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National companies putting us a step back.

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Sorry in advance but this is a rant. Keeping names out of this... Large companies. You know, the landscaping companies that find their way into council contracts, with ridiculous prices that can be absorbed, undercutting the local competitors.

 

Out of interest, have any gone bust? Has it ever backfired? As in my experience to date, I feel they capitalise off of overworked councils, with heavy handed and frankly spineless rouge trader approaches to squeezing more and more money out of a job until their rates are on par, or greater than the local competition they so aggressively outbid to get the contract.

 

Am I alone in saying there needs to be a radical re think in the tendering process for certain contracts, before arb can continue to progress?

 

 

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The problem is arb and landscape contracts being combined 

keep grass and trees seperare 

 

 

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10 hours ago, roseyweb said:

The problem is arb and landscape contracts being combined 

keep grass and trees seperare 

 

 

I agree there. There isn't much grass to cut in the winter so they can put the grass lads on the tree work to cover the wages. 

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1 hour ago, Mesterh said:

I agree there. There isn't much grass to cut in the winter so they can put the grass lads on the tree work to cover the wages. 

Goes back before Arb was really invented. Back in the day the council lads would cut trees in the winter, no leaves, bird not nesting, plus summer cutting was believed to be bad for the trees.

 

The same guys cut grass through the summer.

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Goes back before Arb was really invented. Back in the day the council lads would cut trees in the winter, no leaves, bird not nesting, plus summer cutting was believed to be bad for the trees.
 
The same guys cut grass through the summer.


And can be said that it goes back before that.
A very respected lecturer once told me that the reason fruit trees have historically been pruned in the dormant period is mainly because thats then farmers had the available time to tend the orchards.

I stay well away from the cut throat council contacts, prefering domestic work.
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On a side note, most of these larger companies that do the council contacts are Arb approved, which is why I’ve lost faith in the scheme when i look at local accredited businesses that are supposedly at the top of this industry.

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1 hour ago, Wolfie said:

On a side note, most of these larger companies that do the council contacts are Arb approved, which is why I’ve lost faith in the scheme when i look at local accredited businesses that are supposedly at the top of this industry.

Hi Ed, I hope you're well. Thanks for your comment about the scheme.

 

These contractors are often working to LA specs that are outside of BS3998 but the TO is happy and the objective is met :/ ...hence it never formally comes to my attention, i.e. a complaint. The reality is that the value of ARB Approval in the commercial sector these days is as much about H&S etc. compliance as it is tree care standards...if not more so. 

 

In terms of being at the "top of this industry", actually, at least initially, ARB Approval sets a minimum standard for arboricultural contracting...albeit across a wide-range of requirements. The phrase 'continual improvement' is then the plan going forward...some businesses do better than others with this but I'm generally satisfied that the scheme minimum standards are maintained.

 

As always, I happy to receive evidence of unsafe practices or poor tree care standards and I will always investigate these but in circa 75% of cases there is a valid explanation.

 

Please don't lose faith, the majority of businesses do good work, safely, the majority of the time and the more businesses that were included in this would mean the less significant then minority becomes...or summat like that (not ignoring the problem but recognizing the scheme isn't perfect, resources are limited, and there is a reliance on the business self-auditing for the majority of time we we're not present...AND 'competent complaints' are acted upon and all are initially investigated.)

 

Thanks for now and "happy to chat further" :thumbup1:

Paul

 

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It's frustrating that reputable arborists are carrying out high standard work on private land, but public trees arguably one of our greatest visual assets is at the mercy of tree teams made overnight for a contract with little experience, under high pressure, and don't want to do the work in the first place!

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Hi Ed, I hope you're well. Thanks for your comment about the scheme.

 

 

Hi Paul, i know what you say is right. In the domestic sector we often get asked to do lopping and sometime you can’t convince the owner otherwise.

Luckily in Cambridgeshire our district councils, generally, are pretty good but i hear horror stories from my son (working for a big firm in London) where the TO’s just want every tree pollarded, no matter what species.

What i also hear is about the staff turnover and incompetencies which makes me think that these larger firms tendering for the contracts use a lot of cheap/inexperienced labour to keep their costs down.

I’m sure the firm has all their paperwork in place and staff have most of the appropriate tickets but we both know nptc’s no longer(and never have) been proof of competency - another topic.

 

I’ve always been in favour of a compulsory scheme to weed out the really bad ones, but that will never happen.

For myself, happy doing domestic work, the scheme doesn’t really boost my business appeal, in 15 years i could count on one hand the amount of times that I’ve been asked if I’m a member of a trade association. I self regulate the standards of work, do my own cpd and constantly aim to improve my business systems.

 

 

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