Safety is paramount when working in any industry, but for operators and arborists in tree and forestry industries, the risks when operating specialist heavy machinery are higher and there are many more factors to consider to ensure the safety of yourself, your team and bystanders.
Vermeer has been at the forefront of innovative safety features in their tree care range for over 60 years. Greg Parkinson, Area Manager – Environment for Vermeer Australia, says their machines come with all the “bells and whistles” when it comes to operator safety.
“Our products come with features and the latest technology that puts operator safety front of mind, without impacting productivity or ease of use,” he says.
The Tree Commander™ remote control is unique to Vermeer’s range of wood chippers, and conveniently enables operators to control the chipper from the safety of their loader, instead of by the machine’s control panel. It allows operators to forward, stop and reverse the feed rollers and emergency stop if needed.
“The operator remains safely inside their cab, avoiding outside hazards like wood waste or other debris. It also means it can become a one-man job, freeing your crew to work on other jobs, saving on labour and time,” Greg says.
“Feeding chippers using a machine (such as a mini skid steer loader) rather than manually, is growing in popularity in the industry as a more efficient and less labour-intensive process than having crew members do that work. You already need a loader to haul tree limbs and trunks to the wood chipper so it makes sense to use the same machine to feed the material into the infeed chute and operating the chipper using the Tree Commander™ remote control.”
The Tree Commander™ remote control operates the infeed rollers, along with restarting the rollers if the chipper’s feed stop bar is accidentally tripped, and it can also reset the EcoIdle system.
“The EcoIdle system automatically lowers engine revs if no material has been chipped for a period of time, optioned for one or five minutes.
“This is both a safety and cost saving feature. If an operator steps away from the machine and nothing feeds during the pre-set time, the machine will automatically power down to a safe mode, reducing the risk of it being a hazard to those near it. That could be both physical injury or unnecessary noise – often a hazard complained about in built up residential areas.,” Greg says.
“Having a machine left running at full power also wastes fuel and creates unnecessary wear and tear on the machine, so EcoIdle delivers benefits to an operator’s bottom line as well.”
“Both the Tree Commander™ and EcoIdle are minor features when looking at the power and performance of the whole machine, but their impact on operator and community safety is one that can’t be overlooked. As always, Vermeer is putting customer and operator safety first with these machines,” he says.
The Tree Commander and EcoIdle features can be found on Vermeer’s BC1800XL Wood Chipper. To find out more, head to https://vermeeraustralia.com.au/equipment-range/tree-care/wood-chippers/