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Top Rated Battery Chainsaw – Easy To Cut Trees

We all know a top rated battery chainsaw can be a useful tool and sometimes they come in very handy depending on the type of work needed to be done. While the most common use for chainsaws are to cut trees or firewood, they can be used during many other projects.

Often times a construction worker will have a chainsaw in his truck. The battery powered chainsaws are a great tool to remove trees or branches where there is going to be construction.

The Top Rated Battery Chainsawtop rated battery chainsaw

One of my favorite battery chainsaws are manufactures by Greenworks. They have a wide range of chainsaws with common battery voltages ranging from 24 volts, 40 volts, and 80 volts.

This top rated battery chainsaw brand has common bar lengths ranging from 12 inches through 18 inches! The 18-inch bar is big enough for almost everything except the stump on large trees!

These chainsaws have safety features to prevent kick back and other accidents from happening.

A battery and charger come with the chainsaws, eliminating the need to purchase them separately. Another feature is tool less chain tensioning, which can be handy to quickly tighten a loose chain!

The Greenworks brand is quite large with a wide range of outdoor battery operated tools and equipment.

Is A Battery Or Gas Chainsaw Better?

This is always a popular question. But ultimately it will matter on how much cutting will be done.

A few of the benefits from the top rated battery chainsaw will be how quietly it runs while cutting. So ear plugs won’t need to be worn while cutting. Nearby neighbors won’t be complaining about noise if cutting is done in the early morning or late evening!

A battery chainsaw is quite simple to start, just press a button or squeeze the throttle! Gone are the days of struggling to start a stubborn saw by yanking on the pull rope until exhausted!

You won’t need to keep a smelly gas can around to refuel or worry about running out of gas! All that is needed is an electric outlet to plug the charger into and there can always be a charged battery waiting.

Cutting smaller branches or logs is an easy job for the battery chainsaw, it can even cut large logs as long as the chainsaw bar is long enough. But on these large logs is where you will probably wish for a bigger gas chainsaw.

If it is occasional cutting of big logs you can survive with a battery saw, but doing it everyday I would recommend something bigger.

Maintenance On A Top Rated Battery Chainsaw

On the battery chainsaws there is very little maintenance. The engine is electric so there is no spark plugs that need changing.

The carburetor on a gas chainsaw can often cause problems if the chainsaw is not used very often. Especially with the ethanol gas which gums up inside the carburetor.

Eventually the chain will become dull and need to be replaced with a sharp one. But that is normal and will happen with the gas chainsaws as well.

Basically all you need to do is keep a charged battery on hand and the top rated battery chainsaw is always ready to begin cutting at the press of a button.

Don’t forget to keep bar and chain oil in the reservoir. That will keep the chain lubricated and from getting hot as it works!

Why The Top Rated Battery Chainsaw Is A Good Fit

This battery chainsaws can be the preferred choice for occasional cutting. Especially if somebody has a driveway through a wooded area. Sometimes during a storm branches will break down and this chainsaw can cut them into pieces so they can be cleared off so the car can drive out the driveway!

Other times a top rated battery chainsaw will come in handy is to remove a few lower limbs from a tree that has branches hanging to low and scraping the lawn mower as it goes under.

Many people like to have occasional campfires in the backyard, I sure do! This saw can easily cut firewood into nice sized pieces for the campfire. Then hot dogs and marshmallows can be roasted!

Is This Chainsaw Better Than STIHL?

The STIHL chainsaws are one of the very best, at the top of the commercial line of chainsaws used by arborists, landscapers, and loggers.

In my Tree Pruning and Removal Business we mostly use the gas STIHL chainsaws. The biggest chainsaw has a 36-inch bar! That is too big for battery so we use the gas engines.

STIHL does have a few battery chainsaws but they are quite expensive. These saws will be of better quality and could have more power than the more common chainsaws.

STIHL chainsaws are sold through certified dealers, so to put your hands on one of these gas or battery chainsaws find your nearest dealer and browse their selection!

Ultimately it comes down to the person shopping for chainsaws. Do you want the commercial grade, more cost but better quality? That depends on how much you plan to use the saw.

Or maybe a top rated battery chainsaw from Amazon or other online store will be the best if occasional cutting will be done.

I would be happy to answer any questions, just leave them in the comment section below. Have a great time cutting wood with a chainsaw!

Your Arborist Friend

How To Use Ear Plugs – Quality Hearing Protection

how to use earplugs

Today I want to explain how to use ear plugs. These little foam plugs that go in each ear are very important when I am operating or near loud equipment! Without wearing any ear protection there would eventually be gradual hearing loss.

An ear plug is a small cylinder shaped object. Usually made from foam or some other soft pliable material that is safe to put in the ear to quite loud sounds.

While there are many different kinds of ear plugs, I prefer the 3M classic E.A.R. earplugs and they are common enough to easily be found!

How To Use Ear Plugs The Right Way

First of all when you look at an ear plug you may think there is no way that it will fit into your ear! I can assure you it should fit if the proper steps are taking while inserting it. I have learned how to use ear plugs years ago and following these steps will help anybody learn quickly!

