Tree Service Companies, a view from the inside
A tree service truck driving slow - faded out chipper in tow. Coming down the road they make the turn - and young minds begin to burn...
A neighbor wandering around his yard - last nights storm had hit hard...
Broken branches are spotted in the trees....Dont worry partner, soon we will be busy as bees...
But the truck creeps on by...not stopping the driver mumbles, " better wait on this one, Im way too high!" ....
Two guys bargaining against luck - and the thoughts continue... " Man that yard is full of bucks"...
Ever stop to wonder why there were so many tree service trucks buzzing around the streets of Forest these days? They are everywhere it seems...It goes along the theme of the american way...only the way many of these guys get there goes against the principles of morality...
This is a stark contrast to only a decade ago when someone who was looking to have their trees trimmed had to do some diligent searching to find a tree service provider.
Nowadays, you may not even need to do any searching to find a tree cutter as one may come to you looking for their next gig. BUT, just what you will be getting could very well be more than you had bargained for...
It takes much more than a chainsaw and chipper to perform tree care the proper way. The surgence of tree care companies came as a result of the many wind storms that has wreaked havoc upon our trees in recent years. These storms came at a time when unemployment was at its highest, attracting people looking for work who figured doing residential tree work couldnt be much different than cutting firewood as they had been doing in their spare time - moving from their yards to the many neighborhoods that dot the Forest, Smith Mtn.Lake area..
The usually young entrepreneurs then realized that the already established and reputable tree companies were charging premiums for their services.
Why not?, they asked themselves, this neighborhood could be worth thousands, as they navigate dented up bucket trucks through the side streets of Forest.
As a professional tree service company owner for a decade and a half I have personally had at least five of my past employees leave on the premise of why should I work for him when I can do it myself. And off they went, coming up with a name and knocking on doors. No insurance, no in depth experience at trimming trees the proper way and no knowledge of power line clearance safety measures that must be taken when working near power lines. The same lines that everyone has feeding electricity to their homes.
Most of those guys only worked for me just long enough to think that they could do it as good or better than me...after all, Im a scruffy middle aged man who has endured the rigorous day to day grind of performing tree removals, and storm damaged tree rectification for a decade and a half. During this time I have had a 2000 lb. log fall on me, cuts from chainsaws and so many near death experiences. Needless to say, I have paid my dues, times three, I would say..
But these guys that figure they can do it better than me, for the most part, are clean cut without the scars and marks ...better to make that first impression to unsuspecting customers..
The general consensus for new tree services is to put the rigors onto anyone else they can hire for the job...In fact, the latest trend is for retrees to use their 401k to start tree services...some buying into franchises like Monster Tree...Most of them not knowing how to sharpen a saw, or start one for that matter...
These people use their clout and internet prowness abilities to lure in unsuspecting people looking to have tree work performed. Theypost fake pictures from the web f tree climbers, and outright lie, making claims to have the lowest price or if our sign is not in your yard you paid to much( hello Monster Tree).
I have personally beat theor estimates every time I bidded against them, and in every instance I had no ideawho theother bidders were.
..but thats the american way right ?
I personally do not believe it is. Why? Because it puts you and the guys they hire at risk...Tree work is extremely dangerous and unpredictable..
Statistics prove this in that the recent surgence of tree services has sent the mortality rate of tree service workers through the roof, and limbs through the tops of houses and garages as well - many times the entire tree itself, I hear all too often.
An in-depth search on the internet revealed that Monster Tree has a abnormally high rate of mortality for the tree workers they hire...and in every instance the blame was defferred back to the deceased for failure to follow safety standards.....after all...dead men can't talk...well I can, Thank God..and Im here to tell you to beware..
So how can one tell what is what and who is who when it comes to choosing the right tree service provider? Well, keep in mind that it takes more that a certificate of insurance and a bucket truck to perform tree work the proper way. And also remember that smiles can leave you wondering how such a nice young man could have made such a mess of things. In the end, doing your homework is the best way to protect yourself. Following three simple practices can make it even more easier..
- Make sure the person has at least 8 yrs of on the job experience. It takes years and years of practice, study, and real life happenings through trial and error to learn the tree care proffession. ANYTHING LESS AND YOU ARE PUTTING YOURSELF AT RISK BY HIRING THEM...4 YRS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, NOR 6, NOR 7...8 PREFERRABLY OR MORE !
- Ask to see pictures of past work performed.
- Ask for references or check their ratings and be sure to follow up on this. Anything less than a five star rating should raise your eyebrows.
- ASK YOURSELF ONE QUESTION, WHO WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE IN YOUR YARD - SOMEONE WHO DOES TREE WORK FOR THE LOVE OF THE JOB - OR SOMEONE WHO DOES IT FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY?