ArborTIMES Spring 2024

ArborTIMES is a digital publication for the tree care industry that delivers tree care business, safety, and equipment news.!

Issue 07 | Spring 2024

Tree Care Business, Safety, and Equipment News

Buyers Guide: Hybrid Bucket Trucks How to Protect From Electrocution

The State of Electric Vehicles in Tree Care

Drones Take to the Skies Responsible Spraying

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EDITOR'S NOTE Basking in the Glow of ArborEXPO

Dear Readers,

It was wonderful meeting all of you at ArborEXPO in March. Between the exhibitor booths and education sessions, I hope you le feeling as inspired as me. My goal was to talk to as many of you as I could to discov- er what matters most to you. I can’t wait to explore all of these topics in the upcoming issues of ArborTIMES.

On the cover: Anyone doing tree work around power lines must have the right training and the right tools to do the job safely. Source: First Energy ISSUE 7, SPRING 2024

In our jam-packed spring issue, we examine the tree care industry’s shi to electric vehicles and equipment. As it turns out, the transition is a bit more complicated than ex- pected, as tree care work poses unique challenges and opportunities.

Millicent Skiles, Editor


Keeping with our theme of electric, we explore how drones are being used in tree care and forestry work. From safety to marketing, there are so many ways these devices can be used to sup- port businesses. We also explore the dangers of electrocution and provide gear and equipment designed to keep you safe while working along the lines. I was especially honored to interview Greg Daniels, Bartlett Tree Experts’ former president and chief operating officer. Even though he retired in 2013,

Korey Conry Ken Palmer SENIOR ADVISORS Dane Buell Mark Garvin

Ed Carpenter from North American Training Solutions (left) and Millicent Skiles (right) present attendee David Kovolsky with a $500 cash prize.

PRODUCED BY EDGE AHEAD ASSOCIATES For editorial and advertising inquiries: 1 Store Hill Rd, PO BOX # 334 Old Westbury, NY 11568 Tel. (516) 399-2627 Email: Web: No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may occur. All uncredited photography is either supplied or sourced from a stock image bank.

I was impressed that he still manages the organization’s acquisition efforts. That says a lot about the tree care industry, which clearly values hard-earned experience and wisdom. You can read his profile in Sage Advice, our regular column featuring the perspectives of industry veterans. We also talk about responsible spraying and why it’s so important to include these practices in any integrated pest management plan. And finally, we review import- ant marketing essentials designed to help you connect with more customers and stand out from the competition. There’s a lot to explore in tree care and we have even more issues planned to give you exactly the kind of content you’re looking for. Got a story idea you’d like to see? I encourage you to send me an email at . I’m still basking in the glow of ArborEXPO, but I’m also looking forward to our sum- mer issue, where we’ll explore aerial rescue, heat-related injuries, tree relocation, and more. Until then, you can check us out online at .

TO SUBSCRIBE email: or subscribe online:

Yours in safety,

Millicent Skiles


ArborTIMES Spring 2024 | 3

Table of Contents


ArborTIMES is a fully digital publication for the tree care industry. It is produced by Edge Ahead Associates, creator of ArborEXPO, the industry’s first indoor/outdoor trade show and conference for arborists and green industry professionals. We’re connecting with experts, business owners, master trainers, and more to identify top stories and educational opportunities to deliver right to your inbox on a quarterly basis.


THE STATE OF ELECTRIC By Katherine Gustafson There are numerous benefits to going electric, but performance

challenges, a lack of infrastructure, and higher upfront costs may prevent the industry from fully converting. We explore the practical considerations for heavy equipment that are giving some buyers pause.


BUYERS GUIDE: HYBRID BUCKET TRUCKS By Sarah Collie While other industries are embracing fully electric lis,

irregular routes and other concerns may limit their applications in tree care. Hybrid models are key to addressing ‘range anxiety’ while eliminating engine idle.

EDITOR’S NOTE 3 Meeting you at ArborEXPO '24 has inspired a future filled with great content.





Check out the latest products and services offered by the best brands in the tree care industry.

ACRT training instructor Matthew Knull discusses PPE's role in prevent- ing injuries.

Advertiser Index

ArborSystems .......................................... 38 Bandit.......................................................11 BIK ......................................................... 58 Branch Manager ....................................... 46 Doggett .................................................. 44 Morbark ...................................................47 Quest Products LLC.................................... 41

RBG, Inc................................................... 19 Sennebogen .............................................31 SingleOps ................................................57 Tracked Lifts .............................................. 2 UP Equipment.......................................... 25 Woodcracker ...........................................60

All Access................................................. 15 Almstead ................................................33 Altec ...................................................... 23

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FROM SHOCK TO TRAGEDY By Millicent Skiles Electrical injury isn’t just a jobsite hazard. It's a risk that can occur in our homes, workplaces, and public spaces. Here’s what you need to know about the dangers of electrocu- tion and how to prevent it.





