Thursday, June 19, 2008

Terry and the Lumber Jacks


Above: Before

Yesterday’s cliff-hanger was that I was waiting on Terry the tree man and his men to show up to cut down the limb hanging, and also cut up the tree it landed on and a dead dogwood tree by the street.

Terry said they would be there in the late morning, probably about 11:00, if every thing goes well with the 4 or 5 big trees they were to cut down and up before me.

So, normally in contractors’ time, 11:00am means between 4:00 and 6:00 pm, the next day.

Not so. They pulled in at 10:20am the same time promised. They came in two trucks, one a big dump truck looking thing and another bright red truck with his name and telephone number and it was pulling a big wood grinding machine. The back of the red truck was covered. The idea was to throw the limbs into the grinder and it would chew them up and throw the chips in the back of the red truck.

Terry quickly introduced me to his four men and told me with the exception of one new guy, it was the same ones that took down my oak tree a couple years ago. He jokingly told me he bought the big shiny new red truck just for me. It is smaller than the dump truck, he could easily back the truck and the grinding machine through the double gates.

One of the guys over heard him tell me he bought it just for me and said, “And you are paying for it!!!” and let out a hearty laugh.

They immediately got to work. Each man had his job to do. Terry cut limbs off the smashed tree and the end of the fallen branch and the two of the men picked up the limbs and carried them to the buy feeding the grinder. Then Terry climbed the tree with a chain saw dangling on his belt.

By the way, I think I said the limb looked to be about 70 feet up. Looking and estimating when I took the above picture, I think it was more like between 30 and 40 feet.

When he got up to the broken limb he took the end of the rope and was pulling up with him and looped it over a limb above, then when he brought it down, tied it to the broken limb. Then he finished severing the limb with his chain saw and it fell and dangled in mid-air. A man on the ground lowered it down slowly as not to hurt anyone.

Then they all got sawing, feeding the grinder, until nothing was left but a few speckles of wood chips.

I thought there were a whole bunch of dead chopped up wood puppets in the back of that red truck.

And then all but one and the truck with the gridner went up front to the dogwood tree and cut that down. The man left behind quickly herded the chips with a blower in a neat little pile, raked them up with a rake he had close by, swept them in a little container then went up where the men were finishing putting the dogwood tree in the grinder and threw the debris in as well.

Everything was finished. I handed Terry a check at 11:00, the time he said they would probably arrive. It took them 40 minutes.

I was impressed by their precision – they all knew their jobs and knew how to be most efficient at it in the shortest amount of time.

Which reminded me a robbery a jewelry store had a few weeks ago in Smyrna. About 5 men came in with masks. It was quick and everybody knew their job and the job was very coordinated. They wore masks and carried guns. The shopping center it happened in had no idea what hit them… but knew they had been hit… hard.

So, if the tree cutting profession goes through hard times, I think I know just the job they can do as a team... I think I should get a cut for the suggestion.

Below: After

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