Arbor Age

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Monitor Lifts Helps With The Bushfires

Monitor Lifts have been supplying Spider Lift EWPs into many interesting parts of the world for 23 years now.

From Antarctica to Aurukun, from Maningrida to Mildura, Groote Island to Hobart, Auckland to Invercargill, Brisbane to Perth, or anywhere in between, you’ll find Monitor Spider Lifts of all shapes and sizes working in industries from arboriculture to construction, shopping centers to coal mines, off-shore rigs to land-based telecommunications.

One of the more recent and interesting applications though, is the current NSW bush fire zones that have wreaked devastation over a major part of the state.

With the devastation has come serious threats to native animals such as Koalas.

Thankfully with the amazing capabilities of the Monitor Spider Lifts, there has been some relief provided to these animals in danger.

The following letter was received from one of Monitor Lifts’ clients working near Port Macquarie, NSW with a Monitor 1890 Spider Lift:

“Hi Ben,

Attached are a few pictures of some of the Rescues we have been involved in. We have been on the fire grounds nearly every day since November 2 – plenty of pictures to show.

The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital has been calling on us to rescue Koalas for more than 10 years now. We used to climb the trees and attempt to get close enough to bag capture them. This was usually not successful, especially on larger species. The introduction of Monitor Spider Lifts has been a real game changer. There are not too many that we cannot rescue now.

We can safely access the canopy with two operators and retrieve Koalas that may be hard to handle such as mothers with small joeys on their backs or that are severely injured. Recent bushfire casualties with severe burnt claws and wounds can be carefully retrieved with care and bagged without causing too much stress.

A large number of the Koalas that you have seen receiving treatment at the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital were captured using the Monitor 1890 Spider Lift. Big thanks to Monitor Lifts! Thank you”

Peter Berecry

AQF 5 Arborist

Port Tree Fella Pty Ltd

We would like to thank Peter and his team for his great work, and glad to hear that they were kept safe while performing the rescues with a Monitor Spider Lift.

With the low tare weight, the Spider Lifts can be easily towed behind a 4WD. Then with the track drive, accessing rough locations or working on sloping ground can be achieved.

For more information on these great range of machines, with units from 8m to 43m working height, contact Monitor Lifts now on (02) 6755 6000, freecall 1800 025 024, or email [email protected]

February 17, 2020 / by / in ,
Stump Grinder Training And Certification

At TFT we are busy with a full cohort of students some who are graduating as trade and Diploma level arborists and some who are just beginning their journey.

Any tree particularly if it is lucky enough to be under the supervision of a TFT qualified arborist will be a very happy tree indeed. Hopefully after last month’s edition you will have had a chance to consider your workplace chipper operations and safety practices and that you continue to realise that you are part of a profession which is a bit like a family, made up from some of the most wonderful individuals involved in the arboricultural industry the world over, that generally have one thing in common – regardless of any conflicting values and opinions which often result in the experts not always agreeing with each other – the common factor is that they all care about trees.

Stump Grinder Training And Certification

The Subject that I would like to share with you for this issue involves the requirements for Stump Grinder training and certification.

AHCARB206 Operate and Maintain Stump Grinding Machines is a nationally recognised industry endorsed unit of competency that covers use of these machines.

Operators that are trained and certificated will have a greater understanding in the operation and maintenance of these machines and the end result will be seen in the standard of maintenance and operation.

There have been several serious accidents that have occurred over the past few years with these machines and training is often minimal or just not completed by operators, considering the high risk nature of these machines we feel comprehensive training and assessment for operators is essential.

I have included a few points for consideration regarding stump grinder maintenance and operation, however this is not intended to be used as a substitute for training and assessment.

“It’s important to update your certification over time as techniques and industry standards are often updated.”

Before attempting maintenance and operation of any machine ensure that you carry out a risk assessment and implement any relevant control measures.

Make sure to read and understand the operator’s manual.

Operation

There should be a plan of operation agreed upon and most importantly communicated to all personnel on site.

Take note of any work site issues, emergency procedures, the surroundings, exclusion zones, public access roads and any other issues that may be raised during the on site assessment.

  • Check for the proximity of buildings and obstructions and set out an exclusion zone around the work area
  • Flying debris can travel in excess of 15m and ricochet off solid objects such as boundary walls and fences so you need to plan for the unexpected suitable screens should be used to contain flying debris
  • Check to see if there are any underground services present, ask the client or check out the local phone book for the dial before you dig number if you are unsure
  • Inspect the stumps to be removed for any stones or metal that may be embedded in them and remove it prior to grinding if possible
  • When loading and unloading the machine from a truck or trailer ensure that ramps of the correct load bearing capacity and of a sufficient length to produce an acceptable angle for loading / unloading that are securely attached to the truck or trailer are used
  • Make sure that the machine can be operated on level ground that is firm enough to support its weight
  • Ensure to operate at the correct engine or PTO speed
  • If the stump is on a slope check out the machine specification and capabilities. (the machine manual will advise on maximum angles of operation)
  • Ensure correct fitment or deployment of stabilisers or extra width axles for the machine.

