Windfirm

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Windfirm

Post by Scooter » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:20 am

I don't have contact info yet for Windfirm, but I'll post it here shortly.

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Re: Windfirm

Post by Scooter » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:24 am

The following was moved out of a thread (started by a Windfirm foreman) in the hiring section:


Re: Hiring Planters for Windfirm
by TheHamsterizer on Thu Feb 21, 2008 6:55 pm


I love it how people throw the term 'direct award' around to sell a contract... If you check out the gossip and rumors section you'll notice a lot of the bidding done by windfirm has been posted there, and it sure as hell isn't direct award! More like the opposite- windfirm is consistently the lowest bidder! Trying to hype up a contract when hiring people can really backfire when it turns out to be a shiteshow and everyone quits...TheHamsterizer



Re: Hiring Planters for Windfirm
by bushcook on Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:12 am


Dude,

I worked for Windfirm last year and found them to be a great bunch of people and a pleasure to work for. I really mean that and I would recommend the company to anyone (and have). So maybe you could try being a little less of an asshole? Thanks.bushcook



Re: Hiring Planters for Windfirm
by Zap on Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:13 am


Hey Mr. Hamsterizer,

I appreciate you trying to keep the planting public warned and aware of potentially shitty companies, but I feel the need to respond to your comments about Windfirm being the consistently lowest bidder. We were low on the bidders list for the BCTS Hazelton job as the "gossip and rumours" section shows, but you are missing some of the background. We have done that contract for several years now, and we are very prepared for it. Our bid accurately accounts for what our experience there has proven. You will notice the huge extremes in the bidding prices due to many "blind" bids. The Hazeltons, being in the Interior Cedar Hemlock (ICH) Biogeoclimatic zone can present daunting terrain and access which may have resulted in some of the high bids. Fortunately for us, our bid was based on very successful prices for the planters last season, and the contract occurs during a key time period in between our spring and summer seasons. It was key for Windfirm to get that contract to keep us working straight through, and besides the prices being more than fair for a filler contract, it is also one of the most enjoyable contracts for my camp. We get to stay at a beautiful ranch right on the Kispiox River, and the hosts are amazing people.

So, in summary, the BCTS Hazelton contract pays planters well; it fills an undesirable gap in a season; the food, location and camp atmosphere/morale is extremely high there, and it is a welcome change from the majority of interior planting we do.

As for any other "low" bids you may of seen from Windfirm, of which I can only possibly think of BCTS Burns Lake, rest assured that we did not take the contract. Windfirm truly does believe that keeping planters happy and well paid is the only way to make it in our competitive and struggling silviculture field.

I would really like to see this forum stay away from and try to avoid the "company bashing" rhetoric that plagued the last years of canadiantreeplanting.com message boards. I remember your name from those message boards. I agree that false hyping of a company can and always does turn around and kick that company in the ass. Feel free to contact me or anyone in my camp to get a direct opinion or statement regarding Windfirm. I don't believe we had any quitters in our camp since Windfirm started, and in case you were just thinking it; No, we weren't full of rookies who don't know any better.

Good luck to everyone looking for jobs. Hope you all have great seasons!

Cheers Mr. Hamsterizer....have yourself a great day!

"It's all about the love"
Zap[/color]Zap



Re: Hiring Planters for Windfirm
by James on Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:18 pm


BCTS contracts are never direct award. By law, government contracts have to be tendered.

As stated by Michael in his job posting, perhaps it is the PIR and Canfor contracts that are direct award. I would think these two contracts make up the majority of their work as all the BCTS contracts Windfirm bid on are relatively small.

I don’t presume to know a lot about the tendering process but Zap has made some valid points on what contractors consider when establishing a bid. To speculate on the Babine Tender, all or most of the blocks fall within Canfor's, South Houston operating area, a direct award contract Windfirm has. This equals low overhead, why not plant the BCTS block that’s adjacent to the Canfor one, we’re here already, lets do them both.

Cheers,
James



Re: Hiring Planters for Windfirm
by TheHamsterizer on Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:01 pm


Thanks for providing some of the background on these bids, it's easy to get the wrong idea just by looking at a bid sheet... I guess that's what I get for talking smack about a company I haven't worked for before. I always have to call people on going on about 'direct award' this and that when there's information that seems to indicate otherwise. It's just such a buzzword now... Whatever, I edited out some of the posts in the rumors section. Have a good season.

