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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 the 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?

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].

Fitzpatrick & Co has specialized 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.

July 5, 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 , ,
Green Climber

Whether you are digging, trenching, slashing or dozing, the Green Climber makes mowing a safe job, with no compromises on precision and speed.

Meet the Italian made remote controlled Green Climber that is capable of tackling slopes up to 60 degrees. Green Climber is the ultimate mower to clear and maintain areas on steep, difficult terrain that can be found on roadsides, parks and acreages. Maintaining these areas can require multiple types of costly equipment and in most cases putting the operator in dangerous situations. Green Climber is so much more than a mower with attachments for finish mowing, slashing, trenching, grinding stumps, moving soil or heavy material. Whether you want to mow grass, mulch thick scrub, dig a trench or even grind tree stumps in any sort of terrain, the Green Climber is the machine capable of doing it all.

Thanks to the extendable undercarriage tracks and low centre of gravity, the Green Climber’s unbelievable grip on the terrain allows it to tackle steep gradients with ease, resulting in a safe job executed with speed and precision.

As a result, safety-conscious maintenance companies and councils across Australia are investing in Green Climbers to help them tackle those challenging areas. The operator can safely operate the remote from up to 100 metres away, allowing them to clear areas beside highways and other high traffic areas without closing off lanes and disrupting traffic flow. The remote-control system operates start/stop of the engine, engine revs, forward/ reverse, steering, and all the hydraulic functions on the machine and the attachment.

Furthermore, it has a self-correcting steering system, that, in the event of very steep slopes can be used to correct the direction. All movements are controlled by a single joystick, allowing operators to have a free hand to use for other machine commands.

Book a test drive – take the controls and see for yourself how tough this versatile machine is.

For more information or to arrange a demonstration call 1800 088 567.

February 24, 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 , , ,
60 Years Of Cutting Expertise

Husqvarna knows chainsaws, and they really should.

After all, they have been providing the world with some of the very best machines since 1959. So, obviously they also know the challenges you face when using them. Their smart solutions and innovations like Air InjectionTM technology, AutoTuneTM performance software or X-Torq® engine technology have helped advance chainsaw performance, optimise power output and even the ability to save on fuel consumption in their machines.

When Husqvarna’s first chainsaw was being developed, one of the requirements for the product engineers was to significantly reduce its noise level.

The production department thought the existing muffler “seemed too complicated,” so the product engineers went to Husqvarna’s frame workshop, where frames for the company’s motorcycles and mopeds were made. Their skill in bending pipe made it possible to realise a new design for the mufflers. In November 1959, the Husqvarna 90 was presented, a chainsaw with noise levels that were half that of the competition.

For the next decade, Husqvarna focussed on developing quieter, lighter and better vibration dampening chainsaws. With a number of successful launches in place, Husqvarna engineers turned their focus to safety. Using a chainsaw can be dangerous, and loggers often suffered serious injuries. In response, the Husqvarna 162 was developed, a thoroughly modern saw with fewer parts, an electronic ignition system, and perhaps most importantly, an automatic chainbrake. This innovation dramatically reduced the number of accidents to forestry workers.

Today, Husqvarna’s chainsaw range includes everything from heavy-duty machines to smaller saws for private use as well as models for felling, pruning and cutting firewood. Included in their large offering is the Battery Series that is built to give you all the power and intuitive design you expect, minus the noise and fumes.

2018 saw the launch of the 572 XP® chainsaw, a truly revolutionary machine. This year Husqvarna unveiled the company’s new generation 50cc chainsaw for professional loggers and arborists – The Husqvarna 550 XP® Mark II, delivering outstanding cutting capacity with acceleration and torque that performs in any environment. They’ve also added comfort, control and manoeuvrability – all in a reliable anddurable package with easy starts, that keeps going as long as it’s needed.

2019 not only marks 60 years as a chainsaw manufacturer, it also commemorates 330 years for Husqvarna as a company. The commitment to producing more ergonomic products with lower emissions and better energy efficiency is greater than ever before.

At Husqvarna, product development never stops, this is how they continue to develop chainsaws that help you work longer, smarter and safer well into the future.

For more information visit www.husqvarna.com

November 28, 2019 / by / in , , ,
Time To Refinance

Is It Time To Refinance Your Home Loan?

