The ears have spoken !

By JimRental
Generally, it's safe to say that the horsepower and productivity of rental equipment is greater than what most us DIY types use regularly, or have in our home-tool arsenal.

After all, who has roaring equipment like a 6-inch diameter wood chipper in their garage or shed?

With good reason, anyone who rents a chipper is cautious about losing an arm. Or. when we rent a jackhammer or a chain saw, we're careful not to chop off or mangle a foot.

But the result of damaging your hearing irreparably using big equipment doesn't get the same kind of traction. Hey, we'll spend five bucks on earplugs but balk at dropping twenty or thirty bucks for earmuffs that we'll use once or twice a year.

Time spent recently using with this kind of equipment has reinforced to us that power equipment -- and not just of the gas-powered variety -- can be extremely loud. Really loud.

Case in point -- a 6" diameter wood chipper operates at about 110 dB. A concrete cutoff saw runs at around 100 dB, as do leaf blowers.

In the workplace, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires hearing protection at 85 decibels. Exposure of more than 15 minutes to equipment at 100 dB isn't recommended, and OSHA says that exposure to 110 dB for more than a minute atcreates a risk of permanent hearing loss.

It quickly becomes clear that one of the first things you should establish when you're going to use power rental equipment that you have solid hearing protection. And if you don't, get it before you go to the rental yard.

The good news is that with appropriate hearing protection, you can fully enjoy the power of equipment that rips, and saves you a ton of time.

With that in mind, what we're doing from here on out is doubling down, with a good pair of ear protection earmuffs, along plugs you insert in your ear.

Give it a shot -- your ears will thank you for it!