Q.Do Stump Grinder Operators Need A Ticket?

A: WHS states that persons must be adequately trained a nationally recognised statement of attainment AHCARB206 Operate and maintain stump grinding machines would ensure to demonstrate that approved training and assessment has been carried out.

It’s important to update your certification over time as techniques and industry standards are often updated. It is recommended that regular updates are carried out and documented.

One of the best ways to maintain currency is to undertake a refresher update for the relevant unit of competency and receive an update certificate.

Refreshers are generally carried out in a shorter time frame than a full training course consisting of an assessment and update of current skill levels which generally picks up and corrects any bad habits that may have crept in over time.

Regular refresher and update training and assessment programs to suit relevant skills as required are offered by us at Training For Trees.

The modern world of arboriculture is a far cry from the days that we just felt lucky to be doing a job using big noisy equipment and lifting heavy things.

Making the effort and spending the time to study and achieve the relevant arboricultural qualifications will lead you on a lifelong journey in one of the most diverse industries I know and build you a skill base that you can use anywhere in the world.

AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture

To be able to work as a qualified person within the arboricultural industry the general requirements are that you will complete an apprenticeship training or RPL process to achieve the AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture which is currently accepted as the minimum industry standard requirement to be able to be considered as a trade level qualified working arborist.

Tree keepers are becoming better educated and are demanding quality work to be carried out to at least the requirements of Australian standards and increasingly are asking to see evidence of qualifications including their currency and the subject list of units undertaken as well as proof of adequate insurance prior to engaging a contractor. a requirement that all workers are trained in their roles and deemed competent and current in their required skills.

The pathway to achieve the Certificate in Arboriculture qualification involves the completion of 23 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations.

Take the next step and follow the pathway to the Diploma of Arboriculture

Once you have achieved the Certificate in Arboriculture or want to consolidate and recognise your industry experience, the next step is to continue to progress within the arboricultural industry and to follow the pathway from trade level working arborist and take it to the next level by undertaking the AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

To achieve the Diploma you will begin a journey that will see you develop and gain an intimate and considerable working tree knowledge, you will be educated through face-to-face training and assessment, resulting in the completion of the10 nationally recognised industry endorsed units of competency making up the Diploma that

Within the current OHS legislation there is a general obligation for persons in the workplace to act with due diligence, which is a pretty open ended term, placing obligations on everyone while they are at work, including employers, the self-employed and employees, with the general requirement to carry out their duties as responsible operators. It is also  have been engineered, approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations to ensure that achieving this qualification will enable you to operate with the highest standards with the required skills as a Business owner, lead arborist, tree officer arboricultural manager or consulting arborist in the arboricultural industry.

We are also so very proud that through high quality education and training and working within the national training package that we are seeing extremely high standards of arboricultural prognosis and tree care.

At TFT we believe the message is finally getting through regarding the importance of training and qualification and the benefits that it can bring to everyone including the trees.

A tried and tested process that we at TFT have been suggesting for several years now is proving to be so true regarding the almost everyday question we get from employers which is:

“We need a new groundie climber or consulting arborist to join our operation.”

New workers don’t grow on trees unfortunately but if you want to have reliable professional staff you have to be prepared to invest in them.

The government have realised the skills shortage and the importance of our industry and there is considerable support for organisations that are investing in and training their staff.

Penalties for non-compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act can be quite severe so you must maintain compliance and currency.

Can you demonstrate evidence of recent staff training or updating within your company?

Do you have a safety policy that includes safe work method statements, risk assessment and machinery checklists?

Have staff members attended recent courses workshops or verification of competency (VOC) sessions?

Are your qualifications and licences up to date?

One of the best sources for new staff often overlooked is that some of the best new recruits could actually come from within your company where a current employee is encouraged and supported to step up to the plate and develop new skills while to some extent learning on the job and continuing to earn their keep at the same time. When this process is coupled with the journey through the arboricultural Certificate III or the Diploma qualifications and you are prepared to work with your trainee and their training organisation the outcome is a well-rounded competent and qualified staff member that is a real asset to your business.

We at TFT recommend employing as many new recruits as you are able to support but bear in mind that apprenticeship supervision is recommended to be one qualified worker to one apprentice.

Various incentives are available to assist employers and students that are eligible. Training in general could tend to slow things on the work site down a little initially, although as your apprentice makes progress through the training process, they will steadily begin to repay your investment in their future by becoming more useful and able to operate more efficiently within your company.

By the time they graduate they will probably go on to become your next lead climber crew leader or manager and could also be helping to train your next apprentice to keep your company evolving. If your apprentice decides to leave and move on once they are qualified then at least you will have had some return on your investment while they were employed with you and if you get the balance right then there will always be upcoming apprentices that will keep the cycle flowing giving you access to staff that already know your business and systems that will continue to provide a return on the investment you have made in them.

Training is as important as the servicing of vehicles and machinery. After all, workers are the machinery that you run and need to maintain to enable the smooth operation of your business.

At TFT we conduct the majority of our training and assessment at our modern training centre with access to in-house trainer assessors, we supply all the required up to date tools equipment, local worksites and resources.

We take our students on a journey which begins with their enrolment and continues through the individual units of competency that collectively make up the qualification with regular face to face classroom sessions and issuing of assignments to be completed in the workplace. We work with apprentices, the self-employed, persons looking for a career change and employers to ensure students are able to progress efficiently and meet the volume of learning and performance requirements of the relevant qualifications.

Training For Trees is a registered training organisation (RTO).

We are completely independent and are not auspiced attached to or operating under the direction or licence of any other RTO or parent company.

This means we are personally able look after our students and employers at every step of their journey and beyond.

It has been proven that independent training and assessment increases staff retention safety awareness productivity and efficiency.

Remember to schedule in regular refresher and update training sessions.

If you want to be officially classified as a qualified arborist you will need to complete the appropriate level of qualification:

  • AHC30816 Certificate III in arboriculture Or
  • AHC50516 Diploma of arboriculture

“Safety Rules”

Check out your eligibility for funding. Enrol now for the next intake Certificate III Arboriculture and Diploma. Now booking chainsaw courses running regularly (all levels), EWP Licence, First Aid, Working at heights, Chipper, Stump grinder, Pole saw and AC/DC. Contact us for your qualifications, short courses VOC, RPL and refresher training. Train with us and leaf qualified. See our website www.trainingfortrees.com.au for details or email [email protected]

February 16, 2020 / by / in ,
Cat® 302 CR Mini Excavator

US-headquartered manufacturer Caterpillar is one of the major and most instantly recognisable players in the global heavy equipment industry, with its flagship Cat brand presiding over an extensive product portfolio and long boasting a reputation for bringing to market products designed to get the job done.

Among the recent additions to this portfolio, Cat has introduced a line of five mini excavators, with the range of 1-to-2 tonne class machines sporting a variety of features focused on performance, versatility, safety and comfort, all packed into a compact size.

The 302 CR mini excavator, weighing in at a minimum operating weight of 1945kg/2045kg (canopy/cab), is the largest of these five new models, with Cameron Balzat, Caterpillar Asia Pacific Marketing Manager, explaining that it incorporates a number of noteworthy technologies for a machine of its size.

“Across the full range of mini excavators we have introduced new technology,”

Cameron explained. “What’s unique about the 302 CR is the air conditioning – it’s got an air conditioned, sealed and pressurised cab, which you don’t usually see in machines of this size. Typically, you don’t see air conditioning in an excavator until you get above 3 tonne in size.

“This gives you the ability to obviously keep yourself cool while you’re working, but you still have the engine power that you need to dig and do everything else you need to do in one of these machines.”

The size of the 302 CR’s cab is certainly a standout feature at first sight, which is further highlighted by its overall compact form factor – and, when it comes to first impressions, all indications are that the 302 CR is a machine that goes above and beyond in allowing operators to go about their work in comfort.

A compact machine with a large cab The 302 CR’s sealed and pressurised cab provides operators ample room, so much so that it is more akin to a cab designed for a larger 30 tonne model – and, putting the 302 CR through its paces, operations are noticeably quiet. Adjustable wrist rests add to the comfort factor, along with a suspension seat option, while the air conditioning is, simply put, fantastic.

Like the four other models in the new mini range, the 302 CR features a stick steer option allowing operators to switch from traditional lever and pedal travel controls to joystick operation via the push of a button. Cat states that automatic two-speed travel complements this functionality, speeding up machine positioning and control – and, across a range of applications, I was impressed by the 302 CR’s ease of operation, with it delivering a seamless experience.

Cat states that it has designed the controls to be intuitive, with a pattern changer, allowing operators to select their preferred system between excavator and backhoe pattern, while an LCD monitor provides easy-to-read machine information, complemented by a jog dial designed for easy navigation and interaction with the monitor.

When it comes to visibility, the 302 CR sports large glass areas on the sides and rear of the cab, along with a skylight, helping operators to keep an eye on what is happening in their vicinity, while the front window is designed to slide upward and store overhead. Having the option to slide the front window up with a small machine of this sort, which may often be operating in tight spaces and in close proximity to other workers, is a valuable feature, making it very easy to communicate with other workers.

Another noteworthy feature of the 302 CR is its push-to-start option, which sees a Bluetooth-enabled key signal its proximity to the machine, allowing it to start at the push of a button (with the additional option of a key combined with an operator pass code). Meanwhile, Bluetooth pairing with my smartphone was a simple process, with the smartphone connecting immediately and allowing for music control.

Impressive Reach And Power

The 302 CR is powered by a three-cylinder diesel Cat C1.1 engine with 14.3kW net power, which meets Tier 4 Final/Stage V emissions regulations – with Cat stating the engine sports a power-dense design, delivering consistent performance across a wide speed range – and I was very impressed by both the reach of the machine and how much power it had at full reach.

Operators can adjust the flow of the hydraulics, according to the task they are undertaking, providing enhanced control. Cat advises that its new line of mini excavators use a load-sensing hydraulic system with an electronically controlled variable displacement piston pump capable of oil flows to 66 L/min, with flow rates, coupled with high main-relief pressures, providing the hydraulic capacity to generate high digging and lifting forces, along with managing power attachments.

The standard auxiliary hydraulic system provides one way, two way and continuous flow, with Cat advising that its new line can be fitted with a Cat-manufactured manual coupler, along with Cat-manufactured buckets, including general duty digging, wide mud and tilting ditch cleaning. Meanwhile, other available Cat attachments include augers, hammers and compaction wheels.

Engine idle control and automatic shutdown systems provide for enhanced fuel efficiency, with the 302 CR sporting a compact radius design and retractable undercarriage (expanding from 1090mm to 1400mm), allowing operators to work in tight areas, while its dig-to-blade and dozer float features are designed to allow for easy clean up.

Easy Maintenance And Built-In Safety Features

When it comes to maintenance, the 302 CR is designed to provide for quick and easy inspection, with routine maintenance check points accessible at ground level through the side doors, allowing operators easy access. As far as more advanced maintenance is concerned, a tilt-up cab allows operators to reach additional service areas, delivering access to major hydraulic components, via what Cat describes as a simple process that can be completed in under five minutes.

Meanwhile, when it comes to safety, Cat has built in a number of features, including courtesy work lights and a fluorescent retractable seat belt, while boom lights help to illuminate work areas. Cat’s new line of mini excavators also feature tie-down points on the track frames, designed to facilitate securing of the machine for transportation.

February 13, 2020 / by / in ,
Climate Change It’s An Emergency

The message from Earth is clear.

We can no longer ignore the effects of climate change. Increased frequency and severity of extreme weather conditions across the globe clearly indicate that weather patterns are changing.

Climate change occurs when abnormal variations to the climate have effects on other parts of the earth. Heatwaves, droughts, floods and current devastating bushfires have us all concerned, and more and more pressure is being placed on governments to take action to save our planet. School students right through to businesses, insurance sectors and researchers, are all calling for emissions reductions.

Co2 is a greenhouse gas that plays a significant role in influencing Earth’s surface temperature through the greenhouse effect.

But increases, caused by deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels, have upset the balance to dangerous levels and scientists across the globe are grappling with ways to take Co2 out of the atmosphere. Professor Matthew England from the University of New South Wales said the message is coming together and the problem is being taken seriously.

“Treating it as an emergency – a global health scare or a flu epidemic – has big benefits because it mobilizes action,” he said. “The reason why we’re calling it an emergency is because it does need urgent action – like responding to a terrorist threat or a global health threat.”

The Professor said we can learn from the past what we need to implement for the future.

“The 1987 Montreal protocol is well known for getting rid of CFCs and has been hugely beneficial for the ozone hole but also for ongoing climate change. Omissions of CFCs were going through the roof back then, and saving our ozone hole was seen as a genuine environmental emergency.

“Studies show that without that protocol in place, we would already be pushing up to the Paris threshold of 1.5°C temperature increase and looking at two big problems.

The next three quarters of our challenge is the carbon emissions that are now themselves out of control and posing a big risk to future climate change,” he said.

Planting billions of trees across the world is one of the biggest and cheapest ways to tackle the climate crisis according to latest research from Swiss scientists at ETH Zurich University. Professor Bastin and colleagues say time is of the essence as climate change progressively diminishes the available areas for tree restoration. Based on their model, over 220 million hectares of potential forests could be lost by 2050 if climate change continues at the current rate.

There are arguments that such a scheme would not be supported by politicians who would see countries lose economic potential as land gets covered by trees. It would also take many decades before new forests would be mature enough to store large amounts of carbon.

Others warn against monoculture plantation of forests saying respect for local and indigenous people are crucial to ensuring reforestation succeeds in cutting carbon and boosting wildlife. The implications of putting trees where they don’t belong could be serious; misplaced flora could kill local ecosystems, weaken biodiversity, dry up water supplies and make areas more prone to fires. [Carrington, 2019]

Meanwhile Australian scientists are testing our amazing diversity of tree flora to find plants that will have the capacity to adapt to our changing climate.

Professor David Ellsworth from Western Sydney University is one of the chief investigators for the project, aptly named ‘Which Plant Where’. He said plants that might make good candidates are more from inland areas or bioclimatic regions where there has been historical drought and heatwaves of intensities expected for the future.

“We expect drought tolerators such as Emu Bush, Wilga, Brachychiton, to be the sort that we can plant more in urban areas in the future. However, heat and drought tolerance of tree species in an Australian context are not sufficiently understood. Hence, our project incorporates a comprehensive research program to help us minimise losses and ensure future street tree and urban plantings will successfully grow in place for the coming decades.

