Land & Water were early adopters of tree shears when they first appeared on the UK market around 15 years ago. The combination of long reach excavators and tree shears works well for a number of reasons. Long reach machines can reach higher branches and remove them safer, faster and more cost effectively than other methods.
When working near water, the excavator can keep a safe distance from the tree and the water and men are kept away from the water’s edge. Fast cycle times ensure high levels of productivity make the long reach excavator and tree shear combination a cost-effective solution to many sites. Tree shears are available across all models in our excavator fleet, including amphibious machines.
There are two main variations of tree shears – firstly, a “grab and hold shear” where hydraulic actuators grab the branch or tree before it is cut and hold it once cut.
This prevents debris falling to the ground and allows the excavator to place the cut material safely on the ground.
Secondly, a simple shear cuts the object allowing it to fall to the ground from where it can be handled and processed using the same tool.
Grab and hold shears tend to be used most commonly but simple shears can be safer if sites want to reduce the risk of overloading and/or destabilising the excavator.
Early shears had little flexibility for cutting anything other than near vertical trees. However, many shears now are fitted with a tilt mechanism or even full 360 degree rotate to allow the operator to cut at any angle, even horizontal branches.
All shears work with a blade or blades being used to cut the wood – often like a big set of secateurs that gardeners use. Some use hydraulic arms to pull the tree onto the static blade, some move the blade into the wood and some have 2 blades that close onto the wood. Tree shears shouldn’t be confused with a harvesting head which can use a hydraulically powered saw to cut the wood. Shears now come in all sizes starting on mini excavators and cutting wood up to 6” or 8” thick through mid-sized units that can cut 8”- 12” wood up to larger units that cut up to 18” trees.
Planners and operators of shears on site need to ensure the attachment and machine are not overloaded and used in a safe way.