On most modern power saws the base of the throttle housing is also part of the fuel tank. A close up look reveals that there is also a seam in the molded plastic directly down the center of the throttle housing and tank. Repeatedly placing your foot in the throttle housing while starting the saw will eventually cause the saw to crack along this seam. The size of firefighting boots can also make it somewhat difficult to start the saw in this manner. Next time you start your saw, try putting your knee on top of the engine housing instead of your foot in the throttle guard.
Over tightening the fuel cap is also a common bad habit. The fuel cap should be tightened snugly but not overly tight. When over tightened the rubber gasket that is intended to seal the cap pushes out from under the cap and can cause fuel to leak when the saw is picked up.
In the following youtube video you can see the ill effects of a fuel leak while using a power saw. This accident appears to have been caused by the fuel cap not being installed or becoming loose during operation. The same situation could have been created by a cracked fuel tank or over tightened fuel cap.
This is just one of MANY saw operation, maintenance, and safety tips Brotherhood Instructors’ Kevin Legacy will be presenting at FDIC on Wednesday March 23, 2011 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm. Kevin brings years of experience using power saws in fire service and construction applications as well as small engine repair knowledge.