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Author Topic: New to felling trees  (Read 2028 times)

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Offline Timberline

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New to felling trees
« on: March 25, 2021, 03:29:06 PM »
I asked a question in a different part of the forum about best bar and chains for some new clone saws I purchase recently. But I wanted to hone in on a specific question: What is the best bar length for felling trees? Iím fairly new to felling and would like to start felling larger trees up to 30Ē+. I bought a MS660 clone just for this purpose. Is it best to buy a bar that is at least 2 inches bigger than the tree I am cutting? If Iím cutting say a 28Ē tree, is a 30Ē bar the best?

Thanks 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 03:42:46 PM »
Im gonna be blunt here out of concern, not disrespect or malice.  


That question is a red flag that you are looking at trees that are out of your league right now.   You may try it and survive and learn and maybe grow to be a bonafide slayer some day... but for today... luck is not a good thing to rely on when trying to tell a big old tree who is boss.  



Start smaller.  Please.  Im sure youve got a family that wants you intact.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 03:48:33 PM »
You did come to the right forum.. People here will help you get educated without ridicule .. Im just saying slow down a minute.  Because a real faller can probably lay out a 30" tree with a 14" bar and not get hurt or barberchair.  Armed with the wrong info, any tree can 'chair your head into the next county no matter what equipment you have.  


I am a just try it and see guy and its nearly killed me a few times. 
Psalm 37:16

Offline mudfarmer

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2021, 04:23:16 PM »
Also not being disrespectful but just relating my experience:
Read this whole section of the forum, front to back-- it's awesome and you will be amazed at how the varied information and perspectives help broaden your approach and thought process regarding all sorts of tasks not just cutting trees.

To give you some info in the vein of the question, trees are often referred to by their diameter but this is probably "diameter at breast height" and trees are tapered not straight. So if you have a 28" DBH tree the butt flare and root swell are going to mean it is some random amount larger where you cut than at breast height, entirely dependent on that tree. Some of these guys run crazy long bars because they need them regularly but sometimes you just have to cut a big tree with a bar too short. Best to practice on something else before getting to that point.

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2021, 05:59:29 PM »
I would recommend at least taking a class on felling and using a chainsaw in general.  I've been felling and using a chainsaw for over 30 years, but I learned a ton more about it when I took a class taught by the forest service only 10 years ago.  I wouldn't expect to always have a bar bigger than the tree you're cutting.  That's why it would be best to get some training.  Then get really good at felling a 12'' tree, then a 24" tree, etc.
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2021, 06:17:45 PM »
It's not the size of your tool, it is the skill with which you can use it that counts. Not being smart here, just saying you don't need a big bar for bigger trees. I take 20 and 30 inch trees with an 18" bar often enough, but I prefer at least a 20".  WHat you need is someone to teach you how this is done. You can get ideas, but you can't learn this over the internet. Tell us about your experience and background, maybe we can help a little more.
 Welcome to the forum,
Tom
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Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2021, 06:19:28 PM »
I sincerely appreciate the advice. I know itís difficult to really understand where a guy is coming from when youíre posting on a forum vs face to face. 

Just to help give some perspective, I am a 27 year old airline pilot with a wife at home and am extremely safety conscious. I really want to learn how to safely fell trees as I have always wanted to have a sawmill and build log homes. I got into chainsaws when I was a kid from a friend who was in the tree business and he let me run his big 90+ cc Stihl. Ever since then I was hooked. 

I know buying the 660 was probably way more saw than I need at the moment, but I also didnít want it to be like when I was learning how to weld myself and was trying to use way too small of a machine for the job. After ponying you the money for the more expensive welder it made things a lot safer and easier. That is sort of my question. Is it safer to use small bar or are there situations where using a larger bar is better? What would you guys recommend me getting for these saws to learn on safely? 

Honestly I have no trees to even cut right now as I live in town and my mill is out on my parents property. Iíve just been hoping to across some already fallen logs to start sawing on my mill and eventually go to more advanced things. If I do cut a tree down in the near future, Iím going to start on something as small as I can find, with my dad and brother (who have done some limited felling themselves) helpings/offering advice. 

My situation may be a little odd which is why I stared the thread, but I will certainly take the advice and read through this forum. Glad to have found it. I seem to find lots of info from pro to pro but less on starting out. Wish I had someone local who could show me the ropes, but I am grateful for this forum and truly want to learn from you guys. 

Thanks, Chris 

Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2021, 06:41:03 PM »
I should also add that my short term plan for that 660 isnít to use it for felling, but rather bucking any of the larger logs I can get my hands on. I certainly wonít attempt to fell a large tree until I am confident I can do it safely. And I am not at all confident now. If I need hands on training as some of you have mentioned, I will get it. But I wouldnít even know how to go about getting it, so that is why Iím starting here. Basically short term just want a bar for the saw that I can run it with and get it all set up and running right and cut stuff on the ground. I just know someday Iíd like to use it for more, so if I can save myself cost by making an informed purchase and by the right bar now, Iíd rather do that. But if Iíll need two or more bars to do it the right way, thatís ok as well. Iíll do whatever is necessary.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2021, 06:48:06 PM »
I think the first best step is to watch any of the "idiots with chainsaws" vids on youtube. Youll see case after case of what not to do.  Usually involving a ladder, a minivan with a rope and maybe a powerline.  Im serious.. If you see enough of them crushing houses and falling out of trees youll atleast not ever consider any of those silly maneuvers.  


