One important thing to do as a farmer with livestock is test your fence frequently. I test before I go to work. I set the sheep up in a paddock and turned it on….and it wasn’t working. So I started working my way to the charger to find the short. Not grass….my connections looked okay. The ground rod was still hooked up. Hummmm….So I started to walk the line and this is what I found:
Oh. Well. I suppose that would do it. Oh dear, I have a tree on my fence and I’ve got to get to work! Luckily I’ve got a boss who raises horses and he understands. I’m apperently the first person to call him up and ask, “soooo…how do I safely buck a long on a high tension fence?”
Whats kind of amazing about high tension is if its done right it doesn’t break even if a tree falls on it. Or a car slams into it. there should be spring in the wires and enough give that it can resist high impacts. But….if there is spring in the wires there is a chance bucking this log it can bounce back at me. I’ve got to cut this tree just right. First thing to do is clear limbs.
Its SO important to get limbs off and away any log you cut. A small branch can catch your chain and rip the saw out of your hands or cause kickback. I had one very tiny baby branch catch my chain for just a second…it tried to pull the chainsaw out of my hands entirely. Scary. after I cut the branches off I moved them out of the way so i couldn’t trip on them while operating a death machine.
Next is to make a cut that will take away some of the binding forces in the tree. There are different points of tension in a downed tree. There may be points where a trees tension makes it want to sag, other parts it wants to pinch upwards, sometimes it has tension that makes the log want to swing out…bucking a log and seeing all the potential kinetic energy is a skill.
My log was not making contact with the ground. it was being suspended by the fence, so if I cut straight from the top the log would have pinched into my blade and I’d up a creek. The other thing is there is potential spring back from the fence, so i need to release the energy slowly. I worked a few feet away from the fence for several reasons all safety related (reducing spring back, keeping chain saw away from wires, ect)
I started by making a cut on the bottom of the log almost half through. That is what I am going to aim my top cuts towards, but i can now get through the log without having to fight the pinching all the way. Next I start cutting wedges out. Again, I’m trying to prevent my chain saw from getting pinched.
Almost through I decided to try and go the rest of the way with an axe……..but all i had was a splitting maul. Didn’t work so well so i went back and slooooowly chipped away at the wedge until there was some give and I could tell i had gotten the top of the tree cut off. Then, aw heck, why not? went and chopped a bunch of firewood.
It was a lovely morning workout. Now the tough part is going to be bucking the rest of the log with all those branches I can’t easily clear out. Oh yes. My fence is working again.
A girl and her chainsaw.