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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Tue 18 Aug 2020

Ollie Kitchin Branches out During the Covid Summer

Our old mate Ollie Kitchin has sent in a new collection of photos depicting what hes been doing during the lockdown period and the latest modifications to his already stunning Komatsu “rubber duck” set up.

Ollie Kitchin Branches out During the Covid Summer

During these recent troubled times many of us have had to adapt and diversify to continue working during the lockdown. Highly experienced owner/operator Ollie, has found himself a nice run of work on some local country estates where he has been deployed to perform some mechanised tree surgery work.

With many more people out and about during lockdown getting their daily exercise walking the estates were becoming increasingly worried about dead branches on oak and ash trees, that could potentially fall and injure the walkers.

In addition, low hanging branches could potentially cause a lot of damage to the estate’s GPS equipped tractors, so Ollie was brought in to do the work single handed with this his Komatsu PW148 with SMP tree shear and Intermercato grab, the latter for which he has had a smaller front mounted carrying craddle fabricated and fitted. Talking about the cradle Ollie said, "The carrier for the grab is something of a working prototype, the tool boxes are big enough to carry a chainsaw, fuel and a few spanners and spare pipes if needed, as we all know, there is not much forgiveness with tree branches!". 

Much of this work would previously have been done using a telehandler with a man basket, using a team of men with chainsaws. But with Ollie’s one man, one machine set up, he can do all the work single handed, cutting, grabbing and loading the timber onto his trailer which he has converted with bolsters and a headboard specifically for the purpose.

Talking about the job Ollie said, “I’m really enjoying the work to be honest, its nice to be out in the country, on your own, just left to get on with the job in hand, using basic common sense, very refreshing in this day and age”. The estate management have been so impressed with how it’s all gone and the time its saving, that they are finding more and more jobs for man and machine to do, including ditch cleaning duties and general tidying up work.

The shot below features Ollie delivering his last load of the day, all done single handed, one man and his machine, saving the customer a fortune in the process, and no dangerous overhanging branches for the public, I believe this material will be used for biomass.  

Checkout this video sent in by Ollie featuring him in action with the machine.  

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