The forester’s tool kit
Working fast and staying safe – with Husqvarna
Your most valuable working tool in the forest, besides your mind of course, is your body. Anyone working with a chainsaw in the forest or anywhere else for that matter, should be properly attired in high-quality personal protective equipment that meets international safety standards.
This is Husqvarna’s take on what every chainsaw operator should have in his tool kit:
A crucial piece of safety equipment is the helmet, designed to protect you from falling branches, tree debris and other impacts. Forestry helmets come in a variety of designs but one common design feature on all Husqvarna helmets is that they are equipped with hearing protectors and face visors. The visor should cover your entire face area to protect against scratches, wood chips and the like, whilst still offering good visibility. The mesh in the face visor on the latest Husqvarna models is crafted in such a meticulous manner that it’s hard to notice that it’s there. Earmuffs protect against harmful noise emissions by reducing noise to below the acceptable 85dB(A). Husqvarna’s Functional and Technical helmets also come with a neck protector to shelter you from rain or sun. While it is not a requirement, it is recommended to combine the helmet with protective glasses as additional protection for your eyes.
The inserts for your ear muffs will eventually become worn so it is important that you replace them regularly, which is also important from a hygiene perspective. All forest helmets have a shelf life. The plastic material in the helmet ages and eventually becomes brittle due mainly to UV radiation. For this reason, you should replace a helmet within five years from the date of manufacture, or a maximum of three years after removing it from its original packaging. Husqvarna’s helmets feature a small moulded calendar where you can mark the first day of usage.
Most forestry chainsaw operators will be familiar with Husqvarna’s Forest Helmet Functional, which is our middle-of-the-road option but our newly designed Forest Helmet Technical is an engineering masterpiece. Winner of the 2015 Red Dot ‘Best of the Best’ Award, this is what the Red Dot judging panel had to say, “The Husqvarna Forest Helmet Technical is perfectly tuned for hard forestry work. Its forward-focusing design… features an excellent fit and can be adjusted comfortably to individual needs. Its harmonious design encompasses well thought-through details such as an innovative visor and an efficient ventilation system in a highly consistent manner.”
Another new kid on the block in Husqvarna’s helmet line-up is the Forest Helmet – Entry, which has been specially crafted to suit the needs of emerging markets. It has a six point harness for good weight distribution and an easy size adjustment. Hearing protection can be adjusted in height and angle to get optimal fit and protection and can be folded out to a “stand by position”. The helmet has a large metal mesh visor. Best of all, it is the most affordable option in Husqvarna’s range – putting safety within everyone’s grasp.
Wear ‘colours that pop’ - on the top
On the upper body it is recommended – and often regulated – that operators wear high visibility clothes, such as a fluorescent coloured jacket or tunic. This is especially important for those who work in a forest environment as high-visibility of chainsaw operators is critical for safety.
Protective trousers, gloves and boots are other important props for keeping you safe when operating a chainsaw. The sprocket-clogging fabric in a pair of protective trousers contains long fibres that, when cut or severed, become entangled in the saw chain and drive sprocket and stop the chain in a fraction of a second. If these protective layers are cut, the trousers will no longer be operational and must be discarded. All Husqvarna’s protective trousers are fitted with saw protection that meets EN381 international standards, rated for chain speeds of 20m/s. To properly maintain your trousers, it is important that you follow the manufacturer’s washing guidelines. Husqvarna’s most popular protective trousers in South Africa are light weight and are equipped with much needed ventilation zippers at the back.
Husqvarna’s protective gloves are also available with the same sprocket-clogging fabric as found in the trousers to provide the ultimate hand protection when operating a chainsaw. Gloves are also important when handling the saw chain, when sharpening for example.
The protective boots you wear should be fitted with protective steel toe caps, saw protection and deep treaded soles (anti-slip protection) in accordance with international standards - such as those available by Husqvarna.
Essential tools and emergency equipment
Apart from what you wear, and the actual chainsaw you use, there are plenty of useful – and essential - gadgets that should accompany you when working with a chainsaw. A mobile phone, whistle and first aid kit are at the top of the list. Husqvarna have specially designed tool belts that contain holsters for first aid kits, lifting hooks, lifting tongs, combination spanners and measuring tape. You should also bring along filing equipment, wedges and a breaking- or impact bar or an axe. And don’t forget the Husqvarna Combi Can featuring separate containers for chain oil and mixed petrol, combined into one product. Husqvarna’s new combi can comes with non-spill spouts to eliminate waste and a handy toolbox compartment.
Husqvarna’s national network of servicing dealers can assist you with choosing the best Personal Protective Equipment and tools, for your needs. To locate a dealer near you, check out our Dealer Locator on www.husqvarna.co.za