Apex Reforestation

A forum for discussion about various silviculture companies. No defamation please!
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replant
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Apex Reforestation

Post by replant » Thu Feb 12, 2004 7:38 am

This thread is devoted to gossip and discussion for employees and stakeholders of Apex Reforestation.

This company is believed to work predominantly in Alberta and British Columbia.

Greg
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Apex

Post by Greg » Tue Aug 10, 2004 10:54 am

Anybody else from Apex see this site....looks pretty convenient...Hope everybody had a great finish to the season.
Keep on sluggin away..

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Spread the werd

Post by Shaner » Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:10 am

Let's get some more Apex peoples on here, yo. Go Spanglah.
Whatcha gonna do?

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Sounds like a plan mate.....

Post by Gregor,Spangler,Eurotits » Mon Aug 23, 2004 11:17 am

get that cool poster going around....its under gossip/rumours

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Post by johnnymain » Wed Sep 15, 2004 1:34 pm

hey fatties... captain hook is on the loose

classy classens
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Post by classy classens » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:39 pm

hey all--i'm clinging to the tatters of my mind--frantically attempting a re-assembly. procastination seems a sure remedy. and so i stumbled upon this. in the hacknedyed words of every astrologer, star gazer, tripped out teenager, and unfortunate hearer of crackling in the tree line--IS ANYBODY OUT THERE??
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
HST

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Post by Gregor,Spangler,Eurotits » Tue Sep 28, 2004 7:01 pm

Classy Classens...how are ya...hope L. is treating you well....Procrastination at its finest...

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Any word on the upcoming season?

Post by Gregor,Spangler,Eurotits » Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:59 am

Anyone have any idea who's got big crews? Small crews? Camp sizes? Supervisors? Assistant managers still around? AnYoNe????

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Apex Reforestation

Post by pattyboy » Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:04 pm

Hey Scooter,

I just got hired on with Apex Reforestation. Wondering what your thought of the company. Any Heads up? (open to anyone)

Thanks,
Pat

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Post by Scooter » Sat Apr 02, 2005 5:43 pm

Someone else should respond to this, since I don't know much. They seem to work in a lot of areas that Folklore does, or have in the past. I do know that they used to have a system in place where everyone made a certain amount per day, rather than getting paid per tree, but I didn't ever hear exactly how that worked, or whether or not the planters liked the system.

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APex pay system

Post by Shaner » Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:56 am

That pay system has long since died. It is now piece rate. Also, Apex is all about the quality and works with dibbles. You won't be working for less than 10.5 cents and the management are straight-shooting if you bring your issues to them. You'll be working in a group of six on a piece.

Here's the differences:
Dibbles
Quality quality quality
Group planting

Pros:
Reliable with pay
Works to retain their vets
Don't get uber-lonely on the piece
Safety-oriented
No favoritism in terms of certain crews scooping the cream

Cons:
Work with others
Group planting
You have to plant with others
Whatcha gonna do?

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Post by Brushbuster » Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:53 am

Sounds like a bunch of you planters'll be coming over to the brushing scene at the end of June to help out in Ospika. I suppose it's about time you guys got doing some real work during your summers, eh? :wink:

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Post by Gregor,Spangler,Eurotits » Sat Apr 09, 2005 3:35 pm

real work...ha!

they just want to bring in some real workers to show you chaps how to do things..

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Post by 2EZ » Wed Feb 14, 2007 6:33 pm

Hey I just got hired by Apex for the 2007 season, i was wondering after reading the other posts if apex still does group plants, cuz that would be shitty if they did

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Post by Gregor » Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:48 pm

Yes, Apex does still plant as a group...but it is not as bad as it sounds.
Usually you will be on a block with 5-6 planters and 1 will be a manager or assistant manager who has first aid and fire suppression training and also will always have handhelds on them.
Benefits -
- safety (regulations with many mills are getting stricter and stricter in BC and you will find that it is the only way to meet some requirements) also there have been incidents with wildlife preying on planters the past couple years and this takes care of that problem.
- you still work at your own pace and are not 'cattle' planting with people
- easy to find motivation when someone is passing you or you are trying to lap others (works both ways)
- you can learn a ton of technique, style and work ethic from other people on your crew like your manager...planting on the same piece usually helps the learning curve
- little to no down time...you cover an entire block with your crew and you don't need to change pieces as often or move caches...your manager is with you at all times and any block moves will usually be in the truck
- almost all crews and planters are treated equally...not much favoritism when it comes to land

Drawbacks
- if you have a manager that is not on top of quality...shit can get out of hand quick...as an apex manager i can honestly say that most of the people running crews are good at what we do...there is a good training program and lots of support along the way - any problems get fixed quickly and diligently
- sometimes you just want to plant alone...some managers will cut people their own piece upon request but usually it is preferred to work in at least groups of 2 or 3...put your head down and giv'er and avoid any downtime at the cache...your money will be made and you and your crew will benefit from it...usually your manager and crew vets will set the tone


I am going into my 3rd year of managing, 7th year of planting and with 2 different companies. The company that I worked with before did things the 'normal' way and I was asking the same questions as you when going to Apex....things worked out for me. I have about 70% of my vets back but I'm not sure what other managers are looking at. I found there to be almost no downtime which is unheard of in this industry...all the equipment and vehicles and quads are purchased yearly and things are very reliable. Supervisors and managers work throughout nights and days off to ensure that everything within our control is taken care of.
Hope that eases any of your worries! Obviously keep in mind that I am quite bias, but I think that every company has a different dynamic - Apex just works for me.

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Post by 2EZ » Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:01 am

Thanks, that does ease my worries, it pretty much the same system then as my last company, I defintly find workin on the same block as people defintly motivates you, especially if you have a competive crew obviuosly

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Post by Gregor » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:49 am

Experienced manager looking to hire people interested in planting trees for the upcoming season of 2007. This is my 5th year planting and second year as a manager. Get a hold of me at Jbones35@hotmail.com. Work in and around Prince George, commitment needed from May 2 - July 31st, possible August work.


Please email the address above if interested.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by donkeyrider » Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:17 am

Yo I just wanna revive this thread a little bit. I've planted with Apex for a couple seasons and I've never planted with anyone else. Now, everything Gregor said in the few posts above about grop planting and dibbles and all that jazz are true, I haven't found that it inhibited me in anyway (other then the contract closing on the last block where 60 planters are crammed on to one little 8k piece). I was wondering if any planters that check out this forum have anything to say about apex . I wanna know if the grass is truly greener on the other side. I have my own view of apex as a company but for now I'm going to keep it private. I love all the people I work with by the way, the planters are some of the best people I've ever met. But there are some shananagians i was wondering about.

It seems to me that Apex does several things other companies do not:
1) vet bonus: if you return to the company for another season you get $25.00/day just for showing up
2) drivers pay: if i remember correctly drivers get $45.00 on top of that vet bonus a day... might be 40 don't remember exactly.

Now in the last couple of years i have never worked a piece for apex that has been under .10 ... and it seems like they are willing to bump up the price if it seems unfair(after our foreman goes up to bat for us). If i have it correct thought the price that planters get paid per tree is based on the company's overhead. Apex drives brand new F350 super duty's every season, new quads, $25 a day bonus for vets, 45 a day for drivers, foreman are on their own weird pay scale... camp costs are as follows: UNBC res 16.00 a day, tenting (whiskers bay camp ground) food included 24-26.00 a day. Hotels where we cook are about 16-20 a night... with several in a room. Now this all seems fair and all but I want other opinions. Do all these bonuses affect what our per tree prices are? Something else that I was wondering was are there benefits for drivers at other companies? How do other companies select drivers, what is the criteria? If this does decide our tree prices it seems that this system is strictly benefiting drivers and foremen and the other higher ups, while the rookie planter is getting shafted. Overall based on what I've said and others like Greg do you believe Apex is a good deal? I've also heard the words "direct award" used a lot by super's in Apex. as far as I know vet:rook ratio is about 50%.

i would love the input of experienced managers at other companies like scooter, and also people who have worked for apex as well as other comapnies ;) thanks
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by krahn » Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:41 pm

two summers ago with seneca we were camped next to you guys at mackenzie, so got a bit of perspective. we were doing fire hours, sort of, and had eaten summer and were sunbathing on the lake for a while already by the time the apex planters came home tired and starving. one of our rookie girls always had me asking them how they did, she was a keener and wanted to highball apex as well as our own first years ha. so from what i gathered, we were getting on average 2 cents more a tree on the same ground. not night and day difference, but significant, and it's not like our prices were that awesome, they were passable but i've gotten better.

