Friday, 8 November 2013

Husqvarna T540 XP Chainsaw - Our view

HI All,

We have now had the T540 in stock for around two months and they are selling well and so they should, they are long awaited and we the Skyland tree team took one of our first batch so we can use it but also to give you the customers feedback. Okay I'm not going to say it's the best thing since sliced bread blah blah blah because as a dealer of them that is what you expect hey.

I will be honest, at first it was wobbly, shaky, vibrating a bit, it didn't seem to have the balance of the Stihl 200t and I did think oh no please no and I hoped it would smooth out which it did, so it just needed running in which is very normal.

As the days went on it just got better and better until the day when it was left on the chipper, the chipper got fired up and bang the saw flew off and the start switch smashed into a million pieces!

Husqvarna had none of the starter switches in stock so we had to use it with a piece of cello tape covering the electrics so it wouldn't turn off, this didn't look great when I was showing it one of our customers but he still walked out of the shop with one hooray!

We got a new starter switch and away it went and what a beauty it is, I took down an over mature Beech with it last week and it hammered it's way through all the way until I ran out of bar length and even then I didn't want to give it up for the 560 but it had to be done. We use the 14' bar but i do wonder what it would be like with a 12", we call it the mini beast and with a 12''  would be quite scary!
It feels lighter than the 200t IMO but it isn't they weigh exactly the same so I presume it is better balanced and it does feel this way. The fuel consumption is great as expected, you seem to get around an hour in the tree with it on all the time but not revving obviously.

The power it has is great, the torque is fantastic but there a few problems, the loop on the back to attach it to your strop is weak and some have broken and away has gone the saw from the tree, Husqvarna have now addressed this and have sent out stronger loops.The dawgs are not the best, they don't dig into the wood to give you that grip and to be honest this is something Husky need to address on all their saws. There is another clip you can attach on the back so you can clip it onto a caritool on your harness so it hangs at your waste and doesn't dangle, don't bother, it is a nightmare trying to get it off the caritool once it is on.
It did originally come with fuel and oil caps which needed a spanner or a strong hand to get them off but now they should all come with flip caps which makes life a touch easier and they look nice too.
For now the problems it does have are minor and not really issues except for the weak loop but as I said it has been addressed by Husky and shouldn't be a problem again.
 I have to admit if you are thinking of going over to Husqvarna in the top handle saw section then take the leap and don't look back! Stihl will always be there and one day they will have probably a better saw than this but for now this is the one!

£503.95 Including VAT
INSTOCK NOW!! Click here to see!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Skyland goes into the top 30 Husqvarna dealers!

Just a little update on what we have been upto and what the future holds for Skyland Equipment.

We have won a clothing stand from Husqvarna for being in the top 30 dealers in the country which for 14 months trading and around approx 1000 dealers it's not a bad achievement at all and we are very proud.
Above is the stand erected in our shop showing off all the range of Husqvarna Jackets and trousers.

We are in the process of expanding our shop and adding the full range of Husqvarna chainsaws and more of the Stihl saws, when the shop is expanded it will have another room with machines and large items in and also the climbing wall will be setup and ready to go for anyone wanting to try out a new harness or ascender.

We have toyed with the idea of moving to bigger premises but at the moment we are going to stay in Wheathills and when we eventually out grow the unit we will have no choice but to move on.

New Products

1. Easy Lift Harness - £320  Web link

2. Edelrid Spring Bag in Oasis - £27.30  Web link

3. Husqvarna Classic Forest Helmet - £26.95  Web link

We will in the near future be dealers of CEUK, Rock Exotica, Arborwear and ART.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Some new items in stock.

We have the new DMM Rhino Carabiner in stock, we are proud to say at the moment we are the only dealer to have them. It's a cracking idea and very simple, DMM have added a nose to the biner to stop pulley's from moving round to the side of the biner and possibly side loading them which makes them very weak.

