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Public Member

Hedge trimmer harness

I would like advice on a harness please.

Looking at past threads the Easy Lift seemed to be the favourite. Henchman used to sell it (Google still links to the Henchman page, but there isn't anything there any more)

I can't find any other UK supplier

The Elephant harness is listed as "Profession Elephant 2" - I don't know if that is different, improved?, compared to before?

Thanks

Previous thread:

https://landscapejuicenetwork.com/forum/topics/easy-lift-harness-1

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  • PRO

    I use the elephant trunk and it works fine even on very heavy hedge trimmers. Not cheap but worth the money if you have a long run of cutting to do.

  • Hi Kris,

    No doubt you will have seen my previous contributions extolling the virtues of the Easy Lift Harness. I’ve had mine for many years now [10 to 15 years maybe]. Quite simply it is a life changing device. Why every professional Gardener does not have one always amazes me. Why wouldn’t every one want a ‘weightless’ hedge cutter?

    They are a god send with the pole hedge cutter.

    I think that no one imports them anymore. They are an American device. It may be possible to buy/import one from a seller in the US. But if I needed one now, I would probably get the ETH given that I can’t easily get the Easy Lift Harness.

    The only caveat is that the Easy Lift Harness removes all of the weight of the hedge cutter whereas the ETH only removes 3 kilos I believe. Having said that, ETH users say they do better than that. But that is better than the full 4.5 kilos of hedge cutter [in my case].

    Very, very rarely, an Easy Lift Harness shows up on eBay.

    When I got mine I had the choice of both devices and got the Easy Lift Harness due to the hedge cutter being ‘weightless’, rather than just much lighter as with the ETH.

    • Public Member

      Thanks Vic, Yes, definitely been swayed by your previous review. I wonder if the V3 Elephant and the new Henchman have narrowed the gap.

      I could import from USA ... but I want one "tomorrow" - I'm well past retirement age and have found manhandling the hedge trimmer this weekend it turns out that I haven't been down the gym, during the winter, enough!

  • Public Member

    Thanks. I have done a bit more research.

    Can't seem to find the Easy Lift - their website lists 3 dealers in EU, one dead links and for the other two I can't find the product on their website. Doesn't bode well ... and seems that Henchman have given up on it. 

    I don't know if the Henchman Lifting Harness is a candidate? I get the impression it is new (media coverage as of March / April 2024). Possibly has a gas-strut like the Easy Lift?

    henchman_harness_002.jpg

    The blurb is marketing babble: its won European Product Design Awards 2023 and  iF Design Awards 2024, and "takes up to 100% of the weight" .. .well if it lifted a fly that would be true. Detail says "Harness provides up to 7.5kg of support"

    There is a (recently launched) Elephant Trunk 3.

    I can't see anything that says what the benefit is. I think? the only difference is that instead of the long arching support tube there are a pair of straight tubes, with a locking adaptor in the middle, allowing that to be collapsed for easier storage

    d85820_31b6ae7cd5294a149a059f795614b66b~mv2.jpg

     

    364691128_957183875520531_4623109421773551548_n.jpg?v=1694000449&width=720

    Ontwerp_zonder_titel_1.png?v=1689863286&width=900

    • The Easy Lifting Harness you picture is pretty much exactly the same as mine, only with two gas struts as opposed to one. The double gas strut variant was available when I got mine but the single gas strut version was more than capable weight wise for what I needed. The single strut version is adjustable for more weight in any case. You just use different holes to attach the gas strut.

      So it looks almost identical to mine – very little change.

      Most pro hedge cutters weigh far less than 7.5 kilos. My HLA 86 hedge cutter [about 4.5 kilos with ap200 battery] and HLA 86 pole hedge cutter are both weightless with the Easy Lift Harness.

      The Elephants Trunk operates on a coil spring device instead of the gas strut idea.

      The easy lift harness also collapses for easy transport. You just remove one pin and the top rail folds down.

      • Just had a look and it’s only the name that has changed slightly, from ‘Lift’ to ‘Lifting’.

