Before any tree work commences all equipment is maintained and checked that it is fit for purpose and each crew at Advantage Tree Care will carry out a job site safety assessment identifying the work involved, tools to be used and any specific site risks or hazards and an appropriate rescue plan in the event of an accident or emergency.
First Aid, PPE and Rescue
Along with trained first aid personnel and first aid kits, a spare rescue climbing kit goes out with each crew so that they know in the event of an emergency there is the correct equipment available and accessible for rescue.
PPE – personal protective equipment
The typical PPE equipment arborists use include;
- ear protection
- eye protection
- chainsaw pants (link clogger)
PPE is essential equipment for a safe and effective day at work, tree surgery is a high risk job. A lot of the machinery we use produces sound levels that without protection could cause severe hearing damage or loss. There are risks of being cut by saws, being crushed or pinned by machinery or large logs and multiple falling hazards.
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Saws & Pruners
Most of the work a climbing arborist performs involves the use of cutting tools from small hand pruners, pruning saws to top handle chainsaws and then to the large chainsaws for processing massive timber
Over the years the tools and technology has evolved and today you will see more arborists using battery powered chainsaws (link to Husqvarna website). These are for the most part more enjoyable and user friendly due to the fact that they do not produce the same level oof noise as a gas powered chainsaw and they also do not emit fumes or have a hot exhaust which can be a burn hazard for the climber.
In order to access a tree safely and efficiently a climber will need ropes and a harness along with other hardware to create a complete climbing set-up. There are a variety of techniques and pieces of equipment to access and move around a tree allowing the climber to make the most efficient choice depending on the tree species and whether the climber is pruning, removing or installing a cable system in a tree.
The bare essentials for climbing equipment are;
- Climbing rope
- Climbing harness
- A form of Prusik (rope or mechanical) to hold the climber in position and allow them to progress up the rope (tree)
- Carabiners to connect the climbing system together and to the climber.
- A lanyard which is essential when making any cut within the tree as a second point of attachment to the tree for working positioning purposes and as a safety line incase the climber’s main climbing line were to be cut, thus preventing a catastrophic fall.
Spurs, or no spurs
You may have seen climbers wearing spurs, spikes, climbing irons, gaffs. These are a useful piece of equipment for arborists. However, it is very important to consider that spurs puncture through the bark and cambium layers of a tree leaving multiple holes in the tree which are potential weak spots for pests or diseases to attack the tree cause poor health.
Spurs should only be used when removing a tree as in all other tree care operations it is essential to protect tree health which is where non-invasive climbing techniques are performed using ropes, ascenders and low impact climbing practices to access and move around the tree causing minimal damage.
For those of you that want a more detailed look at equipment specifics check out this article by ClimbingArborist.com
Chipper and truck
In order to manage and remove debris from the job site, a truck and chipper make for very effective and efficient tools as they can reduce down very bulk branch, wood material into much more easily manageable and transportable product which can also be reused as a mulch for gardens, yards pathways and other applications helping minimize the “waste” as a result of tree work. If you are looking for Woodchip in your area you maybe interested in an app GetChipDrop, which links residents looking for Woodchip with arborists providing Woodchip or firewood for free.
Clean up equipment
At Advantage Tree Care, we believe that once the job is complete the way the site is left needs to have the same care and attention that the tree work received. Therefore, it is essential to have effective and efficient clean up equipment such as rakes, blowers, bin, tarps and shovels leaving your Client’s property looking clean and tidy is part of providing high quality, professional tree care services.