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Thread: Certified Logger?

  1. #1

    Certified Logger?

    I was thinking today about my Certification as a logger and figured that since I have it written as my signature line, people might want to know just what a Certified Logger is, and why anyone would want to be one.

    Well 15 years ago, the Maine Tree Foundation came up with the Certified Logger program which was a week long course that taught safety and professionalism to loggers. It was hoped that loggers would take the course and then could sell themselves as better trained and more professional then other loggers and kind of set themselves apart.

    Well it never took off, and most of the loggers here just continued on as they always had done. About that same time workers compensation rates for loggers starting going through the roof, hitting costs of 33 cents on the dollar,an insane figure because of the huge number of injuries. Papermills and sawmills could not afford to pay for the logs because logging companies insurance rates were so high driving up the cost of producing wood. Something had to be done.

    So the paper mills decided that from 1998 on, any logging contractor had to be a Certified Logger in order to sell wood to the mill. Truckers and Timber Brokers had to be Cerified Loggers too. The only ones that were exempt were landowners who cut their own wood on their wood lots.

    Now the mad scramble to become Certified began.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Even though I was semi-immune from the requirement, if I wanted to cut wood off anyone else's woodlot, I would need to be Certified. I hated to spend the money,and thought "what could they possible teach me about cutting wood? I have been doing this since I was 15 years old."

    Well in two words..."A LOT."

    They showed us faster, safer ways to fell trees. They told us about environmental laws, forestry aspects and trucking regulations. They also showed us how to really file a chainsaw chain, something I thought I knew how to do. To put this in perspective, I now find myself filing new chainsaw chains because they feel dull to me. Before I thought chain saw chains were pretty sharp right out of the box.

    Best of all though,they took us in the woods and we put all this to practical use. We would take a stake, drive it in the ground and then see how close we could land a tree to that stake. You were allowed to be within 2 feet of the stake to pass. I think everyone learned something at this class.

    Even now in order to maintain your certification they must come out to your woodlot and check out your logging equipment, chainsaws and trucks and make sure they are in safe shape and maintained every year. They also check your stumps and make sure you are felling trees the way you are supposed to. They also make sure you are doing things environmentally right too.

    All in all its been good and I find myself using the techniques they taught me to harvest wood. The jury is still out on whether it was this program that got logger injuries down, or the fact that most loggers have moved to mechanical equipment to do all the logging now. Either way that is what it takes to be a Certified Logger in case anyone was curios.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,017
    Interesting info, Travis. I'd always wondered about the details behind your signature line. Thanks for posting it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Thanks for the explanation Travis!
    Ken
    ------



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