How Hydro is driving people into the woods
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.