Next up, watch videos of barberchairs.  Lots of them.  Pay attention to where you simply should not ever stand, and also realize a barber chair is when one part of the tree (the top) says 'we are goin over' while the other part of it (the bottom) says 'the heck we are.'    You get a barberchair. The top and bottom cant reconcile their prerogatives and the buttlog is split vertically in two. It can lift a tractor off the ground and kill any living thing it touches.  Barberchairs are generally too much hinge material remaining as the top starts to go over.  Easy splitting wood will chair easy too.  


These are my top suggestions.. The dont do its.  No ladders, minivans, powerlines or barberchairs. There are many other ways to die but these top level mistakes. Some are plain stupid but even a pro can chair a tree now and then.  So know where to stand.. Always.  


Short answer, id hang a 24" bar on it.  Great all around size.
Psalm 37:16

Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2021, 07:03:41 PM »
Thank you, sir! That helps a lot. Never heard the term barber chair so I am already learning. I will do my homework. Btw, I noticed you referenced the greatest book on earth in your signature line. It is always good to meet a fellow brother in Christ.

Offline Thomasjw4

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2021, 07:13:44 PM »
Firefighterontheside already mentioned it, but the Forest Service puts on saw training every year for volunteers(at least out in my neck of the woods) for free.  I would assume they do everywhere.  And to be able to put on that training the need to be a better than average sawyer.  its amazing how much you can pick up in a day or 2 of training.  

Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2021, 07:22:43 PM »
That would be very cool! I live in SW MI which isnít a big logging area but Iíll have to look into it.

Offline Skeans1

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2021, 07:26:27 PM »
Having cut timber in production settings over the years I got lucky to break in under some of the old growth fallers if and this is a big if thereís anyone around your area like that youíll learn more from them then some of those classes. As far as bars go I run around that size of saw day in and out with a 32 sometimes a 36 doesnít matter if itís hardwood or softwoods, but most of the timber I cut is longer then those bars even on good ground. If youíre looking for a few more term to look up start with sight cut, face cuts of all kinds, and back cut. When breaking in a new guy doesnít matter the bar length the hardest thing for them to do is learn level when cutting and then truly sighting in a tree next would be learning how to feel your back cut by watching up as well as watching the cut.

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2021, 07:50:22 PM »
I started when I was 16 after watching men do it. Had some close calls and if the lord had not been there I would not be here. got a sawmill at age 32 and had to learn all over again as not to break them. Start small and always have plan B and I hope you are fast on your feet.

Offline treemuncher

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2021, 08:01:22 PM »
The absolute best $100 that I ever spent was getting my Master Logger Certification that was offered by the Tennessee Forestry Association if I remember correctly. It was suggested to me by the local forester at the TVA office. I think I was fed nearly $20 in food in each of the 5 classes that I attended. I think it was '94 or '95 when I took the class and then some continuing education classes the following years.

I CAN'T YELL IT LOUD ENOUGH - TAKE THIS SAW SAFETY COURSE IF YOU EVER PLAN TO RUN A CHAIN SAW, EVEN JUST ONCE. IT IS THE CHEAPEST LIFE INSURANCE YOU COULD EVER BUY.

I never started logging but had job offers when they found out I was certified. I prefer being self employed. I've cut plenty of trees when I have to for safety reasons in my own business but I avoid the chain saw when I can. I follow the safety rules except for rule #1- never work in the woods alone with a chain saw. I'm self employed without employees for 24 years now. I have to be careful and preplan if I want to survive.

I've had a couple trees do some unexpected things but using the open-face method with a pre-cut hinge, as I was taught in the training class, has made my life much safer when cutting trees. Preplan your escape routes, learn to read the lean on a tree and follow a solid plan for success. Heavy equipment with a winch and remote control allows me to tackle trees I would normally shy away from when I have to get the job done in extremely tight situations.

Now that I've tried to sell the value of training, I will answer the original question. I only own 1 conventional chain saw and 3 bar sizes. I started with a Husqvarna 272, a fantastic saw,  but that was stolen after 10 years. It was replaced with a Husqvarna 385XP that still used the same bars and chains. It's a lot of saw but I would rather have one big workhorse to get my work done fast. I keep a 20" for firewood or smaller jobs up to 36" at the cut. My most used bar is the 28" which is almost always on the powerhead and it allows me to handle up to 50"+ cuts. When I need to tackle the big stuff, I have a 54" bar that I dread using because it is so heavy and awkward to handle. When you cut a massive oak at 5'4" across the cut, you want that big ass bar.



 

This big red oak was leaning towards the road. The winch on my Barko broke the first 30k lb strap that was wrapped around the tree. The tree shook but remained standing due to proper techniques taught in the logger school. Another strap was wrapped into the crown and then, due to the weight of the tree, my machine could not pull it over. I was spinning tires in the field. They hooked an IT28 tool carrier to my cutterhead to help me with the pull and it made a mighty thud when gravity brought it home, right where I was shooting for.