It comes to you at £15.11 including VAT. We think if this was out when the Petzl Zigzag was it would have put an end to all this side loading talk and we could all still be enjoying the thrill of the Zigzag.

We have added some Silverline products of late, granted, the professional may not plump for their products but the homeowner, part time gardener couldn't go wrong here, excellent value for money and here is the top bargain at the moment - the Extendable Pole saw.
At just £25 it really is a bargain, the pole is aluminium and the whole saw is a close and a very close lookalike of the Silky Hayauchi, obviously the blade wont be anywhere near the quality of a Silky but for the money its worth just having the pole.

Silverline Extendable Pole

Friday, 21 June 2013

Climbing Kits Now Available.

Hello and today I will be talking about our range of climbing kits that we now have available online and in shop.

Why did we put these together?

We have been getting a lot of phone calls and emails for complete climbing kits from companies looking to purchase simple and fast and also starters looking for an introduction kit. Buying a kit seems simple but when you are starting off or are a purchasing manager it can become quite complicated, What rope? How long? What climbing system? the questions go on and on.... So we have made  -

  1. Starter Kit -
For the starter, student or gardener?landscaper whom has his climbing certificates but only occasionally works on trees. For £270 it is a bargain, Petzl,DMM and Marlow make up the bulk of the products.

   2.   Progressive Climbing Kit -

More for the climber looking to step up from small to medium/large trees. It comes with a 35m rope and a higher spec harness, also a lanyard kit which is adjustable with a pulley giving you the smooth action.

  3. Advanced climbing kit -

This is for the contract/highly experienced climber, a choice of harness, rope and climbing system, we did have Zigzag included but until Mark 2 comes out we have had to remove it.

All kits are put together and then discounted so you will not get them cheaper by buying separately.

Any thoughts on them please feel free to post a comment.

Friday, 14 June 2013

The AA Arb Show 2013

Hi everyone,

Today is the start of the A.A Arb show in Cirencester and unfortunaltey we won't be there this year in person or selling. We did seriously consider using the AA as our first show but the logistics and time made us come to this decision. We are in the North and this is in the South-West, we have a shop and online shop to run and with only three people working in it we can't come awat from it.

We are hoping to do the Woodfest in 2014 and then the APF later in that year but we don't want to run before we can walk and only a year into opening Skyland Equipment we are very happy with the progress.

We have some new products in store and online -

Blackrock Chukka Boots - £15.95 -

A budget boot for the groundsman/gardener, they are water repellent, have a steel toe cap and rubber soles.

Blackrock Chukka

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Stihl Policy change.

We have had notification about a major change to the Stihl Mail Order Policies. From June 3rd we and any other Stihl dealer will not be able to send any product produced by Stihl, from keyrings to chainsaws to clothing. To purchase these products their needs to be a hand over face to face sale. Orders can be rserved by phone and the internet but you must come into the shop to pick them up.

What does this mean?

Well I suppose for the small Stihl dealers like ourselves it's good news as we will get more footfall into our shop from the local tree surgeons, landscapers and domestic users. Improved  footfall in the shop is what we are aiming to do this year as we now have good internet presence which is improving week by week but it is the face to face sales we enjoy most. It's good to speak to the customers about the equipment to see what they do and don't like and where improvements could be made plus also when customers are in the shop they seem to go out with more than they anticipated haha!
I suppose for the big dealers whom have been around for a long time, the Stihl policy will be very frustrating as their customers base will be all over the UK, so now they can't send out Stihl will make things difficult for them. This will surely see a huge increase in the competing brands like Husqvarna, Echo and Johnson Red, Husqvarna will see the biggest increase. Stihl will always sell their machines and customers will drive to the nearest dealer to pick up a Stihl but the clothing, PPE, tools and accessories might take a slump as the customer will want to order these from the comfort of there home and get them delivered.

