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South Australian Society of Arboriculture Seminar – Trees and the Law.

The South Australian Society of Arboriculture (SASA) has recently been restarted by chairman Tom Stevens and a small group of other board members who are working hard to help the organisation thrive again. With growing membership numbers and big plans for the future, SASA aims to begin by building trust back within the SA arboriculture industry. Their first initiative was to run a mini seminar on ‘Trees and the Law’ which was delivered by Michael Palamountain on Wednesday May 1, 2019.

The event cost attendees $5 for two-hour seminar, followed by a BBQ and drinks, which was a great opportunity for participants to network in a relaxed environment.

The seminar focussed on managing trees in the urban landscape of metropolitan Adelaide. Arborists and tree contractors must be familiar with how trees are protected under the law. Arborists must be aware of the legal status of trees, what is permitted under the law and when development applications are required. The information covered important legislation based on the Development Act 1993.

This discussion forum provided an opportunity for members to review, discuss and;

  • Understand what legislation applies to trees in metropolitan Adelaide
  • Understand the framework of the legislation
  • Understand what exemptions apply under the legislation
  • Understand what is permitted under the legislation
  • Understand when a development application is required and when tree reports are required
  • Ensure staff/contractors understand when tree works are permitted

After receiving some very positive feedback from attendees, SASA has taken confidence to move forward and continue offering ‘value added’ events to all those interested.

SASA and its members are striving to help the South Australian arboriculture industry be a safe, respected and well-connected network of people that take care of our beautiful trees.

SASA are still looking for more members. To become a member or for more information, please email [email protected] or call Tom on 0478 982 994.

July 17, 2019 / by / in , ,
Winter Is Coming

Prepare yourself for the winter months.

Winter is coming and this is commonly when people suffer from colds and flus. We can’t afford time off work, we have to continue to look after the kids and we don’t want to give up our exercise regime and social activities. So the bottom line is we don’t have time to get sick! Prevention is the answer and there are things you can be doing this season to prepare your immune system.

Chiropractic care has been proven to help boost your immune function. In fact, one study suggested that chiropractic patients have 200 per cent greater immune competence than those who do not receive chiropractic care. The nervous system and the immune system work together to create optimal responses for the body to adapt and heal appropriately. Studies have demonstrated that neck and mid-back adjustments by a chiropractor may elicit a response that activates certain immune cells within the body to help fight these germs.

We can’t afford time off work, we have to continue to look after the kids and we don’t want to give up our exercise regime and social activities.

Use These Five Tips To Boost Your Immune System This Season:

  • A probiotic works to balance your good bacteria in your digestive tract where up to 80 per cent of your immune system is held. Making sure this is properly balanced allows your immune system to work at optimal
  • Keep well hydrated – especially in the colder weather we are less likely to drink water. Keeping hydrated decreases stress and allows your body to be functioning more optimally
  • Reduce your dairy, carbohydrate and refined sugar intake. These can be inflammatory in your body and possibly put stress on your immune system
  • Regular exercise is important for balancing the immune system. Even incorporating a 30-minute walk four to five times a week has a massive impact on your health
  • Utilise natural strategies to support your immune system rather than just blocking the symptoms. Use things like lemon and garlic and olive leaf extract versus going straight to a decongestant or cough suppressant

If you would like more information on how to boost your immune system or if you have any questions contact us at Chiropractic Central and you can speak to a professional on our team at (02) 9418 9031 or [email protected]

July 15, 2019 / by / in ,
All Jobs, All Areas

When looking to pair a Tobroco Giant Loader or other loaders with the optimal attachments for all arborist jobs, look no further than Slanetrac.

Manufactured in the UK, the specialist mini digger attachments can be used across a wide range of work sites and jobs making businesses more versatile and efficient. Read on for more information on each attachment and how it can be used.

HS55 Saw Head

The Slanetrac HS55 Mini Digger Saw Head Attachment is available for mini diggers ranging from 2 tonne to 7.5 tonne. With an ability to cut up to 150mm diameter material, the Slanetrac HS55 Saw Head Attachment is a great tool that can deal with rougher thicker hedges and bows whilst still having the ability to produce neat, tidy hedges with clean cuts with more satisfactory conditions for re-growth fast, efficiently and safely.

Also available: HS75 Saw Head.

HC150 Hedge Cutter Bar

The Slanetrac HC150 Mini Digger Finger Bar Hedge Cutter Attachment suits a wide range of machines. With a cutting thickness of up to 40mm, the Slanetrac HC Series Mini Digger Finger Bar Hedge Cutter offers clean cuts allowing for neat tidy hedges with more satisfactory conditions for re-growth compared to flail cutting attachments as well as ensuring minimum disturbance for wild life.

Also available: HC180 Hedge Cutter.

FH80 Flail Cutter

The Slanetrac FH80 Mini Digger Flail Cutter Attachment is designed for mini diggers from 1.5 tonne to 2.5 tonne. The robust low maintenance Slanetrac HC Series Mini Digger Flail Cutter has individually replaceable cutting blades come supplied with adjustable mounting brackets to suit your particular machine and hydraulic pipes to connect to your machines rock breaker lines for fast effortless installation.

Also available: FH100 Flail Cutter.

Swivel Trim Hedge cutter

The SA-1000 Swivel Trim Tractor Front Loader Finger Bar allows you to convert a Front Loader quickly to a hedge trimmer. The SA-1000 Swivel Trim Tractor Front Loader Finger Bar Hedge Trimmer is a quick and easy system allowing you to perform neat hedge trimming. This system is connected to the tractor hydraulics, so you need a tractor with a suitable hydraulic flow for it to operate properly.

Track Dumpers

This compact Track Dumper has a maximum width of 750mm and a length of 1900mm. It can turn on its own length offering greater accessibility and maneuverability in urban areas or areas where larger plant can’t gain access.

Complete with hi tipping capacity; the Slanetrac HT1000 Petrol Track Dumper offers a tipping height of 1300mm, and easily tips into skips. Also available: Diesel.

RB80 Block Paving Brush

The Slanetrac RB Series Mini Digger Block Paving Brush Cleaner Attachment is suitable for diggers from 1 tonne to 7.5 tonne.

  • Single Soft Wire Brush: this is a single soft steel wire brush with a working area of 450mm diameter soft wire brush ideal for cleaning cobble lock, paving, concrete, tarmacadam
  • Triple Soft Wire Brush: this is made up of three smaller soft wire brushes like the one above but has a working area of 800mm diameter. Like the single brush it’s ideal for cleaning cobble lock, paving, concrete, tarmacadam
  • Hard Wire Brush: this is made up of 24no individual heavier braided wire ropes mounted to a plate to give you a working area of 450mm. This is designed for heavy-duty cleaning where a lot of debris requires removal

Don’t forget to ‘like’ their social media channels for more updates on the latest machinery news.

For more information or to organise an obligation free demo, call Delta Equipment on 4272 6044 or visit www.deltaequipment.com.au

July 12, 2019 / by / in ,
President of VTIO Leading The Way

Shane Hall is a voice worth listening to in the ever-changing arboriculture industry.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty,” Henry Ford once said. We’re often reminded about the importance of continued learning and skills development, but many of us neglect to “better ourselves” due to being too busy and, let’s be honest, the belief that we know enough all ready to do the job right.

The arboriculture industry has developed massively in recent decades, however, and those working in it should strive to evolve to reflect how the industry has matured. These are the thoughts of Shane Hall, well known as President of the VTIO (Victorian Tree Industry Organisation), senior investigations arborist at Bayside City Council in Victoria and, from 2011-2013, Chairperson of Council Arboriculture Victoria (CAV), a networking body for tree workers employed by Local Government.

“There have been significant changes in arboricultural practices in the last 15 years or so,” he says. “We’re continuing to see significant advances in climbing techniques and equipment. There’s a lot of tired old bodies out there with busted shoulders that would have loved to have started using the kind of gear being used now.”

Shane’s a man with a wealth of experience and champions professional development, collaborative learning, respect for your peers in the industry and getting involved with industry organisations, such as the VTIO.

It’s easy to neglect such things, but those hoping to thrive in a rapidly-changing industry will surely benefit from Shane’s advice. “Having a strong industry organisation in your regional area is really important for the professional development of people there,” he explains. “Strong organisations come from having people putting time into it, so even if you’re only going to do it for a short period or on an infrequent basis, stepping up and giving your time is going to be appreciated. And you can learn a lot. Your professional development will increase, it’s a great networking opportunity and a great way to improve your business practices and activities.”

Shane’s seen all aspects of the arb industry from one end to the other, starting out as a casual labourer for a mate with a tree cutting company, right through to his influential roles at council and VTIO. His early career saw him ultimately being told he “needed to get a piece of paper” to keep working, so in 2004 finished a Cert IV in horticulture (arboriculture), finished his Cert V the following year and transitioned into consultancy in 2006. He was working for local government by 2007, became vice president of VTIO in 2011 and president in 2013, before attaining a graduate certificate in arboriculture in 2014.