Fitzpatrick Financial Services would like to share a number of common reasons why mortgage holders refinance their home loans.

  1. Accessing Equity

If you have a financing requirement (i.e. renovations, car, machinery), then cashing out equity held in your property could be something to consider

  1. Property Value Has Risen

If your property’s value has risen, your equity will have also increased. Lenders may now be willing to offer you lower rates.

  1. Improved Business Performance

Higher income may make you a lower-risk borrower, which could mean you can access better deals.

  1. Consolidating Other Debts

You might want to check whether it could be cheaper to consolidate high-interest debts (i.e. personal loans and credit cards) into your home loan to save interest and reduce your overall repayments.

  1. Fixed-Rate Period Is Ending

Upon expiry, your fixed rate may roll onto a variable interest rate that isn’t competitive. This may be the perfect time to review your home loan.

  1. Interest-Only Period Ending

Are you prepared for a significant increase in your repayments? If you are ready to revert to principal and interest repayments, most lenders will offer lower rates.

Must-Knows About Refinancing

Refinancing Costs Money

You will need to assess the potential savings versus the cost of switching lenders to make the best decision for you. Due to strong competition in the market, many lenders offer incentives to refinance to them, such as a cash-back offer, which may help offset some (or all) of the switching costs.

You Don’t Need To Do This Alone

Negotiating loan terms is difficult if you don’t know all the ins and outs of lending. Consider seeking expert help from a mortgage broker before making any decisions. The team at the associate company Fitzpatrick Financial Services specialise in all areas of lending, including refinancing.

If you suspect it’s time to refinance your loan, don’t hesitate to contact Tim Sheehan at Fitzpatrick Financial Services on (03) 8544 1600

For more information email at [email protected]  or visit www.fitzpatrick.com.au.

November 27, 2019 / by / in , , , ,
Vermeer – Bigger And Better

When undertaking tree stump removal services, having the best equipment can increase productivity and efficiency, as well as allow you to take on a wider range of jobs to diversify your clientele. That is why Vermeer has designed a bigger and better tracked stump cutter, the SC70TX.

Shannon Nicholson, Environmental Equipment Product Specialist at Vermeer, said the new SC70TX takes the proven performance of the already-popular SC60TX Stump Cutter and enhances it for more power and efficiency.

“By enhancing the SC60TX, the SC70TX combines the mobility of a compact machine with exceptional power to deliver greater productivity on job sites, making it a great option for residential, commercial, municipal and rental applications,” Shannon said.

“We’ve already sold our first couple of units in Australia, and we’re certain contractors will like the extra power and speed, and ease of control that this machine offers.”

More Power And Speed

The new SC70TX comes with a 67hp (50 kW) Cat C2.2L turbocharged Tier 4 Final/ Stage IIIB diesel engine.

“Compared to the SC60TX, which has 60hp (44.7kW), the enhanced power of the SC70TX makes it ideal for tough cutting jobs and tough enough to withstand much larger stumps,” Shannon said.

“It’s also been equipped with an increased ground drive speed and is designed to help decrease ground disturbance, meaning you can get around the job site faster with minimal damage to the existing ground surface.”

It also comes with a stronger gearbox which directs the maximum amount of horsepower to the cutter wheel, enabling it to cut at speeds of 880rpm for optimal job site productivity.

Packed Full Of Features

The SC70TX also comes equipped with a number of other safety and performance features that makes the SC60TX and other machines in Vermeer’s stump cutter range so popular, including the operator presence system and SmartSweep control system.

“The operator control system is intended to help protect the operator. If the operator’s hands leave the cutter wheel control handles for even a second, the capacitance-sensors will sense it and cause the cutter wheel to disengage, come to a stop and the cutter wheel indicator light will go out,” Shannon said.

“The patented SmartSweep control system monitors engine speed and automatically adjusts the cutter wheel sweep rate to maximise power to the cutter wheel while reducing engine stress.”

It also comes with an optional remote control that allows the operator to manoeuvre the stump cutter while not standing directly next to it, and the Vermeer-exclusive Yellow Jacket cutter system allows for faster, easier and more convenient serviceability, as well as helps to extend pocket and tooth life.

“The SC70TX is a compact yet powerful machine and is ideal for anyone looking to boost the capacity of their fleet, while also keeping opportunities open for larger and smaller jobs.”

The new Vermeer SC70TX Tracked Stump Cutter is now available to order. Call 1300 VERMEER

For more information or a trial, visit www.vermeer.com.au.

November 26, 2019 / by / in , , ,
Equipment Inspection

When Did You Last Update Your PPE Inspection Records?

Bushwood Training Academy answers the most frequently asked questions about equipment inspection.

What is Equipment Inspection?

The periodic and regular checking and documenting of equipment’s condition.

What Equipment Needs To Be Inspected?

All PPE (personal protective equipment). Anything that is used as life support or for holding loads such as harnesses, ropes, ascenders, descenders, fall arrest devices, carabiners etc.

Why should I get my equipment inspected? According to AS/NZS 1891.4:2009 and manufacturer’s user instructions, ‘working at height’ PPE must undergo a documented inspection every six months by a ‘competent’ person.

Most people do not have a complete understanding of the inspection requirements of equipment. If you carry out an incorrect or incomplete inspection you could be putting your own life at risk as well as others.

What Will Happen If I Do Not Have My Equipment Inspected?

In many cases, nothing will happen but if an incident occurs, investigators may request your PPE inspection records. If you do not have comprehensive evidence of a full and complete equipment inspection by a competent person, you may be liable for any damages/injuries caused in the incident if it is found that the equipment was a contributing factor or cause.

How Often Should I Get My Equipment Inspected?

You should visually check your equipment before and after every use for damage but this does not replace regular documented inspection. It is advised that equipment is checked on a 6-monthly basis. Check the manufacturer’s instructions/manual as it will often give a guideline. If your equipment has been involved in an incident, it is important to have it checked before putting it back into service as it may have some damages that are not easily detected.

What Should I do if My Equipment is Involved In An Incident?

Tag it out and remove it from service immediately! Depending on the type of incident and the results of the incident, your equipment may be damaged in a way that is not clear or apparent. By using the equipment before it has been properly inspected, you may be putting your life and the lives of others at risk.

Who Can Inspect My Equipment?

A ‘competent person’. The definition of a competent person varies from state to state. Where possible, it is always advised that an inspector should have relevant qualifications and experience. Inspectors should also be from a third-party to ensure an independent and non-bias inspection is carried out.

How Long Does An Inspection Take And How Much Does It Cost?

Charges for equipment inspection vary between inspectors and states. Some inspectors charge per item and some charge per hour.

The duration of the inspection will vary based on the type and quantity of equipment. If an inspector is assessing equipment quickly, there may be a chance that they are not doing a correct and proper inspection. Conversely, if they are taking a long time, it may indicate a lack of experience or understanding of what they are inspecting.

An inspection will take significantly longer if you have not had your equipment inspected and logged correctly in the past.

Recording data for the first time will consume a large amount of time. Once equipment has been inspected and logged, future inspections will be a lot quicker. The process can also be made more efficient through the use of RFID.

What is RFID?

Radio Frequency Identification. RFID usually involves a small dot or label attached to equipment, which can be read using an RFID reader. Rather than trawling through a database to find an item, it will be identified immediately, making the inspection process far more efficient.

How Can I Ensure My Equipment Lasts As Long As Safely Possible?

This depends on the type of equipment and the manufacturing material used. However, as a general rule of thumb:

  • Don’t attach stickers to equipment (stickers can have harmful chemicals in the adhesives)
  • Do not write on equipment – some markers contain chemicals which can cause damage to your equipment.
  • Keep equipment clean. Maintaining equipment in good working order can prevent excessive wear
  • Store equipment away from chemicals, pests, sharp edges, damp areas. These can all reduce the lifespan of equipment or automatically cause equipment to fail an inspection
  • Read manufacturer instructions
  • Use equipment for its intended configuration(s) only. If you use equipment incorrectly or the incorrect equipment, you may be unknowingly causing damage to your gear

When Taking Equipment In For Inspection:

  • Take all paperwork and/or records you have for that item
  • Talk to inspectors before handing over the item(s). Ensure they know the item’s full history and how it is used
  • Ensure it is clean and ready for inspection
  • Where possible, leave equipment configured. If you are having issues with items, leaving them configured may assist the inspector on assessing the issue(s).

Please note: the new Certificate III in Arboriculture, which is due for release at the end of the year, includes a unit which aligns with the competency requirements for a height safety equipment inspector for arboricultural equipment.

