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