Certificates in frames are one thing, but Shane’s taken his learnings, and now in his numerous positions works hard to advocate greater professionalism in the industry. “I’m keen on increasing the industry standard,” he says. “We’re a legitimate industry, and legitimate industry needs professional development. You can’t go to school one day and then not learn anything for the next 30 years. We need to keep ourselves up to date with current information, so professional development days and distribution of information is vitally important.”

So how is this done? The VTIO is a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers for Victorian tree workers. It runs professional development days, including Arbor Camp, works closely with registered training organizations, and also TAFE to encourage students to attend. In addition, it runs the Victorian Tree Climbing Championship, a feeder to the Nationals.

The Arbor Camp is particularly interesting, a weekend-long event where industry colleagues get together to talk about things in a relaxed atmosphere and hear from experts across different job roles. Key for the next generation of arborists, the Thursday before the main event is for students only, with costs covered by the VTIO. Looking at last year’s event, experts were on hand to discuss things like soil science, technology in arboriculture, exercises for tree workers, the latest arb gear, creating artificial hollows and bolting trees. A chat with Australian Tree Climbing Champion Rebecca Barnes also added to the occasion.

Shane says the camaraderie at Arbor Camp and development days is akin to climbing competitions, ideal for morale and shared learning. He is very conscious of the importance of such things in any industry, as well as some of the more complex issues that are being addressed more in society as a whole. Mental health and gender equality being prime examples.

“Having a strong industry organization in your regional area is really important for the professional development of people there.”

“As an industry, it’s something we need to talk about more,” Shane says. “I’ve been encouraging people to be aware of and engage with people in the industry for mental health. We promote the R U OK? Day, wellbeing documents, and let’s face it, me posting a couple of social media posts every now and then isn’t a load of work. We want people to have conversations about this, so us putting the phone number of somebody useful out there is obvious. Our industry is like a lot of others, especially male-dominated ones, where there are higher rates of suicide amongst people involved.”

Acknowledging International Women’s Day, Elimination of Violence against Women Day and Movember all show progressive steps, alongside key aspects relevant to arb life such as information from a physiotherapist about exercises to look after the body while at work, skills for climbing and professional writing classes for consultants.

These are very positive signs. They show an industry taking itself very seriously as it expands. “The industry as a whole around the world is growing up,” Shane says. “People are putting time and energy into designing better workplace practices and equipment that’s better for the individual. We’re continuing to mature, but there’s still a lot of opinion in arboriculture. It’s always been part art, part science, but we need to reduce the amount of art and increase science. We need to back opinion up with actual physical evidence to support that point of view.”

An industry that takes itself seriously is bound to be taken more seriously by others, be that private business, councils, governments or the man in the street. “I’ve always seen training, gaining skills and knowledge and professional development as core functions,” Shane says. “And be respectful of all people in the industry. We’re a whole community.” Wise words indeed.

Wrapping up our interview, Shane’s thoughts went to two members of this community: “As President of VTIO I would like to take this opportunity to pay our respects to two people that have greatly influenced the skill development of many arborists in Victoria. The recent sad news of the passing of Clive Sorrell was quickly followed by that of Leigh Stone. Both will be missed.”

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78. Donations in support of Beyond Blue will be greatly appreciated.

For more information on VTIO visit http://vtio.org.au

July 10, 2019 / by / in ,
Work Athletes

At Citywide, we take a holistic approach to arboriculture that ensures all our staff take care of themselves and their teammates.

Whether it involves climbing and rigging, using one of our specialised elevated work platforms (EWPs) or constantly feeding wood chippers with heavy, cumbersome logs, the importance of maintaining good health and fitness through proper nutrition and staying well hydrated is paramount.

Observe a climber who is hungry or thirsty and wants to get out of the tree. The timber he or she cuts grows bigger and more unwieldly. They won’t climb as high and they refuse to limb walk. Decision-making gets worse, frustration builds and an incident occurs.

As Arborists and Ground Crew, we work long hours often in extreme temperatures, doing heavy manual labour and often in awkward positions. We climb out on long branches and contort ourselves into weird positions, wielding heavy chainsaws at weird angles, always striving to get a perfect cut.

We spur-climb with a heavy chainsaw hanging from our harness. We flex every abdominal muscle while holding the tools of our trade to ‘block down’ large timbers. And we drag heavy branches through narrow areas, to a chipper truck that always seems to move further away each time.

Indeed, the life and work of an arboristis akin to being a high performance athlete. A ‘work athlete’.

