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Kev Stephenson

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About Kev Stephenson

  • Rank
    Senior Member, Raffle sponsor 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Birthday 28/06/1977

Personal Information

  • Location:
    Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
  • Interests
    Quick cars, off roading, country sports
  • Occupation
    part time tree worker (plus garden clearances, fencing, etc), full time Dad
  • City

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  1. As has been said before rope access has near enough zero domestic market so grouping tree work in with IRA is a big fail. You can't get a rope access company to 'do it for cash' and I am sure the competition is much reduced or at least on a more level playing field. Grouping tree work with rope access work is like saying all car wash places must have the same levels of training and compliance as MOT testing stations because they are working on cars. I am all for making the industry safer but which end of the industry needs this boost? If the jobbing gardener or 'mobile tree firms' were forced out of the industry through regulation or even education of the public would general compliance and therefore accident stats improve? While there is still the jobbing gardener who is willing to use eBay kit on a cash job at grass cutting rates domestic tree work will be price driven. It is hard enough competing in a domestic market when VAT registered against the mobile tree firms or a team of people all registered self employed for VAT and PAYE avoidance without the addition of even more (unnecessary) training and compliance.
  2. It is a good feeling. I know I am a much better business man than I am a climber and therefore thrive on the office side of things. I am proud of the fact I have taken lads off the dole and employed them for 5 plus years giving them a raft of tickets and loads of experience, some stay, some go, either way they know how to work this industry safely and make good money. I also have taken lads from other companies when they wanted a change and can still offer career progression. Definitely making more, investing a good chunk back in as I don't need the money at present but I know it's there in assets should I ever need it. Also by investing more we can ultimately be more productive, bid for bigger jobs and make more per day. As for enjoying it, yes. I do miss time out on the tools sometimes when the office side of things or pricing work takes all my time but I structure my time much more around the children now and aim to complete the office side of things and pricing through core work hours instead of on an evening giving me more family time. I also really like seeing other people progress and grow in the industry. Like it says above I have taken people off the dole and given them a career and have people with the company doing apprenticeships. Also people who have never managed a site or a team are given a chance to see if they like that side of work. Stick with it, the best advice I can give is start small. Don't bite off more than you can chew and don't take on a job that would see you financially ruined if it failed to pay. Reputation is everything as people rarely look for more than one price when you have been recommended to them or it's repeat work. Arbtalk is (or certainly used to be) a hive of knowledge and I have met some really good contacts through it. I probably wouldn't be where I am now without some of those contacts.
  3. This has just come up as someone reacting to the post. To follow from this 10 years ago I now run 4 vans, brand new forst tr8 coming in the next week or 2 to replace a 2 year old tr6, brand new tracker grinder just ordered and we are arb approved contractors. Work for it and the the future is yours to make.
  4. Still looking. Would consider fresh college leaver with tickets
  5. Employment opportunity Due to one of my team leaving (to another industry completely) I am looking for a qualified climber to join the company. We are an Arb Association approved company based in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire who take pride in being well presented, well kitted out and paying well. We are looking for someone who has CS30, 31 ,38 and 39 as a minimum and ideally an academic qualification in arboriculture. If you do your research you will see the company is split into 2 distinct teams, trees and grounds. This position is with the tree team, you will not be expected to carry out ground maintenance works although the tree team do complete some fencing contracts. The tree team is currently a team of 3 comprising of 2 qualified climbers who evenly split the climbing and an apprentice. I am looking for someone willing to both climb and work the ground as required. The works is principally domestic, smaller end commercial and site clearances. No rail work, power lines, etc. Paid holiday, company pension, paid show visits and a good wage on offer for the right person. Please contact kevin@stephensontrees.co.uk with your CV for more information.
  6. I went AAAC in July and have won probably £10k in commercial work that I wouldn't have been asked to price without being approved so cost wise at approx £500 a year averaged over 4 years it's not a big issue. All without much personal promotion of the fact we are now AAAC. The policies are easy to write, most in fact are available to modify on the AA site. Yes they do take a good amount of time as does the various site safety inspections and post work audits but if I'm honest it was something I was doing before just not writing down and if the poo ever hit the fan and something ended up in court, if it isn't documented, it isn't done. The rest is organisation and time. I am now in a position when I am rarely on site on the tools so have the time to run the office, quote keeping good records, audit sites, manage finances, etc. I can see it being an issue for someone on the tools 5 days a week running a team and trying to do the ongoing paperwork. If the AA wants to really show the AAAC off as being a level above then get rid of a load of the other levels of membership. With gas safe, NICEIC, CHAS, Safecontractor, constructionline and the majority of others you have either got it or you haven't. You cannot use the name in any form unless fully approved. Having member, affiliate member, working towards member (really don't understand this one!!) and approved contractor is confusing in the industry never mind to the public. I know there is massive financial income with memberships but if you tell a potential client you are a member of the trade approval body they are likely to assume that means approved. It's even proven Trustmark don't know the difference!! Controversial I am sure. Kev
  7. There is no specific percentage before you become employed. If the main contractor is using you for example every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you are employed part time. Sub contracted staff should be to cover specific contracts (from one day to x months) where additional staff are needed or on an as a when basis. It's an area where employers and subbies have very different views. There is a questionnaire you can complete on HMRC site which will tell you if you should be employed. With regards to CIS, the deduction would be from the developer to the main contractor. The contractor cannot withhold money from you just because he has had money withheld unless he is CIS registered and therefore obliged to deduct. The company you work for could be registered for CIS (especially if they are multi dicipline). If this is the case then they can deduct for ALL work unless you get an exemption from HMRC. You are correct regarding VAT. If you are not registered you cannot charge VAT.
  8. Granted not the fastest but did a good job. I tend to find when mulching you need the time over the vegetation so going really quick doesn't cut fine enough.
  9. I've got a kubota b1400d 19hp compact with loader. 4wd with ag tyres it goes anywhere. Fits on an 8x4 plant trailer, runs a splitter from hydraulic spools and I have a pto flail for it 1.15m wide. It will lift 300kg easily and has enough power to do what I need. There are some on eBay and the like. Do you really need 40+ hp??
  10. Hi kev havent been on since i was looking for the arb climber 4 issue, just seen your reply now months later....if u could scan that article over it would be great cant seem to get issue 4 anywhere ...my email is david.fallon@yahoo.co.uk   cheers

    1. Kev Stephenson

      Kev Stephenson

      remind me which article it was please


    2. davefal


      It was the article about wearing ballistc clothing when doing arb work and its effects... it was a double article the next part was in arb climber 5 cheers kev


  11. If you are planning on going self employed and working for a number of companies then you definitely need a good amount of kit and be fully competent in using it. If you are looking for employment then the company should provide all climbing kit. I specifically state someone employed by me can only use kit provided by me as then I know the history of it, know it is all in date for LOLER and they know what they are doing with it. e.g. an employee buys (or borrows) a new spiderjack, something they have never used before. They fall whilst at work using the spiderjack, the employer is liable unless negligence or failure to follow procedure can be proven.
  12. Steve, Give me a ring when you get 10 minutes. I did all this 2 years ago and it's working well. Just ordered a brand new pick up to avoid corporation tax on the orders of my accountant. It all runs on director loan accounts etc, easier to explain on the phone. The main question is who owns your pickup now, you with a loan or is it leased therefore Nissan (or someone else owns it). Kev
  13. same as a transit with greedy boards then.....


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