 

Sadly, that big red oak was too large for the local mills to accept and too heavy to move about. I had to have help from an IT28 tool carrier to move that log when it started to slide down the hill towards the road. It was a beast. The entire tree was chips on the bank when I finished it off.
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Offline OntarioAl

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2021, 09:06:40 PM »
Timberline
Kick Back research the term as  related to chain saws
I teach Chain Saw courses up here in Canuckistan understanding what causes it and how to prevent it is a major part of safe chain saw handling.
Cheers 
Al
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Offline grabber green

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2021, 09:21:46 PM »
To answer your question ,just get a 20 inch bar.
from what you say your plans are, its all you will ever need.  More importantly
If you have no experiance  falling trees at least go   get some safety training and try to find someone that knows what there doing to mentor you in the woods . One problem is finding that person. I know guys that have cut trees for 40 years as farmers,tree trimmers,firewood cutters,hobby sawmillers and the like that think they are good but  would be lost in the pro timber faller world.   Also west coast fallers and east coast fallers have different ideas and methods.
I guess I just got lucky to be able learn from family members that were old time  timber fallers in oregon and tennessee. With their guidance and years of on the job experiance I was finally being called a timber faller by those old timers.   Also let us know how that chinese clone saw works out.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2021, 10:09:09 PM »
Btw, I noticed you referenced the greatest book on earth in your signature line. It is always good to meet a fellow brother in Christ.
Praise the Lord buddy, Amen. 
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Online Ed_K

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2021, 07:33:14 AM »
 Get a smaller saw to start cutting in the smaller trees you talked about 20" bar is good enough. Save that big saw with a 36" bar for splitting logs that won't fit on your sawmill. See if you can find a Game of Logging course at some point to help with the safety part of cutting trees.

Online thecfarm

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2021, 07:42:03 AM »
There is a lot of ways to fell trees, but only a few safe ways. Proper PPE and training is the only way to go. I cut good size trees. Most times I have to cut smaller ones for a place for the trees to fall. I only cut on mine land, as you will, so I have time to make it look nice. A OWB helps out on all the wood.  ;D
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Offline Sauna freak

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2021, 08:43:09 AM »
Training is a tough one. Unless you have a professional mentor or can take a good class, you're almost better off learning on your own. Many who think they are experts because they are still alive can in reality be very dangerous with a saw and will pass on many bad practices. You'll see this even with some professional cutters.  I was fortunate to learn directly from Soren Ericsson when GOL was just getting started in Wisconsin. Look for his video on limbing, very informative. Husqvarna puts out some good video on felling, and if you can find one of the old manuals from Jonsered or Husqvarna they have good pictographs of the different cuts used in felling. Start small, and work your way up to more challenging timber. You went cheap on the saw, so I doubt you'll invest in PPE, but it can literally save your life. Ever locate somebody's husband on a welfare check, to find him bled out on the landing with a severed femoral artery?  I have, and it ain't pretty. I've also seen a running saw contact the same portion of one's anatomy protected by chaps, and that didn't even draw blood. 

A 24" bar would be a good match for your saw and timber not much over 30.  This will give you enough length, but still maneuverability for bucking and limbing. After becoming proficient with undercutting, bore cutting and pivots, I've found this a good size for occasional larger trees. If you're cutting mostly larger trees, go longer.
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2021, 09:23:27 AM »
Why GOL why back bore every tree with a scratch face? GOL is a good way to make some way too confident in a skill they do not have and it will make you more tired at the end of the day.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2021, 09:47:58 AM »
Why GOL why back bore every tree with a scratch face? GOL is a good way to make some way too confident in a skill they do not have and it will make you more tired at the end of the day.
Skeans, you have mentioned this a few times before and your point is well taken.  However, for the lone wolf out there who has no mentor and nobody to teach and coach him a person should get whatever proper training they can. It is a good start. If a person gets cocky they will get in trouble but hopefully the training gets them going well enough to start learning how things might go wrong. There are many fancy ways to drop good trees, but these require a very good teacher that can explain the physics and teach how the various cuts are chosen. Some good training, whatever is available is always better than no training, I took GOL up 3 levels, I certainly don't back bore every tree, not even close, don't use wedges unless that's what is really needed. 
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Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2021, 10:45:57 AM »
I really appreciate the replies, everyone. Good stuff. Iím learning a lot. Seems like there have been a couple replies recommending a 24Ē bar for the big saw to start. I like that idea, then maybe get a 36Ē down the road that I can use to rip larger logs as someone has mentioned that wonít fit on the mill.

I havenít found much info regarding classes yet, but havenít had much time to look. Iíll keep looking.  

Saunafreak, yes Iím planning to get proper safety equipment before sawing with these new saws. I didnít have thousands to spend on saws, but Iím definitely not going going to run them without the proper equipment. I plan to get helmet with ear and face protection, chaps, and use steel toe boots. There are some sets of gear that are probably China made that I saw, as well as husky homeowner and pro. Is the Chinese stuff junk?

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2021, 11:05:16 AM »
DO NOT go cheap on your safety gear. Get gear that is tested and approved for the chain speeds you are running. Take some time to learn the standards.
 Also, keep in mind a big CC chainsaw has a lot of gyroscopic action with a big bar on it. This takes some getting used to for a new user. Work hard at developing good habits, you will need them.
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I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2021, 12:11:57 PM »
The class I referred to is S212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws.  Try googling that name with michigan in the search and see if its offered anywhere around.  The class teaches all about saws and how to use them to buck and fell.  I would also recommend to get another, smaller saw.  Something with an 18" bar is a good size to be a smaller saw compared to your 660 and better for learning to saw.  Even someone who is experienced and skilled enough to use a 660 will have a smaller saw to use too.  
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Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2021, 03:03:38 PM »
DO NOT go cheap on your safety gear. Get gear that is tested and approved for the chain speeds you are running. Take some time to learn the standards.
 Also, keep in mind a big CC chainsaw has a lot of gyroscopic action with a big bar on it. This takes some getting used to for a new user. Work hard at developing good habits, you will need them.
Ok, I hear you there. I guess when I was referring to Chinese stuff it probably is made in China but itís from Forester. Looks like 3 levels of Husqvarna gear. The pro kit is about $200 but I donít mind paying if itís the best. I do want to get some good gear.