So, just as hydration and nutrition are key elements to an athlete’s wellbeing and ultimately helping keep them on track, so too do we ensure our people are in the best possible physical and mental shape.

It’s a duty of care that’s in our DNA and central to our mission and purpose of safely shaping liveable cities.

For more information about our company and values visit http://citywide.com.au or send an email to [email protected]

July 5, 2019 / by / in ,
Soil Health, Tree Health Veale Gardens/Walyu Yarta – (Park 21) – Part 3

This case study examines the application of advanced tree management techniques to rehabilitate a population of trees experiencing decline in Urban Forestry.

These management techniques focus on enhancing soil health by improving soil physical structure, chemistry and biology. The efficacy of this approach was evaluated using innovative sensing technologies to better understand the links between soil health and tree health and to quantify the productivity of trees in Urban Forestry.

Following up to PART 2 of this Case Study, which ran in The Australian Arbor Age April/May 2019 issue, we are now evaluating the results in terms of soil chemistry, soil biology, mycorrhizal colonization, soil respiration and compaction and wildlife predation.

Results

Soil Chemistry

Independent laboratory assessment of eight trees was conducted throughout the three years of the project. In 2015, Trees #6 and #31 were the focus with Tree #31 providing healthy a control throughout the PHC intervention period.

Soil chemistry is complex and shifts in one nutrient will affect other nutrient concentrations. In the initial investigations in 2015 and 2016 there were multiple issues associated with the chemistry at Veale Gardens ranging from nutrient deficiencies to nutrient toxicities based on desired levels.

Trees receiving PHC treatment displayed large increases in chemical properties compared with the untreated baseline

(Fig. 11). For example, the amount of total C, total N, exchangeable Mg, and exchangeable K increased by an average of two or three-fold (100 – 230%) in trees receiving treatment while in the baseline the increases were 8%, 44%, 20%, and 21%, respectively. Available P increased by a factor of ten 2 years after treatment, but only increased 33% in the untreated baseline. There was also an increase in plant available N over time compared with the baseline tree in teated trees (Fig. 12).

In an ever-changing soil environment it is important to understand all these nutrient pools and not just available soluble nutrient that is a common soil agronomic method. The shift in soil chemistry of the trees treated can be explained in some cases although it is important to understand this is a snap shot in time and additional adjustments will occur seasonally and over time. Another important factor is the interaction between soil biology and soil chemistry which is difficult to quantify.

Table 2 provides an in-depth analysis of the shifts in soil chemistry in 2016. In 2017, soil chemical parameters were shifting in many directions (Table 3). However, there appears to be a clear shift in total nutrient status between the treated trees and the untreated control tree. To date, these shifting patterns are positive and further monitoring is required to establish if it will result in more sustainable soil health for the trees treated at Veale Gardens/Waylu Yarta (Park 21).

Further analysis is required to determine the extent of the issues presented although as the soil physical status and soil microbiology improves so will the chemistry. The use of recycled water and mulch may present further issues in understanding the variation of soil chemistry results and requires further investigation to determine the long-term effects and management outcomes.

Further analysis and soil testing are required to determine true patterns.

The PHC treatments used in this study did not have a noticeable impact on soil pH, which remained elevated (> 7.5) in all of the tested trees, regardless of treatment (Fig. 13).

In summary, there were noticeable positive shifts in soil chemistry in the treated trees, suggesting that PHC # 1 and 2 increased soil nutrition, which should lead to greater nutrient uptake in treated trees and better tree health outcomes. The reduction in sodium (salt) from the recycled water is most likely a result of rainfall leaching, although increased soil carbon and humus from organic amendments and the resulting increase in microbial activity provides a buffer to sodium related issues because it is attracted to the humic and fulvic acid molecules.

Increased Root Zone Activity Due To Improved Soil Fertility

The root zone area of each tree had the sod removed prior to the application of compost and mulch.

The addition of organic materials and liquid amendments stimulated a significant amount of new healthy root growth and activity. This new root development was observed growing beneath the mulch layer and can be declared as new root mass (Fig.14), which increases the trees Root: Shoot ratio significantly.

Soil Biology

Soil biological activity is very sensitive to soil moisture content, compaction and soil chemistry. For this reason, there was a high degree of variability in the soil biological activity data. However, despite this variability, there were some very positive shifts in biological activity compared to the baseline (prior to PHC treatment) to note. In 2017, after the first application treatments, the soil biology of the treated trees increased 1741% compared with the increase of 273% of the control tree.

