Sign In

Job Descriptions: Logging Crew

The logging crew falls the standing trees, cuts (bucks) and delimbs them into desired log lengths, and moves them from the stump to the roadside landing—often on steep hills and over long distances. At the road, the many log types are processed, sorted and loaded on trucks for transport to different mills. All crewmembers receive ample job-tailored safety and task training, due to the many hazards from falling trees, moving logs, rough terrain, heavy equipment, and mountain driving.
 
Tailored to the site conditions and contract terms, the crew uses a suitable mechanical logging system to fall & buck the trees, and move the logs to the roadside. A logging crew may entail two to ten workers and a variety of purpose-built heavy machinery. Logging system options include: ground skid, forward, shovel, cable suspend, or helicopter aerial. Tree falling, delimbing and bucking is accomplished either mechanically or by chainsaw.
 
CHASER
Works on a roadside flat landing area, where logs are delivered directly from the forest by machinery. The Chaser safely unhooks a “choker” noose from each log, as the log arrives at the landing area—pulled by a cable or machine. A choker is a noose of strong cable (wire rope), which is secured around a log by hooking one-end of the cable noose to a bell that slides & cinches around the log end. Chaser also may have other machinery maintenance duties, and using a chainsaw to finish delimbing or cutting (bucking) logs to specified lengths. On cable logging operations, assists with safely moving and rigging the cables & blocks used to pull/suspend logs toward the road. Communicates safe log movement instructions using a radio and hand signals. Requires special safety clothing, physical-fitness, and climbing over downed trees.
 
Prior Experience: None required; chainsaw use & service preferred; on-the-job-training.
 
CHOKER SETTER
Works on forested slopes, attaching a “choker” to each downed log, then hooks the tail of the choker to another cable or hook—so that a machine can safely pull the log toward the road. A choker is a noose of strong cable (wire rope), which is secured around a log by hooking one-end of the cable noose to a bell that slides & cinches around the log end. On cable logging operations, the choker setter assists with safely moving and re-rigging the cables & blocks used to pull/suspend logs toward the road. On cable logging operations, setter also may use a radio to help guide movements of cables, machinery, and crew members to hook the logs. Choker setter usually works in teams of 2-5. Communicates safe log movement instructions using a radio and hand signals. Requires special safety clothing, physical-fitness, endurance, and hiking the often steep forest terrain, climbing over downed trees, while carrying a radio and heavy cable rigging.
 
Prior Experience: None required; on-the-job-training.
 
COILER
A specialized logging crew job, assigned to helicopter logging operations. The Coiler works on a roadside flat landing area, where many logs are rapidly delivered directly from the forest via helicopter. Coiler safely gathers and coils by-hand all the “chokers” from the helicopter landing, after logs are dropped and unhooked from each choker. A choker is a noose of strong cable (wire rope), which is secured around a log by hooking one-end of the cable noose to a bell that slides & cinches around the log end. Communicates safe log movement instructions using a radio and hand signals. Requires special safety clothing, physical-fitness, and climbing over downed trees.
 
Prior Experience: None required; chainsaw use & service preferred; on-the-job-training.
 
HOOKER
A specialized logging crew job, assigned to helicopter logging operations. The Hooker works on forested slopes, gathering one or more “chokers”—each attached to a log—and then safely connects the chokers to a hook on the long-line suspended below a flying helicopter. Hooker directs a team of 2-5 choker setters, and uses a radio to guide a helicopter’s flying movements to hook logs. A choker is a noose of strong cable (wire rope), which is secured around a log by hooking one-end of the cable noose to a bell that slides & cinches around the log end. Communicates safe log movement instructions using a radio and hand signals. Requires special safety clothing, physical-fitness, endurance, and hiking the often steep forest terrain, climbing over downed trees, while carrying a radio and heavy cable rigging.
 
Prior Experience: Work as choker setter and chaser; chainsaw use & service; written helicopter logging handbooks and training guides; on-the-job-training.
 
RIGGING SLINGER
Works on forested slopes, directs a team of 2-6 workers (rigging crew=choker setters+chaser). On cable logging operations, the rigging slinger also directs the safe movement and rigging of cables, blocks and machinery used to pull/suspend logs toward the road. Rigging slinger uses up to three radios to guide the movements of cables, machinery, and crew members to hook the logs. Choker setter is a worker who attaches a “choker” to each downed log, then hooks the tail of the choker to another machine, cable or hook—which can safely pull the log toward the road. A choker is a noose of strong cable (wire rope), which is secured around a log by hooking one-end of the cable noose to a bell that slides & cinches around the log end. Communicates safe log movement instructions using a radio and hand signals. Requires special safety clothing, physical-fitness, endurance, and hiking the often steep forest terrain, climbing over downed trees, while carrying a radio and heavy cable rigging.
 
Prior Experience: Work as choker setter and chaser; chainsaw use & service; written cable rigging handbooks and training guides; on-the-job-training.
 
TIMBER BUCKER
An inexperienced timber faller, who works alongside to assist a more experienced faller, on forested slopes. The bucker helps the timber faller with falling safety, delimbing and cutting (bucking) trees into pre-specified log lengths, according to log grade. Refer to ‘Timber Faller.’
 
Prior Experience: None required; chainsaw use & service preferred; on-the-job-training.
 
TIMBER FALLER
Works independently or in teams of two, on forested slopes, using a chainsaw and other tools to safely hand-fall trees in the desired direction. Interprets complex harvest plans to identify falling pattern, and which trees to cut and leave; and must assess each tree for hazards, terrain, grade and optimal recovery—prior to and during conduct of safe tree falling practices. Delimbs and cuts (“bucks”) trees into pre-specified log lengths, according to many log grades. Requires special safety clothing, strong problem-solving skills, physical-fitness, endurance, and hiking the often steep forest terrain, while carrying a chainsaw, gas/oil, shovel, radio, and other tools.
 
Prior Experience: Work as timber bucker; learn from work with experienced faller; demonstrated safe falling performance; chainsaw use & service; written timber falling handbooks and training guides; choker setter experience preferred; on-the-job-training.
 
TREE CLIMBER
Works on forested slopes, using specialized skill to climb trees, while wearing pole climbing spurs on the legs, a belt and harness. Climbs and delimbs (by chainsaw) standing trees as high as 100 feet above the ground, for the purpose of attaching elevated blocks and cable rigging used for cable logging systems. Must lift and carry drop-lines, heavy tools & gear while climbing a tree. Two other purposes for climbing are: 1) create a wildlife habitat snag from a live tree; and 2) collect tree cones & seed. Climber is often another logging crew member, who also applies this specialized skill when needed. Refer to ‘Rigging Slinger,’ ‘Choker Setter,’ ‘Hooktender.’ Communicates safe rigging instructions using a radio and hand signals. Requires special safety clothing, physical-fitness, endurance, and hiking the often steep forest terrain, while carrying a radio and heavy cable rigging.
 
Prior Experience: Work as choker setter or timber faller; learn from work with experienced climber; demonstrated safe climbing performance; chainsaw use & service; written tree climbing handbooks and training guides; on-the-job-training.