By Tim Ard - Forest Applications Training, Inc.
If you were to ask people what is the difference in experience and formal training, they would probably say, “Experience is the best training you can have.” Getting out and doing it is definitely going to teach you things about the task at hand. Soren Eriksson always said that “experience is the best teacher.” However he always finished that statement with,”experience is a good teacher but you have to remember there are two types of experience, good and bad. You want to learn the good on your own and the bad from someone else. It’s usually a lot less painful that way.”
When it comes to storm cleanup involving chainsaws, and some other chainsaw operations too, it is important we approach it with a basic knowledge or awareness and add to our experience level as we approach the task. To do this safely and successfully any activity should start with a plan.
So let’s break this thought process into segments. Knowledge and training....
It’s my theory that knowledge is acquired over time. It’s the level of experience that you are holding on any given subject. It could be to a level of understanding or it could be in application. I may have a full understanding of how to fly a plane but I’ve never tried to take off or land. Once I apply that knowledge/understanding then I can consider myself a pilot. That’s where training comes in to play.
My thoughts here are that training is the process you go through to obtain and master knowledge. It could be the time lapsed between a known desire, the formulated plan, and the eventual execution of the plan to achieve success in the project. In other thoughts, training is often a process that begins with a plan and then continues until the plan is successful. I need to consider myself training until I can do a task without finishing below my planned expectations or success. Training is often where a teacher or mentor is brought in to speed up the process. Someone or something to offer a better or clearer understanding of the knowledge and can guide us through the application process to limit errors in the trial. Without a guide of some form we are learning through trial and error.
In equipment operations like the use of a chainsaw, regulations promote that the first form of training you should have is reading, understanding and applying, the manufacturer’s operators manual. The manufacturer has compiled this information for the operator for an understanding of design, application and safety. This provided manual should be your first knowledge training.
I ask groups about every week in chainsaw workshops to raise their hand if they have seen and read an owners manual for the equipment they run. I often never get a raised hand. Why do you think this is? Some say they don’t know where the manual is but most, as with many things, feel we already know that information. We have been using or have observed someone using the tool and that’s the best training we can get.
The next step might be to acquire a supervisor or mentor to help us achieve a clearer picture of the applications of the tool. Oh, that’s expensive.... so we need to get that part of training actually doing a job with the tool. The supervisor or mentor can overlook the job and correct and apply the tool properly in the task. This training process doesn’t cost extra... less expensive. Or is it?
Off the job training- are there any advantages?
Formalized or off the job training for equipment operators can have its advantages. It enables a planned focus and direction of the knowledge information for the hands on application. The environment is created instead of trying to learn in a situation requiring meeting a deadline or satisfy a customer or supervisor.
Let’s think again about the reasons that people don’t read the operators manual from the manufacturer. Maybe some don’t like to take time to read. They’re busy with lots of work today. Next it could be there is a lot of information they feel doesn’t apply. Their knowledge is deemed to be above the information in the manual. Some just find it boring. Finally, some people are just not interested in being an equipment operator. They are uncomfortable with the equipment or have no desire to use it at home or on the job.
With many topics relating to adult learning, I believe a 99 to 1 ratio in the presentation may be an important part in obtaining useable results. It breaks down to 99 percent motivation and 1 percent technique. Often the presenter or supervisor just doesn’t impress the student. A lack of common sense approach by the instructor will turn a student off quickly. Then there’s always the presenter or supervisor that is a know it all. Their way or the highway.... As Jerry Clower used to say, “I can tell they are educated above their intelligence.”
I’d like to discuss with you a program for you or your equipment operators. Forest Applications Training, Inc. has workshops formatted for results in chainsaw applications, zero turn mower applications, saw chain maintenance and very unique program in two cycle troubleshooting for the operator of handheld power equipment.
Contact us today at info@ForestApps.com or call 770-543-9862 to discuss your training program.
Copyright 2017 Tim Ard Forest Applications Training, Inc.
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