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Steve Bullman

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About Steve Bullman

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  • Location:
    Suffolk
  • Occupation
    Freelance climber
  • City
    Ipswich

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  1. ECHO Tools UK has introduced a new catalogue of its comprehensive accessory and PPE ranges. Safety is always paramount when using power equipment and a good place to start is with protective clothing. Professional safety gear is essential for protection and comfort whilst working and ECHO offers two series: Performance Series and Pro-Tech Series. Both have been designed for the professional market and as such are also suitable for domestic users. Performance offers two styles of chainsaw trouser, both featuring six layers of blocking material for protection against accidental chainsaw contact. The chainsaw flex trousers have Polyamide and elastane for high flexibility and comfort, with Pezaflex aqua waterproof reinforcement for weather protection. High visibility with reflective elements is common to the chainsaw and brushcutter trousers in the Pro-Tech Series while being lightweight yet highly protective in extreme weather conditions. Heavy-duty gloves, chainsaw gloves, a multi-purpose helmet, protective sleeves and braces complete the PPE line-up. The ECHO range of accessories and consumables include oils and grease, batteries and chargers, harnesses, trimmer line, hedge trimmer tip guards, the Rotary Scissor Head and YOUCAN kits. ECHO batteries are specifically designed for ECHO electric power tools. Including both 2Ah and 4Ah variants, they fit the 50V or 58V Lithium-ion ranges and are interchangeable between selected tools in the range. The chargers and rapid chargers ensure batteries are topped up for maximum productivity. The Rotary Scissor Head is a brushcutter attachment which features two contra-rotating blades for safer, more precise cutting. ECHO trimmer lines are made for high durability and performance, being manufactured with copolymer resins and outstanding extrusion techniques. There are four ranges to suit all professional and consumer needs. There is also a range of versatile metal blades. Among the ECHO consumables are own-brand chain oils, two-stroke oils and grease for optimum lubrication and long-lasting protection. A sharp chain makes all the difference in cutting speed, productivity, comfort and safety. ECHO chainsaw files are high quality and help reduce servicing costs by maintaining a well-sharpened saw. There is also a complete range of guide bars and chains. By staying on top of recommended maintenance schedules, users not only prolong the life of their ECHO equipment, they also save time and money by reducing the possibility of large-scale repairs. YOUCAN is ECHO’s maintenance kit for tuning up a selection of chainsaws, brushcutters, hedge trimmers and power blowers. It comprises air filter, fuel filter and spark plug to keep tools ship-shape, with genuine ECHO replacement parts. ECHO batteries have a 2-year warranty, the Rotary Scissor Head has a 1-year domestic guarantee and 180-day professional warranty and ECHO clothing comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee. You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer. You can also visit https://www.echo-tools.co.uk/product-category/accessories/
  2. Treelife AC Ltd | Consultancy Services | Leicestershire WWW.TREELIFEAC.CO.UK Tree Life focuses on providing specialist training for those candidates who are studying towards attaining ABC qualifications in Arboriculture at Certificate and Diploma...
  3. Yep did have one previously. Was equally as good as the other products
  4. Is this the best cold weather clothing for tree surgeons? After many years I think I might have found it, and it comes in the form of Woolpower, merino wool clothing manufactured in the north of Sweden. Naturally you’d expect the Swedes to know a thing or 2 about dressing warm so it shouldn’t be any surprise that their range of clothing does exactly what its supposed to. But is it worth the price tag? What price do you put on comfort? Woolpower certainly isn’t the cheapest clothing on the market by a long shot, in fact as far as working clothes go its probably right at the top end of the market before you venture into designer labels. I have paid varying amounts for winter clothing over the years and have tried many different base layers from well known brands such as Helly Hanson, Under Armour, and Musto, to more generic brands. Its fair to say that most will do the job well enough, with perhaps just a few extra layers needed here and there as a top up. Having said that, there are many that will just make you sweat more with their poor wicking ability, and we all know what that means when it comes to break time on a cold day. Sometimes you can get lucky with cheaper brands, but in my experience you usually get what you pay for, certainly when jumping up to the next tier in the pricing bracket. WOOLPOWER ULLFROTTE ORIGINAL 200 I purchased my first Woolpower top around 10 years ago, opting at that time for their standard base layer the Ulfrotte Original 200 Turtle Neck. In my younger years I never really felt the cold too much and would usually get by in the winter with just a thin base layer and a t-shirt on top(after warming up of course). The Woolpower base layer was far warmer than anything I had worn before, in fact if would sometimes be too warm, specially in milder winters. But it really came into its own on crisp winter mornings, especially with the added wind chill factor. This is a light base layer with a comfortable athletic fit which is well suited to our type of work. The Merino wool does a great job of wicking sweat, and also dries reasonably quickly thanks to the addition of the 25% polyester in its composition. It also retains body heat even when it is damp. Like many of the Woolpower range, the Ullfrotte Original 200 comes with a longer back. This really comes into its own when wearing a harness, as