A Scaretober Spooky Story
Ah, October! In the spirit of Halloween, we’ll be sharing with you another spicy situation filled with adrenaline and good scares. Close calls, accidents, incidents, and other misfortunes--it’s something we all try to prevent on the job site. But despite our best efforts, the unthinkable does happen. There’s nothing scarier than watching catastrophe unfold while you're helpless to stop it.
The story begins with a simple Silver Maple removal. Located in a backyard off the cement porch, service wires ran underneath one-way, while spicy power lines ran to the back. This particular drop zone was acceptable.
The removal was going smoothly throughout the morning. The rigging was going as planned and for the back portion we used another rig anchor to have maximum control of the limbs. We rigged most of the tree with no issues. Towards the end of the removal, I began to feel a bit fatigued. It wasn’t until the afternoon when I messed up big time.
I had one top left to blow out. My plan was to blow chunks of wood down without any rigging. I gauged the top with the drop zone and figured we could easily make it fit with the assistance of a tag line, even with a slight wind blowing. A little more than halfway through the back cut, the wind picked up suddenly and the top began to move with a mind of its own!
I threw my chainsaw onto my harness and reached up to control the swaying top with my hands, hoping to push it the right way. To no avail, the top blew backwards away from my arms, and I had to watch in horror as it fell completely uncontrolled. The top landed on the customer's house with a loud crash! It fell flat on the house and missed the chimney by centimeters. The whole job was on pause as the roof was getting inspected. All I could do was sit in the tree in embarrassment.
Nobody was hurt, and luckily the roof received minimal damage. While the roof wasn't lucky, we were grateful that everyone remained unharmed.
If you're ever on a job and find yourself questioning the safety of a cut, ask for a second opinion or just throw a damn rope in it! Accidents are much more likely to occur when you take shortcuts, so don't cut corners if you don't have to! Learn from my mistakes.