The days are long. The job is labour intensive, and the work can be dangerous. But for 60-year-old arborist, Tim Burbadge, he is still having fun. He has spent more than half of his life dedicated to his skyscraping craft. And there are no signs of slowing down.
“It is a physical job, but I stay pretty active,” said Burbadge with laughter.
In 2019, he became the project manager of a newly established utility vegetation management company called 17 Trees, created by three Northern Ontario utilities: PUC Distribution Inc. in Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay Hydro Distribution Limited (NBHDL), and Greater Sudbury Hydro (GSH). The aerial landscaping company prevents contact of trees with high voltage wires in those three cities and their service areas, keeping customers safe and providing them with dependable electrical service by limiting unscheduled power interruptions.
In a profession that is usually contract and seasonal, Burbadge and his tight-knit co-workers embrace the regional, full-time work. “I was excited to join because it’s year-round, and we weren’t going to be moving across the country. Typically, every winter I would have to go to Alberta or the east coast,” said Burbadge. “None of this would happen without the team. They are the ones climbing every day. It’s a tough trade and I’m very appreciative of the guys.”
Click here to read Greater Sudbury Hydro, PUC Distribution/SSM and North Bay Hydro’s feature cover story in the fall issue of The Distributor.