EMPLOYEE STORIES – AARON KINCAID
After almost 10 years in total with Active Tree Services Arron Kincaid admits he still gets a rush from the job.
“Where else do you get to drive trucks, handle chainsaws and work around live power lines, and they pay you for it?” he asks.
In fact Arron likes the environment and company ethos so much he has worked for Active on two occasions.
He explains he first started in his early 20s after being recruited playing a social game of tennis.
“I used to play with one of the gentleman who’s high up in Active’s management for Victoria. I was a bricky’s labourer at the time. But he said ‘come and work with me’, so I did.”
Arron started as a chipper, moved to EWP operator and then progressed to team leader where he worked on Melbourne Council contracts for about 5½ years.
“Then one of my mates needed a hand on his family farm at Toolangi growing strawberry plants so I spent seven years doing that.”
Returning to Melbourne after his stint in the country, Arron touched base with Active management for a reference. Instead they asked him when he’d like to come back.
“Ahh Monday” was his reply, so he began his second stint with the company, returning to cutting. Within a year he was back to team leader and has now been a supervisor on the Monash Council contract for about 2½ years. His daily job includes overseeing the maintenance of street trees and managing foliage around power lines.
“My role differs these days,” he notes. “I used to cut all day but now it’s about doing the rounds, ensuring equipment is maintained, looking after the guys and prioritising what needs to be done. I’m more my own boss now.”
Challenges include liaising with residents to keep all parties happy, and of course “it can always be daunting around live wires”.
“But we’re trained well and I love the dangerous, scary stuff. It’s always fun and a challenge. The key is sussing it out fully before you do it. It keeps you really switched on.”
Memorable moments include clearing trees from powerlines and cars in Melbourne weather of up to 100km winds.
“About a year and a half ago we had a couple of months in a row where we were walloped every two to three days and we were all out cleaning up. When you’re doing that, it’s always good fun and rewarding.”
Also rewarding is the satisfaction of a job well done.
“It’s great to drive back through the suburbs and see all the streets and trees tidied and beautified.”
While he clearly loves the excitement of the job, Arron’s spare time is spent in a much more subdued manner but still enjoying nature.
“I love freshwater fishing,” he says. “I live close to the bush so do a little bush bashing to get to some great remote rivers, and I also like my golf.”
They’re the perfect leisurely accompaniments to a job packed full of excitement.