Zap wrote:
Hey Mr. Hamsterizer,

I appreciate you trying to keep the planting public warned and aware of potentially shitty companies, but I feel the need to respond to your comments about Windfirm being the consistently lowest bidder. We were low on the bidders list for the BCTS Hazelton job as the "gossip and rumours" section shows, but you are missing some of the background. We have done that contract for several years now, and we are very prepared for it. Our bid accurately accounts for what our experience there has proven. You will notice the huge extremes in the bidding prices due to many "blind" bids. The Hazeltons, being in the Interior Cedar Hemlock (ICH) Biogeoclimatic zone can present daunting terrain and access which may have resulted in some of the high bids. Fortunately for us, our bid was based on very successful prices for the planters last season, and the contract occurs during a key time period in between our spring and summer seasons. It was key for Windfirm to get that contract to keep us working straight through, and besides the prices being more than fair for a filler contract, it is also one of the most enjoyable contracts for my camp. We get to stay at a beautiful ranch right on the Kispiox River, and the hosts are amazing people.

So, in summary, the BCTS Hazelton contract pays planters well; it fills an undesirable gap in a season; the food, location and camp atmosphere/morale is extremely high there, and it is a welcome change from the majority of interior planting we do.

As for any other "low" bids you may of seen from Windfirm, of which I can only possibly think of BCTS Burns Lake, rest assured that we did not take the contract. Windfirm truly does believe that keeping planters happy and well paid is the only way to make it in our competitive and struggling silviculture field.

I would really like to see this forum stay away from and try to avoid the "company bashing" rhetoric that plagued the last years of canadiantreeplanting.com message boards. I remember your name from those message boards. I agree that false hyping of a company can and always does turn around and kick that company in the ass. Feel free to contact me or anyone in my camp to get a direct opinion or statement regarding Windfirm. I don't believe we had any quitters in our camp since Windfirm started, and in case you were just thinking it; No, we weren't full of rookies who don't know any better.

Good luck to everyone looking for jobs. Hope you all have great seasons!

Cheers Mr. Hamsterizer....have yourself a great day!

"It's all about the love"
Zap[/color]TheHamsterizer



Re: Hiring Planters for Windfirm
by TheHamsterizer on Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:15 pm


"After reading the contract I’m lost as to how the TheHamsterizer assumes Windfirm has the HFP contract, it clearly is a BC Forest Service document! Hey TheHamsterizer, that's pretty amateur, stick to the gossip and rumours forum."

You could be lost because I DIDN'T assume that HFP was who you were working for. I meant it was a 'gem' because the bid was so low. I edited that part out anyways because I really don't know enough about your company to comment anyways... Thanks for all the fascinating facts though!TheHamsterizer



Re: Hiring Planters for Windfirm
by James on Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:54 pm


I quote, TheHamsterizer:

“Thanks for providing some of the background on these bids, it's easy to get the wrong idea just by looking at a bid sheet...”

I like the fact that Scooter posts bid sheets on the site, they do offer some insight. However, as TheHamsterizer states they can be misleading when one is not privy to the details. I tend to use some of the information on this site with caution. As I stated earlier I don’t presume to know a lot about the bidding process. I do know that the Windfirm planters did well last year!

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Re: Windfirm

Post by burbster » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:59 am

Zap wrote previously:
As for any other "low" bids you may of seen from Windfirm, of which I can only possibly think of BCTS Burns Lake, rest assured that we did not take the contract. Windfirm truly does believe that keeping planters happy and well paid is the only way to make it in our competitive and struggling silviculture field.

I don't know why they changed their mind, but Windfirm is indeed taking the BCTS Burns Lake project. Hope it works out for everybody.

It is indeed all about the love.
Cheers

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Re: Windfirm

Post by Captain Slashpile » Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:07 am

:twisted:
Last edited by Captain Slashpile on Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Windfirm

Post by mwainwright » Sat Jun 28, 2008 2:15 pm

lets clear something up here folks, the bidding process on BCTS projects ONLY rewards the lowest bidder. so that means that any contractor working one of these jobs is always the lowest bidder. it would be nice if they gave it to the highest bidder, but thats just not the world we live in.