what i will say is that the apex planters were in great spirits and a lot of fun to party with on the nights off. and we tried not to say anything about how they were getting ripped off. which they were, quite honestly. i don't think they're a terrible company to start off with it's a good way to spend a summer, but it's not completely preparing you for other companies, since using a shovel is an artform. and you can't use dibbles or whatever those contraptions are called, in most contracts.

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Apex Planters!!!! need work

Post by Brady » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:13 am

if there is anyone that is out there from siggs crew, or anyone that dosnt no where there going this seaons and would like to work with me, Brady, and my crew, email me at westcoastpowerhouse@hotmail.com

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Greg » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:38 am

shit
Last edited by Greg on Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Keep on sluggin away..

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Greg » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:10 pm

Bit of a passionate post, but most of it is fairly accurate. Thought I would question some decisions that were made in this past season as well. Across the industry, it is fairly known that the most dangerous part of our job is driving and road safety. I know that a few crews had ROOKIE planters DRIVING trucks. Does this take place anywhere else? Honestly? I really cant believe I stuck it out for so long. Worst time to be leaving a company (because of lack of work elsewhere), but I got lucky enough to get on somewhere else. I encourage all Apex managers to pursue other options. Get somewhere more efficient. These guys are exploiting the unknowing. There are a few exceptions, but that is crew dependent. Classic story of way too big, way too quick.
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Casper » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:07 pm

Hi there,
i'm new on this site, i found it by looking ''Apex Reforestation'' on google and i'm here. So I planted last year for Apex, that was my rookie year. I was wondering if it's worth coming back this summer so i kinda wanted a feed back from other people. From what I experienced, APEX was not so bad, we were a frenchie crew, 24 of em, with an experienced crewboss. The price were wound 12 cents per tree, with a total shitty last contract, but they made up for it by finishing with a full week of mounds (that was very nice). I think i was pretty good (finished first in rookie's number) so I want to ask : do i am better to come back there with the vets bonus (25$ per day) and maybe (I hope so much) the driver bonus ? Or am I better to look elsewhere ?

Thanks
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by jdtesluk » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:24 am

It's generally quite hard to say in an purely objective fashion whether or not you would be better off elsewhere. All things being said, 12 cents isn't too bad for the industry right now (depending on the land).

You may want to consider the wide range of issues that accompany switching. Did you like your foreperson and get along with the rest of your crew? Did you like the food you were given? Was the administration good - paid in full on time? Were your work days organized with minimal downtime? Did you feel safe at work, and did the company make you feel like your health is important and they would be able to provide adequate assistance in an emergency? (That's a big one!) There is always more to a company than just money and tree prices. If the answer to most (or all) of the above questions are yes, then you're in a relatively good spot. Moreover, if you were one of those "frenchies" and enjoyed being in the company of your fellow francophones, that may be something you won't find at your next company.

That being said, driver and vet bonus around 40-50$ is a pretty good boost to the average. Another company would have to pay about 2-3 cents a tree more in the same groudn to balance that off (assuming planting between 1500-2000). If you can get them to sponsor first aid training, or if they provide a bonus for that as well, it starts looking really good! Furthermore, if they're going to pay you to drive, I would hope that means they're going to give you some good training (perhaps the Resource Road Light Truck Driver Training that the WSCA is offering for a measly $35 ?). (shameless plug, go ahead and roast me).

You're in your second year, and eventually you will realize that the grass isn't always greener. If you're looking for someone here to tell you that some other specific place would be better, you're taking their word that they know the contract details for that job and the answers to all those questions I mentioned.