  • First of all make sure your hands are clean, we don’t want dirt to get onto the ear plug and pushed into the ear!
  • Pick up the ear plug packet and take out one ear plug.
  • Begin rolling it between the thumb and fingers, squashing it into a narrow cylinder.
  • After it is rolled hold it firmly to keep from expanding and select an ear for the plug.
  • With the other hand grasp the top of the ear and gently pull the ear up and away from the head to open the ear canal.
  • Slowly begin putting one end of the ear plug into the ear, wiggling or rolling the ear plug a bit if needed.
  • As the ear plug goes in the ear I am able to carefully push it in until the outer edge is no longer sticking out past my ear.
  • I can feel if the ear plug is in correctly because almost immediately I can feel the foam expanding and sound is muffled.
  • Get the remaining ear plug and go through the same process.
  • Sometimes it is difficult to get the ear plug into the ear, that may be because it was not rolled tight enough or already started to expand. If that is the case, then don’t try to force it in. Pull it out and roll it again, tighter this time and try again!

Where To Find New Ear Plugs

New ear plugs can be found at hardware stores and other places that sell tools and machines. They are a popular item at stores, but because they are so small they seem to be harder to spot on crowded shelves.

I have also found these ear plugs while shopping online. There you will have many different brands and colors to choose from!

How To Use Ear Plugs More Than Once

how to use ear plugs

Depending on the job I am doing I doing sometimes I will need to use ear plugs more than once a day and it would be wasteful to keep using a new pair

If you are wondering how to use ear plugs more than once, the manufacturer is even helping here. My ear plugs are often in a small cardboard box called a pillow pack. Each of these pillow packs have a pair of ear plugs in it. The pillow packs are all in the one big box. Sometimes instead of a pillow pack the pair of ear plugs will be sealed in a small plastic bag.

Before operating a chainsaw I need to protect my hearing. So I pull the ear plugs out of the pillow pack and put them in my ears. Then I save the pillow pack by putting it into my pocket. When my cutting job is finished I can pull the pillow packet from my pocket and easily put the used ear plugs into it, keeping them clean and safe from getting lost!

At the end of the day I usually bring my used ear plugs home. There they will get washed and dried and then they can be used again at another job!

Sometimes I forget to take the ear plugs out of my pants pocket and they go through the washer! That will clean them but they can also be washed under a facet.

Its important to occasionally wash the ear plugs because ear wax will stick to the ear plug and dust will stick to the ear wax. And eventually that buildup of dirt would get pushed into the ear.

My Favorite Ear Plugs – Trusted For Years

Now that I’ve explained how to use ear plugs, I want to show you my favorite ear plugs which are the 3M classic ear plugs. They are yellow foam cylinder shaped ear plugs.

The main reason I like these ear plugs so much is because the foam is slower to expand than most other brands. That gives me a few more seconds to wiggle the plug into my ear before it expands and needs to be rolled again.

Winter’s cold weather makes the foam stiffer and harder to roll, but that is fine because it will open up slower. That gives me more time to get it in my ear. The summer warmth will make these ear plugs expand faster, but it is still slower than other brands!

Working in the summer you know it will be hot, and with that comes sweat! Eventually the ear plugs will become wet from sweat. That is normal, but will make it slightly harder to keep them clean throughout the day.

How To Use Ear Plugs At Work Instead Of Ear Muffs

Often I see people wearing ear muffs instead of ear plugs. Maybe they don’t know how to use ear plugs or believe ear muffs are easier to use. I have found ear muffs can be bulky and feel kinda heavy on my head!

In construction and other areas where hard hats are worn it would be difficult to wear both ear muffs and a hard hat. Ear plugs come in handy for these workers.

In my Tree Pruning and Removal business we usually use hard hats that have an ear muff system attached to them. But sometimes those don’t press firmly enough against my ears so I like to wear ear plugs underneath, especially when using a chainsaw or chipping branches with the chipper.

Ear plugs have the advantage of being much smaller and still doing as an effective job as the much bigger muffs! Plus they can be put in my pocket and always carried with me so I have them whenever I need them!

I hope you have learned how to use ear plugs! But if you have any questions be sure to ask me about them in the comment section below!

Dump Trailer Tarp Roller – Useful And Easy To Use

The dump trailer tarp roller is an important part of the dump trailer in our Tree Pruning and Removal business! The tarp has an important job when the trailer is loaded. When the tarp is stretched over the loaded trailer it will prevent anything from blowing off while driving on the highway!

I just recently bought a new dump trailer tarp roller kit to put on my SURE-TRAC dump trailer! The old tarp had served it is job for quite a while, but some holes were starting to get too big.

The roller was also bent because when we loaded heavy logs onto the trailer a log must have hit the dump trailer tarp roller and bent it. I was able to bend it back into working condition, but it still wasn’t perfect.

To prevent another log from bending the new tarp and roller there will be a small modification to the front of the trailer. Mostly that will consist of the tarp being mounted inside an enclosure with the open side facing back. This will be strong enough to hold up a log and keep it away from the tarp roller.


The Dump Trailer Tarp Roller Kit

dump trailer tarp roller

After ordering, the dump trailer tarp roller kit arrived in a few days. It comes with mounting brackets which are a vital piece. The mounting brackets are used to mount the tarp on a trailer or truck bed that previously had no tarp. I am replacing my tarp on the dump trailer but still chose to use the new mounting brackets. Using all new parts will help the assembly process go smoother!

Within the 2 mounting brackets are bearings. These bearings hold each end of the tarp roller in place and securely fastened to the trailer! The one is just a bracket and bearing, the other is bracket, bearing and has the crank locking mechanism on it. This lock is needed to keep the tarp from unwrapping while driving. Imagine sixteen feet of tarp billowing behind a trailer and the sight that would be!

