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Whats expected of the climber working for you?

Gripfast

Treehouser
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
17
Location
Ontario, Canada
Hey guys, New here. Love the wealth of knowledge and experience that is shared here thanks for helping build better business and better crews. I am looking at getting a bit bigger and have a climber who has been running crews solo now and doing quotes and getting work. How do you compensate them for that or is that just part of the job description and their normal hourly rate?
 

Jonny

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Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,217
Location
Buffalo, NY
I used to get 10% doing sales plus wage. I was usually too tired at the end of the day to chase that cash.
 

MasterBlaster

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
97,531
Location
Louisiana!
Welcome to the TreeHouse!!! What's your first name? Mine is Butch... don't be shy about filling out your profile.
 

SeanKroll

Treehouser
Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
7,080
Location
Olympia, WA
Welcome, Gripfast.


What/ where is your market?

NYC to OKC, two very different worlds.


What equipment is he responsible for on jobs? A chipper and climbing rope is a lot different than a spiderlift and loader, plus chipper, etc.
 

Gripfast

Treehouser
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
17
Location
Ontario, Canada
Bill is the name, I am out of Ontario Canada. He supplies non of his own gear, runs chipper, drives dump truck, mini skid and dump trailer when needed. He can work with subbed cranes and can operate JLG's and spiders if we rent them. He got me about 10% of my gross revenue, did well on about 80% of the quotes maybe broke even on the other 20%. Not much worse then me really. Never late, never missed a day in 4 years. Yet to have any onsite accidents, knows what he can do and what he cant.
 

MasterBlaster

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Staff member
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Mar 6, 2005
Messages
97,531
Location
Louisiana!
It all depends on what you AND your climber make a decision on, paywise. You say he's more than just your climber? Cool, that's a starting point. What's the average daily rate for a climber up there? Here it's 200 to 250 a day.
 

Jonny

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,217
Location
Buffalo, NY
If he's running a crew without you than I think that makes him a foreman. Some climbers can't/ won't take on the leadership once they're out of the tree. Sounds like a valuable employee.
I always felt really appreciated if i received a bonus.
 

squisher

THE CALM ONE!!!!
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
23,795
Location
Vernon, B.C.
If he is full time and is doing the brunt of the climbing/cutting and been with you that long I'd say $30-35/hr 35-40 if he is killing it and banging out big jobs, cdn dollars. plus 5% of jobs brought in. That's based on guaranteeing a 40hr week and never shorting on days. Supplying everything and working year round. My .02 from BC. If he's average and doing a lot of bucket work 25-30.

Welcome to The House!
 

Gripfast

Treehouser
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
17
Location
Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the responses. Yeah cant ask for someone better really. I dont really care what others make in the area I pay him 25 an hour shop to shop. So I guess more like 20 USD an hour. I feel thats the minimum a guy should make in a tree with a saw anywhere in North America. But just trying to figure out whats best for the next stage. I want to grow and I want to keep him around. Just trying to figure out the best way to do it. So figured I ask how you all do it or have been treated.
 

squisher

THE CALM ONE!!!!
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
23,795
Location
Vernon, B.C.
Gate to gate is a given really. I don't even think it's legal to not pay that way. Sounds like Ontario pay is a little less than BC. My 14 year old daughter gets $13.50 working at a oil change place and I make $30 plus benefits plus OT working at a mill now. I sold my tree business three and a half years ago and was paying my main hired man $30/hr, guaranteed 40hr weeks. never ran his own crew or jobs without me, company bucket to fly, not a ton of climbing to be had, paid same rate all winter for plowing and he quit to go falling. My market was/is tough for labor. Cost of living is high around here too though. I paid groundies $20/hr. good ones more.
 

cory

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Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
17,572
Location
CT
was paying my main hired man $30/hr, guaranteed 40hr weeks. never ran his own crew or jobs without me, company bucket to fly, not a ton of climbing to be had, paid same rate all winter for plowing and he quit to go falling.
Hows he been doing with that, still at it?
 

Gripfast

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Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
17
Location
Ontario, Canada
Ok ok, I have to come clean. I am not the owner of the business but I am the Climber. I was trying to get my bosses perspective. I know im a valuable asset maybe not as valuable as I think I am. I do take ownership in my work and my relationship with clients. This past year my boss has been very Ill and I have taken on more for no more to get the business and him through it. In the 4 years I have never got a raise but I have gotten few pairs of cheap saw pants and most recently one of those fancy 400$ super hero looking pairs. (I would of prefered the cash)We grow every year and now he has a dump truck, chipper(1983 12 inch mobark near the end of its life), dump trailer, and mini ex. But it was a hard year with alot of equipment issues and scheduling errors, and lack of info on quotes etc. Alot of what I call unessary stress. A lot that I had no control over cause I am not the owner. We are not big and dont run year round. I see the potential for growth especially if we are both selling tacticly. Its usally him and I and this year its been me and my best friend that I brought in who is just as good as I am. I am not new to running crews or issues that come up its when these issues show their face repeatedly when they can be avoided and then dont get addressed and fixed. I am at a point where if I am going to continue to help him build his business and stress like its my own I want in like partner in, or im likly going to get a pick up and a chipper and be his new competition. Not sure what to do.......he knows how I feel but also seems unsure of what to do. Dont think he likes the idea of a partner...hes a good human. I know we would be stronger together just struggling to figure out what that next step is for me, I need more. I had a moment this year running 2 crews where I stopped and had this overwhelming feeling of happiness and excitement where I thought "man I was made for this"

Thanks for your time and insight.
 

