ArborTimes Winter 2023

Winter Is Coming: 5 Training Opportunities for When Weather Strikes By Travis Vickerson

Like many other businesses across the country, tree work can be impacted by weather. We are all aware that a drop in efficiency can occur when that mercury drops, then add some of that white rain that piles up into immovable hills and work can almost come to a standstill. Despite the weather, a drop in work efficiency does not have to be the only thing that comes from the long winter months. Winter is an excellent time to increase training and implement new work habits. Of course, to maximize this time there must be a plan in place. For those of you checking the balance sheets, your organization must be prepared to take a little step back in profit to make gains that will swing that pendulum in the other di- rection for the rest of the year. So next time you look at the five-day forecast and see that day looming that you are sure will lead to less efficient production, try some of these ideas to get the most out of the dreaded “called- for-weather day.” 1. COMPLETE ANNUAL REQUIRED TRAINING Required training, such as electrical hazard or aerial rescue, is easy to complete on a poor-weather day. Al- though, it requires having the materi- al prepared and ready to go, or using a source such as the Tree Care Indus- try Association (TCIA) or a training company to help. Electrical hazard training is an OSHA annual requirement for anyone main- taining trees within 10’ of utility lines, and is one of the three requirements for employees to meet ANSI Z133 classifi-

cations for Line Clearance Arborist (In- cidental or Qualified). This training can be done in person or virtually. Aerial rescue is second of the three requirements for working with 10’ of utility wires and is also required

in the ANSI Z133 general section for all workers to be trained in emergen- cy response. This training features a lecture focused on responding ap- propriately to an emergency and is followed up with hands-on practice. This practice can be completed in the shop in bad weather. While climber and bucket-based aerial-rescue train- ing in a shop it is not the same as having a tree, the skills practiced are the same. 2. CHAINSAW MAINTENANCE TRAINING Chainsaw maintenance, and the maintenance of other tools used most oen for revenue production, is low-hanging fruit that is oen over- looked. Chainsaw maintenance train- ing should include how to correctly clean a saw, tune, maintain air and fuel filters, sharpen the chain and dress the bar. The manufacturer’s product manual will cover all of this.

Required training, such as electrical hazard or aerial rescue, is easy to complete on a poor-weather day. Photos courtesy of the author.

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