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One-Stop Shop For Aborists

Aiming to be Australia’s largest Toro and GreenMech dealer, Semco says it won’t be beaten on price or service.

Toro operates in more than 140 countries where it supplies turf care equipment for sports facilities and other public spaces. It also manufactures compact construction equipment for professional landscapers.

More recently, Toro has expanded its reach into the vegetation management market through its distribution of the renowned GreenMech equipment range of chippers and shredders.

Toro Specialist Joins Semco

Albert Martin has recently joined the Toro team at Semco, so arborists, vegetation management contractors and landscapers should give Albert a call for an update on the latest from Toro as well as an introduction and demonstration of the GreenMech range.

“Semco will beat any written price quote to make sure we are Australia’s number one Toro/GreenMech dealer. You can call me direct on 0419 468 594 to check out the range or set a time for a demo”, Albert said.


Walk Power Mowers

Toro’s walk-behind mower range includes the 21-inch cut heavy duty commercial mower that features a diecast deck to withstand the rigours of commercial mowing, as well as a unique tapered deck design with a generous discard channel for more efficient air flow and maximum suction.

The TurfMaster model has a wide 30-inch mowing deck so you can cover more ground in less time, making it ideal for commercial use in the toughest conditions. Three speed settings give you optimum speed and high performance for recycling.

A blade break control stops the engine and cutter blade completely when the safety lever is released, while its electric start gives effortless engine starting on the turn of the key and a recycle-on-demand feature allows you to switch between recycler and recollection mode.

The mower senses the operator’s walking speed, even on slopes, automatically adjusting the mower speed. Individual levers are provided for grass height adjustment, and when the job is done, a washout port lets you easily clean the grass clippings from under the deck.

Professional Ride-On Mower Range

The Toro professional ride-on mower range is designed for day long comfort, thanks to a fully adjustable suspended seating system.

Among its many features is a patented adjustable discharge baffle which lets you quickly modify the cutting chamber for the best cut, regardless of the mowing conditions.

Horizon Technology

Professional 6000 FI models feature Horizon technology that improves fuel efficiency and productivity by enabling communication between the mowers’ systems, optimising performance and letting you select the best mode for mowing conditions.

The TimeCutter incorporates many patented technologies and features designed to cut your mowing time to almost half.

Their design also delivers more comfortable and easy operation, while maintaining the excellent standards of finish expected from a quality mower.

Toro Construction

Machines that comprise the Toro construction, underground and tree care range are tough, rugged and hard-working. These essential tools are compact, versatile and nimble so they can get all the power you need.

These machines deliver plenty of power for tough digging, deep trenching and challenging ground conditions. When creating landscapes, walk behind trenchers and loaders will tackle heavy work and accomplish hundreds of tasks in a fraction of the time, while minimising impact to turf.

Compact Utility Loaders

The Toro CUL (compact utility loaders) range has all the versatility you will ever need to handle any job they are asked to perform, such as digging hauling planting and building.

Even when you have a novice operator, controls are so simple that anyone can master the machine operation very quickly.

Greenmech For Arborists

For the last 40 years GreenMech has been designing, manufacturing and marketing a range of woodchippers and shredders for professional arborists, landscapers, contractors and local authorities. Its equipment is exported to 28 countries.

The design features high power, quiet operating levels and cutting blades of a patented design that are designed to stay sharp and will very efficiently process sinuous material such as palm fronds.

Powerful, Effective And Value For Money

An ideal solution for chipping in confined spaces, the GreenMech CS100 at just 760 mm wide is designed for the professional landscaper, tree surgeon or contractor who needs to access narrow passages alongside properties, in gardens or hard-to-get-to sites.

Your One-Stop Toro Shop

Semco equipment sales has built its reputation on personal service, selling only the best brands and backing up sales with extremely high standard of parts and service facilities.

Albert is looking forward to helping progressive landscape businesses who are looking for ways to make the business more efficient and profitable. He said Semco will beat any written price quote to make sure they are Australia’s number one Toro dealer.

Contact Albert Martin direct on 0419 468 594 or call the Semco hotline on 1800 685 525.

April 28, 2020 / by / in ,
Transform Waste Wood

With the cost of disposing of wood increasing, the opportunity to process tree waste into saleable split timber has huge potential to create a valuable revenue stream.

Whitlands Engineering is the only name you need to know when it comes to firewood processing – designing and manufacturing Australia’s most trusted brands – Superaxe, and Rex. Australian owned and Australian made, Whitlands Engineering has earned its reputation as a leader in the industry. CEO David Burder says: “We’ve been providing machines to the farm forestry sector and arbour industry for over 20 years – the durability, ease of use and productivity of all our machines means they are the first choice for many companies seeking to exploit the profit potential in tree waste and plantation timber”.

The range of machinery covers all bases. The Superaxe wood splitter range suits farm and small commercial operations, while the Rex range provides solutions to bulk and industrial firewood processing. The Rex Firewood Processor range and the Rex Log Saw range are the result of many years’ research and development and have been met with industry acclaim. A range of wood cleaning trommels, infeed hoppers and outfeed elevators rounds out the range, providing options for wood handling requirements.

For businesses looking to invest, two key factors in machinery selection are:

Safety: The safety of machinery operators is critical. The key issue for the arbor industry is that if an employee uses a non-compliant machine and injures themselves, it is the company that is most likely liable, not the manufacturer. The same applies for machines which have been tampered with. In which case the company can be fined for owning a tampered machine even if there is no actual injury. Both Superaxe and Rex ranges are WorkCover compliant and have set benchmark standards across the industry when it comes to ensuring operator safety.

Output Efficiency: Mulching excess timber may be quick but the sale price is low compared to split timber. The key for business then is to maximise output and minimise labour in order to generate a profitable return on investment. The Superaxe WS3150 has an estimated output (from blocked timber to split firewood) of 4 cubic meters an hour. The larger Rex 600X can manage 10 cubic meters an hour with two operators. Both of these machines are road towable, compact and reliable, making them top options for processing blocks into split timber on site.

So, for arbour operators looking to develop additional revenue streams, the Whitlands Engineering range of wood splitters and processors is definitely the ideal place to get started.

For more information visit www.superaxe.com.au.

April 23, 2020 / by / in , ,
Superior Quality And Great Value

Introduced into the Australian market by Global Machinery Sales, CMC Aerial Platforms offer a range of compact and highly manoeuvrable spider lifts as well heavy duty spider lifts with big height and reach.

The CMC spider lifts that Global Machinery Sales stock for the Australian market range from 13 metres in height through to 41 metres. Each lift has an impressive outreach, powerful engine and large basket capacity.

Director Brian Evans has worked diligently with top EWP dealers in America and Europe to bring you the world renowned leader. “We wanted to pick the world’s best brand once and not have to pivot between brands and suppliers, by finally bringing superior quality and value to the EWP market in Australia,” said Brian Evans.

“After speaking to CMC dealers who have sold alternative brands in the past, we found how happy they are and how superior the CMC product is compared to other brands, CMC seemed the obvious choice. The dealer in the USA sells 500-600 CMC lifts per year, stating it was the best decision he ever made, minimal warranty issues, great support and a very well built machine,” Brian added.

The All New F-Series

CMC has just recently introduced the F-Series lifts to the Australian market. These lifts are specifically designed to be the easiest and fastest lifts on the market. Great for use in narrow, sloped, and other difficult locations, the CMC F-Series lift can get places that a boom or trailer-based lift cannot. Their low-cost and ease of operation ensures that your operational costs are kept low, providing the best ROI of any lift available today.

The F-Series features direct hydraulic controls and operation. They are powered by a variety of options such as Honda petrol, plug-in electric, and lithium-ion battery power. This wide variety of options will let you choose the right system for your needs and budget.

The all new F-Series line have a compact width of 81cm, allowing access through standard doorways and the ability to travel through narrow corridors.

The controls on the F-Series are all direct hydraulics, allowing for simpler and more intuitive operation. F-Series features powerful track drive systems that expand and retract.

Global Machinery Sales will now be stocking the CMC S18F with safer, non-slip outrigger pads and basket rotation made specifically with the tree industry in mind. The all new CMC S18F will be available from under $100,000 including GST.

Please call Global Machinery Sales on 1300 072 926

For more information visit www.globalmachinerysales.com.au

April 15, 2020 / by / in ,
Work-Related Fatalities Continue To Decline But More Work Needed

Safe Work Australia has released the Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2018 report, which provides the latest detailed national statistics on all workers and bystanders fatally injured through work-related activity.

The Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2018 report, outlines the latest in national work-related traumatic injury fatality statistics.

Over the last decade, the fatality rate has more than halved with 1.1 worker fatalities per 100,000 workers in 2018.

The long-term overview shows the fatality rate has dropped 62 per cent from a peak in 2007. Along with a reduction in fatalities, the rate of serious workers’ compensation claims for the year continued to trend downwards, decreasing to 5.5 serious claims per million hours worked in 2017-18.

The report details that 69 per cent of worker fatalities occurred in the following industries:

  • Transport, postal and warehousing (38 fatalities)
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing (37 fatalities)
  • Construction (24 fatalities)
  • The most common causes of worker fatalities in 2018 were:
  • Vehicle collisions (44 fatalities)
  • Being hit by a moving object (24 fatalities)
  • Falls from a height (18 fatalities)

The report and data are drawn from a range of sources, including initial reporting of fatalities in the media, notifications from jurisdictional authorities, and the National Coronial Information System.

“While the downward trend in work-related fatalities is encouraging, it is not a cause for celebration. Every work-related fatality is a tragedy, and there’s a lot more work to be done,” Safe Work Australia CEO, Michelle Baxter said.

“We know that work-related fatalities, injuries and disease have a devastating impact on workers and their families.

Understanding the latest statistics can help identify ways to prevent these,” she said.

The Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2018 report, and the Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2019 report are available at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au

March 19, 2020 / by / in ,
Clean Up After Summer Storms And Flooding

While part of Australia has been facing a disastrous bushfire crisis, the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts more ‘normal’ summer conditions from February onwards, which translates into storms, cyclones and flooding in some regions

With storms, cyclones and flooding a real risk to Queensland at this time of year, businesses should have plans in place to be able to clean up safely after wild weather.

According to Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace, “Electrical safety must be top of mind if your worksite has flooded – you cannot assume the power is off.”

“Stay well away from the switchboard if it’s been damaged by water – and warn others to do the same.

“Generators should only be used to power essential equipment – run them outside and don’t connect them to the property unless you have had a changeover switch with the right generator socket fitted.

“Any appliances or electrical equipment that have been submerged must be checked by a licensed contractor before you try to use them. It’s just not worth the risk.”

Ms Grace said that those in charge of volunteers helping clean-up and recovery efforts have duties under state laws to keep them safe too.

“Local councils or employers co-ordinating clean-up or recovery activities must assess the potential for hazardous conditions and should provide volunteers with the information, training, supervision and equipment to work safely. This includes managing fatigue and heat stress, as people can easily forget to look out for themselves when they’re caught up in the drama of the situation.”

“To minimise the risk of biological hazards, maintain good hand and personal hygiene, clean and cover cuts and wounds. If contact with flood water and mud is unavoidable, wear enclosed footwear, gloves and suitable clothing,” Ms Grace said.

“Environmental conditions after storms and floods increase the risk of infectious diseases, with skin infections, diarrhoea, respiratory infections and mosquito-borne diseases the most common.

“Less commonly, contact with floodwater can cause serious illness such as leptospirosis and melioidosis,” Ms Grace concluded.

For more information about storm and flood recovery check out the Worksafe Queensland website at www.worksafe.qld.gov.au

March 17, 2020 / by / in ,
Smoke Hazard From Bushfires

Significant bushfires have been burning across Australia and impacting communities. The current conditions have resulted in very poor air quality.

The Department of Health in WA advises that exposure to smoke from fires can worsen asthma and other respiratory conditions, cause coughing and shortness of breath and irritate the eyes, nose and throat.

Large particles in bushfire smoke irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. The finer particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and are more harmful. Smoke also contains toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.

If you suffer from asthma, heart or lung problems, make sure you always have at least five days’ worth of medication with you if there is a bushfire nearby.

Other health hazards from bushfires include extreme heat, physical injuries such as burns, heat stress and dehydration.

Workplaces must have measures in place to protect worker health and safety and manage risks.

Working in Air Pollution

Check your jurisdiction’s air quality index to determine the air quality where you’re working. If you have an air pollution sensitivity, particularly if combined with an underlying medical condition, you should advise your workplace and follow the advice of your GP or specialist physician. Dust and smoke may:

  • Reduce air quality and impact visibility
  • Settle onto equipment and impact the functioning of plant and grip of surfaces
  • Irritate the airway, nose and eyes

Beside checking out weather warnings and forecasts where you are working as well as the Air Quality Index in your jurisdiction, your workplace must have measures in place to manage the risks to health and safety when air quality is reduced, including:

  • Rescheduling outdoor work until conditions (e.g. visibility and air quality) improve
  • Ensuring equipment is functioning correctly and has not been affected by dust or debris
  • Cleaning any dust and debris off outdoor surfaces
  • Providing personal protective equipment such as eye protection and correctly fitted, P2 rated face masks
  • Eliminating exposure to air pollution is the best protection.

For detailed guidance refer to the model Code of Practice “Managing the work environment and facilities” available at http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/ model-code-practice-managing-work-environment-and-facilities

March 15, 2020 / by / in ,
Arboriculture Skills & Qualifications

The arboriculture units of competency, skill sets and qualifications have gone through the Australian Industry and Skills Committee endorsement process, now reaching the completion of the review.

Arboriculture is a specialist profession that recognises and fosters the many benefits of trees, to our health, society, environment, ecology, and economy. According to Arboriculture Australia, the industry employs over 40,000 workers with a turnover of over one billion dollars annually. However, an increase in government agency plantings over the past 15 years, means the current shortage of skilled workers to take up roles across the industry, particularly in specialist areas is likely to increase.

Current entry requirements for accredited training and an ageing workforce have been contributing factors, and industry requires support to address the skills shortage.

Industry consultation throughout this project has concentrated on making qualifications more accessible and that they match with specific job roles. Core units have been reduced in the Certificates II and III where appropriate.

The Advanced Diploma and Graduate Diploma have been given more flexible entry requirements to allow graduates from related fields to undertake them. Specialisations in the Certificate III and three new skill sets have been developed to create pathways for specialist skills and higher learning. In this way, arboriculture qualifications and skills standards have been updated to better support this thriving industry.

During development of the skills standards, subject matter experts, industry leaders and employers indicated the importance of training providers using the Minimum Industry Standards (MIS), to work being carried out safely and effectively. The MIS are developed and maintained by Arboriculture Australia, in consultation with industry.

Arboriculture is an occupation that carries a potential high risk to the safety of workers. It has been acknowledged by all involved in the current considerations that it is important for the updated skills standards to be made available as soon as practicable.

With Skills Impact having reached the completion of its review, the adoption of the revised package is a significant step forward for our industry and it future.

Key Outcomes

Revised 37 units of competency, including removal of prerequisites from 13

Developed two new units of competency covering skills for using cranes to dismantle trees and managing trees to create and maintain habitat refuges

Five units of competency proposed for deletion where they did not meet industry needs or skills could be integrated into other units

Three new skill sets developed to attract and upskill workers including a basic tree worker skill set and an introduction to arboriculture skill set


Certificate II in Arboriculture reduced from 20 to 11 core units and designed to focus on practical skills required operate as a ground-based tree worker across the industry

Certificate III in Arboriculture decreased from 23 to 18 units (9 core and 9 electives). In addition to the existing Climbing and Elevated Work Platform specialisations, three new specialisations have been included to cover Crane, Environmental and Works Coordinator

Added entry requirements for the Diploma of Arboriculture to provide a foundation of arborist skills and knowledge

Advanced Diploma of Arboriculture and Graduate Diploma of Arboriculture have more flexible entry requirements to allow for a broader range of learners

Certificate IV Proposed For Deletion

The final draft documents are available for download at https://bit.ly/3a6qGbM or visit www.skillsimpact.com.au for more information.

March 12, 2020 / by / in ,
New Guidance On Vehicles As A Workplace

New guides have been published for organisations and individuals using vehicles for work purposes on the road in Australia and New Zealand.

When vehicles are used for work purposes (either onsite or in road traffic), they become a workplace and the risks associated with them must be managed. Around 20 per cent of all passenger vehicle kilometres is for business purposes, excluding travel to and from work. Vehicle use in road traffic is the most significant contributor to work-related traumatic injury in Australia.

The new guidance materials include:

  • Industry specific factsheets: short and practical guidance for tradespeople, residential care workers, rural workers, government fleet, small transport operators and greyfleet
  • Greyfleet checklist: aimed at any vehicle used for work-related purposes that is not directly provided by the organisation employing the driver. Greyfleet includes personal and client vehicles and
  • all forms of leases, whether or not workers are reimbursed for expenses. WHS laws apply to all greyfleet vehicles
  • Risks, hazards and management checklist: common hazards and controls for small and medium enterprises
  • Case studies: to illustrate the risk management process in small businesses and large organisations

Access the guidance at worksafe.qld.gov.au or Road Safety website at https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au and download

“Road Safety and Your Work – A Guide for Employers”.

March 9, 2020 / by / in ,
Young Workers Starting New Careers

Look after young workers starting new careers.

With many young people leaving school or university this time of year seeking their first permanent positions, employers are reminded of their duty to ensure new starters receive the induction, training  and supervision they need to work safe.

As reported by WorkSafe Queensland, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said whether they were going to be there for just a few weeks or in it for the long haul and determined to get their careers off to a good start, young workers often ignored risks in order to make a good impression.

It’s important to plan ahead and not rush to get workers on the job unprepared or unequipped with the knowledge and training they need to complete tasks safely.

“This applies to any new workers, but it’s particularly important for young workers who may not shout up if they have questions or concerns,” Ms Grace said.

“A ruling some months ago in the Maryborough Magistrates Court reaffirmed that employers must provide young workers with appropriate training and not direct them to perform work above their skills and ability.

“Young workers have a unique risk profile and it’s up to employers to consider this when managing them – a proper induction, plenty of support, training and supervision are vital.”

On the WorkSafe website (worksafe.qld.gov.au.) you can download the “Young Worker Safety Toolkit” designed to help employers, supervisors, influencers and trainers engage with young people about work health and safety in Queensland.

For more information on young workers and industrial prosecutions visit www.worksafe.qld.gov.a

March 3, 2020 / by / in ,
Expanding Horizons

Today technology and mechanisation play a key role in extending the operational capabilities of small and large businesses while keeping skilled employees safer than ever.

In any industry it can be difficult to find enough reliable, skilled workers. This is especially challenging for tree care companies due to the highly specialised nature, and also perceived risks, of their typical working tasks.

In recent years increased mechanised assistance is becoming apparent in tree take-downs and trimming across Europe and North America, as well as projects including vegetation control along waterways and roads, to help offset this workforce shortage and ease pressures on business owners.

