When you’re tree maintenance
worker Drew, work doesn’t end when you get home. Its not as simple as that. Home is where the real labor just begins. He has to care for his mother, who was recently diagnosed as emotionally unstable, and an 14 month old baby that seems to never stop crying. This baby was one of his biggest inspirations for going straight. He knew he had to hike up his pants and get to working a better job. Lately, he’s been adding even more knowledge under his tool belt.
Another day, another thing
learned More from Drew
Today Bob learned me how to
use a skid-steer with a brush- cutter attachment. We had to cut down some cedars, and we were a few men short. Bob taught me how to use a skid- steer, and as always, I was nervous. It was a big deal job, and if I screwed up, I would be screwed. To add insult to injury, the sun was beating down so hard all day that day. It had to be at least 110 degrees outside. The intense heat only added to my stress, but Bob slowly walked me through everything, and I had this down like everything else. As always, I had a great time working with Bob, and using the equipment. I really believe that I could get somewhere with this, like make it into a career or something.
How to use the equipment
It was very easy for me to
learn how to use a skid-steer, so I will now show what I know. I love the skid-steer, it is such a versatile machine. It can be used to load stuff, move dirt or rocks, and snow removal. It took me a little bit of practice, but before i knew it, I was running it like a bike. Like a lot of equipment though, it can be dangerous.
Skid steers can flip over
very easily and make very sharp turns. Bob took me out to an open field to practice before we started the job. First, you climb inside and put your seat belt on, and insert the key into the ignition, like a car. You then operate the throttle, or Johnson lever. Rabbit means fast and turtle means slow. Then, you use the controls to raise the arms with whatever attachment is on it. This way you can see what is in front of you. You can then push the throttle forward or backward depending on how fast or slow you want to go. And it is as simple as that. Some warnings though are to always wear hearing protection, never lift a heavy load high above your head because it could easily tip over, and don’t try to drive them up steep hills and inclines.
Working the Wood chipper
The wood chipper is one of
the most important machines in tree removal. It is great for cleaning up debris. Always be extremely careful when using one of these machines. When using a wood chipper it is better to wear tighter clothing because baggy clothing can easily get caught in the deadly blades. Wear eye and ear protection, because these things can be very loud. It is also a good idea to wear a hard hat, you never know what may fly out of there, and keep your hands and feet a safe distance from the feed chute area, it only takes a second for it to pull you in. Next, use a log to push other logs into the chipper, it makes it a bit safer by not using your hands. You must also keep the machine clean so it doesn’t jam or fail to function. And that’s pretty much it. Bob also told me you can use a chipper to make mulch.
The Grapple Truck
A grapple truck is basically
a truck with a grapple loader mounted on to it. A grapple loader is a claw-like attachment with a mechanical arm that rotates on an axis. We use these to help load and unload bulks of wood, debris, logs, etc. It can very easily be used to lift all sorts of things. It is a very handy machine in the tree removal business.
The Cherry Picker
I will now go on to explain
the cherry picker, also known as a man lift, or boom lift. We use it for many things, including lifting a man high enough to reach troublesome limbs and trimming. Cherry pickers are also used to repair power lines and phone lines, pick fruit, and anything else that requires a man to get up high.
Love this line of work I tell you.
Last but not least we have the infamous stump grinders that will tear through stump like butter and make incredible mulch. I learned a lot about this equipment from the Oakland County stump man in back in 2013. His business was I think called Keith’s Stump Grinding Service.