Sustainable tree care practices require an

HIGHLIGHTS FROM ARBOREXPO ’24 By Diane Morgan Thank you to our exhibitors, speakers, and attendees. From a wide range of educa- tion sessions to hands-on demos and our networking events, here are some of the highlights from this year’s event — our biggest one yet. to Google algorithms, here’s how to set up an effective marketing strategy and when to ask for help. STAND OUT IN A CROWD By Millicent Skiles Tree care marketing experts share tips for businesses of all sizes to attract more customers. From simple door hangers From seedling inventory to mapping and marketing, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are pulling their weight in the forestry and tree care industries. Check out how these small machines increase effi- ciency and reduce risk.

integrated pest manage- ment program. A holistic approach and continuing education are crucial to adopting more precise and targeted solutions to care for the environment and each other.



SAGE ADVICE By Millicent Skiles

Aer a 49-year career with Bartlett Tree Experts, Greg Daniels, the company’s former president and chief operating officer, isn’t slowing down. Here’s how he’s laying the foundation for tree care’s bright future.




Got a story idea you’d like to see? Send your ideas to . Do you have any great photos of your crew in action? Send them to Proper techniques and PPE — hard hats, eye and hearing protection, and fall protection — are a must for photos depicting field work.

• Aerial Rescue • Chipper Trucks • Relocating Trees • Heat-related Injuries • And More!

ArborTIMES Spring 2024 | 5

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Electric equipment holds many benefits for tree care professionals, but there are also challenges that may prompt some to wait until this segment of the market has further matured.

The State of Electric As tree care rapidly electrifies, practical considerations about heavy equipment give buyers pause There are numerous benefits to going electric, but performance challenges, a lack of infrastructure, and higher upfront costs may prevent the industry from fully converting By Katherine Gustafson

developments continued apace, and soon thereaer, more equipment with compatible use in the tree care industry started going electric, too. In 2020, Toro introduced the first battery-powered compact skid steer, the eDingo 500, and in 2022 brought out the Ultra Buggy e2500, a battery-powered material handler. Both machines can run for eight hours straight with zero emissions.

As equipment and vehicles across all industries — from sedans to 13-ton trucks — go electric, the con- tours of a coming transformation in the tree care in- dustry are taking shape. Many arborists have already enthusiastically adopted electric versions of tools such as chainsaws. And elec- tric versions of larger equipment are rapidly coming to the market. Electric equipment holds many benefits for tree care professionals, but there are also challenges that may prompt some to wait until this segment of the market has further matured. MOVING TOWARD ELECTRIC The arborist and forestry industries are benefiting from the advancement of electric equipment in the construction industry, which has been progressing rapidly since Volvo Construction Equipment and JCB began releasing such offerings in 2019. In Europe, the ZE85, an eight-ton class battery-op- erated excavator released by Hitachi Construction Machinery in 2020, was used in a pilot project for zero-emissions construction sites in Oslo. Further

Toro’s eDingo 500 electric mini skid steer offers zero-exhaust emissions, less noise, and an eight-hour continuous runtime

The arborist and forestry industries are benefiting from the advancement of electric equipment in the construction industry

ArborTIMES Spring 2024 | 7

The Peterbilt VST-52 EV bucket truck reduces diesel consumption and CO2 emissions with an electronic PTO to power its hydraulics.

This allows crews to use the e-PTO out in the field for as long as necessary without ever having to return to a home base to recharge it. If for any reason the truck’s battery goes dead, such as in very cold weather, the crew can con- tinue work by running the PTO off the diesel engine. BENEFITS OF ELECTRIC There are many reasons for arborists to go electric, from reduced emissions and noise to less maintenance and spending on fuel.

In 2022, Bobcat released the first all-elec- tric compact track loader, the T7X, fol- lowed by the first all-electric full-sized skid-steer loader, the S7X, in 2023. While electric power take-off (ePTO) technology for bucket trucks has been around for decades, its use for tree care was limited by the hydraulic demands of tree care work. In construction, a bucket can be raised to a given height and remain there for an extended period of time with the truck engine off. Arborists, on the oth-

Cleaner and greener The ability to reduce emissions is a ma- jor benefit of using electric equipment. Not only can it reduce your operation’s environmental footprint, but it can cre- ate more flexibility in where you can use the machines. Notably, plug-in and battery-powered electric machines can be safely used indoors. “There’s reduced pollution,” says Ryan Taylor, marketing coordinator for Met- sa Machines, which sells three-phase electric Japa firewood processors. “You can run it in more enclosed ar- eas. There’s a lot of positives that come along with being able to use three-phase electric.”

er hand, need to continuous- ly move their buckets during work. The truck’s engine must remain running to power this movement, resulting in heavy diesel use and continuous noise. In September 2023, Custom Truck One Source unveiled its Lightning PTO, an ePTO that al- lows a truck to use battery pow- er instead of the diesel motor to run. The system includes bat- teries and cooling capabilities that allow the truck and bucket to run 80% on electric and 20% on diesel, with the electric en- gine recharging via the short- term use of the diesel engine.

Quieter and safer Electric equipment is far quieter than traditional diesel and gaso- line engines, which provides ar- borists numerous benefits. One is less disturbance to both work- ers and local residents, whether they are human or wildlife. “I’ve worked on a farm before with peacocks and ducks, and be- cause we’re so quiet, I have had peacocks flying into a tree while I’m in it, just hanging out,” says

Bobcat’s all-electric full-sized S7X skid steer loader can operate for up to eight hours on a single charge and provides minimal vibration and nearly silent operation.

