Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

I am excited!

2010 Is going to be an awesome year. Things are changing a bit since we will not be sponsored and limited to Husqvarna products. They have cancelled our sponsorship agreement for 2010 for budget reasons. We can now concentrate on the best products, tools and techniques for power equipment operators.

You will learn more in days and weeks to come…

Go to our website and make sure to sign up for ChainPoint Connection. .

Happy New Year Ya’ll!


Good Sawing,


Tim Ard


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Hello Everyone,

It is the second Holiday Season since my surgery and chemotherapy for colon cancer and tests are still showing clear. Thank God! Laura and the rest of the family are doing well and we are all set for all our family to be together for the Birth of Our Savior Celebration on Friday. For some of you there are other meanings to this season of the year but for us the Reason for this Season is Christmas, the birth of Jesus. I pray that your Spiritual needs are met in a real Way this Holiday Season.

We have had a busy year at Forest Applications Training, Inc. We completed 2009’s schedule with 184 working days, 152 nights on the road, all to bring training and presentations to just over 2500 participants. The 2010 calendar is already getting full (schedule).

I am excited about our ChainPoint upstart the first of the year. I know you have already received some ChainPoint emails, some too many, but I hope you will find the connection, after the first of January, to be valuable to your work (and yes play) with a chain saw and other power equipment. Keeping all safe and productive is our goal as we move into this venture. There will be product reviews, training program reviews, new techniques and a lot of communication from operators in questions and answers. All connecting you to items and services you will find useful.

Forest Applications Training, Inc. will be closed until the New Year so you won’t hear from me until the first week of January.

So, have a Blessed Holiday Season and Merry Christmas from Forest Applications Training, Inc. !

Good Sawing,

Tim Ard

Forest Applications Training, Inc.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Chain Saw Gloves

Saw Mittens

By Tim Ard

Forest Applications Training, Inc.

Gloves are an important part of personal protective equipment (P.P.E.) when working, especially with the chain saw. Many people I speak with say they do not use gloves because they have a hard time working with them. They don’t fit correctly, hard to hold things and gloves fatigue their hands. Another thing is to find gloves that will last long enough, they are expensive.

Over the years, with chain saw operators, the left hand has been in the top two laceration or cut areas when accidents occur. It’s common with the injuries sustained from a chain saw for the left hand to get in the chains’ rotation. I hear many stories of hand injuries happening when operators are doing maintenance or sharpening their saw chain too. They happen when operators don’t keep both hands on the handles when sawing. Hands are susceptible…

Gloves won’t prevent all hand injury from happening but they can reduce the severity in many of them.

I have been trying a glove design over the past few months that is awesome. I have been using mittens with chain saws since Soren Eriksson introduced me to them in the 80’s. Mittens have several advantages for the saw operator.

· You can get a better grip. Try pressing on your arm with fingers loosely placed (Like how it would be with cotton or leather between them with finger style gloves). Now try it with fingers together. It seems amazing; you can apply more pressure with your fingers together. One person told me that’s because your hands are designed that way. Mittens allow better grip because of this.

· The back of the left hand has chain saw material layered on the mitt. This can give you some reaction time from the chain should you need it.

· Index finger is still separated on the right hand for chain saw trigger operation.

· The palms need to be of leather for durability and abrasion resistant. Goat skin is used in these high quality work gloves. It has better characteristics with moisture. They dry without becoming hard and brittle.

· Should they need to come off quickly it’s possible. They won’t bind on your hands quite as much as finger styles. They slide off much easier.

· They also work very well with winter liners for cold operations.

Some gloves and mittens I have tried don’t last a week. These are the toughest and longest lasting I’ve used in years. I bought them in March and now closing in on the end of the year they are still usable. I have machine washed them several times, burned them on mufflers, cut them filing and the seams and materials have held up amazingly well. I don’t use them as hard and regularly as some of you would but I will assure you they will, from my experience; hold up superior to most gloves out there. You won’t go wrong with these mittens if you give them a try. I just received a new pair to start the year with…


The saw mittens are available in four sizes (medium fits me perfect). You can follow the link to Gransfors for more information and to purchase.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa Clara County California

Last week I had four classes with Santa Clara Parks. Three Basic classes and one advanced hands on class. It was a pleasure to have the Park Rangers attending classes.

The Rangers have been involved in a couple of the previous training weeks but most of the SCC Parks employees have been from the maintenance departments. The Ranger’s are some of the first responders to storm situations in the parks. They are the ones who have to locate people on the trails 24/7. When tree damage from storms occur often Ranger’s are the ones to pick up the saws and gain entrance or clearance on the trails. The first to show…

I am pleased the county recognizes the need to train these Ranger’s and I have he opportunity to get to know them. Their commitment to the park visitor is unquestionable, the professionalism impeccable and their chain saw abilities are strong and growing. A fantastic combination to give Santa Clara Parks a clear advantage! - Tim

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Visit Woolpower


By Tim Ard

Forest Applications Training, Inc.

