Getting to know a New Brunswick Tree Trimmer
June 10 2015, 16:31 PM
NB Power has a great relationship with local, New Brunswick-based businesses, who help us keep power lines and infrastructure free from vegetation that could potentially cause power outages when severe weather events happen. One of our contractors, Jeremy How of Asplundh Tree Expert Co.tells us what it’s like to be in the vegetation management business.
What is a tree trimmer?
A tree trimmer would be anyone who works in the Arboriculture business, either commercial or private.
What made you want to work in the tree-trimming business?
Having a back ground in rock climbing I wasn't afraid of heights. I also grew up working part time in the woods on my family property. So, when a job posting came up for a tree climber trimmer, I applied and got it.
How long have you been in the tree-trimming business?
I have been in the industry for 10 years.
What are the main responsibilities of your current position?
The main responsibilities of my current job as manager of Asplundh New Brunswick is bidding and managing contracts, managing our training and safety programs, equipment fleet manager and hiring new employees.
What else does your job involve?
Other duties of my job include getting back into a bucket truck or a tree to work along with the crews when required.
Please describe a typical work day for you.
A typical work day for me begins at 6 a.m. when I drive into our shop on Hanwell Road, in Fredericton. I run through the game plan for the crews in my head to make sure everything will run smoothly.
When I arrive at work, I make sure all the crews leave the yard in a timely manner. After everyone leaves the yard, I have a quick talk with my Project Foreman, who is in charge of direct supervision of the crews. I usually give the crews a couple hours before I visit individual sites to check safety, production and quality.
The afternoons are usually reserved for administrative work and or meetings with NB Power. My day ends usually at 5.30 p.m. although oftentimes, I receive evening phone calls from employees or customers.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
What’s most rewarding for me is to watch our company grow in New Brunswick. Before I moved back to Fredericton from Halifax, Asplundh had never worked here. Three other employees and I worked on our first contract six years ago. Now we have approximately 50 employees working in New Brunswick.
What keeps you going?
What keeps me going is the fact that so many employees and indirectly their family's rely on the job we provide for them. If I didn't do my job of managing their contracts correctly, they may not have a job the next time we submit a bid for work.
Have you been a part of any of NB Power’s restoration efforts after a major storm?
I have been part of many storm restoration efforts, basically after every major storm we’ve had in the last five years. Our company makes every effort to provide all requested resources during storms. It's very rewarding to watch customers regain their power.
Although our employees love the chance to work the long hours we put in during storms to help out, when the storm is over, it’s very nice coming home and spending time with our families. I feel we have a good relationship with NB Power. They are always open to hear my concerns likewise I am to theirs.
What do you think are the most important things homeowners need to know about tree trimming and their property?
It's very important that homes owners are given notice before we go into their back yards to trim their trees. In my experience if the home owner has a chance to express their concerns and if we explain to them why we have to trim their trees the experience goes much smoothly.
A lot of the time the homeowners want to speak to an NB Power employee rather than a contractor. Also homeowners need to be aware of the dangers of trimming trees around power lines themselves. Most do but we still encounter people who know the danger but do not accept the risks.
Read more about NB Power’s tree maintenance program and the ways contractors like Jeremy prune trees around power lines here.
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