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GTM Elephants trunk 2

Hi, 

just purchased one of the aforementioned harnesses for my hedge cutters. Been struggling for a while with a bad back tennis elbow and achey shoulders so thought I'd try one. Anyone else use one?

Think it's going to take a little getting used to!

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  • I use the ‘Easy Lift Harness’. I have had it for quite a few years now [I used it this afternoon]. The ELH removes all the weight from the hedge cutter whereas the original Elephants Trunk Harness only took 3kg off. Is the newer version you have any different?

    At first it can be counterintuitive because you gently push the hedge cutter down and the harness lifts if up, with no effort from you the operator. But you will find after a very short time you will wish you had bought one years ago.

    I don’t know why more forum members don’t have one of these devices. I have tried to promote the idea over the years but they are still quite rare.

    Surely the fact that your hedge cutter or pole cutter can be weightless and all you have to do is to steer it, should appeal to all of us that cut hedges commercially. I think that if everyone tried one once, they would be completely sold on the idea. It really does change your life.

    No more pain, strain or extreme effort any more when hedge cutting.

  • Hi Vic, I’ve literally just bought it so only played about with it in the dark in the garden last night. I’m trying to resist the urge to throw it in the back of the shed and give it a chance! It just looks and feels like it’s going to restrict me too much but I’m trying to have an open mind. The tension seems pretty stiff to me and easily holds my Tanaka short petrol trimmer (5.5kg) so much so that I have to pull it down quite hard to lower it on the cable, it goes up easily. I guess I’m going to have to give it some time and learn how to use it, I can see it being good on fairly uniform hedges but some of the higher and awkward hedges I cut I’m not so sure?

    I chose the ET2 as I couldn’t find the easy lift harness in stock anywhere.....

    • Hi Justin,

      I thought the ETH was adjustable. Can’t the reel be set for different weights?

      You must give it a fair go. As it is very similar to the ELH, the same rules apply. The main point I would make is that you have to have the straps very tight, particularly around your waist. If you don’t do this, the harness lifts away from your lower back and so doesn’t work efficiently. I can’t stress enough how important this is.

      As regards its uses, I use mine all the time in every kind of situation. So both on manicured hedges and on overgrown first cut backs and on any height and width. I use mine when up steps. You use it everywhere you use a hedge cutter. The only limitation is when cutting a hedge under low tree branches. The height of the harness means getting caught up a little.

      I was using mine yesterday with my Stihl battery pole hedge cutter. I used to use steps on this particular Hawthorn hedge [with the ELH of course], but since getting the pole hedge cutter I don’t need the steps. Without the ELH, using the pole cutter like this would be back breaking. With it, it was a breeze.

      • That's good to hear and gives some positive vibes!

        Ive been in touch with GTM about the tension level and yes apparently it can be changed although it's not in the manual. The chap gave me a description of how to do it so I'll try and adjust more to my liking. I think really going forward I need to give it a proper go, I've just ordered some straps to attach to the hedge cutter as I didn't like the caribena being attached direct to the handle as it was too loose and slipped a lot, I think it needs a little bit of friction. On my long reach it will be fine as there is a metal loop mounted on the shaft.

        • PRO

          Have you tried an Epi Med Elbow Epicondylitis clasp for the tennis elbow Justin ? The other solution is a steroid injection . 

          I have tennis elbow at the moment brought on by throwing the dogs ball via a ball launcher , The clasp helps relieve the symptoms. I managed two big hedge jobs this week .

          • Hi John, no I haven’t, I tried a pretty useless sleeve strap and I’ve seen a physio who gave me some strengthening exercises but all to no avail yet. Does the strap you recommend just take the pain away or actually help the tendon to heal?

            • PRO

              It fixes just below the elbow and allows some flexibility without feeling the pain but it doesn't heal the tendon , I understand rest and refraining from the activity helps heal the tendon ( light duties ) but thats easier said than done . 

              I also had it some years ago it got really bad i couldn't lift but eventually it went away after a long holiday , its repetitive strain , i suspect even the painful steroid injection just masks the pain . perhaps the elephants trunk 2 will help by taking the strain , definitely worth a try . keep us posted on the outcome .

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      • Spent some time trying to set the ET2 up, trying to get the harness as tight fitting as possible and adjusted down the tension to make it a bit easier to pull the cable down on downstroke movements. It’s still well capable of taking the entire weight of the trimmer. Bought some Velcro webbing straps which give a little resistance where it attaches to the trimmer and don’t slip so much on the trimmer handle like the bare carabiner did.

        Have to say GTM Professional have been very prompt and thorough in answering my questions via Facebook Messenger. Will report back when I’ve used it in anger.....

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