Strap / Harness for Long reach Stihl battery hedge trimmer

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by ETAF, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. ETAF

    ETAF Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,
    I have my name down for a Long Reach hedge trimmer, Cordless Stihl HLA86, 200 battery , maybe 300, but as there are now long delays on items arriving in UK. I'm was picking up in December now pushed back to February, and just name down , so no commitment yet.

    Mother-in-law has one , and i tried out in the shed xmas, and found it to be very heavy , so i'm now borrowing it on Thursday/Friday (13/14th jan).
    But the Leylandii is quite wet at the moment, so probably wont use to cut back, as dont wont to damage the tool, so I may just try it all out in the garden and see
    brother-in-law uses it at M-I-L's and says it can be heavy & awkward, but her gardener uses it all the time.

    I have an 8ft high Lylandi which is about 60-100ft running along the back of the garden , which is to be one of its main uses to keep the height under control , but we have a lot of other 6-8ft hedges around the front/back garden. Which will save using ladders.
    I have cut with ladders and a 60cm mains cheap screwfix hedge trimmer, very arkward to get around some of the places, with ladders positioned awkwardly

    I have Fallen off the ladder/platform more than once !!!!!

    And only getting older now , so ideal if i can use standing on the ground, and i think it will also reach all the awkward bits and save us getting people in at silly prices now (Quoted £600 to cut the lylandi !!!!!) , This used to be cut back about 1 every couple of years and back then (5years+ ago ) it was costing £300+ and that was with a cheap gardner who has since retired.

    Looking on youtube , you can get straps , harness to help balance the trimmer and make using it much easier, like the
    Stihl RTS Super harness - C£80-£100
    Or just the
    Oregon Pro Safety Harness C£15-£25

    I just wondered , what other people here used , maybe the Pros using day in / day out have a preference

    I have a shoulder strap for the Stihl petrol strimmer, so i may try that strap, Thu/Fri , if i can still get the height with it.

    Images show the Leylandii & also some of the other hedges - all around 6' high we have a few more st the sides

    Thanks look forward to any suggestions
     

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  2. Perki

    Perki Total Gardener

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    I don't personally use a harness while using a long reach hedge trimmer . I've heard good things about the easy lift harness from henchman and the elephant trunk harness but both cost 100's , I haven't used them though.

    I would go with the stihl out of the two you've mentioned , the oregon doesn't look like it provides as much support.

    Before you buy a hedge trimmer how wide is it ? Can you reach right across the top . And what will you being using to cut the top ? step ladders / normal adders / other ?

    I don't have any stihl battery equipment but I have a Husqvarna hand held battery hedge trimmer . Have a look at them as well the very long reach one reach 4.5M and they is also a shorter one . I'd keep with the 200 battery for both brands if you are worried about weight.

    I've read the other thread also I usually only cut leylandii once a year normally during the autumn/winter months, you can cut them more often if you wish. The nesting season is from March to august if I remember correctly , you'll not disturbed a nest the same trimming a hedge but if you are cutting it back hard its something you have to look out for.
     
  3. ETAF

    ETAF Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks for all the info, very helpful, thanks

    yes i saw those harnesses on youtube at £100....'s
    On Thur/Fri I will see if i can reach across the top of the Leylandii - The hedges i stand on ladders and lean into the hedge with a 60cm to reach the back - BUT as the motor is also part of the blade section, then i should be able to get to the back of the hedges from the ground , and across a small pond , to cut the front which is a pain with the ladders at the moment.

    Even though Leylandii is quite wet at the moment, i probably wont cut as i dont want the water to damage the tool.

    But I should be able to see how i can handle it and its reach etc.

    The other hedges as they are quite small leaf, maybe dry enough to try out
    If not again I will have to try it out in a dry (!) non running just to try out.

    I'll have a look at the Husqvarna
    Husqvarna 120iTK4-H Hedge Trimmer
    I think this is it, £299 , with batt & charger - But text says you can add a hedge trimmer or saw
    so not sure if just the pole - £299 seems very good value, not sure what battery that is
     
  4. Perki

    Perki Total Gardener

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    That husqvarna is a domestic model not a pro like the stihl hla86 , the Husqvarna equivalent is iht4 or ihe3 at around £450 mark . I don't believe the HLA86 is waterproof or it doesn't mention it so must be assumed not waterproof unlike the Husky so best not to use when its raining but should be fine really for cutting wet foliage.

    Its not the best of ideas with the ladder leaning against the hedge even though I've done it today but on a beech ( usually sturdier than leylandii ) if you want to get a nice level hedge the front of the top needs to be cut from the ground or better around eye level, and when you get up the ladder the cutter has only gone 50-55cm so after the ladder sinks in the uncut foliage is only 30cm away and your cutter is 2.5m+ long it awkward to use you'll be getting the screwfix hedge trimmer out again, what I am trying to say its not easy using a long reach up ladder if anything the harness would probably be a hinderance in this scenario . Ideally for your own safety and ease a really good step ladder / tripod ladder or platform is needed. All this may not be necessary if you can get the top from both sides and get it all, it does look like a meaty hedge though.
     
  5. ETAF

    ETAF Apprentice Gardener

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    Thanks for all the info

    Tomorrow will tell,

    Interesting you mention I should be able to cut the foliage on the Leylandii when wet

    I was hoping to nolonger use the ladder with the screwfix trimmer , and do it all from the ground with the Stihl Long reach
     
  6. Perki

    Perki Total Gardener

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    The conifers being wet doesn't really matter it doesn't slow the cutter down or anything its not like a lawnmower, its just a much more messy job and you'll get wet. I bash them with a rake first , I use hand held cutters first to do the side / front of top hence whey I get drenched , I do try and avoid them though it not a nice job to be doing .

    All the electrical components will be where the motor / battery is, the gearbox and blades at the other end.
     
  7. ETAF

    ETAF Apprentice Gardener

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    Just come in from working with the HLA86 on he Leylandii with my brother-in-law

    Not that wet today

    The strap helped a lot very heavy - But i got the front trimmed back in 1/2hr or so
    The top was difficult and will still need to finish off tomorrow
    The cutters do not have a setting for 90 degree to the pole - if they did, then i could just adjust the height to where i want to cut it down to. stand at the bottom with strap around my neck to keep the height , and then walk along the hedge - cutting the top down as i went.
    Bit disappointing

    I tried on all the other hedges front and side and it will work all for those as well, and speed things up considerably , and i wont be moving ladders about going up and down

    So i think over all its a about a 7/10 , although practice may make it an 9/10
    wasn't that happy with the cut and keeping things straight across the front. Had the pole at a pivot point with the strap, used a couple of cable ties, and then sweep up/down but a bit all over the place, although this may be more to do with the leylandii itself

    Save getting the ladders out and should speed up the rest of the hedge cutting considerably.

    Spoke to neighbours and they had a hedge cut on both sides of the house - 5ft tall and cost them over £400 - so seems to be the going rate down here.

    Pretty sure if I did the leylandii twice a year, would be kept under control and the machine paid for just in first cut

    Hopefully the battery will last only using 2/3 times a year
    I will keep it indoors with my other cordless tools Batteries , as i know they dont like the cold

    Thanks again for the advice, i'll drop a photo up when its all finished tomorrow / weeken
     
  8. Perki

    Perki Total Gardener

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    Wish I could get £400+ for an hedge even better when they are only 5ft high. It not take long like you say to get your money back for the hedge trimmer . Seems like you're quite taken with the stihl though.

    As they say practise makes perfect, conifers when they are long do tend to snag / pull the cutters into the hedge with a up and down motion , if they are long I whip them off first and go back over again to get a fine crisp cut .

    I've been watching a video today on the stihl harness you referred to earlier, doesn't look like it provides much support, the bar doesn't look long enough unlike the elephant harness.
     
  9. ETAF

    ETAF Apprentice Gardener

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    Not really, I just have a Stihl, petrol Chainsaw & Petrol Strimmer , And locally we have a main Stihl Dealer Goodrows.
    And M-I-L Has various petrol & Battery Stihl. Hedge trimmer I borrowed

    I will contact a dealer for Husqvarna - equivalent is iht4 or ihe3 at around £450 mark, see what they have to say
     
  10. ETAF

    ETAF Apprentice Gardener

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    I spoke to a coupe of dealers about the Husqvarna v Stihl , who sell both , availability quite poor for both, Stihl have a larger range , if looking to expand , other wise BMW v Merc

    Thanks for the recommendation , as that does mean looking into what else i may want before investing in a cordless range

    Finished the job this morning

    My B-I-Law and I discussed , as suggested, this morning, that it needs to be down 2ft - which makes it level with the fence, only problem is not a lot of growth at the bottom.
    Will have to look at a small chainsaw
    I have a stihl MS180 petrol chain saw , which i dont want to use up a ladder :) :)

    Later in the year autumn I will have to look into cutting it down, a little at a time, maybe 1 truck at a time

    Attached Before & after images
    Scale - the 3x3 post is 6' high

    Now just need to wait for the item to come in noone locally has any in stock, and all seem to be coming in in Feb , which i have my name down for, was supposed to be December

    But now the back is done , I can probably wait till autumn for all the hedges anyway

    Thanks for all the advice and suggestions , all very helpful
     

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      Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
    • Perki

      Perki Total Gardener

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      Well you've done a good job and saved yourself a pretty penny :blue thumb: .

      They not much between the Husky / Stihl I always lean slight towards the Husky though. It usually advise to get what the local dealer stocks . They is a video on youtube comparing both ( sorry its a HLA85 might be worth a watch anyway )

      I don't personally think it would matter to you either one you went with , but for me doing gardening for a living the plastic gear box cover on the stihl is a bit of a deal breaker for professional use it should be metal , I heard the battery can slide out sometimes on the stihl . I haven't heard much on the husky yet they not as common as stihl but I believe on a older model they had a few problems with the key pad whether that's a problem on the news ones I don't know , my Husky 520 ihd70 has been fine so far.
       
    • ETAF

      ETAF Apprentice Gardener

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      Thanks for that , video looked very interesting
      I'm must admit, I'm not so keen on the Stihl battery position and basically standing it on the plastic rim, which i had to do a few times, although tried to use my boot - as the ground is very very wet.
      yes that happened , as i had not pushed the battery in and fully clicked - takes a bit of force to make sure its locked in

      We have a very good local Dealer , they have 2 stores , one in town hardware store , and one on a business park which sells Stihl and 1 other make (may even be part of style) I have purchased parts from them for the chain saw when i lost the cover nut, and also they sharpen the Chain for £9 all in.

      So I will probably go down the Stihl route, the dealers I spoke to also said they Stihl is cheaper and pointed out that the Husky is more Pro with metal parts ,
      But again, all waiting on orders to arrive
      Called around the Husky dealers yesterday and this morning , talking to those that also sold Stihl, for a comparison, they were all waiting for stock to arrive.
       
      Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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