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The Japa 405 firewood processor comes in a three-phase electric version that provides two separate pumps to let operators choose how they want to run the machine.

and tear on his body from the long- term use of gas-powered chainsaws. The repetitive pull-start motion and in- tense vibrations were clearly going to put a limit on how long he could contin- ue doing his job. “They say tree climbers have a shelf life of five years,” he says. “I had a boss tell me that, and I didn’t understand it until I got the injuries. What if we could get this product to climbers before they break?” Additionally, the quiet of electric ma- chines of all sizes allows workers to en- joy better wellbeing from avoiding the constant exposure to loud noise. “In an electric truck, the comment we hear from drivers is, ‘This is the first time in years that I’ve gotten out of the truck and my ears aren’t ringing,’” says Bryan Bachmann, a product manager for Custom Truck One Source. “The constant hum of the engine isn’t there.”

Samuel Martinez III, a certified arborist and entrepreneur who owns tree care company Golden Tree and plant health care companies Indy Ash and Colorado Ash. “I’ve also been moving the eDingo, hauling to the chipper, and the peacocks are walking right behind us like we’re not even there because we’re quiet.” Another benefit of reduced noise is great- er job-site safety, as ground-to-bucket communication is much easier and clear- er, preventing miscommunication. Easier to maintain Electric machines reduce arborists’ maintenance requirements, as the en- gines have fewer moving parts. The main maintenance requirements are charging batteries and changing hy- draulic fluid and filters. “As a small company, I want as little maintenance as possible,” says Mar- tinez. “There are too many trucks, too many small engines, chainsaws. Each and every one of them is a link in the chain that can break.” Easier on bodies Martinez’s decision to switch to electric was motivated by the increasing wear

Long-term affordability A major advantage of electric equip- ment is the substantial reduction in fuel use. Bachmann says that back- of-the-napkin math on introducing an electric ePTO penciled out to more than a million dollars in fuel savings for one representative company. “If you can eliminate 80 percent of your fuel consumption, that’s a straight hit to the bottom line,” he says. He notes that running the engine also reduces wear and tear on the machin- ery, so you can extend the life of the equipment. A truck that is idling 80 percent less may gain years of produc- tive life, thereby stretching replace- ment costs over a longer horizon. Tax credits The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA,) which became law in August 2022, in- cludes a tax credit for qualified com- mercial electric vehicles and mobile

Electric equipment is far quieter than traditional diesel and gasoline engines, which provides arborists numerous benefits.

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up-front costs may be offset by drasti- cally reduced fuel costs over time. “Up-front cost is very real,” says Mar- tinez. “I got this eDingo, and it’s worth more than the truck that carries it. That could be viewed as a con, but I don’t have to put gas in the thing, ever. It saves you in the long-run.” WHAT’S NEXT? Bachmann likens the state of the electric tree care industry to the au- tomotive universe of 1910. Back then, a drive from Los Angeles to Phoenix in a Model T was full of unknowns, such as whether and where fueling stations might be available. A hun- dred years later, people do that drive without a second thought because the cars and infrastructure have de- veloped robustly. “We’re in that part of the infancy of electric vehicles right now,” he says. “There’s charging infrastructure in a lot of the urban metro areas, but once you get 20 or 30 miles outside of those, not so much.” But, he says, progress is coming — and quickly. Tree care will continue to rap- idly electrify: “As battery technology and motors continue to improve, I think you’ll naturally see that segue into tree care applications.”

reliability, especially when using porta- ble power units. “Batteries don’t like the cold,” he says. “In colder temperatures, it is important to be able to recharge and rely on these tools while working.” Martinez says that aerial lis powered by lithium-ion batteries intended for ar- borists are oen “painfully slow.” Lack of infrastructure Since tree care work must be done on- site, typically far from three-phase elec- tric, equipment that needs frequent recharging can be a hindrance when charging stations aren’t readily available. “As you become more mobile with the equipment, your ability to utilize elec- tricity decreases,” says Taylor. “Until there are more efficient ways to store and utilize energy, I believe it will be limited in terms of loaders and other machinery. Having a dedicated power supply is crucial.” Up-front cost Electric versions of tree care equipment are typically more expensive than their diesel-powered counterparts, which can dissuade some potential buyers. However, looking at cost over the life of the equipment can reveal that higher

Toro’s Ultra Buggy e2500 is 31.5 inches wide and has a 2,500-pound carrying capacity and a zero-turn radius.

machinery purchased by the end of 2032. While the tax savings may not be enough to make up for the higher up-front cost of electric equipment, it can add to fuel savings that result in a higher return on investment over the long term. (See sidebar.) CHALLENGES WITH ELECTRIC While advances in electric equip- ment are injecting new energy into the heavy equipment market and hold great promise for tree care pro- fessionals, there are a variety of chal- lenges that may give potential buyers pause. “Being able to use electric is a good thing,” says Taylor. “However, it’s also important to keep in mind that with developments in technology, they have to be feasible for the con- sumer. Just because it sounds like a good idea or because you want it to be a good idea, you need to make sure that it’s practical and meets the needs of consumers.” Performance As electric and battery technology ad- vances, the power and performance of electric tree care equipment is improv- ing, but arborists still find challenges with these options. Taylor of Metsa Machines says that the main issue with electric equipment is