I spent many of my first few years roaming around from company to company, looking for a better deal. It wasn't until about my fifth year when I really had the experience and industry knowledge to figure our where I really wanted to be and to be able to walk into that place and confidently gain a spot. I sometimes wish I had just stayed put a little more often and rode things out for an extra year of two. I think I might have learned more and grown more quickly as a planter if I had remained with a few companies a little longer than I did. Over the course of a few seasons, you are given more responsibility and a company may be more likely to invest some training in you. There's also that first week breaking-in period that you spend at a new company where they watch you like a hawk and find fault with almost everything you do just to make sure that you're doing a good enough job with quality. It can take a few shifts to get the hang of things in new places, such as quality expectations, job specs, and company routines. Sometimes familiarity greases the wheels of production.

I'm not saying that you should stay put and that Apex rules, or you have it good. I really don't know, I never workd there. But as a rookie, you should be aware that the grass is not always greener and there are other factors to consider beyond the tree price. As a second year planter, you're still not exactly a priceless person (except to your Mom and Dad of course) that companies will be clawing over each other to hire. You might find another spot somewhere else, but you certainly won't be able to pick and choose.

Good luck, choose wisely.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Scooter » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:46 am

24 people is a big crew!

My heavily experienced foremen start getting pretty stressed out if they have to look after more than 16.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by donkeyrider » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:20 pm

im pretty sure that this was a trial thing for the 24... and I have a feeling no foreman is going to want a 24 again... it was a pretty big disaster... aside from max's crew I believe (but max is awesome). With the apparent downfall in the industry last season, Apex did have there longest season in the history of the company and I made more money last year with them then I ever had before. I think there are better companies out there without a doubt, but I have never had a late pay check from Apex, and I've always walked away at the end of summer with a nice chunk of change... they also boast to have a pretty full season this year I believe (the Christmas card was a little cryptic).
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Scooter » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:51 pm

Good info. Technically, our office at Folklore caps our very biggest and most experienced foremen at 15 per crew, although occasionally one or two others will end up sneaking onto the crew list if the vehicle situation permits. I was always partial to 14, that's my favorite crew size.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by newb » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:39 pm

i agree with jdtesluk's post and this year i am in a similar situation as casper.
just a few thoughts..
- Apex will most likely offer one of the longest seasons (2009 season ended around August 22nd...)
- From what i understand tree prices are low across the board so the $70 vet bonus/drivers is pretty nice (being a driver for Apex in your second year is not uncommon).Something you most likely wont receive at any other company (being a second year planter).
- If you can average approximately 2000 on 12 cent land then that would give you 240 + 70 = $310... which is not bad for a second year planter, especially when the industry is struggling.
with that being said.. i would not want Apex as my first option for the 2010 season.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Casper » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:36 pm

Thanks a lot for the replies, especially jdtesluk with the very good questions to ask myself. I have a meeting with the foreman on Feb. 4th so i'm gonna prepare some questions. And as donkeyrider said, i also think it was a trial with 24, but i wounld not call it a total disaster. The foreman was stresses a lot, no questions about it, but he managed it well, as Max (they are equally good IMO) but the drivers, or some of em, were there to teach us rookies the good way. That made some differences, as I think i've been trained by one of the best and some others rookies, in my mind, didn't had the same chance and ended having a poor work ethic. I didnt have a look at the BCTS thing where we can see the bids, but as my foreman told me, the season will maybe be a little shorter than last year, with maybe no planting in August. As of right now, reading the replies make me think i'll stay there for another year, learn and see what happens.
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by thatguy » Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:15 pm

hhhmmm interesting.... very interesting ...... good points across the board to consider
i didnt know of any rookie drivers last year .. did anyone else? care to elaborate greg?
also safety response is pretty high at apex.... they did do an air evac last season in mesalinka......

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by donkeyrider » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:18 pm

I dont remeber any air evacuation (I potentially might ahve been gone already). And apparently the 24 is here to stay there will be several new crews with 4 trucks this season. I'll second that Apex is high on the safety orientated side of the industry.
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Casper » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:39 pm

I dont remember any air evacuation at Mesilinka too. But we arrived after some crews, and we left before it was all done so I really don't know. Maybe it was for the ''kill the surviving planters'' after the season, only for the willing ones...I can also second for the safety, it really is something we were trained and all, especially on the Fort St-John area where the H2S is something to look for. I'm actually a little surprised to hear that the 24 will be back, it looked like it was a foreman nightmare to plan for (but a lot of cash probably). Where did u hear that donkeyrider ? And do you think it APEX that want to save money on foreman wage ?
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Greg » Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:19 am

