you knew the half of it" brad replies!


    You chuckle and go on about what you was doing!


    The thing is with brad he's a top climber and a grafter to, and earns a good days wage with it. But you see in reality he's no better off than you, in fact some years/months he's worst of than you! Because not only is Brad on 40/50/60 quid more than you a day he also receives no holiday pay! No sick pay! He doesn't get paid for trips to Alton towers like you and a first aid training day will likely set him back £100 or more quid and a loss of earnings for that day. Brad also had to replace a few bits of gear recently, yep all accounted for by brads extra he's on to you a day! All £600 of it! Just don't mention saws at the minute to him though! It's a saw point! :D You see brads 372xp seized the other month because someone filled it with straight fuel not 2 stroke!! It's ok though he's assured he's going to get it replaced by the guy he was working for at the time! First job for him as well that day!! Haha come to think about it Brad still hasn't had a text or call back of him since he rang him 2 weeks ago asking him if he received his invoice ok!! Oh well I'm sure he will call! In the mean time he will have to make do with what he's got because he can't afford to spend anything for a while now after replacing all the rigging and climbing gear he's just bought!

    Brads in for the day today slightly odd but apparently he hasn't got much work on as everyone of the firms he works for has gone quite. So unfortunately so to employers on the books brads the first one gone for the time being! Who knows it might pick up in the next days/weeks/month!!! I wonder if brads accommodated for that in his days wages! Who would have thought seeing a talented guy like Brad doing tree work one minute to helping his mate out roofing on £90 the next all because it's not very busy in our industry!


    I guess he's doing what ever it takes to survive! Because like I said at the start "it's not easy"


    These are just stating only a small area of the huge difference between being employed and self employed! If you have a steady job/income then I urge you to seriously think about what you want to do and really look into what you do and don't get either way. It all looks great in pictures and on film but when things go bad that get very bad very quick.


    Anyway hope you enjoyed that and your not asleep by now haha just something I wanted to write for a while now. Excuse any spelling or grammar! I wrote on my phone whilst in the bath :D haha



    All the best



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    I don't know are you the child of first cousins?

    Anyway sure, some older guys can do it I'm 52 this year and still climb so you're no superman, but to do it 5 days a week, rain or shine, on the sketchy stuff that freelancers are usually called to do?



    Definitely no superman..


    Makes me wonder what kind of shape I would be in if if been climbing 5 days a week for the last 30 years.


    I have to agree with Huck that attitude plays a big part in how health/fitness/quality if life pans out in later life.

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    house repo - my worst nightmare, well flat repo in my case, hasn't happened yet, but I'm stringent on it.

    PAYE, subbie, contractor owning machinery vehicles etc. All can go bust - just don't pamper yourself with unnecessary crap until you own the roof over your head

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    So any footballer over 40 not still playing is an overeating unmotivated pisshead?

    Twisting your words?

    Anyway I've heard your pseudo scientific quackery about this before. it's laughable.


    How very disappointing :thumbdown:


    I have not referred to science once I speak from my personal experience and and that of those I have met, along with listing to many health experts on the radio.


    Its pretty pathetic how many one here resort to nonsense and insult rather than try and build any sort coherent argument.

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    This topic is all very relevant to me. Healthwise I was fine until 47, then things went really wrong big time. I've constantly tried to keep working, I am self employed after all, fighting to regain fitness, fighting pain, dealing with the side issues of my "complications" and so on. But this isn't a grumble, I'm still self employed, I still do a physical aspect of tree work, I do temper it with lawn care, and other "easy" jobs, that actually aren't that easy. But I will say please please do consider your future into late middle age, consider how you will cope if your body and health lets you down. Yes, a percentage of us will never have a problem, but many of us will. We are only human, and it's when your body lets you down that you are truly tested.

    Cracking thread Adam. :thumbup:

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    I read a article a while ago about older people & fitness / marathon running and the doctor ( himself a marathon runner & adventurer ) said that people should get the idea of " I'm too old " for hard physical activity out of there head , :)

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    Tbh there is a world of difference between keeping fit, doing an hours exercise a day, and being "work fit" at the pace that industry dictates and expects. It can be a big ask of your body at times. But PMA will help, and get you through the tougher days.

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