have you ever lost a tool?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    The Voice of Reason
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    have you ever lost a tool?

    i lost my mattock a couple of weekends ago out on the trail. i set down it where my gf and i started working. she set her bag down nearby. we worked a section maybe a couple of hundred yards long. i know i went back at some point but i don't remember grabbing the mattock. when we went to leave, i couldn't find it. her bag was still where it was. the trail isn't open yet and we're out in the middle of friggin' nowhere. i've gone back twice to look for it thinking i moved it off the trail and it got covered with debris. to no avail. kinda spooky if someone was out there and took it.
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  2. #2
    beer thief
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    I lost a Sandvik brush axe one time. A year and a half later I was hiking with my daughter and she found it stashed behind a big pine tree. Apparently I am a spaceman.

    Rock bars are notorious for blending into the woods. Flagging tape or marking paint are a good idea.

  3. #3
    Wandervans
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    I lost a Sandvik brush axe one time. A year and a half later I was hiking with my daughter and she found it stashed behind a big pine tree. Apparently I am a spaceman.

    Rock bars are notorious for blending into the woods. Flagging tape or marking paint are a good idea.
    Lost tools are sweet, you find them two to three years later...
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  4. #4
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    A couple of ideas to make tools easier to spot

    Tools with yellow fiberglass handles are easier to spot and the handles seem to last forever.

    Get some international orange spray paint and mask off/paint a band around the handle in an area where it won't get quite so much rubbing. Right up next to the head usually works pretty well.

    For safety reasons, we train our trail volunteers to always place unused tools on the uphill side of the trail, blade away from the tread (so it is harder to fall on) and handle within reaching distance. This has the secondary benefits of making it easier to pick up a tool when you need it and to locate all of the tools when wrapping up for the day.

  5. #5
    The Voice of Reason
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    it has (had) a yellow handle that is hard to miss.
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  6. #6
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    "kinda spooky if someone was out there and took it."

    And now it has a weapon.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Fall 2007

    Quote Originally Posted by Megashnauzer
    i lost my mattock a couple of weekends ago out on the trail. i set down it where my gf and i started working. she set her bag down nearby. we worked a section maybe a couple of hundred yards long. i know i went back at some point but i don't remember grabbing the mattock. when we went to leave, i couldn't find it. her bag was still where it was. the trail isn't open yet and we're out in the middle of friggin' nowhere. i've gone back twice to look for it thinking i moved it off the trail and it got covered with debris. to no avail. kinda spooky if someone was out there and took it.
    I was working around our beginner section, cutting a water collection ditch uphill from the trail. I looked up and there was a McLeod that had been sitting out for at least a year. Bonus!

    It's really easy to set a tool down and not be able to find it. +1 to painting part of a tool for visibility. When we have groups of volunteers, I say at the introduction, "Be sure to carry out the same number of tools that you carried in."

    I also try to lean tools against a nearby tree, facing the trail whenever possible.

    Walt

  8. #8
    Who turned out the lights
    Reputation: Francis Buxton's Avatar
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    I like to tie a short length of pink flagging tape on the handle somewhere. It seems to stay brighter than paint, and if you leave short tails (not long enough to interfere with your hands when using it), you also get a little 3-dimensional effect out of them, aiding in seeing it.

    Most of the tools I "lose" come in the form of loaning a tool to somewhen and then never seeing it again...

    I

  9. #9
    Builder of Trails
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy
    I also try to lean tools against a nearby tree, facing the trail whenever possible.
    We tell our workers for safety's sake to place the tools on the upslope side of the tread with the handle end toward the trail and the most dangerous end down, or in the case of a pulaski, just lay them flat. If all the tools are on the uphill side of the trail, they'll be easier to find. And +1 on having each person carry out the same # of tools as he carried in.

    D

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    You're right

    Quote Originally Posted by dburatti
    We tell our workers for safety's sake to place the tools on the upslope side of the tread with the handle end toward the trail and the most dangerous end down, or in the case of a pulaski, just lay them flat. If all the tools are on the uphill side of the trail, they'll be easier to find. And +1 on having each person carry out the same # of tools as he carried in.

    D
    Safety first.

    Those rock bars have an invisibility circuit in them, I swear!

    Walt

  11. #11
    The Voice of Reason
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcttr
    "kinda spooky if someone was out there and took it."

    And now it has a weapon.
    i can imagine coming around a blind corner and seeing bigfoot swinging the mattock at my chest.
    I'm never gonna be a Rock Star

  12. #12
    Just roll it......
    Reputation: ebxtreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Dizzy
    Safety first.

    Those rock bars have an invisibility circuit in them, I swear!

    Walt


    I try to wrap and tape some flagging to rock bars, machete's, small axe's, etc. It eventually comes off, but it's helped me find a couple of tools in the past. A couple of buddies lost an entire cache of tools, but they simply couldn't remember where they had put them. "Behind a stump" doesn't cut it in our woods, so they've got to be at some pretty memorable location, near a landmark, etc. We've always got our tools moving around depending on the need, so good communication on where everyone puts them is key. Of course, we've lost tools in the past, but we try to keep them grouped together.

    A buddy just moved a pulaski, couple of buckets and a shovel yesterday and outlined exactly where they had been moved to...... Now, if anyone uses them, it's understood that they'll either put them back where they got them or they'll make it crystal clear where they moved them to.

    Cheers,
    EB

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