With the onset of cold weather this year and the need to stay warm while outside working and training across the country, I am pleased to announce our recent connection with Gransfors Bruks and Woolpower.

Over the years, people have shared with me the advantages of fiber pile types of material for layering. Soren Eriksson was ahead of innovation when he brought Swedish undergarment s and fiber pile fabrics to the USA. The material and thus the garments were expensive at the time but they worked. Scandinavians know how to dress warmly. I still have a pull-over that I have been wearing in the field for over 20 yrs. Now I have gone back in time to natural fiber. One does that when they get older I guess.

At a meeting several years ago Yvonne Caruso of Gransfors gave me a couple pair of Woolpower socks. I was amazed at their comfort and I was concerned that they would cause rashes or be too warm to wear. I found them quite the opposite and they were great. I couple months ago she sent me a set of Woolpower long johns (that is what we always called them). Woolpower calls them the under layer. I started reading the history and paperwork with the garments and found out a lot I didn’t know about wool, especially merino wool. There are differences in sheep and in the way Woolpower combines the wool fibers with synthetics to make Woolpower.

A few things I didn’t realize:

· Woolpower is soft as…. You finish the sentence after you wear it. I think you will be amazed in the comfort.

· Merino Wool is mostly air… That’s what you want to insulate from the cold and wick away the hot.

· Wool is naturally flame retardant… It is always a problem to be near a fire with synthetic clothing.

· Wool doesn’t hold odor… It is amazing how this works. You know how sheep smell, well some of them I guess, but you can wear Woolpower for a day working and smell less. I put it to the test; I wore the same undershirt for four days. More than one day is unheard of with my body chemistry and other fabrics. Not something to usually brag about but Woolpower is amazingly odor free.

· Woolpower is virtually seamless… they weave the sleeves and body of the garments like knitting a sock. Seams are almost non-existent. No seams – more comfort.

· Woolpower is machine washable and dryable… Easy to wash and wear for long time easy wear.

Contact me if you have any questions or give the fine folks at Gransfors Bruks a quick connect. Tell them I sent you! .

Good Sawing,

Tim Ard

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Looking for stories…

Anyone experiencing any fuel related problems with their chain saw or trimmer? Had to recently throw out some gas mix because it was too stale and wouldn't start your saw or trimmer? Had to pay for any fuel related repairs on your saws or trimmers? I'm looking for stories for upcoming articles....  Tim

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Day to Forget….

Hello Everyone!

Yesterday… a day to forget or to definitely remember! I don’t know which.  I thought I was really accomplishing something great by upgrading to a new mail list manager. Everything seemed to look like it would work great. It had to work better than my manual system. Keeping everything a lot more current and quickly be able to reach everyone in the loop.

I loaded about 2000 addresses from our database of email contacts. Pressed the button and sent them to the system. About an hour later, the fire war broke out!

Let me  say this, there is not a problem with my mail manager. The problem was with me and the settings; I thought I had set up correctly. The program does everything and more than I expected. The situation stemmed from my settings on the system. “Mailman” Works Great!

I had the reply system set wrong. Terribly wrong! My first mail went out to all listed. There were about 20 or so subscribers that sent in corrections and requests to be removed. They attempted to do this by reply. The reply address I had set was for the mass mail send address. When they sent questions and requests they went out to everyone. This caused everyone to receive the 20 or so emails. They filled inboxes quickly and this made people upset. They wanted to get off the list quickly, so they replied too. Some also replied to subscribers email they had received thinking they had been sent the message by mistake, which went back to the sender and then to the entire group. Major panic started!  I shut down the list by emergency moderation but it takes hours to have the fire war of box to box to subside.

I sent a first message to apologize. The first one had the mass mail address as a reply address and anyone who sent complaints and removal requests by reply went to everyone's inbox.  I finally got that stopped and begged subscribers to stop replying. Wow what a day!

I lost about 400 disgruntled subscribers. I hope they come back… Please.

Some people were upset that they didn’t subscribe to the list. Wanted to know how they got on the list. Well every address in the database came from training registrations and emails or email registrations to our website at Forest Applications.

People were mostly upset about the flood of email. Rightfully so!  I am sorry for the inconvenience, I apologize! I will even sing and dance at your next wedding- but please don’t stay upset. Re-subscribe. Tell your friends to subscribe.

ChainPoint is going to be a great loop and link to anyone interested in outdoor power equipment. Chainsaw, mower, trimmer information and training will be connected on ChainPoint Connections that will not be found anywhere else on the web. Stay Connected!

You can subscribe by following this link:  or go to our homepage at

Good Sawing and Connecting,

Tim Ard


Forest Applications Training, Inc.