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Re: Windfirm

Post by Scooter » Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:49 pm

"It's a very sobering feeling to be up in space and realize that one's safety factor was determined by the lowest bidder on a government contract."
— Alan Shepherd

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Re: Windfirm

Post by sylvan » Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:27 pm

2 seasons with windfirm. Unbiased as possible. Have worked with both supervisors and in both camps. Mostly great people, good foreman, great supervisors (especially you Zap). Windfirm is also organized and safe. It is possible to make good money with windfirm 300-450 a day. It is a younger bunch, i planted with many rookies. Lame parties. Lowest quality standards i have seen to date (not a bad thing if you enjoy slutting them in), food and hygienic facilities are poor, move camp often, lots of unpaid labour ("all in the tree price"). Notorious low bidders. It is possible to have lots of fun and make decent money with this company but i do not rate them highly.

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Re: Windfirm

Post by mwainwright » Mon May 04, 2009 7:05 pm

believe the hype, zap is the man. but one time i saw him running a chainsaw in shorts and crocs. he looked all comfortable, like it was normal to do shit like that. i would have laughed if he had cut himself, but not in a mean way.

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Re: Windfirm

Post by Captain Slashpile » Mon May 04, 2009 8:41 pm

:P
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Re: Windfirm

Post by Mike » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:16 pm

Windfirm Resources — 2009 Season

We met up May 9th in the morning, started planting the 10th. We worked four 4&1's out of Houston. At the end of the contract we took two extra days off (three in a row). This gets to may 31st. We then worked “six” day shift, near Burn’s Lake (over a ferry, into the Cheslatta Falls Area), the last day was a 2 hour part day closer (only for vets). Then we had 2 more days off, plus the afternoon and the evening of the part day. This takes us to June 8th

We then went to a different campsite out of Houston, and worked there for 7* 4&1, which takes us to July 14th. We had three days off at the end of that contract. (14th, 15th, 16th). New camp was outside of Smithers about 30 minutes. Worked a 4&1 and 5&1, the day off also being used to move camp — we were an abandon run down motel right on the highway between Houston and Topley. This day off is July 27th. We then worked out the rest of BCTS summer — 4&1 (day off August 1st) and then 4 more days, the last day being a partial day.

Contracts were, in order, Canfor Spring, Cheslatta Spring, Canfor Spring mixed with BCTS spring, Canfor Summer, PIR and BCTS summer. (Split up by the other contract)

Total Number of Days in the Season: 64 full planting days, 4 partial days. 68 days where trees were planted; and 20 days off, from May 10th to August 5th. (Not including the “pre-day” of may 9th where we did orientation and some stuff).

We were in camps all season. Camps were generally gravel pits, side of the road, etc. There was a large mess tent, a dry tent, a first aid tent I never went in, and the kitchen trailer, which was a long trailer. The kitchen trailer had power, and the camp had wireless internet, which often led to the kitchen getting a little crowded at nights.

Tree Prices:

Base price was 11 cents. We frequently saw straight plants range from 11-13 cents, with our highest straight plant being priced at 15 cents. Some of the land was very good 11 cent land. The 15 cent block was one of my better ones, though some people didn’t like it. We had several beetle fills; our first one was reasonable (made slightly above average). The second was just bizarre; the tree-price was 16 cents initially, and people were only putting in 400 trees. The block was so wild and thick it was easy to get lost; and we ended up cattle-planting the entire thing. The price later got boosted to 25 cents. In the summer portion of the season, however, our crew saw two fill-plants where the crew went from making 200$/day average (or so; just my best guessing), to about 100$/day average. The 40 days preceding that fill block, our first summer block, I averaged just above 200$/day as a second year planter, which I recognize as a bit low, but my first “season” with TPC in Alberta was only 44 days long, and I certainly am recognizing there are places to improve and get better. On that block, I averaged 90$/day. The block was a catastrophic mess. From that point on, it seemed like the land was slighter harder for slightly lower prices; which I guess would be because getting summer work requires far more competition, and also, lower prices. The very last block of the summer was quite bad and ended up in the tree price being raised a fair chunk.

