First day on the job…

Sorry, I had a morning post all queued up and then apparently never scheduled it. I was out the door early this morning for my first day on the job.

All I have to do is drive up a road and trim any bushes or trees that hang out over the shoulder to scratch fenders and tear off antennae.

I ended up filling the Jeep trailer three times this morning and nobody mentioned what I was expected to do with the cut-off brush. Probably nobody would have complained about one more pile beside the road – the grader leaves lots – and indeed I did drag the few big heavy branches off behind a tree somewhere inconspicuous. But I drove the big piles of brush into the boonies well away from the road. That added to the job a bit.

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. Twas always thus. One of the people in charge of seeing that I got the job pointed specifically to this (I think rather picturesque) old juniper and drew his thumb across his throat.

It no longer impinges on the roadway, but I’ll have to come back with a heavier-duty saw to make the trunk go away.

I had a specific stretch of road in mind to complete this morning but the principal objective was to evaluate the tools and techniques I thought would work. I knew I needed a pair of lopping shears, didn’t like the pair available at the local hardware, and bought a pair of Fiskars online. Now I find I’m not crazy about them either, though they do work. The loppers are sufficient for probably eighty percent of the work, and almost all the rest I could get with the cordless recip saw. But there are two limbs I need to go back to with something heavier, so I think I’m going to go ahead and preemptively pack the generator and the heavy recip saw. The chainsaw is actually in the proposal at a higher rate of pay, for when trees need to go away. I need to get specific direction for that.

All in all, what I have will work. I planned to be out two hours, it really took more like two and a half and it wasn’t a stroll. Most of it is Alligator Juniper and it sees no reason to cooperate – in fact it can retaliate. I should consider long sleeves in future. But in general, I can do this. The max I can currently invoice in a month is fifteen hours, which at $10/hr would be a nice addition to my income.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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5 Responses to First day on the job…

  1. Mark Matis says:

    If you end up replacing those current loppers, the compound ones are much easier to use. They effectively give you the leverage that is roughly equal to what you’d have if their handles were twice as long. Without being any more bulky than what you’re currently using. But then as long as your shoulder doesn’t bother you too much, what you have will get you more exercise. Which is supposedly good for your health, or something like that.

  2. Tennessee Budd says:

    Uncle Joel, my hat is off to you. I know of nobody else who could find a job as a lumberjack in the desert. Well done indeed!
    What’s next? Division by zero?

  3. free.and.true says:

    Joel, have you considered using a pruning saw?

    The one I have, from Corona, cost about $20 at Lowe’s and looks something like this:

    It folds for safety and carrying, and it’ll easily tear through limbs or small trees 5-6″ in diameter. I know your juniper is tough, but you might find a pruning saw useful to save battery juice on those branches too thick for your loppers.

  4. terrapod says:

    Put an inverter on the jeep with sufficient juice to run a 120V electric chain saw, say with a 14″ bar, that with 50′ of heavy extension cord should cover pretty much anything you need to remove. Electric chains saws are pretty cheap and don’t gum up like a gas powered one would if used infrequently. Just remember to keep the jeep running when you use the inverter if the job is longer than 1/2 hour.

To the stake with the heretic!