The aluminum roller axle is a telescoping axle made to fit a wide variety of trailer widths! It will perfectly fit your trailer. However, you do need to measure the width and length for the tarp you need. The hand crank and other needed hardware all comes with the kit.


Mounting The New Dump Trailer Tarp Roller

Now we are ready to put on the new dump trailer tarp roller!

  1. First mount the brackets where the old brackets were or at a new spot of your choosing. Make sure the brackets are mounted directly across from each other.
  2. Pick up the aluminum roller axle, this is what the tarp wraps onto! Put the passenger side on first by sliding the end of the roller axle through the bearing. Push until it goes in against.
  3. Slide the telescoping roller axle together until it fits perfectly between the two bearings. Then hold the drivers side of the roller axle against the bearing.
  4. Pick up the handle and from the outside of the trailer slide the handle through the bearing and into the roller axle you are holding. Then add the connecting bolt to keep the handle and roller axle together!
  5. Finally, get the tarp and screw or bolt the end of it to the axle roller. These screws will hold the end of the tarp to the roller so when the handle is cranked the tarp will wrap up! One of these screw should go through the telescoping part of the roller axle to keep it from moving in or out.

dump trailer tarp roller


Mesh Tarp On The Dump Trailer Tarp Roller

I’ve chosen the mesh tarp for my trailer! It is what was on before, but I really prefer the mesh tarp over the solid tarp. First of all the mesh tarp is lighter than the solid tarp which helps make it a bit easier to pull out and wrap up.

But another important difference is the small holes in the mesh allow the wind to pass through. So while the tarp is in use and I am driving down the road it will not be as liable to flop in the wind as a solid tarp!

The tarp is made from black mesh fabric that is UV treated and has PVC coated polyester fibers! In the corners and along the sides are rust-proof brass grommets. Those are where I fasten tarp straps or ropes to hold down the tarp after the trailer is loaded! The grommets are inside reinforced 2″ double stitched hems for extra strength.


Securing The Tarp Over A Loaded Trailer

There are several ways to go about covering my load and different options can be used depending on how full the trailer is or what is on the trailer. First I need to unlock the handle so the tarp can be pulled out and to the back of the trailer.

If the trailer is not very full I can grab the corner of the tarp and walk along the side toward the back. For a full trailer I need somebody else on the other side of the trailer or usually it is easier to go into the trailer and pull the middle of the tarp.

When I am in the trailer I can lift the tarp up and over any sticks or logs it could catch on. I pull the tarp to the back of the trailer then get the tarp straps or bungee cords and put one in each rear corner. Now I will go to the handle and crank up any loose tarp.

After the tarp is snug, make sure the handle locking mechanism is in place to prevent it from unrolling. Then use more tarp straps and put them wherever is needed. Two or three in the back and two to four along the side will usually be enough to keep the tarp secure. More or less may be needed depending on load conditions!

Why Do I Use A Dump Trailer Tarp Roller?

A tarp is required on some loads to prevent things from blowing off while driving. If I didn’t have a dump trailer tarp roller then I would need another tarp stored in the toolbox. It would be a hassle to always pull it out of the toolbox and stretch it above the load. Plus it would need more tie-downs because it wouldn’t be fastened to the roller axle.

Then when I dump the trailer I would need to wrap up the tarp and put it back in the toolbox. With a dump trailer tarp roller all that hassle is eliminated. Storage for the tarp is as simple as several cranks on the handle! And when I need the tarp again it is right there waiting for me!


How Long Should A Replacement Tarp Be?

These tarps are usually made in two foot increments. I ordered the tarp that was two feet longer than our trailer. Two feet longer is what is recommended so there is enough tarp when the load is sticking above the trailer sides. To haul high objects you may need a tarp four feet longer than the trailer.

The width of the tarp is important as well. Widths are manufactured in six inch increments from four and a half feet up to 8 feet. You will need to know the measurement between the walls on the inside of the trailer. Then select a width that is a few inches less. A tarp that is too wide will cause bunching along the edges and make it harder to roll and unroll!

This tarp could go on a flatbed trailer. I would measure the distance between mounting brackets and have the tarp a few inches narrower. On a flatbed trailer it is probably best to use a tarp four feet longer than the trailer.


Anti-Sail Tarp Retention Bow Set

An optional accessory for the dump trailer tarp roller kit is the anti-sail retention bow. This goes into end of the tarp and slides all the way through. During covering the load, this retention bar is fastened to the rear of the trailer.

Since it is a heavier rod and reaches through the tarp it will prevent the tail from flapping in the wind while driving. Besides preventing flapping using this bar would require less tie downs in the back.

The anti-sail retention bar has it is purpose, especially for long hauls on interstate roads. The retention bar works best when hauling heavier condensed loads like dirt, sand, or gravel that are level or below the trailer side walls.

Since I work in a Tree Pruning and Removal business most of the loads we haul will be logs, firewood, or tree branches and those often stick above the sides of the trailer. It would be a bit harder covering those loads with an anti-sail retention bar in the tarp. Plus I usually don’t travel far while loaded, just to our local dumping areas.

Do you have any questions about the dump trailer tarp roller? Be sure to ask them in the comment section below. I look forward to answering any questions you may have or providing any other information you are looking for!

Your Arborist Friend

Tree Branch Cutting Tools – The Hand Tools

tree branch cutting tools


Having a few tree branch cutting tools in the garage is a good idea by anybody that has at least one tree near their house! While nice big shade trees are great to have near my home, they eventually need some work done to them as the branches tend to hang down a bit to low.

