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how to get a job as a logger?

Discussion in 'Forestry and Logging Forum' started by usmc50bmgsniper, Jan 27, 2004.

  1. usmc50bmgsniper

    usmc50bmgsniper ArboristSite Operative

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    how does one go about getting a job in the logging industry?
    i never worked for a logging company but do have chainsaw expeirance but nobody wants to hire someone with no logging time. so how do you get a job then? their was a job that i applied for where a logging company needed a chainsaw operator and when i called them they asked if i worked with a logging company before and when i said no they pretty much blew me off. and i found one job that was willing to train but it was 100 miles one way to travel and way to far for me. my point is why doesn't logging company's give the oppurtunity to someone like myself that loves the outdoors and to use chainsaws a chance or to train someone? i curruntly work in corrections and have had enough and am looking for a new career and logging for me would be something that i know that i would enjoy and love to do.

    any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks, sniper:D
     
  2. Wade Huggins

    Wade Huggins ArboristSite Operative

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    Sniper,
    I would check into the game of logging it is a class that teaches the fundamentals of logging and how to maintain a safe work environment for you and others around you. I was also told that if you complete the class......... and maybe in your case your future employer would get a break from workers compensation as well so those two things combined could help you find the job your looking for............hope this helps..........Wade
     
  3. Crofter

    Crofter Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Going new into any complicated occupation is not easy. From the employers point of view he knows that you will "likely" be dangerous to yourself and others and generally non productive. Hung up trees, jammed saws, safety infractions, not knowing species, not familiar with the lingo used by the regulars. The regulars also lose time either watching you instead of working themselves or worse yet playing tricks on you. This might not be 100% true but it happens so often they dont want to chance it.

    Frank
     
  4. Newfie

    Newfie Addicted to ArboristSite

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    "and i found one job that was willing to train but it was 100 miles one way to travel and way to far for me. my point is why doesn't logging company's give the oppurtunity to someone like myself that loves the outdoors and to use chainsaws a chance or to train someone?"

    Sniper,

    Do you mean why won't they make it convenient and easy for you and make accomodations to an inexperienced worker? Probably because margins in logging are thin and an inexperienced feller would eat into those margins with reduced production by you and the trainer, and increased liabilty costs and so on and so on...

    Game of Logging is an excellent start to make you more marketable. What was wrong with working for the company 100 miles away? If you REALLY want to do this there are going to have to be sacrifices and compromises on your part such as moving or the like. Remember, there are lots of experinced guys out there that are looking for work and the companies hiring know that.

    Good Luck!:)
     
  5. usmc50bmgsniper

    usmc50bmgsniper ArboristSite Operative

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    well for one i couldn't afford the gas to travel that far and i was already going to take a decent size paycut that i would have been used to making, basiclly it wouldn't have been worth my time and would never have paid the bills, my truck payment alone is $522.66 a month and i would probablly spend that alone in gas.
    well basically what you guys are saying is don't wast my time so i'll just continue to babysit criminals, thanks anyways
    sniper
     
  6. usmc50bmgsniper

    usmc50bmgsniper ArboristSite Operative

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    basically what i'm asking is how did you guys get started? i have never heard of any logging colleges or schools, but i could be wrong. it's just that everyone makes logging seem like you have to have a masters degree to drop a tree? don't get me wrong i fully understand that their are alot off safty issues and do understand what you guys are telling me and i have cut many trees down and most went where i wanted them to fall and then again some didn't live and learn i guess. I'm basically just curious to how you guys got into logging because i know that you just don't graduate from log cutting university and get a job.
     
  7. Newfie

    Newfie Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm not saying don't do it, but as you have discovered life is full of decisions and trade offs. Obviously it's important to pay your bills and if the logging position can't do that, then I guess now is not the right time.

    I was just trying to make the point that flexibility is key and having some fixed expenses can cut into your ability to be flexible. Having family can do the same. My situation allowed me to be flexible enough where the wife can pay the bills and I started my own business. Working on my Mass logger's certification for the experience,knowledge and insurance savings.

    If you really want to make a job change,put together a plan that involves reducing your expenses, getting some training and making some contacts in the industry. Attend some conferences and expos if you can. Subscribe to some industry mags.Like most things in life it can probably be done, but not necessarily easily.
     