Another major problem with the season’s pricing was that the Cheslatta Spring contract was very early on; and it was a very good good contract. We were getting 12.5 cents for almost perfectly flat, not much slash, a little rock, good soil ground; pretty much every planter was pounding trees into it as hard and fast as possible. It was the best priced contract all season, and all season people were lamenting that nothing was as good as Cheslatta. I’m sure that there were organizational and management reasons why the contract had to go there; but if a cent was taken off that contract and used to bolster later contracts

Furthermore, the PIR contract, people talked about all season. “The best money of the year.” “Just wait for PIR. It’s amazing.” When we got to the contract, it was mounds at 12 cents, and no better than our previous contracts, though it was decent. I also did a fair bit of mounds last year, and had slightly above average days there; though lots of people found the land difficult and frustrating. It became even weirder when on the very last day, we got off mounds and went to the 14 cent straight plant of the contract; which was easily as good land as Cheslatta. As a result, the last day of the contract was insane for some people.

All in all, I feel like the tree prices were substantially better than the company I worked for last year (The Planting Company) and maybe on par with Dorsey Contracting (who I did a 11 day stint with last year when they took over The Planting Companies Fort Saint John contract). I can’t comment on comparison to region or other companies or previous years, since I am just a second year planter. As such, take my comments with a grain of salt.

Overall, I felt like tree-pricing was decent. Had some of the summer contracts been placed earlier in the season, and some of the spring contracts (particularly Cheslatta) been placed later in the season, it would have felt more like an upward climb than a constant dwindling. I made reasonable money. If the company was able to get contracts bidding slightly higher (which I recognize is quite unrealistic) and been able to give +1 cent across the board, I get the feeling it would have moved from “feeling decent” to “feeling good” or even “feeling great.” Also, had they done something about the fill plant where everyone’s wages were cut in half, it would have felt been a lot better; but apparently the money wasn’t there, since some other blocks had been narrow failures.

However, as another caveat to my statements, lots of Windfirms experienced planters were frustrated. One planter on our crew who had been with Windfirm for 6 years said it was the worst season he had even seen with them. I don’t blame Windfirm for this, but instead the economy. Vets from other companies that worked here briefly (Zanzibar, Elf, some others who’s company names I missed, and a coastal planter who had worked for several companies) were also not impressed with the prices of the summer trees; but noted how hard it is to even get summer trees these days; and that being to plant through July had some value.

In the end, we had 26 of the original 53 planters (includes foremen) we started with, which is not including people who came in part way through the season and left; there were maybe another 10 or 12 planters who worked for Windfirm for a while.

Number of Rookies to Vets: I believe that of the original 53 planters, there were approximately 20 rookies; although that number may not be entirely accurate. There were 3 crews of 14, two of which had two rookies, the last was mostly rookies (8 or 9, I believe). There were two six packs, also half rookies or so. Most of the vets had 2 or 3 years experience, mostly with only Windfirm. There were a handful with more (4, 5, 6), usually with Windfirm and 1 or 2 other companies. This changed towards the end of the season as we got replacements.

Part way through the season we got a handful of replacement planters from Hybrid 17, unable to get summer work, 2 from Elf, unable to get summer work, and a full crew from ... grrr, can’t remember the name, have it written down somewhere. And a handful of other people.

Days started with 5:45 AM breakfast, 6:45 leave, we’d load the Reefer on the way to the block, plant until 5:00, 5:30, 6:00 (depending on the day). Rarely we’d have a later day, and we did have a few slightly shorter days as well.

We worked 4 or 5 days of “Fire Hours” towards the end of the season, with 4:00 breakfast, 4:45 AM leave, planting by 6:00, and, while we were supposed to stop at 1:00, we’d often plant right to 3:00 or 4:00. Those days were brutal, especially towards the end of the season.

Trees were provided by PRT, Woodmere Nursery, and a few others, but mostly those two. Woodmere trees were always nice and small, light; boxes of 300 or 400; beautiful trees. PRT, we planted some 512's (donkey dicks) for +2.5 cents, some 412's for +1 cent, some 415d’s (like a 412 except twice as long) for +1.5 cents, and other stock at regular price. Generally, 412's you didn’t really notice; 512's lots of people hated; until there was a mix of 512's and 415d’s; at which point everyone was scrambling for the 512's to avoid the 415d’s, since the latter required being extremely careful while planting.

We planted at densities of 6 or 7 fairly frequently, occasionally 8, and we had a few blocks requiring densities of 10 (which I love with a passion). Quality standards maintained the same throughout the season. All the usual things as far as I could tell. Some planters felt quality was stricter than previous years (so to the above poster who enjoyed slutting them in; maybe not so much), but I can’t comment on that, having not worked here previous years. Quality was slightly more strict than it was in Alberta when I planted there last year, but not overly so. The one place where quality and spacing got weird was the PIR contract, which frequently changed. It started hit every mound, top and centre. Then went to “if mound density is over 6, skip mounds.” Then went to “1.8 metre minimum in mounds, hit density of 6, but don’t go lower than minimums.” Then went to a more normal “Hit every mound, if they look close, try to hit their outer edges.” Mounds were generally a density of 4-6, but it was sometimes difficult to tell where you could plug that extra tree in between mounds at 1.8 metre minimums. At the very end of the contract, we found out we had to be more careful with letting sticks/duff/litter touch the base of the tree once we closed the hole, but since it didn’t matter on 80% of the trees (mounds), it wasn’t such a big deal until some of us saw straight plant.

All season we were generally planting at a 2.00, or a 1.8 metre minimum.

The owner, Rick Ness, I talked with a few times. He was a good guy; but we didn’t see that much of him (presumably, the advantage of being the owner rather than the manager).

The manager was Ryan Zapisocki; (Zapisotski? Something like that). Let’s be honest; everyone just called him “Zap”; and Zap certainly was a king among men. If he ever decides to start his own company, I will definitely look for a spot. He worked hard, he was friendly and reasonable, all in all, he was just a terrifically great guy.

My foreman was Mike Rossetto. He’s been planting for 10 (or was it 11?) years now, foremaning for 7 of them. He loves his job.

The other Foremen (Dale, Dan, Lukaz, and Kyle, and for the latter half of the season, from company I can’t remember, Adam) were all similarly experienced. Kyle took over for another foreman who had to leave part of the way through the season; and Lukaz was previously a camp manager (Windfirm, like many companies, got smaller). I really enjoyed working with both Dale and Dan (though the latter was a bit of a maniac, I gotta say :D).

One thing I found a little odd/frustrating was the crew I was on. The box tag system was that you write your name on the label, with how many bundles you take. At the end of the day, you try to have shared with only a couple people, but on the bad block closes it got messy sometimes. What this meant, however, is that you’d see planters claiming trees off each other, which I find quite ridiculous. A person makes 200-300$, it’s the end of the day, and when they help a person bag out with a bundle or two, they’re claiming it for their extra 2.50$? I talked quite a bit with people about their opinions on this; and the argument is; you do it a few times, a few more times, suddenly it’s 2000 trees and 250$ that you’re out over an entire season.

Last year I worked for a company with 35 rookies and a handful of vets. We’d never think twice about bagging each other out and just assuming it would come around the next time. This season I paid attention to how much I bagged people out, and what it was costing me. 1100 trees, give or take, the largest being a 90 tree bunch on 13 cent land. That 1100 trees represents about 135$. On a season where I made over 13grand, is being that petty worth another 135$ to me? Probably not. And it would have been easier to reduce it to 600 or 700 by saying I have a 2 bundle limit, which I think is reasonable. But not being willing to bag someone out 1 or 2 bundles?

Which led to another strange phenomenon; at the end of the day, when caches were empty and we were closing blocks, every last person would have “just 1 or 2 trees left” and proceed to plant another 50 or 60. At which point, half the crew has been bagged out for a few minutes and asks them if they have any trees left, and it’d be “just a bundle or so.” another 60 trees later, they’re actually done. The reason being; as soon as you pass that bundle, they might claim it; if you can push it off, you make the extra dollar + change. That strikes me as a weird mentality for someone who makes 200-300$ each day. I also saw vets, towards the end of a block close, bag up 300-400 trees to finish off every box at a cache; so that when other planters finished, they’d come to the cache, and then have to chase them across the piece to get trees. I found that very frustrating. Planting is rough enough when there is a good community; but when its every planter for themselves and screw everyone else? Not much fun.

Anything else....hmmm.

Food was decent. Breakfasts were cereal, fruit, tinned fruit salad, oatmeal, granola, and then something hot; pancakes, eggs, french toast, with a meat (bacon, sausage, or ham).

Lunches were: Apples, oranges, bananas, sandwiches (ham, two other lunch meats I couldn’t identify but ate anyways, peanut-butter, jelly, humice, veggies, etc), trail mix, veggies (carrot sticks, celery, sometimes broccoli and cauliflower), and then baked goods.

Mitch was the baker. She is a goddess.
She is a goddess.
She is a goddess.

The baking was just fantastic. Phenomenal. Often the best part of the day.

Dinners were: Soup (often last nights dinner with water added; but the cook did a surprisingly good job of making that not-disgusting — best taco soup I’ve ever tasted), salads (had all sorts over the season) and standard entree’s: Pork and potatoes, roast beef, various cassoroles, perogies, macaroni and cheese, pizza, etcetera. Pretty standard. And desert, made by Mitch, who as stated above, was great.

We unloaded reefers, and loaded trees in the morning, except Lukaz, who loaded his crews trees.
People did dishes each night, in 3's. With 45 people eligible (foremen out, a few others), that should have meant once every 15 days; or 4 or 5 times in a 68 day season, but several people (myself included) ended up doing it 6 times; but still, once every 11 days isn’t that bad; and it only took 30-45 minutes. People often paid others to do dishes (15-25$)

Any other questions, feel free to ask.
Any other Windfirm employees; feel free to chime in and correct me if I’m wrong on anything.

Would I work there again? I’d consider working for Dan or Dale (Mike said he was retiring this year; he was originally planning on it last year, but got roped in by a handful of people), but I’ll probably try a different company; look for one that truly suits me.

Would I recommend them to others? Sure; if you’re a vet with 2-3 years, who really wants the long season, it would probably be worth your while. If Windfirm continues to get the contracts it has in the past, working 65+ days at slightly lower prices is going to be worth more than working 40 days at prices a cent or two higher; if you need the money and wouldn’t rather do something else most of July and August.
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: Windfirm

Post by Scooter » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:08 pm

This has almost certainly got to be the best detailed and comprehensive company/season review I've ever seen here. Thanks Mike. This message board would be a hundred times better if we could get a couple dozen reviews like this on a number of different companies.

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Re: Windfirm

Post by mwainwright » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:57 pm

thats quite something. pretty much how i saw things over the ten days i worked there, last year. except i think zap is too smart to want to start his own company.

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Re: Windfirm

Post by jdtesluk » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:16 pm

Mike wrote: The manager was Ryan Zapisocki; (Zapisotski? Something like that). Let’s be honest; everyone just called him “Zap”; and Zap certainly was a king among men. If he ever decides to start his own company, I will definitely look for a spot. He worked hard, he was friendly and reasonable, all in all, he was just a terrifically great guy.
Yeah, great review Mike. Great detail. Zap is a class act, deserves the credit given. I think you actually spelled it right the first time. Impressive.

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Re: Windfirm

Post by Scooter » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:31 am

except i think zap is too smart to want to start his own company.
A sentiment that I wholeheartedly agree with.

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Re: Windfirm

Post by Atronic5000 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:34 pm

Myself and a friend of mine worked for Windfirm last summer... until we couldn't take it anymore. I've worked for many companies across BC, and I can safely say that Windfirm was a nightmare. The planters were awesome people, and I made a few good buddies while there, but:

1. My foreman was horrible - worst I've ever had. I would say he was 'non-existent', but he actually
made the job harder than if there was no foreman at all.
2. I still haven't been fully paid for last season, and doubt I ever will be.
3. Food - mediocre, but the cooks were really nice.
4. Prices - worst I've seen so far (11.5cent rock blocks, 12.5 cent jungle, etc.)

I found it amazing that the planters were so loyal. Perhaps they'd never seen a proper company.... I found myself feeling sorry for the poor planters and despising the lack of common sense of the decision makers of the company.

Anyway, like many others before us, my friend and I lasted only a few weeks and then quit.
Life's too short for companies like this one.

All this being said, the owner of the company (Rick) is a great guy, and the camp manager Zap has good intentions, but most of us are in this thing to work hard, have fun, and make money...
Also, I've heard rumours that WindFirm will be getting a facelift - refining the company, getting rid of a few bad foremen, etc. I hope this is true because it's much needed.

Anyway, I think some people have had good experiences in the past, but given my experiences last summer, I would not even consider going back.