If it is a small tree or shrubbery in the flowerbed, then you will need a different set of tree branch cutting tools that are capable of precise pruning. A young tree needs some selective thinning and lower limb removal as it grows. The established shrubs in the flowerbeds beside my house need to be pruned every fall or they will grow way too big!

I want to explain how I use some of my favorite pruning tools while working in my Tree Pruning and Removal business!

Pruning Shears – One Hand Operation

tree branch cutting tools

A pruning shears is a small pruner that is operated with one hand. My favorite pruning shears is a Felco pruning shears. It is a commercial grade quality and we have used ours for many years. I like it so much that when we lost the Felco pruner we had, I bought another just like it! With the bright red handles it is easy to find in the toolbox!

It is one of the easiest tools to use, especially on small branches or shrubbery. A lot of times when I am using my pruning shears it will be on shrubbery like a butterfly bush or holly shrub. It also works when pruning fruit trees where there are many small branches that need to be pruned each year.

Most of these tools are about eight inches long and you will use it with either the right or left hand. The cutting jaws open pretty wide, but the thicker branch you select to cut, the harder it will cut. Especially since normally only one hand is used to cut. However, on the thicker branches it does work well to place my second hand over my primary hand to help squeeze harder. These tree branch cutting tools can cut up to roughly a three-quarter inch branch.

Bypass Lopper – 2 Inch Tree Branch Cutting Tools

tree branch cutting tools

A bypass loppers is an important member of the tree branch cutting tools. These bypass loppers have a cutting blade that slides past the bottom bar so it makes a clean cut. A clean cut will help the tree heal faster where the branch was removed.

There is a variety of sizes in these loppers. The length usually ranges from 20 inches to 32 inches. Usually the longer the loppers the bigger branch you can cut because of the extra leverage from the longer handles.

With the varying lengths they also have varying branch size each lopper can cut. Normally the cutting size for these tree branch cutting tools ranges from one and a quarter inches to about two inches. Although they will cut smaller twigs just fine!

I’m going to be using the bypass loppers on pruning a white pine tree or something similar to that when the tree needs to be reshaped to a normal pine tree look. Or sometimes on a small tree when doing slight crown reduction and removing the low limbs.

We used to have a Corona Bypass Loppers that I really liked, but eventually it broke from abusing it by trying to cut branches or roots that were to big! We usually take the bypass loppers along when a stump grinding job is scheduled. This loppers works well to cut off any small roots sticking out of the ground after the stump is finished being ground out!

Hand Saw – From The Tree Branch Cutting Tools

tree branch cutting tools

The hand saw is pretty much what it sounds like. It is a sharp toothed curved blade attached to a wooden, plastic, or medal handle. Usually this cutting blade’s length is seven to 13 inches long! The blade length is something to consider when deciding how large of branches need to be cut.

But do consider that using this type of hand saw does take some effort. A sharp blade really helps reduce cutting time. Remember all the cutting is done by sawing through the wood. The bigger the branch, the more effort it will take!

There is a certain satisfying emotion that goes with using this saw. Back in the day lumberjacks would cut down massive trees with a hand saw! A much larger version though!

While these tools are great for a few cuts, or sporadic tree maintenance, you probably want to consider a chainsaw if pretty much cutting is needed to be done on average size limbs. I rarely use this tool because it takes quite a bit of effort and we have a selection of chainsaws and other cutting tools in the bucket truck toolbox that cut the branch faster!

Pole Saw / Pruner – Reaching Higher

tree branch cutting tools

When I am working from the ground and reaching up into the tree to either remove branches or to prune the sides of small or medium trees the pole saw pruner is a great tool I use.

There are several lengths of these tree branch cutting tools. Some are extendable up to about 16 feet. Others are about 10 to 11 feet long but then they have extra poles to add to the handle! These can be extended as high as I want!

It doesn’t matter if you prefer the extension or extendable pruner, each of them have the same basic design at the cutting end. It is a pruning head attached to the end of the handle. This head has a hooked shaped end on it that gets set over the branch to be cut.

There is a rope attached to the pruner cutting blade, and after the pruner head is set in position on the branch I simply pull on the rope and it will snip the branch! After the cut is made, springs mounted to the pruner head will reopen the blade and I am ready for the next cut! Just watch out for the falling branch you just cut off!

Also, these units normally come with a saw mounted onto it, much like the hand saws. Those are for sawing off the bigger branches. The pruner can cut up to about two inch diameter branches. Anything thicker than that is when the saw blade comes in handy.

The pole saw I use in my tree pruning business is made by A.M. Leonard. It has a strong fiberglass handle and extension pieces can be added to it. I don’t often use the saw for it, but the pruner head with the rope attached gets used! It works great for pruning small branches. I also use this when a tree limb is growing to close to a sidewalk or house. We have several handles to add on for higher projects.

My Tree Branch Cutting Tools

As a professional tree pruner for 15+ years I have quite a bit off experience with different tree branch cutting tools. When using a tool very often I am going to want something that will last a long time! So I usually buy the sturdy and more expansive brand. Felco pruners or Corona loppers are trusted name brands for professional use. A.M. Leonard or Jameson pole saw pruners are excellent quality and can reach high!

While these are the tools I recommend, they might not make sense for the projects you have in mind! Do you have any experience using similar tools or have a question you would like answered? You can simply ask them in the comment section below and I will be happy to discuss!

