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Calamity Wayne

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  1. Very nice result but the sort of job I dread - a death by a thousand cuts. A lot of climbing and a thousand tiny cuts to remove a lot of small frithy regrowth, for what I always imagine to the layman looks exactly the same as before.
  2. If you have access to a pole saw just start cutting bits off from the end and work your way towards the fence. That way you reduce the amount of tension each time and there won't be any explosive cuts.
  3. He's still got an 020, lucky bastard!
  4. Does anyone/everyone fill out waste transfer notes for every load of chip you get rid of. To be honest I've only just heard of them (I am registered for lower tier waste carrier licence) but never come across or heard of them until recently. Reading up on them it seems one has to be filled out for every load (AAAAAAGGHH!!!!!), even from domestic customers, which is 90% of my work. Apparently there have been spot checks in the area recently, which is why I ask. Just seems like another ball-ache for people just trying to keep a small business going. I have a number of tip sites - farms, landscapers etc and it sounds like you're supposed to get a note at that end as well. I can't imagine the time and nonsense trying to track down a farmer or whoever every time you tip. Am I missing something????
  5. Doing a woodchipper ticket is another b******t ticket. Unless you're a complete donkey it takes about 10 minutes to learn to operate one - it's like doing a course to learn to operate a lawnmower (which I'm sure they'll invent if they haven't already). I've had to do one twice (Lantra only lasts 5 years if I remember right) as it was insisted on to get on some sites. If I ran that course I'd be embaresed charging hundreds of £££'s for a day they struggle to fill. Even if you strip the machine down, it's half a day. If you don't have the chance to learn on the job, doing the course might give you more confidence, but don't expect to come away thinking it was money well spent.
  6. Costing aside, what's the reason for felling. What sort of charity is it? Just curious because it looks like a really nice woodland and I would have thought its amenity and woodland habitat value was quite high. Seems a shame to level it for biomass when there are stands of monoculture plantations with minimal wildlife diversity that can be chipped.
  7. Has the homeowner talked to their household insurer, as they may have some degree of cover as it may have been highlighted when the policy was taken out. That said if the tree has no defects I don't suppose they'd consider it a likely risk. But it might be worth a phone call.
  8. I don't see how railtrack have any say on vehicle movements (crane) outside of railtrack land. Spec an oversize crane and as part of a contract lift to play it safe and speed up the removal.
  9. He already has set up - he hires out his services as a climber, same as any tradesman. He may not run what is considered a complete tree surgery outfit, of pricing the entire job etc, but he has a legitimate business, paying tax on earnings etc. I think the op. is trying to establish the boundaries, maybe so he can put it to the companies he subs to so everyone knows where they stand. He obviously feels he's not getting an even part of the deal. In hindsight, it would all have been agreed before working for company x,y and z, but things are rarely that clear cut and things have to be negotiated as things change. He's just looking for advice - he doesn't need to throw it in as a subbie climber. It's a legitimate roll in this industry.
  10. Seems the simplest way, is to agree to what work the subbie is being booked in for, then everyone knows what to expect. If its a regular subbie who you know and who's skill level you know (which is presumably why you booked him/her), then estimating the time the job takes should be pretty accurate. If the jobs done in 6 hours why should the subbie hang on or do extra for nowt. It;s the same as if you price to take a tree down for a customer for a fixed price and get it done quicker than expected and the customer turns round and says you got it done in less time than estimated so how about cutting x,y and z to fill your day for the no extra cost. We'd all tell them where to go (once we had the cheque).. If you price the job you take the lion's share and to my mind you carry the risk. If job overruns you suck it up - or put the subbie on a profit share. Too many people want their cake and eat it.
  11. I used to sub/climb for 1 or 2 blokes and they'd remind me of a Lenny Bruce sketch "But ya see, I can't do it cause I do business with these assholes, and it looks bad for me, you know, ah . . . so I want somebody to do it for me, you know? So I tell you what: Here's a stick and a gun and you do it -- but wait till I'm out of the room" You soon work out who are taking the piss
  12. I don't think you need to bleed very ounce from an employee. If I use subbies it's one's I know are good and will get the job done without any hassle, which makes my life easier. Then if the jobs done quicker we're all winners. I've enough years experience that if I've underestimated the job its my cock-up and I bear the brunt. I don't expect someone to work 9 hours but only get paid for 8. That wears pretty thin pretty quickly, and then, surprise, surprise, they're not available when you need them.
  13. If you've been trading for years and have a solid client base you can afford to throw big quotes at jobs and risk losing them but if you're starting out you need to win as many jobs as possible - but that doesn't mean throwing in a low quote. You have to try and weigh up how to do the job as efficiently as possible. An experienced 2 man team might smash it out in a day whereas a novice climber might take 1 1/2 days, so are you better paying for an experienced climber especially if you hire a chipper for a day. Its all a conjuring act. But costs aside you also have to consider what a job is worth to you. For instance, it may take you the same amount of time to dismantle a dead tree compared to a live one, but you'd want to charge more for the dead tree because of the extra risk. Personally I always throw a high price at conifers just because I hate doing them - they're just bulk to get rid of and not particularly pleasant to climb and they're always twice as wide as you thought and doubled in size since you quoted. And you'll have to re-home a poor pigeon.


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