Monday, July 26, 2010

Chain Saw Mileage

Chain Saw Mileage

By 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 . Good Sawing!


Friday, July 9, 2010

Business That Cares!

It is such a privileged to work with companies and organizations that care about their people... That is truly the case this week in South Florida.

A company contacted us, JM Family Enterprises, that wanted to hold formal chain saw training for their volunteers for a program they call Associate Disaster Restoration. The purpose is to locate and restore property of associates if they are struck by a hurricane or other natural disaster. First to find out if the associate is OK. Second is to help them to get their home or property livable should they be damaged during the storm.

This company cares about its employees! It's not a small project either... They have about 1000 associates in South Florida and then a few thousand more across the USA. Their main business - they are the largest Toyota distribution and dealer network. Mostly in the southern states but also have finance and support facilities across most of the east and central states.

The group this week was comprised of mostly occasional to little or no chain saw operation experience but they did super felling, limbing and bucking some good sized Australian Pines that were designated to be removed from a lot being turned into a community park. They are dedicated, determined and like literal sponges absorbing every bit of information they could to be ready for future work taking care if their associates should the need arise.

You want to know more about a business that does it right... Look em up. They are in the top 100 of privately owned businesses in America.

Good Sawing,

Tim Ard

- Posted using BlogPress

Community Makeover

Local Churches, about 80 of them, have combined volunteers to help people, family and school facilities in a huge community makeover. The organization Engage Atlanta coming from ministries of WestRidge Church.

The outreach is over about a six county area. Projects will range from cutting grass to major home renovations.

Laura and I will be working on various tree trimming and removal needs at about four of the projects.

Sharing your Blessings with others is what CMO is all about.

Good Sawing...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fueled by Ethanol

Fueled by Ethanol
By Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.

Today it is getting more and more important to know what your chain saw and trimmer are drinking. Alcohol in excess is bad news for you and your two cycle machines.

Chances are pretty high today that the fuel location you purchased from last year for your two cycle fuel is not the same this year. The difference is that most gas stations today have a minimum of 10% ethanol in their blending at the pump. Ethanol or alcohol in any form can have some ill effects on your chain saw or trimmer.

Alcohol fuel can corrode aluminum and magnesium parts, collect moisture, doesn't mix well with your oil additive, can cause a rapid drop in volatility, and most important it can produce an erratic tuning that could cause major internal engine damage.

If you have one or more of the following issues you may be Fueled by Ethanol.

If you notice your trimmer or chain saw will not start or refuses to start quickly when cold or warm you may have a fuel problem.
If your saw or trimmer idles unevenly you may have a fuel problem.
If the saw or trimmer doesn't accelerate quickly upon trigger response you may have.....
If the trimmer or saw runs away at full throttle you may have ......
If your saw or trimmer takes a long time to return to idle you may have a ......
If your fuel lines are gummy or cracking you ......
If your saw or trimmer engine dies when you let off the throttle trigger you may have ....
If your saw or trimmer billows out smoke and or an obtrusive odor you.....

Yes, you may have a fuel problem!

I received a call from a friend recently complaining that his trimmer would start but wouldn't rev when depressing the throttle. He had been using the trimmer with no problem prior this season. Recently he had purchased a new supply of gas and mixed it as he always has. I suggested he try opening (counter clockwise) the carb adjustment screws slightly and the problem went away. Evidently the new gas purchase had a higher volume of ethanol in it and caused the engine to run slightly leaner. Too lean of a fuel setting to accelerate.
Alcohol in the fuel requires more flow to maintain power needs. In two cycle engines the fuel flow can also relate to lubrication needs. It takes a more open, counter-clockwise adjustment on the screws, to allow enough fuel to run properly. Most carburetors will adjust 10% to 12% but will not accept any higher percentages very well. You should try to a locate a gas supply without ethanol if at all possible.

One of the easiest ways to insure an ethanol free fuel source is to use a bottled fuel like TruSouth's. They produce a premixed 40 to 1 and 50 to 1 fuel (TruFuel or 50Fuel) that is a very convenient and consistent fuel alternative. The TruFuel is in special one quart cans. Your fuel container or mixing is not required. The product is high octane for an even and efficient burn and there is no ethanol. A correct mixture of oil and stabilizers is already mixed in which insures a fresh, properly mixed fuel - good for over two years. Ready for your two cycle machines.

More information on fuel, adjustments and issues can be found under the articles/info link at .

(c) Copyright 2010 Forest Applications Training, Inc.