Offline alan gage

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2021, 10:29:05 AM »
A good set of videos from Husqvarna:







And a very good book on the subject:

Professional Timber Falling (Book) by Douglas Dent: Amazon.com: Books

Alan

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Offline ALaff

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2021, 01:15:22 PM »
I agree with the others...someone with some experience can take out a 30" tree with a 14" saw.  It's all in the techniques used.  I started with a Husky 455 and a Sthil MS 260.  But the best exposure was through a local organization NH Timber Owners Assn.  They had hands on chainsaw courses and tree felling courses; which was great because you had a handful of pros taking the course for their annual recertification and they know their stuff.  Also check your local Cooperative Extension.  

Also bucking with a big saw sucks...the lighter the better.
And always wear the chaps; *DanG mine look like someone attacked me, but they saved my ass a few times.

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2021, 01:35:27 PM »
Why GOL why back bore every tree with a scratch face? GOL is a good way to make some way too confident in a skill they do not have and it will make you more tired at the end of the day.
Skeans, you have mentioned this a few times before and your point is well taken.  However, for the lone wolf out there who has no mentor and nobody to teach and coach him a person should get whatever proper training they can. It is a good start. If a person gets cocky they will get in trouble but hopefully the training gets them going well enough to start learning how things might go wrong. There are many fancy ways to drop good trees, but these require a very good teacher that can explain the physics and teach how the various cuts are chosen. Some good training, whatever is available is always better than no training, I took GOL up 3 levels, I certainly don't back bore every tree, not even close, don't use wedges unless that's what is really needed.
No matter the skill or experience I gain I will ALWAYS remain humble and keep in the back of my mind I'm walking a fine line between life and death while out in the woods alone running a saw, every day, I try to acknowledge it might be my last, if I keep reminding myself this it keeps me from doing risky things and being a "bad ass", if I notice I'm starting to cut corners in my work and even the slightest tired/gassed I take a break. This mentality has probably saved me a couple times.

Oh more advice to a new feller, GET YER FRIGGEN PPE, helmet, muffs and chaps/steel toe/saw boots, for a long while I went with just wearing safety glasses, I decides one day I wanna start wearing one of those cool husky or stihl helmet setups with the mesh screen, 2 days after I got it, what do you know? BONK on my head from a snag tree that let loose a massive 2 inch+ branch, some how I managed to navigate without getting hit in the head previously, I would never go into the woods without that stuff on anymore.
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Offline lshobie

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2021, 09:25:24 AM »
The main question is that in your steep learning curve and it's not a matter of if a feller will have an accident  - it's when the feller has an accident do you want to do it with an 660 or something a little more respectable.  If you are an airline pilot you make enough to buy a small saw to start and then buy bigger when the need arises.

Think about it this way....what is the average lifespan of a non IFR rated pilot in IFR conditions?

JMO.

Louie
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Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2021, 06:57:21 PM »
The main question is that in your steep learning curve and it's not a matter of if a feller will have an accident  - it's when the feller has an accident do you want to do it with an 660 or something a little more respectable.  If you are an airline pilot you make enough to buy a small saw to start and then buy bigger when the need arises.

Think about it this way....what is the average lifespan of a non IFR rated pilot in IFR conditions?

JMO.

Louie
Haha I hear you there! What do you think of using the G5800 (54cc saw) to use as the smaller saw to learn on? 

Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2021, 07:01:58 PM »
I purchased the husky helmet and technical chaps and technical gloves. From what I could see they seemed like the best I could get a hold of. Also trying to buy some Oregon class 1 boots. 

I got the G5800 up and running with an 18 inch bar. I was going to get a 24 inch bar for the 660. This brought up a question: it seems in that bar length you can get low kickback full chisel or semi chisel that is not low kickback. Semi chisel is inherently lower kickback, right? Which one am I better off with, or is there a way to get low kickback semi chisel?

Offline Skeans1

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2021, 07:13:27 PM »
Iíll play devilís advocate why go plastic for a hard hat when you can get aluminum? Which is more likely to save you from a widow maker as well as reflect heat/rain? Boots different parts of the country you wear different things but my personal preference is caulk boots for doing work around timber youíre not going to slide. The difference between the two will be the depth gauge design the low kick back will have a bumper so the depth gauge wonít full allow the cutter to engage the wood well cutting. A far as cutters go thereís three main cutters available round chisel, round semi chisel, and square chisel.

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2021, 07:30:15 PM »
I guess low kickback chain is a good thing and I donít want to short change safety but i think itís better to learn to avoid kickback and use regular chain. Iíd like to see others opinions on this. 

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #35 on: April 02, 2021, 07:53:51 PM »
You can very well still have a kickback with reduced kickback chain.  No matter what chain you use, you should be very aware of what causes kickback.  The reduced kickback chain is not any better for cutting your forehead with.  If a person is never going to use a saw enough to be safe with other chain, then the reduced kickback is for them.  I always had it on my 025 and it cut just fine.  I can even bore with it, but not as fast.
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Offline btulloh

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2021, 08:56:34 PM »
All very true, FFOTS.  No type of chain replaces experience and training.  

