Making Life Easier with Magnetic Manhole Lifters

Manholes are essential to municipal infrastructure.  They provide swift, easy access to storm drains, sewers, and a wide variety of underground pipes.  Ensuring there is proper access for utility workers to these areas is crucial to maintaining this important part of the area’s framework.  While utility workers need swift, easy access, the public should not be able to enter these areas.  Because of this the manhole cover was created.

Manhole covers are beneficial for a few reasons.  First, in order to help keep the public out of municipal water systems, storm drains and sewers, manhole covers have been developed to be exceptionally heavy, causing the average person to not be able to lift it on their own.  Second, manhole many covers have vents, allowing the manhole to be protected from any public shenanigans but also allowing dangerous gases to escape before building up to dangerous levels.

Many times you hear utility work is back-breaking work.  This is one of those specific instances where it can literally be back-breaking work, but it does not have to be anymore.  With the advent of magnetic manhole cover lifters, the utility worker can maximize safety, time management and convenience all with one tool.

Benefit Your Body

Lifting manhole covers by hand is a terrible idea.  Don’t try it!  You risk a multitude of injuries by doing it. Manhole covers are made a few different ways, be it cast iron, steel, or concrete, and come in varying sizes, but all of them are heavy.  Manual lifting can result in serious back injury, especially If you’ve misjudged the weight.  Back injuries are debilitating and painful, and can require surgery to fix.  Manhole covers can be slippery too, risking a crushed finger or hand.  Toes and feet are also susceptible to injury, especially if they proper shoes are not being worn, as heavy manhole covers may be dropped suddenly, crushing toes or feet under the weight of the cover.

By including U.S. SAWS’ diverse variety of magnetic lifters in your toolbox, you can be sure to save energy and protect your back and limbs from painful injuries.  The Megatron 2 Magnet Break N’ Take is the right tool for jobs with a 350 pound lifting capacity.  For even heavier jobs, up to 900 pounds, the Supreme Duty Collapsible Dolly is your answer.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Time is money, and moving heavy manhole covers can be time consuming work due to the heavy load of the cover.  Magnetic lifters not only make the work easier on your body, but also save you significant time and effort.  U.S. SAWS has developed smoother and more efficient ways to handle complex jobs.  The Twin Magnetic Spreader Bar provides a beam that allows two magnets to be utilized at once, instead of only using one, making the job completion quicker and providing a safer lift, with the added bonus of greater stability during the lifting process.

Convenient Carry

Not only are magnetic lifters better for your body and more efficient, but they are even space saving and convenient to pack and store.  Portability is important when you are working in an area far from where you had to park.  Carrying a several pieces of heavy equipment is never convenient.  U.S. SAWS magnetic lifters have dolly handles that break down for easy shipping and storage.  Lifters like the Supreme Duty Collapsible Dolly also eliminate the use of pry bars, reducing the amount of equipment being hauled to and from the site.  U.S. SAWS has the right durable tools that are portable and quickly and easily stored allowing you to get the job done safer and more efficiently, sparing your valuable time and protecting your body from injury.

Contact U.S. SAWS today to discuss the beat magnetic manhole cover lifters for your team and to see what new products they have waiting in their wings.

4 Tips for Chainsaw Safety

Chainsaws are not toys.  They are serious tools with serious repercussions when mishandled.  Chainsaw injuries come in all shapes and sizes, from lacerations to the arms and legs to kickbacks to the chest or head.  No matter the form of injury, chainsaw injuries may be life threatening.  The best way to ensure you make it through your project unscathed by a chainsaw is to use proper safety gear and take other sensible precautions to reduce the possibility of causing harm to yourself.

Fortunately, chainsaw manufacturers, like U.S. SAWS, have been working to improve chainsaw safety options as well as educating users through owner’s manuals and operating guides to include instruction for proper use and proper safety measures while using your chainsaw.  Chainsaws have included safeguards, such as the automatic chain brake, to reduce the occurrence of kickbacks. Kickbacks are one of the most disastrous chainsaw hazards, and occurs when the chainsaw guidebar suddenly pushes upwards, typically aiming towards the users head or chest.  No matter the safety improvements made to chainsaws, it is always best practice to adhere to the manufacturer’s safety guidelines.