the base layer doesn’t have the tendency to ride up like some others can. My only real gripe is that the material is more likely to snag than a smoother polyester base layer. I would therefore prefer not to wear this if clambering through something like Hawthorn. Likewise an arm full of brash repeatedly might well reduce its longevity by leaving it somewhat thread-picked. Additionally, the material does have a habit of attracting sawdust. Not really the end of the world as most of us are already used to going home covered in it! I have never been one for skimping on tools and I view work clothing as another tool. One could argue that they can just get a cheap base layer and use it for everything, and whilst that’s true, its nice to have something a bit more luxurious to wear, and smarter looking too! Theres one stand out feature that your other half will certainly appreciate. Due to the mostly Merino Wool composition and less polyester compared to many other brands, there’s no more Smelly Helly syndrome. “A friend of mine” was known on occassion to wear his on consecutive days and still smell fresh at the end. WOOLPOWER ULLFROTTE ORIGINAL 400 This is my most recent purchase and although I’m no longer climbing trees, it is my go to top whenever out surveying or going on long dog walks with the family. Although Outwear’s website lists this as a mid layer, I would personally describe the Ullfrotte Original 400 as a mid to top layer, for the UK at least. I personally wear this as a jacket (on dry days), or even for just lounging in the house rather than putting the heating on. For the most part this keeps me warm with just a t-shirt underneath. We haven’t had too hard of a winter so far, although having said that we had our first lot of snow here in Suffolk today. With just a t-shirt and thin jumper underneath I was more than comfortable. Be careful though, add too may layers beneath this and you’re going to start over heating pretty quick. Like the 200, it has the longer back which really helps keep the wind out. The full zip keeps your neck warm, whilst being easy to unzip at any point to let some air in. A nice addition to this design is the roll down cuffs with thumb holes which are perfect for keeping your wrists warm whilst still allowing the use of your fingers for tasks that gloves would make more awkward. I would certainly avoid having these rolled down whilst doing physical work however, for some of the reasons mentioned earlier, but for surveying or just out walking its a nice little added luxury. Its always a disappointment when this top has to go in the wash! Woolpower Socks Hard to get too excited about winter socks, nor could I find it in me to write a decent lengthy review on them, so I’m just going to sneak a paragraph into this review right here. Put your money in your wallet and buy them is all I can say. They aren’t cheap, but nor are they going to break the bank either. I have 2 pairs that are 10 years old now. Admittedly I don’t wear them a lot these days but still break them out occasionally. Only really one draw back with these, the sawdust does like to cling to them, and unless you have the patience to pick every spec out, a lot of this ends up getting chucked in the washing machine with the rest of your work clothes. I found wearing pair of Pfanners with the elastic gator clips helped minimise this to some extent. Summary The Woolpower range is top end winter clothing for arborists who don’t mind spending the extra for some added comfort. If like me you are past your energetic 20’s, you will know all too well how the cold can really make your joints stiffen up. The styles throughout the range are very ‘arb’ in my opinion, have a look of quality, and certainly make you look more presentable. The performance of the merino wool over polyester alternatives is a game changer, and coupled with the overall style, fit, and comfort of the range, it has to be amongst one of my favourite brands of warm outdoor gear for work or play.
  5. Is this the best cold weather clothing for tree surgeons? After many years I think I might have found it, and it comes in the form of Woolpower, merino wool clothing manufactured in the north of Sweden. Naturally you’d expect the Swedes to know a thing or 2 about dressing warm so it shouldn’t be any surprise that their range of clothing does exactly what its supposed to. But is it worth the price tag? What price do you put on comfort? Woolpower certainly isn’t the cheapest clothing on the market by a long shot, in fact as far as working clothes go its probably right at the top end of the market before you venture into designer labels. I have paid varying amounts for winter clothing over the years and have tried many different base layers from well known brands such as Helly Hanson, Under Armour, and Musto, to more generic brands. Its fair to say that most will do the job well enough, with perhaps just a few extra layers needed here and there as a top up. Having said that, there are many that will just make you sweat more with their poor wicking ability, and we all know what that means when it comes to break time on a cold day. Sometimes you can get lucky with cheaper brands, but in my experience you usually get what you pay for, certainly when jumping up to the next tier in the pricing bracket. WOOLPOWER ULLFROTTE ORIGINAL 200 I purchased my first Woolpower top around 10 years ago, opting at that time for their standard base layer the Ulfrotte Original 200 Turtle Neck. In my younger years I never really felt the cold too much and would usually get by in the winter with just a thin base layer and a t-shirt on top(after warming up of course). The Woolpower base layer was far warmer than anything I had worn before, in fact if would sometimes be too warm, specially in milder winters. But it really came into its own on crisp winter mornings, especially with the added wind chill factor. This is a light base layer with a comfortable athletic fit which is well suited to our type of work. The Merino wool does a great job of wicking sweat, and also dries reasonably quickly thanks to the