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.