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  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    02-14-2018
    I've had some miraculous gear recovery stories. I've lost the same impact block twice and recovered it both times. Once it got left way up in the woods when we were using it as a redirect. A week went by before I realized it was missing. It took a couple of days for me to remember where it was because a week is an eternity when it comes to my memory! The other time I lost the block we were rigging down some trees next to a house and a dozer was going to come in and clean up afterwards. Since we knew a dozer was coming in, we left the jobsite in a state of disaster with limbs piled up everywhere. I guess the block got left somewhere in the chaos. Weeks later and I'm about to buy a new block when my brother swings by out of the blue and drops off the missing block and sling. Apparently the dozer operator found the block and got it to my brother. My brother then promptly forgot about it and waited a few weeks to let me know he had it all along.
    44 replies | 2032 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    01-26-2018
    Hunnicutt replied to a thread Spiderjack 3 in Climbing Forum
    All or nothing descents have been a plague for mechanical devices for a long time. My advice for a SpiderJack is to have lots of finesse and thumb strength!
    14 replies | 963 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    08-19-2017
    Hunnicutt replied to a thread Grove AT635E in Gear Forum
    :lol::thumbup:
    706 replies | 53503 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    08-19-2017
    Unfortunately, after confirming with a continuity test, it is indeed the wire that passes through the crank case from the kill switch to the ignition coil :(
    6 replies | 391 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    08-19-2017
    Hunnicutt replied to a thread Grove AT635E in Gear Forum
    Missin' this video is like being on the outside of a particularly enticing inside joke. It's worse than being the one guy on the crew who forgot to charge his Sena!
    706 replies | 53503 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    08-19-2017
    I've got a decent running 200T, but the grounding wire that runs from the ignition coil to the kill switch has faulted. It's the very first saw I ever bought so I've got a little bit of a connection with it. I recently replaced the piston and some other things and now it runs better than when I first got it. Now that the ground wire has broken, I like to joke that the saw runs so good that you can't even shut it off! :lol: Anyways, I'm determined to fix the saw and I bought a new cheapo Chinese ignition coil that came with a new wire. I'm not entirely sure the best way to approach removing and replacing the old wire as it travels through the crank case to get from the ignition coil to the handle. I'm thinking I can remove the flywheel and the handle and pop off the grommets and pull the old wire out without having to really break the saw apart. Is it possible to do this or do I need to split the whole crank case? I can take some pictures if my description doesn't make any sense. Any help of insight is appreciated!
    6 replies | 391 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    08-07-2017
    Glad to hear you're on the road to recovery! I had a pretty bad TIP failure years ago, but I was a whole lot luckier than you were. I shared my experience a year ago or so, but I'll just repost here.
    84 replies | 6648 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    07-23-2017
    Well no water bottle, but it definitely counts as a close call. I was contract climbing in a graveyard and the guy I was working for had underbid the job. I was under pressure to finish quickly to make the job more profitable. I chunked the tree down to around 60 ft and decided that was short enough to risk dropping. I had about a 10 ft window between two graves (100+ years old) so 5 feet off center would ruin me in either direction. I carefully cut my notch and it was bang on perfect. When I made the back cut, I inadvertently left the hinge lopsided and it steered the tree heavy to the right. I about shit a brick as I saw the tree veering towards the older and more valuable of the two graves. Thankfully it fell just short and a few inches away from the grave. Damn, if only I'd set a water bottle on that 135 year old grave ;) Since then I've decided that dumb luck can only get you so far and I try to finish my jobs more deliberately and with more control. My advice to any contract climbers in a similar situation is don't get pressured into productivity at the expense of safety or your comfort. They wouldn't be calling you if they could do it themselves.
    18 replies | 911 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    07-17-2017
    I've been using those buffs that Treestuff sends for free as a headband for years. Not only do they absorb most of my headsweat, but they help a ton with the fogging issue. My favorite glasses were always those Treestuff branded glasses that came in blue, clear, and smoke. I don't know what the hell happened, but they've changed manufacturers or something and the new ones are garbage. My apprentice climber always complains about fog and I think I'll buy a pair of the mesh ones for him to try.
    68 replies | 2069 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    07-01-2017
    Bought a new climbing line the other day, Yale Sumac 11.7mm. Naturally the first thing I wanted to do was put a splice in it, but it's been a while since my last splice. About a year ago I broke my TS wire fid and I bought a Brian Toss wand to replace it. This was the first opportunity I've had to use the wand and man what a difference. I've never had such an easy time burying the core. I followed Nick's instructions from his splicing series and it definitely helped. This feels like my first clean honest to goodness splice with no cheating, cutting corners, or cussing! All that being said, I really struggled with the whipping. I wish Nick would make a separate video for whiplocking 24 strand to supplement the existing media. I'm sure I could have started a little further from the throat, but I like the idea of keeping the whipping as close as possible. Needleless :D to say, there were a few bent needles after I was finished.