Coaster
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Re: Windfirm

Post by Coaster » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:44 pm

Atronic5000 wrote:Myself and a friend of mine worked for Windfirm last summer... until we couldn't take it anymore. I've worked for many companies across BC, and I can safely say that Windfirm was a nightmare. The planters were awesome people, and I made a few good buddies while there, but:

2. I still haven't been fully paid for last season, and doubt I ever will be.
Have you taken Windfirm to the Labor Relations Board for not paying you? We can't weed out these "bad" companies if we don't take them to task for ripping us off. They'll just continue the practice on this season's crop of suckers.

kenax
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Re: Windfirm

Post by kenax » Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:30 am

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.

twitch
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Re: Windfirm

Post by twitch » Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:49 am

Has anyone here worked for Windfirm in the last couple of seasons? any new info? (2012/2013)

evanodell
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Re: Windfirm

Post by evanodell » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:22 am

Planted for them May-July 2012, so my thoughts might be a little scattered, but I'll see what I can do. Prices were good but not spectacular, and were sometimes a little uneven. You'd be on a 12 cent block one day, and the next day on a 14 cent block, and it was often difficult to tell which one was harder. Had a few logistical problems with midday block moves and sometimes had really bad access that wasn't anticipated, which I think spoke to either poor scouting or poor communication. Food was generally pretty good, entrees were okay, lots more options in terms of side dishes then I've encountered elsewhere, and Krista the baker was utterly fantastic.

Camps weren't spectacular, spent the bulk of the season in a pretty rough camp in the Babine, wasn't a whole lot of flat ground to pitch a tent and there were a few large pools of standing water around camp, so walking back to your tent while drunk could be a little treacherous. We did have satellite internet in camp, which was pretty cool. Did have a few pretty long drives each day, an hour plus each way (longest I think was 90 minutes), though I think most people made around their daily average on those days.

You will have the opportunity to work a long season with Windfirm, past couple years they've had work available running through to the end of August, at least some of which I understand to be day rate oil lease work. We got paid direct deposit every two weeks, always seemed to be on time, and I never had issues with being underpaid. Trucks and quads seemed well looked after.

PRI and BCTS contracts were the best ones, PRI had the highest prices, BCTS was a little lower but was mostly on fast land with easy specs. Canfor wasn't as great, prices were a little lower and the specs were a bit stricter. Wasn't a dedicated checker in camp so it was up to your crewboss and the mill checker, who at least with PRI showed up on the block most of the days we worked. They seemed relatively lax on on quality compared to other companies, but I think that was more the result of my super chill foreman.

I'd say they're overall a mid level company. You'll make good money, and there are some very strong planters there you can learn from if you're less experienced. Atmosphere is pretty chill, no one really talks about numbers or earnings. Parties are decent, there were a lot of musicians in camp, fair number of dogs as well (Zap alone had four).

AlexinWinnipeg
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Re: Windfirm

Post by AlexinWinnipeg » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:17 am

Worst company I have ever planted for I will never go back. I knew a few of the foreman there so after Zanzibar ran out of work in June I went up to smithers to do some summer planting and it was a nightmare. I understand summer planting is hard to come by and you shouldn't complain too much but it wasn't just the low prices and record-level daily lows I was getting, it was the complete lack of caring by management how much their planters were making, it was the awful food and non-existent food budget, it was having to supply your own toilet paper (Mcdonalds cares enough about their employees to give them something to wipe their ass with, Windfirm doesn't). Talking to the rookies and 2nd year people who did a whole season with them, they were doing 3 - 6 km walk-ins in the spring for 12 - 13 cents. This is simple robbery and taking advantage of people who don't know any better. It made me a bit sick to see 18 yearold rookies with lots of potential to be good planters being ruined by this experience. Anyway if you don't believe me and want to go do a season with them be my guest, but a warning to you vets it's not worth the extra work in july to put yourself through that meat grinder just wait for the fall on the island.

newb
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Re: Windfirm

Post by newb » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:28 am

AlexinWinnipeg wrote:Mcdonalds cares enough about their employees to give them something to wipe their ass with, Windfirm doesn't
lol, I really enjoyed that sentence.

Mike
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Re: Windfirm

Post by Mike » Sat May 31, 2014 3:47 pm

Updated contact info:

Windfirm Resources Inc.
P.O. Box 3292
Smithers, BC
V0J 2N0
Office: (250) 847-1405
Fax: (250) 847-1414
E-mail: office@windfirm.ca
apply@windfirm.ca
http://www.windfirm.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

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