Morbark donates $100,000 to Arborist Safety Training Institute

Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Crown Partner Morbark recently donated a very generous $100,000 to TCIA’s Arborist Safety Training Institute (ASTI), an initiative launched by TCIA last fall. Using a $2 million endowment made up of donations such as Morbark’s, ASTI will provide cost-subsidized safety training and education for tree care workers nationwide, covering advanced safety techniques and disciplines including: chipper operator basics, felling, rigging, electric hazards, chain saw safety, aerial lift operation and aerial rescue, and many more.

This is not the first time Morbark has partnered with TCIA on safety initiatives. After becoming president of Morbark in 2011, Jim “Shoe” Shoemaker facilitated a chipper safety forum at Morbark’s headquarters with the aid of Mark Garvin, TCIA president, and John Iurka, TCIA Accreditation auditor and loss control specialist. Shoemaker also brought in three competitors – Bandit, Altec and Vermeer – and invited owners and managers from several large tree care companies to attend. They met for a day and talked about how tree care companies managed their crews and chipper equipment.

“We learned that there are thousands of small, family tree care companies, running two or three crews, that don’t have formal safety programs,” recalls Shoemaker. To fill this need, Morbark, Bandit, Altec and Vermeer worked with TCIA to provide funds, training materials and a certification program.

Morbark’s current support of ASTI is a natural extension of their past safety initiatives. “Safety is the main driver to a lot of our decisions,” explains Shoemaker. “When we first heard about the Safety Training Institute, we thought, ‘that sounds wonderful.’ We had been encouraging TCIA to get engaged and fund training at a much lower cost. Smaller tree care companies can’t always afford to take these courses. [ASTI] is a great program.”

Click here to learn more about how ASTI will bring advanced safety training to arborists. Or, click here to donate directly to ASTI. Your support will help transform safety practices in the tree care industry, and ensure that every arborist who wants safety training has the opportunity to participate.