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Spruce Pirate

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Everything posted by Spruce Pirate

  1. Spruce Pirate

    Pricing emergency work

    I charge a premium for emergency call out works if it's a client such as yours and I've got to drop everything to go and sort it out. As much as I can get away with, normally aiming for around double normal rate. On the other hand, if it's the proverbial little old lady down the street who needs something done in an emergency then I'd be quite happy working for normal rates, or even done stuff for less and free of charge depending on what and who it is.
  2. Spruce Pirate

    Larch tree not thriving

    Whereabouts in the country are you? Difficult to tell from photo's. Larch could be Phacidium coniferarum if it's just the very tips of the shoots. Could be Phytopthora ramorum which would be more serious. Some areas of the country are much more likely to be affected by P. ramorum. Juniper could be Phytopthora austrocedrae but could also be a number of other things, including wind or mammal damage. P. austrocedrae is the only pathogen I can think of. You can use Tree Alert to notify the FC if you're concerned. https://www.forestry.gov.uk/treealert
  3. Spruce Pirate

    Planting Drones.

    There won't be any forestry workers, just drone operators.
  4. Spruce Pirate

    How do people get awsy with it.

    Any pictures of it now?
  5. Spruce Pirate

    How to crosscut limbs longer than bar length.

    Find out which pub your local woodcutter frequents. Offer to buy him several pints if he'll show you what you want to know. Make sure you do the chainsaw bit before the pints.
  6. Spruce Pirate

    Humboldt Cut Spruce Trunk

    Think I'd prefer the Humbolt, with a good scarf each side of the hinge. The downward slope of the gob does a better job of pushing the stick off the stump, but only my opinion, and would depend on the exact situation. In general I think things jump from the stump much better with a Humbolt cut.
  7. Spruce Pirate

    Full loads of larch required.

    Sorry for derail to original thread, but if anyone's interested this should be the latest map from FCS: http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/images/corporate/pdf/p-ramorum-update-map-21-apr-2017.pdf
  8. Spruce Pirate

    Full loads of larch required.

    It's pretty widespread in SW Scotland - and spreading.
  9. Spruce Pirate

    Humboldt Cut Spruce Trunk

    That in Balfron Tim? It's a really nice cut if you want to get things to jump of the stump. I've used it a lot. I think the extra cut below the gub technically makes that a Swanson that you've used. Difficult to get cuts to match when you first start using a Humbolt or Swanson when you're used to a conventional cut.
  10. Spruce Pirate

    Who pays for delays...?

    If we're doing clearance work for engineering firms I always price an hourly rate into the quote to cover downtime caused by their delays/incompetence. This covers manpower and machinery on site. There always seems to be something not done or that all of a sudden needs done, or all of a sudden can't be done or just takes three times as long to do as you'd think that affects what we want to do and our ability to do it. None of these things are normally mentioned when I price the job or discuss it with them. Result is they have to pay for the downtime, never had any issue with it, a lot of projects seem to have bucket loads of money thrown at them, and a wee bit extra to the tree guys doesn't seem to make much difference. I can imagine a domestic client being slightly different though.
  11. Spruce Pirate

    Old forestry tractor on gumtree

    I definitely drove it at some point, about 19 or 20 years ago or so. I think it has aged better than me!
  12. Spruce Pirate

    Asking for trouble?

    The FISA guides say stack should be built and maintained in a stable condition. Hand stacking generally not to exceed 1m in height and not generally exceed 2m in height for machine stacked. Stacks to be on level ground, not slopes, etc. The 2m thing is, in my experience, very rarely upheld - most often sites aren't cleaned out quickly enough and there isn't enough room to stack if you don't go over this height. The general rule used is that stacks shouldn't exceed in height the length of the product. i.e., 3m product stack no higher than 3m. FISA 304 Chainsaw cross-cutting.pdf FISA 503 Extraction by forwarder.pdf
  13. Spruce Pirate