The amount of total and active fungi and bacteria did not consistently increase over the three years of monitoring results (Fig. 15). On the other hand, there was a noticeable increase in protozoa under the treated trees over time compared with the non-treated baseline (Fig. 16).

While the laboratory analysis may have been a mixed bag of results, the visual indicators of soil microbial activity were astonishing. In January 2017 there was a fungal bloom and production of fruiting bodies (mushrooms) during the summer months and on consecutive days above 38 degrees Celsius. This is an unusual yet positive event and can only be explained because of the rapid increase to fungal activity caused by the intensive PHC works (Fig. 17,18).

Mycorrhizae

During PHC mobilizations in 2017 and 2018, 146 Kg of Mycorrhizae spores were applied between 30 trees. The methodology used for mycorrhizal colonization laboratory assessment is direct microscopy fluoresces staining. Based on this method, Endo-Mycorrhizae colonization does not appear to have increased, and in some instances, it decreased (Fig. 19A). Ecto- Mycorrhizae colonisation was only observed in Tree 2 (Fig. 19B). This is not of major concern as the sampling methodology is random and the mycorrhizae spores that were applied during PHC # 1 may have been dormant in the soil profile and are yet to infect the increasing root mass that has been observed and documented.

As with the soil biological activity presented above, there was a disconnect between the laboratory data and visual observations made in the field. In this case, Mycorrhizal activity was observed during data collection in September 2017 (Fig. 20).

It is important to understand which species of trees have relationships with which mycorrhizae group.

As per Figure 20, Scleroderma cepa ectomycorrhizal fruiting bodies were observed on tree number # 2. Tree 2 is an Ulmus sp and not an and it is assumed that the root of this tree was collected as the root systems overlap.

There have been recent statements by some leading experts in the Arboriculture industry that Mycorrhizal inoculums are not effective. This is problematic as mycorrhizal inoculums are a complex soil remediation concept. One component that makes mycorrhizal inoculums different from the use of chemical or organic fertilizers is that they are biological based and require a symbiotic connection with the plant root. Fertilizers provide available nutrients for root uptake or microbial food for microbial stimulation in soil. The Veale Gardens/Walyu Yarta PHC Project has identified that although some mycorrhizal activity was measured there was not a significant increase overall. There are multiple reasons for this in this case study.

  • Elevated Soil Compaction Levels
  • Highly Elevated Copper And Sodium Levels In Soil
  • Low Root Shoot Ratios Of Established Trees
  • Extreme Heat Events

Establishing mycorrhizal connections in some cases has been successful, the nursery industry is an example. Because nursery soil medium and plant roots are accessible, applying spores directly to active root mass is highly effective. Another important reason nursery tree’s develop mycorrhizal associations effectively is the age of the tree. Applying inoculums to established declining trees is difficult for two main reasons.

  • Determining Active Root Zones Of Trees Is Subjective
  • High soil compaction levels prevent healthy root activity and inoculation of microbial spores
  • Extreme heat events reduce soil moisture rapidly and increase soil temperature to levels difficult for beneficial soil microbes to flourish

The science of soil health focusing on soil microbiomes including mycorrhizae associations is relatively recent and evolving at a rapid rate. Those who have assisted in the development of these biological sciences are highly specialized, dedicated and experienced professionals. It is important for the industry to acknowledge their message that mycorrhizal associations are crucial to healthy plant growth although key soil health parameters will limit the effectiveness of developing the biological activity. The use of inoculums such as mycorrhizae should not be discouraged. It is important to inform the industry of the required soil health parameters that enable the effective use of mycorrhizal inoculums to provide better outcomes. Knowledge of how to define, investigate and measure soil health will assist industry to use these inputs successfully.

Soil Respiration

Soil respiration was measured from a subset of eight trees and cross-referenced with laboratory assessments and direct microscopy to determine if it is a viable methodology to use in determining soil biological activity. The advantage of this approach is that it is low-cost, requiring very few tools or laboratory experience to conduct the tests. One disadvantage of the test is that it is non-specific, meaning that it is measuring the CO2 mineralized by all the micro-organisms in the soil and does not allow the user to differentiate between bacteria, fungi or protozoa.

Soils collected in 2018 were analyzed and those results are presented in Figure 21. The lowest soil respiration was recorded in tree #31, which was the untreated control. Therefore, it appears that the addition of compost, mulch, AACT and microbial stimulants did result in an overall increase in soil respiration. Likewise, comparing soil respiration to protozoa from laboratory tests (Fig. 22), there appears to be a correlation between soil respiration and protozoa populations in this case study.