Your Arborist Friend: Justin

Changing Trailer Brakes – It Is Easier Than You Thought!

changing trailer brakes

This morning the weather was beautiful, it felt like spring was near. But this afternoon I will be changing trailer brakes.

I have a tree job scheduled today but it is calling for rain in the afternoon, so we aren’t sure how much work we will get done. In the afternoon while its raining I will be changing trailer brakes.

This short story is a peek into the life of an Arborist. There is always tree work to be done, and a never ending parade of equipment to repair or service!

The Tree Job To Work On

We had a crew of 4 men and we took 3 trucks to the job. Our job location was on top of a hill with a great view to the south. By the time we got there it was starting to get cloudy.

It was not a big job but this is what needed to be done.

  • Remove the dead limbs and trim a pin oak tree in front of the house.
  • Trim the Kwanzan cherry tree that was overhanging the driveway.
  • Cut the lower dead limbs from a hedge of pine trees.
  • Remove a pine tree from near the hedge.
  • Grind out the stump from the pine tree and grind out tree roots that were above ground from the cherry tree.

Pruning The Trees

We laid out ground protection mats, so the truck tires would not leave ruts, and drove the bucket truck to the tree. We needed to get about 20 feet from the driveway to reach the tree. Wheel chocks come in handy when the truck is parked on a slope.

I used the bucket truck to work on the oak tree, While the others trimmed the cherry tree and picked up the branches that were cut off and fed them though the chipper which blew the chips onto the dump truck.

After I was done with the oak tree and the lawn was raked clean beneath the tree, we moved the chipper and chipped the pine tree we had cut down. The dead limbs from pruning the pine tree hedge were the last to be chipped.

Grinding The Stump

We used the 3 point stump grinder attached to a compact John Deere to grind out the stump and roots. This stump grinder is almost always attached to the rear of the tractor. It goes with to all jobs that are take downs and need the tree stump ground out.

When I was grinding the stump the sky was noticeably darker, the rain was coming.

Dumping The Wood chips

Sometimes the customer wants the wood chips from their tree, so this time we dumped them under the pine tree hedge and scattered them with the tractor and by hand.

We got everything loaded and tied down and it started to rain just as we were ready to leave! We all went back to the shop and had pizza for dinner!

Changing Trailer Brakes

changing trailer brakes

After dinner, I began changing trailer brakes. They are drum brakes, so there are several steps involved to do that.

  1. Jack it up and remove the wheel.
  2. Remove the hubcap from the end of the axle.
  3. Remove the safety cotter pin that goes through the nut holding the wheel hub in place.
  4. Remove the nut, it should have been finger tight.
  5. Remove the washer and bearing behind it.
  6. Now the hub will come off and there is another larger bearing behind that.
  7. Cut the 2 wires that provide electric to the brakes.
  8. Finally, we are at the brakes, there are 5 nuts to remove, then the brake drum comes off.

Now I Am Ready To Install The New Brakes

changing trailer brakes

  1. Fasten the new brake drum with the 5 nuts.
  2. Connect the 2 new wires from the new brake drum to the existing wires.
  3. Put on the larger bearing and put the hub on after it.
  4. Put the other bearing on and the washer after it.
  5. Tighten the nut until it is snug.
  6. Put the safety cotter pin through the nut so it can not back out.
  7. Make sure there is grease on the bearing, add more if needed.
  8. Put on the hubcap.
  9. Fasten the tire to the hub, make sure the lug nuts are tight! Then lower the jack and pull it out from under the trailer.

changing trailer brakes

One side is done! Now repeat the steps for the other side. When the other side is completed wipe off any dirty tools and return all tools to the toolbox so they can be found next time!

It is always a good idea to check the tire air pressure and tread wear at this time. If everything is good, you are ready to take the trailer back on the road!

Bucket Truck Outrigger Pads – How And Why We Use Them

bucket truck outrigger pads

I want to show you how to use bucket truck outrigger pads. All bucket trucks should have outrigger pads as they help protect the ground or driveway. These pads are always wider than the outrigger foot on the truck. The extra width helps spread the crushing weight to a reasonable level so the area beneath the outrigger isn’t harmed.

You don’t need a big bucket truck outrigger pad, even a medium size pad can more than double the square footage on the ground over the original truck outrigger’s pad. Any extra square inch will help against compacting whatever is below the pad. Which is important if the outrigger will be on the edge of a driveway or on a brick or stone sidewalk. Each of those we don’t want to break or smash.

You definitely know the primary reason for bucket truck outrigger pads is to provide a strong base for the outrigger to press against. The outriggers job is very important, it must keep the truck steady while the boom and bucket are in operation pruning the tree. That is why it is crucial to have strong and trustworthy footing for the outrigger. If the outrigger moves or slips that movement will be magnified in the bucket.


Why Must We Use Bucket Truck Outrigger Pads

bucket truck outrigger pads

My bucket truck has a sixty-foot boom on it and that size boom requires two outriggers. There is one on each side of the truck, they are mounted directly behind the truck cab and beside the pedestal that holds the boom to the truck.

Since the boom is mounted pretty much in the middle of the wheel base on the truck, the suspension and tires can support the boom when it is working out the front or back.

But when I want to work at the tree out the side of the truck, then the outriggers play a huge role. The bucket truck is much narrower than it is long, so when I swing out to the side I won’t have the length of the truck acting as a support.

My bucket truck has it’s outriggers extending on about a 45 degree angle. The outriggers are about 3 feet wider than the truck when extended to the ground. That is enough of width, plus it is very solid against the ground so it will be able to keep the bucket truck from leaning over. If you wouldn’t use an outrigger and fully extend the boom out the side of the truck, it would lean very much! So far that it would be in danger of tipping the truck!