This shift in equipment utilisation may eventually be likened to that seen in large scale timber harvesting operations here in Australia, which until not so long ago were dominated by hand-falling crews working on the ground with chainsaws. During these times near-miss incidents, injuries and deaths were unfortunately frequent.

Over the last few decades Australian attachment supplier Forest Centre has seen this advance of mechanisation in forestry – a change which has taken skilled operators off the ground and into the safety of a machine cabin where they are able to control felling, cross-cutting and processing functions at the touch of a joystick button – and are these days receiving increasing enquiries for this level of technology for use outside of the forest.

“Our attachment range has expanded to cover 5 ton compact machines right up to 30+ ton excavators, as well as other carriers including truck mounted cranes and telehandlers” explains Forest Centre Sales manager Rey Kell, referring to a product stable of all-European brands in hydraulic grapples, rotators, tree shears and grapple saws.

“Rather than replacing skilled hand-fallers or climbers, mechanised processes using purpose-built grapple saws and tree shears can serve as a means to extend the operational capabilities of a tree care business” Rey adds “this can allow more work to be performed safely, with smaller crews, reduced operator fatigue and in less time.”

Challenging projects involving the removal of diseased or poisoned trees and storm blow-down timber for example can be approached with significantly less risk exposure for the operator.

GMT Equipment

Manufactured in the Netherlands by Gierkink Machine Techniek, GMT compact felling grapples are available in two different sizes with 35cm and 50cm cut capacity, presenting capabilities for loading, cross-cutting and falling on any machine from 5 ton class upwards that can run a regular rotating hydraulic log grapple.

Designed with a tilting upper frame and hydraulic chainsaw, the GMT grapples are essentially a scaled-down forestry directional felling head. A dangle mount rotator and swing yoke allow directional control when bringing down the cut piece whilst also reducing any torsional forces on the boom of a truck crane or smaller excavator.

A patented hydraulic valve block built into the grapple allows all controls; jaws open/close, rotate, tilt up and saw cut to be controlled by only four buttons; two valve functions and either 40 litres or 60 litres per minute minimum hydraulic flow.

Unlike other compact grapple saws no electrical control modifications, wiring, remote controls or batteries are required. The hydraulic sequence valve also has a unique safety aspect in that the saw will not operate until there is a firm grip on the limb or trunk section you’re wanting to cut. The saw function can also be turned off for extended use as a loading grapple.

Larger Carriers

For more demanding tasks in cross-cutting and tree removal Forest Centre also offers both dangle and fixed mount grapple saw combinations manufactured by Vosch Equipment and Hultdins Sweden to suit larger machines.

Carriers from 10ton class excavators and upwards offer greater stability and hydraulic horsepower, opening up the possibilities for driving larger displacement saw motors with larger pitch saw chains, single cut capacities beyond 500mm and the ability to have a higher degree of directional control when withdrawing large and heavy cut pieces from the working area using positioned type rotators.

TMK Tree Shears

In some working environments such as cutting close to ground level, tree shears may be preferred due to their simple yet very durable cutting systems.

Introduced to the Australian market in April 2018 by Forest Centre, Finnish-built TMK Tree Shears are designed with a single powerful moving jaw that draws the tree across a fixed cutting blade integrated into the lower frame of the shear.

Three different models are available, with softwood cut capacities of 200mm, 300mm and 400mm (slightly less for hardwoods on the two larger models), which can be fitted on machines from 2 ton up to 20+ ton.

Optional equipment includes a two-stage ‘Turbo’ cylinder allowing fast cycle times without sacrificing power on machines with lower hydraulic pressures, as well as a collector arm for multi-stem accumulating.

For more information on the range of tree handling and cutting attachments options contact Forest Centre on (02) 6947 2833 or online at www.forestcentre.com.au

March 2, 2020 / by / in , ,