More details on periodic inspection of PPE and height safety equipment are contained in MIS309 Equipment Inspection, which is due for publication by Arboriculture Australia Ltd in the last quarter of 2019.

For more information or to book an equipment inspection, please email [email protected] or Call (08) 8374 0586.

November 25, 2019 / by / in , , ,
Boost Your Business

In this new series we will look at business development strategies that can facilitate growth and help lay the foundation for short and long-term success.

Ensuring a business runs smoothly is an ongoing challenge, and in seeking to maintain hard-earned

momentum and promote further growth by boosting service offerings it is worthwhile exploring a number of options.

From acquiring new equipment, to taking on new staff, investing in training and development, and integrating new technologies across different aspects of your business operations, there are a number of paths businesses in the tree industry can take to enhance and expand their service suite.

In assessing what course of action is best suited for your business, it may well be worthwhile weighing up your current service offerings, and then considering how you may go about augmenting them.

Seeking external advice on what actions you may potentially take could provide additional perspective, with it also worthwhile observing how your competitors operate, and taking note of and acting on client feedback.

New Equipment

Old and comparatively inefficient equipment may be slowing a business down and driving up operational costs, and it is worthwhile regularly looking into the value that new equipment can provide.

New equipment may deliver productivity and efficiency benefits, along with increasing the range of services your business is able to offer, and over the long term deliver operational savings, however businesses will need to determine the feasibility of making an investment.

Business will need to weigh up a range of factors, from financial to operational considerations, in assessing the viability of investing in new equipment.

New Staff

Bringing in additional crew members could complement and help diversify the services your business is offering, potentially providing a path to further growth.

When considering expanding your workforce, it is, however, important to carefully weigh up your requirements and to keep in mind your responsibilities as an employer.

The Fair Work Ombudsman website offers a number of tips on hiring new staff, highlighting the necessity of being aware of all relevant laws, along with assessing your business’ current and future needs, and defining the role you want to fill.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Guide to hiring new employees can be found at: www.fairwork.gov.au.

Training Courses

As advised via the business.gov.au website, training and skills investment “can increase productivity and innovation, help you attract and retain high-quality employees and improve customer satisfaction”.

As an employer, you should consider a number of factors when it comes to training, with www.business.gov.au advising:

  • Identify skill needs – to help understand what type of training will benefit your business, encompassing identifying the skills you and your crew currently hav
  • Explore training options – look at a range of options, including formal courses, apprenticeships and traineeships, mentoring and workshops
  • Find skills funding and programs – consider government-funded programs
  • Build a diverse workplace – employers can access a wider range of skills by employing people with different backgrounds.

New Technologies

It is worthwhile exploring how new technologies can be harnessed to benefit a business across various operations, from the office to the job site.

It may be a matter of gradually integrating technologies, with it important to maintain a long-term outlook and recognise the cumulative effect small changes can potentially have over time in both directly and indirectly building upon service offerings.

Technology integration could range from using a smartphone personal assistant to provide reminders, to using cloud computing to store and share data, to fitting out machines with GPS to keep track of their location, and may in turn pave the way for implementation of complimentary applications.

Our next instalment in this series will look at some of the strategies businesses can employ to diversify their clientele.

November 20, 2019 / by / in , , ,
Giant Pine Scale

As you are aware, giant pine scale impacts pine, fir and spruce trees and has been found on 162 properties with over 4,300 infested trees in the south east suburbs of Melbourne.

As part of the Victorian government’s response, infested rees were chemically treated. It has been determined that these treatments have only been partially effective and live scale insects remain on treated trees. The National Management Group, Australia’s key technical body for coordinating national responses to emergency plant pests and diseases, has determined that it is no longer technically feasible to eradicate giant pine scale. It is still important to exercise good hygiene practices when working on host trees to prevent any further spread of the plant pest and to protect Australia’s $1.16 billion softwood industry.

The assistance from companies and individuals from associated industries during the response phase has been critical in the efforts to limit the spread of this pest. Your co-operation during this phase is greatly appreciated.

If you suspect there is giant pine scale on any trees that have not already been identified and tagged by Agriculture Victoria  please report the detection to Agriculture Victoria by phoning 136 186 or emailing  [email protected]

More info about giant pine scale is available at www.vic.gov.au/giantpinescale.

November 7, 2019 / by / in , , ,