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Author Topic: Chainsaw training for volunteers  (Read 820 times)

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Offline PapaDragon

Chainsaw training for volunteers
« on: September 23, 2020, 09:19:51 pm »
For a number of years now, a group of volunteers have been doing alien invasive pine tree eradication in the Drakensberg.

The main issue with the pinus patula invasion in the 'Berg, apart from being an alien invasive species in a proclaimed wilderness area, is the change of the grassland to pine forest, which has a major negative impact on the water catchment.

We have evolved from a couple of guys/gals with machetes and bowsaws, to a fairly well organised group of volunteers, using battery chainsaws, radios, rope access equipment etc.

We meet approximately 4 times a year for a long weekend, and have made very good progress, especially in the Monk's Cowl area, but in other areas as well.
Recently been given the go ahead from KZN Wildlife to use battery operated chainsaws, and I would like to see current and potential chainsaw users being given some sort of basic training in chainsaw technique and safety.

Bearing in mind that we are all volunteers, give up our time, pay our own fuel costs, etc.. it would be great if someone could point me in the direction to get training like this either pro bono, or at a very reduced rate..

If it makes a difference we are currently using Stihl products, because they suit our purpose best in terms of efficiency/weight (in other words lighter to carry the chainsaw up the mountain  ;D )

Most of us are based in KZN, PMB and DBN areas..

Thanks

https://web.facebook.com/pinebusters
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Offline JonW

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Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2020, 11:58:49 pm »
I will try and get this thread to the attention of old ex Wild dog member @slashback

He is your guy.
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Offline CliveG

Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2020, 08:40:01 pm »

 I was about to volunteer and bring my collection of chainsaws, but then saw you have to use a boring battery powered thing. Youtube you can get plenty good info.

 After you learnt the right ways, do watch "chainsaw fails" then you will learn a lot more of what not to do.

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Offline Oubones

Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2020, 09:50:18 pm »
Why not petrol chainsaws? Environmental issues?
More details as to when how and cost to the volunteers?
 
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Offline valkerieforever

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Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2020, 07:00:00 am »
Why not petrol chainsaws? Environmental issues?
More details as to when how and cost to the volunteers?

I am curios as well. I would assume it might be due to fire-risk. The petrol chainsaws do not have flash arresters, same issue as the older quads. I would LOVE to take part in something like this. I have a petrol chainsaw and have cut down a fair number of black wattle and eucalyptus trees in and around the neighbourhood.
 
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Offline PapaDragon

Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2020, 02:57:19 pm »
Why not petrol chainsaws? Environmental issues?
More details as to when how and cost to the volunteers?

I am curios as well. I would assume it might be due to fire-risk. The petrol chainsaws do not have flash arresters, same issue as the older quads. I would LOVE to take part in something like this. I have a petrol chainsaw and have cut down a fair number of black wattle and eucalyptus trees in and around the neighbourhood.

Issues as mentioned above, and the noise factor in the wilderness area..

Valkerie, would be great to have you on board, we have some people who come down from GP.. If you are keen to get involved, please contact me on 082 three three 4 6122

Thanks for the interest guys..
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed with the things that you didn't do, than the things you did. Mark Twain
 

Offline RrP

Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2020, 04:19:55 pm »
https://www.kwamahlati.co.za/ these chaps have training courses for
the forestry industry am sure they can help you.
 

Offline PapaDragon

Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2021, 02:27:17 pm »
So Graham Odendaal from Camperdown Mowers in Umlaas Road, is going to give us our first training next week.

They are Husqvarna agents, amongst other (I think), and have a very wide range of products, so please support them if you are able. (I hope this punt is allowed, if not please let me know, and I'll edit it).

We have also been give the go-ahead by EKZNWildlife to use petrol chainsaws, I think they realise the extent of the problem. So, @CliveG, if you are still keen to join, please let me know.

@Oubones, sorry I didn't answer your second question in the earlier post. Cost to volunteers is mainly in terms of time, and transport costs to get to the Berg, but other things like wear and tear on clothing, footwear and other personal equipment also adds up, as we work in quite tough terrain.

Unfortunately the effects of Covid and the lockdowns had a negative effect on us for most of 2020, but we are all fired up again and ready to get stuck in.

Here is a link to our Facebook page, also started not long before Covid, and been a bit quiet recently.  https://www.facebook.com/pinebusters

And here is a link to when we featured on 50/50, back in the early days. We have evolved tremendously since then, in terms of the equipment we use, rope access, radios, chainsaws etc.     
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Offline frankmac

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Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2021, 05:38:12 pm »
Hats off to you guys. I like chainsaws and cutting trees  >:D

I try clearing/spraying invasive vegetation where I can and we have enough of it here on the South Coast.
 
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Offline PapaDragon

Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2021, 07:12:19 pm »
https://www.facebook.com/pinebusters/posts/55778972227706

https://www.facebook.com/pinebusters/posts/557789722277067

A couple of posts from our latest working hike.. good cause, and lots of fun..
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed with the things that you didn't do, than the things you did. Mark Twain
 
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Offline PapaDragon

Re: Chainsaw training for volunteers
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2021, 09:43:37 pm »
So a few developments since my last post..

MCSA KZN Section (mountain Club of South Africa) has bought us 4 new Husqvarna T435 top handle chainsaws, Camperdown Mowers gave us a fantastic deal on these machines.

We did a wattle eradication exercise this last weekend, on the upper reaches of the Umgeni, in Dargle. Very close to the venue from last year's KZN Bash, for those that were there.
This was very hard work, surprisingly hot for this time of the year, steep slopes requiring ropework, and lots of debris on the slopes in the form of rotten pieces from trees that were felled 2 years ago.
Facebook link here:  https://web.facebook.com/pinebusters/posts/570989727623733

We are really upping the game for our pine eradication work in the berg as well, on our last Pine Bust we had 5 chainsaw operators, and felled more than 300 invasive pine trees.

You can see our latest updates here: https://web.facebook.com/pinebusters.

Please like and share our page, to increase awareness and our exposure on social media..

We do have some funding requirements, so if anyone feels the need to help out with a donation of any kind, this would be very welcome. All funds go towards gear needed for our efforts.
Alien pines in the Berg threaten the grasslands, which are home to numerous fauna and flora species, and also threaten water security f or the future, the Berg being a very important water catchment area.

,Cheers
PapaD
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed with the things that you didn't do, than the things you did. Mark Twain
 
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