    858 replies | 110611 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    05-25-2017
    If the tree is too dangerous to climb, I don't see much of an alternative. If it couldn't be reached by crane, I'd rather bring in a tracked aerial lift than a bucket truck. Thanks for sharing, Tree Muggs. It's better to damage a gravestone than to end up underneath one.
    41 replies | 3111 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    05-17-2017
    Hunnicutt replied to a thread Teach me to cut fast in Chainsaws!
    I just stick with the old Carlton File-o-Plate for my rakers. It produces a consistent result without me having to pay attention to what I'm doing. Plus, I'm not the only person who uses my saws and the last thing I need is a groundie getting a bad case of chainsaw to the face.
    45 replies | 3193 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    05-07-2017
    I always wanted to get certified, but I never had any driving force to push me to spend the money. None of the homeowners in my area have ever heard of the ISA and at most I'll get one or two jobs a year because of my certification. The folks around here care 10% about my insurance 10% about my reputation, and 80% about my price. I finally met a CA from a nearby city and he convinced me to go to an aerial rescue class. I met a bunch of other CA's and companies from around my area. After that I decided to bite the bullet and I got certified a couple months later. Now I've got a great relationship with a bunch of companies from around the state. The CEU opportunities are a great way to network and meet other guys who care about the profession. There's a great community of CA's in NW Arkansas and we mutually support each other. If someone calls me from outside of my area, I can easily refer them to someone in their area that I know and trust and I get a lot of referrals back towards me. Also, if I'm swamped with work, I can call a few friends and get some help. If I'm slow, I can work a few days out of town for another company. There really is no way to improve faster than to work with different crews and see what works and what doesn't. It's nice to work with the same guys over and over and get into a rhythm, but I like to expose myself to new ideas and different equipment that I'd never have access to on my own. Is the arb certification a racket? Ehhh, maybe. Bottom line for me is that it led me down a path that improved my abilities, my business, and my personal relationships.
    56 replies | 2449 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    11-08-2016
    I look at it the same way I look at picking a saw out of the truck. There's no sense in using one that's too big or too small. It's all about the assortment and all it takes is $$$!
    35 replies | 3353 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    11-02-2016
    It's always a good idea to keep an eye out for manufacturer recalls. Even reputable companies can make mistakes. That being said, the only biners I've compromised were definitely being used way beyond what they were intended to do.
    30 replies | 2293 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    09-27-2016
    Hey Chris, I've got a very similar combination on my Hitch Hiker. I ended up getting 140' of 11mm HTP in a bag o' rope from treestuff and it took me forever to find a system that worked with it. Using 8mm ocean poly is the only combo that I felt produced decent results. Here's a picture of what I've got. I don't climb on it a lot, but my apprentice climber loves this setup. I'd not recommend the 11mm HTP either. I feel like there's a reason I got a full hank of the stuff for less than half price from that random bag o' rope. Also, a friend of mine bought a new 600' spool of the 13mm HTP from a tower climbing company that was going under and he didn't seem pleased with its performance. The stuff is just super stiff and it's hard to get a system to run smoothly in it. Chris, the HH with 8mm ocean poly is the best setup I've found for the 11mm HTP, but let me know if you come across anything better :thumbup:
    76 replies | 4908 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    09-23-2016
    Broncman, in the pic the green/grey line is tied to the tail of the yellow line simply to retrieve the system from the ground or from elsewhere in the canopy.
    11 replies | 1250 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    09-22-2016
    Hey no problem, Gary. Georgio, earlier today I was at a training event held by Ed Carpenter of North American Training Solutions and we discussed almost the exact setup you had in your first system. He didn't endorse it, but he didn't condemn it either. I think his hesitation derived from the possibility of side loading the carabiner against the ring. Personally, I think you'd be fine using that setup. To play devil's advocate, I thought I'd bring it up. On your second setup, I'm not keen on repeatedly letting any hardware fall to the ground during retrieval. If all you need is to pull it off this once, then go for it (or have a throwline control the descent or whatever).
    11 replies | 1250 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    09-22-2016
    Late to the party, but any cinching canopy anchor will do. My current favorite is a forged ring tied with an anchor hitch and the working end running through the ring. The tail of the anchor hitch is used for the retrieval line (and also serves as a stopper knot for the anchor hitch). Of course, my setup is for SRT only. The loose carabiner in the pick serves no purpose here. I just keep it on for retrievable redirects and clipping it to my saddle.