addition of the 25% polyester in its composition. It also retains body heat even when it is damp. Like many of the Woolpower range, the Ullfrotte Original 200 comes with a longer back. This really comes into its own when wearing a harness, as the base layer doesn’t have the tendency to ride up like some others can. My only real gripe is that the material is more likely to snag than a smoother polyester base layer. I would therefore prefer not to wear this if clambering through something like Hawthorn. Likewise an arm full of brash repeatedly might well reduce its longevity by leaving it somewhat thread-picked. Additionally, the material does have a habit of attracting sawdust. Not really the end of the world as most of us are already used to going home covered in it! I have never been one for skimping on tools and I view work clothing as another tool. One could argue that they can just get a cheap base layer and use it for everything, and whilst that’s true, its nice to have something a bit more luxurious to wear, and smarter looking too! Theres one stand out feature that your other half will certainly appreciate. Due to the mostly Merino Wool composition and less polyester compared to many other brands, there’s no more Smelly Helly syndrome. “A friend of mine” was known on occassion to wear his on consecutive days and still smell fresh at the end. WOOLPOWER ULLFROTTE ORIGINAL 400 This is my most recent purchase and although I’m no longer climbing trees, it is my go to top whenever out surveying or going on long dog walks with the family. Although Outwear’s website lists this as a mid layer, I would personally describe the Ullfrotte Original 400 as a mid to top layer, for the UK at least. I personally wear this as a jacket (on dry days), or even for just lounging in the house rather than putting the heating on. For the most part this keeps me warm with just a t-shirt underneath. We haven’t had too hard of a winter so far, although having said that we had our first lot of snow here in Suffolk today. With just a t-shirt and thin jumper underneath I was more than comfortable. Be careful though, add too may layers beneath this and you’re going to start over heating pretty quick. Like the 200, it has the longer back which really helps keep the wind out. The full zip keeps your neck warm, whilst being easy to unzip at any point to let some air in. A nice addition to this design is the roll down cuffs with thumb holes which are perfect for keeping your wrists warm whilst still allowing the use of your fingers for tasks that gloves would make more awkward. I would certainly avoid having these rolled down whilst doing physical work however, for some of the reasons mentioned earlier, but for surveying or just out walking its a nice little added luxury. Its always a disappointment when this top has to go in the wash! Woolpower Socks Hard to get too excited about winter socks, nor could I find it in me to write a decent lengthy review on them, so I’m just going to sneak a paragraph into this review right here. Put your money in your wallet and buy them is all I can say. They aren’t cheap, but nor are they going to break the bank either. I have 2 pairs that are 10 years old now. Admittedly I don’t wear them a lot these days but still break them out occasionally. Only really one draw back with these, the sawdust does like to cling to them, and unless you have the patience to pick every spec out, a lot of this ends up getting chucked in the washing machine with the rest of your work clothes. I found wearing pair of Pfanners with the elastic gator clips helped minimise this to some extent. Summary The Woolpower range is top end winter clothing for arborists who don’t mind spending the extra for some added comfort. If like me you are past your energetic 20’s, you will know all too well how the cold can really make your joints stiffen up. The styles throughout the range are very ‘arb’ in my opinion, have a look of quality, and certainly make you look more presentable. The performance of the merino wool over polyester alternatives is a game changer, and coupled with the overall style, fit, and comfort of the range, it has to be amongst one of my favourite brands of warm outdoor gear for work or play. View full review
  6. We'll agree to disagree there and put it to bed I think 😃
  7. I couldn't even get someone to design the UI for that I doubt 😀
  8. Not since about 1975 😀
  9. Yes you absolutely need chainsaw boots. They won't allow these on a course.
  10. Plenty of nurses on 35k +. The figures quoted for their wages I don't believe include all the added incentives such as unsocial hours etc. Plus if you know how to play the game you cut your shift hours right back and then take bank shifts instead which is more money still. My ex was a nurse and i've seen the pay slips before you dispute this. When all's said and done I don't believe the money in nursing is as bad as is made out.
  11. I took the loan on advice form my accountant, like he said you'll never find cheaper money. I think the problem is that everyone would have taken it, including those whose businesses were in trouble pre-covid. And there theres the other businesses form some industries, who lets face it don't have a hope of getting through this. A LOT of those loans will never be paid back. One of my accountants clients has 5 different limited companies which were all entitled to the maximum loan amount. He literally had £250,000 in his account within 24 hours.
  12. I always used to carry 2 top handled saws, one as a backup. Never bothered more recently so that was additional savings aswell.
  13. my smaller saws were forever going into the shop with running issues. Seems the carbs are more sensitive on them than larger saws. Had zero fuel related issues after switching to Aspen. Time saved in chin wagging in my multiple visits alone probably made up for the extra fuel cost.
  14. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/markets/article-9154527/Banks-charge-35-emergency-loans-Crippling-rates-loom.html#comments

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