Need Suggestions for Tripod Stand

Wild Thing

Member
RobbieH - Re: Family Tradition Treestands ... Just learned that Jack's wife has been in the hospital having surgery and he has been out of the office. I'm sure he will get back to you soon.
 

Jack Turner

New Member
Thanks, as always, for the kind words Wild Thing! My name is Jack Turner, the owner at Family Tradition Treestands.

First off, sorry for the delay. Frank is correct in the fact that my wife had surgery recently and it takes some time to get the "okay" to post here. We're a one trick pony and as the owner I answer every phone call and email, I'm sure you'll understand that my wife takes precedence over work any day. I never got the email RobbieH, must have gotten sucked into a spam folder. While I pride myself on customer service there are surely days when something can slip through the cracks, no doubt about it.

As Wild Thing alluded to, we manufacture high-end equipment here at Family Tradition. Although we're now 25 years old I bought the company 11 years back as I'd never seen a line of stands built the right way. In addition to our superior materials (for longevity & strength) we also utilize unique designs for what I would dare say are the strongest designs out there no matter what model you look at. The reason no other company will compete with our designs is the notion that none of them are actually manufacturers. Rather they are "importers" of products. I'm not bashing foreign made products, heck, it's the world we live in right? But the reality of their respective situations is that they need to design around a box; that box needs to be as small and flat as possible to minimize the freight on the slow boat from China.

What that means in reality is there is an infinite amount of assembly with their designs. We've all sat there in frustration with a wrench in hand trying to decipher instructions as we spend an inordinate amount of time on assembly. As a general rule these connections also produce the weak spots we're all familiar with that cause bowing, flexing and squeaking. To give you and example, we've welded so much of our best selling ladderstand that there are only 19 nuts/bolts!

Now, on the back side of the purchase this results in larger boxes. Larger boxes by default make them more expensive to ship when compared to other companies. That is exactly the reason you won't find prices on our website. We allow our dealer network to take that freight into account when establishing prices; the further you are from HQ the more cost associated with freight. I get thanked every year by some of our dealers for not posting prices as it confuses folks when they walk into a store and it costs more than what they may have seen elsewhere. In fact there was a minor rebellion from dealers when I bought the company and posted such info online. The majority of my sales come through dealers and I need to walk a fine line in keeping them happy to sell our products.

From the business standpoint we're the very definition of old school. I don't have fancy robotic welders and CNC benders around here, our guys are basically hand crafting treestands. In addition to the general office work I also take the product photographs, lay out the brochures, maintain the website and oversee day to day operations. It's the old joke that I'm the Head Janitor!

As it relates to our website and purchasing/pricing on there.... Again, our products are big, if I could UPS our products then the whole shipping gig would be a snap. The reality is much more complicated. Since 90% of my products require palletizing it adds a degree of complexity to shipping that I'm ill-equipped to deal with. Each order is very different, between the various products/quantities/destination and we simply haven't been able to figure out a good way of standardizing any of it for online ordering. Again, old school. We get a handful of freight quotes on every order and roll with the cheapest one that comes back. This laborious process saves the customer money instead of me making up an artificially high freight equation to ensure we don't lose big money on orders.

I'm fully aware that our business model frustrates some potential customers. We're knuckle-dragging cave-dwellers in today's Amazon oriented society. There are surely folks out there with an MBA from Harvard that would do a much better job than myself running this company. I'm just a regular dude trying to make a living with a product line that our customers love. Once I get my claws into a new customer we generally have them for life. Having said that, we're not for everyone due to our pricing. We are, however, here for the hunter that wants a better quality treestand experience than they've had in the past. I'm not naive, you'll be able to purchase a handful of the stands you linked to for the price of one of my tripods. But I have no doubts that mine will offer a completely different experience which always comes with a higher price tag. Regardless of the product consumers want the best quality at a bargain price but these are mutually exclusive ideas, they simply don't go hand in hand. One of our customers compared his stand to a Rolls Royce and although a Malibu is a fine car they really don't compare.

One can expect a single tripod to come in at over $700 and if a hunter wanted every accessory you would be just over $1,200.

Yikes, that was long winded! Much like our customers I'm passionate about our stands and my company. How many companies have customers that would keep posting in my absence? Yeah, I'm talking to you Wild Thing! I appreciate anyone that actually had the patience to read this, thank you very kindly for your time and consideration.
 

RobbieH

Member
Hi Jack. Thanks for the post. First and foremost, I hope all is well with your wife.
Thank you for clearing up some of the questions I had about your stands, such as why prices aren't on your website and a price range for the stands. We certainly do live in times where one wants to view an item online, see the price and shipping costs, and click the 'Buy' button. I understand, however, why you operate the way you do. I have no doubt your stands are of the highest quality.
I've been putting a lot of money into my house this year so unfortunately, I won't be able to purchase one of your stands at this time. It's not out of the question for the near future, but for now, I'll have to be stuck with a Malibu ;)
Thanks again for posting though. All the best to your wife and family.
 

