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Old 08-13-2019, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default Painting Is Easy

Well, that likely got your attention.

Currently have a crew on our property taking out 12 really tall fir trees. Man, anytime you think we have (had) it bad painting the exterior of houses, take a half hour to watch guys limbing and taking down a group of big trees in a residential neighborhood. It’s hot, dirty, noisy, and very dangerous work requiring some pretty careful calculating.

Not saying that painting exteriors is a cakewalk - I gave it up a number of years ago in favor of doing interior work only, but after watching this crew at work taking out my trees, I have to say better them than me. And probably better them than any of us on this forum.

Will try and post a few pics tomorrow.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:43 AM   #2
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I never worked a swing stage, but a couple of the PC's I worked for did some of the highest buildings in Chicago. When you're painting an exterior 44 stories in the air near Lake Michigan or on Lake Shore Drive with a 35 MPH wind, it takes a lot of balls!
https://chicago.curbed.com/2017/8/10...ern-trust-deal
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:35 AM   #3
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Try spraying the inside of an airplane fuselage with self etching zinc chromate primer sometime. Waaaay back in the tail. So tight they had to pull me out by my feet. With a fresh air breather on. When it was 104 in the hanger. On SIX DIFFERENT airplanes! And for $8.50 an hour.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:42 AM   #4
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Points well taken but both are examples of painting situations that aren’t exactly typical for most PT members. Prepping and painting big bridges, water towers, etc., are hairy jobs that would impart an extreme pucker factor to most tree guys.


To be clear, I wasn’t denigrating exterior painting in any way, simply making the observation that taking out large trees that can’t be felled outright, is a nasty business. My comparison was with what tree crews do on a daily basis to what most here on PT do. As I said, I’d much rather be painting a house exterior over climbing, limbing, cutting, and lowering tree large sections of tree trunks and grinding up large limbs every day.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:28 PM   #5
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Points well taken but both are examples of painting situations that arenít exactly typical for most PT members. Prepping and painting big bridges, water towers, etc., are hairy jobs that would impart an extreme pucker factor to most tree guys.


To be clear, I wasnít denigrating exterior painting in any way, simply making the observation that taking out large trees that canít be felled outright, is a nasty business. My comparison was with what tree crews do on a daily basis to what most here on PT do. As I said, Iíd much rather be painting a house exterior over climbing, limbing, cutting, and lowering tree large sections of tree trunks and grinding up large limbs every day.
Oh i see. DIY type stuff.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:45 PM   #6
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Yeah, definitely hacks...
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:50 PM   #7
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Worked with a guy who was primarily a caulker by trade but, he could paint. I've heard that anyone can. Anyways, he's a bad alcoholic and is nowhere near a driver's license, so he rides with me from the shop. I didn't know this until I cleaned out my truck a week or two later that dude had drank 5 cans of Natural Light in that 20 minute ride that morning, totally unbeknownst to me. That's not the interesting part. Thinking back on that day, I recalled him standing on the TOP rung of a 40' ladder to caulk something or other on a building. Impressive and stupid then, more impressive and stupid knowing he had AT LEAST five beers in him that morning.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:18 PM   #8
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Worked with a guy who was primarily a caulker by trade but, he could paint. I've heard that anyone can. Anyways, he's a bad alcoholic and is nowhere near a driver's license, so he rides with me from the shop. I didn't know this until I cleaned out my truck a week or two later that dude had drank 5 cans of Natural Light in that 20 minute ride that morning, totally unbeknownst to me. That's not the interesting part. Thinking back on that day, I recalled him standing on the TOP rung of a 40' ladder to caulk something or other on a building. Impressive and stupid then, more impressive and stupid knowing he had AT LEAST five beers in him that morning.
Natty light isn't real beer though.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:51 AM   #9
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Hey I did that for a lot of years
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:26 AM   #10
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Hey I did that for a lot of years
what, got drunk and climbed a 40?
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:30 AM   #11
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Talking to the foreman yesterday. He is the one up at the top running the chain saw. He said he hates ladders and avoids going up one whenever he can and that he much prefers to be harnessed in and roped off - regardless of the height. Guess it’s all what we are comfortable with and where our experience levels come from.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:49 AM   #12
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My brother and I once cut down two pine trees, I'm guessing to be around seventy feet tall, or more. He was using a harness and gaffs on one and I was maneuvering a hunter's tree stand on the other while wearing a harness and lanyard.

It is extremely dangerous work! I will never do it again. Especially using a tree stand. What a ding dong!
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:25 PM   #13
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I hate to think what these companies pay for workers comp insurance.
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:38 PM   #14
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We have an 85' forked oak that's been dropping huge limbs down on the roof for the last few years. Evidently this is a common occurrence of oaks when they've become overtopped by even taller trees, (120' Doug Fir in our case is robbing the shade-intolerant Oak of sun, limbs in the crown of the Oak die, cue gravity).

