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gmoney was gmoneybike
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I live in the Seattle, WA area and I'm curious to know of any groups or organizations that may offer chainsaw use certification/safety training. If you have an organization name or a link please post up here.

Thanks!
 

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I don't have any specifics for you but a lot of times, the Forest Service offers training for trail crew volunteers. That's where i took my sawyers class. Get in touch with your local Ranger District and see if they have anything.
 

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Badmamajama said:
Just start cutting and when you see red liquid start to fly, stop.....
haha...

Or when you can't breath after a 2' binded blowdown round slips, kicks and crushes your chest, that's a pretty good time to stop too.:D
 

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As noted, working through your local USFS district office is the best place to look for chainsaw training. They will not however offer the cert course to anyone unless they are working on that district as a volunteer.

It is a long way to to travel, but we will be having a Chainsaw Cert Course as part of the PTBA Conference (Professional TrailBuilders Association) in Asheville NC in March:

http://www.trailbuilders.org/conference/ptba_conf.html

We will also be offering a Chainsaw Instructors course for anyone who is currently USFS certified and feels comfortable and ready to move to the next level. This course would allow successful candidates teach chainsaw cert classes that be recognized by the USFS and other land managing agencies.

We hope to have the full schedule on the website late next week. There will be some great sessions during the main conference, and many pre and post conference workshops including the chainsaw cert classes and a 3 day mechinized trail building class.

Main conference will have a fair bit of mountain bike trails content, I hope some of you can join us.

Woody Keen
President- Trail Dynamics LLC
President- Professional Trailbuilders Association
Board of Directors- IMBA
Certified NC Clear Water Contractor
 

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Bob W said:
Woody please post up once the course is put on the schedule. I will be very interested in this!

Thanks,

Bob W.
I will try and remember to post a link to the PTBA website when we go live with all info. Here is what I can tell you now about the Mechanized Trail Building Workshop.

-Taught by me and other Trail Dynamics staff
-3 days- after main PTBA Conference. Dates for this workshop will be March 20-22
-We will still be meeting each day at the host hotel for the main conference (Crowne Plaza) in Asheville, but the workshop will be in the field and at DuPont State Forest each day (about 45 minutes from Asheville)
-Cost will be somewhere in the $450-500 range. We will try and hold cost down as best we can, but it will be an expensive course for us to deliver. I plan for 6 or more machines and instructor to student ratios of 1 instructor for every 3-4 students. There will be good hands on time on a range of different machines.

Woody
 

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jalepenio jimenez
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Sawing Safety/Tips

I hope I don't sound presumtuous, but I was a professional log cutter in Idaho and Oregon for twenty years and would be glad to offer advice or answer any questions concerning safety in the woods and sawing tips, if that is of interest to anyone.

I would also be glad to hear other's tips and experiences that we could all learn from.

I learned to use a saw the hard way, and cut myself the first year. It was minor and wouldn't have happened if I had been wearing chaps. The fact that I survived for all those years and many of my fellow sawyers didn't says that I must have been doing something right.

Probably the most important thing about running a saw is to keep a sharp chain, so to begin with, you need to know how to sharpen your chain. More people are cut with dull chains trying to force them through the wood. Looking at the gaping wound that results, one wouldn't think the chain is so dull.

Plant both feet firmly and keep your balance. Be prepared for the moment the saw completes the cut. Always know where the tip of your bar is.

And be patient: don't get in a hurry to finish up. If you face a problem in the woods, the different angles and physics of the situation beg for a timely approach to a solution. Often you are dealing with forces that can easily kill you. I walked away from many uncertain situations only to return later and see it from a different aspect, and one I could deal with.

Skookum mentioned bound blow-down. Most trees and logs that are on the ground have some physical force already working on them. Learn to see what that may be: it could save your life.

Remember: the only safe tree to cut is one that stands alone and won't hit anything on the way down. All the others have or will have some outside physical force acting on them that you need to foresee and plan for.

