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Close call

foeke

foeke

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
376
Age
39
Location
DE
Just a reminder, an accident can happen anytime.
I was cutting down an old oak with an good overhang, 90 degrees to the road, so we needed to motivate it into the right direction.
We used an other oak as an anchor, a 4x4 to pull a climbing rope.
I said to my mate, I would have used the pulley system and some heavy duty straps to not strain the rope to much, but he was sure it would be fine.

I made the back cut, and in the corner of my eye I saw somebody cycling by, swirved around the trailer that was parked on the path, ducked under the rope that was full under tention, didn't care for my swearing and moved on. Note that the 80cc's where still at WOT.
Tention dropped because my brother from an other mother didn't want to crush an a$$h0le.
Gave it some gas, the rope snapped. Tree fell in the acre.
2 Seconds, I guess I was flabbergasted about what just happened, still standing on the other side of the path. And started to contemplate how to get the thing on the road again, a huge branch hit my shoulder and broke the backhandle of my chainsaw, with my hand sandwiched between the branch an said chainsaw.
It felt like I might have lost most bones of my arm.
First positive signs where, if it hurts, it's still attached.
After vision returned, I tested if my fingers still worked.
Which they did.
So I even started to think an enormous amount of pain was the only problem.
After no sleep for two nights (wife is a doctor who tested if anything was broken, and it appeared not to be at first) we did the broken bones test again, and now the pain was distinguishable from the other pains and went to the ER to repair my metacarpal bone.
In the end, a lot of ifs.
If I did what I would have and should have done, the rope would not have snapped.
If the m0r0n wouldn't have put himself in danger, I would have stepped back behind an other tree as usual.
If that big branch would not have been hollow at the base, I wouldn't have known I escaped death.
If the branch landed 20cm more to the right, I wouldn't have been typing this.
 
foeke

foeke

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
376
Age
39
Location
DE
Thanks!
Surgeon guessed 2 months.
4 days is already driving me nuts.
Counting on my kids to get anything done, is good practice for when I'm old.
Our oldest is seven and quite capable in anything technical, but just as ADHD as I am.
So I don't have time to wait for my attention span to snap. And she likes to help out, but has at least three side projects in any minute.
5 year old doesn't have that complication, and has all the brainpower she could need, doesn't have the power or the experience to be very helpfull though.
Not complaining. Glad to have kids that like to help
 
foeke

foeke

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
376
Age
39
Location
DE
Hope you make a quick and full recovery.
Hope you get a new helper there too.
I have two great little helpers and one bigger one, the youngest filled a cubic meter of split logs yesterday (Thats 300kg wood she moved in about 2 hours).
Just because she likes to do grownup stuff. While I was playing with the dogs. And my wife was finishing up what I started before the accident driving up and down the road with a wheelloader.
 
CacaoBoy

CacaoBoy

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
162
Location
Big Island - Hawaii
I am glad you will be okay, but feel a need to comment on references to the passing cyclist as an a$$h0le and moron.

Apparently the road was a public thoroughfare. There is no indication that you did anything to warn passersby of the hazard nor to stop traffic, including cyclists, from passing while your felling activities presented a hazard. One cannot expect people to recognize hazards, especially when they might come on an unfamiliar situation suddenly and unexpectedly. You say the cyclist ducked under the rope that was at full tension. The cyclist had no way of knowing how much tension was on that rope, nor that the rope in use was unsuitable for the purpose. I note that you said you would have used a different system, apparently because you believed the setup was unsafe, but you deferred to your buddy and went ahead with the dangerous rigging. It does not sound as if you and your buddy had a plan in place for recognizing the approach of others nor how you would react in the event someone entered the danger zone.

The passing cyclist will probably never know how close he came to being killed. He is fortunate. You and your buddy are fortunate that your actions did not lead to the cyclist's death or injury.

When we are working on trees we not only need to keep ourselves and our crews safe, but also ensure that we are not endangering others who may be in the vicinity.
 
lone wolf

lone wolf

MS 200T King
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
54,613
Location
Prowling The Pine Barrens
Just a reminder, an accident can happen anytime.
I was cutting down an old oak with an good overhang, 90 degrees to the road, so we needed to motivate it into the right direction.
We used an other oak as an anchor, a 4x4 to pull a climbing rope.
I said to my mate, I would have used the pulley system and some heavy duty straps to not strain the rope to much, but he was sure it would be fine.

I made the back cut, and in the corner of my eye I saw somebody cycling by, swirved around the trailer that was parked on the path, ducked under the rope that was full under tention, didn't care for my swearing and moved on. Note that the 80cc's where still at WOT.
Tention dropped because my brother from an other mother didn't want to crush an a$$h0le.
Gave it some gas, the rope snapped. Tree fell in the acre.
2 Seconds, I guess I was flabbergasted about what just happened, still standing on the other side of the path. And started to contemplate how to get the thing on the road again, a huge branch hit my shoulder and broke the backhandle of my chainsaw, with my hand sandwiched between the branch an said chainsaw.
It felt like I might have lost most bones of my arm.
First positive signs where, if it hurts, it's still attached.
After vision returned, I tested if my fingers still worked.
Which they did.
So I even started to think an enormous amount of pain was the only problem.
After no sleep for two nights (wife is a doctor who tested if anything was broken, and it appeared not to be at first) we did the broken bones test again, and now the pain was distinguishable from the other pains and went to the ER to repair my metacarpal bone.
In the end, a lot of ifs.
If I did what I would have and should have done, the rope would not have snapped.
If the m0r0n wouldn't have put himself in danger, I would have stepped back behind an other tree as usual.
If that big branch would not have been hollow at the base, I wouldn't have known I escaped death.
If the branch landed 20cm more to the right, I wouldn't have been typing this.
I knew as soon as I read 4x4 and climbing rope!
 
foeke

foeke

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
376
Age
39
Location
DE
You are totally right. Because it happend.
We had big (mandatory) signs saying "don't pass, felling in progress" on both ends of the path. And it is a private path ( but connecting two roads, so cyclist might ignore that fact).
The dodgy rigging, I do really blame myself for.
I thought, worst case scenario the tree drops in the acre. But that was an uncontroled situation and that was preventable.
 
PV Hiker

PV Hiker

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
175
Location
Carson City,NV
Gravity is a strong force, be careful and clear a safe area. glad everybody is ok. That rope in the video did very little keeping the tree from the road.

.
 
foeke

foeke

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
376
Age
39
Location
DE
The rope was only to nudge the tree on the path.
It was rated at almost 5k kg breaking point.
If everything went as planned, it would have held.
But the moving mass was way to much.
 
lone wolf

lone wolf

MS 200T King
Joined
Oct 5, 2009
Messages
54,613
Location
Prowling The Pine Barrens
The rope was only to nudge the tree on the path.
It was rated at almost 5k kg breaking point.
If everything went as planned, it would have held.
But the moving mass was way to much.
Like I said climbing line and a Jeep no good you need a thicker rope. You are supposed to control all these things and make sure it don't go down this way.
 
Whinbush

Whinbush

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
428
Age
54
Location
Ireland
Tha
You are totally right. Because it happend.
We had big (mandatory) signs saying "don't pass, felling in progress" on both ends of the path. And it is a private path ( but connecting two roads, so cyclist might ignore that fact).
The dodgy rigging, I do really blame myself for.
I thought, worst case scenario the tree drops in the acre. But that was an uncontroled situation and that was preventable.
That’s what I meant when I earlier commented about getting a new helper,
as opposed to the one who was ok with the rope you had concerns over.

But it’s done now, and like alll of us, we learn from what we do, you will be better
prepared for the next round.
 
Stihl 041S

Stihl 041S

Tree Freak
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
14,445
Age
67
Location
Quaker Valley
The rope was only to nudge the tree on the path.
It was rated at almost 5k kg breaking point.
If everything went as planned, it would have held.
But the moving mass was way to much.
5k kg breaking point when new static load.
1 k kg working load if new static.....no knots
Velocity squared.
things add up fast ..........
 
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