Logging workers harvest thousands of acres of forests each year. The timber they harvest provides the raw material for countless consumer and industrial products.Duties
Logging workers typically do the following:
The cutting and logging of timber is done by a logging crew. The following are examples of types of logging workers:
Fallers cut down trees with hand-held power chain saws.
Buckers work alongside fallers, trimming the tops and branches of felled trees and bucking (cutting) the logs into specific lengths.
Tree climbers use special equipment to scale tall trees and remove their limbs. They carry heavy tools and safety gear as they climb the trees, and are kept safe by a harness attached to a rope.
Choke setters fasten steel cables or chains, known as chokers, 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.
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 on the basis of their species, size, and ownership. They also tend machines that chip up logs.
Logging equipment operators use tree harvesters to fell trees, shear off tree limbs, 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 into which they enter data about trees.
A logging crew might consist of the following members:
Most logging workers have a high school diploma. They get on-the-job training to become familiar with forest environments and to learn how to operate logging machinery.Education
A high school diploma is enough for most logging worker jobs. Some vocational or technical schools and community colleges offer associate’s degrees or certificates in forest technology. This additional education may help workers get a job. Programs may include field trips to observe or participate in logging activities.
A few community colleges offer education programs for equipment operators.Training
Many states have training programs for loggers. Although specific coursework may vary by state, programs usually include technical instruction or field training in a number of areas, including best management practices, environmental compliance, and reforestation.
Safety training is a vital part of logging workers’ instruction. Many state forestry or logging associations provide training sessions for logging equipment operators, whose jobs require more technical skill than other logging positions. Sessions take place in the field, where trainees have the opportunity to practice various logging techniques and use particular equipment.
Logging companies and trade associations offer training programs for workers who operate large, expensive machinery and equipment. The training program often culminates with a state-recognized safety certification from the logging company.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Logging workers must communicate with other crew members so that they can cut and delimb trees efficiently and safely.
Decisionmaking skills. Logging workers must make quick, intelligent decisions when hazards arise.
Detail oriented. Logging workers must watch gauges, dials, and other indicators to determine whether their equipment and tools are working properly.
Physical stamina. Logging workers need to be able to perform laborious tasks repeatedly.
Physical strength. Logging workers must be able to handle heavy equipment.
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Logging Workers, A.O.
Logging Workers, A.O.
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