First of all, if you plan on clearing a large area, start by setting an overall plan. That keeps you from having to stop and figure out what to do next while working, thus saving you a lot of time. Always walk systematically in a way that takes you back in time for the next fuel refill. Remember, if working on a hill, start at the bottom and work your way up gradually instead of going up and down.
Before starting work, make it a habit of checking for any visible cracks in the blade, or whatever cutting equipment you’re using, and make sure that:
1. The lock nut and the fuel cap are properly tightened
2. The blade guard is not damaged
3. The throttle, stop switch and muffler work as intended
4. The blade doesn’t rotate when the engine is in idle mode
5. The harness is adjusted comfortably and the safety release works
Make sure that people are not standing close to you while you’re working. A distance of at least 10 metres is appropriate. Place the machine on the ground against a solid surface with the cutting part away from surrounding objects. Press down on the machine with one hand, not your foot, and grab the starter cord with the other. Pull it slowly until you feel a resistance, then yank it hard and quickly. Once the engine starts, remember to reset the choke control.
By using a supporting harness, you effectively distribute the weight of the brushcutter. This adds great balance, making the machine feel lighter as well as more manoeuvrable. Also, in case of emergency, the harness offers a quick release feature that lets you drop the brushcutter instantly. Make sure you know how this works before you get started.
Once you’ve adjusted the harness to fit your body, it’s time to move on to the actual brushcutter. Here are three things you can fine-tune, for maximum safety and efficiency:
1. The loop. When letting go of the handle, the cutting blade should balance gently on the ground. To accomplish this, adjust the suspension loop on the shaft until you get the right balance. For the best result, do it while the tank is half-full.
2. The handlebar. The handlebar is easily adjusted sideways. Adjust it so that it’s positioned right in front of your arms.
3. The handles. Set the handles so that the angle of your elbow is at about 120° when the brushcutter is hanging freely. Be careful not to tilt the handlebars, since this will position the brushcutter too close to your body.