Working quickly can be ideal when time is money, but arborists should strive for efficiency above all else. Careful planning and preparation will speed up jobs, increase profits, and even extend your career. When it comes to the job of an arborist, sometimes slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
So, how do you create efficiency in your job?
1. Have the Right People for the Job
People are the greatest resource on a work site. The right team dynamics can make all the difference. When considering a job, identify how many workers should be involved. Always think about the personal strengths and experience levels needed to get the job done safely. Having too many workers will slow down a project, costing unnecessary time and labor expenses. Having too few workers can be dangerous, causing errors or injuries.
Once each person and their role on the job is identified, it is important to communicate the plan to everyone, especially if one aspect of the job is dependent on another for completion. Having a shared mental model of who is assigned what duty and how the project will progress removes the guesswork if problems do arise.
Set communication standards for the job site as well. Connecting workers with headsets that filter sounds but still allow clear communication is a great investment in the functionality of your crew.
2. Invest in Reliable Equipment
Second to your team, the equipment you choose can hold the difference between an easy job and disaster. Having the right tools is essential to saving time and energy.
Unreliable equipment will slow you down significantly, even grinding work to a halt if something breaks. Have you ever had a chainsaw that wasn’t as effective as advertised or a “low-stretch” rope that stretched feet instead of inches? In the case of a rope that elongates more than it’s supposed to, arborists become exhausted much more quickly because they have to fight all that extra stretch as they climb.
You must find equipment you can trust to be consistent and work the way it should. Even if you have all the tools you need already, finding equipment that works better and more efficiently is worth the investment in the long run.
Do your research, read customer reviews, and trial the equipment when you’re able. Also, keep your eyes and ears open for the products, tools, and equipment other arborists use and recommend. For example, Marlow is known for rope that offers great consistency and durability with “the lowest elongation on the market.”
3. Don’t Overlook Preparation
In between jobs, there is work to be done. Proper maintenance and upkeep of tools is essential to minimizing downtime and cutting unnecessary costs like having to buy new equipment. Remember, smooth is fast and there is nothing smoother than a job where all of your equipment functions as it should.
Create a planned schedule for maintenance and follow it. This will protect the investments you have already made and keep you from spending more on replacement equipment. So, when you are 9 meters above the ground, you know your chainsaw will start right up.
Sharpen your handsaws at the shop instead of the job site. Conduct preventative checks on your chainsaws before packing up for every job. Keep up on the required maintenance on your work vehicles. Only use the equipment for the job it is intended for. For example, you can save time and money by conducting research on when to use handsaws versus chainsaws HERE.
Clean, organize, and dry your equipment after every job. This will keep your harnesses safe from mildew and dry rot. Wrap and hang ropes to make them simpler to find. Creating good habits of after-job storage will not only make the next job easier but ensure your safety.
4. Never Stop Learning
There is no denying technology has impacted how arborists approach jobs, often bringing innovation to efficiency. Tree care is backbreaking work, but keeping up with innovations can keep you healthy and prolong your career.
Arborists go through years of certification and training. It is a dangerous job and special care is needed to ensure the safety of your crew and the communities you service. Often, tradespeople become locked into only one way of getting the job done, but keeping an open mind to continuous learning is the best way to improve efficiency.
Have you ever witnessed a close call on the job? These are great moments to learn what went wrong in order to take steps and prevent the same mistake from happening in the future. Otherwise, these close calls could turn into tragedies. Good habits serve a great purpose. Make continuous learning a habit to keep you aligned with industry best practices and the latest breakthroughs to make your work easier and safer.
We should all strive to do the best work possible in the most effective way. Doing so will build a reputation of being safe, affordable, and reliable to your clients. Even taking small steps to be more efficient can pay off big in the long run. Trust Rock-N-Arbor’s vast selection of rope, climbing gear, tools and hardware, and rigging to make your upcoming jobs more efficient than ever.