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View Full Version : To guard or not to guard


armyofgoodmusic
05-17-2010, 12:20 AM
Hey guys...i see almost all LCO's remove the guards or shields from their trimmers. What is the benefit to taking it off? Just wondering if you can sell me as to why i need to take mine off too.

afd226
05-17-2010, 12:22 AM
Trim a wider area but the trimmer has got to be strong enough to make it look good.

JB1
05-17-2010, 12:26 AM
--- weight ---

HulkXD
05-17-2010, 12:37 AM
wider discharge of cut grass so it doesn't clump up as bad.

GlynnC
05-17-2010, 01:00 AM
None of the LCO's in this area run guards--and I mean none! I'm a part timer, but after going guardless for a few years, this year my grandson/mowing partner shamed me into putting the guards back on (telling me "you know pops, it's safer with guards on"). Admitedly, I never ran my line out long, but it did take a while for the guard to feel right, and yes, it's heavier. Last week, I used my Shin 270 (without guard) to trim a ditch--it just didn't feel good, and there was a definite difference in the stuff hitting my legs. I'm now looking for a guard for my 270.

Yes, I know this doesn't help convince you to take off the guards!!!!!

MikeKle
05-17-2010, 01:18 AM
My guards come off the trimmer the day I buy them, and never go back on, unless someone working for me prefers to use them, and I keep them in the truck in case. They trim so much better without them on, and you can run a super long line and cut your trimming time in half, plus it is easier to get around things, as you can hit stuff with the back side too. I am used to the extra debris thrown up by it now too, but sometimes, it will throw a big rock or chunk of dirt that catches me good!

Merkava_4
05-17-2010, 01:20 AM
A lot of guys on the board here have said that running without a guard can be
bad for your clutch; and since the engine is running slower from having all that
string out, it causes excessive carbon build up in the ports too.

Richard Martin
05-17-2010, 04:49 AM
I've been without guards on the trimmers since the 90's. No harm, no foul to the trimmers. Lighter weight. Better visibility. Easier to trim all around. The safety aspect of the guard is extremely limited anyway. Usually if you break a window with a rock from the trimmer the window is in front of you, not behind you where the guard would have prevented it.

Tom'sLandscapeDesign
05-17-2010, 05:25 AM
OSHA isnt too keen on gaurdless trimmers.

terrapro
05-17-2010, 07:24 AM
OSHA isnt too keen on gaurdless trimmers.

Thats what I was thinking. My insurance company wouldn't be to happy if they knew I was purposely endangering people.

Richard Martin
05-17-2010, 09:02 AM
Thats what I was thinking. My insurance company wouldn't be to happy if they knew I was purposely endangering people.

How are you endangering anyone but yourself? Most guards don't even go halfway around the trimmer line. My Stihls only cover around 30 degrees.

Tom'sLandscapeDesign
05-17-2010, 09:15 AM
How are you endangering anyone but yourself? Most guards don't even go halfway around the trimmer line. My Stihls only cover around 30 degrees.

Yourself/your employees are people, also. Youre voluntarily removing a safety device.

They (OSHA and Insurance) also frown upon bypassing dead-man switches which a lot of LCOs do..

MikeKle
05-17-2010, 10:04 AM
The guard that came on my redmax was very little and would not have protected very much anyway, as far as osha and the insurance companies, cmon, they are trimmers, or "weed wackers" as most people call them, taking a tiny guard off is not that big a deal. Id like to know how much damage is done from trimmers that still have the guards on?

SouthSide Cutter
05-17-2010, 11:44 AM
Someone said on here something about not weighing enough to take it off. He probably dont fish much because 1/4 of a oz is alot if its 4-6ft away from you. You throw a 1/4 oz spinner bait then go to s 1/2 or 3/4 and theres a big difference. When you take the guard of it makes a big diff. Not everybody has stove pipe arms and is 22 years old in this bus.

whosedog
05-17-2010, 11:59 AM
Besides the wider trim area,one thing no one mentioned yet is you use less trimmer line.The guard has that cutting edge to keep the line even within the guard area,you waste some trimmer line every time you bump into that.I noticed right away that my line lasts longer with the guards off.

intimidator782
05-17-2010, 01:08 PM
I take mine off mainly for better visibility and ive found you can get the head into places better without it. I would definately keep it on the trailer in case you have to mow around cars or something. The flying debris is something you just have to get used to, and every now and then it will come back and bite you but you just gotta take it and move on. I dont run my line extremely long like some but it does let as much line out as you want. If you edge without the guard on, you have to expect what its naturally gonna do and wear sunglasses or even better safety glasses.

mowerbrad
05-17-2010, 01:45 PM
Like a couple others have said, what if something happens? If the trimmer threw a stone that hit a child, would the insurance company cover you even if you took the trimmer guard off? I'll agree that the guards barely cover any part of the trimmer, I've seen some that cover hardly any part of the trimmer. But its on there for a reason and safety is one reason (whether it provides much safety or not) that it is on there. I'd like to find out if you would actually be covered if something happens and you have the guard off...seems like if you take off a safety devise you would not be covered.

