Myth Busters

What you’ll see below is some of the tinsel, followed by the truth behind the hot air.
Just because it’s included in their marketing material doesn’t mean it’s accurate.

Local Authority Approved Contractor
Rubbish – there are 433 Local Authorities in England and not one of them has an approved contractor list and you are very unlikely to get anybody from an LA to recommend any tradesman, regardless of profession. They may use sub-contractors but these contracts are awarded following a competitive tender process and do not constitute approved status

All Work carried out in accordance with Best Practice
Maybe – but only if they have all the necessary training and experience AND they have read and understood what this means. It is worth asking what they mean by ‘Best Practice’ because some use this phrase simply because others have done the same.

Competitive Pricing
Not always – there are many examples of companies offering to do the work for almost half of what another may have quoted – BUT they often neglect to say what you are likely to get for this. It is worth asking because cheaper quotations are cheaper for a reason –for example; less men, smaller equipment and a less proficient service AND it may be that this is a day rate rather than a fixed quotation

Fully Insured
Maybe – the minimum legal requirement is Public Liability insurance (usually £2 million minimum) but if the contractor is giving advice on tree care and future management then they should carry Professional Indemnity insurance as well (usually £250,000 minimum).
Additionally, there are a number of contractors out there who have saved a few quid by informing their insurers that they are predominantly landscapers and that tree work accounts for only a small percentage of their annual business – this won’t help if the worst happens.

Fully Qualified
Maybe – but unlikely and only if they have certification for ALL those operations and services which they are offering.
“Fully Qualified as what?” might be a good opening question. ‘Fully’ is a huge range which includes NPTC certification for every operation as well as a nationally recognised certificate in the operation of a MEWP (Mobile Elevating Work Platform) – the difference between qualified and competent can be substantial and, of the two, it is usually best to choose competence as many well qualified contractors are fresh from college and have little experience despite their impressive document library.

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