  8. Wade Huggins

    Wade Huggins ArboristSite Operative

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    Sniper,
    My wife is a correctional officer, and I hear daily of all the fun she has from 7 to 3 so I can understand you wanting a change of scenery. You should check out Madsen1.com and check the job listing section they often have postings for timber fellers, choke setters and so forth although you have to move out West many of the jobs they list all offer training and a pretty good pay with all the benefits so if your interested in moving hey maybe its a option. I also have a few a few other links to job postings out west if your interested let me know and will get them to you........holler back...........Wade
     
  9. Pacific

    Pacific ArboristSite Operative

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    There is no way you would start out as a production faller you may beable to start on the landing bucking ends working with the scalers.

    You guys in the east have different logging practices like we do out here on the West Coast. The logging companies in this area you start out as a gopher working with the road building crew as a drillers helper. You work with the production crew limbing or working with the yarder hooking choakers.

    The only real handwork done in the bush here is the fallers falling everything else is machine work the logs are chucked with a excavator or yarded with a grapple yarder. If skidders do get used they are mostly grapple skidders no need for choaker setters.

    Working in the bush isn't that easy of a job well in this area it isn't you have to know what your doing or you may end up seriously injured.

    A West Coast faller will make anywhere from 300-400 per day which is usually 6 hrs a good faller can drop alot of trees perday.

    The fallers I know are generation fallers so their dad his dad was a faller etc these guys have the experience.


    Good Luck with you decision I think you may find it easier to get into a different line of work.
     
  10. usmc50bmgsniper

    usmc50bmgsniper ArboristSite Operative

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    cool, thanks alot guys for the helpful information and i'm going to look into them, I really didn't expect to get a job felling trees right away i just want to get my feet wet even if that just means gasing up the saws or anything to get a start in the logging field, i'm not a quiter and know that after i was properly trained i would be an aset to any logging company because i am a dedicated hard worker (must be the jarhead still in me,LOL)i'll also have to check out some conferances and schools, do you guys no of any?
    i know of some grading schools in my area but thats about it.
    well thanks alot guys.
    sniper
     
  11. Ryan Willock

    Ryan Willock Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sniper, I KNOW where you are..... I've been there!! It sucks! I started out in the pedmont of north carolina and every thing there is done by machine, from falling to limbing. So no chainsaw work there. I kept looking and (I had already had some training and had been using a saw for several years) I found a job with a tree company. So I learned to climb and learned the business, well the a couple of months latter the company branched into logging. I did almost all of the falling, bucking and limbing for the company while I was there. Then back in January of 2003 I started my own company. I now work by myself for myself. If you are that determined then go for it but be prepared you're going to have to make sacrifices. Are you married? If so does your wife bring home enough money to keep all the bills paid up while you are learning the ropes and working your way up? How much do you like your truck? A $500 a month payment can stop you quick when you're just starting out in this industry. An expereanced timber cutter in my area gets $10-$13 per thousand board feet of timber that he cuts. You are expected to cut 15,000 feet a day. Thats daylight to almost dark. You had better have two good chain saws that way when one craps out on you (or you squish it like I did last week) you have a back up and don't have to wait to get that one fixed. $150-$200 a day is good pay but remember that in this industry you have a lot of down time due to weather. I haven't worked but one day this whole week because its been too wet and too windy. Yes the wind will stop you as it is deadly to try to cut timber in it! I hope this helps you and if you are truely determined to become a logger then let those of us who have done it and are in some way or another in the business help you.
     
  12. Jacob J.

    Jacob J. Tree Freak

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    Ryan- it sounds tougher back east than it does here. Here we only work 6 hours, but usually a guy can average $200-220/day as an employee or $280-300/day as a contractor just cutting. 6 hours is the standard day set by the Bureau Of Labor and Industries for the west coast falling operations ( believe me, the rigging crew absolutely hates it when they see the fallers hiking out of the unit at noon ).

    I've been cutting commerical thinnings mostly, that's 90% of all logging here anymore, but once in a while we come up on some residual big trees left over from an earlier timber sale or a right-of-way to another job. You might get into some good jobs back there taking right-of-way contracts for power or phone companies, They prefer to log any timber that they can usually in right-of-ways.

    Sniper- if you really want to get going in the woods, get a job on a logging crew. That way you'll get experience plus you'll make contacts for falling jobs in the future. Keep in mind though, the grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. As a faller you're expected to: own/maintain your own equipment, show up everyday-even if the weather is bad and you can't work ( you're still out the gas money ), work for the same rate- no matter what the timber type is or how bad the ground is. As Ryan pointed out, a lot of fallers are still paid as "bushelers", meaning they get paid according to how much they cut. Sometimes it really sucks, any big timber left in the woods these days is on very steep ground usually, and you get docked if you break up any timber or don't fully manufacture it out to the logger's specs.
     
  13. Ryan Willock

    Ryan Willock Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Around here after you fall the trees you limb them and top them so that they can be skidded tree length to the landing where they are bucked (norrmally) with a buck saw. JJ, we have some unreliable sh!ts around here that after they get a little money in their pockets they don't show up again till they've spent it:angry: Or "its too cold" or "its too wet"! Thats a BIG reason why I like to work BY MY SELF!!! I don't have to worry about who's going to show or who isn't.

    This year (2003) around my area we have had the following accidents in the woods. We've had two people get run over by skidders (yes the ones they were driving) they didn't set the parking brake when they got out to hook up to a turn and the thing ran over them. One guy lived, one didn't. A couple of people have had tree roll onto them that they were limbing and topping on steep ground (ALWAYS, ALWAYS STAY ON THE UP HILL SIDE OF ANY LOG OR TREE YOU ARE BUCKING OR LIMBING!!!). Another guy was working as a two man team, one guy falling the other cutting laps. The guy falling looked at the guy cutting the laps and made eye contact signiling that he was about to drop a tree the other guy acknowlegded so the first guy preceded to fall the tree. The guy cutting laps for some reason or another forgot what was going on and wasn't paying attention and walked under the falling tree! He is now paralized from the waist down. It (the tree) tore his spinal collum almost it two, it was hanging together litterally by a couple of threads of tissue. Oh the part of the tree that hit him was only 2 1/2 inches in diameter!

    Thats all of the injuries and fatalities that I am aware of but thats more than enough.
     
  14. Bill G

    Bill G Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sniper,

    That is unbelievable. What is your return on that investment ? What type of business do you do that requires the truck. If it is simply just transportation then there is no justification for $522 a month. I know of guys spending $2000 a month on a truck payment but that truck also returns $2000 a week. That is a decent return. We are looking for another dozer here. It will probably be bought outright but if we finace some the machine will yeild a return above the payment. I am lucky in that currently I am not making a payment that does not return a good income above expense. 18 months ago I took a 75% cut in pay I changed professions and moved on. Reduce expenses and go after your desires. If you are happy the wages will be of little importance.

    Just my random thoughts,
    Bill
     
  15. Newfie

    Newfie Addicted to ArboristSite

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    A few random thoughts, a vehicle is for transportation, not an investment. Bill, if you are looking upon disposable goods for a an investment return you are barking up the wrong tree. Even a vehicle purchased or leased for work purposes will break even at best, but personal transport is not an investment. Why do you find his truck payment that unbeleivable? That seems about in line for a new full size truck w/ a small down payment and financed over 48 or 60 months.
     
  16. Bill G

    Bill G Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Newfie,

    He indicated he really wanted to change careers but could not take a cut in pay because his truck payment was $522 a month. Is that truck worth more than an enjoyable career ? You stated a vehicle is for transportation and not an investment. So does it take a $30,000 truck to provide transportation ? Wouldn't a cheaper vehicle will get you to and from work. If a person works a job that they do not like so they can drive an expensive vehicle then the vehicle is more important to them then the a enjoyable career. I would prefer to drive a older truck to a job I enjoyed then a new F-450 to a job I did not. Life is full of choices and to make the choices that will bring one the most enjoyment they must make sacrifices. One must put things in priority.

    Bill
     
  17. Newfie

    Newfie Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I agree completely...

    "Life is full of choices and to make the choices that will bring one the most enjoyment they must make sacrifices. One must put things in priority."


    Absolutely Bill, read my second post on the thread, sounds eerily like that little bit right there that I quoted from you.

    I just can't see any personal vehicle as an investment(at least not a sound one), but a convenience.

    I guess Sniper is the only one who can decide how bad he really wants to make the career change, whether the potential sacrifices are worth it to him.
     
  18. Oregon_Rob

    Oregon_Rob AboristSite Guru

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    I find many of life’s sacrifices to be very rewarding. It is easy to become over attached to things and giving them up can be enlightening. Often times memories are as good as the real thing, with out the payment!
     
  19. Jacob J.

    Jacob J. Tree Freak

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    I drove a Nissan pickup that I paid $2800 for, for 12 years and put 322,000 miles on it. That allowed me to spend my money on more important things, like chainsaws and women.
     
  20. wiley_p

    wiley_p AboristSite Guru

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    My F-250 cost 8400.00 a year and its worth every cent. Sometimes money has to be spent to be earned. I wish I had the good fortune to spend less on a used vehicle but that has never worked out, that and the fact that I average 900 miles per week< Not to many American gas motors going to stand up to that abuse, Also if a client is continually late in paying their bill I can pull the front wall off their 4 car garage and take one of their Jag's or BMW rigs in lieu of payment.
     

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