Happy holidaze and safe cutting!
 

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"
mudflap said:
I hope I don't sound presumptuous......"

The only thing presumptuous here is that you can learn what you need to learn about chainsaw safety posted on a MTBR forum. Mudflaps advise is sound, but no substitute for taking a 2 day chainsaw safety course and certification.

I had been running a chainsaw in the woods for 20 years before I took my first USFS cert class. When I did take the class, I learned a ton and it was well worth it. I am certainly way more safe now than I was cutting firewood before the class.

And more importantly, few if any land managers are going to recognize a "I learned my chainsaw safety online on a mountain biking forum" safety class and turn you loose doing clearing work on trails in your local park or forest. But, the USFS class is reconized by all land managers as the "BMP" and state of the practice.

Woody
 

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jalepenio jimenez
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Woodman said:
"
mudflap said:
Mudflaps advise is sound, but no substitute for taking a 2 day chainsaw safety course and certification.

Woody
Sorry Woodman, you are right on that what I have to add is no substitute for taking a certified course. I didn't intend to say that and you are right to point that out. My comments were in addition to receiving certification from an agency/organization with certified instructors.

When it comes to chainsaw safety, you can't be too safe, or you wouldn't be out there with a chain saw. The whole aspect of cutiing standing trees and deadfall is inherently dangerous work that many take for granted, but let me assure you, I am not one of those people.

I will say that in reality, there is no substitute for experience. Applying what you have learned, regardless of where you learn it, is the only way you will actually fathom the incredible and often unforeseen forces at play as you cruise the woods with your saw, looking for work to be done.
 

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Wide Variation Amounst Land Management Agencies

Check with your local land managers about their policy on volunteers and chainsaws. Here in my state there is not a single FS district that trains voluneer sawyers and none that will explicitly allow volunteers to use chainsaws. Most seem to have a blind-eye policy that they won't see you doing it if no one complains. One district has even threatened to arrest any volunteers that use chainsaws within their district.
 

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Justin Vander Pol
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Hey Gibran - it's really hard to get any kind of official certification around here. The USFS offers a course, but won't let many people join it. You have to be known in the district as someone who does a lot of official trail maintenance, year after year on FS land. There's only three of us who are active bikers, that I know of. Annually attending 2 days of classes feels like overkill, but they have their reasons.

I wonder if someone has access to the USFS training materials and could post a link? Most volunteers who already use a saw could really benefit from reading the materials. At a minimum, it'll help folks understand when something is risky and they need to walk away. I see a lot of trail users with saws, and rarely see them using even basic safety measures. They also assume small saws are safer, and they're really not.

The USFS isn't willing to issue saw cards to volunteers around here because they're afraid of liability. They'll just give you the certificate that you completed the class. Kind of ironic when a hotshot is training you, and all year hear about is liability concerns for 2 days straight.
 

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Thanks...

...for the Lumberjack song link Skookum! Made my day.

As far as training goes, I had to get it to cut trees on the trail I maintain in Blue Mound State Park in Wisconsin. The Friends of the park paid for me to attend a one-day course run by the
Forest Industry Safety and Training Alliance. It's centered in Wisconsin and may or may not have a presence in your area.

http://www.fistausa.org/

Walt
 

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sgabyenom e
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This Sunday CT NEMBA is offering a discount on a chainsaw safety/use session to it's Trail Ambassadors at half price. I found the teaching organisation via talking to the LM's I know, a sales guy at Stihl, and the interwebz.

No doubt you would have successful results with any similar combination thereof. Good luck!:thumbsup:
 

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e moneybags said:
"This Sunday CT NEMBA is offering a discount on a chainsaw safety/use session to it's Trail Ambassadors at half price. I found the teaching organisation via talking to the LM's I know, a sales guy at Stihl, and the interwebz."

Sounds like a good training session. Keep in mind that the USFS and maybe other land managers will not however recognize this training in the same way as the full USFS Cert.

Woody
 
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