What Logging Workers Do
Loggers cut trees with hand-held power chain saws or mobile felling machines.
Logging workers harvest thousands of acres of forests each year. The timber they harvest provides the raw material for countless consumer and industrial products.
Logging workers typically do the following:
- Cut down trees with hand-held power chain saws or mobile felling machines
- Fasten chains around logs to be dragged by tractors
- Drag logs to the landing or deck area
- Separate logs by species and type of wood and load them onto trucks
- Drive and maneuver tractors and tree harvesters to shear trees and cut logs into desired lengths
- Drive tractors to build or repair logging roads
- Grade logs according to characteristics such as knot size and straightness
- Inspect equipment for safety before using it and do necessary basic maintenance tasks
- Calculate total board feet, cordage, or other wood measurement units, using conversion tables
Timber-cutting and logging are done by a logging crew. The following are some types of logging workers:
Fallers cut down trees with hand-held power chain saws or mobile felling machines.
Buckers trim the tops and branches of felled trees and buck (cut) the logs into specific lengths.
Choke setters fasten chokers (steel cables or chains) around logs to be skidded (dragged) by tractors or forwarded by the cable-yarding system to the landing or deck area, where the logs are separated by species and type of product, such as pulpwood, saw logs, or veneer logs, and loaded onto trucks.
Rigging slingers and chasers set up and dismantle the cables and guy wires of the yarding system.
Log sorters, markers, movers, and chippers sort, mark, and move logs, based on species, size, and ownership, and tend machines that chip up logs.
Logging equipment operators use tree harvesters to fell trees, shear tree limbs off, and cut trees into desired lengths. They drive tractors and operate self-propelled machines called skidders or forwarders, which drag or transport logs to a loading area.
Log graders and scalers inspect logs for defects and measure the logs to determine their volume. They estimate the value of logs or pulpwood. These workers often use hand-held data collection devices to enter data about trees. The data are later downloaded to a computer.
A typical crew might consist of
- one or two tree fallers or one logging equipment operator with a tree harvester to cut down trees
- one bucker to cut logs
- two logging equipment operators with tractors to drag cut trees to the loading deck
- one logging equipment operator to load the logs onto trucks.