So now you can see there is a lot of weight on these outriggers when the boom is in operation. The bucket truck outrigger pads are crucial to keep the main outriggers from sinking into a softer driveway or lawn. These pads can be twice the footprint or even bigger than the small steel pad attached to the truck outrigger. With no outrigger pads the outrigger will sink significantly into grass if it is a softer area of the lawn!


How Do I Use The Bucket Truck Outrigger Padsbucket truck outrigger pads

Using my bucket truck outrigger pads is not hard at all. First I determine where to park the truck at the tree I am going to prune. Then park the truck on as level ground as possible and make sure the brakes are locked.

Then if the wheel chocks are needed I take those from their compartment. They get firmly placed against the tire on the downhill side to prevent the truck from moving.

After I’m certain the truck can’t roll I will pull the bucket truck outrigger pads from their compartment. The pad is placed on the ground where the outrigger will come down. This needs to be a flat and sturdy place. Flat so it doesn’t slide downhill when the outrigger presses down on it. And sturdy so it doesn’t sink into the dirt or driveway.

While the outrigger is coming down toward the pad I need to make sure it is going to be centered on the pad. If it won’t be, I need to stop it is descent and rearrange the pad until it will be centered. Continue putting the outrigger down until it touches the pad. Double check that it is still in the center of the pad. Keep putting the outrigger down until the frame of the truck starts lifting a bit and the truck is level.

I repeat the same steps on the other side of the truck and make sure the truck is as level as possible when finished.


My Favorite Bucket Truck Outrigger Pads

bucket truck outrigger pads

We have just recently upgraded our bucket truck outrigger pads and I am really happy with them! It was time for new outrigger pads, the old pad was only an inch thick and was starting to bend a bit when it had a lot of weight pressing on it.

I’ve upgraded to the Mytee Products outrigger pad! It is one and a half inches thick, easily thick and strong enough for our truck. The color is black and it has a rope handle attached to the one side because these pads are pretty heavy. Its rope handle is a loop and makes it very nice to pick up from the flat ground. The smallest outrigger pads weighs around 15 pounds, but some of the wider pads are quite a bit heaver.

This outrigger pads has a crush rating of 200 PSI and the vertical load rating is around 60,000 pounds! Both of those are strong numbers, easily strong enough for our truck.

The material used to make the outrigger pad is high density polyethylene, famous for it is tensile strength and durability. An outrigger pad like this can be used for a lifetime!


Storage Compartment For The Outrigger Pads

bucket truck outrigger pads

Our bucket truck is important because it has the boom on to lift me up to prune the tree. But it also has many toolboxes to carry all the tools and equipment we need to work on trees. Chainsaws, leaf blower, handheld pruners, ropes, rakes, and pole saws are all essential tools and we have a toolbox for each of them!

The outrigger pads each have a compartment near the back of the truck, one on each side. This compartment is built specifically for outrigger pads. It is the perfect width and about 3 inches high. There is enough room on each side to easily slide the pad in and pull it out.

The compartment slopes down a bit, that keeps that pad in place against the back. It shouldn’f fall out while driving but for safety there is a small chain to close in the front. That chain has a snap on so it is easy for me to unhook when I want to pull out and use the outrigger pad.


Which Bucket Truck Outrigger Pads Are The Best

bucket truck outrigger padsbucket truck outrigger pads

There are a several brands of high quality and trusted outrigger pads, all with varying size and thickness. But two brands stuck out to me.

The Mytee Products are a brand that is popular and trusted. I chose them because I wanted the inch and a half thickness. That specific size was a bit harder to find because the one inch or two inch thickness is more common. I thought the price was reasonable as well and so far am very happy with these pads!

Mytee Products also makes the one inch and two inch pads. You can choose their round outrigger pads if those fit your needs.

The other very good bucket truck outrigger pads are from Buyers Products. Their pad is very similar and they offer one inch and 2 inch pads in a variety of sizes. Their standard pad does have rounded corners, but they make square and round pads as well.

I have used other products from Buyers so I know they make quality tools and equipment!

If you have any questions be sure to ask them in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer them for you!

Your Arborist Friend: Justin


Highest Rated Leaf Blowers

A leaf blower or simply a blower is a power tool that can be held and operated with one hand. There are many different blowers to chose from, but today I want to talk about the highest rated leaf blowers. All leaf blowers have a primary job of blowing air to move leaves, small sticks or other debris.

There are different sizes to chose from among the highest rated leaf blowers, starting with small battery powered blowers, on through the standard hand held blowers, and then the large powerful backpack leaf blowers. Each of these have an engine, either gas or battery which forces large volumes of air through a narrow tube that is aimed in the direction we want to blow the debris. Most of the air tubes have a round nozzle at the end, but sometimes the nozzle can be flat for a wider but not as high force of air.

Highest Rated Leaf Blowers For Ease To Use

highest rated leaf blowers

The battery powered leaf blowers have really grown in popularity over the last few years as they are small, lightweight, and very easy to use. Even better they use the same battery as a compact cordless tool set, so you may not need to buy extra batteries or charger. Everything is much simpler if all the tools use the same size batteries.

Some of the highest rated leaf blowers among the battery lineup can compete with the handheld gas blowers in wind speed and the more important, cubic feet of air per minute. While the m.p.h. of the wind is important as well, the more c.f.m a blower has makes it able to move more debris at once.