“We want to create confidence among the general public, gardening and nursery communities to be able to see their plants survive through the long term,” he said.

The university has large advanced climate control glasshouses where they can manipulate moisture and temperature. Plants are put through simulated drought and heatwave conditions. Bioclimatic modelling work looks at the relationship where a species occurs and the climate of that region. Maps are developed to show which areas are suitable for the species both now and in future climates. Traits of particular plants will also be listed including depth of roots, shape of tree, canopy cover, flammability, biodiversity co benefits.

This information will be developed into an online tool for people when they are deciding what to plant in a particular setting. See more on this project and others in future issues.

References Carrington, D. (2019). Tree planting ‘has mind-blowing potential’ to tackle climate crisis. The Guardian. [Online] Available at: www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/ jul/04/planting-billions-trees-best-tackle-climate-crisis-scientists-canopy-emissions [Accessed 12 Dec. 2019].

February 12, 2020 / by / in ,
Chainsaw Of The Future

STIHL is cementing their position as a technology leader with the launch of the highly anticipated MS 500i; the world’s first electronic fuel injected chainsaw with never-before achieved power-to-weight ratio.

The STIHL injection technology not only provides the chainsaw of the future with incredible torque but also ensures rapid acceleration of the saw chain from 0 to 100 km/h in just 0.25 seconds.

The exemplarily lightweight design gives the MS 500i the best ever power-to-weight ratio at 1.24 kilograms per kilowatt, never before seen by series-manufactured chainsaws.

STIHL Marketing Manager Lee Gooch says, “We are proud to be part of something that has achieved perfection in lightweight and intelligent design with ergonomics at the forefront.”

“You are able to achieve high performance with low displacement and weight.”

High Performance

The MS 500i has exceptional starting behaviour and provides optimum engine power right from start up. No matter what the altitude and ambient temperature is, the engine automatically adapts to the different operating conditions.

Together with the many additional design optimisations, the reduction of gyroscopic forces provides the high-performance professional saw with dynamic manoeuvrability which is a particular advantage during limbing. This gives the professional an easy to handle tool for all disciplines − from felling to cutting and length.

STIHL is no stranger to fuel injected machines. In 2012, the TS 500i cut-off saw launched as one of the most powerful and reliable machines on the market, able to survive even the toughest environment.

Since the MS 500i’s announcement in 2018, professionals and loyal followers alike have been chomping at the bit to get their hands on it.

With over 90 years of German engineering excellence, STIHL continues to stand the test of time.

Voted number one for quality garden power tools and specialist knowledge, STIHL reaffirms their place as the leader in innovative technology.

For more information about STIHL’s products or to find your local STIHL dealer, please visit www.stihl.com.au

February 11, 2020 / by / in ,
Husqvarna’s Top Handle Chainsaw

The Husqvarna T525 top handle chainsaw designed for tree care professionals who want maximum productivity with minimum downtime.

Husqvarna’s T525 has the powerful engine performance that professional users know and appreciate, packed into a lower weight tree-care chainsaw. This means improved productivity, since power and performance are not sacrificed for a lighter product. Weighing in at just 2.7kg users can cut with less strain on the body, a significant benefit for tree care professionals.

With quick acceleration built-in, pruning can be finished lightning fast. While Husqvarna’s signature X-Torq® engine ensures higher output compared to other tree care saws, which means getting more done with the same amount of fuel. X-Torq® also means lower levels of exhaust emissions, giving users a cleaner work environment.

Features for Working In The Tree

Reliability is essential for tree care specialists, especially when sitting high up in a tree. A spring-assisted start allows for lower pull force, meaning less effort is required to start the engine – a useful addition when users are at height with tricky and limited movement. A side-mounted chain adjuster is another feature that allows professionals to make quick, convenient and easy chain adjustments while out on a limb.

Easy maintenance solutions on the T525 come in the form of a quick-release air filter, flip-up fuel caps, and retained bar nuts to prevent loss. These simple maintenance solutions make it easy for users to maintain their products and decrease unnecessary downtime.

T525 Features at a Glance

  • Cylinder displacement 27cm³
  • Power output 1.1kW
  • 12” Bar
  • Chain speed at 133 per cent of maximum engine power speed 24.1 m/s
  • Weight 2.7kg (excluding cutting equipment)
  • X-Torq® engine
  • Belt eyelet making it quick and easy to connect saw to the climbing harness
  • Auto return stop switch for trouble free starting
  • Snap-lock quick release cover
  • Retained bar nut – prevents losing the bar nut
  • Quick and convenient chain tensioning from the side

 

For information on the Husqvarna T525 top handle chainsaw visit www.husqvarna.com

February 10, 2020 / by / in ,
Bandit 18XP Mission Accomplished

When the team at Bandit sat down some time ago and started drawing up design goals for their Model 18XP six-cylinder turbo diesel chipper they must have had a very clear vision.

I can imagine the conversations must have gone something like; “Let’s build the strongest and most impressive chipper we can, keeping it under 4.5 tonne so it can be towed without requiring air brakes. It needs to have best-in-class performance, be user-friendly and the safest machine on the market.” From what we have seen here at AAA, Bandit has more than delivered across the board.

As you know, a chipper of this size and power needs tremendous build quality to achieve longevity in such a demanding environment as Australia, and Bandit has ticked the boxes in this area. Each machine is hand built with fully welded construction by two-man teams of specialist fabricators. Details abound, like the impressive hydraulic components used throughout, including over-sized, quality feed wheel motors supplied by Parker. We were pleased to see the extra wide horizontal feed rollers that are upward of 25 inches. These rollers are positioned right up against the chipping drum, which reduces the chance of material being stuck between rollers and drum. These design features increase productivity so you complete jobs quicker – moving onto the next.

Even the chunkiest logs are obliterated into mulch in seconds due to the considerable power and torque produced by the Caterpillar 173 HP six-cylinder turbo diesel.

Being a six-cylinder engine, the big CAT produces 920Nm of torque, which is about 50 per cent more torque than the four-cylinder chippers found in this machine class.

Torque is what keeps the chipper drum spinning under heavy loads; this impressive chipper will rip through large volumes of material in no time at all.

For the performance of the machine, the 18XP is relatively compact on its single axle. It’s easy to manoeuvre between trees and other obstacles to get into position.

The site where we set up saw us feeding logs with a loader that needed to cover about 30-45 metres from the location of the trees to the chipper. There was no downtime for the loader operator as the chipper was going a lot quicker than we could keep up with on the loader. A joy to use, the boys loved the 18XP on the day.

From an operator’s perspective, it’s easy to see why the 18XP is one of Bandits most popular chippers. The oversized 37-inch diameter drum and large infeed throat opening allows for significant compression of feed material. The popular hydraulic “lift and crush” fitted to the top roller is a helpful tool to ram through the really stubborn material.

Safety is always front of mind when working with this type of machine and Bandit has this covered with the 18XP.

“With over 700 Bandit 18XP chippers working across Australia, day in day out, this model is a proven performer in our harsh Aussie climate.”

Their patented (and very reliable) hydraulic safety bump bar, Auto Feed Plus and hydraulic winch come as standard.

Their rope shear device is fitted to help reduce the chance of injury should a rope accidentally get fed into the chipper – this should be on all chippers! These features seamlessly combine to ensure a user-friendly and safe experience for operators.

As you know, our dry Aussie hardwoods and fibrous materials can be testing on chippers, but with over 700 Bandit 18XP chippers working across Australia, day in day out, this model is a proven performer in our harsh Aussie climate.

The Bandit 18XP six-cylinder turbo diesel drum chipper impresses with its power and ability to eat through significant logs, branches and shrubs. It’s been designed and manufactured to do precisely what it does, and that is, safely make very short work of substantial jobs in the most efficient times possible.

For more information visit www.banditchippers.com.au

February 9, 2020 / by / in ,
National Return To Work Strategy 2020-2030

Return to work after an injury or illness is a critical time for any employee. A new national strategy has been designed to drive action to improve return to work outcomes for workers with a work-related injury or illness

Diane Smith-Gander AO, the Chair of Safe Work Australia, introduces the landmark ‘National Return to Work Strategy 2020- 2030’ that sets an ambitious 10-year action plan to improve return to work outcomes for workers across Australia.

Workers are at the heart of the Strategy’s vision to minimise the impact of workrelated injury and illness and enable workers to have a timely, safe and durable return to work.

Supporting workers through their recovery and return to work is a priority for all jurisdictions and stakeholders involved in the process. The Strategy paves the way for national collaboration to improve return to work outcomes over the next decade.

The Strategy was developed in partnership with governments, business, industry and unions, and endorsed by work health and safety ministers. Consultation was also undertaken with academics, peak bodies, organisations and representatives from the insurance, legal and health sectors to help identify national policy issues and action areas to address them.

The Strategy is designed to be sufficiently broad so those involved in the return to work process can determine how they can best contribute to implementing the Strategy. It is aimed at people who can influence work and workplaces, including:

  • Policy makers
  • Workers’ compensation authorities
  • Employer, industry and union groups
  • Insurers and claims management organisations
  • Treating health practitioners
  • Workplace rehabilitation providers, and
  • Other worker advocates.

For information visit safeworkaustralia.gov.au/national-return-to-work-strategy-2020-2030

January 26, 2020 / by / in , ,
Platform Sales Australia

As successful contractors are well aware, highly versatile equipment designed to provide higher utilisation, being fully transportable and able to work in tighter areas will not only increase productivity but also provide the best ROI.

This focus – especially when combined with the added stability and safety of a spider lifts, truck-mounted lifts and alike – is where Platform Sales has been adding huge value for its customers across a range of industry, through their unique equipment and an extensive team of Australia wide highly trained and qualified service engineers.

Scissor and boom lifts all have their place but they don’t give you everything and after 40 years of combined experience the team of Andrew Satterley (as Operations Manager) and David Collins (as Director) of Platform Sales Australia have had the boots on the ground for long enough to realise that the key to embracing long-term success with contractors looking to purchase or hire equipment is by enhancing productivity, through offering a broad yet extremely specific range of machines, across the various height requirements of various industries, from a range of hand-selected manufacturers who produce the best machine from each class.

It is a passion that has motivated Platform Sales to cast their net far and wide in search of better solutions for businesses looking for greater efficiency, utilisation and enhanced safety. A prime example of this is the way the Arborist Industry has embraced the CTE Traccess Spider Lift range. As good climbers today, can be very hard to find, the ability to provide a safer option that allows areas that previously only the best climbers could access to be easily achieved by the use of a spider lift means business can significantly improve the volume of work achievable on any given day without the risk previously involved.

David explained that Platform Sales, which is based in Taren Point, Sydney, had originally commenced operations after becoming the first retail sales agency for Genie Australia. Shortly thereafter, the company had commenced dealing with CTE, and this was in turn closely followed by the establishment of a partnership with Palazzani.

 

“We were one of the first internet-based EWP sales companies to provide a broad range of equipment to all sectors of business in Australia,” David told AA of Platform’s initial establishment in the local marketplace.

A wide-ranging product portfolio Twelve years on, Platform Sales now presides over 250 different models, sourced from around the world – with its range having since expanded to encompass JLG, Skyjack and Haulotte products – and services a range of customers, with its machines catering to a broad spectrum of uses, from heavy industry to light commercial applications.

Platform Sales product portfolio includes material lifts, trailer lifts, boom lifts, truck-mounted aerial platforms, scissor lifts, mast lifts, spider lifts and a range of accessories, including Lodax outrigger pads, and is backed by an extensive after-sales service network throughout Australia.

“Scissor And Boom Lifts All Have Their Place, But They Don’t Give The Arbor Industry A Total Solution.”

“Our EWP product range today has been built on our customer’s needs and dealing with only the best manufacturers in their respective areas,” David explained.

“We seek to supply Australian businesses with a high degree of hire-based performance and reliability across all of the EWP machines in our portfolio, from self-propelled scissor lifts and booms to truck-mounted towers and the more specialised spider lifts, that will provide the most versatile investment.”

Platform Sales prides itself on combining its depth of industry knowledge, with understanding its customers’ requirements and needs and it is this philosophy that is put to use in determining what machines are best suited to each individual customers’ respective requirements, encompassing prioritising reliability and performance, and seeking to reduce the overall cost of ownership.

“Equipment designed for purpose, such as Arbor work will provide for maximum productivity, cost savings and increased profits for those investing in today’s market,” David observed.

“Realising the importance of functionality and versatility, we strive to show our customers the best options to gain the maximum benefit from their investment – and, with our key selected manufacturers, we supply a range that is broad and proven to perform in the demanding Australian market.”

Keeping It Simple, The Key

David noted that having the opportunity to evaluate the machine market in Europe had ultimately demonstrated the importance of a simple approach to machine design, which is perfect for operating in Australia’s unique conditions.

“I believe that keeping it simple is the key,” he said. “Machine make-up, like boom configuration, size, weight, footprint and performance, are all key components of better design, along with the simplicity, especially from an electronics point of view.

“An over-technical machine can and will be problematic in Australia. We want a simple, Tonka-tough approach to the equipment we use in Australia.”

In assessing Platform’s progress over the years, David pointed to the importance of experience, encompassing an ability to understand industry needs and connect with customers, as being a key factor.

“We believe our experience in the Arbor industry and the long-term partnerships we have formed have been the key to our success,” he told AA. “We have always focused on providing the best solutions, designed to increase productivity while reducing the costs of business and ensuring our customers and their staff are safe.”

Call 1300 882 762.

For more information visit www.platformsales.com.au 

January 23, 2020 / by / in , , ,
Selling Your Business

Questions to answer in leaving a business.

Table 1 shows the main ways for a business to grow or end. Unlike people who are born, mature and die, a business, although owned by people, need not have the same fate. Businesses can continue long after their founders have died. So when you have a business, and it is time for you to retire, what questions do you need answers for!

Regardless of the legal structure of your business, the questions you need an answer to are:

  • Do you sell?
  • Is the business bankruptcy or Insolvent?
  • Is the business large enough to sell to the public (Initial Public Offering); or
  • Do I stop trading?
  • Do I sell? – Voluntary Retirement

A Sale Of Your Business As A:

  • Sole trader
  • Partner
  • Through shares in a company
  • Children
  • Friends
  • Staff (through a management buy-out)
  • Unrelated third parties

Irrespective To Whom You Sell Your Business You Should Consider:

  • What is more important: The sale price or the continuation of the business?
  • Do you want the ownership retained by a family member, or do you want the business to be in the hands of the best person (you can find) to grow or continue the business?
  • If the sale is to be to a family member, who in the family is to buy the business and how will the takeover occur?
  • If the sale is to be to existing staff, who? All staff or just a few of the key employees and how will the takeover occur?
  • Do you need expert help in succession planning?

