Jump to content
Ty Korrigan

French experience...

Recommended Posts

I think thats what every student must think during their first week with any firm


Hahahaha. Keep the saga going Ty, loving hearing about it................

'More tales from across the pond.....':lol:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

its all to do with experience, i remember working foe a big company for the first time. i was a little boy lost. i left the job i was in, i was incharge of others and new that job inside out, now i was in a world i only new from pictures in a honey brothers magazine. it was carnage in my eyes, blunt saws, no chain breaks, horrible work colleagues, 5 guys crammed into a ford cargo, escort van towing a 9" greenmech with no brakes. But i put my head down, kept my mouth shut and let graft and hard big kahoonas do the talking. In the world of a big company you are just another number, you are seen as competition to others, within 2 months i was in charge of the team. the more they messed me about and worse they treated me the faster i would cut, work longer hours and weekends, start at 6 am finish when ever. they probably hated me but after 7 months i chucked it and started myself. the next time i saw them was 3 years later when i had my own mog+chipper and 3 man team ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again,

Thanks for all your comments and participating in this thread.

Now, I'm not totally green having worked as a groundsman for a year before I started my course back in the U.K.

This gave me a good grounding in what to expect from working with a small local arborist.

College did indeed fill me 'ideal' scenarios and I came to imagine that chainsaws should have working chainbrakes as a standard rather than optional feature.

I also would NEVER take on a job that was not within my capabilities.

This is a large firm with many trucks going out, mowing grass, building swimming pools and other landscaping works.

Each truck has a cheap climbing saw which is used for everything 'cutting'.

The one handed cutting of planks for shuttering for example then just simply thrown back into the locker, never cleaned nor sharpened until the day they break and only then are they handed to the mechanic.

There were NO saws reserved soley for arb' use and like I have said before all mechanics were in the hands of... Mechanics!

I should perhaps have simply bought my own files etc but really, I got into enough trouble when I took one apart to fix the chain brake!

There is also a culture of using chainsaws one handed. Climbing saws can be bought in any D.I.Y store and I have even seen them for sale in larger supermarkets.

A 'machismo' (exagerated assertive manliness) culture exists were the use of PPE is seen as... soft?

I was on holiday in St Omer, Pay du Calais a few weeks ago.

Whilst on my way to fetch the morning baggette I stopped to watch a tree gang of 6 at work dismantling several trees in a front garden.

4 ground crew and 2 climbers. Through the zoom lens of my camera I observed that the only PPE to be used was a pair of trousers and boots on ONE of the climbers.

The other climber had boots and wore jeans.

No visors, helmet, glasses on any of those present and a couple were shirtless!

One climber lit up, smoked away whilst his saw was being fueled below and then flicked his fag at the groundsman fueling the saw.

The chipper was another without modern safety bars.

I watched as the groundsmen chipped away feeding from the front without any PPE.

Now, I can tell you all that I am simply not prepared to work under those conditions.

I don't have to suffer incompetant co-workers, crap tools and poor working practices.

So, without the experience I hoped to obtain working for a firm, I am now registering as an 'Elageur' at the Chambre de Metiers.

(Arborist with the Chamber of trades)

For those interested in some typical rates.

I was paid 10.50E for landscaping, 12.50E for treework with a further 25% for hours over 35.

Talking to a freelance climber, own van and all climbing kit but no chipper.

Day rate around 300/400E

Many landscaping firms here own chippers and get in a climber when required.

They just supply the groundstaff.


Time for a tea!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ty, i may be speaking out of turn here, but dont take anything to heart here. You are in the fortunate position to have access to one of the most amazing knowledge databases ragarding "tree stuff" possibly in the world. The combined experience and expertise on this forum is par excellence, and you can but learn from it. There is 1000's of years woth of combined experience on here. Because it is a forum and not face to face conversations then posts can sometimes be misunderstood in their flavour. This isnt to say anyone is necessarily 'putting you down' or anything. Absors all of what you say, and remember that we all started somewhere, and experience makes the comments and replies.:wink::thumbup1:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



Get your own climbing kit and saw.


Then the company you work for is paying you to "practice".You will also have the gear to do your own jobs in the weekends.


The last two firms I worked for in the UK I brought my own kit.It lasts for ages if you look after it.There saticfaction of having your own kit outweigh's the cost of buying it imho.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds to me like you big'd yourself up maybe at interview and they gave you a hard time on purpose. I suspect those trees were always going to be ripped out with a machine !!


Good luck with it all !

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ty, I'd echo what Marc said above- you do get an idealised view of how the industry should be from college. I had almost exactly the same experiences when I left Merrist Wood in the mid-nineties....


When were you at Merrist Wood Scott ? I was there from '93-97.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Featured Adverts


Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.  
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place.  If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom,  then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.

See you inside.

The Arbtalk Team

Follow us

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.