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Spruce Pirate

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Everything posted by Spruce Pirate

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spruce Pirate

    Chainsaw refresher, a scam?

    What one is CS47? MEWP?
  5. Spruce Pirate

    Chainsaw refresher, a scam?

    Windblow would count, don't know the new number - possibly 302. But you might actually be cheaper doing the refresher. You'd need to do the large tree refresher for it to count.
  6. Spruce Pirate

    Makita/Dolmar EA7900 78cc ANY GOOD?

    You lose a bit of the bar length with these - but they look mean. They are pretty mean if you catch the troosers with them too!
  7. Spruce Pirate

    Makita/Dolmar EA7900 78cc ANY GOOD?

    Feb 2015! Wow. Where does the time go? As I said before the saw has had a few bits changed, but given it's now 3 1/2 years old that shouldn't be a surprise. Used mostly for forestry work, so a pretty hard environment to work in, running mostly 24" and 28" bars, occasionally down to a 20". No complaints from me.
  8. Spruce Pirate

    Makita/Dolmar EA7900 78cc ANY GOOD?

    I got a Dolmar 7910 from Shavey on here a couple of years back. Changed a few bits as they've broken, but no worse than any other saw that I've run. Still going strong and still really like the saw. Video of it here running a 28" bar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC5gpOgCd0U
  9. Spruce Pirate

    free fall dismantling large limbs

    What length is the limb. 12" diameter but relatively short has a very different dynamic to 12" but very long. Guessing you're talking about a fairly long limb if you're thinking of branch walking it to reduce it, but 6' long would be very different to 26' long in the way it reacts. Plus all the other caveats about species.
  10. Spruce Pirate

    Drowned Chainsaw

    I've drowned two a 353 and a 346. 353 dried out and fine, 346 needed a new pot and piston. Both were running when they went for their swim. Have dunked a couple when they've been switched off, dried out and no problems.
  11. Spruce Pirate

    Forwarders on the road

    It's even worse if you leave the band-tracks on!
  12. Spruce Pirate

    Forwarders on the road

    All the old FC machines were road registered as, technically, an FC road is the Queen's Highway and therefore all vehicles need to be road legal. If you're using a vehicle in the wood (FC woods) this is still the case, needs to be taxed, insured and MOT'd. The FC machines aren't registered anymore, but they definitely used to be, not sure what's changed in this. I've escorted a forwarder up the road in the past when I worked for FC as a student - one van in front, one van behind, radio contact between the vans and the machine telling the driver to pull over if traffic was needing passed (in either direction). Not a beacon or hi-vis vest in site but that was a few years ago now. The main draw-back with a purpose built machine is the speed to move it. If you're going any distance at all it is painfully slow.
  13. Chip was what I meant by 3m.
  14. What is the European audit about? To my way of thinking a little bit of wastage on the stump in wind-blow should be allowed by any auditors on safety grounds, rather than trying to recover every last scrap of timber.
  15. Stumps look fine (for windblow), but I'd be tidying up the end of the piece. I know it's only 3m, but, standards and all that! Are you down there for the next couple of weeks? I might try and drop in and see you as I'll probably be down around Ae at some point. Be interested to get a look at the machine.
  16. Spruce Pirate

    Is this the end?

    I totally agree. Far too many artificially low prices keep the price of logs down be it imports or hobby sellers. Doesn't change the fact that if your costs go up you should be able to put your prices up. Not actually trying to suggest it is that easy though. I'm glad I'm not in the firewood business.
  17. Spruce Pirate

    Is this the end?

    It seems every time the price of oil goes up petrol goes up in price at the pumps and heating oil goes up. Shouldn't be any different in the log market.
  18. Spruce Pirate

    Climbing without aerial rescue?

    Not spectacular, but a couple of months ago on a job, climbers rope got wrapped around a peg that he'd left on the way up, tied in a perfect half hitch, climbing on a prussic system. He was probably 50' - 60' in the canopy of a Scots pine unable to move down. The peg was too high to reach with the ladder and the rope wouldn't flick off from the ground. I climbed to the peg, un-wrapped his rope, descended and we carried on, easy peasy. No threat to life, no time constraints but technically I climbed the tree and "rescued" him. It could have been very embarrassing if I hadn't been able to climb. As far as the legalities of having a certified climber on the ground goes I'm pretty sure anyone looking at it from a legal stand point would say that certified doesn't cut it, they would have to be certified and competent. If it all goes horribly wrong and it comes down to and HSE investigation there's no way they'll look at a certificate for a rescue climber and say, "oh well, that's alright then". All sorts of awkward questions will start being asked, like the level of competence of the rescue climber and how is this documented, how is their competence maintained, when was the last time a rescue was practice? If you're sitting round the kitchen table with the men/women in shiny shoes with clipboards and a big frown on their intimidating faces you want to have a slightly better answer than, "uh, we put him through his climbing ticket 18 months ago, but he hasn't actually climbed a tree since then". All the legal stuff is quite secondary to the poor guy up the tree needing rescued though! I think most of us who have climbed for a while have probably done solo climbs or climbed knowing that the rescue climber isn't up to the job, myself included. Its on the ground risk management. If you're happy doing it then go ahead, but you need to remember if it all goes wrong you could be seven different shades of screwed, both legally and practically.
  19. In addition to all the above: Get a spill kit for the machine - keep one in the forwarder and bungee / ratchet strap one to the processor. Could do the same with first aid kits, a bit larger than a personal kit. Keep a site diary, note any problems, discussions with your cutters, etc - the FC just love paperwork. Wear gloves! They like the FISA Guide box ticking done too.
  20. Spruce Pirate

    Class of chainsaw protection

    For occasional use I'm pretty sure that they recommend type C with the all round protection, even for ground work. As far as class 1 or 2 goes you'd have to work out your chain speed which isn't overly easy. Bigger bar and chain is going to lower chain speed, changing pitch can affect the speed. I did have a pair of class 2's for a while, but there's more choice in class 1 trousers so I'm back with them. It's academic until you have an accident at which point you want as much protection as you can get. I'd be really interested to see some comparison tests between the different classes of trousers and saws running at different chain speeds. Don't know if there is any videos or such like out there.
  21. Spruce Pirate

    Quad question

    Quad is a great tool for moving materials and tools around, I'd miss it if we didn't have it on the jobs that warrant it. Easy to over-load though, and if you're carrying anything heavy you need to think about how to load it. Not great on side slopes in my opinion, if you're on steep ground better going straight up and down. We're running an old Kawasaki KLF 300, good enough for what I want, easy to pick up second hand for little cash. If you're using it a lot might want to think about something bigger and newer, but more cash - easier to get something road registered I'd think though. Video taking saws, fuel etc out along a ride - quad ideal for this sort of thing, less good for timber extraction type work.
  22. Always cold out east, but at least it's mostly dry - and the midges are nothing like as bad. Wait until you get a good midge day down in Ae!
  23. Spruce Pirate

    Climbing dead trees ? Any bad stories??

    I know it's an obvious question but could you not just have felled the whole thing into the wood and saved climbing it? Maybe the pictures don't do it justice and there's a good reason for not straight felling.
  24. Spruce Pirate

    Cedar of Lebanon Timber

    I've managed to get a few bits of Cedar of Lebanon timber from a recent job, was thinking to get a few of benches out of them, maybe some bird-houses. Am I right in thinking that Cedar is reasonably durable but not construction grade strong? Can some of the resident experts give me some advice? Many thanks.
  25. Spruce Pirate

    Cedar of Lebanon Timber

    Very nice. Joins in the timber for the house part are very well hidden.

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