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Spruce Pirate

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Everything posted by Spruce Pirate

  1. Spruce Pirate

    Advice on woodland planting

    My thoughts would be that clay might be a bit heavy for Douglas? Tend to think of Dougals growing in lighter soils. Norway spruce? Would Corsican pine grow? Not totally sure of the CP, rarely see it round our way. What about short rotation broadleaf? Poplar? Southern beech (Nothofagus)? Eucalyptus? All pretty much well out of my sphere of knowledge soils wise, but mostly pretty harvestable with a machine and you're pretty far into the tropical south down there. The thinking down the road forty years is a difficult game to play, in 1979 few people would have imagined the technology available to us today. I'd imagine in your part of the world that there is probably a big shortfall in softwood timber in the future so might be a good idea to plant some, but the flip side of that is that there might not be a ready market for it. Experience would suggest that whatever you plant will sell if it's good stuff. Keep it clean and straight, which is to say plant at the right density, keep the vermin out and weed and prune if necessary. Even the best of timber species are just firewood if they've got a lot of poor form and rot in them.
  2. Spruce Pirate

    Small planting job near Taunton

    I'll do it if you pay the diesel and put me up in some swanky digs!
  3. Spruce Pirate

    nptc cs 44

    Excuse my stupidity..... but what does this actually mean? I've read it three times now and I still don't understand.
  4. Spruce Pirate

    Husqvarna 365

    20" is fine, I've always found they'll pull a 24" alright, but wouldn't go as far as 28. Always found them good reliable saws.
  5. Spruce Pirate

    Rewilding in the UK: What is it and why is it Important?

    Woods and forests haven't seen a sharp decline over the past years. Been steadily increasing since 1919!
  6. Spruce Pirate

    Starting out in forestry

    Dunno, I'm just a woodcutter, not a statistician.
  7. Spruce Pirate

    Starting out in forestry

    I'll be less gentle: Forestry is brutal, your back will hurt, your hands will hurt, your knees will hurt, you'll be too cold, too wet, to hot, you'll get scratched, cut and bitten. You need a lot of knowledge on specs, trees and treatments, you'll have unreasonable people making unreasonable demands of you. The money is often not great, sometimes still on piece work so you really have to go to make your wage. If you do it for long enough you or someone you work with / have worked with is almost certain to have a fairly serious accident and you have to deal with that. It is certainly not for everyone. I have folk looking for work from me on a fairly regular basis, they all have to pass a few subtle tests to get a chance - not that I think I'm special and like putting people to the test, but it's a waste of both our times to have someone who thinks that commercial forestry is going to be all swanning about a wood like Winnie the Pooh looking at butterflies and bluebells (you can of course find ways of doing this if it is your thing, either recreationally or professionally). New starts always get the crappy, repetitive, monotonous jobs (stacking, banksman, re-spacing, clearing ditches, the list is practically endless!) - if you can cope with that you're worth developing, it's normally an excellent way of learning the whole job from the bottom up, it also makes most people far better at doing jobs further up the chain as they have a decent understanding of the work and a certain empathy with anyone who you may later be asked to look after / supervise. If after a day you've decided it isn't for you then it probably isn't. If you decide to go back then take the time to think about the job and ask questions. How much is the chip actually worth? How much will be chip produced? What other markets are available for that size and species of timber in the volume it will be produced in? I'd be very surprised if it turned out to be a waste of money. If you've got this far I'd stick with it, you never know you might be one of the perverse bunch of people who actually enjoy forestry work. If you don't you've only lost a week or so out of your life, shame to give up after the first day though.
  8. Spruce Pirate

    Starting out in forestry

    Forestry work is normally pretty brutal, he probably figures if you can make a go of three days stacking and still able to hack it and willing to stick around then you're worth something. If after three days you've had enough and want to jack it in then you'll both have learned something.
  9. Spruce Pirate

    Echo CS281-WES melted exhaust cover.

