Logging is statistically one of the most dangerous jobs. Loggers across the world harvest thousands of acres of forest a year. Their work is physically demanding and can be pretty dangerous, risking serious injury not only from falling out of trees, but also because they often work in locations far away from hospitals.
The job of a logger
Loggers do much more than just cutting down trees. It is way more complex than it appears on the surface. Being a logger involves numerous different tasks and the use of multiple pieces of equipment. In fact, loggers are real-life superheroes, risking their lifes almost every single day. The timber they harvest provides the raw material for countless consumer and industrial products.
Different jobs on a logging crew
There are many different jobs on a logging crew, including being a “faller”. Faller sounds like a weird term, but what a faller does is more or less in line with what most people think of when they think of loggers, which is to say they are tree cutters. Fallers generally use power chainsaws or machines to accomplish this task, leaving the more complex equipment to other members of the logging crew.
Similar tasks are carried out by choke setters, who drag logs and load them onto trucks using steel cables or chains that they tie around the wood. Those cables are set up and later dismantled by crew members who are called rigging slingers and chasers. The logs then get moved and sorted out based on size and log type by those known as sorters, chippers, and markers.
There are also log graders and scalers who are essentially the quality control unit of the logging team in that they are responsible for measuring the logs, inspecting them for quality, and entering relevant data about them into a centralized computer system. Some crew members will clear crowded areas to make them more suitable for logging, while others scout the location to determine the conditions of the forest.
The more advanced tree cutters use more complex machinery and are known as logging equipment operators. These operators use pieces of equipment known as skidders or forwarders – which operate like drive tractors – to knock down trees, cut off limbs, and make deep cuts into the wood. They also use the machines to drag the logs to the loading area and lift the logs into the trucks. The newer logging equipment operators tend to be more highly trained and skilled because the updated equipment is often built with more advanced computerized technology that needs to be mastered by the operator.
Whether somebody is a faller, choker, ringing slinger, equipment operator, grader, or any of the many other jobs somebody on the logging crew may occupy, the tasks can be very involved, as well as physically demanding and dangerous. (source: Mr. Tree)
Certified Bad Ass Logger
While logging is a fairly straightforward profession, it can be intensely physical in nature and very dangerous. The job often requires physically stressful activities such as climbing and heavy lifting and the crew can be surrounded by constant sources of danger such as falling branches and vines, as well as difficult terrain. The weather can be a big issue, too, as logging can necessitate working in extreme heat or extreme cold.
Overall, logging is a job that is thought to be nothing more than a bunch of tree cutters, but there is far more to it than that. The job itself is very important since loggers provide an incredibly valuable raw material to numerous industries and there are multiple different specialties within the logging profession.
Seriously, I admire them and I already learned so much from a logger. They are some of the strongest people I know, not just physically, but also mentally. They can stay so calm and focused – it is incredible. I cannot really tell you what it is, but they are some of the most optimistic people, have a heart out of gold and live every single day to its fullest – being fun to hang with and always up for an adventure.
Right now I am pretty stressed out, even burned out, to be honest. Normally I can easily put my mind at ease, but right now, my head just keeps spinning from too much work. But one thing always works: During very stressful moments, I just close my eyes for a few seconds, picture myself out in the woods and just breathe. I imagine the smell of the trees, hear the leaves falling and can feel the warmth of mother nature. Sounds cheesy? Well, I am an outdoor girl. This is how I recover and find my inner balance again. And loggers are guardians of the woods, which pretty much explains why they are real superheroes to me.
So, whenever you spend some time outdoors or use a forest product, don’t just take it for granted. It is the loggers who perform the initial harvesting and transport of trees for ultimate processing into any kind of forest product such as lumber, paper, forage for livestock or wood.
Hence, this is my love letter to all loggers out there – male or female. You are some of my real-life superheroes. Keep hugging the trees with your chainsaw, take care of our forests, stay safe and live every single day to its fullest for the next hundred years or so.
photo credits: pexels.com
source: Mr. Tree