Tuesday, June 15, 2010

JT McCorkle

Our grandson JT McCorkle has arrived June 14 about 10 pm cst . Our 8th grand baby. Congratulations to our daughter Brittany and her husband Bryce on a handsome son. 7 lbs 4 oz. 21" long. All are doing well...

JT- Jayden Taylor McCorkle joins the "Grandclan". Kayla, Kensey, Dalton, Bryson, Tiyana, Canan and Gabriel.

Good Sawing!
Tim Ard

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Number Eight... JT McCorkle

In the next few hours we are expecting our new grandson to be born. Our daughter Brittany and her husband Bryce are expecting their first, a boy, Jayden Taylor McCorkle.

JT, as I will call him will be number Eight for Laura and I. We are blessed to have such a prolific family...

I wish we could be there for the birth but we will be home soon for the pleasure of getting to know him. More details to come in the next few hours.

Good Sawing!
Tim Ard

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

At Idle

You know it is always good to idle down and take some time to rest. This is especially true when operating chainsaws. When you start to tire it's time to sit down and take a break. Fatigue is understood to be one of the major causes of accidents and injuries with equipment operators.

A chainsaw should idle sometimes too. Like when you let off the throttle, the chainsaw should stop rotating the chain. You see, when the chain is turning you stand a higher chance of cutting something. You don't want it to be a part of your body.

Chainsaws have a centrifugal clutch system that is a major part of it's operation. When the throttle is released, the clutch disengages and the chain is released from its drive system. The clutch has weighted shoes and springs that are activated by the rotation of the engines crankshaft. The weights are centrifugally thrown outward at above idle rpm to engage the sprocket drive drum to turn the chain loop on the guide bar. When the throttle is released the chain should stop rotating.

If the saw chain doesn't stop turning it greatly increases your chances of the reactive forces of push, pull or kick-back coming into play unexpectedly.

If the chain turns at idle it may be caused by one or more of the following:

1. The saw's idle screw (T or LA) is set too high.
2. The centrifugal clutch springs are weak or broken.
3. The roller bearing on the crankshaft is seized or dirt bound.

Some of the common problems caused by a clutch that doesn't work properly:

1. The saw is hard to start because of the resistance of the chain.
2. The engine dies when the throttle is released.
3. The chain brake band is worn or over heated.
4. The operator is exposed to a higher risk of injury.
5. Saw control is greatly decreased for accurate cutting.

So when you take a break your chainsaw should also. Never, never operate a chainsaw that doesn't rest when you do... When you let the engine idle, the saw chain should too.

Remember - review your operator's manual regularly and put on your PPE before starting your chainsaw work.

Good Sawing!
Tim Ard

More information on chainsaw operation and safety can be found at Tim's website www.ForestApps.com

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Old Stand

I recall visiting two preserved forests in the States over the years that I just couldn't understand why things were let to naturally die away. One of these forested areas is in the San Francisco, CA area and another in Spruce Knob, WV. Whether it is Redwood or large native Spruce the situation is the same. Not knowing if it was originally a forest or another man had planted or changed it's lifestyle a hundred years ago, it's evident anyway that they have overgrown themselves and are so thick and depressed that they will most likely not be around for our children. Which is exactly why I think the parks were established to begin with... When we fence off, so to speak, an area and herd lots of people through - it does change things in a forest.

Now number three- today Laura and I visited a beautiful overlook area here in Molokai, Hawaii where there were two paths built to the overlook. The trees were so dense they were dying off at what looked to be a higher rate than most of the similar area forests. Now as the trees naturally die, because there is not enough food on the table for all of them, they are creating hazard situations along the trails.

I think it is ashamed these areas are set aside to preserve them and then no management is allowed in, whether planned by man or natural. Most of the parks I discuss my thoughts with say the budgets just are not there, nor the manpower, to properly maintain them. Volunteers, who are usually a little more on the "don't cut this" side of maintenance are the only ones cleaning up the trails and park facilities. That thought process is usually to maintain less work for some or because of some ecological beliefs of others. Thanks to both of the groups though for at least doing something. A medium point of education and understanding would prosper the results better I think.