There may be modifications to this method that can allow for more targeted analysis of certain microbial groups. For example, adding a substrate specific to a specific group (e.g. fungi or bacteria) and measuring the CO2 burst may offer a low-cost way to estimate the activity of soil micro-organisms.

These methodologies need to be tested in future case studies.

Soil Compaction – A Physical Parameter

In addition to soil chemical and biological parameters, a penetrometer was used to measure soil compaction as an indicator of soil physical structure. Soil compaction decreased over time in all the treated trees that were measured, while compaction remained much higher in the untreated baseline (Fig. 23). Penetrometers are an indication device and the measures can be affected by the users-familiarity with the tool and measurement protocol, making interpretation of penetrometer data subjective. In this case study, all penetrometer measurements were taken by Matthew Daniel, reducing measurement variability. The development of more user-friendly penetrometers that standardize measurement processes and data capture would increase the value of compaction measurements in Urban Forestry.

Wildlife Predation on Soil Microarthropods

Local bird life had a noticeable impact on the soil in the TPZ. Ibis appeared to be the most effective soil aerators as they had longer beaks than the local ducks. Hundreds of aeration holes from microarthropod predation by local birdlife was observed in the TPZ of the 30 trees. Worms were observed in the new improved soil conditions and are an indication of increased soil microbiology.

Disclaimer

Note: Any soil analysis or observation taken and recorded in this report will only ever capture the status of the soil and vegetation on that day. It must be emphasized that changes of sometimes considerable magnitude can be expected in response to normal seasonal and extreme weather responses and some management actions. This means that outcomes, as anticipated with the available evidence collated, may be unpredictable, so the regular recording of the soil and vegetation using a Soil Health Card or VSA and VTA or TREE HEALTH CALCULATOR 1.0 is essential, with the taking of photos always encouraged to record a history of change. G.U.F warrant that the methods adopted in its programs are largely a practical application of many years of experience in Plant Health Care together with scientifically verified management directives and measures through numerous sensors which are continually improved as new research findings come to hand.

For more information visit http://globalurbanforest.com.au

July 3, 2019 / by / in ,
Tools Of The Trade

I have a liability policy. Does this cover my tools? No!

Tools of Trade cover is a separate policy that provides in most policies Australia Wide cover for all your Tools.

If any of your tools got stolen can your business still run? Or if your entire toolbox was stolen how much would it cost you to replace all of the items in it, including many of the items that you have built up over many years? Tools of Trade cover can provide cover for these items and not leave you out of pocket or unable to work without these items.

Insurers don’t need an individual list of items but will need a value for them, and some may require you to specify items if they are over a certain value – around $2500 depending on the value of the item. They will cover any item regardless of sum insured, but need to know what they are covering so they can ensure you are adequately protected and can receive the right sum insured in the event of a claim.

It is important to check your policy on a Tools of Trade policy as sometimes the cover can be limited by either location or theft exclusions. For example, if a tool was stolen from a non-locked vehicle, toolbox, shed or back of a ute, it may not be covered depending on the policy. Can you afford to run your business without your tools? Or will the small cost of Tools of Trade insurance provide adequate protection to keep you running in a frustrating time when your tools have been stolen?

Fitzpatrick & Co hs specialised in the horticulture and arboriculture industry for more than 30 years, providing assistance and financial support to companies, associations and events. They are there when your industry needs you.

For assistance with any of your insurance needs please contact Mick Le Grand, Director of Programs at Fitzpatrick & Co. on (03) 8544 1634 or email [email protected]

June 26, 2019 / by / in ,
RG-800 Mini Tracked Dumper

Successful tradies and contractors need to get their jobs completed successfully within the allocated time and on budget.

Preferably, without smashing their workers and employees so hard they risk injuries or mistakes. I’ll be honest, I’m all for rolling up the sleeves and getting the job done, but in the long run it’s about working smarter not harder. Therefore, introducing smart machinery that can fast-track your work load and reduce any potential risk or injury is always going to be a sensible way to go, especially when the cost of said machinery is more than made up by the reduction of man hours on your weekly jobs. After all time is money.

The RG-800 Mini Tracked Dumper from Rhino Grande is one such piece of kit that can be a real game changer for contractors and business owners out there. The clever track-mounted, self-loading load dumper has a capacity of 800kg with a hydraulically operated scissor lift, which easily lifts the bucket to a height of 1450mm at the bucket pivot. This enables material to be dumped straight into a truck or 6m skip bin. They had me at scissor lift!

