With thanks to Mainland Vector, a group of students were recently given the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a chainsaw operator, in collaboration with the Mayor's Taskforce for Jobs.

Ripa, Patric, and Rebekah, crew members from Mainland Vector Contracting transported us out to Table Hill and illustrated what a general day in the life of a chainsaw operator entails. Observers stood at the base of the tree while the crew explained their reasonings behind which direction they wanted to fell each tree. Once the chainsaw operator had a clear indication what was required, all observers moved away to a safe distance using the two tree lengths safety method. We watched as a scarf was cut in the intended direction of the fall, usually a quarter of the tree's diameter. Once the scarf was confirmed sufficient, the chainsaw operator then moved on to the back cut. Back cuts are cut above the scarf and travel through a large majority of the tree's diameter, the aim is to leave a hinge (just like a door) so that the tree has a hold and the direction of the tree manipulated. After the first cut of the back cut was performed, wedges were put in place to prevent the tree from prematurely falling and to ensure the direction of the fall was accurate. They finished with a tree drive to illustrate how you can knock two trees over at once.

Thanks to Mainland Vector for this incredible opportunity. A large amount of health and safety planning went into providing this experience and we want to thank you for making it happen. Experiences like this provide invaluable learning opportunities for our rangitahi.