Richard Tregoweth - Thursday, September 24, 2009

Malcolm Shaw, from Norton Tree Services had a problem.

He had topped a big Macrocarpa and was left with the 20m stem protruding skyward, on a slight lean in the wrong direction. The property owners house was 5 meters away (in the natural fall line) and a fenced off turning bay almost surrounded the base of the tree. The big Mac needed to be dropped precisely into the gully below the house without any damage to the surrounding structures or property.

Malcolm had seen the Portable Winch in Treetools 'showroom' and thought it would be ideal for the job - turns out he was right. Unfortunately the closest anchor point was 60 meters away through the bush across the gully and Malcolm only had 50 meters of 16mm Samson Stable Braid rope on hand. With a bit of clever rigging and use of the Portable Winch, Malcolm was able to get the Samson rope clear of other trees and at the correct angle to make the final pull.

By using a couple of blocks to create a 3:1 mechanical advantage the trunk was soon angled in the right direction for a successful felling. A fair bit of rope heat was generated at the capstan end but it was hosing down with rain so the rope and capstan cooled down rapidly.

Impressive work from a winch powered by a 50cc Honda.

The only potential issue was worker communication due to the noise produced by the engine. From across the gully it was difficult to hear directions and there was no line of sight. Luckily both Malcolm and his helper could whistle rather loudly so communication was restored without too much difficulty.

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