These battery leaf blowers are excellent for blowing grass clippings from recent lawn mowing. With very little effort the grass clippings on the sidewalk or driveway are blown back into the lawn!

A few advantages of a battery leaf blower is how quietly they run. You won’t need earplugs or disturb the neighbors. I can tell you firsthand how far and loud the noise of a gas leaf blower travels during the stillness of evening. Peaceful quite in the woods is ruined by somebody in the distance blowing leaves from their yard or driveway!

With an electric engine there is very little maintenance needed, pretty much just put the leaf blower away when you are done and then when you need it again you can fully expect it to be running smoothly. Also, another advantage is there is no pull rope to start it, simply just a button or throttle to fire it up and get to work!

Handheld Gas Blower – My Favorite Of The Highest Rated Leaf Blowers

highest rated leaf blowers
highest rated leaf blowers

In our Tree Pruning and Removal business we use a handheld Husqvarna blower. It has a gas engine, but for us that is not a drawback. That is because our chainsaws use the same gas. A gas can is in the truck for whenever the blower needs refueling.

The Husqvarna leaf blower we use is one of the highest rated leaf blowers in the industry. Its built tough enough for commercial use, we have been using ours for several years now and it is holding up well.

I especially like the compact size of our blower and it still does a tremendous job blowing debris. Most of the time we are using the blower to clear sawdust, wood chips, small sticks, and leaves from the lawn, flowerbeds, or driveways. But it gets used for other things. You can pretty much use you imagination for the numerous task a handy leaf blower can do.

A single handle mounted directly on top of the machine makes it easy to change the blowing direction by simply turning my wrist. The overall length is reasonable, plus the blowing tube can be adjusted to different lengths. A shorter length is especially helpful when blowing leaves out from under shrubbery in a crowded flower bed or working in tight spaces.

Another nice feature is the throttle has a cruise control, meaning it can be set and locked for the longer periods of blowing. That can be helpful so I don’t have to constantly keep my finger on the throttle trigger.

Backpack Blowers – The Biggest Carriable Blower

highest rated leaf blowers

No discussion of highest rated leaf blowers would be complete without mentioning the true workhorses in the leaf blower family. The backpack family of leaf blowers are worn on the back, held there by straps similar to a normal backpack.

We have a pretty big backpack blower that gets taken to some jobs, but it doesn’t get used as much as our handheld blower. Its bigger and bulkier so we usually only take it with to a job that we can use the backpack blower. Also, the weight of the blower is heavier than the handheld blower.

Most times we are only using our leaf blower for a few minutes at the end of each job. It doesn’t make much sense to carry the big blower with just to save a minute of time.

However, some jobs have a lot of debris to blow, then the biggest or highest rated leaf blowers cubic feet of air moved per minute is needed. During spring cleanup when the lawn needs to be cleared a big powerful blower can blow sticks, leaves and other debris from the grass.

In the fall when leaves are falling from trees there is an easier way than the hard work of using a leaf rake and raking the leaves onto piles to be hauled out. Pull out the backpack blower and start making leaf tornadoes! Blowing the leaves onto a pile or along the road can be an option. But first be sure the township has a truck that comes along to collect them! Or sometimes it is better if we load the leaves into our truck and haul them away ourselves so the leaves don’t have a chance to scatter in the wind! It is a letdown watching stray leaves blow back over the clean lawn!

Using The Highest Rated Leaf Blowers During Winter

highest rated leaf blowers

Did you know a blower can be used for clearing snow from sidewalks, porches, and other areas that have foot traffic? It sure can! Usually the bigger the blower the better for blowing snow, but a smaller blower will work, just will go slower and not be able to handle deeper snow.

We’ve used our backpack blower quite a bit blowing snow from sidewalks at properties we do snow removal. A coating of snow is easily cleared just by walking down the sidewalk blowing snow as I go. An inch of snow can be blown off but will take a bit more time and persistent aiming of the nozzle. At a certain point, probably when the snow depth climbs above a couple inches it is best to put the blower away and get out a shovel or snowblower made to remove snow from sidewalks.

A handheld leaf blower or battery leaf blower will be enough to blow small amounts of snow from your homes sidewalk or deck. Although they are a bit small to use for commercial snow clearing.

Don’t forget to wear gloves when outside blowing snow. Without warm work gloves the hand holding the blower usually gets cold first because it is gripping the blower and not moving enough to keep itself warm.

Storage For A Leaf Blower

Like everything else you will need a place to put the leaf blower when it is not in use. Often a shelf is a great place to set them, or perhaps a hook to hang it on along a wall or from the ceiling. An outdoor shed or garage is an ideal place that way no unwanted fumes from a gas blower can escape into the house.

At home my leaf blower is stored under a shelf in an outdoor shed. At work our handheld leaf blower has a designated spot in the truck toolbox so we always know where it is and so the leaf blower goes with to each job.

Do you have any questions about leaf blowers? Be sure to ask me in the comment section below and I will be happy to answer them!

Your Arborist Friend: Justin

Commercial Wheel Chocks – The Solid Rubber Wheel Chocks

The best and safest way to be sure your work truck or trailer will not coast after it is parked is to use commercial wheel chocks. These solid rubber wheel chocks are stronger and can withstand a heavier workload than the cheaper and lesser rated standard wheel chocks.