Time will tell if Stihl have made the right decision but the world is evolving and so is the way we shop, internet is only going to get bigger and bigger, you can shop in bed, in the bathroom, in the garden having a beer and if Stihl think they can say 'no' we are not letting you then they may regret it. They have took a stance and if other companies follow I'm not sure....Prices may rise now as it's the internet that has driven the prices down which for us is good but for the end user in the current climate will be very trying.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Petzl Zigzag Recall

It's been a strange month here at Skyland, we had the explosion of the Petzl Zigzag going on sale, the orders were flying in much so that we couldn't fulfill demand because of the slow release of the product from Petzl.

And then bang! An accident occurs from a climber  in Germany and the Zigzag gets recalled, this is the first dealings we have had with a recall and we have to say Lyon Equipment and Petzl have been exemplary in dealing with the returns. They have made it easy for the customers and also the dealers (ourselves).

We hope to be able to bring the Zigzag Mark 2 to you in January 2014 which we are sure will be once again a fantastic tool but just that bit stronger where it failed. Our findings of the Zigzag where excellent, we ran it on Marlow 13mm rope and the smoothness when descending and the ease of ascending made it a winner with us and I personally wouldn't have gone back to my prussik loop...

Website Updates

May will be the month that we add a ROPE ACCESS category to the top of the front page. It will have every product on one page which can be filtered out to specific items. We are mainly an arb company so we don't want rope access buyers trawling through the site coming across chainsaws and the like, it will only get you frustrated and end up leaving the site. We want to make the shopping experience a quick and easy one as we know time is of very little these days.

New Products 

We are adding new products all the time and here is a small list of some of the new products

  1. Petzl Simba Childrens Harness - Simba
  2. Ortlieb X- Plorer Waterproof Bag - Ortlieb - X-plorer
  3. Petzl Footape - footape
  4. Petzl Pantin - pantin
  5. Throwpod - throwpod
  6. SIP T-Shirt - sip t shirt

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Arborist Equipment Shop

Hi All,

Just a few snapshots of our shop for you to get a feel of what you will see when you come and take a visit. We offer expertise on all the equipment and also friendly advice. We won't sell you something if we don't think it's what you need, we will help you to decide if you are unsure of purchasing certain pieces of equipment.
Hardware and accessories
Panoramic View of most of the shop.

We don't claim to be the biggest or the best, we just claim to give great customer service and friendly help, we are as competitive as we can be and hope we can provide you with the equipment you need. We are the only shop in Liverpool providing this equipment and as Liverpool is one of the major cities in England we are quite proud of it. We have put a lot of time and effort into opening the shop and are now approaching our one year anniversary.
We have more on offer from the photographs, i.e.. a footwear and protective trousers section and also a climbing wall if you would like to try out a harness before purchase or the Petzl Zigzag. 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Petzl Zigzag in stock

Just a quick update, the Petzl Zigzag will be with us and ready for dispatch on Monday the 18th March, we have 3 left at this time of publish and we have more on back order which may be around 3 weeks to arrive into our stock.

If you want one click here and be quick!!! £144 + VAT (£172.80)

Boxed and ready to go!

This is our demo zigzag, we had a good climb on it today up a 35 ft Sycamore. Great control descending. We used a 13 mm rope with it and it struggled to self tend but it did what its supposed to do and that is being a mechanical prussik. I certainly won't go back to a prussik loop when climbing medium to large trees.

Friday, 1 March 2013

DMM Axis Swivel Versus Petzl Axis Swivel

Today I'm going to put the swivels of DMM and Petzl head to head, well basically compare them against each other to help you decide which one you would want if a swivel is next on your shiny kit list.

First the DMM Swivel -

First impressions are it's very shiny and once again DMM produce a beautiful piece of kit. Made of Stainless Steel it has multi directional loading options and individual serial markings.
The minimum breaking strength is 36kN and the working load is 8kN.

