How Hy­dro is driv­ing peo­ple into the woods

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

With win­ter ap­proach­ing, vi­sions of soaring heat­ing costs are danc­ing in the heads of many.

Ris­ing en­ergy bills have prompted sev­eral home­own­ers to warm up to a tra­di­tional heat source – wood.

“With Hy­dro bills go­ing up, more and more peo­ple are go­ing back to cut­ting their own fire­wood,” points out Robert Blais, man­ager of Le­feb­vre Small En­gine, of Alexan­dria. “For home­own­ers with ten acres or so, it is worth their while to cut their own wood.”

With stove­wood sell­ing at $80 or $90 a cord, the do-it-your­self ap­proach makes fi­nan­cial sense.

This back-to-the-bush move­ment is re­flected in chain­saw sales at the Husq­varna equip­ment dealer.

“We are sell­ing all kinds of saws, from the pro­fes­sional mod­els to the smaller home­owner mod­els,” re­lates Mr. Blais.

The store sells a wide range of for­est and lawn equip­ment – grass trim­mers, leaf blow­ers, lawn mow­ers.

Of course, at this time of year, snow­blow­ers are hot items. Among the more pop­u­lar blow­ers are those with 28-inch and 30-inch augers.

Like ev­ery­thing else, im­prove­ments to snow re­moval and forestry equip­ment over the years have made snow clear­ing and tree-cut­ting eas­ier and safer.

Fea­tures such as elec­tric starters and heated han­dles en­hance com­fort.

There is a wide range of saws avail­able. A full­time lum­ber­jack uses a large model, pow­ered by a 50 c.c. en­gine.

Pro­fes­sional chain­saws pro­vide max­i­mum per­for­mance and op­ti­mal er­gonomics. They are de­signed for pro­fes­sional full-time or part-time use and they are of­ten avail­able with heated han­dles.

All-round chain­saws are built in the same way as pro­fes­sional saws, but with a slightly lower per­for­mance. They are de­signed for part-time use.

Con­sumer saws are small, easy-to-use and de­signed for home use by peo­ple who don’t use their chain­saws very of­ten.

Tree care saws are de­signed specif­i­cally for pro­fes­sional ar­borists in tree care work. Saws with 18-inch guide rails are good sell­ers. If you’re a novice, start with a smaller chain­saw that is eas­ier to ma­noeu­vre. If the chain­saw is too heavy, your arms and hands will tire, which in the long run rep­re­sents a safety risk.

Choose a larger chain­saw with more power if you want to fell larger trees, es­pe­cially hard­wood. If the model is too small, the chain­saw will be sub­jected to great strain and un­nec­es­sary wear.

A CUT ABOVE: Robert Blais, man­ager of Le­feb­vre Small En­gine, of Alexan­dria, with a se­lec­tion of Husq­varna chain­saws.

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