Forest Applications Training, Inc.
Three Day Workshop
By Tim Ard, President/Instructor Forest Applications Training, Inc.
Why so much time? Why three days? Is there really that much information to cover?
Our Three Day Workshop, we call Storm Sawing, is the ultimate training system for the novice and full-time chainsaw operators. It is review for some and new for others but in every aspect it is chainsaw application education. Time spent in establishing a planning process in use of the chainsaw.
Some people are afraid or hesitate to drive a car on major highways. Some people are afraid of flying in airplanes. Some people have been using a chainsaw since they were old enough to walk with it, others are scared to pick one up. In most things to be comfortable our experience level establishes our comfort level.
Experience - a great teacher!
Soren Eriksson explained it this way in many of the first chainsaw training workshops I attended. Experience is the best teacher but you must remember there are two different types of experiences — Good ones and bad ones! Some you want to learn on your own, bad ones from others as it is a lot less painful that way!
Chainsaw manufactures have done an awesome job over the last 90 years from their experience in producing chainsaws with the latest technology. Making them as safe and productive as they can be. Using feedback from operators like yourselves. Information from well liked experiences and some from known patterns of bad experiences.
My chainsaw training experiences have been formed in a third of that time, a little over 30 years. My 30 years of chainsaw, out of about 60 years of life, focusing on the safety and productivity of the operators of those manufactured products. I have learned a lot from manufactures’ and operators’ and have attempted to organize all aspects of chainsaw operation and maintenance into a workshop of 18 short hours over a three day time. I can tell you workshops have to be focused, yet very flexible, to accomplish my goal with so many experience levels of operators. However, it is so important to make sure that all those attending totally understand the importance of the results. Results hinge on a few very important key factors:
- Time proven teaching techniques and methods.
- Positive organizer and attendee attitudes.
- Classroom facilities.
- Proper attendee numbers.
- Adequate cutting sites.
- Properly applied equipment.
A training workshop, that gets results, must be well planned and organized in all the above areas. Most of all, have an instructor who can manage it all.
I’m not going to go through the specific outline, techniques or agenda of the workshop here, that can be found on our website or through discussions with our office, but I do want to give you some of my thoughts as to why our Three Day Workshop is important to overall attendee results. This is a progressive instruction process. It is important to have attended the days in order. However, it is possible to have time between the days. If an attendee cannot make the days consecutively he or she can attend the next higher level class that meets their time schedule.
We are equipped to lecture and demonstrate to a large number (40 to 100) attendees given facilities and cutting site will accommodate. This day is an in classroom lecture and discussion of chainsaw PPE, Reactive Forces, Sharpening, Maintenance, and Planning followed by an outside demo that establishes the process at a tree. Once the tree is felled a discussion of de-limbing, spring pole and bucking techniques are shown and discussed. Attendees watch and learn. This first day is often used to show a larger group what can be learned and invite interest in the smaller attendee hands on day two and three. It can also be a great review day for a previous trained group as well as an intro into day two and three for a new group.
A group maximum of 15 attendees ( this is 15 max for this day with a preferred 10 to 12 ). This smaller group is then hands on with planning and felling trees looking at concepts of the hinge and felling cuts. It must be size limited for safety but also for site, terrain, time and sometimes weather limitations. All attendees must be focused on each tree felled. Every tree is different, ranging from size, to leans, as well sometimes dead or alive, so it is important the whole group plans and focuses on every situation.
A group of 12 to 16 is preferred. De-limbing and Bucking the felled trees of day two. This day is where most firewood and storm cleanup operators really want to be. Pressures and binds of storm and cleanup can be challenging and a lot of work. Organizers sometime think you should be able to go right to this day to start. I can tell you that the site must be set up properly with the felled trees to really be able to safely conduct this training. When it is set up properly and the attendees work in teams the positive results multiply rapidly.
Attendees not only feel they work safer but also a lot more productive after going through the progression of the three days. I have tried several times to start with a group that doesn't have a focussed planning process, equipment that is not performing well and operators not understanding a hinge — the results are then very unpredictable.
Training to cover big numbers is often times initially less cost per person but is not always the most profitable for your overall budgeted results. Maintaining a safe work environment and maximizing productivity is what makes training dollars, as well as your organization, profitable isn't it?
You know — the bottom line is experience isn't it? Safety is effected by experience? Productivity is dependent on experience and effected by safety is it not? How can you then limit a training experience and expect maximum safely productive positive results?
All that is really required training for a chainsaw operator is to read and understand the chainsaw manufactures operation manual. How many people you know have read it? How many have applied and purchased the PPE, maintenance and sharpening tools listed in those publications and have followed the falling, de-limbing and bucking techniques found in those pages? This finding is a very good example of why a formal training program is needed for any equipment operation.
Training is a long term investment, especially with tools like chainsaws. Whether you contact Forest Applications and schedule a workshop or you prefer another training company or you organize a training program yourself. Think about experience is a progression not a single event. An experience, to be results training, must make an impression on the attendee that is first applicable, promote productivity and most of all structured to promote and maintain safe work habits in the operation environment. It should be a life changing experience.
Our training programs, nor any others, can turn you into an experienced operator in 1 day or 20 days. The workshop’s or program can only give you a valuable experience to continue to build upon… Choose and Invest in Your Experiences Wisely.
Thank you to all those who have attended our Experiences in the past years and those we hope to see in the future— Good Sawing….
Contact Forest Applications Training, Inc. at info@ForestApps.com or visit www.ForestApps.com for more information.