Folklore Contracting

A forum for discussion about various silviculture companies. No defamation please!
User avatar
b-dawg
Regular Contributor
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:33 am

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by b-dawg » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:31 pm

"Density ranged from 800 stems to 1800 stems (4's to 9's); the 4's and 5's would be +1 cent. It was 10 cent straight plants, 11 cent for low density..."

WOW. That's a helluva discount for Millar Western. Overall prices sound low on all the contracts, but the low-density shit must have been atrocious. I mean, at 10 or 11 cents an average planter would be wanting to put in, BARE MINIMUM, 3000 trees every day (which is a tall task day-in and day-out).
So, under this system of pay, you're covering under two Hectares (1.666 roughly) for 3 Bills Gross Pay on the 1800 stems/ha ground, whereas you'd have to cover almost 4 Hectares (3.75 roughly) on the 800 stems/ha ground to plant as many trees. Therefore, you're carrying the weight of your bags over 2.5 TIMES the amount of ground for an extra 10 Bux on every thousand trees. Did some Manager somewhere get a huge bonus for dreaming this one up?!?!?!?

You must need LONG days and some seriously sweet Pumped Up Kicks to run around that much ground if you hope to average even a not-so-good wage under these circumstances.

Millar Western must be thrilled with being given this kind of a discount: nearly 3 times the ground covered for an extra penny/tree to the planter! That's a discount that might even rival the BCTS 2012 Super-Save Special.....

User avatar
Scooter
Site Administrator
Posts: 3626
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: New Brunswick
Contact:

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Scooter » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:35 pm

Did some Manager somewhere get a huge bonus for dreaming this one up?!?!?!?
Probably. And it would be someone that works for MW. They try to cover their reforestation obligations with a bare minimum, and rely on natural regen to bring up the numbers.

The real piss-off is not the 800 and 1000's for density. Those actually aren't too bad, because there is the extra cent. But the overall density for the contract is only in the 1200's. So think of all the blocks that DON'T qualify for the extra cent even though they are low density. The 1800 density blocks are pretty rare.

Overall, Millar Western is a contract where prices need to come up. Unfortunately, since Brinkman is the other contractor working for them, that's not likely.

jdtesluk
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 866
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:28 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by jdtesluk » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:35 pm

Interesting you point that out about the spacing. I would suggest that the actual difference in ground covered (from a planter point of view) has more to do with the average distance between trees than the number of hectares covered. ,This shifts from (if I remember the coast right) about 3.2 metres for 4s and 2.5 for 8's. So you're moving an additional (on average) 70 centimetres per tree in some cases. This may seem small at first glance, but if one thinks of doing a bunch of lunges, sprints, or jumps and how much harder it is when you increase the distance only slightly, the cumulative affect of these exertions becomes obvious.

I pointed this exact issue out to the industry and to WSBC several years ago as a pressure that is put on workers and as a factor in injuries. If you have to move nearly 1/3 farther between each planting site, that is also distance carrying weight and distance between stationary 'rest' points. WHile I disagree with this being 2.5 times the distance, I strongly believe that the difference is nonetheless significant. Certainly one can imagine that the stress and risk put upon a body by increasing the distance travelled with each exertion is going to have an impact on the worker. Look at the posties, they take measurements of sidewalks and routes to the metre to prevent this exact kind of impact on their bodies. Of course, this is absolutely not a Folklore thing, it is industry wide, and one must scrutinize the rising popularity of wide spacing not only in terms of its impacts on the workers, but also in terms of its effects on the forests given back to the landowners (ie., the public). Clearly the objective is to save the forestry company even more money in concert with the pressure put on tree prices- it adds up to some serious money.

User avatar
Scooter
Site Administrator
Posts: 3626
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: New Brunswick
Contact:

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Scooter » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:12 pm

We used to do a lot of 800 sph in Hinton/Edson too, with West Fraser Hinton (formerly Weldwood Hinton). Luckily, those two contracts are pretty much the only ones I've worked with a lot of 800 sph ground. Most other companies try to aim for 1600-2000 stems. The short term savings by trying to put in a few less trees is not, in my mind, always worth it. Certainly the blocks will pass regen surveys sometimes, but when they fail, it's a hell of a lot more expensive to go in and fill plant than it would have been to plant an extra 600 stems in the first place.

The brutal economic market conditions of the last few years have made some companies think in rather short-sighted terms, unfortunately.

Rainman
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Rainman » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:36 pm

jdtesluk wrote:This shifts from (if I remember the coast right) about 3.2 metres for 4s and 2.5 for 8's.
Here's the inter-tree distances. You can see that it is 1.3 meters further for 4's versus 8's.
Attachments
planting densities.jpg
planting densities.jpg (137.8 KiB) Viewed 3422 times

User avatar
Scooter
Site Administrator
Posts: 3626
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: New Brunswick
Contact:

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Scooter » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:53 pm

That makes sense. B-Dawg's numbers were different because he was considering area covered instead of straight lines, which is an extra dimension. Planters generally plant in a line, rather than doing an "L" pattern for each tree, which is why the straight line distance is more accurate.

On a positive note, because I shouldn't completely blast the companies for the 4's, there is one small consolation. I've found that fairly often, the blocks with the lowest densities are by far the best (fastest) blocks. This is because usually they are blocks that have been chain dragged to spread the cones (which enhances the regeneration rate and which thus enhances the chance that the forester will plant less trees). I remember that for a couple years at West Fraser Hinton, crews in my camp actually ASKED to be put on all the 800 sph blocks, because they were the best money-makers. At the time, we were paying 10 cents for these blocks, and I remember one day where fourteen people in my camp all broke 5k in an 8-hour (of planting) day. Most of them did either 5400, 5670, or 5940. So they ended up making $540 or $567 or $594 before camp costs.

Another bonus on that particular contract, the best blocks naturally got the smallest trees, because the blocks had very little grass competition. So most of the time we were planting boxes of 400 ultralight 211 pines, although on the day that fourteen people hit 5k we were doing boxes of 313's (270/box).

Aren't most of the contracts on the coast calling for between 4's and 7's right now?

jdtesluk
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 866
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:28 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by jdtesluk » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:32 pm

Great detail Scooter, context is everything. Sometimes I have found lower density can be a good thing if you can simply home in on the easy microsites and skip the gnarl (see coast). The thing I HATE about 4's though is the ridiculous ease of getting excess. Checkers should use a triple wide plot in such cases if they actually want to get good spots.

User avatar
Scooter
Site Administrator
Posts: 3626
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: New Brunswick
Contact:

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Scooter » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:36 pm

Re. the wider plots, I filmed Alan Powelson's presentation on Friday, and I'm going to put it up onto YouTube later this week. He's also going to give me a revised version of his power-point presentation to share with planters, so we can have a good discussion here. He and Timo both indicated that they would be very receptive to further input from planters, both here and in the field this summer.

Rainman
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Rainman » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:37 pm

Aren't most of the contracts on the coast calling for between 4's and 7's right now?
I'd say that we are mostly doing 4-6's. With 4's and 5's being more common than 6's.

Rainman
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Rainman » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:44 pm

As to people complaining about the quality is too tough...excess etc...

I say easing up the specs is not the answer to. The answer is to pay the planter properly to do a good job. Why not just pay properly and enforce the standards? Isn't that the job?

User avatar
Scooter
Site Administrator
Posts: 3626
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: New Brunswick
Contact:

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Scooter » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:59 pm

And actually, the math isn't too difficult - it works in the planter's favour, sort of. Well, it doesn't work against the planter entirely.

If you're planting a high target density, such as say 10's, you only have a small variation in average spacing to put you either one under or one over. So for example, in planting 2000 stems/Ha, or 10's, your average spacing needs to be 2.4m. But if you average just 10cm closer than 2.4m over all trees, or just 10cm over, then you put yourself into a situation where 50% of your plots start ending up as 9's or 11's.

On the other hand, when targeting 800 stems, or 4's, the target is 3.8m spacing on average. You can actually go 40cm OVER, or 60cm UNDER that average, before you start getting 50% of your plots having 3 or 5 trees.

So yes, the penalties (such as not meeting a minimum density number, or on the other hand, getting an excess fine for excess over 7%) are more significant when you're hitting your one-unders or one-overs. BUT to compensate, it is harder to get nailed with that extra tree or that shortfall in a given plot.

jdtesluk
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 866
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:28 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by jdtesluk » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:01 am

Rainman wrote:As to people complaining about the quality is too tough...excess etc...

I say easing up the specs is not the answer to. The answer is to pay the planter properly to do a good job. Why not just pay properly and enforce the standards? Isn't that the job?
What every planter should be thinking. Bang on Rainman.

Scooter, this thread has pieces of a great discussion on specs, and demonstrates the high level of awareness among many people on the front line. Perhaps a chunk of this thread could be moved to a discussion of specs and spacing (and the various implications), rather than have it confined to Folklore, which is of course not alone in dealing with these matters. Just a thought. Great that you have Alan's presentation too. I found a lot of the discussion of specs to be quite interesting (and occasionally progressive !?), particularly with planter interests in mind.

User avatar
krahn
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 544
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 4:43 pm
Location: manitoba
Contact:

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by krahn » Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:24 pm

I was checking on this contract, and planted a few bagups as well. I found that the 11 cent blocks were the best money, despite the wider spacing. The denser stuff definitely should have been a cent more, and a cent extra on the wide stuff would have often been lucrative. I can't even remember exactly why... sometimes it just works out nicely on certain land, with the the way microsites are patterned, kind of like prepped ground. Although going back and forth between different spacings can be rough on rookies.



b-dawg wrote:"Density ranged from 800 stems to 1800 stems (4's to 9's); the 4's and 5's would be +1 cent. It was 10 cent straight plants, 11 cent for low density..."

WOW. That's a helluva discount for Millar Western. Overall prices sound low on all the contracts, but the low-density shit must have been atrocious. I mean, at 10 or 11 cents an average planter would be wanting to put in, BARE MINIMUM, 3000 trees every day (which is a tall task day-in and day-out).
So, under this system of pay, you're covering under two Hectares (1.666 roughly) for 3 Bills Gross Pay on the 1800 stems/ha ground, whereas you'd have to cover almost 4 Hectares (3.75 roughly) on the 800 stems/ha ground to plant as many trees. Therefore, you're carrying the weight of your bags over 2.5 TIMES the amount of ground for an extra 10 Bux on every thousand trees. Did some Manager somewhere get a huge bonus for dreaming this one up?!?!?!?

You must need LONG days and some seriously sweet Pumped Up Kicks to run around that much ground if you hope to average even a not-so-good wage under these circumstances.

Millar Western must be thrilled with being given this kind of a discount: nearly 3 times the ground covered for an extra penny/tree to the planter! That's a discount that might even rival the BCTS 2012 Super-Save Special.....

dkarvas
Starting to Post
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:29 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by dkarvas » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:36 pm

What seems to be the dominant type of footwear at Folklore? I can't seem to decide if I should get caulks or a pair of leather hikers as my primary boot. Hired as a rookie this year.

User avatar
Nate
Forum Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:18 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Nate » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:43 pm

dkarvas wrote:What seems to be the dominant type of footwear at Folklore? I can't seem to decide if I should get caulks or a pair of leather hikers as my primary boot. Hired as a rookie this year.
Leather hikers. I've never run into a situation where I felt like I've needed caulks.

User avatar
Scooter
Site Administrator
Posts: 3626
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: New Brunswick
Contact:

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Scooter » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:20 pm

All the contracts that I know of for various camps this year would definitely be best suited for either leather hikers, as Nate suggested, with maybe a pair of rubber boots as a backup for Alberta mud.

gunner
Starting to Post
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:01 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by gunner » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:57 pm

This is my first post on this website so here it goes. I worked for Folklore Contracting last summer (2012) in Rich's Camp and I can honestly say that my experience was very good with a few minor cons (like any other company). Rob Klinck was my crew chief and let me tell you, this guy is terrific and so organized, a joy to work with. By far the best crew chief I've had in my three seasons as a planter.

Pros :
- Always paid in Full and on Time. (direct deposit)
- Never waited for trees. Rob and Chester were very vigilant when it came to this. ( I believe my longest and only wait was 10-15 min)
- Long season, I think we did 65 days last year.
- Very safe vehicles, mostly Ford f250's, f350's. Always kept in top shape with the same driver's each day.
- Paid to take the first aid class as well as the defensive driving class, plus they pay you for driving if you end up being a driver or backup driver. 15$ a day I believe was the rate which sounds like peanuts but it adds up quickly. (paid at the end of the season)
- Rob and Chester always gave us 10 hours of planting unless something out of the ordinary happened (washouts, bad weather etc)
- You are setup everyday to make a great wage, very few run arounds or changing pieces through out the day. Enough time to hit your 3-4k everyday
- Very quick at giving you your record of employment if you need it.
- Option to plant with someone else or by yourself

Cons:
- I found this camp to be very religious (other camps are most likely different), the people were opened about it and often talked about there faith. They never pushed there beliefs on anyone but I found that it could make you self conscious about what you say or do sometimes. (personal opinion)
- We had two cooks, breakfast was always awesome, supper not so much. Found it almost impossible to get a second helping of food at supper 5/10... cheap ingredients, nothing fresh. Breakfast was a hard 10/10.
- Prices were average, maybe a bit on the low side... 11-13 cents in BC, 10-11 in Alberta, fills were usually 15-17 cents.
- Sharing Cashes with allot of people usually 4-6 people at one cash. It can get confusing with partials and stickers.
- Not paid for unloading reefers, usually did these at the end of the day when you got back to camp... last thing you want to after 2 hours of driving and 10 hours of planting is unload a reefer... I suppose this has to be done but it would be nice to get compensated.
- Flagging tape was very hard to come by. Could of been useful in those green blocks.

Well that's pretty much the just of it. Like I said a few cons but all together a good honest company.

PEEEEAAAAACCCCE

User avatar
JAYTEE
Starting to Post
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:50 pm

Folklore Contracting

Post by JAYTEE » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:29 pm

I also planted Folklore this last summer. Similar to the post above I also was in Richs camp, on Robs crew.
It was my rookie season, but I have been familiar with the industry through family etc.

Pros
- Rob as a crew chief is awesome, cant say enough about this guy, we had one run in about my density which ticked me off, but when planting its hard to always remain calm and collected, specially on a 15cent fill. But again, both foremen are always looking out for the planter in this situation, and our crew pounded hard, so whatever Rob was doing, he did it right, and I think he got a lot of respect from management for it, so he could do his own thing and spoil us with good land.
- Only waited for trees on the odd occasion, but if I did Chester(assistant foremen) might jump in your piece and help bag you out etc. as well they were both apologetic about it and would make sure you were first for restocking next time.
- Again Rob and Chester definitely taught me how to become a great planter, Chester jumped in my piece on a slow day and showed me how to plant fast on even the slashist piece.
-ANC/SUMMER PLANT, was amazing, if you like the fast land of Alberta, and big numbers, you will like ANC, it wasn't the best pay but the land itself was amazing, I dont know if its true, or if I had a lucky year but apparently ANC spoils folklore when it comes to land quality. It made up for the shitty BCTS and FFT contracts out of PG.
- Long season, always check with any company before taking the job about season length, but the season at my camp was between 70-75 days, into August, depends on year, but usually the rookie mills (folklore brinkmen, the bigger companies) have the longest seasons.


Meh
- Checker and quality were a pain in the ass sometimes, checker was just following the contract but when your on the land you see that some of the requirements made no sense, had to deal with them regardless.(In extremely rocky land you get in shit for not having enough soil cover the plug, or putting the tree too low in the trench, but you literally had no other option)
-Price, in the spring contract prices I would say were a bit low, specially for the shitty land we had to plant on canfor,fft,bcts, but that changed when most planters started to rake in good coin in alberta on the ANC contract.
- Pay was never an issue, although some people did complain about being told the price for a plot of land, and then getting a different price on their pay stub. Always paid on time, although didnt like how the foremen/camp sup. would quote the price of land without accounting for vacation pay to be deducted on pay stubs.

Cons
- Camp life was shit. Good for staying concentrated on planting and making good coin, but still hard to enjoy the nights off or free time.
-Girl/guy ratio was also shit. About 5 chicks, and 70 dudes?!?! I dont know how this was even possible, specially when other companies require a 50/50 ratio or close to. Its not just the obvious disadvantage for such a skewed ratio, but having a testosterone driven camp is no fun, its nice to just talk to a female for dinner rather then sit at a table of 15 dudes every night.
-Both of the above can be related to the overall religious feel on the camp. It was never forced upon me but I kept my head low a lot of the time to avoid confrontation. Got stuck at the fire a few times when suddenly a few would break into christian hymns or a mass would take place, I felt extremely awkward being a man of no faith. As post said above, limited the conversation to not touch on many sensitive subjects. Luckily Rob and I never had a discussion about it, but when it comes to the checker ( for my year anyway) as well as the camp head, they are very religious.
- Food sucked. I have little experience with camp food at planting camps. But from what I have heard at other companies, plant food is usually amazing as to keep the planters happy on those shitty days. Breakfast was O.K., just cheap meat although I did really like the milkshakes. As well some more/better coffee would have been appreciated(will touch on that later). Dinner again, was O.K 2 out of 4 days, the other two it sucked. And the cook was always running out of food(or so paranoid she was going to run out, wouldnt supply you with nearly enough food), this was her first year cooking, ever, if you value your planters, I feel like one should value the cook as well, hire a real cook. She also was always worried about the food budget, but usually spent under the budget, which pissed me off a bit, spend all the money u can on food, dont look for bonuses from management for saving on food costs.
- Hard to get an idea across. Whether it was complaining about prices, amount of food/coffee etc. there was little leeway on the management side. It was almost always ignored with little sympathy, which is shitty.

Overall my season there was a great rookie year, I made good money and had good coworkers and an amazing foremen. The cash is okay, average I would say, and the camp life is money driven rather than enjoyment, and as for the religious nature of the camp I was on, I can only see this slowly evolving (; into a regular camp in time, talking to vet planters from that camp it had changed a lot from when they started in regards to religious over tones, and my year seemed to be full of atheists and non religious folk.

Recommended as a rookie camp for sure.

Mike
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:10 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Mike » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:59 am

@Above poster: I dont know how this was even possible, specially when other companies require a 50/50 ratio or close to.
It is an exception of a company that actually pulls this off. Usual ratios range between 90%/10% and 70%/30%. Even 60/40% would be considered an excellent ratio in a planting camp.

Also, I find the religious thing hilarious. I didn't mention in my review a year back (probably because it was the influence of a single crew you might not actually interact with) but everyone on a crew (9/12 people) asked me at some point on the block, while planting, how I felt about god.
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

prof
Regular Contributor
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:14 am

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by prof » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:47 pm

It sounds like the people you worked around were very professional and that Folklore is set up well as an honest organization that respects its workers. Major kudos.

But otherwise this review sounds pretty brutal! Religious environment (yikes) alone would get me... but mediocre food?!? OH THE HUMANITY. Seriously, though...
I prefer to do things the most ghetto way possible.

Thomas
Regular Contributor
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Thomas » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:20 pm

What's with the attitude towards injuries? Where does this come from? Is this still a problem at Folklore?

User avatar
Nate
Forum Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:18 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Nate » Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:45 pm

Thomas wrote:What's with the attitude towards injuries? Where does this come from? Is this still a problem at Folklore?
Other than Mike's post, who's said anything about a negative attitude towards injuries, or are you speaking from past experience?

Balancing the "I'm sore" plague running through camp and affording people the freedom to take time off due to legitimate injury is a very delicate balance in a planting camp. I've seen it myself on countless occasions: someone takes the day off due to wrist tendo or whatever and all of a sudden six of the twenty-seven people they were talking to that night want time off as well when it happens to be raining on their shitty piece the next day.

One of my favourites was a rookie who texted me (and texted me back in the days when it was still generally unheard of to bring your cell phone to the block) something along the liens of,"Im sore, saw X checking trees, I will check too, u can pick me up at my cache." I think she lasted two or three days on my crew after that and I'm sure to this day she has stories about what a monster of a person as a foreman I was.

I began planting in a Brinkman camp where I had blood poisoning from an infected blister and beaver fever at one point and I was made to feel like absolute shit for taking time off, but I can't say even hindsight, knowing how unjust it was, I really blame them for maintaining that attitude throughout the camp. There were a lot of rookies in that camp that needed fear and the social stigma of failure to push them through their city-bred softness into planting at least a thousand or so trees a day. Then again, I've come to realize after working in an oil and gas world full of lazy entitled $200k+ a year assholes that I love the harsh meritocracy of the treeplanting world, and I would never really want to be part of the well regulated, bureaucratized system of equality I used to push for and some on this board continue to push for. My one exception is seatbelts/driving, where I think the macho belt-free pedal-to-the-floor attitude of the good old days is criminally negligent.

ChinRoll
Regular Contributor
Posts: 17
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 5:27 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by ChinRoll » Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:18 pm

[/quote]I began planting in a Brinkman camp where I had blood poisoning from an infected blister and beaver fever at one point and I was made to feel like absolute shit for taking time off[quote]

It sounds to me like you had a sore foot and a case of the soft shitz. Me, I once planted through AIDS and a lobotomy. Suck it up! ;)

Mike
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:10 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Mike » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:37 am

I saw some weird stuff, but that was 1 season in Scooters camp, and I think probably 95% of those people don't plant anymore, since it was a couple years back.
There were a lot of rookies in that camp that needed fear and the social stigma of failure to push them through their city-bred softness into planting at least a thousand or so trees a day. Then again, I've come to realize after working in an oil and gas world full of lazy entitled $200k+ a year assholes that I love the harsh meritocracy of the treeplanting world, and I would never really want to be part of the well regulated, bureaucratized system of equality I used to push for and some on this board continue to push for.
Can I really lazily make 200k+ a year? I thought wages started at like, 250-300$ for 1 month on/2 weeks off type stuff: that's 60 to 72 grand a year...would I need a welding certificate or engineering or something like that? I'm not greedy, but if I did one 200k year, I could totally take 8 or 9 years off...

As for harsh meritocracy, I generally think lots of people just shouldn't go planting to begin with, and people who go and realize their mistake should leave, with less stigma around rookies quitting. The number of unhappy rookies I've seen dragging through 125-150$ days for a season because "quitting is for losers" that end the season pretty miserably depresses me.
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

User avatar
Scooter
Site Administrator
Posts: 3626
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: New Brunswick
Contact:

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Scooter » Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:55 am

I've talked to a couple of my former planters who say that they were making $500/day within a month or so, as long as they were willing to put in hours. I think the labour shortage means tons of overtime, so although the base rates might be $300 per day during the quiet season when there isn't much work, that's not the case during busy season and/or once you've got a bit of experience.

But it's hard to say how accurate any of those numbers are, and whether they can be believed. Sort of like tree planting.

fluffer
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:19 am

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by fluffer » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:47 am

Quite a lot of the income can come from living allowances, truck allowances, and overtime. I've heard companies offering up to 150$/day for living expenses. I imagine this varies dramatically by situation, as sometimes lodging is provided and not meals, or both are provided. It's standard to get an allowance for using your own truck as well.

And those 12 hour days for 25-26 days per month add up fast. You generally pull in 1.5x pay after 176~ hrs/month. So in the end you can be getting 300 hrs/month at 1.2x your base rate. At even 25/hr that is 9k/month without any perks.

If you've got half a brain and are reliable you will go far quickly.

User avatar
Aeryk
Regular Contributor
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:13 am
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Aeryk » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:57 pm

It sounds to me like you had a sore foot and a case of the soft shitz. Me, I once planted through AIDS and a lobotomy. Suck it up! ;)
This deserves recognition haha
What's with the attitude towards injuries? Where does this come from? Is this still a problem at Folklore?
Having worked for Folklore for the past two years I can say that I never felt any unwarranted bad attitude towards injuries. I have sustained a few minor injuries such as tendo or throwing out my back and my foreman was fine with me taking a day or two off to not make them worse and actually encouraged it. But as others have said if your obviously just belly aching because you don't feel like working your gonna be made to feel like a fool. I mostly find this is from other planters though more so than management. act like a wanker your gonna be treated like one.
Alas! how little does the memory of these human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the landscape

User avatar
Nate
Forum Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2007 9:18 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Nate » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:14 am

Mike wrote:Can I really lazily make 200k+ a year? I thought wages started at like, 250-300$ for 1 month on/2 weeks off type stuff: that's 60 to 72 grand a year...would I need a welding certificate or engineering or something like that? I'm not greedy, but if I did one 200k year, I could totally take 8 or 9 years off...
People can, but they confuse the fact that those jobs are out there with the ease of obtaining such a position. To make those types of wages with job security you usually need to put 5-10 years in as a labourer/operator with a contracting or construction company (e.g. Clearstream, Graham, Aecon, Neegan, etc.) to put yourself in a position to get hired on directly with one of the major producing sites (e.g. CNRL, Suncor, Syncrude, Shell, Nexen). At the major oilsands sites equipment operators make between 130k-180k a year before overtime to work 6 days on (12 hour shifts) 6 days off, or a similar such shift, with paid vacation and benefits. I know ordinary operators who made $300k last year with overtime. Contractor workers (e.g. for a company like Clearstream) can make almost similar money, but it's working something more like a 20/10 schedule.

If you want to make money in the oil sands, learn how to run two out of the three of dozer, hoe, grader half decently and you're in good shape. You can also play the union angle if you can stomach the bullshitty politics of it all.

That said, it doesn't mean you can show up in Fort McMurray with no equipment/construction background and expect to immediately find high paying work. If you know how the industry operates you can pretty easily get on with a bit of looking around, but most people can't afford to spend a few weeks in Fort Mac looking around given the cost of accommodation/living.

Mike
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:10 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Mike » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:52 am

Useful info. I'll have to look into this a little more.
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

Mike
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:10 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Mike » Sat May 31, 2014 3:12 pm

Original post should include company website:

Folklore Contracting Ltd.
1077 Eastern Street
Prince George, BC,
V2N 5R8
Phone: (250) 563-5765
Fax: (250) 563-2445
E-mail: info@folklorecontracting.ca
http://www.folklorecontracting.ca/
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

Thomas
Regular Contributor
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Thomas » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:16 am

After having planted for Folklore in Scooter's camp this summer, I thought I would re-read Mike's review and see how it compared to my experience. Overall Mike's is very accurate-but I noticed a few points which would now be considered inaccurate due to the change in years and camp environment. So this won't be a straight-up review, but an addendum.

Folklore by Scooter 2014 was a well-run, mostly smooth season, if not for the move days. We started at Kamloops this year rather than Vanderhoof, for BCTS, moved to Alberta for the Spray Lakes Sawmills contract, then onto Millar Western (sigh) Summer for the month of July. The season started on May 1st, and we ended Millar on August 1st and probably got fined. I have no idea why we had to end late-there weren't a ton of trees on that day and it probably could have been avoided with a few late pushes on some of the days in the last two shifts, but then again I'm not a supervisor, so I don't know.

Anyways, Kamloops BCTS was managed by a guy named John Hopper, who is every planter's enemy. No-he's every foreman's worst enemy, because whenever he arrives on the block, he makes the foreman walk the block with him for an hour and points out faults the whole time. He's very strict-an open hole can be open if pulling the tree back from the high side of a trench on a steep slope reveals even the slightest amount of plug, even if he himself exposed it by pulling the tree. Anyways, I hardly talked to the guy. He doesn't allow caches-we had to take from the trucks holding the trees when on the block. This is because the trees will catch on fire if exposed to sunlight, or something. So anyways, he makes life tough, but the contract is decent. Rocky as all hell, and pricing didn't necessarily make sense-some very easy fills were 25 cents, and planters on that were making a killing, some very, very rocky trenches were 10.5 cents, some less rocky trenches were 11.5 because they were "very rocky", but it was possible to make money. I liked the fills, as they were the easiest on the body-many planters were cursing on the rocky blocks, and I think the rockiness caused a lot of people to go on modified work duties later on in the season. More on that later. The land and prices were usually ok, not great. Folklore, as Mike said, is a very, very early company- the only one I've been at where it's common to have eaten breakfast and made lunch BY 6 am. However, there was a shit-ton of snow this year due to late winters, so we had, I believe, 3 extra days off during the time of this contract, and we often had 7 am breakfast during the month of may because we didn't have a lot of work for a while until the snow melted. This played hell with logistics, but i don't think they were as bad as at Millar, and I recall thinking that the season had started smoothly. The company sent my crew away to Barriere for a motel show twice, for a grand total of seven days, to clear up some remote work, which was mostly 13 cent screefs, certainly a high price for scarified land. This was marginally worse that just staying in camp, because the money was about the same. You eat your own food opposed to Stefan's cooking, which is excellent, and the days on the motel shows started earlier, but I didn't feel I was missing much at camp, because Folklore camp life isn't as wild as at other companies, which I prefer, not because I am crazy- I barely drink, smoke, or party- but because I love seeing other people do stupid things. People in Scooter's camp are shockingly well adjusted to society, with the possible exception of one rookie on my crew who I suspect wants to live on cutblocks to slam more trees and loved the job way more than any healthy person should, but I digress. The point is, Folklore camp life is way, way less rowdy than any other camp I've been in, and less fun, but the people are nice. I don't even usually party in camp anywhere, I just like watching drunken antics, and there wasn't enough insanity for me to watch, not without TV, and the camp WiFi!!!!!! is too slow for Youtube.

I didn't start to make money until around May 20th, but I was out of shape, so I guess it's not that bad. Numbers in the last few days of Kamloops were high, because we got all the nicest land right at the end. Raw prices were high, scarified were low unless you were on a motel show, and fills were high. We were in one camp from May 1st until June 7th, which is ideal, in my opinion. A lot of people left or quit in this time frame-I believe there were 8. I have never seen a camp which allows people to go and leave as they choose as much as Scooter's does-Scooter allows people who have planted in his camp before to come back and do celebrity plants for three days or a week, and a lot of people were slated to leave early-we lost at least 12 people over the course of the season to leaving early on purpose, injury, or quitting. I have never seen so many people take modified duties in one camp-at one point, I believe, we had 6 people on modified duties at the same time. I have also never seen a camp in which so many people take days off at will for injuries or sickness without rebuke from anyone-exactly the opposite of Mike's experience, you'll note. I recall staying home a day in which there were 6 other planters in camp with me. I myself got Carpal tunnel and took a day off because I had pinkeye and couldn't see.

We moved to Spray Lakes, in southern Alberta, near Calgary, a direct award contract, which was completely obstacle planting, always fairly priced (with the possible exception of some of the tougher fills I was on) had nice camps (2 in about 3 1/2 weeks), and where vet planters actually probably did average the $300 we're supposed to be making. We were provided with shitters and did not have to dig any. I have no complaints about this section of the contract whatsoever. We were paid 14 cents for what was often very nice land, and at least 11. There was one block at that price, and everything else was at least 12, and the 12-cent land was fast, as it should be. Quality was reasonable-plant in mineral soil, but you don't have to screef 1m^2 like John Hopper wants. Fills were a base of 21, and I planted 25-centers, which I enjoyed, which is ironic because those were the lowest money-earning blocks for everyone who planted them. I guess I just never had to work hard to do well relative to my crew on em, when usually I had to work very hard to come close to Geoff. We were paid an extra 2 cents for a drive of 1 1/2 hours and for a walk-in of 45 minutes. (Those never occurred at the same time-2 separate instances of an extra 2 cents for basically nothing.)

We moved on the 2nd to Millar Western. Millar Western usually sucks. Your silvis aren't silver enough, no more than 2 bundles open at a time, stand the trees up, a-frame caches, don't quad over streams, blah blah blah. Prices were 10c scarified, 11c direct, 12 chem spray, 14 cent roads, burns, and gulleys (AKA planting the shitty parts of a nice block, no seriously that's what we did) 16 cent fills, +1 for density under 1000 stems/hec. +1 for "heinous green", +1 for a walk-in over a click to the FRONT of a block. If the road was at the front of the block, but the back is over a k away, go fuck yourself.
Based on the land, the prices were still pretty lowballed, with the best land being the low density stuff and some of the fills I had at 22 cents. Scooter, I don't know who you had to kill to get us that price for that land, but thank you for doing it. I missed the nicest land of the contract with a back injury, 11c trenches that were bumped up because of heli work or something. Millar deactivates quad roads because they want the foremen to get injured quadding, or they want to have to heli us in, or something, so logistics are hell. Lots of heli work-the only true gongshow of the season I was on was the heli day where Millar sent us a tin ferrari to send in 3 planters at a time to an amazing block that we started planting at 12 noon. My best day at Millar this season was $326.70, same as last season at Outland, 1485 at 22 cents, and my second best was 2800 at 11 cents for $308. So Millar doesn't have great prices- I get the impression that Folklore works Millar to ectend the season longer than other companies can, so we are more attractive to good planters, as well as other reasons. Oh well, I made my money at Spray Lakes.

I had one gonsghow day out of 67, 70 possible, at Scooter's camp. He knows what's up, pricing ranges from below average to poor (Millar) to great (Spray), the season is very long, the quality of people is very high (as in very few sleazy people only looking for a good time or a way to steal shit) quality of planters are high, management is mostly great, communication is excellent. Food is above average-I liked it less than anyone else, because I don't care that much about planting food, and I still thought it was great. For 26.25 a day in BC and 28.35 in Alberta (prices including tax) you get WiFi and very good breakfasts and dinners (one pound elk burgers) and lunch table includes 2-3 types of bread, pb&j, 2-3 types of lunch meat, 2 block treats, 3-4 different types of fruit, carrots, tomatoes, or zucchini, and a free grab bag of heroin for after the day is done (just kidding(not really))

What could be better is the pricing-the vet average for the season is almost certainly below $300 a day, and the atmosphere is a little too relaxed and hippyish if you like to be in a camp where people get in fights on night off and end up in the drunk tank, or wake up crying that they can't see and that their identity has been stolen, because they are drunk out of their minds. There are a few religious people on Wilson's crew, but nobody ever mentioned religion other than me or Spooky J, and he believes giants are real. Also Mike was right about the chairs- there never were enough for everyone to sit down in the mess tent, so people sat outside. Fucking hippies.

Anyways, I had a great time in Scooter's camp, for the most part, made way better money than anywhere else I have planted, (I only mention the money average because I want to work for a company where I can make mad ca$h, not just decent ca$h, there are people making 350-400 a day in scooter's camp, even thought the average is probably lower than that it's well organized, and the people there are very moral and virtuous. I can't say there isn't better, and I still intend to look for it, however. But you can do way worse than Scooter's camp at Folklore.
Last edited by Thomas on Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Scooter
Site Administrator
Posts: 3626
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:34 pm
Location: New Brunswick
Contact:

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Scooter » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:46 am

and some of the fills I had at 22 cents. Scooter, I don't know who you had to kill to get us that price for that land, but thank you for doing it.
Interesting that you say that. The average earnings per person-day on that block was in the lower half of all the blocks on the contract.

A tame camp? Good. From a supervisor's point-of-view, yes, that's good.

Thomas
Regular Contributor
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Thomas » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:03 am

Actually? I made pretty good money there. I expected a really lowballed price there. I suppose I was lucky to be in a section of the block that had formerly been ripped, and it was very nice. I guess with a long walk-in, high grass, and ten foot tall cow parsnip, you should be getting a price around that range for a fill plant.

Oh, and in regards to the tame camp life, Scooter, it's fine. I think I got used to insanity planting at Outland and in Ontario. We at least have very few problems with people acting irresponsibly, and like I said, you hired a group of very good people-Ryan pointed out that people were friendly, honest, and well adjusted, compared to many camps in Ontario or at true rookie mills. I only point this out to say that if you are looking to get wild it's not necessarily the place.

Overall-Folklore was really solid, if anyone reading this didn't get my impression from the long review.

Mike
Replant Forums Highballer
Posts: 719
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:10 pm

Re: Folklore Contracting

Post by Mike » Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:20 am

I have also never seen a camp in which so many people take days off at will for injuries or sickness without rebuke from anyone-exactly the opposite of Mike's experience, you'll note. I recall staying home a day in which there were 6 other planters in camp with me. I myself got Carpal tunnel and took a day off because I had pinkeye and couldn't see.
Yeah, I hear that most of the people involved in that have retired since then, so I wouldn't be surprised if attitudes changed.

Sounds like things have been improving. Good work, Scootyboots!
Also Mike was right about the chairs- there never were enough for everyone to sit down in the mess tent, so people sat outside. Fucking hippies.
Also, I am laughing at you, because when I included that in my review you said "Oh, that's no big deal, we can deal with that." via e-mail 3 years ago.
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

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests