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Loggers

A logger sizes up a hybrid poplar tree in Idaho.

Loggers  harvest and transport trees, primarily for timber and forest products industries. A logger will work with you to harvest the trees marked by the forester and haul those logs to a "landing" or "header"an area where logs are stacked after cutting and skidding as they await transport to a sawmill or pulpmill.

The timber-cutting and logging process is carried out by a logging crew. A typical crew might consist of one or two tree fallers or one tree harvesting machine operator to cut down trees, one bucker to cut logs, two logging skidder operators to drag cut trees to the loading deck, and one equipment operator to load the logs onto trucks.

What Qualifications Should I Be Looking For?

Generally, a high school diploma is sufficient for most logging occupations. Through on-the-job training, logging workers become familiar with the character and dangers of the forest environment and the operation of logging machinery and equipment. However, many loggers also undergo additional training provided by their state agencies or local logging companies and trade associations.

Many states have training programs for loggers, which included classroom or field training in areas such as best management practices, environmental compliance, wetlands, safety, endangered species, reforestation, and business management. Some programs lead to logger certification. Some vocational and technical schools and community colleges also offer courses leading to a 2-year technical degree in forest harvesting.

Loggers should have experience in directional felling, i.e. dropping a tree to avoid damage to other trees. Special training is also provided for logging operations that require additional skill or safety precautions. One example of this is training tree fallers, who learn how to manually cut down extremely large or expensive trees safely and with minimal damage to the felled or surrounding trees. Similarly, special training is needed for workers who operate large, expensive machinery or equipment.

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