If you don’t think many people use wheel chocks, you just need to start looking around. Places to look are anywhere a trailer is parked, a recreational vehicle sometimes has wheel chocks at its tires, a vehicle parked on a hill may use them, or often any type of lift or crane will use wheel chocks for extra precaution against unwanted movement.

Why Are Wheel Chocks Required?

Depending on the type of truck it may be required by law to use wheel chocks when parked. Most vehicle have a reliable breaking system for when they are parked, but some older trucks are not as trustworthy. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a set of commercial wheel chocks to put at the rear tires when parked to prevent the truck from rolling.

Trailers that are not equipped with air brakes will not have any braking applied to the wheels when unhooked so it is especially important to use wheel chocks on unhooked trailers. Any of those trailers unhooked on even a small slope will want to roll, or at the very least it will cause extra stress on the trailer jack.

While preforming a pre-trip inspection of the truck the wheels should be chocked because the truck will be running and the driver will be on the outside doing the inspection. With the truck engine running there is a higher risk it could move without wheel chocks being used.

How I Use Our Commercial Wheel Chocks

In our tree pruning business we often use wheel chocks for our boom truck when it is parked at the tree and in operation pruning or removing the tree. When the bucket truck boom is high in the air there can be no chance the truck moves or the wheels roll. Any small movement at the ground is magnified many times when the boom is at full extension. Something as simple as throwing a piece of firewood into the truck box can be felt by the person in the bucket.

To use the commercial wheel chocks is pretty simple and straightforward. Park the truck and lock the brakes. Determine which way the truck could roll if the brakes didn’t hold and put the wheel chocks on that side of the tire. Put a wheel chock on each side of the truck. Preferably the rear tires are chocked but the front tires can easily be chocked as well. Under special circumstances or on a steeper than normal hill all the tires can be chocked.

The Solid Rubber Wheel Chock

commercial wheel chocks

The commercial wheel chocks have become my new favorite as the previous kind we had are not solid and after using them they cracked on the sides and aren’t able to hold nearly as much weight. The crack actually got big enough that if the truck would be put into gear and driven forward it would have been able to squash the chock and drive over it.

A solid rubber wheel chock can be a little more expensive than the regular chocks. But the price difference isn’t much and the extra strength, product life, and trustworthiness will be worth the cost.

A solid rubber wheel chock is going to be much stronger than a hollow wheel chock. With a hollow wheel chock the strength is in the edges and the small braces in the center. But with the solid chock the strength is all the way across the chock. That makes it much harder to crush and the solid chock can hold back more weight.

With a standard wheel chock you run the risk of a heavy truck crushing the chock and rolling over it. If you are using light equipment or trailers a standard chock probably is good enough for you, but with heavy trucks and trailers you will be thankful to have a commercial wheel chock you can trust in.

Storage For The Wheel Chock During Driving

All trucks will need a storage area for the chocks while the truck is driving on the road. This storage area needs to be approved by the state department of transportation Basically that means they need to be secured or stored in a safe place so they won’t fall out while driving.

Our boom truck has a special compartment just behind each rear tire that the chock fits snugly into. This commercial wheel chock holder is a V shaped compartment that is sloped inward and keeps the chock secured while driving.

This convenient holder is easy to put the chock into for storage and pull it out of when chocks are needed. And with the holders location behind each rear tire, no extra steps are needed to apply them.

Other places wheel chocks are commonly stored would be in a toolbox or some other compartment on the truck. Those are also great places to store them, but a small downside with a toolbox is the toolbox could be crowded and you need to dig them out.

Commercial wheel chocks are great for your trailer for when it is unhooked. Sometimes a trailer is unhooked at a job site and left there. It would be a good idea to have wheel chocks for then. Most trailers have a small storage area near the front or mounted in between the trailer frame near the hitch. That would be a convenient place to store them while driving, or if there is no toolbox a small compartment can easily be added beneath the trailer deck.

The Best Color For Commercial Wheel Chocks

My favorite color for any commercial wheel chocks is black. That is a pretty standard color, especially with the solid rubber wheel chocks. Black seems to blend in nicely and is less noticeable than some of the other bright colors.

If you get into the steel wheel chocks you could expand the color range quite a bit as they could be painted in pretty much any color.

Your Arborist Friend:


How To Prune Apple Trees – You Will Quickly Learn How

Do you have one or more apple trees and wish they would be producing more fruit? You will learn how to prune apple trees and why it is important to do so every year! We will go over when is the best time of year for pruning and why the timing is important.

Its possible your trees are not being pruned correctly or during the wrong time of the year which will drastically affect the fruit production!

Who Can Learn How To Prune Apple Trees?how to prune apple trees

Anybody can learn how to prune apples trees, especially if you only have a few trees you can do it yourself and save money instead of hiring a professional to do the pruning.

By using information you learn in this article along with watching a You Tube video you will be ready to tackle the job as soon as you have your tree trimming tools handy!

How To Prune Apple Trees

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Wells Lamont Hydra Hyde Leather Gloves – Leather Work Gloves

Are you considering a new pair of leather work gloves? Let me tell you about my newest favorite pair of leather work gloves! The wells Lamont Hydra Hyde leather gloves are now the favorite leather work gloves in our crew and we often buy several at a time.

In our family owned tree pruning and removal business we usually wore a different Wells Lamont leather work glove, but were hoping to find something a little more comfortable and with a tighter cuff to help prevent sawdust from chainsaws and other dirt or wood chips from getting into the glove. Having fine dirt or sawdust in a glove is uncomfortable and definitely no fun as it is difficult to shake it out of all the fingers!

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