The action is very, very smooth due to it's high quality bearings in place. The surfaces are very smooth and round. I like the colour coding that DMM use on there arb products and here they have used a metallic blue and gun metal grey.
Weighing in at only 115grams and with dimensions of 79mm x 50mm x 33mm this is a light piece of equipment to add to your harness and a nice Ultra Oval Crab would go perfectly with it.
The price is around £46 inc vat

Next the Petzl Swivel -

The Petzl swivel has been around longer than the DMM one and isn't as shiny. It arrives in one colour - black - and doesn't seem as smooth as the DMM one but don't get me wrong it is still smooth and will spin you around happily on your harness if that's what you would wan't it to do.Petzl don't mess around when it comes to producing equipment, they design it for it's purpose and this is a perfect example. It has a minimum breaking strength of 23kN and a working load of 5kN.

Weighing in at 94grams and a fraction thinner than the DMM one.
This comes in at around £48 inc vat.

Summary - The two are priced around the same but I think the Large swivel Petzl make comes a bit closer to the DMM small swivel in terms of working load and breaking strength. Both will do the job of harness attachments being it on your lifeline or lanyard perfectly as the working loads of both exceeds any weight you could possibly put on your your rope and harness. The DMM looks newer, shinier, more polished and if thats what turns your eye then thats the one but if you like the tactical look of pure black then its the latter, personally I would choose the DMM swivel for the design and look of it also it does seem to be that touch more smoother on the swivel.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Arbortec Scafell XER Chainsaw Boot Review

I think the time has come for me to review the Scafell's, I will be as open and honest as I can ever be, even though I am now a retailer I am also a climber and want all the possible purchasers out there to see and hear what I have to say about them.

I got them 6 months ago and they get worn at least 3 times a week to do all sorts of work from big section fells to horrible thorny hedges to site work. We have just had our wettest year on record and a very cold, snowy winter so they have been through testing times.

My last pair of boots were Cofra's, not the best but they lasted me 16 months so I can't complain and to be honest I never really was fussy with my PPE, if it protected me that was enough.

The first thing I noticed when I tried them on was how stiff they were (skiers boots came to mind) and I wasn't sure about them even though you always get this with new chainsaw boots. The look and feel of them impressed me, yes they are quite sexy ;) if you know what I mean but they have a look of quality and strength.
They are class 1 protection which is the lowest protection, class 3 is the highest but this would surely make the boot a lot heavier and as a climbing boot it needs to be as light as possible.
They took around 1-2 weeks to soften up and once they softened they were great. So far I have had no wet feet, no cold feet and no bruises or bangs on the foot and ankle.
They're 100% waterproof and also allow your foot to breath which equals no sweaty sock and foot keeping them nice and dry.

Climbing in them is a joy, the front is narrow allowing for extra room when you get your foot in a crotch it won't get stuck like my old Cofra's would have done. The sole stays straight which gives you extra strength in leverage when pushing through up through the tree, this might sound like a bad thing ( the sole staying straight) but believe me it isn't, your foot moves inside.

The soles are Vibram and have a removable steel instep grip which I removed and haven't used as I think pruning trees they may do more damage than good and when taking a tree down I wear climbing spikes with the steel instep the spikes would not fit on. I have to say the spikes I use (Distel Gecko's) fit into the heel fantastically, the best boot I've ever used with spikes. I think the steel instep would be great if you was working in a woodland and not climbing, they would give you extra grip underfoot if you was walking across brash, logs etc...

Final thought - £229 may seem like a lot of money but to me they are worth every penny, pure quality.
A 14 month guarantee comes with the boots through Arbortec and I can't see this being used as the build in them is solid, I will review them on 12 months.

