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Mark Bolam

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About Mark Bolam

  • Birthday 10/12/1968

Personal Information

  • Location:
    Hamstreet, Kent
  • Interests
    Shooting, snowboarding, boozing
  • Occupation
    Tree surgeon
  • Post code
  • City

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Mark Bolam's Achievements

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  1. We’ll have to disagree mate, I thought you were a Toon lad? I set my terms. If people think I’m skint and desperate (and I’ve been both) that’s their problem, not mine. You do 14 days mate like I used to. If it works better for you don’t change it. There’s a lot of years worth of experience on here telling you it’s a bad idea though.
  2. Why is asking for immediate payment rude? It’s business, not a cocktail party. You explain the terms at quotation stage. If they want credit they can go elsewhere, it’s their choice.
  3. They are both good trucks and tick a lot of boxes, but they won’t be cheap. You could pick up a second hand 3.5t for half the price.
  4. That’s a tough one then. You don’t need a 4WD diff or the capacity of a 3.5t tipper then! I’d go 3.5t tipper (Transit etc.) and tip off as and when. Get tool lockers/DC for kit storage as a must. If you need 4x4 super/king cab will tick the boxes.
  5. Beat me to it Gareth, but I would have added ‘with the rest of the saw’. The only useful place for it is as a gypsy decoy.
  6. Back to the knuckle for me. When I was young and unedicumcated I felled each knuckle out in about 20 minutes. Wrestled each octopus to the chipper, quick rough sned, knuckle in the back, early pub. That disgraceful abuse of arb law came back a treat! It’s a willow. Do what you want.
  7. Well thought out. Yes, horrible work! Some people are just pricks. Who would want to look at that all day?
  8. Regarding payment in domestic work, start hard and stay hard. (Commercial work is completely different). When I started out I was soft as shite. Even had 14 day terms on my paper quotes, because that is what my old boss had. It just gives chancers 14 days before they start dicking you around. Working for millionaires who’d watch two of knock our nuts out all day for £300, then say at the end - ‘Lovely! Send us an invoice.’ It was pretty hand to mouth in the early days, so one day I drove home, printed the invoice on my wife’s printer and dropped it off to them. ’Lovely, we’ll put a cheque in the post next week.’ These days I explain at quote stage its bank transfer on completion. If I get ANY pushback at all the job isn’t going to happen. If they want to argue about money before they owe me anything, what will they be like when they do? ’We won’t have the money for a couple of weeks, is that ok?’ That’s fine, we’ll do the job in a couple of weeks then. You get the idea. As others have said, at 21 I’d work abroad for a bit mate, even for a couple of years. Oz or NZ for me. Another advantage is that most UK trees will seem small and easy when you get back. Takedowns anyway. Rich’s advice is good as well. Loads of arbs are dyslexic for some reason, including some of the best posters on here. The written word is very important, take the time to get it right. Good luck, certainly sounds like you’re made of the right stuff.
  9. Chalky certainly knows his stuff, questionable dress sense mind! Pardoe is a legend. Haven’t seen him for a few years, please say hi if you get the chance.
  10. I totally agree Mick. It’s an unfortunate statistic, the first one.
  11. That’s good to know mate, we’ll have to sort something out. I work with a few other owner/operators like me, we’re just trying to make a living and do the right thing. It’s a fine line sometimes! I’ve met Terry at shows a few times, he’s sound. I’m mates with Ben Rose, so could easily get in contact. We’ll sort something out, cheers for your input. I wasn’t putting any type of training down, far from it. As you say, you always learn something! I remember having to do a chipper course and was really pissed off because I thought it was a load of bollocks. How hard can it be, right? Mark Pardoe did it, mainly sat in my mates garden, drinking tea, but I learnt more about chippers that day than I’d ever thought possible.
  12. Good to know. Could climbing be assessed the same day though? I’m not being pig headed, but I’ve been doing nothing but climbing and cutting trees for over 2 decades now. I certainly haven’t forgotten anything, you learn new stuff all the time. Anyone who thinks they know it all probably needs a LOT more training. When I first passed all my NPTC’s it was a lifetime qualification. Refreshers for ‘regular users’ smacks of goalpost moving and pocket lining to me. Surely it’s the people who haven’t used their skills for a few years who would benefit most from refresher training? My mate was going to book on a CS41 course to refresh all his tickets, but was then told that might not actually be the case? It’s all a bit of a joke tbh, especially when a huge amount of arb work in this country is done by pricks with no tickets at all (or even basic knowledge of tree biology), and it’s never enforced anyway.
  13. That’s the thing Tom, the refresher courses are all 2 days and £500 each. That’s a lot of time and a lot of money. And yes, I know you can upskill and refresh tickets that way, but not forever. It stinks of revenue generation to me. No reason why an independent assessor couldn’t come to a site and ‘refresh’ say 4 already qualified, experienced guys for £150 each. People would buy into that, rather than the current bullshit.
  14. Have you got a link to a one-day course to refresh all my tickets please?


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