Feb. 3, 2020
By Eric Peterson
For Jameson Tools
Arborists and telecommunication pros often need to climb, trim and otherwise wrangle with trees for a variety of reasons, and there’s not a single right tool for the job. There are actually dozens of arborist tools for a given job: poles, saws, pruners, and line launchers, to name a few.
A one-stop shop for the professional arborist or lineman, Jameson Tools has a full line of the need-to-have tools for working with trees. The brand has been an arboristry innovator for more than 60 years.
“Jameson built the first fiberglass poles in 1956,” says Ryan Willis, senior product development engineer. “Before we came out with fiberglass poles, everybody was using wooden poles, so very heavy, very awkward to deal with, and not safe. The real big benefit you get out of fiberglass is that it’s not conductive, so that makes it safer to use around energized space.”
While telecommunication linemen were the company’s first target market, arborists quickly saw the benefits of Jameson’s poles as well.
“The focus is on safety for the users and long-term fatigue,” notes Willis. “It’s all about user ergonomics.”
Jameson now offers four grades of fiberglass poles easily identified by color: green LS, or “homeowner grade,” says Willis; yellow FG, the original hollow-core pole for professionals; bright green JE, with a foam core that protects the user to 100,000 volts per foot; and blue BL, with a hollow core and the highest strength-to-weight ratio in the catalog. All grades are available in base, extension and sawhead poles for an easy-to-extend system.
The BL “is for the high-end professional who’s going to use it all day, every day,” says Willis. “If you’re saving ounces per foot, it makes a pretty significant difference. It’s been designed to reduce user fatigue during long applications.”
New in 2019, Jameson’s CompositLock poles feature the industry’s first composite ferrules. “It takes you to that next level of safety when you’re working in energized space,” says Willis. “All of the existing poles use aluminum ferrules to be able to connect multiple poles together. The task with CompositLock was to remove any metal whatsoever from the poles until you get up to the cutting tool. What we came up with was this CompositLock. It’s a specially engineered material, injection molded and extremely durable. It works in hot and cold environments.”
Line launchers are must-have tools for arborists who are climbing trees.
“The Tru Shot is designed mostly for arborist climbers,” says Willis. “When these guys are setting lines in the tree to be able to climb to the top, they can’t really throw the large climbing line. So what they’ll do is use a weighted bag, a throw bag, and tie a throw line to it. . . . They’ll put the weight in the pouch of the Tru Shot and shoot it, kind of like a slingshot, up into the branches high up in the tree. The bag will go over the branch and come back down to the ground. The user will take the climbing rope, tie it to the bag and pull it back up using the throw line to loop it over the limb, and then be able to climb.”
Hand and pole saws are also essential tools of the arborist trade, and Jameson supplies a wide variety of them. “All of our blades are made out of high-quality Japanese steel, the gold standard for saw blades,” touts Willis. “All of them come with induction hardening on the teeth for longevity.”
“The scabbard can be attached to your leg and be really secure when you’re climbing a tree,” he notes. “With a leather scabbard, if it goes upside-down, the saw wants to fall out. This has a passive lock that keeps the saw in place.”
Pruners are another critical implement for arborists. Jameson’s line includes two pruners with space for a saw blade for a “universal one-piece tool,” says Willis. The company also markets a number of kits with popular combinations of arborist tools and poles.
Expect the innovator in arborist tools to stay on the market’s leading edge.
“This is one of Jameson’s core industries that we are pushing for new growth in,” says Willis. “There definitely are several new things in the works that will be coming out hopefully within a year.”