If You Are Only Concerned With Maximising The Sale Price:

  • What tax breaks will you receive if you sell the business and retire?
  • What tax breaks will you receive if you sell the business and invest in another business?
  • Are you prepared to remain in the business after it is sold? If so, for how long, and on what basis: as an employee, paid or unpaid consultant, or a director of the board?
  • Are you prepared to provide a restraint of trade provision in the sale? If so, for how long and for what geographical area?
  • Are you prepared to leave your name associated with the business after it is sold?
  • Will the existing employees have to be dismissed, or will the new owner want to employ them?

If You Own The Premises From Which The Business Operates, Are The Premises To Be Sold:

  • With the business
  • Separately to the business
  • Leased to the new owner

The issue of the value of the purchase price of the premises has to be addressed, or the rent to be paid must be negotiated.

If the business owns intellectual property that is yours, will the intellectual property be sold with the business, or will you retain ownership of it and license its use to the purchaser?

If you are going to license intellectual property thought must be given about how you are to assess and/or verify the accuracy of the license fees paid to you by the purchaser.

Bankruptcy or Insolvency

Involuntary Retirement

Bankruptcy occurs to individuals while insolvency happens to corporations.

Bankruptcy or insolvency is where the owners of the business cannot pay the debts of the business as and when they fall due.

Bankruptcy and insolvency occur not by choice but despite the best efforts of an owner. When a business ends from bankruptcy of its owner(s) or the failure of a corporation due to insolvency, the decision on whether the business is sold or closed is that of the insolvency practitioner that has control of the business. The owner’s concerns in these circumstances are:

  • Can you prevent yourself from being declared bankrupt?
  • If you are declared bankrupt, what are the consequences to you continuing in a profession or trade? For instance, a landscaper who is bankrupt can (if they have the funds commence) trade on their own account
  • Will you have enough income to maintain your family life as you have done in the past?
  • What effect will bankruptcy have upon you and for how long?
  • In the case of insolvency, whether you will have enough assets to meet personal debts, and whether you have given guarantees in support of the business which you must pay
  • If a director of a company that has been liquidated, were you a director at a time when the company was trading insolvently? If so, you may have personal liability for the debts incurred by the company during this time.

Initial Public Offerings –Voluntary

An initial public offering or IPO is what is also known as a public float. When a business is of a size that requires that it needs further capital to grow, and the capital cannot be obtained by way of debt, or when you have reached a point when you are prepared to trade off a large sum of money in return for losing absolute control of the way you run the business, an IPO should be considered.

In a technical sense, an IPO is a sale by you of your business for cash and or shares to a public company. In the sense that an IPO is a sale the considerations of selling (above) are relevant. When considering an IPO, you should consider:

  • Whether you are retiring from the business or relinquishing some control?
  • If you are remaining in the business but with lesser control, how much control will lose?

With an IPO, you must accept that your business is no longer yours. It will be owned and controlled by a public company – the public company in turn being controlled by directors and senior management. Is what you are to receive from the IPO enough consideration for you to take this risk?

Can the business afford the extra costs of operating as a listed company? Will the revenue of the business be enough to pay:

  • Independent directors
  • Listing fees
  • To manage compliance policies and procedures for such things as: ASX listing rules, competition and consumer practices, work, health and safety, employment, recruitment and dismissal, intellectual property, contracts, and any specific issues that are pertinent to the operations of the business

Closure

In leaving a business you may decide to stop trading. Your decision may be based upon you not being able or willing to sell something that has become part of your alter ego. It may be because there is no buyer. Whatever the reasons for closing down, the considerations you need to take account of are:

  • Do you have enough money on hand or from the sale of assets to pay all the debts of the business?
  • How much money will you have to pay the employees on them being made redundant?
  • What expenses will you incur in ceasing to use a business name or trade mark?
  • You must ensure that you have enough money to pay all creditors otherwise you must stop trading through bankruptcy or insolvency?
  • What expenses are there in deregistering a company if you operated your business through a corporation?
  • Is it the most appropriate course of action to stop trading and if so at what time? Should it be during a financial year or will there be tax benefits if it is just after the commencement of a new financial year?
  • Will you receive a capital loss by ceasing to operate the business?
  • By ceasing to trade, will you have the cash to be able to pay all the costs associated with the cessation of the business or will you need to find out the costs of ceasing to trade and then after saving the money required, close the doors? If you will need cash when will you be in a position to have the money to close the doors?

Retiring – Next Steps…

Having regard to the many considerations in leaving a business you must take the time to answer these questions. If in doubt seek expert advice on the various issues that need to be taken into consideration. You can contact us at etiennelawyers.com.au

To avoid costly mistakes, contact Etienne Lawyers: www.etiennelawyers.com or [email protected].

January 22, 2020 / by / in , ,