The Commercial Clean Vehicle Credit

IRC Section 45W created by the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides a credit for new electric commercial vehicles and mobile machinery purchased before the end of 2032. Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) below 14,000 pounds must have a battery capacity of at least 7 kWh and will qualify for up to $7,500 in tax credits. Vehicles with GVWR over 14,000 pounds must have a battery capacity of at least 15 kWh and will qualify for up to $40,000 in tax credits. The tax credit amounts to the lesser of either 15% of the business’s basis in the vehi- cle (or 30% if the vehicle uses no gas or diesel) or the incremental cost of the vehicle. Learn more on the IRS website.

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To locate your authorized Bandit dealer please visit or scan the QR Code

If you haven’t tried a Bandit unit for your operation, please contact a local Bandit dealer , email or visit our website and we will be happy to assist you!

ArborTIMES Spring 2024 | 11

The Terex HyPower SmartPTO by Viatec is a plug-in ePTO solution that offers a hybrid option for forestry trucks with diesel engines.

Buyers Guide: Hybrid Bucket Trucks Hybrid models are key to addressing ‘range anxiety’ while eliminating wasteful engine idle While other industries are embracing EVs, irregular routes and rural areas may limit all-electric bucket truck applications in tree care By Sarah Collie

It’s 2024, and electric vehicles (EVs) are all the rage. With pretty much every major vehicle man- ufacturer releasing an electric or hybrid option for personal use, this technology is just starting to make its way into the tree care industry. Major manufacturers like Altec Industries , SEA Electric , and Terex have all released fully electric bucket trucks in recent years. And while these have been embraced by the utility industry and others, several challenges are preventing tree care from doing the same. While electric technology continues to improve, hybrid options are providing an intriguing step- pingstone to help tree care companies looking to go green. Which begs the question: Is it time to add a hybrid bucket truck to your fleet?

PROGRESS IN EV TECHNOLOGY Bucket trucks were first invented in the early 1900s. Originally called “cherry pickers,” they were primarily used to safely and efficiently har- vest cherries. The power industry quickly saw the benefit of the aerial li and began using it in their applications. By the mid-1900s, engineers were building hydrau- lic systems into bucket trucks, and more industries began to use the technology. Today, the technology exists to run battery-powered bucket trucks that rival similar trucks with internal combustion en- gines. Altec collaborated with Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation on the “ first all-electric utility vehicle ”

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Altec’s International eMV TA60 offers an all-electric bucket truck solution favored by the utility industry.

about 15 years ago. The vehicle fea- tured an Altec AT37-G aerial boom and was unveiled at the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference (EUFMC.) SEA Electric , an Australian company, released an all-electric bucket truck in 2019, and Terex Utilities debuted its all-electric bucket truck in June 2022 at the NTEA Work Truck Week confer- ence. Electric-powered takeoff technology (ePTO) has been on the scene for lon- ger. ePTO technology harnesses elec- tricity from a battery or electric motor to power auxiliary functions that might normally come from a combustion en- gine. These can include hydraulic sys- tems, power steering, and heating and air conditioning. Combined with a combustion vehicle, ePTO can reduce or even eliminate the need to keep the engine running to power these functions, resulting in re- duced emissions and cost savings. According to ePTO manufacturer Viatec , the technology has existed for decades but didn’t stick until the turn of the cen- tury. Viatec’s SmartPTO represents the third generation of ePTO technology, developed to improve upon previous issues with bulk and instability.

routes do not have access for charging overnight.” Charging is surely one of the major bar- riers to the widespread use of electric bucket trucks. “We’ve found that the electric utility customers who are experiencing the greatest success with our electric buck- et trucks in the field today have a clear understanding of their routes, duty cycles, and have developed a plan to access charging to get the full benefit

E-BUCKET TRUCKS IN TREE CARE While tree care companies use bucket trucks in their daily operations, man- ufacturers tend to market all-electric products to utility companies instead. “We are studying electric vehicles as it relates to arborist work practices and taking a thoughtful approach to the tree industry,” said Joe Caywood, director of marketing and product management at Terex. “The one major consideration to- day for arborists is that their days and

Powered by the SEA-Drive 120b power-system with a 136 kWh battery capacity; this bucket truck is powerful enough to operate the elevated boom and travel over 200 km on a single charge.

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Advanced Clean Truck Act (ACT,) for example, stipulates that original equip- ment manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles must increase sales of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) and near-zero emissions vehicles be- ginning this year until 2035. At that time, all new models will need to be ZEVs. The Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) re- ports that six other states have adopt- ed the ACT : Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Washington. RMI also explains that California’s Advanced Clean Fleet Act (ACF) is a supplement to the ACT, to encourage wider adoption of zero-emis- sion and hybrid vehicles. Customer and investor preferences As environmental awareness becomes more prevalent in politics and our dai- ly lives, people are demanding to see action that matches words. Potential customers and investors may favor tree care companies that set sustainability goals and work towards them. Quieter jobsite Besides long-term and environmental benefits, electric bucket trucks also bring immediate value to the table. EVs are quieter than vehicles with com- bustion engines and contribute to less noise pollution. “The ability to operate the boom with- out the diesel engine running has prov- en valuable in urban areas where noise ordinances are in

The Terex Optima 55-foot aerial device, powered by the HyPower SmartPTO by Viatec, is mounted on an Interna- tional Class 6 medium-duty electric chassis.

of running EV bucket trucks,” Caywood explained. There are many reasons a tree care company might consider electrifying its fleet — or at least switch to hybrid solutions powered by ePTO. Sustainability goals Greenhouse gas emissions produced from burning fossil fuels are having a detrimental impact on the planet. Con- tinuing to build and run gas-powered utility vehicles is not sustainable, and some tree care companies are making an extra effort to be environmentally conscious. Electric bucket trucks and ePTO gen- erate fewer carbon emissions than gasoline and diesel-powered engines. Collaborative research by Argonne Na- tional Laboratory and Viatec found that using a SmartPTO saves an average of 1,890 gallons of fuel each year . In the U.S., most electricity is generated from natural gas, petroleum, and coal, with a smaller percentage coming from renewable sources and nuclear power. As the percentage of nonrenewable energy production increases, EVs will remain the more sustainable option.

Cost-savings While “going green” may be a top pri- ority for choosing electric motors over combustion engines, cost savings is an- other major benefit. Combustion engine vehicles require fuel, which has only become more ex- pensive in recent years. True EVs have no fuel costs, and hybrid bucket trucks use less fuel than standard trucks. Also, vehicles with electric motors ar- en’t as expensive to maintain, though EVs still require other types of main- tenance, including brakes, suspension, and tires. Viatec estimates that using a SmartPTO saves between $9,000 and $16,000 in engine maintenance and fuel savings each year. Enticing tax incentives are also making it a good time to shop for electric. Companies or individuals who purchased plug-in electric vehicles in 2023 or aer may qual- ify for a tax break of up to $7,500. also for uals tric ual- ce and

Federal, state, and local regulations

Viatek’s ePTO technology can be used to fully power electric vehicles or provide auxiliary power to boom and bucket hydraulics in internal combustible vehicles.

There’s a reason more all-electric work vehicles are popping up. California’s

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place and where noise pollution is an annoyance to residents,” Caywood said.

Safer equipment A quieter work site is also a safer work site, and it’s one of the many perks of using electric and hybrid equipment. Loud noises can make communica- tion difficult between workers on the ground and those in the li, and a battery-powered aerial li doesn’t interfere with communications like a traditional PTO does. “The SmartPTO creates a work zone where operators can communicate bet- ter and with less toxic exhaust from the chassis,” Caywood added. BARRIERS TO E-BUCKET TRUCKS In a perfect world, everyone interested in electric bucket trucks would have access to them. In reality, it’s not that simple. Here are some of the biggest challenges to going fully electric. Larger upfront investment The biggest problem with electric buck- et trucks? The price point, according to Altec’s Green Fleet manager Frank Dean. “Pricing is a big challenge, and it needs to be competitive compared to diesel,” Dean said of the cost of investing in electric equipment. Not only are electric bucket trucks more expensive, but tree care compa- nies must factor in the cost of building charging stations and other essential infrastructure to power them. Limited range Dean says the biggest hesitation he sees from potential customers is “range anxiety.” Today’s battery technology is as good as it’s ever been – and only getting better – but range continues to be a concern for many tree care com- panies, especially those that operate in rural areas.

On Dur-A-Lift hybrids, heaters are built into the inside of the batteries to ensure the system works even in freezing weather.

and the run requirements that tree care requires make the limited range of EVs a challenge,” he says. Extreme temperatures If you’ve tried to start your car on a re- Terex • All-Electric Bucket Truck • Hybrid HyPower SmartPTO Viatec • Smart PTO Altec • All-Electric Bucket Truck • Jobsite Energy Management System (JEMS) Solutions Dur-a-Lift • Hybrid Aerial Lift SEA Electric • SEA-Drive Range Versalift • Electric Drive Electric and Hybrid Manufacturers

ally cold day and the engine didn’t turn over, you already know extreme tem- peratures are tough on batteries. This is true with the lithium-ion bat- teries used to build all-electric bucket trucks. To counter this, EV manufactur- ers build auxiliary heating and cooling systems into the system itself to help maximize battery life. Rod Bergstrom, a sales manager with bucket truck manufacturer Dur-a-Li , shared that the company’s Hybrid Ae- rial is built to perform, even in harsh weather conditions. “The aerial li is a self-contained unit separate from the chassis powered by a battery that allows up to four hours of continuous run time,” Bergstrom said. “It’s easy to operate and works in cold weather. In Iowa, we understand what cold weather can do to hydraulic equipment.” Battery wear Any truck with an internal combus- tion engine, even the highest-quality electric bucket truck, will deteriorate over time. Altec’s all-electric bucket truck is built to last between seven