SeanKroll

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Joined
Oct 13, 2016
Messages
7,080
Location
Olympia, WA
There is a cost of living index available for various cities, which might help you compare somewhat.

That guy, I'd pay a guy around here $35 USD easy, plus some extra here and there, anything he wanted for gear, basically. Size of trees will vary, so maybe the technical level is less in Ontario, maybe its more, as it might be big spreading trees tangled in wires and postage stamp lots.

Cost of living and size of trees, seems like he should be getting $30 CDN at least. Maybe sharpening the bidding process can happen with more accurate data being tracked. If you can push up your Net a little, and grabba-hold of a been a long-timer, safe, reliable, producer, who's punctual, has a driver's license, not a primadonna, etc. Grab that unicorn.

Ask what he wants most? Training? Cash? Gear? Retirement match?





Jobber might help with bidding, scheduling, avoiding errors.
 

squisher

THE CALM ONE!!!!
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
23,795
Location
Vernon, B.C.
Hows he been doing with that, still at it?
Yah still at it. I've been trying to hunt him down to catch up but no luck. He's excelled in the falling world from what I'm aware of. Lot of heli work. Lots of work, good pay. He was always pretty core. Good man.

Ha ha OP. Playing some trickery in your first posts!
 

Nutball

TreeHouser
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
1,183
Location
Mt. Juliet, TN
Ok ok, I have to come clean. I am not the owner of the business but I am the Climber. I was trying to get my bosses perspective. I know im a valuable asset maybe not as valuable as I think I am. I do take ownership in my work and my relationship with clients. This past year my boss has been very Ill and I have taken on more for no more to get the business and him through it. In the 4 years I have never got a raise but I have gotten few pairs of cheap saw pants and most recently one of those fancy 400$ super hero looking pairs. (I would of prefered the cash)We grow every year and now he has a dump truck, chipper(1983 12 inch mobark near the end of its life), dump trailer, and mini ex. But it was a hard year with alot of equipment issues and scheduling errors, and lack of info on quotes etc. Alot of what I call unessary stress. A lot that I had no control over cause I am not the owner. We are not big and dont run year round. I see the potential for growth especially if we are both selling tacticly. Its usally him and I and this year its been me and my best friend that I brought in who is just as good as I am. I am not new to running crews or issues that come up its when these issues show their face repeatedly when they can be avoided and then dont get addressed and fixed. I am at a point where if I am going to continue to help him build his business and stress like its my own I want in like partner in, or im likly going to get a pick up and a chipper and be his new competition. Not sure what to do.......he knows how I feel but also seems unsure of what to do. Dont think he likes the idea of a partner...hes a good human. I know we would be stronger together just struggling to figure out what that next step is for me, I need more. I had a moment this year running 2 crews where I stopped and had this overwhelming feeling of happiness and excitement where I thought "man I was made for this"

Thanks for your time and insight.
Sounds a little like me. I'm really growing in knowledge and skill. With many of my best attempts at taking an objective view of things, I find myself the best of our crew with the most potential that is building up, ready to bust and start my own operation because of how rough the operation is running. The whole operation had much potential to do great, and started off pretty well as of when I started, but it's looking to fall apart pretty soon. I'm still trying to figure out what to do. I'd hate to leave my boss hanging, but it could come to that. I have a life too, and it's not my fault things are getting rough.

I always try to view things from the boss' point of view. I've figured based on my estimates of how this business runs, and from job ads nearby, ground men are able to get $17-20hr. That's up from the common $12-16/hr I've seen a few years ago.


Anyway, I figure around my area a good climber/foreman could secure $350/day based on my opinion and local job offers. A good climber in general $250-300/day easy. They're kind of in high demand around here if that's not the case everywhere. I feel it pretty safe and justified to demand a daily rate as a climber, but I beleive in somewhat flexible pay according to very large or small, or high or low paying jobs.
 

Jonny

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,217
Location
Buffalo, NY
Any chance of your boss selling off the business to you? If you guys are tight, he might finance you with some interest. Kinda sounds like some worn equipment and least amount of investment on his part, but would you inherit a name with a good reputation and established client base?

A good boss at a good business can keep you and your family comfortable and financially secure, but you'll never get rich working for someone else in this business. Nobody's getting any younger, know what I mean?
 

Gripfast

Treehouser
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
17
Location
Ontario, Canada
yeah his gear is too beat for me to want to buy it. Good name and reputation just not that big. If I part ways I go with someone who takes care of me better with less stress or deal with the stress of my own shit show but at least its mine at that point.
 

Nutball

TreeHouser
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
1,183
Location
Mt. Juliet, TN
Go advertise yourself. Say you're looking for a foreman/climber position, looking for a company with well maintained equipment. It can be hard sometimes (most times?) to find good reliable skilled labor that enjoys tree work, so I think it safe to assume the position where you'd be doing a tree company a favor letting them hire you, and not the other way around.

I'm going to try feeling out a few tree companies next year to see which I'd best fit in, and which has good and well maintained equipment.
 
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