Assisted Felling Training Course

Assisted felling of trees is vital in staying safe. Whether you are new to the industry or been using chainsaw and felling trees for years, this is the course for you.

Assisted Felling

Assisted felling is a great way to demonstrate continued professional development (CPD), there is always something new we can learn and then put into practice to make tree jobs safer and more effective. Using wedges, pulleys, blocks and felling aids takes the pressure off you and your body, understanding the techniques involved and how to keep your distance from the trees reduces the potential of accidents and you getting hurt.

You need the ticket for reasons such as:

  • safety of yourself and your team
  • tendering for that next contract
  • you are working for the Forestry Commission
  • the estate, Woodland Trust, National Trust or de veg site has lots of trees that need a different approach to straight felling

As a:

  • arborist
  • forester
  • landscaper
  • utility worker
  • council team

you’re looking to ensure you’ve got the right ticket for the right job, making you more appealing for that next job, along with keeping your insurance company happy!

Our two-day assisted felling course, allows plenty of time to learn to use winches and wedges. It ensures you have set up the systems safely and correctly. Along with carrying out and practising all that you need for the assessment process on the third day.

Please ensure you already have the chainsaw maintenance, cross-cutting (CS30) and felling and processing of small trees up to 380mm (CS31) qualification before applying for this unit. 

To allow you to fell trees using assisted felling techniques, you must have first completed the above units. You can then work your way up to the next unit.

Key points to consider before attending the assisted felling course are,

Ideally you:

  • need to have had lots of practice felling small trees before attending this course. It is not a monkey see monkey do course!
  • must be able to read the situations you are being placed in front of. Such as felling distances and directions
  • understanding differences in tree species and fibres and how that impacts the choice of cuts used
  • have an understanding of parameters such as a 15″ larch at over 90′ (380mm at 30m). Is quite different to a cherry tree in a park at 20″ up to 36′ (500mm at 12m)
  • must have accuracy of your hinges and cuts
  • should have used winches for twisting out and pulling back of trees

Some of this will be covered during the assisted felling course. But you must have prior knowledge and experience of felling trees before attending this next level of training.

Many of you are already actively using chainsaws. However, you may have discovered that as a professional operator you need another suitable certificate of competence. To enable you to carry on doing so at this level. 

You may have been asked by:
  • your employer
  • or a new contract opportunity to demonstrate competence through certification
  • your arb or forestry-associated body

Whether you are new to the job or have been doing it for over 40 years and things have changed. If so and you are faced with having to gain your chainsaw qualifications have you been:

  • struggling to find the right fit in terms of a training provider?
  • confused by all the names, numbers and acronyms for the land based courses that are available to you?
  • worried you will get it wrong or waste your hard-earned money?
  • concerned that it will feel like going back to school?
  • looking to gain a qualification to continue with jobs because legislation has changed?
  • offered a new and exciting contract, but need another ticket/qualification to seal the deal?
Then we can help you!

No matter which sector you are coming from, and your level of experience. We can work with you to understand your training needs. To tailor a programme and provide courses that will be suitable for you.

Providing award-winning training through tailored, flexible, friendly, approachable trainers and assessors.

All courses are run in small groups. To ensure you have as much time as needed to learn and experience the requirements for the assessments. Trainers and assessors are experienced, friendly, and approachable.

Finally, as with all Lowe Maintenance courses, you get support and advice via email or on the phone. If you need it in the future. Just because you’ve completed the course doesn’t mean you can’t get in touch if you need more information or guidance.

City and Guilds accreditation

This is the certificate you will gain on successful completion of your assisted felling assessment. 

A two-day course, with a third day for the assessment

Group sizes are no more than four candidates to one trainer, so nice small group sizes. To allow for plenty of discussion and questions. 

You will have access to the Lowe Maintenance portal on booking where you will find leaflets and updates to look through before attending the practical session. 

On this assisted felling course you will be learning about:

  • selection, inspection and discussion of appropriate equipment such as
    • chainsaw
    • winches
    • ropes, cables, strops, connectors
    • felling aids
    • pulleys, blocks 
  • estimating loads and factors to consider
  • offset pulling 
  • install adequate attachment points
  • carry out safe felling cuts and techniques
  • understanding the importance of industry best practice
  • what you need to do in an emergency
  • how health and safety legislation will affect you
  • the risks of felling larger trees. In short small trees may squash you, but bigger trees are likely to kill you if you get it wrong!

You will also get to try out different devices such as:

  • tirfor winches

before you think about buying them and find you do not like them or prefer one over the other. This a fantastic chance to try before you buy!

Bear in mind that this course is physically demanding and requires the carrying of equipment in woodland and forest environments. You will have to carry your kit and equipment.  

Candidate portal

On booking your course you will be given access to the candidate portal, where you will find lots of leaflets and documentation to read through, ideally before you attend the course. This helps you with the terminology during the course and gives you a heads-up of what to expect in any discussions and practical sessions. There could even be some videos we need you to watch to help embed your learning in preparation for your assessments. 

