Tips on Purchasing Harnesses
Try out as many tree harnesses as you possibly can before you make a purchase. Every climber has a different preference and feels more comfortable with a certain style of harness. They vary enormously in the amount of padding and support. Some are very light and less comfortable and others are heavy and very comfortable - it is all down to the climber to which one they prefer. Once you have settled on a type of harness following your research - you can buy it online
Do not be tempted to cut costs by buying second hand - if you are, make sure it is not too old and out of date as they could have developed faults - all CE marked harnesses have dates on them. Harnesses should all have pelvic attachment point and leg straps and some models are fitted with shoulder straps (EN 813, EN 358).
Tips on purchasing Ropes
Often ropes come in different lengths and colours. Experienced tree surgeons find it useful to have different coloured ropes when climbing. This enables a tee surgeon to signal to ground crew which rope to tie a piece of equipment onto and avoids confusion and wasted energy
It is also advisable to have two different lengths of rope - one that is relatively short - say 15m and one much longer. Ropes suitable for tree climbing must have a minimum diameter of 10mm.
When buying climbing ropes make sure you buy a rope with loops on both ends. If you cut or damage your rope you can then turn it into two climbing ropes.
It is well worth buying a climbing bag for your ropes so as to prevent unnecessary damage and to keep things tidy.
Karabiners for your ropes and harnesses
Three way karabiners are the best form of link between ropes and harnesses.
The weakest part of the Karabiner is the gate so one should avoid putting any load or pressure on the gate.
They must be maintained and lubricated and make sure that they are examined every six months by Loler.
Protective Clothing when working with Chainsaws
- A helmet with hearing and eye protection complying with EN 397, EN 352 and EN 1731
- Chainsaw trousers with woven nylon fibres complying with EN 381 - 5
- Chainsaw gloves with a protective pad on the back of the left hand complying with EN 381 - 7
- Chainsaw boots with steel toe caps complying with EN 345-2
- High viz jacket or waist coat depending on the weather
- Non snag outer clothing
- A tree climber will find it difficult to wear gloves and climb - fingerless gloves are useful in the winter.
- A helmet with a chin strap
- Chainsaw boots specific for climbing
- All around protective chainsaw trousers Type C
- Harness and two climbing ropes with prussiks and Karabiner
- Small pack of first aid kit with Karabiner for harness
- Knife with a retractable blade
- Some tree surgeons like to have a short metal rope on their harness which is impossible to cut and therefore prevents a climber from falling
- Spikes are necessary for dead trees.
It is very important that all equipment is given regular safety checks. Ropes and harnesses have a limited lifespan and must be changed when this time has lapsed. Karabiners in particular need to be checked regularly and all lowering ropes and equipment needs to be Loler certified.
Other Useful Light Equipment For A Tree Surgeon
For felling trees - Wedges, Sledge hammer, axe, felling lever and winches (there are a range of them).
For dismantling trees - Lowering ropes, Cats paw, Flying Capsun, Pulleys, Strops (there are a range of them). These must be inspected every six months. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) require equipment to be examined every six months.
- Other Climbing equipment - Spikes or climbing irons - A wire reinforced strop should be used when using a chainsaw and spikes, Throw bags, karabiners.
- Fuel and Oil Carriers
- Maintenance Equipment for the saws - toolkit Wrenches to fit all nuts and lugs on the saw
- Spare spark plugs
- Round file and file guide
- Flat file and depth gauge tool to file depth gauge
- Screw drivers and combi-spanners
- Red Grease gun
- Chain and Bars
- First Aid Kit
- Ladder - Ladders should be safe and have no defects and have a stabilizing base. Extended ladders can be lowered by the climber using a rope tied to the top of the ladder to avoid any injuries to groundsmen.
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