Chain Saw MileageBy Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.
For years I’ve challenge myself to plan out every drop of fuel used in my saw for training programs. You would think that’s kind of ridiculous, but when you walk away from the truck or carry fuel and oil over to the cutting site, it can be a quite a distance sometimes, so I always try to calculate it as closely as possible. I hate to leave a training group just standing around.
When I was involved years ago with saw testing at logging and tree care worksites we always kept up with run time on the saws by tanks of fuel. We knew if an operator went through two gallons of gas in a day he had so many hours of operation on the machine. It was very easy to calculate that way and could easily be recorded by the supervisor or operator.
In later years I have realized there are several things that effect the run time on a piece of equipment. If the engine is adjusted too rich, the fuel consumption is higher for sure. If the operator applies a lot of pressure on the saw chain while cutting it tends to use more fuel. Finally the main denominator – if the saw’s chain is dull you will see your fuel economy and productivity go way down…
Recently I was part of a Community Makeover project that had me running a saw at three or four sites in my area. I enjoy donating time to these projects as it is for a very good cause. I had other volunteers to pull brush to a chipper and clean up so all I had to do was the easy part - sawing. My work portion was to cut down, take off larger limbs and buck the pieces where they could be moved by hand or fit a loader bucket on to a chipper.
I cut for three mornings at the projects (I wimped out close to noon each day because the heat index was over 100 degrees). I cut, limbed and bucked twenty some odd trees over the three mornings. I had three or four that were just less than six inches but the average diameters were in the fourteen-inch range with four in the eighteen to twenty-six inch size. There was a substantial amount of brush clearing around the trees at one of the sites. So, a good bit of sawing was going on with my 20” Stihl MS362 I chose to use.
I nicked one rock the second day with my chain and had to remove some damage but was able to make it through all the sawing with the one Oregon saw chain loop and sharpened seven times over the three mornings. I still have about 1/8” of chain top left before the witness mark. Maintaining the sharp chain was easy with the PFERD Chain Sharp.
I didn’t write this bragging about my abilities but the combined efforts of equipment, accessories and operation to reference my amazement at being able to complete the entire project with a little less than two quarts of TrueFuel50 premixed fuel. That’s great Chain Saw Mileage in anyone’s project logbook. Think about it…. That’s Impressive.
In closing, all the work was accomplished, even in the outrageously hot temps, in full PPE. I am committed to my safety and others. I wore Elvex’s new Tectra helmet system and their safety glasses (with 1.5 bioptic lenses), SwedePro Logger Pants, Tool Vest, Saw Mittens and Boots.
The reason I endorse the mentioned products is the simple reason…. If combined and used properly they achieve awesome results.
To find out more about the items discussed, ask for them at your local saw dealer or visit our website at www.forestapps.com . Good Sawing!