Below are four key recommended safety measures to take to keep yourself in one piece when handling a chainsaw.

Dress for Success

Learning how to use a chainsaw safely starts with the right protective clothing.  Step one is ensuring you have comfortable, breathable clothing that allows you freedom of movement, but is not baggy.  Overly baggy clothing risks getting caught in the chainsaw.

Typically jobs that require chainsaws usually come with flying debris, which can be hazardous to your hands and your eyes.  Proper fitting gloves are essential.  Gloves not only help protect from flying debris, but also help ensure you do not lose a finger in the event of a kickback.  Safety glasses are also imperative to avoid potential debris.  Regular eyeglasses or sunglasses leave open gaps on the side that allow debris to potentially become lodged in your eyes, which in turn, may cause permanent damage to your vision.  It is always best practice to utilize safety glasses in these situations.

Foot protection is necessary too.  Steel-toed boots with protective fabrics are the go to in this industry.  This heavy duty footwear protects the user from falling branches and even from that accidentally dropped chainsaw.  This type of footwear also comes in waterproof rubber for those wet cuts that require immersion in water.

Leg protection is equally as important.  Chainsaw chaps are leg protectors that are made out of Kevlar and work to deflect any accidental interaction with the chainsaw.  These protective coverings come with a variety of options to ensure you have the right gear for the proper conditions, including oil resistance and water resistance.  Many even come with open backs to provide breathability for your legs.  Chain saw jackets also operate in the same way as chainsaw chaps, protecting the chest area from the potentially traumatic effects of a kickback accident.

Helmets provide excellent protection for heads, and many come with visors that may provide an adequate replacement for safety goggles as a two in one piece of safety gear. Helmets are critical to reducing the damage from an errant kickback.

Finally, ear protection is a must.  Chainsaws are loud.  It is recommended that when exposed to noise levels above 85dB for an extended period of time, ear protection is required to prevent hearing loss.  While gas chainsaws are the loudest, many times electric and battery powered chainsaws can reach levels that will also cause damage to the ears.  Two options for ear protection include (1) in ear protectors, like earplugs, and (2) over the ear protectors which cover the entire ear area.

Get a Grip and Stay Grounded

Maintaining perfect form is not just for Olympians.  It is also key to properly and safely using a chainsaw.  Ensuring you have the right stance with the right grip on the chainsaw allows you to reduce your exposure to dangerous situations.  Chainsaws are heavy, and maintaining your balance helps keep your arms and legs from rapidly wearing out.   Keep a steady grip on the front and rear handles with your stance wide and with staggered feet.  Ensure the thumb of your left hand remains under the front handle.  This will reduce kickbacks.  Remain on steady ground.  Standing on ladders or rocks will throw you off balance and increase the potential for injury.

Maintenance Is Key

Properly maintaining your chainsaw is another vital component to chainsaw safety.  Always make sure your chain is sharpened. Sharpened chainsaws are more efficient at cutting, and dull chainsaws have a greater chance of causing kickback.  Make sure you are using a chainsaw that is sized properly for the job.  Guidebars come in different sizes and are made to work within the parameters of their sizing.  Cutting large branches with a small guidebar is never a good idea.  Cleaning debris out of the saw after each use is important in preventing unnecessary wear and tear on the chainsaw.  Unnecessary wear and tear opens the chainsaw up to malfunctions which can cause serious injury.  Keeping the chain and guidebar lubricated are critical to the well-being of your chainsaw.  If the chain and bar are not properly lubricated, friction builds, which can cause the chainsaw to overheat and may cause accidental burns to the user.  Ensuring the chain has proper tension with the right lubrication and sharpness is also key in preventing kickbacks.

Remember Emissions

While lacerations and amputations are the most widely known hazards of chainsaw use, chainsaw emissions can cause real damage as well.  While gasoline powered chainsaws may be the most powerful on the market, they come with a danger of their own.  Toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, are emitted during the use of gas powered chainsaws.  It is imperative that these chainsaws are not used in close quarters or indoors.  Carbon monoxide poisoning is dangerous.  Exposure to carbon monoxide may result in nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, impaired judgment, shortness of breath and even loss of consciousness.  If the project that needs completing is scheduled to be done indoors or in tight quarters, it would be best to locate a chainsaw that requires alternative power sources such as battery operated chainsaws.