When I think back to the earlier days of my career and try to count the loads of buckets and wheelbarrows full of concrete, blue metal, road base and numerous other materials I’ve manually handled my back hurts just thinking about it. So it’s safe to say this machine is going to make life a lot easier and a hell of a lot more productive for many businesses where productivity and efficiency are important. I can see landscapers, plumbers, builders and other trades and professions that have requirements to move earth or a long list of other materials embracing the RG-800.

Great Access

The elements that make me think this machine is going to perform so well is that at 850mm wide its access is perfect for narrow passageways and other hard-to-get-to areas. It could even go through the front door if you needed it to. The 800kg load capacity can be filled with its self-loading bucket in three good scoops. The fact that this machine can not only lift and dump its load, but also dig and scoop to fill its own bucket is very clever. This machine will be the perfect addition for businesses with small teams who still need to power through labour-intensive tasks.

The 13hp 4-stroke petrol Briggs & Stratton engine with auto start is reliable and powerful. The entire machine offers great value overall. Easy servicing and maintenance is also a key factor to the features of this machine.

Testing Time

We tested the machine starting on relatively easy mulch and wood chips to get a feel for the loading and dumping process and the controls. It only took 20 minutes or so to get a good feel for the mini loader, so after half a dozen loads of the lighter material we made our way to a much harder and heavier pile of dirt and rock that had been drenched and dried out at least five times over the last week. A good crust had formed on the top layer that needed to be broken up by the scoop first. Make no mistake this machine is not an excavator, but I was still impressed with its ability to break up the pile and substantial chunks of sandstone and rock.

Rhino Grande have really shown off their talent for creating quality machinery designed and engineered to save owners time and money through innovation. As a structural landscaper and co-owner of Impact Pools – specialising in landscaping, paving and decking in and around various sized pools in backyards on the east coast around the Sydney and Central Coast areas – we often experience access problems, which a machine like the RG-800 would solve. It also has lifting points to be craned into position if needed.

For the price I can’t see any business with high labour costs going wrong by purchasing the Rhino Grande RG-800.

June 25, 2019 / by / in , ,
Hansa Grand Opening

In the world of chippers and shredders, Hansa is a family business that sets a great example of using specialist design and manufacturing, to not only compete against larger machinery brands around the world but giving them a good run for their money.

Hansa was originally formed when founder Manfred Vogel saw the opportunity to make chippers for domestic use. No one else was interested, so in the 1980s he left his job as a mechanical engineer to build his first chipper. Now under the leadership of husband and wife team, Martin and Kate Vogel, Hansa continues to excel in producing top quality chipping and shredding equipment with a range that now includes domestic chippers suitable for gardens and acreages, all the way up to compact-but-powerful commercial chippers designed for arborists in urban spaces.

To supplement their chipper line, Hansa are also the local distributor for Predator Stump Grinders – a brand well known for grinders that can fit through tight gateways. In recent years Hansa have also released a unusual product – a Chaff Cutter – based on a remodelled Streamline product when friend and founder of Streamline discontinued the business.

If this dynamic duo didn’t already have enough on their plate, Hansa have just completed undertaking a massive task of building a new 3000m² dedicated production facility. This build started in March 2018 and saw the production facility become operational late last year in December. Offices and administration followed in early 2019. Rather than simply adding new equipment, the facilities were built with a clear focus on streamlining their processes to produce more efficiently and sustainable growth. However, several key areas of production have expanded – such as incorporating an additional coating booth, assembly bay and service bay.

This is a huge leap from Hansa’s origins, where the first chippers were originally built in a relative’s honey shed. Hansa have since moved several times over the years – promptly outgrowing the honey shed, moving into a small workshop, undertaking several expansions to the workshop, before leasing a bigger production space in 2012. By 2016 it was already evident that Hansa was fast outgrowing this production space also, as a multi-generational business

Hansa’s leadership knew that they wanted to invest in the future for a truly sustainable long-term home, so in 2018 they launched this project to give Hansa a more permanent home with plenty of room to grow.

The newly completed headquarters at Te Kowahi Road East, Hamilton are only three minutes away from Hansa’s last home but shows a much larger site of more than 8300 m². The building design was by Stiles and Hooker, while the build was completed by Livingstone Builders.

Formsteel rafters were used for the structure to provide a pillar-free clear-span across the production areas and allows for better utilisation of the floor space.

Hansa pride themselves on being an innovative family business. Listening to the feedback of their customer base has been a core value since the beginning of Hansa. Product developments and advancements usually come from the first-hand experience from the field by actual users in their working environments, and are tested in the field.

