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Stephen Blair

Super Moderator
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About Stephen Blair

  • Rank
    Site Moderator, Raffle Sponsor 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 201
  • Birthday 16/09/1975

Personal Information

  • Location:
    Carrbridge, Cairngorms
  • Interests
    Mountain biking and walking the dogs
  • Occupation
    Dad, husband and worker
  • City

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  1. Fantastic life’s and stories guys. Left school straight after my exams at 15, I was ok at school but hated the indoors and struggled with concentration and couldn’t wait to leave. Dad got me a job with a Bowling green contractor the next day. I was there for 18 months which had developed into a 3 year apprentice ship. In the middle of that I wanted to join the marines, so did a lot of running and press ups and headed off to Lympstone for the 5 day course, loved the physical but hated being shouted at so not for me. Felt I was getting treated badly at work so for the first time in my life I raised my head and said no, I’d always just done what I was told. So told the guy where to go after a 20 minute rant at him.’ Next day I was on a Posty, dad had made a call and at 3.45am I was off in the dark on my bike. Within a week I was working with my dad where we lived on site at a large sports centre where he was facilities manager. I did both jobs part time for a few months. 4am -8.30pm days. I loved it. The job with dad turned into a full time greenkeeping job for 3 years where I did my felling tickets. Usual me with my spontaneous over excitement at new opportunities, jumped at the first felling job I could find with a weeks course under my belt, left home with my life in BMW 316 and off I went to Argyl, it was brutal! I spent most of the day going for a hammer and wedge to get my saw out and I was home sick. 5 weeks later I was in a bed sit myself back in my hometown. I blew my savings in a few weeks, my car was off the road and I just went to the pub with anyone I could find, I was low and with my parents moved away and retired I would just go from friends house to friends house just to be in part of a family. I soon pissed all of them off with my behaviour and found myself alone. Got a job grass cutting and shovelling coal on the super tankers. 16 hour shifts shovelling and climbing 100’ ladders in the dark. It’s what I needed, 7 days a week and some serious graft and I could make some money and get my mojo back and get my life on track. Got myself a girlfriend too with a hard working farming back ground so found a table to sit round on occasions, birthdays and christmases. Did a couple of them myself and didn’t want to do that again. Then I had enough money and bought a harness and rope and a saw. I was now strong as an oxe, had spent a couple of years hanging off steel ladders with a shovel so running up and down trees with a saw was easy. I got a start with a company in Glasgow, learned what I had to 6 months later and the first storm I started myself. That was 20 years ago. I have found anytime I have a physical task with a bit of thinking,it’s only time my brains not driving me nuts so tree work has kept me focused. There’s obviously 20 years of self employment stories, becoming a parent and dabbling in property in amongst all that too and a lot of machinery!
  2. Stephen Blair

    Stupid mistakes you've made doing tree work

    Chipped a full climbing kit, ran over 2 sheep in a mog, employee sneaky rats, worked for sneaky rats, ran over a top handle saw, caught a few BT lines, caught a few fence rails, made a few dents in some lawns. Split my hand open and had 5 days in hospital, got filings in my eye and had 4 days on the couch in the dark, caught myself with silky, hit a cow in the arse with the mog. Probably more wee things but nothing epic.
  3. Stephen Blair

    Show us your Arb Diggers please.

    A bit of everything, some jobs I’ve had to track half a mile on tarmac to get access but mostly grass and woodlands. Machines got nearly 1700 hours on it. Eddie apart from a constantly sore lower back, no regrets. The grab and machine has now shaped my business.
  4. Stephen Blair

    Show us your Arb Diggers please.

    Well 5 years have passed and the wee Cat is going strong, ordered her first new set of tracks today.
  5. Stephen Blair

    How do you keep yourself motivated?

    First and foremost, money. No one has ever given me any apart from child hood birthdays and Christmas. So if I don’t make it, I don’t have any. Secondly I’m hyperactive, so I have lots of energy. I get bored easily and I need to be doing things that get my heart beating. I’m also spontaneous and creative, so I jump at anything new and go in head first. I never need a plan because I’ll just work it out as I go. I’m very obsessive so repetitive things with an outcome I know keeps me at ease. So what folk find boring, I just go at it like a mad man until it’s complete . Then there’s the nicer things in life, nice car, nice house, hot tubs, motorbikes, mogs, tractors. They are the extras that make my life and my families better. BUT no one gets a free ride from me, you want a part of it, you earn it.
  6. Stephen Blair

    Show us your Arb Diggers please.

    They look a bit ‘ free from Kellogg’s ‘ to me [emoji3]
  7. Stephen Blair

    compatible saws on a double power head mill

    Getting the right guys on the saw is key. There are the trigger happy tone deaf throttle blasters so the other guy needs to constantly be on the other throttle balancing it out depending on wood density and sharpness of the chain. Getting the chain tension is key, when using big bars what may seem tight enough isn’t once you get going, too slack and it will throw a loop out the pushing chain side. Who ever is the more heavy handed, put them on the pushing saw, won’t take long to tire them out and calm them down. As for working 2 different saws, id imagine it’s all down to how you operate them.
  8. Stephen Blair

    Powered Pruner PPE UK

    I nearly did it! And the pole was at full extension! I have used the hard top roof of my mogs that I’ve owned for a platform for trimming large hedges over the years. What I would usually do is trim what I could from the ground, park the mog beside it, stick my step ladders against the mog, put the pole saw at full reach with the hedge cutter head or saw on. Lean it against the mog, go up the ladders, stand on the mog and pull the pole saw up and into the air. I’d been doing this for over 10 years, no issues! 1 day I leant the polesaw against the mog with it running, I went up the ladder, grabbed the alloy extension and started to pull it towards myself to the 1 side, the triggers got jammed between the step ladder and mog, both orange levers got pressed and the saw picked up full revs with the saw around my knee hip area! I shat myself, almost picked up my Darwin Award and didn’t believe that just happened.
  9. Stephen Blair

    Show us your Arb Diggers please.

    Just living with it now Mick, had an MRI. Nothing came up just a bit of wear and tear. I got fed up with the side effects of the 2 different pills they gave me. They don’t know what it is, there is nothing untoward as I’ve had a good few tests. I found a local really good sports masseuse that I go to every 2 weeks, she keeps me mobile. I just don’t work as hard as long and have to slow down a bit. The digger is a huge part of my business now but I do blame it for my back problem. Sitting for long periods of time in 1 position rocking around doesn’t do me any favours but I don’t want staff and I don’t want to work in towns and cities anymore doing tree surgery. I’ve just bought a cherry picker to help with the climbing side of things. Had a great year and you would never know I had a sore back apart from my moans and groans [emoji3] Thanks for asking !
  10. Stephen Blair

    Show us your Arb Diggers please.

  11. Stephen Blair

    Two rope technique on a fir tree

    Sounds like the film crew technique is home made. If you are planning on doing work in trees, simply do your tree climbing and rescue ticket. It’s a simple enough course and you will learn how simple it is with the right kit and training.
  12. Stephen Blair

    The Wee Chipper Club

    1.2m I believe a hopper should be! The rotating spout I think will cause more hassle, when the chipper drops revs doing heavy foliage the chip throw is reduced, when the chute faces forward the slow chip can fall straight down onto the ground, with it sideways it falls back down the throat of the chute and can block up easier. My 2pence
  13. Stephen Blair

    The Wee Chipper Club

    Very cool, I used to hiab Gloria onto my track barrow and ratchet her on, hopper was the same end as handles and a pita! Good thinking.
  14. Stephen Blair

    Tall city tree

    Nicely done Reg.
  15. Stephen Blair

    Dead elm removal

    Depends what stage it’s at, dead elm can go from loosing its leaves last year to standing deadwood totem pole for 15 years in a secluded spot.


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