    I had exactly the same problem. Hot day, put the saw down, think it got knocked over onto the side so it was resting on the plastic, seemed to be enough to get the plastic to contact the exhaust and melted. I'd had the saw a fair while, just assumed it was an unfortunate incident. Plastic cover is now off, saw runs fine - just got to be careful to not touch the hot exhaust against anything. Should probably get a replacement cover really.
  10. Spruce Pirate

    Setting out tree planting

    Much the same as above, I used to use canes and tape (easily carried on a re-stock), put several out in the row if the ground undulates and you can't see from end to end. Measure distance between the rows and in the row with the spade, two spade lengths gave about 1.8m spacing, can't remember the exact measurement now. If you need different spacings it's just a matter of adding a handle or some other mark to the length and you're good to go. Very satisfying now looking across the hill and being able to see all the nice straight rows that I planted. It was Hell at the time of course!
  11. Spruce Pirate

    Van Racking systems

    I've had racking in the last 4 or so vans, the first two done DIY by me, the last two pre fitted. Racking is great, makes things much more secure and give you much more utilisable space. Best advice if you're getting a custom system is to think what you want to carry, what you need to be handy and what can sit at the back until it's needed. Spending a good it of time at the planning stage will save you going into the back every time and cursing yourself for not thinking it out properly in the beginning.
  12. Spruce Pirate

    Anyone using a Dolmar 6100 for Forestry Felling?

    Wish I'd known that a week ago! How much would that be going for? Or is it for your own use?
  13. Spruce Pirate

    Anyone using a Dolmar 6100 for Forestry Felling?

    Yeah, I think it's just horses for courses. When I started on a saw it was thinnings, normally 40cc - 50cc saws, 13" bars, 15" absolute max. Most of that work has now gone to machines, hand cutters predominantly left with the big stuff.
  14. Spruce Pirate

    Anyone using a Dolmar 6100 for Forestry Felling?

    I used a 6100 for a wee while on demo from Shavey. Quite liked it, but it was a bit clunky for serious snedding, I didn't think it revved up as well as an equivalent Husky. OK for felling, OK for snedding, good all round farmers saw, not fully up to speed for proper forestry work, although if money is tight and you're after a single saw to use as a jack of all trades then it would be good. Might depend on what you're doing with it, I'm mostly softwood (ie Sitka spruce), if you're doing hardwood might be different. Have to disagree with that a bit Jonathon, depends too much on what you're doing. Small stuff small saw is alright, but if you're doing a lot of felling of larger trees - which is what forestry mostly consists of around here - then a big saw is, in my opinion, better.
  15. Spruce Pirate

    how much do tree surgeons earn

    Ahhhhh. Fair play.
  16. Spruce Pirate

    how much do tree surgeons earn

    £30 an hour not including travelling between jobs? Hardly daylight robbery!
  17. Spruce Pirate

    Which Chainsaw for Forestry

    Each to their own, I listen to a saw practically every day, I like a bit of music every now and then. Got to love the outsiders with the big limbs! 2 - 3 fills per tree and you know you're working for your money! I've seen us two man it with one going along with a wee saw knocking the branches off the another following with a bigger saw trimming the paps back flush with the stem.
  18. Spruce Pirate

    Which Chainsaw for Forestry

    Depends what sort of forestry you're doing. Big, oversize stuff I take two saws into the wood, big saw (24" bar at least) for felling, wee saw (18" bar) for snedding. If it's only felling stuff for a harvester I'd have one saw, 20" or 24" bar depending on tree size, generally go with the bigger bar as it's surprising how many trees are bigger than 20" on a clearfell and the time it saves working from one side of the tree to the other, I know other folk that like the smaller bar though as the reckon the chain speed is faster. Wee stuff I'd have an 18" bar for felling and snedding. Rarely do much full on snedding these days as it's mostly working to a harvester or fell to waste, if I was snedding I might think about a 15". Back in the thinnings days it always used to be 13" bars and wee saws. Currently running mostly Husky 560 and 576 or Dolmar 7910 for these bars, can use a 28" on the Dolly without too much bother or use the 395. Stihls are mostly a waste of time for softwood felling IMO as they don't rev fast enough, tried the Dolmar 6100 and wasn't overly impressed with it for a production saw - more suited to firewood. Husky 390 is a good popular saw for softwood clearfell. I like the look of both the 572 and Stihl 462 but might wait a while before trying to make sure any issues with either are ironed out. Both, so far, seem to have popular feedback. Hardwood is a different game altogether, not my forte. Video below was done with 560 on an 18" bar, perfect for that sort of size of stuff. Bigger stuff, bigger saw.
  19. Spruce Pirate

