I’ve been working and climbing with trees for a few years now. And I’ve developed a set of rules for myself to stay safe, efficient, and make my job easier. Here they are:
- Learn new things low and slow.
- Tie in twice when using a saw.
- Go for the highest and best TIP right away, but don’t be too stubborn to abandon it if it just isn’t working.
- ALWAYS TEST YOUR TIE-IN POINT!
- Store your climbing gear apart from any fuel or sharp equipment.
- Don’t coil ropes, flake them.
- Don’t buy cheap gear.
- Use spurs only when removing trees.
- Have a plan.
- Rigging is rigging and climbing is climbing ... don’t use climbing gear for rigging.
- Put a stopper knot in the end of your rope.
- Chainsaws are two-handed tools.
- Never argue with someone holding a running chainsaw.
- While it’s awesome to rig big wood, taking small pieces is almost always the quickest way to a successful job.
- Keep your saw sharp.
- Never free climb.
- Trust your gut – if the job doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not.
- Never walk from the work zone to the chipper without dragging some brush.
- Sometimes it’s better to make more trips and carry branches.
- Use a friction saver.
Twenty rules seems like a pretty good number. But let me add a couple more right at the end here.
- Stay away from the wires.
- Don’t climb high … yeah, you know what I mean.
So, there is some insight into my personal rules. What are yours?