It sounds to me like the OP is going to follow the right course.  Just the fact that he's here and asking for good input means a lot.  Nothing beats good training and working with someone who knows proper techniques.  

I've known a lot of pilots and they all seemed to have one thing in common:  a commitment to following procedure and knowing their limits.  Even the hot shots I have known are like that.  They can go out on the edge, but they know where the edge is.  A 54 cc saw and some experience and training will be a good launching point.  Running a big saw can come later.  I see this turning out well.


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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #37 on: April 02, 2021, 11:22:24 PM »
Skeans1, I wasnít aware you could get aluminum hats. I did a quick search and couldnít find any. Is there a brand you like?

btulloh, yes my thoughts exactly of starting with the small saw, get training before felling anything and wait to use the big saw before becoming competent. Iíbe learned a lot from you guys already and excited to learn more. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Sounds like everyone agrees I am better off learning to use standard chain safely. Iím thinking of getting some regular semi chisel chain. Sounds like itís easier to sharpen and stays sharp longer.

Offline Ianab

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2021, 12:03:41 AM »
I've known a lot of pilots and they all seemed to have one thing in common:  a commitment to following procedure and knowing their limits.  Even the hot shots I have known are like that.  They can go out on the edge, but they know where the edge is.  A 54 cc saw and some experience and training will be a good launching point.  Running a big saw can come later.  I see this turning out well.


Pilot analogy. You don't start out in a B787.  You learn in a Cessna first . The aerodynamic rules and weather is the same, just a lot less risk. Like cutting a 12" tree vs a 48" one. 

Watch the decent videos like the Husky and GOL ones. Then grab a smaller saw and drop some small trees for firewood. You can book learn as much as you want, but it takes a bit of practice to drop large trees safely. It's not exactly rocket science, but there are traps / hazards / mistakes you can make.  

LIl (Wife / Kindy Teacher) actually has an official certificate in chainsaw operation.  Not the same level as a professional logger, and the instructor passed her, but said she needed more practical. But it was a 2 day course that went into bore cutting etc. Designed for farmers / firewood cutters etc and paid for by the Govt Accident Insurance. Buddy needed 4 to put on the course, so Lil got roped in to make up the numbers.

 ACC had noticed a lot of chainsaw and tree injuries, so put on those free courses to try and reduce them.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2021, 12:55:32 AM »
Just think of every saw as an alligator.  Whether big or small, you hold onto any size alligator just as tight.  
Psalm 37:16

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2021, 04:24:42 AM »
I remember I was out on the woodlot cutting a small bunch of logs. I had cut and yarded out most of what I wanted. No troubles. Father came along about the time I wanted one more log tree, a nice yellow birch. Well, he wanted to cut it of course. :D Well, he lodged the thing of course, it barber chaired and ruined my nice log with a split up the middle of the but log. I wasn't happy. Old age getting ahead of technique. Couldn't stand not being part of the action you know. ::) :D
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2021, 06:42:16 AM »
Skeans1, I wasnít aware you could get aluminum hats. I did a quick search and couldnít find any. Is there a brand you like?

btulloh, yes my thoughts exactly of starting with the small saw, get training before felling anything and wait to use the big saw before becoming competent. Iíbe learned a lot from you guys already and excited to learn more. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Sounds like everyone agrees I am better off learning to use standard chain safely. Iím thinking of getting some regular semi chisel chain. Sounds like itís easier to sharpen and stays sharp longer.
ALuminum is available in many places, but is mostly sold to the pros who see the value of investment in good equipment and it pays off for them. Westech Rigging Supply has a good selection of Skull Buckets, and Bailey's online and Madsen's also carry aluminum but I am not sure of the branding. You can also go to the SKull Bucket page and find their distributers. For that kind of money ($65.-$75.) I stay away from the Forester stuff because I don't want it to arrive and I find a 'made in China' stamp in it. You will pay a higher price for Aluminum, especially full brim, but they don't really expire until they have been damaged. I just ordered a new full brim Skull Bucket from Westech last week because they were the only ones who had Hi Vis Orange in stock (what can I say, I'm a slave to fashion). With a full brim you need a very different screen setup (separate purchase) and you can't get attached muffs, so you need to either use behind the head muffs or ear plugs. I use either depending on season and the work load that day.
 As for your chain selection. I never had any luck with low kickback chain cutting efficiently (YMMV) and for my smaller saw (Husky 450) I settled in on the 20LPX Oregon chain which is a full round chisel. This has the advantage of letting me re-file it to a square chisel after the first sharpening. Square chisel is my preference, but that is a whole other thread (there are many good ones you can reference on the forum) and you really don't want to get distractacted by that until much further down the road.
 Good luck, work safe.
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #42 on: April 03, 2021, 08:57:01 AM »
Skeans1, I wasnít aware you could get aluminum hats. I did a quick search and couldnít find any. Is there a brand you like?

btulloh, yes my thoughts exactly of starting with the small saw, get training before felling anything and wait to use the big saw before becoming competent. Iíbe learned a lot from you guys already and excited to learn more. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