Apex is just another rookie mill that doesn't pay their good high production vets enough. Vet pay is a stupid system, pay your people more, and you wont have to entice them by waving $25 a day in their face. $40 a day for drivers is nice, but expectations are high for them ('thatguy' to answer your question - rookie driver worked with LM last year and he confirmed this to me, face to face, mid-season). Sure, foreman make alright dough, but for the amount that is expected of them, they should be getting much, much more. Worked for these guys for 7 years (managed for 4, drove for 6). I know the ins and outs. More contracts are underpaid than not, a few questionable choices at supervisor positions (maybe they solved this for 2010?), and just a sheer lack of appreciation for good work. I'm sorry, but 24 people crews are baloney, the cattle plant is a 'fun' way to plant, but production and efficiency suffer greatly and too many people that are too quick to fuck around rather than pound. Sure it works when you have great motivators driving every truck and great vets in every truck. But is that the case?
Safety must be a HUGE thing at Apex b/c they have so many new people that they need to train. Most companies are safety oriented - You simply need to be to get work in the industry. Safety never takes a holiday, in today's day and age, it is just another part of the job.
Managers are forced to waste way too much time babysitting their kids as opposed to focusing their time on aspects of their job that would make things much more efficient.
In my years of managing, I did a good job for Apex and I passed all my contracts. I provided them with years of hard work and a happy crew. There are many others that do this as well and I had the opportunity of working with many other good planters and people. I just think that efforts in [b]certain[/b] camps go unappreciated. Even if some prices are alright, in the long run, 16.7cent bid prices are just a joke. I am good friends with a few of the managers here, and they do an amazing job, dont get me wrong. I just think that as hard as these fellas are working, they would kill it elsewhere. They simply are oversqueezed and underpleased.

That's enough for now...I know that rooks will continue to work for this company and vets will continue to look elsewhere. They receive funding from hiring students (that most likely isnt legit) and although they have many great underpaid planters, they can hide the shitty ones within the daily cattle fuck.
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by somesilviguy » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:49 am

Sure doesnt sound like you worked for them for 7 years to me. Let alone were a manager imho!

But... for the sake of "face" value trust and on the extremely off chance you did; your arguments are so vague and full of curse filled ramblings that it would mean you're obviously disgruntled for other reasons.

I hope no one actually shies away from them thanks to your post.

Spread valuable contributions or go fill the interwebs with more kitten pictures.

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(I do not nor have ever been even slightly associated with Apex)

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Greg » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:41 am

This company operates much differently than many other companies, I am sorry that I am being 'vague' in my most recent post. I do not feel like wasting too much time listing the reasons and legitimizing myself on here with long posts that require a bit of effort and they are seldom read. Much of the things that you might be looking for are in earlier posts. Some of them by myself when I defended them. But being in a new situation, with a company that is still considered a mid-size company, I am simply stating a few personal observations.
I did not leave them on bad terms, but I do have a sour taste in my mouth.

**Sorry if my 'cursing' offended you. I am professional when I need to be. I do not feel like I need to be on a chat forum. Sorry if you judge my character on that.**
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by donkeyrider » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:58 am

I work for Apex at the moment and I'm going back to them this season. I can also vouch for everything Greg has said. He is 100% right on every front. Still in the current state of the industry many people have tried to weigh out the "good" companies from the "bad" companies. Apex is comfortable for me I have a good foreman and work with a good crew and Apex pays me well for what I do(not the case for everyone). Do I have to deal with bullshit? Yep. More then at other companies? Most likely. Two seasons ago my foreman told me a good story about how things work at Apex. He told me that you need to realize at Apex treats everyone like they are expendable (himself included). For the most part we are. Two seasons ago, Apex treated two foreman like they were expendable and the foremen walked, which honestly was 100% the right thing to do after putting a decade into something I would expect to be treated with some respect (they werent). Needless to say Apex lost those two foremen and their crews. Did Apex survive ya, but it had to hire some rookie foreman who shit the bed. This year Apex hasn't promoted and if they have very little... thats why there are new 24's. Supervisors at Apex are good for the most part. Aside from one. Brad. Simply put Apex is a rookie mill for sure, and I think its been said a couple times in this thread that management and drivers get paid well, its true for the most part. 65 dollars before you put a tree in the ground (a bag up or two) if your driving. As long as Apex gives me 250 a day for 60-70 days I'll stay. The moment that changes, or my foreman leaves I'm gone as well, but to take a chance on other comapies this season I'm too broke to risk something that has been steady for me the last 5 years. Brad makes my confidence in Apex diminish a bit, but I'm not so sure he'll be around too much this season. And god please dont give me a BCTS contract in the summer I'd rather shit a knife.
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by somesilviguy » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:28 am