    11 replies | 1250 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    09-06-2016
    Hunnicutt replied to a thread DdRT Injuries in Climbing Forum
    Reg, I wish I could have watched your last two videos 5 years ago. I was taught on a closed system taut line hitch. It wasn't until I wanted to buy my own climbing gear that I started to learn there were other methods. Unfortunately, I was one of the dunces who bought into every new thing that came out. During all those years, I told myself there has to be something better. Each time I bought a new system (Blakes w/ split tail, petzl I'D, VT, Spiderjack) I was certain my troubles were over; but after a few weeks, I was back to thinking there has to be something better. Now that I'm finally satisfied with my roperunner, I have a an apprentice climber working under me. At least he'll get to learn from some of my mistakes. He has no shortage of old climbing systems to try out to find what he likes :D. Right now he's climbing on my hitch hiker, but he just bought his first rope and saddle. I convinced him to buy the hitch climber setup to upgrade to a rope wrench at a future time.
    22 replies | 3207 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    07-25-2016
    Hunnicutt replied to a thread SRT beginners ? in Climbing Forum
    HH2 or the Rope Wrench are probably your most affordable and versatile options.
    9 replies | 992 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    03-16-2016
    It seems like this would be a good addition to the hitch hiker and an alternative to the Ropetek Tether. I think I'm gonna try it this afternoon. Thanks, Reg!
    40 replies | 3465 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    02-24-2016
    Ouch! Care to share your story? Well, thanks. Ahh, you know how it is. I'd like to visit more, but it always seems to fall on the back burner. This is by far the best online resource for any tree related business and even though I don't visit often, I'm so grateful that this community exists.
    38 replies | 4703 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    02-24-2016
    Cool, good to know. It makes sense that the throwline wouldn't be very conductive. Still, it must be pretty scary when it happens.
    38 replies | 4703 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    02-24-2016
    I don't often visit the forums, but this question has been bugging me for a long time. What happens when you overshoot your tree and the throwline goes over and makes contact with power lines? I've had this almost happen several times before and it scares the shit out of me. I've learned to be very conscious of this problem, but sometimes the only practical trajectory to make a shot or throw is towards power lines. Any thoughts, suggestions, warnings, or stories would be appreciated.
    38 replies | 4703 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    02-24-2016
    My best wishes to Nalini and her family. I've never taken a real fall, but I've come so close it's a little scary to think about. The first time I had just gotten into SRT and made the classic mistake of one handing a cut around the back side of the tree. Nicked my basal line, but it didn't fail. I would have taken about a 15-20 ft fall because I was an idiot and didn't have my lanyard tied. My next close call I had just isolated what I thought was a nice TIP on a decent sized sugar maple. I tested the line with my weight and noticed that it seemed a little sloppy for the size of the limb I was tied to. I figured I was just being paranoid so I went on up. About 2-3 feet off the ground I hear a crack and landed back on my feet. Immediately I went into that state of mind where time seems to slow down and you can make split second decisions. I knew exactly what had happened and started backstepping as fast as I could. I couldn't say how long it took for the branch to hit the ground, but I had managed to get about six feet away from where it landed. The tree was growing over a terraced garden with three or four tiers and had I lost my footing when I landed, I could have fallen 4-5 feet onto hard limestone rock. There were all kinds of dinky garden ornaments and artwork and even a glass table with some chairs and miraculously the branch missed everything. It barely even damaged any of the planted flowers. I ended up keeping the butt of the branch for a few years before I burned it in a brush pile.
    87 replies | 11083 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    08-07-2015
    Hey Tim, good to meet ya! I'm Kyle. Yeah, I'm really enjoying the atmosphere around here. Years ago I used to browse a different..... arborist site..... and it was impossible to read because 3/4 of the posts were boasting, trolling, or flaming.
    21 replies | 3146 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    08-05-2015
    Wow, that's intense and hilarious. Thanks for sharing, but now I gotta get me one of them rope runners :D
    21 replies | 3146 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    08-04-2015
    I like it :thumbup: Is there any reason not to setup the floating crotch with carabiner like in this picture? I even threw in a micro pulley for bonus points! It would still be retrievable with a basal anchor.
    21 replies | 3146 view(s)
  • Hunnicutt's Avatar
    08-03-2015
    Hey everyone, I'm Kyle. I've been casually lurking for a while and have finally decided to introduce myself. I'm out of NW Arkansas and have recently started my own business. Like 90% of my work is still contract climbing for other companies, but there's no harm in baby steps. I'm looking forward to getting to know you guys and discussing the quest to find the perfect climbing system!
    2834 replies | 208698 view(s)
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