Sounds like everyone agrees I am better off learning to use standard chain safely. Iím thinking of getting some regular semi chisel chain. Sounds like itís easier to sharpen and stays sharp longer.
ALuminum is available in many places, but is mostly sold to the pros who see the value of investment in good equipment and it pays off for them. Westech Rigging Supply has a good selection of Skull Buckets, and Bailey's online and Madsen's also carry aluminum but I am not sure of the branding. You can also go to the SKull Bucket page and find their distributers. For that kind of money ($65.-$75.) I stay away from the Forester stuff because I don't want it to arrive and I find a 'made in China' stamp in it. You will pay a higher price for Aluminum, especially full brim, but they don't really expire until they have been damaged. I just ordered a new full brim Skull Bucket from Westech last week because they were the only ones who had Hi Vis Orange in stock (what can I say, I'm a slave to fashion). With a full brim you need a very different screen setup (separate purchase) and you can't get attached muffs, so you need to either use behind the head muffs or ear plugs. I use either depending on season and the work load that day.
 As for your chain selection. I never had any luck with low kickback chain cutting efficiently (YMMV) and for my smaller saw (Husky 450) I settled in on the 20LPX Oregon chain which is a full round chisel. This has the advantage of letting me re-file it to a square chisel after the first sharpening. Square chisel is my preference, but that is a whole other thread (there are many good ones you can reference on the forum) and you really don't want to get distractacted by that until much further down the road.
 Good luck, work safe.
Madsens or Baileys both should have orange in stock itís pretty much a requirement anymore depending on where youíre working to have them painted. As far as the chain goes why go round to square why not just start at square it comes fresh off the roll that way. I think bringing this is a great thing for someone to learn that way they can ask the questions of what do I want to run and why.

Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2021, 09:12:08 AM »
My dad has his aluminum hard hat from being a hot shot in OR in the 1960s.  He got hit by a log rolling on a hillside.  There is a nice dent in the hat and he got knocked out, but was fine.  All of my helmets now are either plastic or composite.  
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2021, 09:17:46 AM »
Iíve taken a good sized widow maker well wearing an aluminum full brim before that other then knocking me out plus a filling out and denting the hard hat saved my bacon. This is one of the reasons why you also see me on the stump longer especially when thinning Iíve been hit from even a good distance out of the way at a 45 degree angle and another family friend was killed that same day from the same thing.

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2021, 09:45:00 AM »


I don't know, nor could I figure out who makes some of those aluminum ones. I wasn't going to spend that kind of money unless I knew what I was getting. I think Madsen's said they were Forestors but you could double check me and I don't know who makes those or where they are made, they were only about 5 bucks cheaper. Most places I checked were out of stock on the orange and I don't look good in yellow, it clashes with my eyes. :D ;D :)
 You can't get square chisel for .325 x .05 in loops, not sure if you could get a roll, but that's too much chain for me, plus all the tools. the 20LPX was the closest I could find to convert and it is a darn good chain as it comes. Square chisel is a true oddball around these parts and most guys don't even know what you are talking about, they think you mean round chisel. Nobody sells, or can even identify the files.  I took a class once and the instructor was going around asking the folks what they were running on their saws for chains, many didn't even know. When he got to me I just said ".325x.050, no skip, square chisel" and got ready for him to ask again. Instead he just grew this big smile across his face and asked how I came by that. I explained and told him I was still having a little trouble filing it just right. He said "we'll have a private session later during lunch, you got a winner there!" The other guys started asking but he kind of let it go just saying 'you've got to learn to work with what you have before you start exploring what you can't yet understand.' ;D That little private session over lunch turned into a demo as everyone wanted to see what this was all about. Not for everybody, but it works for me.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2021, 10:50:49 AM »
We can't even wear those wide brimmed hard hats here, can't even buy them on the east coast (Canada). Not CSA approved was why. We had some on the west coast, it's all we wore out there. But were hard plastic. Everybody thinks they gotta make stuff from plastic. Well, cheaper, yes. :D
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2021, 02:01:24 PM »
Well I was surprised to find that my new hat arrived today. Happy with the bucket itself (time will tell), I am a little disappointed in the 'fit and finish' of the suspension.  For the 70 bucks I paid you think they would take just a few seconds and make sure they have rigged the suspension correctly, I had to fix or re-run a few pieces that were going through the wrong passage. no big deal just annoying. Also, they did not properly trim the plastic after it came out of the mold, so there were some slider buttons that did not sit flat and stuck into my scalp until I found an fixed those issues. Also there was one tiny sprue gate from the mold that was pointed and did stick into my skull and hurt like the dockens until I found a trimmed that off. I do wish it sat 1/2" lower but am hoping it settles down with a little sweat. I stuck my old screen on it and it doesn't look too bad.


 

Also, the sweat band is about as cheap as it can be, but I had ordered a terry sweat band anyway. I keep a spare in my bag all the time as they are cheap and don't last long. This one might last a few weeks.


 

Anyway, this is it for me, no more new hats. I may order a spare suspension because this one looks like it may not stand up to abuse, but we will see. Right now I am just wondering if the new hat makes my butt look big?



 

I just gotta get it a little dirty, add a decal or two, and I'll be good to go. Right now it is way too shiny.
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Offline Skeans1

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #48 on: April 03, 2021, 02:33:26 PM »
@Old Greenhorn 
Been running those sweat band in this hats for the better part of 10 years and never had an issue with one. As for the suspension set it in the heat then put it on your head and press it down for a few minutes then itíll setup to your head. If that doesnít feel comfortable let me know thereís a few shops around here that offer some different versions of suspension for them. 