Heres a video of my Scafells, you will notice no stitching has come away and the soles are still sealed to the boot with no signs of them coming away.
Skyland - Arbortec Boots

Sunday, 17 February 2013

My DMM Anchor point setup

This is my anchor point setup. A Lyon sling 60 or 100 cm length, a DMM Ultra Oval carabiner and a DMM Pinto Pulley. I only use this when I am doing a take down as it needs to be retrieved before coming out of the tree so on a prune it would basically be a pain the arse to have to always go back upto the top to retrieve the set up. On a section fell I work the tree off this setup and then remove it when I am sectioning the stem. The sling is 18mm thickness and it is fine but I am looking to change it to a 25mm Protective sling by Lyon just to give me that added strength.
This setup costs around £45 in all and gives you a smooth action whereas in the past I just used to throw my rope over a crotch and get on with it but the friction it would sometimes add made life a little harder and as you will have noticed from my last blog about the Zigzag I am looking to make life a touch easier now and why not!
View the DMM products here.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Feedback on website please

Hi All

If you have the time please visit our website and leave any feedback you can give, good and more importantly bad. We need to know where we are going worng and how we can fix it.
We have tried to make the website user friendly compared to other user industry sites and we know it's not easy to satisfy everyone but that's what we want to try to do.

Have a mooch around, add products to the basket, watch the videos on the Zigzag or DMM and tell us what you think.

If it's just the prices that are stopping you from purchasing then let us know, we have discounted RRP'S as much as we can and as we grow we will get better deals that we can pass onto you. The more we sell the better deals = lower prices for the end user so please check us out and give us a try, we have great customer service and can help you out with any queries you have as we ourselves use the gear.

Mark removing a limb from an English Oak

Petzl Zigzag

The Petzl Zigzag is a new innovative mechanical prussic which when you see it in the flesh it will blow you away by it's beauty and craftsmanship.

Also when you use it you will find how easy it is to descend and ascend in the tree. Personally I use 9mm Marlow Boa friction cord and find it strong, durable and at around £10 a loop it doesn't break the bank but... it does sometimes become too tight on the rope and can be a bit annoying when you are branch walking or looking for a bit of speed when descending so i have made my mind up and will be purchasing (from ourselves) a Petzl Zigzag.  The smoothness it gives you and consistency totally out weighs the price difference for me. I am 36 years old and have been climbing for around 17 years so I now want to make life a little easier up in the tree and this will do it!!

We should be receiving our first batch within the first two weeks of March and our pre-orders are on a first come first serve basis, we only have a limited amount before we and the supplier run out so get in quick now and grab one, otherwise it could be April before we can get hold of more.
We have also done a bundle as you wil need two carabiners to go with this we have included two of DMM Oval's, Petzl Oval, Petzl Am'D Ball Lock or the Petzl Am'Ds Triact. The carabiners are basically going to you at a bargain giving you a big saving. When we tested the Zigzag we used the Am'Ds which were great but some feedback off other people has been that the Ovals work better.

Skyland Equipment

Hello all and welcome to my blog.

My name is Barry Hughes and I am a Director along with my brother Mark Hughes of Skyland Equipment. I am more the admin side updating the website, blogs, and social media sites. I am also always on the lookout to add new products to our ever increasing catalogue of products, which will grow as the business grows. 

Mark is also involved in everything I am but he also has an extra chink to his armour in being an excellent mechanic, in the near future we will have a full time up and running repair and service side to which Mark will be the head of operations.

Our background is over 17 years in the tree surgery business building up a family tree surgery firm called BMW Treecare, we are both climbers and know quite a bit about how all the equipment works.

We are a relatively new business selling equipment for tree surgeons, foresters, landscapers, industrial, rope and access and the homeowners.

We sell everything from carabiners to chainsaws to harness' to clothing and all our products are by the best brands available including Petzl, Marlow, Stihl, Husqvarna, DMM, Edelrid and many more.

We are offering discounts and offers to all members that sign up on the front page of our website and recently we gave away a complete climbing kit including a Petzl Sequoia Harness, the draw was free to enter and in the near future we will be giving away another fantastic prize.