Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gettin it to the wood…

We have one of the oldest websites dedicated to the chain saw operator. Our site at has been up and running since the early 90’s. If you know anything about the internet, that’s when it was born.

FAT was first to offer an eBook – “The Complete Guide to Chain Saw Safety and Directional Felling” by Tim Ard and Mike Bolin to the chain saw operators’ library. Information that’s interactive and can be easily updated as needed.

The new form of communication with web based portals is growing. Face Book and Twitter are connecting people by leaps and tweets. I say all this to say it’s time to connect, even more now all the training and information to the ground!

More information is coming soon about ChainPoint Connections.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Next Month….

Updated the calendar of training events for December on the website and it is going to be a busy month.

I have training starting up this month with the City of Atlanta, Hartsfield Airport. They are in the top two most busy airports in the world and guess what… their maintenance staff uses chain saws! We have two classes with them, one in Dec and one in Jan, each two-day hands on programs. They are scheduling now for Trimmer and Zero-turn mower training for 2010 also.


Looking forward to returning to central California for another training week with Santa Clara County. Several years now we have worked with the SC county. They are super to work with and the area around Mt. Madonna, CA is awesome. Always a pleasure.

Home the week of Christmas…     Tim

Friday, November 20, 2009

Aloha Hawaii….

by Tim Ard

It has been almost thirty days since we set foot in this USA paradise. It has been an awesome training experience. I wish all of you could have been here with us and you would have enjoyed everything and everyone as we have. But now sadly it is time to leave. We are still happy! We miss home, family and friends, so its not that hard to depart. We take with us many memories.

I feel we have learned so much being with the amazing workers of Hawaii DOT. They are a “Spirit of Aloha” group and definitely on Hawaii Time. They hold a true concern for their co-workers, family and the Island visitors.

The past few weeks have been some of the most unusual weather weeks they have experienced in over five years. Water, storms, more water, more storms have water logged the mountains, streams and sadly effected the roads and woodlands. They have a good bit of work ahead to get everything back to picture perfect. These folks are dedicated to doing that.

It made me realize how important the Department of Transportation workers are to our life styles, whether island or metro Atlanta. You see over here, you have just a few roads to get where you need to go. When one is blocked, you go nowhere. There are no side streets to maneuver on. Your stuck! No matter where you are Kauai or Atlanta the DOT has to keep things flowing. They are an important part to first response in all states when a storm/disaster hits.

It is so important in the training that I make sure to pass to them useful information to make their jobs easier and safer. It’s back to basics every time so I don't miss any important details. Planning is the ultimate key to safety and productivity in storm situations. We can’t take for granted that anyone or everyone understands the process… and make sure they apply it every time when approaching the scene.

You can follow some of the activities on Face Book on our Forest Applications Training Page….

Thank you Hawaii for the opportunity to work Island Style! It has been a blessed month – Mahalo and Aloha!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sharp or not….

Over the past couple of weeks working with and preparing DOT workers in chain saw applications, to be ready for storms,  hurricanes, etc., I have completely convinced myself that chain sharpening is most– if not the most – important aspect of chain saw training.


It doesn't make any difference how weak, powerful, little or huge your chain saw is if the chain’s not sharp things are not going to work well. If you have to push and pull to accomplish a cut – not good. Safety and productivity are compromised at the effective point of the saw chain.

Filing the chain or grinding doesn’t automatically produce a sharp productive saw chain. There has to be a working knowledge of the cutter tooth’s design to be able to really achieve results. If you understand the five parts of the tooth (see Tim’s Tips @ you can begin to recognize the job the file or grinding system is doing. If you don’t slow down and look at the results, after a stroke or two, on the five parts of the tooth most likely you are just filing or grinding – you’re not sharpening.IMG00129-20091103-0900

Watching people filing, I often see them moving the file but not concentrating on what it’s doing. They often say, “I usually make five or six strokes on each tooth. Is that enough?” Well, if those stokes don’t touch the point or the chisel angle of the tooth you are simply filing, not sharpening.

Let me know what you think….