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #49 on: April 03, 2021, 03:27:37 PM »
good to know that other shops make suspensions for them. I never would have thunk it. Yeah, wetting and stretching is wat I meant by adding some sweat. The sweatband is foam and I always hated those, they irritate my delicate skin ;D. The terry ones feel better and seem to wick things off better. That is the bet feature on my Bullard hat, hard as nails when you first put it on because it is full of dried salt, but softens up real quick once it's wet and stays comfortable the rest of the day. Never did find a winter liner/shell I liked. The best thing I've found is just pulling up a hoodie, but this suspension may not have enough room for that, at least not yet. Anyway, glad I finally got it, now to break it in.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
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OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #50 on: April 03, 2021, 05:03:49 PM »
My coconut is larger than normal and an odd shape, ok no schmartash comments please :D, I have a hard time finding a skull bucket that will fit comfortably. The cheap promo ones from Stihl are the worst! I finally settled on the Woodland Pro aluminum full brim, the crew liked it because they see me coming in time to ditch their smokes and get back to work
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Offline John Mc

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #51 on: April 03, 2021, 08:10:28 PM »
Never did find a winter liner/shell I liked. The best thing I've found is just pulling up a hoodie, but this suspension may not have enough room for that, at least not yet. Anyway, glad I finally got it, now to break it in.
 

One of the best things I've found for that is what amounts to long underwear for your head: a lightweight balaclava similar to this one. (I'm not necessarily recommending this brand, but it appears similar to what I have.) I wear this under a helmet or under my hat when out hiking in the winter. You don't need a heavy weight one to make a big difference. I usually end up pulling the opening down below my chin, unless it's really cold out and I need my face covered as well.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #52 on: April 03, 2021, 08:40:22 PM »
Great Idea John! I have some heavy wool ones I wear for snow blowing or living in the snow, but I think someplace I have a lighter one that never worked really well for winter camping or hiking. That might work fine under a hard hat when working hard. Gotta see if I can find it now. ;D I also need to make some room in the hat for it, right now it's a little tight in there on the top side.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
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OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #53 on: April 03, 2021, 09:52:38 PM »
The gear I ordered arrived today. Still waiting on the boots. Turns out those are class 3 rated which I was happy about. I've been looking at the aluminum ones. I suppose I could take this one back. I was sure looking forward to having the ear muffs built in though. I'm surprised the plastic isn't good...I just know from riding snowmobiles you want a helmet that is designed to crack on impact to absorb the shock. 




This is a question I couldn't find an answer to yet: I couldn't find any class rating when I was buying the chaps. The husky technical seemed to be the best I could find. The box says they're tested up to 2,750 feet/min chain speed. That is approx 14 m/s. not even Class 0 which is 16 m/s. Class 1 is 20 m/s. 





The gloves on the other hand are class 1. I couldn't find class 3 gloves. Why aren't the chaps a higher class rating? Is class 1 adequate for the gloves? How about the 2,750 ft/min for the chaps?




Here are the class 3 Oregon 295384 boots. They're supposed to arrive next week. I find it intersting I could find class 3 boots easy but barely class 1 for anything else. Why is this? Am I over thinking it? 



Offline btulloh

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #54 on: April 03, 2021, 10:38:55 PM »
Canít help with chaps question, but when you finally get all the gear, throw it in a mud hole then drag it through the brush before you wear it in public.  :D :D

Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #55 on: April 03, 2021, 10:50:31 PM »
Canít help with chaps question, but when you finally get all the gear, throw it in a mud hole then drag it through the brush before you wear it in public.  :D :D
 :D great idea! 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #56 on: April 04, 2021, 04:26:31 AM »
My guess is youd need chain maille to protect at cutter speeds beyond the 2,750. 


Translation:  dont saw into yourself an WOT. 
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #57 on: April 04, 2021, 05:12:38 AM »
They look like the Viking/Husqvarna bushwacker boot. If they are, I found those model would bruise the top of my foot. I always get the Viking model 69 for a better fit. I use the caulk soles because I thin small trees and those stems are a slippery mess to walk through. Also slippery walking on wet logs.
ďNo amount of belief makes something a fact.Ē James Randi

Offline John Mc

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #58 on: April 04, 2021, 10:17:48 AM »
The gear I ordered arrived today. Still waiting on the boots. Turns out those are class 3 rated which I was happy about. I've been looking at the aluminum ones. I suppose I could take this one back. I was sure looking forward to having the ear muffs built in though. I'm surprised the plastic isn't good...I just know from riding snowmobiles you want a helmet that is designed to crack on impact to absorb the shock.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the helmet you chose. Keep it and use it. It's been years since I compared safety ratings on aluminum vs plastic helmets, but there was no safety advantage to the aluminum when I did check.

The only area where I saw an advantage for aluminum: Plastic does deteriorate over time, and that deterioration is accelerated by exposure to UV light. So one used professionally will be ready for replacement sooner than one used by a landowner or other part-time use. This is why OSHA calls for replacement after 5 years of use when used in a commercial setting. Modern plastic helmets incorporate UV stabilizers in the plastic, which has helped improve longevity. (Husqvarna's Technical Forest Helmet actually includes an indicator that turns color when it has reached it's UV limit.)