Jack Turner

New Member
You have your priorities exactly right Robbie, working on a home costs real money! We'll be there in the future if you ever decide the timing is right.
 

RobbieH

Member
It's been a little over 2 months since my last post, so it's time for an update. I ordered the Sniper Outlaw tripod stand from Sportsmanguide.com. It was $179 plus I think about $30 for shipping. They have a special for members where there's the option to pay $45/month for 4 months. I went ahead and did that. https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/sniper-outlaw-16039-tripod-swivel-deer-stand?a=1952611

Shipping was pretty quick for an item of this size and weight. Got here in just under 1 week.
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It came in 2 boxes. 1 weighed around 50lbs and the other around 60lbs. The top of the tall box looks like it may have been dropped, but all the parts inside them were just fine.

Assembly for the top part and the 3 legs took a couple of hours. But some of that time was spent setting everything up, getting the tools needed, opening the boxes, separating all the parts, etc.
Once I got going, it was pretty easy to do.
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Here's the top part completed. The seat swivels 360* and doesn't make much sound when turning. The very small amount of sound it does make should be muffled by my hunting apparel and by the natural sounds of the great outdoors. The 37" base is fine for me. I'm hoping it'll be big enough to stand comfortably for a bow shot. On the floor to the left are the braces/supports for the legs.

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Here are the legs. The climbing one will be in the front center. The other two go in the back. They went together using inserts and 4 bolts per insert. They feel very solid.

The rest of the assembly will be done at the spot this stand will go in. It will just be bolting the 3 legs to the platform, standing it up, then attaching the cross braces. Then I'll secure it with the provided steaks and I'll most likely add something else to make it even more secure, like ratchet straps.

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One thing I am not too impressed with is how the shooting rail comes together. The shooting rail comes in 2 halves, which are connected by brackets. In the above pic, you can see how the two halves dip down where the bracket is. Everything is bolted down tight. There's just too much wiggle-room. The brackets should have been made to go inside the rail, not on the outside. Maybe some shims or a few beads of weld will keep it from moving. It's not a big deal, just don't want a nice buck scared off because my shooting rail moved! :)
Another complaint, more like annoyance, is that there are over 100 bolts and 100 nuts that come with this and come in several different sizes. They were all in one bag. It would have been great if they were packaged separately, by size.
Also, the seat padding is pretty thin. I'll be looking for a thicker fart-catcher to sit on so I don't get too uncomfortable.

So far I'm happy with this stand. I'll be sure to post more pics and thoughts on it after it's fully assembled.
 
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Drycreek

Well-Known Member
I have four tripods made by RealBark Hunting out of Henderson, Texas. They are the best tripods I've ever seen. Very few bolts, easy to move, and comfortable. Pricey, but very good. Mine are ten years old or older and still in good shape.
 

RobbieH

Member
I got the stand all set up. Connecting the legs and cross pieces was pretty easy. I placed it in a spot that was almost perfectly flat. I had to dig down under one of the back legs just a bit, then the stand was nice and level. It came with 3 long steel steaks that get hammered into an opening on each foot. They do a nice job of keeping the stand secure. I still plan on adding some straps from the legs to some nearby trees, for extra hold.
Climbing it using the smaller climbers on the front leg was new to me, but not difficult. When I get to the top, I have to go under the front part of the shooting rail to get into the stand. It's nothing I have trouble with, but I may modify it in the future. (maybe by cutting it, adding a hinge and latch to make it swing open and close). The entire stand feels solid. I feel comfortable climbing it, sitting, standing, and climbing down.
It's in a nice spot, tucked into some trees, over looking one of my plots. This plot is an acre big, maybe a little over. It's tucked between my cornfield and the woods, which horseshoe around it. So it's a nice little secluded area.
I have soybeans growing on half of it, by the stand. Then theres a brassica plot, then a grains plot, which I just seeded yesterday.
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The path between the woods and the edge of the corn field is where I come from, to get to this stand.

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Here it is with a blind around the shooting rail.

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This part of the field was seeded with a grains mix yesterday. You can see the brassica section, and beyond that are the soybeans. You can see the stand in the back.

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Here's a shot from the stand. Soybeans, brassicas, then what will be the grains.

So far so good with the stand. It seems secure, safe, well built. It was fairly easy to put together and should I need to ever move it, it wouldnt take too much work to collapse it and reassemble. Time will be the true test, but for around $200, it seems to be a very good stand.
 
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