        It is also over £100 cheaper than mine was all those years ago. A genuine bargain.

        Buy one now.

      • Public Member

        I never thought to actually compare the photos of Hencham with the original Easy Lift Harness - doh! Thanks for that, I feel much more confident in a purchase now.

        >> Buy one now

        Off to do that RIGHT NOW!

        Thanks

  • I've used the henchmen harness for 10 years I would not do any cutting, trimming without one highly recommended, I've just bought the latest design which is excellent 

  • I've had an elephants trunk 2 for some years now. It's been brilliant. Takes the entire weight off a stihl 130r with a long reach trimmer attached. Only problem is that the harness fell apart. It's been held together with zip ties for ages. When i found out that version 3 was available I've just bought that instead of remaking the harness of the old one. The redesign is a massive improvement. It is an even better than it was before. I've never had the opportunity to use the easy lift harness but i don't think it can lift to the same height. I've can wholeheartedly recommend the trunk. It has saved me from massively tired arms and rsi/tennis elbow. Being able to work faster and longer and easier is magic. How does cutting both sides and top of 40m x1.8m h beach hedge continuously without stopping for a rest sound?

  • Public Member

    I've now had my first chance to use the new Henchman Lifting Harness (which appears to be in the same style as the former Easy Lift Harness)

    I used it with my HLA 86 long-reach cordless hedge trimmer. It does indeed balance the device so that there is very little effort needed. The harness adjusts to be a snug fit, during use I didn't feel it slip at all. So far I have only used it to cut one side of a 8' Hornbeam hedge about 50M long, but this morning my arms aren't aching at all (I'm well into retirement age, and not fit like you lot that do this every day)

    My only issue is that I am not used to cutting the face of a hedge with a long reach (standing flush with hedge and arcing the trimmer from bottom-to-top). It works fine, and is easily balanced by harness, but my lack of experience made it harder to not "dig in" to the hedge in places.  That might be because years of cutting the hedge with a short trimmer means that the face isn't "true"!

    Here are my thoughts:

    Do instructions 11 - 18 first! (adjusting the harness) and then 1-10 (fitting the connector tube).

    The body harness has positions for the strap buckles depending on height. I moved them to the slot [as indicated] for my height, did everything up tight, and didn't have to adjust it after that, so seems well designed in that regard.

    The gas-struts can be adjusted. Either fit one or two. They are different strengths (300N & 500N), so if fitting "one" it can be according to higher / lower force required

    The position of a couple of brackets can be changed too - which also changes the lifting strength (9 possible weight combinations from 2.3kg to 7.5kg)

    Seems to me it would be a faff to change, and if needed for, say, 2 specific bits of kit might be easier to have two harnesses set up "just right". Same for different people, of different builds. Changing that over isn't hard, but it is all "time"

    Either way, it is very adjustable, (I don't know if original "Easy Lift Harness" was too) which ought to increase its appeal for a wide range of bits of kit.

    The harness has a number of metal hoops sown into the webbing of the harness, which the tool supporting carabiner can be attached to. If removed from the tool it wants to fly up, of course, and dangling about is a liability, so just attach to one of the harness hoops. All is very robust, as is typical of Henchman kit. The waist strap and buckle arrangement has an innovative arrangement [clever adjustment] too, which I like.

    The only thing I am needing is the ability to shorten the cord. As supplied it is just the right length for supporting a tool balanced at waist height - a long reach hedge trimmer doing arcs to cut the face of a hedge is perfect.

    But when I want to hold it higher up – extended to cut top of the face of tall hedge, or with the trimmer head angled over to cut top of hedge, I need to be able to adjust the cord shorter to support holding the long reach higher

    EDIT: Actually, just realised I could move carabiner from the (supplied) Velcro strap/hook, which I attached at "balance point" to the loop on the long reach, which is much closer to the motor, and would hold the long reach "higher up". I'll try that today

    Highly recommended (as Vic has been saying all these years!)

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