Five Steps to Felling a Tree Safely Using a Chainsaw

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The Big Build: How to Use Heavy Construction Equipment

My name is Jerry, and I run a small construction company in Perth. My team normally completes relatively small jobs such as plastering walls, repairing electrical systems and constructing patios. However, one day a big client got in touch to say they wanted me to help them construct a large apartment building. I have never taken on such a big job before, but I thought it was a good chance to grow my business and gain some new skills. A friend who has completed large scale jobs before advised me on how I should hire the people and heavy construction equipment needed for the job. I learnt a lot from him, and my company has since completed several more big construction jobs. I have decided to start this blog to advise others how to hire and maintain heavy equipment.

Five Steps to Felling a Tree Safely Using a Chainsaw

30 June 2017
 Categories: , Blog

Many laypeople are involved in chainsaw accidents because they don't know the best way to fell a tree using that powerful tool. This article discusses the steps that seasoned loggers use to fell trees with chainsaws safely.

Hazard Analysis

The first step of any felling operation should be the identification of any possible hazards at the site. These may include tree defects that can cause the tree to fall in a different direction from what you desired. Outdoor furniture, valuable landscaping and wind forces should also be considered during this hazard assessment.

Side Lean Identification

You should never wield a chainsaw to cut a tree if you haven't identified which side of the tree is bad. This bad side is the direction in which the tree is leaning before you start cutting it down. Always position yourself on the good side of the tree (the side opposite the bad side) as you cut that tree.

Escape Route Mapping

Always anticipate that something will go wrong when you are planning to fell a tree using a chainsaw. This mindset will enable you to identify an escape route that you can take in case things do go wrong. Select an escape route that is about 45-degrees relative to the direction that you expect the tree to fall. Make sure that there are no obstructions on that chosen escape route. Walk through the route before you start felling the tree. This measure will ensure that you have a detailed mental map of that escape route in the event that you need to use it.

Hinge Plan

The hinge and notch cuts help to keep the tree that you are felling on its stump so that it doesn't move uncontrollably once that tree starts falling. Usually, hinges should be about 10-percent of the diameter of the target tree. However, other factors, such as the moisture content of the tree as well as the flexibility of the fibres of that tree, can compel you to adjust the depth of the hinge. For example, you can reduce the size of that hinge in case the tree that you are felling is very thick.

Back-Cut Plan

The back-cut refers to the cut that you make on the opposite side of the hinge once the tree starts falling. This cut needs to be made carefully so that the tree doesn't detach completely from the hinge as it falls. A detached tree can be erratic in its movement. Wedges can come in handy for beginners who want to avoid cutting into the hinge cut. Make this back-cut when you are on the good side that you had identified in the second step of this felling process.

Your felling operation will have no issues if you follow the steps suggested. However, more information, such as the use of pull ropes, is needed if you are to fell trees in a crowded environment. It is therefore better for you to undergo comprehensive chainsaw training so that you master all the aspects of using this tool. For more information, contact a professional in your area like those found at Forklift Licence Testing Service.