Soren Eriksson used to tell me that a forest should be maintained so people can safely walk and even run through the trees. I think he is right. The preserved forests in some park areas and woodlots are so thick they cannot be enjoyed outside of a beaten paved trail or tent pad.

If you were to go in and change the density or build more access trails, the trees are so close together they would fall over in the next little breeze. The root systems have been so protected for so long they are not strong enough to support thinning or storms now. It appears to me they are just slowly dying out. There is no room for new growth. The worst that's evident is the overhead hazards, the fallen and ready to fall stressed and dying trees.

Maybe in the near future we will see more groups and or land owners start to form new recreation areas with management plans from the seed up...

Good Sawing!
Tim Ard

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Maui, Hawaii Complete

Completed the Maui programs today. The cutting site was a little limited here for great instruction but it worked and we had an awesome couple of classes.

Because of State Furlough's we had to make the classes a little too large, but we wanted to accommodate as many workers as possible. The trees were very small, so time wasn't a factor in completing the course material, but we were kind of limited in situation discussions. The planning sessions were super and the saw control was well discussed.

I hoped to be able to get the planning process' under way here in preparation for any storm work they may have to do in the future. This is the first formal saw training they have experienced and they learned a lot in taking and acting on information at the tree.

The conditions on the islands, with the tropical tree species and the irregular terrain, make for some super tough and dangerous cutting conditions these occasional operators have to experience.

They are super dedicated people and very hard workers at the Maui DOT. We had a great time here with them, but it's off to Molokai, Hawaii for another class next week.

Good Sawing!
Tim Ard

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Rot and Fire Damage

Rot and Fire Damaged
By Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.

I had a great question come in this week regarding the difference between working on a green healthy tree and one that many sawyers have to deal with -- dead, rotted or fire damaged trees. Some may be standing, others may be hung in another tree or just lying there to clean up after falling to the ground. This is an awesome question, but a tough one to write about and illustrate in words. During hands on training I can go over many situations or at least address them with a similar tree in front of the class. Without having you in front of a tree to show and discuss it's hard to justly describe and write about a technique and even harder for one to see with the minds eye. I will attempt to cover some of the more explainable things however...

Let me say this first to reemphasize my ever important stand on the use of the hinge in felling and bucking. You must understand how a hinge should be considered or established in these discussed operations to see their effectiveness and safety. Sounds complicated? It is, unless you can first define it - The hinge is a predetermined section of wood, that connects the stump to the falling trunk stem or a log or limb section to another. Predetermined means you have a clear thought in your mind as to how much hinge you want to leave attaching the two parts. You just don't simply cut, you plan it.

The hinge dimension (rule of thumb) is approximately 10% of the diameter in width and 80% of the diameter in length. The diameter is a measured cross section of the tree or wood/log section. This calculation gives you a very predictable place to start in establishing a successful controlling hinge.

Now to our issue's of burned or rotted trees.

The planning process remains the same as with every tree to cut- establish the five steps - 1. hazards, 2. leans, 3. escape, 4. hinge dimensions and 5. how to cut, selecting tools and kerfs (back to front or bore cut).

I wish I could explain everything regarding what to look for in hazards and leans assessment but it is probably best left for a class or video and still you would not completely cover all the possibilities. Listing out all the possibilities may overwhelm some people. I still find sawyers, including myself, that forget important things sometimes to watch and plan for....

To identify just a few of these obstacle and hazard considerations --
Broken hanging limbs and tops (widow makers).
Rotted or severely burned tops or large limbs that may break loose during movement.
Cracks or channels that have occurred in the trunk from stress or rot.
Noticed splits,cracks or wear areas on the trunk or limbs.
Vines that attach to limbs or other adjacent tree tops.
Root systems that may be burned out causing unstable lean potential.
Obstacles, power lines, cables, structures, adjacent trees.
Ground hazards and terrain issues.
Odd shapes or missing fiber from rot or burn in the desired notch and hinge area.
Chimney effect burns. Forest Fire damage from the inside out on some burned trees.
Fiber that is hard and dry from burn exposure.
Fiber that is powdery, rotted or just weak from rot.
Be aware that rot or fire damage can cause a trunk or limb to be unstable several feet up. This can result in a tree folding back toward an operator when it begins to fall or strikes another obstacle.
Face notch's should be open for travel until the trunk is virtually parallel to the ground and should have no bypass or Dutchman in the apex of the notch. These things can cause a shaking action to the trunk that can snap out tops or unstable limbs.

Regarding initial techniques used to cut the tree or log; after your plan is established, burned or rotted fiber is usually found in the tree in a couple scenarios. On burned or rotted surfaces of the tree the outside wood needed for a hinge may be soft and offer little or no usable hinge material. Other trees may be hollow, limited the placement depth of the hinge into the tree. With either of these scenarios, the sawyer must look at the available wood or the lack of and make sure there is enough for a sufficient hinge to be established. A hinge may be sectioned or open in the middle, similar to hinges of a tall door however and still offer steering control and safety. On larger trees especially, two hinges can be formed, one at each side of the notch. If the tree is hollow and the notch extends back into the hollow, the two hinges located on the sides will still be successful to direct and support a tree as long as there is not too much side lean. Hollow trees, if you can establish a working hinge in the good fiber it only means you have less to cut.

Trees with rot in the hinge area, rotted or unstable fiber, can not be felled from the ground with complete confidence and control. Without hinge control, safety is a questionable issue. If a tree has lean in a favorable direction you may be able to notch and back or bore cut to fall the tree safely. If the plan information has obstacles or hazard situations that can affect the fall, you must decide to leave the tree. It will have to be taken down from the top by bucket, crane or a climber that can suspend from another adjacent tree or structure. If the tree base is unstable it's not safe to support a climber either. Leaving a tree in the woods you can't safely plan to cut means you have to mark off the area - at least the height of the tree or as is usually suggested, two tree heights so no one enters the area. In a residential area mark the area well, especially any walkways, until the tree can be removed. Don't leave a situation for another unsuspecting person or animal to enter the zone and be surprised by the tree falling on them.

The commonly used Definition of a Hazardous Tree is one with a Target. If the tree shows any sign of instability and there's a chance of people or property damage, it's a Hazard Tree! Stabilize it or remove it as soon as possible.

Practice your saw cuts and become proficient in making notches and hinges on practice blocks or stumps before ever attempting to work in rot or burned situations. Your chainsaw must be sharp and in perfect running order. Read your owners manual and be familiar with its content. Wear your PPE and if you are not comfortable with the plan you are able to devise... Call someone who is.

Good Sawing!

The ForestApps eBook, "The Complete Guide to Chain Saw Safety and Directional Felling" is available from our website and downloadable from www.BarnesandNoble.com . We have recently completed filming some very good video footage that we hope to have out in the next month or so regarding a few storm damage situations. So stay in touch with our website or by ChainPoint.

If you have questions or feel other explanations are necessary regarding this article there are training programs available from Forest Applications Training to better your understanding. Write to Tim Ard info@ForestApps.com or visit our website www.ForestApps.com .

(c) Copyright 2010 Forest Applications Training, Inc.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Storm Training

Awesome to hear something like this...

A large distributor of Toyota automobiles has contacted us to look into training some of their volunteer employees to help out customers and dealers with hurricane preparedness and clean-up in the Gulf area.

That's the sign of a great company when with all the negative press received over the past few months about their products- they are progressively looking to the future and the well-being of their personal and business family.

Good Sawing!
Tim Ard

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