MileHigh
05-17-2010, 04:59 PM
ok ummmm...

If I see anybody...let alone a child in any kind of striking distance I will stop any type of maintenance work...What does a guard have anything to do with that?..Even If I did have a guard on..I would still stop trimming just out of respect. The only people getting hit with rocks are yourself and any workers you have with you.

Funny that people will side discharge while mowing...but have to use the guard for safety reasons while trimming.

With that being said...I will never ever use I trimmer with a guard, and If I have to borrow one from somebody one day, and it has a guard on it...it's coming off. Trimming without the guard is so much better.

mybowtie
05-17-2010, 05:08 PM
I think the biggest reason for the guard is so u dont hit your own leg with the line. I have done that a time or two when in tight areas(with guard off)..As far as throwing stones, it seems they go foward more often then not.

Lawn&OrderPM
05-17-2010, 05:21 PM
i went to sthils open house and they told us that running with the gaurds off is bad for them, cause your not reving the engine to burn out the carbon and its alot harder on the springs on the clutches, ever notice they your trimmer dosent stop spinning when its at idle,, on my sthils,, the gaurds are held on by 4 screws, so i just moved the gaurd back and have it only held on by 2 screws so i have a wider cutting path,, it still cuts the line and i have about a 4" wider circle, health and safty will have a problem with it,, they also give you **** about not having the flame arrestor thing in the muffler,,

MileHigh
05-17-2010, 05:28 PM
i went to sthils open house and they told us that running with the gaurds off is bad for them, cause your not reving the engine to burn out the carbon and its alot harder on the springs on the clutches, ever notice they your trimmer dosent stop spinning when its at idle,, on my sthils,, the gaurds are held on by 4 screws, so i just moved the gaurd back and have it only held on by 2 screws so i have a wider cutting path,, it still cuts the line and i have about a 4" wider circle, health and safty will have a problem with it,, they also give you **** about not having the flame arrestor thing in the muffler,,

you do know that when you made your circumference 4" wider, you are basically doing what the stihl guys said was bad for them...running longer line will cause less rpm's and is harder on the clutch.

I also don't see what the problem is with running too much line while not having a guard on??? that just means your tapping too much..I would rather have too much line, than just have some guard cut it off before I get to use it.

If my line gets too long by accident...I simply turn the trimmer like I was edging with it on some concrete or other with it reved and it cuts the line.

JB1
05-17-2010, 05:32 PM
some of you all are really funny.

mowerbrad
05-17-2010, 10:20 PM
ok ummmm...

If I see anybody...let alone a child in any kind of striking distance I will stop any type of maintenance work...What does a guard have anything to do with that?..Even If I did have a guard on..I would still stop trimming just out of respect. The only people getting hit with rocks are yourself and any workers you have with you.

Funny that people will side discharge while mowing...but have to use the guard for safety reasons while trimming.

With that being said...I will never ever use I trimmer with a guard, and If I have to borrow one from somebody one day, and it has a guard on it...it's coming off. Trimming without the guard is so much better.

I don't want to start a "fight" or anything but just take this into consideration....

People can sneak up on you while your working, afterall no one has eyes in the back of their head. So as they approach you, you could throw something in their direction before you even see them. Now, if you have the trimmer guard off and injure that person with debris, will your insurance cover you? Maybe, or will they say, "If he had the proper safety devises installed on the trimmer, this wouldn't have happened.". Like I said, your insurance could very well cover you but there is also a chance that since you uninstalled a safety devise they will not cover you.

We can't all see 360 degrees around us. I don't care how observant you are of your surroundings, there has probably been a couple times where people "snuck up on you" or you didn't know that they were there. Those 1 or 2 times that that happens could be the time that something goes wrong.

Like I said, I don't want to start a fight or anything, just share my thoughts. I'd really like to find out if insurance would cover me or anyone else if something happens with the trimmer and the guard was off.

STIHL GUY
05-17-2010, 10:24 PM
the trimmer is much lighter without the guards and you car trim around things much easier. i wear jeans so stuff hitting my legs isnt really a problem