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Ty Korrigan

French experience...

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hi ty

glad your gettin on ok in france my family are there a while now i always enjoy a visit.

could,nt help notice you say you get 200 euro a day for grass cuttin! and you pay your groundie 200 a day also! is that normal pay for over there ??

cheers carl

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My groundy is also my business partner so we go halves on the take.

Seb is Breton and brings in work for us.

Important to have a local fronting the business.

Just bought a harness etc to start him climbing with a view to him taking his tickets in the U.K this year.

I'm 41 now and Seb is 31 so bags of climbing years left between us.

On a normal day we get €480+ with our little CS100.

The stumpgrinder is proving an earner and I can be cheeky with my pricing cos its a rare service here.

Tomorrow, gardening for the mother of the mayor.

Networking that is...

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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.


3 years? respect mate:thumbup:

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Thanks for posting about your experiences, Ty. Really interesting stuff. I have to say, I don't like the sound of these 70% deductions they're taking off you.


Is there any way around that? Could you not form the equivalent of a limited company or something like that?

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Hello again,

I just spent a day on a mates/competitors mobile saw mill.

What a wheeze!

Its a Peterson made in Kiwi-ana

Quite an experience to operate.

Today we won 2 jobs of significance on the arb side and 2 on from the french version of b+q installing awnings and gates.

The grey days of January are finally over and peoples wallets are slowly opening as the days lengthen.

Still many calls from expats asking for tree work for free in exchange for the wood...

What? drive 100km to fell a few pops for the wood alone?

Sadly I'm getting these calls more and more often from the expat community whilst the growing French client base snap my hand of because I'm so cheap!

Next step is to put some stump grinding or dramatic topping out footage on the web site.

Cheers all!

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hia ty

what a great thread :thumbup: imoo where the english go from no h+s to lets be bloody stupid the french say lets just get the job done, i saw a film of them building a mast and im sure they wasnt wearing any climbing gear. i also witnessed them doing roadworks , they did in one day what the british would take 6 weeks to do. my point is that you might not find they work like the british. i would like to think that i (although not an experienced arb) would have made best of the situation on the day . go away and buy my own gear and look after it when ever they wasnt looking, that way you can still learn how to make yourself better than them. on the last note its great to hear some one say they are 41 and just starting , so am i and a few people have said im to old to climb . all i can say to them is b@//@(!$ :lol::thumbup:

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This is a great thread

specially for wanderlust types like me

480 euros is £412 for 2 blokes

How does this really compare to UK taking into account your state deductions.

I know it's only money but I'm interested to get a take on the 'French' way. It sounds like you lose a lot but is that really the case.

I can't understand why the French can get away with H&S violations- surely with a no win solicitor staff injured at work would wipe the floor with this attitude as France must be governed by euro laws. Why doesn't this happen?

Firms in UK follow H&S to the letter in most cases for this very reason.

Also interested to hear how many of your private customers actually do the cash negotiation because of the system. Really wondering if it's going to be more prevalent here with VAT now at 20%.

Sorry- too many questions

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Cash? Me? Take cash? Honourable member for Upper Drivel caught taking cash for no questions...?

Brits all want to pay cash, French rarely.

O.K... Some French maths.

Currently for every euro I earn, 25 cents goes to prop up the pension funds of goverment workers so they can retire at 55.

The rest is mine.

I'm currently taxed on turnover not on profit.

I'm given a 50% allowance against business costs.

It works out at a 50% tax on your profit so its in your interests to keep your costs down to maximise your profit.

This will change in the next year or so as my turnover increases to over 33k limit for micro entreprises I will then be able to offset my costs against profit just like in the U.K.

Trying to keep the 'official' figure down right now...

Say if I want to pay my rent or buy a tool, I could just get the clients to give me a cheque with no name.

Its a thought that has crossed my mind not that I would actually do that of course...


Another job has come in today.

I don't normally get to do oaks in hedgerows as the firewood guys in tractor buckets do them normally but this one is just too big for them.

We are just dismantling it for them, no chipping, no clearing up, 400euros.

May get my groundy to start his climbing career in this one...


All things considering, in a good week we may gross 2000+ euros between 2 with only a compact chipper, Kangoo van, trailer and basic climbing/lowering kit.

We do aspire to a bigger chipper and a tipping trailer...

That is not to say that every week is like this but Feb and now march are almost fully booked.

January was lean with only a couple of days a week.

I'll just take January off next year and go travelling.

Not worth hanging around for pennies.

Our liability insurance is 700euros for the 2 of us.

Kit is not insured as we have a big dog, a machete by the door and not the same issue with the 'traveling community' as in the U.K.

Back in the U.K, as a self employed groundy I earned 10quid an hour gross but supplied my own kit and insurance.

I'm better off here, rent is cheaper, insurances and if I want something expensive I just buy it from Germany or the U.K via the internet.

Beer is good too but the bars are souless.

Except the few celtic ones around.

Every day we eat in a workers restaurant a 3/4 course meal with cider/wine as an option when not using a saw for 10.50euros.

Bloody marvelous! No shivering in a damp van cab with steamy windows, munching sarnies and supping suspect tea from a tartan flask.


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