After receiving several quotes ranging from a light prune/crown reduction to all out removal, the cheapskate in me just wasn't willing to pony up that many thousands, plus I always wanted to learn to climb, so I've spent the last few years of any free time I had trying to learn how to climb & rig safely. Buying climbing gear is addictive, and the only thing more addictive is thinking of ways to improve my climbing system, (harness, lanyards, foot ascenders, knee ascenders, chest ascenders, carabiners, rope grabs, static climbing rope, accessory cordage, rings,slings, etc.). Most beginners are trained using a double-rope technique, but I opted to start out using single-rope technique, which is much more gear intensive and technical, but way more efficient.

Spent the first year trying to learn from local arborists & joined some forums, (Treebuzz, Masterblaster, Arborsite, etc). Tried to learn every knot & friction hitch I could. Spent the next year trying to learn to climb efficiently, still not cutting a thing. Spent the last year, (3rd year), learning how to rig, which is extremely challenging when working solo. I built a throw-bag launcher out of pvc with a Schrader valve to pressurize an air chamber which shoots the throwline & bag up in the tree, back down the other side, tie my climbing line to it, pull back over til climb line is on the ground, tie basal anchor, gear up, and get to climbing.

Hardest part by far is figuring out how to get the wood that I cut safely to the landing zone. All my cutting is done 15'-60' above the roof of my house, powerline in front yard, cable tv line right below the oak. I ended up rigging up various ziplines, tethering the wood to be cut on either a zipline trolley or just slings & carabiners. One thing I quickly realized is how much knowledge these professional arborist have, not just regarding their skill of climbing & cutting, but a deep understanding of physics, vector forces, etc.

My latest craze is learning to traverse, (traveling from one tree to another without having to climb down or set redirects). In my case, all my practice on traversing is being done less than 10' off the ground. I've got lots to learn before actually performing such maneuver 70' up. I think I'll have it down pat by 2030 at this rate, lol.

Watching YouTube vids of arborist making quick work of what takes me forever to do is humbling. They make it look so easy. It's not. I floundered for the first year, more than 300 hrs of climbing, til I finally floundered a little less. Well over 1,000 hrs climbing now...and counting! I'd still have a long way to go before an arborist could see me and not point & laugh, but that's ok. I think he'd say I do pretty good for a dumb painter.

I do feel a certain peace when I'm climbing that I've never got from painting. Wish I was 20 years younger, I'd switch occupations.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:36 PM   #15
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There are at least four guys here on this job; one up high cutting, and the others on the ground helping to bring down the cut pieces in such a way as to avoid damage to stuff below - including the three workers. It is definitely a team operation, at least if you want to do it in a timely manner and make money.

Taking out the 12 we have is going to be right at $10,000. The neighbors, who have been after us for several years to remove the 8 trees between our houses, are paying half of the cost for taking those out - so that helps a bit. We had one bid for over $20,000, so the $10,000 we are paying seems like reasonable price.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:58 AM   #16
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There are at least four guys here on this job; one up high cutting, and the others on the ground helping to bring down the cut pieces in such a way as to avoid damage to stuff below - including the three workers. It is definitely a team operation, at least if you want to do it in a timely manner and make money.

Taking out the 12 we have is going to be right at $10,000. The neighbors, who have been after us for several years to remove the 8 trees between our houses, are paying half of the cost for taking those out - so that helps a bit. We had one bid for over $20,000, so the $10,000 we are paying seems like reasonable price.
Wow, the prices have gone up in the last 30 years ( what's new) back when I was doing this it would have been half that.
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:00 AM   #17
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what, got drunk and climbed a 40?
No, climbed trees, this, before the drinking took priority
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:24 AM   #18
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My brother and I once cut down two pine trees, I'm guessing to be around seventy feet tall, or more. He was using a harness and gaffs on one and I was maneuvering a hunter's tree stand on the other while wearing a harness and lanyard.

It is extremely dangerous work! I will never do it again. Especially using a tree stand. What a ding dong!
Did you give them a big ol' hug before you cut them down? You did, didn't you?
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Old 08-15-2019, 09:45 AM   #19
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i just let my trees fall over into one of the corn fields surrounding my house. No need to get crazy with them. They're far enough away from the house i don't need to worry about them.

I do have one tree...all i can say is this is one of the most f'ed up things i have ever seen. It's the tree closest to the road. They had a company come by about 30 years ago to trim trees that were too close to the power lines. So they cut about twenty feet off the top of a pine tree. It died. I mean, dead as in you can poke your finger into it dead. A few years ago, they had another company come through and cut all the trees down to clear the wires again. They cut another 10 feet of a dead tree. It's still dead you morons. Hasn't grown an inch in thirty f-ing years. So i left it up and it looks like crap. But i'll be damned if i'm going to pay to have that damn tree cut down!
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:19 PM   #20
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Did you give them a big ol' hug before you cut them down? You did, didn't you?

No, but I did stay up in the tree for three weeks before the cops shot me out of it with a bean bag. Surgery to remove the pine cone was no picnic. I could actually hear the doctor's joking about it even while I was out. It still haunts me when ever I go camping in a forest.
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