The Crew Leader’s Responsibility: When it comes to completing a tree maintenance or tree removal job efficiently, one of the most important things you can do is set the job up correctly and safely. If you do not set the job up properly as the crew leader, then you could potentially make the tree crew work longer and harder than needed. This can make your crew lose respect for you, compromise your job as a leader and negatively affect daily production.
Backyard/ Hardest Task First: Once you arrive to the customer’s property, park in front of the house and put down a few cones. Next, let the customer know you have arrived and go over the tree maintenance or tree removals that were agreed upon. Then, take a look at the tasks that need to be performed and come up with an efficient plan. Usually, it is best to start with the hardest task first because everyone has the most energy in the morning. If the tasks are similar in difficulty, it is recommended that the tree crew starts in the backyard. The back usually requires the customer to unlock gates, keep dogs inside, clean up pet waste or move patio furniture and anything else that might be in the work zone. If something were to happen such as an injury, property damage, or weather delay, it is best to come back with easy access to the front yard.
Job-site/ Hazard Analysis: Once the job setup is decided on, fill out the job hazard analysis (JHA) and have every crew member sign it. This will make it clear that everyone is aware of tree hazards and potential property damage. It is required by OSHA and gives the crew accountability if something were to get broken. Also, have the address clear and visible on the JHA in case of injury. Make it understood that the ground guy immediately calls 911 and the other tree climber has their gear ready in case of an aerial rescue.
Protect the Drop Zone: Take 5-30 minutes to set up plywood over windows and flagstone, move yard trinkets, landscape lights and any other delicate items. It will save you time in the long run to not have to worry about breaking something while in the tree or actually breaking something and having to fix it.
Don’t Be Afraid to Move the Truck: Moving the truck is the easiest part of an arborist’s job. If you are working on a large property, it might be most efficient to chip brush in a few different areas on the property. If working in the backyard it might be best to park in the alley or driveway, and then move to the street for the front yard. The idea is to get the truck as close as possible to the trees being worked on. This will reduce the wear and tear on ground guys or machines and reduce the overall time of the operation.