“Range has its limitations right now,

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tric technology for tree care, Caywood replied that the current key areas of focus include “extending range, reduc- ing cost, and improving charging infra- structure.” “Until those challenges are addressed, the tree care industry will likely see expanded use of hybrid solutions using SmartPTO as the next step,” Caywood added. “The SmartPTO is a good option for forestry trucks with diesel engines, such as the Hi-Ranger XTPro Series. The addition of SmartPTO allows the full range of your current internal combustion engine while electrifying boom, auxiliary lighting, and outrigger operation.” Dean agreed that limited range is a major issue with current electric tech- nology and says the best value for tree care companies, particularly those who operate in rural areas, is Altec’s Jobsite Energy Management System (JEMS). JEMS works with diesel and gasoline engine bucket trucks to maximize driving range and eliminate carbon emissions from jobsite idling. The lithi- um-ion batteries power the cab comfort controls (A/C, radio, and heat) as well as the bucket. LOOKING FORWARD The tree care industry is no stranger to electric equipment, and electric buck- et trucks are the next iteration of an electrification trend across many in- dustries. “We are seeing a significant shi towards electric equipment across the forestry segment,” Caywood explained, citing the increasing popularity of battery-powered tools such as pole saws and chainsaws, even electric brush chippers. For tree care companies operating in urban areas with easy access to charging stations, now may be a good time to make the switch to all-electric. For other companies, investing in battery- powered PTO is the next step.

Electric Bucket Trucks 101

At first glance, an electric bucket truck might not look any different from a standard bucket truck. The main difference is that EVs draw power from a rechargeable battery, but under the hood and chassis, there’s a completely different setup: • Charging port that connects the batteries to an external charge source • Traction battery pack that stores energy • Inverter that converts direct current (DC) electricity stored in lithium-ion batteries to alter- nating current (AC) that electric motors can use • Electric traction motor that converts AC to mechanical energy that powers the wheels

• Electric powertrain that includes the motor, transmission, and drivetrain • Regenerative braking system that converts used AC back to DC stored in the battery pack • Thermal system that keeps battery temperature at optimal levels

Electric bucket trucks won't last long without the infrastructure to recharge the batteries, so ac- cess to a charging station is essential. Formally called electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE,) charging stations are classified in a few different ways: • Level I charging 120-volt outlet (usually an at-home charging station) • Level II charging 220-volt or 240-volt outlet (typically a public charging station) • DC fast-charging converts AC to DC within the ESVE Altec’s eMV spec sheet confirms that a “Level II or DC fast-charging station with a minimum of 600 volts” will charge an all-electric bucket truck. Altec’s EV uses a 210-kWh lithium iron phosphate kilowatt battery, and Dean clarified that the charge is built to last for a day’s work, provided the commute to the job site is relatively short. “Most of that kilowatt power is going to be used for driving to and from the job site,” Dean ex- plained. “We've estimated that, depending upon the application, around six to 10 kilowatts of that will be used at the job site, which is a minimal reduction on the battery.”

and 15-plus years, Dean said, which is still an impressive lifecycle for a tree care fleet. Just like with a battery-powered laptop or cellphone, avoid leaving an EV on the charger past the point of full charge and use fast-charging options sparing- ly, as both of these habits chip away at battery life. Similarly, it’s best to never let a battery fully die, and it’s recom- mended to charge an EV to slightly less than 100%. THE VALUE OF HYBRID While the technology to run a 100% battery-powered bucket truck is avail- able, manufacturers agree that the best

value for tree care companies currently is in hybrid equipment. Terex’s HyPower SmartPTO, Altec’s JEMS solutions , and Dur-a-Li’s Hy- brid Aerial offer the benefits of bat- tery-powered equipment at the job site, paired with the reliability and range of an internal combustion engine. “We introduced the HyPower SmartP- TO by Viatec concept in 2019 and be- gan delivering it to customers in 2021,” Caywood said. “The SmartPTO features battery options ranging from 7.2 kWh to 28.8 kWh for higher-use applica- tions, such as tree care.”

When asked about the future of elec-

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92’ Vertical Reach

52’6” Side Reach

40% Gradeability

ArborTIMES Spring 2024 | 19

Anyone doing tree work around power lines must have the right training and the right tools to do the job safely.

20 | ArborTIMES Spring 2024

Trimming trees near power lines or conducting emergency work during a storm, especially at night, can expose workers to injury, permanent damage, or even death.