    Wind blown trees

    Including side tension. Too easy to overlook sometimes.
  14. Spruce Pirate

    The cost £ of bad weather

    Sadly not. Didn't used to take a camera to work in those days. Pity really.
  15. Spruce Pirate

    The cost £ of bad weather

    I used to work with a log chute on 1st thinnings extraction. It was crap in the dry weather, logs used to stick in it all the time, to the point you'd have to tip a 5 gallon drum of water down it a couple of times a day. In the wet it worked much better and bits would fly down and out. Of course, working the log chute was it's own particular brand of Hell, and wet weather made working conditions worse, but it certainly helped to get the tonnage out.
  16. Spruce Pirate

    The next generation

    Do you know when the others in the sketch came down David? Also do you know how long you expect the remaining tree to last? I love to see the replacement, but can't help wondering if it should have been done ten, twenty, thirty years earlier? Sorry, that sounds really negative, and I don't mean it as a criticism, just wondering.
  17. Spruce Pirate

    Damn right! A MUST READ.

    The whole thing's a bloody disgrace. Through the head payments have to be the way forward. Ridiculous way to treat people.
  18. Spruce Pirate

    Why is my felling lever rubbish.

    OK, but it wasn't me who derailed it in the first place and see my post on page one of the thread in relation to banging the hook in.
  19. Spruce Pirate

    Why is my felling lever rubbish.

    I have to agree with both of you here. I've watched guys who've done courses recently trying to fell trees with barely any gob cut out and a hinge that would hold the Queen Mary. They're bashing away with wedges and bars struggling to get a tree on the deck when all they need to do is cut it right. That said, you can't fell a back leaner the way you want simply by gubbing it and putting the back cut in, gravity will get in they way every time. Felling levers, wedges, winches, ropes, diggers, jacks, whatever felling aid you choose have their place, you just have to learn when you need to use them.
  20. Spruce Pirate

    Why is my felling lever rubbish.

    If you want to roll big logs a proper cant hook is better. Since I got the bigger felling bar, 4' like Skyhuck's, I very rarely use the wee one. I find you need to give the hook a good kick to get it to bite if you're using it as a cant hook, or even a couple of taps with the hammer/axe if it really won't bite. Bigger bar gives more leverage for felling too. Obviously this is ground based, up the tree wee bar is lighter and easier to handle.
  21. Spruce Pirate

    Felling wedges

    This is probably the best advice so far.
  22. Spruce Pirate

    Felling wedges

    I like Stihl wedges, varying sizes, a couple of each. Long lasting and durable. Hi-lifts have there place, but most of the time they're too bulky to carry about the place (might be different if you're in arb all the time and never that far from the van). They also taper too quickly if you need to get something heavy/leaning over, you're better off with a thinner taper to get it moving. If you need more lift as the tree goes up just stack a couple together with a bit of sawdust in between.
  23. Spruce Pirate

    Rates for Self Employed Handcutters

    I'd say minimum £120/day. Assuming you've got FISA refresher status and First Aid tickets too. And that you're working on a self-employed basis, putting in full shifts and capable of turning up and getting the job done. You might find that what you should be charging and what you can charge are two different things.
  24. Spruce Pirate

    Rate My Hinge.

    Cut to length if we have to, only if the harvester has already moved site or is too far away to make it back to process a couple of trees. Most of the time fell and run out if needed until the machine can cope with the branches, knock a log or even two off if the trees are too big. How much processing depends on which harvester is on site. Carrying stuff in can be a job in itself, especially up hill, but if you get a kind operator with a big cab it can help. Often need to buy them some spray cleaner for the cab afterwards!
  25. Spruce Pirate

    Rate My Hinge.

    Agreed, the fibre pull was just a thought as it does seem to increase with a low back cut and a normal thickness in the hinge. Low back cut also gives better control over direction, particularly if there's a bit of a side lean. Luftwaffe, these trees were in groups, each seemed to block the other from felling across the racks. It was easier to fell them in with the jack and with the angle of the rack there were only a few branches on the timber the harvester had felled. The forwarder knew we were coming and could have cleaned it out the day before but didn't, so.......

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