Home' Smart Farmer : June 2010 Contents JUNE, 2010
THE chainsaw will always be the
first tool a farmer will reach for
when collecting firewood.
But smart use of a tractor can make
the task safer and easier.
Dead trees still standing can be a
If a farmer chooses to take them
down, use of a tractor can be a good
alternative to felling with a chainsaw.
Only small trees can be pulled over
this way, but the advantage is that the
operator can keep clear.
And because the stump will most likely
be removed at the same time, there are
Safety is paramount. Use commonsense
and good judgement and keep the
following in mind:
• Pulling down a tree means getting
close to it to attach the chain. *Be aware
that it could be so rotten that it may fall
over simply through hitching a chain.
• Watch out for falling limbs.
Operators will need plenty of suitably-
rated chain. DO NOT USE rope or cable.
If it snaps, the backlash can be
dangerous.The chain MUST be
comfortably longer than the height of
the tree so that when the operator pulls
it, there is no danger of an accident.
• ALWAYS use the drawbar to connect
the chain to the tractor. By having the
pulling force applied below the axle, the
risk of flipping the tractor over
backwards is reduced.
• ALWAYS use a rollover protective
structure. If the tractor has 4WD, engage
it to maximise pulling power.
A tractor can also be used to take the
back-breaking work out of wood
Splitters driven by a tractor's
hydraulics can apply 18 tonnes of force.
The front-end loader can also be handy
for carting a quick load of wood.
For bigger loads, a trailer is ideal. And a
tipping trailer (connected to the tractor
hydraulics) can cut manual handling. Just
back up the trailer to your storage area
and tip it right in.
• Don't just collect any old wood.
Some species burn much better than
others. Gums are generally pretty good.
Red gum, iron bark and greybox are
renowned for their long burning, high
• Watch out burning too much pine. It
burns up pretty quickly and it also gives
off high amounts of sparks
• Local government offices may have
regulations regarding taking down trees -
check it out.
Wood cutting made easy
SAFETY: Use proper safety equipment and
cradles when cutting wood with a chainsaw.
Commonsense, good judgement vital
Use drawbar to connect chain
Trailer idea for bigger loads
COLLECTING firewood is part of life on small blocks in South Australia.
But JOHN HUGHES says the first rule when using chainsaws and
• Watch out for termites in the timber.
Don't store affected wood near houses
because of potential infestation.
• Making a simple saw horse is another
way to make firewood cutting easy.
• Allow enough time for wood to dry
out before burning. Old, dead wood that
is simply wet needs a few weeks. Wood
that is still green needs a full season.
If there is an old rain water tank lying
around, it can be put to good use by
cutting it in half and turning it into a
Safety is always the highest priority.
Always use a tractor that complies with
Australian Standards. It should have a
rollover protective structure, seat belt
and protective covers.
Only take on tasks within the
capability of the machine and operator.
Follow all relevant safety warnings,
instructions and regulations. Wear
appropriate safety equipment and use
USEFUL: A tractor fitted with a 4-in-1 front-
end loader can be useful for grabbing and
lifting a log off the ground.
CARTING: Carting wood is another use for a
TRACTOR: A tractor can be used to take the
back-breaking work out of wood cutting, using
hydraulics to drive a splitter.
Need to know more:
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