Another key consideration for the move was to take the opportunity to maximise efficiency – optimised for leaner production systems. Hansa has often looked to utilise the best avaliable technologies in their design and production, including: solid works design, CNC machining, metal folding, laser cutting and robot welding, and the new headquarters is no exception. There is no doubt that Hansa has come a long way from their humble beginnings and are ready to tackle the next decade of production and growth in their stride.

Give a freecall to Hansa 1800 426 722.

For more information visit http://www.hansachippers.com.au

June 24, 2019 / by / in ,
Vegetation Control

Did you know Himac manufacture more than 80 per cent of their machinery attachments in Australia? Experience quality made products that are built to last time and time again.

About Himac Attachments

Himac design, manufacture and supply attachments specifically for tree work and agricultural machinery operating in harsh Australian conditions. Their impressive product range is designed to suit skid steers track loaders, ag loaders and telehandlers as well as a streamlined selection of mini loader and excavator attachments.

At Himac you will find rake buckets, stick rakes, post hole diggers, grapples, hay forks, pallet forks, slashers, mixer buckets, brooms and much more. Whether you’re clearing land, creating fence lines, tackling vegetation… almost anything can be achieved using a Himac attachment.

Himac’s brand and reputation is built on more than 17 years of consistent supply of quality attachments throughout Australia. Each product is field tested and proven to last while remaining incredibly price-competitive.

Himac manufacture more than 80 per cent of the products they sell, all with local Australian labour. They hold generous stock levels in warehouses across Australia (including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and other capital cities) for fast delivery and minimal freight costs.

Skid Steer Claw Grapple

For the toughest Skid Steer Grapple around, look no further than the new and highly versatile Himac Claw Grapple. With Push Rake-style capability and fitted Cat J-Series teeth, this grapple is built to handle almost anything in its path. Whether you’re moving logs / branches, tackling large volumes of unwanted vegetation or doing scrap clean-up.

Features include:

  • Grapple features high grade 16mm thick arms with 65NB horizontal bars
  • Fitted Cat J-Series teeth for cutting through ground and roots
  • Perform raking and back dragging
  • Impressive 1270mm max opening allows large volume
  • Handle all types of vegetation and scrap
  • Serrated edges provide serious grip, greasable pivot points
  • Unique curved shape to hold wide range of loads sizes

Skid Steer Stump Bucket Grapple

Featuring the same multi-use innovation and high-tensile base as its standard counterpart, the Stump Grapple executes stump removal with your skid steer faster than ever. The serrated edges and front 300mm toothed tip cuts through roots, while at the same time the powerful single arm grapple can take hold and pull to accelerate the root-busting process.

Features include:

  • Extreme duty hydraulic grapple arm
  • Replaceable excavator style teeth – 300mm wide tip
  • Curved design base with 13mm high tensile construction
  • Accelerated removal of tree stumps, small trees and other vegetation
  • 1200mm max grapple opening to steady tall and large loads
  • Useful for digging footings and trenches (up to 920mm)
  • Perform demolition and pull up concrete / asphalt

Mini Loader Slasher

The Mini Loader Slasher from Himac allows you to harness serious grass slashing power. This vegetation control attachment is more than just a mini loader mower, going above and beyond expectations in speed, power and its ability to handle low level shrubbery with ease.

Features include:

  • Heavy duty twin blade carrier
  • 3″ diameter cutting capacity
  • 1280mm cutting width (1360mm overall)
  • High torque hydraulic motor
  • Safety chains fitted, worksafe approved
  • Run down clutch protection
  • 6mm thick Slasher deck
  • Fork pockets fitted for easy loading / unloading

Skid Steer Tree Puller

The Skid Steer Tree Puller will grab hold of small trees then pull up and out completely – roots and all. Simply grip and rip in a fast and effective clamping motion. Right from within the skid steer cab, you can clear large areas efficiently, or sneak in for more selective removal of saplings and other vegetation.

With a highly durable steel frame construction and 29 angled teeth, the tree puller is ready to pull trees up to 4 inches in diameter (max limb size 12” diameter).

Features include:

  • High grade steel frame construction with powder coated finish
  • Cross over relief to protect over-pressurising
  • Fast and powerful hydraulic clamping
  • Pull out trees up to 4” diameter – Max limb size 12” diameter
  • Flexible hose support – protection within frame
  • Spring mounted strain relief hose holder
  • Non-slip strips for safe enter / exit of skid steer

For the very best in machinery attachments for vegetation control, contact the friendly team at Himac on 1800 888 114

Browse their product range online at himac.com.au

June 21, 2019 / by / in ,