From Shock to Tragedy Understanding — and preventing — the dangers of electrocution Electrical injury isn’t just a jobsite hazard. It's a risk that can occur in our homes, workplaces, and public spaces. By Millicent Skiles

cles, usually electrons, move from one atom to another within a conductive material. When a voltage is applied across a conductor, an electric field is created. This causes elec- trons to move in a specific direction, which creates an electric current. While electricity powers our modern lives with myriad conveniences, it also has the power to kill within minutes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preven- tion, there are four main types of electrical injuries. Electrocution A term that combines “elec- tric” with “execution,” electrocution refers to death caused by electric shock. This can occur when an electric current completely overwhelms a body and leaves a path of de- struction that can affect multiple organs and bodily systems. Electric shock This refers to the physiolog- ical reaction that can occur when a person encounters an electric current. While it may

The threat of electrocution is a frightening prospect on any jobsite. Trimming trees near power lines or conducting emergency work during a storm, especially at night, can ex- pose workers to injury, permanent damage, or even death. Defined as exposure to electric shock, elec- trocution can have a profound impact on the human body and can cause immediate and long-lasting consequences. These include cardiac arrest, neurological impairment, and death. Electrocution is a largely preventable tragedy that would benefit from increased awareness, comprehensive safety protocols, and the pri- oritization of training and education. Here’s how to stay safe in the field and protect yourself from the dangers of electrocution. UNDERSTANDING ELECTRICAL INJURIES Electricity is a form of energy where parti-

While electricity powers our modern lives with myriad conveniences, it also has the power to kill within minutes.

ArborTIMES Spring 2024 | 21

From there, the current follows the path of least resistance, which can depend on tissue composition, thick- ness, moisture level, and conductivity. Thicker and drier layers offer more re- sistance. Bone offers significant resistance when compared to so tissue, and fat tissue has a relatively higher resistance than muscle or nerve tissue. The areas of the body with the lowest resistance include moist skin, muscle tissue, and blood. Because blood consists of water and electrolytes, it is significantly more conductive. An electric current passing through the body’s organs can disrupt normal functions and cause serious injuries. Electric shock can especially affect the heart, which relies on electrical impuls- es to regulate its rhythm. High-voltage shocks can particularly affect the heart in a variety of ways. Ventricular fibrillation can cause the heart’s ventricles to quiver ineffective- ly instead of pumping blood. This can lead to cardiac arrest, which depletes the body of oxygenated blood and can cause irreversible brain dam- age. Bradycardia or tachycardia is when the heart beats too slow or too fast, which can cause dizziness, faint- ing, or chest pain. Electric shock can affect the entire ner- vous system, including the brain and spinal cord. It can disrupt nerve im- pulses and result in severe muscle con- tractions, numbness, tingling, or loss of consciousness oen visually associated with electric shock. An electric current can also affect respiratory function leading to respira- tory muscle paralysis or damage to the respiratory centers in the brainstem. This can cause shortness of breath, dif- ficulty breathing, respiratory arrest, or complete respiratory failure. An electric current will weave through the body until it finds an exit point

Contact with an electric current can create an entry wound that opens a pathway into the body through which the current flows.

not result in death, there are a few dif- ferent kinds of electric shock: • Low-voltage shock Typically oc- curring when a person touches an electrical source such as household appliances, power outlets, or bat- tery, it can create a range of un- pleasant sensations, such as mus- cle contractions or vibrations and minor burns. • High-voltage shock Deep tissue injuries, damage to internal organs, cardiac arrest, and even death can occur when a person encounters power lines, industrial equipment, or high-voltage machinery. • Direct shock Touching a live wire or exposed electrical components can create a direct pathway for electrical currents to flow into the body. • Indirect shock This can occur when a person touches a conductive object, such as metal, and can be just as dan- gerous as a direct shock. • Arc flash This occurs when an elec- trical current jumps across a gap be- tween two conductive materials. It is usually associated with high-voltage electrical systems.

Electric burns Ranging from minor to severe, an electric burn occurs when electrical energy is converted into heat and damages tissues as it pass- es through the body. There are three types of electric burns: • True burns These can occur when an electrical current generates heat within the body to the point that it causes thermal damage to tissues. • Flash burns Superficial burns to the skin and surrounding tissues can oc- cur when a current produces an in- tense flash of heat. • Arc burns This can occur when an electrical current jumps from one con- ductive material to another, leaving localized burns at the contact points. Falls caused by contact The experi- ence of electrocution, shock, or burn may cause a person to lose control and fall, causing injury or death. PATH OF DESTRUCTION Contact with an electric current can create a point of entry that opens a pathway into the body through which the current flows.

22 | ArborTIMES Spring 2024

See our new products including Pal inger log loader, Gierkink TTC grapple saw, Teupen back yard aerial devices and Sentry training opportunities.





ArborTIMES Spring 2024 | 23

emergency plan. • Electricity can travel through the ground. Be sure workers wear prop- erly insulated footwear and other required PPE. • Consider asking the utility company to de-energize nearby power lines. Follow safe work practices • Maintain a distance of at least 10 feet from overhead lines. • Do not rely on protective clothing alone to protect against electrical hazards • Ensure workers do not have direct contact with an energized conductor, such as a power line • Ensure there is no indirect contact with an energized conductor, such as a tree limb or tool touching a power line. • Ensure workers do not stand near grounding elements. Remember, power can travel through the ground. Provide the right gear • Workers must be provided with prop- er gloves and shoes. • When electrical hazards are present, employers must provide rope that is free of moisture and contaminants and that provides appropriate insula- tion. • Always provide fall protection for climbers. Be alert • Assume all lines are energized. • Anticipate when limbs might fall onto power sources. It only takes a moment for a fatality to occur. • Employers who are hired to clear trees from power lines must follow applicable OSHA requirements. See, for example, 29 CFR 1910.268, 29 CFR 1910.269, and 29 CFR 1910 Subpart S. For more information, visit .