Assessment

The assisted felling trees training is two days. On the third day, you will be assessed by an independent City and Guilds assessor. 

We may be stating the obvious and it is sad that we have to be saying this as it appears it is not common practice. 

When attending a course with us, you must follow any instructions that are given when using any equipment and carrying out tasks, for the safety of all involved. 

For further details please see our terms and conditions for courses.

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Testimonials

FAQ

It would be expected at this stage in your journey of tree work that you would have your own chainsaw for the assisted felling course and assessment. 

Alkylate fuel is very good and can be left for a long time. However, if you are using a self-mix two-stroke fuel, don’t leave it too long as it can separate. This is not good for the cylinder head. 

No, it’s not a matter of throwing wood about, you use your head and think problems through or seek assistance if required.

There is a cant hook on the felling bar and tongs are available to limit arm strain when moving logs. As a result, both are very handy to have in the working environment.

  • chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting 20-03 (formally CS30)
  • felling and processing trees up to 380mm 20-04 (formally CS31)

The minimum guide bar size for the course is 15 inches this will give you plenty of bar length to achieve the type of cuts we will use. As a result, it will make it easier to cross-cut the stem and deal with anything else that crops up.

  • helmet with ear defenders and a visor (in date)
  • protective chainsaw gloves
  • chainsaw trousers
  • chainsaw boots or wellies
  • personal first aid kit
  • felling bar
  • chainsaw with a bar no larger than 18 inch
  • relevant sharpening kit

Yes, however, when you are a competent operator your insurance may let you modify your dress code in accordance with HSE. 

For the assessment process it is required to wear chainsaw protective gloves. 

There is no restriction on bar and chainsaw size it’s down to being able to handle it safely. Of course bigger chainsaws are heavier and longer bars are harder to control. However, it is all down to getting the best tool for the job and being able to safely control it.

Anyone who uses chainsaws as a professional must have certificates of competence to be insured

Unfortunately, not, because there are many different situatuls and scenarios in using chiansaws. So it is not possible to just have one ticket to cover everything.

 

The size of the timber you will be dealing with will make it very hard to stack as it will be cut to product lengths. Along with manual handling, regulations will not let you break yourself just for a course. What you do in your own working environment is up to you but best practice is to use a mechanical means to stack the timber.

The size of trees makes it harder to twist out a tree using a felling bar. Therefore, winches are used in the hung-up part of the course. We provide the winch for the course so you know it will be the right size and type needed.

Yes, and very well. The chainsaws are now much lighter, the equipment is much more user friendly and most women are tough. They are also very good at thinking a problem through and not just fighting with the tree.

Of course you should be wearing a helmet to limit injury from falling objects. Purpose brought helmets have combined ear defenders and mesh visor which are compatible so offer the right level of protection. 

If when you are cross-cutting and the wood coming from the chain is like dust not little square chips or you find you are having to push harder on the saw to cut. Then it is time to look at how sharp your chain is.

If you cut close to the ground, you maximise the amount of wood extracted.

Furthermore, it is also safer to cut close to the floor if anything goes wrong the more of you that is below the hinge then the more gets hurt. Industry-standard would also encourage you to cut as close to the ground too, high cuts could result in lost future work.

If a tree you fell does not fall to the ground but gets stuck in a neighbouring tree, it is called a hung-up tree.

If you wish to bring a winch with you on our course, you will need one with a straight line pull of 1600kg. However, we do provide them for the courses if you haven’t bought one already. We recommended waiting until you have done the course so you have a better idea of what is available and what you like and don’t like.

The strongest muscle you have is the one between your ears (brain). If you can think through the problem, then these days, with the equipment to hand, you don’t need to be built like a brick privy. The more tree work you do then physically you will start to develop.

Yes, it’s good practice to tidy the brash into designated rows or piles and keep the forest floor as easy to move around as possible. This is all part of having a good reputation too. If you leave sites in a mess you could be limiting future work.

If you did the City and Guilds tickets and you still have your certificates, then yes, they should still stand. If you can be found on the City and Guilds system, have copies of certificates or your ID card number.

Ideally, store the chainsaw with the chain brake on due to the nature of the brake spring and the force it is left under when the brake is off.

Softwood is mainly pines, whereas the term hardwood is mainly used to describe a broadleaf tree-like beech, oak etc. As a result, there are slightly different techniques for processing the timber which you will be made aware of during your training.

Tidy, stacks with the butts to one end in case a chipper is going to be used later. Besides, the last thing you want to be doing is fighting with the brash pile because it was badly stacked.

It’s the forces that can build up in a piece of wood. If you take a broom handle and bridge it across two points, then put a bit of weight in the middle you will see the handle bend. The fibres at the bottom of the handle are being stretched or put under tension and the fibres at the top are being compressed. However, with a tree, it’s not quite as easy to read, however, if you get it right you are less likely to get your chainsaw stuck!

There is no set height, it is down to diameter at chest not how tall. A plantation grown tree can be very tall and thin whereas an open-grown tree can be very broad and short each tree is different.

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