Pick the helmet that is comfortable for you and that you will wear. I just did not like the feel of the aluminum helmets, and wanted one with integrated hearing protection, so that it was always with me (I have a tendency to lose ear plugs when working in the woods). I do have a second helmet from which the hearing protection has been removed. I wear that in very hot weather with ear plugs, since it's cooler.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline grabber green

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #59 on: April 04, 2021, 10:29:56 AM »
I just wan't to say although this new safety gear can and will help prevent injury don't let it give you a false sense of security. I know of and have known personaly several guys who died in the log woods local to me that the ppe could not ,did not prevent the type of injury they recieved. Your brain is your best tool for your safety.           As far as hardhats I ,like others prefer aluminum . My old one from the 80s has plenty of dents and has saved me many times.  Later because of large land company policy and other places we worked that required hats be non electricaly condective I had to switch to plastic. They work plenty good and have saved me many times also.     One particular time, a  peltor brand plastic hat kept me from dying when a 6 inch  beech limb fell  ,30 minutes or more after I had cut a 48 inch pine  . I was helping the skidder man hook chokers. It cracked the hat ,broke the suspension ,knocked me out and messed up my arm , I woke up to a skidder man thinking I was dead but everything turn out great thanks to peltor :).

Offline teakwood

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #60 on: April 04, 2021, 11:03:29 AM »
I will add my 2cents, i'm no helmet fan because of the terrible heat we have here and the very low risk of dead branches in teak plantations, which i work in.

Pfanner Protos Helmet | TreeStuff

A swiss friend of mine brought this helmet for his use here and left it here after he left, so i use the thing. At almost 300$ it's really just for pro use. in central Europe is has become standard along the pros, pfanner took the undisputed leadership in safety equipment's. i use the pfanner pants since 10years and can not say anything bad about them.

the helmet is as comfortable as can be. there are at least 20 different points where the helmet can be adjusted, everything is adjustable. i really like the hidden ear muffs and the helm trigger, a lever at your neck which fix the helmet to your head so it won't fall off.







open trigger, orange flap at the neck

closed trigger

closed vent

open vent
National Stihl Timbersports Champion Costa Rica 2018

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #61 on: April 04, 2021, 11:16:23 AM »
The gear I ordered arrived today. Still waiting on the boots. Turns out those are class 3 rated which I was happy about. I've been looking at the aluminum ones. I suppose I could take this one back. I was sure looking forward to having the ear muffs built in though. I'm surprised the plastic isn't good...I just know from riding snowmobiles you want a helmet that is designed to crack on impact to absorb the shock.

Back up the truck just a second here timberline! Nobody said plastic wasn't good, at least not me. You picked some good gear there, stick with it and use it. Wear it in good health. What we got sidetracked on were preferences, mostly acquired over time for the type and frequency of work WE do. Having muffs right on your helmet is a good thing for a LOT of folks and in fact I wish many times I had that feature, but I made a choice. When I am playing ground guy for an arborist, I don't want those muffs whacking around up there when I am not wearing them and there are other reasons, but they are all MY reasons, not yours. Go with what you've got there, you made good choices. Over time you may refine those choices, but you will do it for your own reasons.
 As far as chap ratings and chain speeds, I wish every manufacturer used the same standards so we could truly compare what we are buying. This is why I never get Chinese stuff, it can even be marked as meeting the standards, but the truth is, it was never even tested, they just stamp it. The forester aluminum helmets have this issue which is why I may not always 'buy American' but when I can't, I buy from a reputable manufacturer. 
 Don't split hairs on the little details when you are getting started, just go with good stuff, good technique, and proven practices. You can make up your own mind later based on your own knowledge when you want to try a new path.
 Don't forget to keep looking up. ;D

 Hey Teakwood, did you have to take a class to learn how to use that helmet? :D
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Tin Horse

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #62 on: April 04, 2021, 04:05:15 PM »
x2 on the Phanner. I've had one now for about 3 years and love it. Yup they're expensive but all parts are replaceable. Also got the built in sun glasses. By far the most comfortable I've had. 
Bell 1000 Wood Processor. Enercraft 30HTL, Case 580SL. Kioti 7320.

Offline Timberline

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Re: New to felling trees
« Reply #63 on: April 04, 2021, 04:36:20 PM »
The gear I ordered arrived today. Still waiting on the boots. Turns out those are class 3 rated which I was happy about. I've been looking at the aluminum ones. I suppose I could take this one back. I was sure looking forward to having the ear muffs built in though. I'm surprised the plastic isn't good...I just know from riding snowmobiles you want a helmet that is designed to crack on impact to absorb the shock.

Back up the truck just a second here timberline! Nobody said plastic wasn't good, at least not me. You picked some good gear there, stick with it and use it. Wear it in good health. What we got sidetracked on were preferences, mostly acquired over time for the type and frequency of work WE do. Having muffs right on your helmet is a good thing for a LOT of folks and in fact I wish many times I had that feature, but I made a choice. When I am playing ground guy for an arborist, I don't want those muffs whacking around up there when I am not wearing them and there are other reasons, but they are all MY reasons, not yours. Go with what you've got there, you made good choices. Over time you may refine those choices, but you will do it for your own reasons.
 As far as chap ratings and chain speeds, I wish every manufacturer used the same standards so we could truly compare what we are buying. This is why I never get Chinese stuff, it can even be marked as meeting the standards, but the truth is, it was never even tested, they just stamp it. The forester aluminum helmets have this issue which is why I may not always 'buy American' but when I can't, I buy from a reputable manufacturer.
 Don't split hairs on the little details when you are getting started, just go with good stuff, good technique, and proven practices. You can make up your own mind later based on your own knowledge when you want to try a new path.
 Don't forget to keep looking up. ;D

 Hey Teakwood, did you have to take a class to learn how to use that helmet? :D
That makes sense! Thanks for the info. I'll take your advice and give this stuff a try and go from there. Hopefully I'll never have to find out how well it works  :)


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