immediately call for emergency medi- cal assistance. Check for injuries Look for burns at points of contact or elsewhere and check for signs of cardiac arrest or neu- rological damage. There may be no vis- ible mark on the skin. Administer first aid Apply cool (not cold) water to affected areas and cover with a sterile, non-adhesive dressing. Continue CPR if needed until medical help arrives. Seek medical attention Get help im- mediately, even if the person’s injuries appear minor, as it can be difficult to determine internal damage. Stay with the person and continue to monitor un- til help arrives. AVOIDING TRAGEDY It is the employer’s responsibility to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules to keep workers safe. Here are a few guidelines to follow to ensure jobsite safety. Preparation is key • Train workers about potential haz- ards in a language they understand. • Before any work begins, survey the area for hazards. Be sure to have an

that allows it to discharge and dissi- pate electrical energy. This can be the ground itself or something connected to the ground, such as a metal rod or surface. In some cases, multiple exit points may be involved, depending on how the charge is distributed through- out the body. The severity of one’s injury can depend on the voltage involved, duration of exposure, and the current’s pathway through the body. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES Proper training and education are es- sential to ensure workers know how to respond to a jobsite electrical injury. Consider the following safety guide- lines: Safety first Do not touch the injured person directly if they are still con- nected to the electrical source, as you may also be inadvertently shocked. Safely turn off the power source and use dry, non-conductive objects, such as a wooden stick, to separate the person from the electrical source, if needed. Assess their condition Check to see if they are responsive and breathing and determine how serious the injury is. Begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if necessary and ask someone to

24 | ArborTIMES Spring 2024








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Product Spotlight

ACRT LINE CLEARANCE MANUAL ACRT Arborist Training's Line Clear- ance Arboriculture Manual is a field guide to technique, efficiency, and OSHA/ANSI compliance. The 2023 edition is completely updated and fully equipped with new photos and illustra- tions to help readers learn how to tie knots, identify tree species, and more. This manual provides line clearance guidance to arborists of all levels and includes a copy of the ANSI Z133-2017.

ROTOCHOPPER’S SARLAC Rotochopper, Inc. proudly announc- es the launch of Sarlac, a cutting-edge machine designed to revolutionize ma- terial downsizing and recycling for busi- nesses operating across a wide range of industries. Sarlac is an innovative patent-pending shear point shredding solution that offers unprecedented profi- ciency in downsizing materials efficient- ly for businesses seeking cost-effective material handling solutions. Sarlac en- hances workplace safety and comfort, with an impressively low noise level and reduced airborne dust making it the ideal choice for a variety of work envi- ronments.

VERTAC BAGS Sterling’s Vertax gear bags have a free-standing design that allows top access when you need to load it up and a U-shaped back panel zipper that lets you get eyes on everything, even items that find their way to the bottom. The 40L size makes it a travel-friend- ly backpack that’s TSA-approved. Also comes in a 60L size. Made with recy- cled 600d ripstop fabric exterior and recycled interior lining. Scannable-en- abled NFC chip for product traceability. Rated handle of 50lb for work access.

Have a product or service you’d like us to feature? Please send press releases and high-resolution images to

26 | ArborTIMES Spring 2024


SELF-REWINDING HOSE WHEEL Using one hose reel to service both sides of a spray truck is now possi- ble thanks to a combination of break- through technologies from Green Pro Solutions, LLC. Pull the hose from the curbside or the driver’s side and push a button to remotely rewind the hose from a distance of over 300 feet. Plus, the hose is self-stacking. No human intervention is required to guide the hose onto the reel. This productivity enhancement is a game changer.

Built for the experienced tree pro- fessional, the 60V MAX* 14 in. Top Handle Chainsaw uses advanced FLEXVOLT® batteries to maximize power without the hassles of gas. Cut through an 11 in. log up to 35% faster than a 35cc gas chainsaw‡ with up to 2.4 HP and a chain speed of 23 m/s. Engineered to deliver optimal maneu- verability while operating in difficult areas, this saw is ideal for tree pruning and removal. This saw has the capaci- ty to make 160 cuts per charge on 4x4 pressure-treated pine.

MAXITRACK MATS DICA is excited to announce becom- ing the first U.S. distributor of Maxi- Track® — the only heavy-duty ground protection and access mats that can be moved, deployed, and retrieved by hand, without the extra time and ex- penses that come with mechanical liing. MaxiTrack Mats are incredibly strong, yet lightweight enough for two people to easily carry. At 1” thick and weighing only 88 lbs, these 3’x6’ over- lapping and interlocking mats elimi- nate the need for secondary equipment to deploy and retrieve matting.

ArborTIMES does not endorse or sponsor any product, service, or activity. Reference to commercial products, services, or brand names does not constitute an endorsement by ArborTIMES . ArborTIMES shall not be held liable for any claims or damages arising from the purchase of these products.

ArborTIMES Spring 2024 | 27

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