Careers in the Redwoods

Loggers perform a variety of jobs at a job site. Their overall goal is to cut down trees and then be able to load the logs onto trailers to be transported to mills. In this episode of Careers in the Redwoods, we explore the many pathways to achieve a logging career in the redwoods.

Fallers are loggers who cut down trees. Fallers usually work in pairs a good distance away from others at the job site. Fallers use a chain saw to make cuts into tree’s trunks to fell the trees in a specific direction.

Once the tree is cut down, buckers use chain saws to cut off the limbs and branches as well as cut the trunks into the appropriate length for transport and milling.

Chokers move the logs once they are bucked by wrapping chains around them. Once the chains are attached, logs are moved by a variety of tools including winches and tractors. Loggers must guide the logs between stumps or over ditches as they pull them.

After logs reach the loading site, loader engineers drive machines that collect logs and drop them onto trailers for transport. Logs are then taken to lumber mills to be cut into boards.

There are no specific education requirements for loggers but a high school education is important. Most loggers are trained on the job, in theoutdoors. Loggers must be strong and fast on their feet. Therefore, logging companies like to hire workers who have been active in sports or have experience doing hard work.

Logging crew chiefs and the loggers who work for them must have a keen understanding of the landscape in order to most efficiently and effectively remove the logs while also leaving intact vegetation so that the forest grows again. Therefore, plans are made before logging begins that included a vision for what the forest will look like when the logging is finished.