There will always be risks when operating heavy machinery, even for the most experienced operators, however, these risks can be greatly reduced by using equipment that has been designed with enhanced features specifically aimed at improving safety.
Enhanced feed control bars
Mr Baillie said one enhanced feature arborists should look for when selecting a machine is enhanced feed control bars that are robust and accessible.
“Machines with an enhanced upper feed control bar offers operators an additional emergency stop position,” Mr Baillie said.
“All Vermeer wood chippers are also fitted with a patented, electronically switched bottom feed stop bar. The stop bar is strategically located so that the operator’s leg can, intentionally or automatically, strike it and this will shut off the feed rollers in an emergency situation.
This feature increases operator safety while feeding material by reducing the risk of being caught and pulled into the infeed chute along with any material.
“Selected Vermeer wood chippers come with a four-position upper feed control bar with dual stop positions, as well as forward/reverse feed positions, allowing the operator to stop the feed rollers and select forward or reverse operations with ease.”
Feed table length
The length of the feed table is another enhanced feature of Vermeer wood chipper models. Vermeer products comply with all minimum length Australian standards for feed tables.
There are also products available that provide extra length to increase safety such as the BC2100XL which has a long 153.7cm feed table to provide extra distance from the infeed rollers.
The BC1800XL wood chipper comes standard with a remote control. With the Tree Commander™ remote control, jobsite safety is improved by allowing the operator to control brush chipper functions remotely.
The remote can be attached to the operator’s belt or held in an optional bracket mounted directly to the operator’s station of a Vermeer mini skid steer.
“Remote controls are available on the BC1800XL, BC2100XL, WC2300XL, WC2500XL and WC2500TX chippers, allowing the operator to utilise the forward, reverse and stop functions of the feed rollers, restarting the feed rollers, engine throttle, engine stop, crush boost for the upper feed roller and hydraulic discharge chute positions (if equipped), without being beside the machine at the control panel,” Mr Baillie said.
Mr Baillie said that winches are a great option if you’re working with larger, heavier material such as logs as they can lift it directly onto the feed table.
This eliminates the need for workers to manually cut up, carry and then feed the material to the chipper.
“Vermeer’s winch interlock system on the BC1200XL, BC1500, BC1800XL and BC2100XL is an enhanced feature designed so you can’t winch and chip at the same time. It works by ensuring the winch line is stowed on the interlock hook before activating the feed rollers. This protects the winch line from being snagged and pulled into the chipper,” Mr Baillie said.