Why do prices vary so greatly among tree services?
Theoretically everyone should have the same costs: equipment, trucks, dump fees, fuel, labor, licenses, insurance, training, etc… Realistically these things vary greatly. We don't know everyone else’s expenses, but we do know our own. It really boils down to a few main things.
Is the tree service properly insured? Some “companies” avoid insurance altogether. Many companies avoid worker's compensation coverage, which is very expensive, but covers employees in the event of injury or death… and keeps you from being sued. Don't worry; we have that coverage and can have our insurer provide a certificate to you for proof.
Are employees properly trained? There are a surprising number of tree workers injured are killed every day, mostly due to not having the proper training. We use aerial lifts, climb trees, run chainsaws, operate heavy equipment, and work around power lines. This job can get really dangerous very quickly. We put all of our crew through CPR/ First Aid, aerial rescue training, chainsaw safety, electrical hazard training, urban forestry certification, arborist training, chipper safety, and more. This assures the crew can perform their duties safely and knowledgeably. We supply at least a week of paid training every year. These are days the crew still gets paid, but we do not have income. We also hold regular safety meetings and job briefings.
Are employees provided proper safety gear? Personal protective equipment (PPE) are items worn to protect the employees from injury. Sadly many tree services provide no PPE for their employees. We provide and require the use of hardhats/helmets, chainsaw protective chaps/pants, eye protection, hearing protection, high visibility uniform shirts, steel toe boots (yes, we even buy our guys’ work boots), reflective vests and jackets, all climbing gear, harnesses, traffic control devices, first aid kits, and everything needed to work safely.
Are employees compensated fairly? Low paid workers are low skilled workers, and possibly untrustworthy. We hire the best talent we can find and offer opportunities for advancement. All overtime is paid at time-and-a-half. All employees have taxes taken out of their checks and are on payroll, not 1099 subcontractors, not cash. We pay them really well and provide benefits because they deserve it and because we want them to stick around. Our team members are provided vacation pay, holiday pay, sick pay, safety bonuses, and team building exercises… like deep sea fishing. These are not just employees; they are all family and friends. And because our employees are treated really well, we have really low turnover; so you get the same guys coming back to your property time and time again.
What credentials does the tree service hold? You want a company that understands trees, respects your property, and knows what they are doing. We hold the following credentials: Board Certified Master Arborist; Tree Risk Assessment Qualification; Alabama State Licensed in Tree Surgery, Landscape Design, Setting of Landscape Plants, and Ornamental & Turf Pest Control Supervisor; ALNLA Certified Landscape Professional; AUFA Urban Forestry Certification; Aerial Rescue Certification; and Plant Health Care Specialist.
As you can see, we are very capable and knowledgeable. We have a culture of safety and a certain degree of professionalism. We also have full-time people in the office to do accounting, answer phones, schedule your appointments, schedule your work, and to keep you informed. We are extremely experienced and can work safely and efficiently, but there is no way we can provide this level of service for free. We cut costs where it is smart to do so. We have very little down time and route our jobs in the most efficient manner. For estimates and consultations we don't need a truck, so we mostly use fuel efficient cars (one of them is a hybrid).
Since our crew works like a well-oiled machine, we are able to keep our prices down. If you get an extremely low bid from someone, that should be a huge red flag. Ask questions about the company and request a certificate of insurance. We find that our rates are comparable to other licensed and insured professionals. But even if our price was a little higher, wouldn't you think it is worth paying a little more to have true experts and support an operation that really cares about its employees?
Thank you from all of our families.
Our ISA Board Certified Master Arborists, can be scheduled to come to your residence, business, or land and give you a Free Estimate for the prevention of construction damage or diseases.
Contact us NOW!