    Powered Pruner PPE UK

    I've done similar to this, but without catching the trigger, I'll be more careful if I'm doing it again! However, as far as the H&S officer in the OP is concerned she's not going to be happy with: a) leaning a ladder against something like a mog b) working from the top of a vehicle c) leaving a pole-pruner running while climbing from a) to b) d) pulling the pole-pruner up while it is running so can't see the OP getting the chance to replicate the circumstances.
  20. Spruce Pirate

    Powered Pruner PPE UK

    For what it's worth, when I did the certificate for the powered pole-pruner the assessor asked if we needed to wear saw trousers when using it. He was quite happy with the reply that we didn't need to, but probably would be as likely to be using it in conjunction with a saw on the ground anyway. Don't have that in writing, obviously.
  21. Spruce Pirate

    Chainsaw refresher, a scam?

    Totally agree this is HSE driven. However, the current approach doesn't seem to be working - the accident and fatality rate is still too high. Refresher training simply doesn't seem to be working, it only seems to be giving work to trainers while making the work-force poorer and generating ill will. I am not against training, I'm not even against refresher training, but it seems to be a box ticking exercise at present and I'm against that. The whole system needs an overhaul if you ask me, but that's a massive subject and I'm not about to tackle it all here. Bleeding to death while trying to blag your way through ^^^ is a pretty grizzly thought and one that we should pay more heed to. Instead of assessing skills a day's refresher might be more effective if the effects of an accident are pointed out. Quite graphically. Pictures of accidents, lots of blood, broken bones, flattened body parts, families sitting on the couch missing dad (or mum) brings things home a lot quicker than just doing what you do for a living. Most of us know how to cut trees, most of us don't like to think of the effects of an accident but getting us to do so might just make a difference. My kids are 11, 8 and 4; what happens to them if I don't come home from work tomorrow? That thought is likely to keep me a lot safer than any of the current refresher courses we have on offer! The same does apply to driving, although the whole driving test vs chainsaw certification is not really relevant to anything in my opinion.
  22. Spruce Pirate

    Chainsaw refresher, a scam?

    Can't speak for the arb side of things, but forestry is a 3 - 5 year refresher. 3 years if part time saw use, 5 years if it's full time saw use. Have to refresh the "highest ticket", so in my case windblow. Could be small trees or large trees depending on which tickets you hold. The refresher course is only one day, and cost should be around £125 - £150 (at least that's what I've been quoted and told others have paid). There does seem to be a bit of confusion as to whether or not refreshing a windblow ticket actually counts as refresher for tree felling, but at the moment that seems to be the case and long may it continue as otherwise we'll be doing more refreshing than we will work! And, yes, it will get a bit spendy! Is it all a scam? In my opinion yes. It is all dressed up as keeping us safe and healthy, but the reality is that it is a scheme designed to keep company directors from having to face corporate manslaughter charges if something goes tits up and trainers have seen an opportunity to expand their revenue stream (I could be a lot less polite about trainers). A safe cutter will still be safe at the end of a refresher course and a dangerous cutter will still be dangerous at the end of a refresher course, all that will have been achieved is that both will be a bit poorer. Good work slipping "amortise" into a post.
  23. Spruce Pirate

    Chainsaw refresher, a scam?

    Think that's OK for a climbing refresher, but don't think it would count for ground based tickets. Not in a forestry context anyway.
  24. Spruce Pirate

    Chainsaw refresher, a scam?

    What one is CS47? MEWP?

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