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Cutting up perfectly good strimmers?

I was talking to an old friend of mine earlier. I got him his first job with another friend who I worked for at the time, grass cutting of course. This was back in 1986.

Anyway, he has worked on the Parks Dept. for the District Council since 1987. He was telling me about the Councils policy on equipment, vibration and ‘white finger’.

When a strimmer gets to three years old, despite how good a condition it is in or how little use it may have had, they cut into bits and throw it away. These are higher end Stihl strimmers. The boss came up to him once and made him hand over the strimmer they had on the truck, despite his protestations. It was in very good condition and worked perfectly. He said he would buy from the Council, but no, it had to be destroyed.

Fortunately, they only skip the leaf blowers at three years old, without cutting them up. So the guys always retrieve them and take them home. He had one with him today. It’s the same with hedge cutters also – all destroyed.

Why not sell them on ebay? What a terrible waste.

It’s easy to throw money away when it comes so easily, from the Council Tax.

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  • PRO

    Do they produce more vibration as they get older?

  • herd a simular story a copple of months ago about supermarket delivery vans when they get to a certain age they scrap them and buy new 


    • PRO

      Awful things petrol strimmers they need chopping up lol . 


      • You see young guys turn into old men rapidly doing these jobs. Maybe down to smoking and lack of sun cream as well. If the bolt cutters don't destroy the strimmers first then E10 petrol probably will

  • My local council does a vibration test on their kit. The failures get sold. Buyer beware🤔

  • You could understand them possibly destroying an item which fails a vibration test [or maybe looking to mend the machine, or saving it for spares maybe], but the local Council here throws everything away at three years old without doing a test.

    So machines that may very well pass a vibration test are going in the skip. This seems wrong and wasteful to me. But then it is the sort of arbitrary policy that some committee on a Council would come up with. I would bet good money that none of them has ever held a strimmer in their lives.

    My friend who told me this is a very experienced gardener with about 35 years in the job. I know he is sound and that he knows his trade. If he said that his strimmer was in perfect working order when he had to hand it over for destruction, then is was definitely in perfect working order.

  • The council want reliable strimmers that don't break down on the road.............. after 3 years council use, they're pretty sure to have had a hard life and reliability could be a problem + they're really not fit for resale. 

    • The strimmer in the story was in very good order and as it had been with this two man team from new, it had been used far less than you would normally expect a Council strimmer to be used. This is because this two man team do all the planting schemes and other finer work for the Council such as the sponsored roundabouts etc. So a perfectly good strimmer was cut into pieces because that’s the policy. No logic applied to the situation.

      As I said, it’s not just strimmers, but leaf blowers and hedge cutters also. A leaf blower is not in constant use and should last longer than three years, as is borne out by virtue of the fact that my friend liberated one from the skip and now uses it on his own jobs. It still functions perfectly – no excess vibrations.

      Don’t assume that these are all clapped out items we are talking about. This is not the case at all. Yes, some may well be, but definitely not all of them. It would make more sense to manage the discarding of equipment on a machine by machine basis, assessing each one in turn. Rather than throwing all of them away.

      You could also argue that some strimmers that may have been used seven hours a day, five days a week, might well be a vibration hazard after only two years. Yet with this policy in place, the machine continues to be used for a further year, thus potentially putting the operator at risk.

      This was my point. Having an arbitrary time limit doesn’t work either way. Look at each item in turn and make a decision based on the condition rather than the age. The operator will tell you whether the machine is still good or not. Not the person who has never even held a strimmer in their whole life, but has a pen and a clip board.

  • PRO

    It sounds like they don’t actually understand the issues if they think it’s specifically a problem with machines that are more than three years old.

    • PRO

      How many claims are the council settling for ''white finger'' ? 

      It could be a new policy to try to eliminate future claims costing !,000's  

      Taking preventitive measures ? No exceptions to the rule policy . 


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