Learning how to use a chainsaw and maintaining proper chainsaw safety precautions may seem overwhelming, but it does not have to be.  Contact U.S. SAWS today to determine the best chainsaws and protective gear to use for your project.

Tips to Choosing the Right Chainsaw

U.S.SAWS is an industry leader in the manufacturing and sales of outdoor power equipment.  Their chainsaws offer an exceptional level of safety and accuracy when cutting ductile iron pipe, PVC, or concrete and are frequently used by municipal water departments, underground, utility contractors and professional cutters. U.S. SAWS chainsaws are available as gas, hydraulic, or air powered saws. With an extensive range of powerful chainsaws, from lightweight all-rounders through to powerful workhorses, there’s a U.S Saw’s chainsaw for every potential job. With such a wide variety of options and models in their inventory, there are three key factors to consider before choosing the right chainsaw for your job.

The Size of the Job

Before spending a large sum of money on a fantastic, top of the line chainsaw, the first consideration should be about the size of the job at hand.  Not every job requires a large blade chainsaw with diamond chains.  Instead, it is best practice to get a general idea of how deep your cut will need to be, what type of material you are cutting,  and then gauge the setting in which you will be doing your cut.  For example, a utility worker may find him or herself in need of a chainsaw for cutting a submerged water pipe.  U.S. Saws has a great option for this scenario:   U.S. SAWS Air Chain Saw Model ACH-GB16.  This strong air powered chainsaw has no emissions while running, has very few moving parts, and has no kickback, which is optimal for tight quarters.  It comes with either a 16 inch blade or a 20 inch blade depending on the required depth of your cut.  In situations where minimal excavation occurs and irregular shapes are needed, U.S. SAWS offers the 20 inch Ductile Iron Cutting Air Chain Saw Package.  This outdoor power equipment package comes with a heavy duty chainsaw, bar, chain, storage bag, pipe clamp and chain extension.  The pipe clamp takes the back breaking work out of pipe cutting.

Your Experience Level

The second factor to consider is your experience level.  While some may think that bigger means better, that’s not always the case when it comes to chainsaws.  Not only is it important to choose a model suited to the tasks for which you will be using the chainsaw, it is just as important to choose a chainsaw that is comfortable for you to handle and is suited to your experience level.  As DIY projects become more prevalent with more people working from home, many new homeowners are excited by the prospect of using chainsaws for their new projects.  Chainsaws are powerful and can be very dangerous in the wrong hands.  It is important to realize that chainsaws are can be very heavy, and a heavy chainsaw will wear out your arms faster than a lighter chainsaw, which opens you and those around you to potentially dangerous situations.  However, using a smaller chainsaw for a large job will also cause the same problem.  Much like tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it is important that the person using the chainsaw finds one with the proper weight and fit for the user’s size and strength and balances that with the size of the job at hand.

The Power Source

The third factor to consider when preparing to purchase a chainsaw is the type of power source.  Much like blade size and weight, chainsaws offer a wide variety of power sources which are dependent on the type of job for which the chainsaw is intended.  Depending on the scenario, more power is not always the best option.  U.S. SAWS offers chainsaws that are powered by gas, hydraulics or air, all of which are great in their own ways and suited to different users and tasks.  The choice of power is reliant on the application.  Air powered chainsaws, or pneumatic chainsaws, are typically lightweight and easy to maintain, but they do require the operator to be tethered to an air compressor, which is then also fueled usually with diesel fuel which drives up the cost of using a pneumatic chainsaw.  Hydraulic powered chainsaws are long lasting and are great for use in wet conditions and also have reduced emissions, making it a great option for use in tight spaces.  Gas chainsaws are real powerhouses.  Their motors provide more power than pneumatic or hydraulic chainsaws.  However, one of the best benefits to gas powered chainsaws is their portability.  As they are not attached to a power outlet in anyway, they can be used in the field where electrical outlets are scarce.

No matter the size of the job, the experience level of the user, or the power source of the chainsaw, make sure to always wear your safety gear!

U.S. Saws is an innovator in outdoor power equipment.  Contact U.S. Saws today to find the right chainsaw for your job.

 

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