The use of cranes within the Tree Care Industry have become increasingly popular over the past few decades. Cranes have been proven extremely useful for those hard to reach tree removal scenarios. In some regards using a crane for tree removal is about having the “right tool for the job”. With a crane’s lengthy reach capacity and their ability to lift several tons at a time. Cranes without question have increased the efficiency and safety of tree removal for both tree professionals and their clients.
We work with a 24 ton crane that has a 105 Ft. reach, this is considered a standard size crane used for tree care work. Cranes are utilized for several reasons, but mainly when safety and accessibility are limited. For example, a crane with its long reach can give a tree trimmer easy access to a tree. Otherwise, a tree climber may be required to traverse the tree among the thick branches in attempt to gain position to make his cut. This expends his energy making it more difficult to keep his safety in check. Another example is when the area around the base of the tree is too tight for an aerial bucket truck to appropriately fit, eliminating the tree climber’s option to use the bucket for maneuvering into his position. Dropping trees is an extremely dangerous profession and part of keeping tree workers safe is having a safe working environment where they have room and the abilty to move should something go wrong.
A typical scenario when using a crane to remove a tree would be as follows. The crane operator sets up and positions the crane in an open area either in or near the street. A tree climber gets fashioned with a safety harness and lifted by the crane into position on the tree. The tree climber would then secure himself to the tree before releasing himself from the crane. Then a second rope, sling or harness gets attached around the tree where the other end is secured to the hook of the crane. Once completed, the tree trimmer repels down the tree a short distance to his desired location where he is to make the cut. Through voice and hand signals with a ground crew nearby, they signify to the crane operator to apply resistance on the line. The resistance is applied and the tree climber goes about making his cut. While the tree trimmer is making his cut the crane operator slowly and steadily increases the resistance on the line. Once the cut is complete, the top of the tree is safely removed and the crane easily maneuvers the tree top to the predetermined location where the ground crew is located. They unhook the tree top and get to work busily removing branches and cutting the top into log lengths or taking the smaller portions and running them through the chipper.
This precision orchestrated event is performed within a very short amount of time and with the use of the crane doing all the maneuvering and heavy lifting the tree crew can focus on sawing and cutting. This procedure is repeated until the entire tree is removed. By removing a tree in this manner there is no need to have the tree dragged or equipment driven across the property leaving broken branches or ruts in their wake. With the crane positioned in an ideal location away from the tree and work crew, the remaining clean-up is minimal. Some simple raking and blowing takes care of the remaining debris.
Utilizing a crane works in favor for both crew and client. From the tree crew standpoint, the tree climber is effortlessly placed into the appropriate location for the cut. Whereby if he was climbing the tree, majority of his energy would be expelled on the ascension to the location of the cut, leaving room for misjudgment from exhaustion. Also, there are instances when there’s limited or no access available to the tree. This is an issue when a bucket truck cannot be brought in due to a septic system in the way or the grade of the land is too severe or the area is too tight to fit a vehicle. When those particular issues arise, a crane with its extended reach is the solution.
In regards to the advantages for the client, in most instances the crane allows for the other tree equipment to remain on or near the street in an open and easy to work area. Resulting in minimal property disruption and clean up. The only evidence the tree work was completed is a missing tree. The crane also allows the crew to work at their highest level of efficiency therefore the time it takes to complete the job is cut in half.
Though every tree removal job is unique and each comes with its own set of different variables. In most instances, when the degree of safety or level of difficulty are in question with space and access being minimal. Then it is recommended to incorporate the use of a crane allowing for a safe working environment, easy clean up, minimal property disruption and efficient tree removal.
If you would like additional information on using cranes for tree removal, please refer to the links below: