Cus­tomers sink their teeth into Yasi clean- up Chain­saw sales boom

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by John An­der­sen john. an­der­sen@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

CHAIN­SAW s a l e s h a v e revved up since Cy­clone Y a s i c a r r i e d o u t s o me un­sched­uled land­scap­ing of Townsville streets and back yards in early Fe­bru­ary.

T h e wi n d h a d h a r d l y abated on the morn­ing of Fe­bru­ary 3 when the hills and the flat­lands came alive with the sound of week­end war­riors fir­ing up their S t i h l , M c C u l l o c h a n d Husq­varna chain­saws in early battle against the fo­liage that lay around them.

They were the first shots of what was to be­come a long, drawn-out cam­paign.

In the small en­gine shops, it was not so much the sound of dis­cern­ing buy­ers test-driv­ing chain­saws that was putting a smile on the face of store pro­pri­etors, but the tin­kling melody cre­ated by the move­ment of the cash reg­is­ter drawer as the twostroke cut­ting ma­chines walked out the door.

Stihl deal­ers Dave and Tanya McKin­non have sold more than 700 chain­saws from their Gar­butt store since t he cy­clone. Nor­mally, in a 12-month pe­riod, they would sell 300.

‘ ‘ W e ’ v e b e e n g o i n g through them. We opened on the Fri­day af­ter the cy­clone and the cus­tomers were lined up at the door and parked up and down the road. We’d never seen any­thing like it.

‘‘ We stayed open for 14 days straight and we didn’t stop,’’ he said.

Mr McKin­non said buy­ers in­cluded con­trac­tors, home own­ers, coun­cils and the SES.

‘‘ When it was re­ally busy, it wouldn’t have mat­tered how many staff we had. We could only try and do our b e s t , b u t s o me p e o p l e couldn’t wait and left,’’ he said.

A Townsville City Coun­cil spokesman said chain­saws played a key role in the post­cy­clone clean-up.

‘ ‘ S o f a r we h a v e g o t through 80 per cent of the green waste in the sub­ur­ban area and we’re now start­ing to tar­get the ru­ral ar­eas as well,’’ he said.

He s a i d 4 1 0 , 0 0 0 c ubi c me­tres of green waste had ben col­lected and con­verted into 190,000 cu­bic me­tres of mulch.

HANDS-ON: Stihl shops’ foreman Ken Webb and owner Dave McKin­non

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