Nicely articulated.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Greg » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:35 pm

[quote="donkeyrider"] He told me that you need to realize at Apex treats everyone like they are expendable (himself included). For the most part we are.[/quote]


Thats my point. They treat everyone like they are expendable. There is no 'thank you' at the end of the day. On top of things, I heard stories of foreman being fined for 'fuck-ups' last season. Can this be confirmed? The source was reputable, but I wanted to know what the fines were for? I heard about fines for leaving a small tarp behind or something of that nature. Like, a $50 fine! Were the fines normally more or less than that? I know they are attempting to make people accountable for equipment and such, but fining your foreman??? Not even a warning or repeat offender? I don't know about that type of management practice? Didn't negative enforcement grow old a long time ago? I thought positive reinforcement was the way to go?

Apex treats people like they are expendable, and that is why they run into issues throughout the season. People replanting for days upon end? How is that good for stock handling? When it comes down to it, that is the bottom line that the mills need to see. Professional work costs a bit more, but there is a reason for it. The job gets done right the first time and in the ideal state for the tree. If there is a reason for stock handling specs to be evaluated on a contract, then replanting should also significantly drop the percentage that a block or contract will come in at.
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by krahn » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:47 pm

i found that when camping next to apex that their crews had a great time and if you're a rookie, you could do worse. i started with a terrible rookie mill, worse than apex but i have lots of great memories of that season. makes you appreciate a good company when you find one. which they are not unless you're looking to make a few bucks while having an adventurous summer. they seem to fit that bill for many people.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by thatguy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:50 am

well i am glad a rookie wasn't driving my truck i will say my driver was A class (this can make the difference between a shitty season and a good season)
and i am pretty sure the air evac was for max's crew some kid with a lung problem or something? passed out on the block? can't remember the exact cause but remember discussing in the truck how much it cost the company.
donkeyrider is right.... all people at apex are expendable! even if you think your not you are but such is life just plant your trees and make as much as you can everyday and watch your own back and it will be a good season.. at least thats what i did last year and it worked out pretty good for me and make sure you hang out with people with the same good values as yourself and stay away from the loser low ballers who try to bring down everyone around them and everything will be ok
greg is right they are better companies out there but getting employed with them is almost impossible this year... i know one guy who did make the upgrade from apex and i am sure he will have a great season at his new company (greg knows him as well)
unfortunately thats not me and i will be back at apex this year to take my keep again and i look forward to the season
oh man that replanting fiasco was pretty funny if you were not one of the guys replanting for days...and nights on end
and somesilviguy greg did work at apex and was a great guy ask anyone who knew him when he worked at apex and they will all say good things about him at least thats my experience
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Casper » Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:45 am

Ah yes, I remember now, and yeah you're right it was a guy from Max' crew, lung problem, we met him at Mackenzie just after it happened. He was at Mesilinka and had to be airlifted quickly. And I honestly don't know about the rookie driver, I never saw it. So I don't know if its true.
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by somesilviguy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:34 pm

thatguy wrote:...and i am pretty sure the air evac was for max's crew some kid with a lung problem or something? passed out on the block? can't remember the exact cause but remember discussing in the truck how much it cost the company...
Wow. That this even came up at all speaks volumes.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by thatguy » Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:51 pm

well it came up because having never been in a helicopter i was wondering to myself how much it cost to run a helicopter an hour as i am sure its not cheap... and one thing lead to another in the truck and boredom talk lead to us guesstimating how much an air evac would cost based on distance from mckenzie and time in the air etc.
it did not come up in a negative way somesilviguy, it seems you are here to put a negative shine on everything or doubt people ... but hey thats your choice.... i know that if i have a lung infection and passed out on a block in the middle of no where from lack of oxygen that my company can afford to air lift my ass out in a timely fashion and keep paying everyone their wages. thats alot better than alot of companies i have heard horror stories about. when i am on a block with my crew at apex i know that if the shit hits the fan and there is an emergency the people in charge can handle it.
thats alot better than some of the threads i have read on this board for example....
Quote:
As for danger, we were routinely given broken radios on fly in blocks. I swear to god, a foreman said this to me: 'Here, take this radio... It does'nt work, but it's just for safety purposes.' ??? This was really remote stuff. We would take a boat(that didn't have enough lifejackets) to some random island where we hoped the heli-pilot could see us, because he sure couldn't hear us on our crappy tire radios. We would get dropped off on these little islands and not know when we would get picked up. Every day when I left the chopper I felt like I might not see it again. Nobody with first aid was ever around, and we were doing serious, old growth cedar blocks. My planting partner slipped on a log slide and narrowly missed gutting herself. It struck me that if she HAD gutted herself, there would be nothing I could do. I would just have to sit there and watch her bleed to death, until the chopper came at some random time at the end of the day. I don't think it's worth it if you value your life at all...

was it wrong to wonder how much an air evac costs? ...i dont think so
but in the end this is a treeplanting forum and its wouldnt be complete without macho, know it all, self centered treeplanters that feel the need to put other tree planters down who am i kidding trying to defend myself
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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by somesilviguy » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:18 pm

:roll: I merely thought you meant the foreman was complaining about the cost... but you know what they say about assume[ing] I've made an ass out of u and me. Good day.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Scooter » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:33 pm

With some companies, that sort of question probably indicates that the company IS serious about safety. Sure the cost for an air evac is high, but who cares. The leading companies out there don't even blink an eye when that kind of a situation arises.

Re. heli costs, for those who are curious, probably about five grand unless the machine is already on-site. Most of them run around $1100 to $1200 per hour for a basic low-end machine, with a four-hour minimum. Maybe $1800/hr for a bigger machine.

One key thing to remember for supervisors - if you're working in an area where you could ever possibly need to call in a helicopter for an air evac, it's usually a good idea to talk to the helicopter company at the start of the contract and make sure that they know who you are, and make sure that if you have to call them, they'll come. It would be pretty shitty in an real emergency situation if you called a company and they didn't know who you were and were hesitant to authorize the flight until they made a few phone calls, when someone's life is on the line. It's not like they take a credit card over the phone.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by thatguy » Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:10 am

scooter
thanks for the info on heli costs i will tuck that away in my brain its nice to know what shit costs even if its just out of curiosity

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by kenax » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:19 pm

With the permission of Scooter I just copied updated information from this thread to the Treeplanter’s Database found at http://hardcoretreeplanters.com/ to make it easier to view comments by treeplanters and compare treeplanting companies against one another, in the hopes that they will treat and pay their planters better.
Check out my tree planting website http://hardcoretreeplanters.com/ where I wrote down all my tips how to plant fast and all the other tips I accumulated after 7 years of planting.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Mike » Sat May 14, 2011 7:45 pm

So the vet bonus at Apex was recently explained to me as 25$ for returning vets, +15% pay for returning vets, and 45$ for drivers.

That means +15% +70$/day; which makes 200$ worth of planted trees result in a 300$ pay cheque, 300$ worth of planted trees result in a 415$ pay check. By those numbers, it sounds like vets that are driving are winning hard.

Also; I heard seasons generally have been ending August 15th; did that happen in 2009/2010? How many planting days were in a season of that length? (May 1st to August 15th = ~105 days, on straight 4 and 1's with no double days off, and using days off for camp moves some of the time, optimal results would give 21 shifts, so 84 days of planting.) Obviously it wouldn't be that high.

A friend working at an Apex camp in Vanderhoof, a 2nd year vet, told me an Apex camp was 100 people; how did you guys do breakfasts/dinners? I'm in a camp of 40 and lining up sometimes takes time.
All of my company reviews and experience (The Planting Company, Windfirm, ELF, Folklore, Dynamic, Timberline, Eric Boyd, Wagner, Little Smokey, Leader, plus my lists for summer work and coastal) can be found at the start of the Folklore review due to URL and character limits.

Folklore, 2011: http://tinyurl.com/anl6mkd

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by newb » Sat May 14, 2011 8:37 pm

Hey Mike,

I know a few people who currently work for Apex, so I will try and answer some of your questions.

In previous year, the vet bonus used to be $25 a day, which covered camp cost. However (starting last year), they changed the vet bonus to 15% added to each tree. So it is not $25 plus 15%. This applies to all vets, and not just vets that have worked with them in the previous years. Although it rarely happens, if for some reason a vet from another company were to join Apex then they would be qualified for that vet bonus.

As mentioned in another thread, they always pay on time, treat their vets (15% bonus for each tree), drivers ($45), foremen, and supervisors well, and will most likely have work up until August 15th (they start May 5th). In terms of the season length your estimate of 84 days is not too far off.

If you do exceptionally well in your first year planting, it is not uncommon to receive a drivers job the following year, and a foremen job the year after. Like you said, vets that are driving and managing can do pretty well.

My question is: If they have the budget to buy a fleet of brand new F450 trucks and new quads, and pay their drivers, foremen’s, and supervisors well then does that influence the tree prices?

It is important to note that they hire a large proportion of rookies every year and little to no vets from other companies, and their crews are unusually large (18 and 24 packs). As mentioned before, Apex group plants. The way that this is accomplished is by sending each truck to a different section of the block/blocks. The six planters from each truck will plant off of each other’s lines (group plant) and complete their allocated section together.

For breakfast and dinner?, the crews will begin and end their days at different times.

Also, I don’t work for them. Perhaps, someone who does could further elaborate on the questions you had.

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Re: Apex Reforestation

Post by Pebbles » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:24 pm

newb wrote:Hey Mike,

I know a few people who currently work for Apex, so I will try and answer some of your questions.

In previous year, the vet bonus used to be $25 a day, which covered camp cost. However (starting last year), they changed the vet bonus to 15% added to each tree. So it is not $25 plus 15%. This applies to all vets, and not just vets that have worked with them in the previous years. Although it rarely happens, if for some reason a vet from another company were to join Apex then they would be qualified for that vet bonus.

As mentioned in another thread, they always pay on time, treat their vets (15% bonus for each tree), drivers ($45), foremen, and supervisors well, and will most likely have work up until August 15th (they start May 5th). In terms of the season length your estimate of 84 days is not too far off.

If you do exceptionally well in your first year planting, it is not uncommon to receive a drivers job the following year, and a foremen job the year after. Like you said, vets that are driving and managing can do pretty well.

My question is: If they have the budget to buy a fleet of brand new F450 trucks and new quads, and pay their drivers, foremen’s, and supervisors well then does that influence the tree prices?

It is important to note that they hire a large proportion of rookies every year and little to no vets from other companies, and their crews are unusually large (18 and 24 packs). As mentioned before, Apex group plants. The way that this is accomplished is by sending each truck to a different section of the block/blocks. The six planters from each truck will plant off of each other’s lines (group plant) and complete their allocated section together.

For breakfast and dinner?, the crews will begin and end their days at different times.

Also, I don’t work for them. Perhaps, someone who does could further elaborate on the questions you had.
I've worked 2011 season with Apex, which was my rookie season. And the information above is correct. The vet bonus is 15% on each tree as opposed to $25/day flat. I guess they decided it will be a bigger incentive for hard working vets.

I found that this year, compared to other companies our prices were sky high. We worked along side NATA and were getting paid 3 cents more than they were for the same land. My crew was an 18 pack and was paired up with another 18 pack for the entirety of the summer. So our camp was usually about 50 people, since we had other crews coming and going. Amazingly, none of the rookies from my crew quit. One got fired for low production (and I mean LOW production) but that was it. The rest stuck it out till the end. Our start this year was May 8th (snow) and end of season was August 9th.

My impressions of the company are overall positive. I am coming back with them next season but most likely with a different foreman. I had a rookie foreman who did alright, but he folded under pressure like tin foil and made some days for rookies and vets absolutely miserable.

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