Logging Equipment Operators

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Also known as:  Delimber Operator, Feller Buncher Operator, Feller Operator, Grapple Operator, Grapple Skidder Operator, Log Hauler, Log Processor Operator, Log Stacker Operator, Logging Crane Operator, Logging Shovel Operator

ABOUT LOGGING EQUIPMENT OPERATOR CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Paper and lumber companies grow trees the way farmers grow corn - as a crop to be planted, cultivated, and harvested. Log handling equipment operators play a crucial role in the harvesting process.

Most work as part of a team employed by a logging contractor. After loggers have cut and trimme ...
d the trees and cut the logs to a specified length, the logs are taken to a loading area called a "landing." Here, log handling equipment operators use tracked or wheeled equipment to load the logs onto trucks or railroad cars. Since logs vary in weight, it is important to place the logs in a way that creates a safely balanced load.

For a job of this sort, you will need a high school diploma, and possible some previous summer or part-time experience in the logging industry. Training or experience in operating heavy equipment of any sort is also a definite plus. And even though machines now do most of the work, it is essential to be in good physical condition, as you will probably have to pass a physical examination before being hired.

Operating log-handling equipment is hard, demanding work that is not without its dangers. Yet wood and wood pulp will always be essential "crops," so there will always be a need for operators to load that crop and take it from the forest to the factory.

If you like working out of doors and if you are comfortable operating heavy equipment, this just might be the right job for you.

SNAPSHOT Expand
Drive logging tractor or wheeled vehicle equipped with one or more accessories such as bulldozer blade, frontal shear, grapple, logging arch, cable winches, hoisting rack, or crane boom, to fell tree; to skid, load, unload, or stack logs; or to pull stumps or clear brush.
Leadership
LOW
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
LOW
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
LOW
Comfort of the work setting
LOW
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
HIGH
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS
Drive tractors for the purpose of building or repairing logging and skid roads.
Drive crawler or wheeled tractors to drag or transport logs from felling sites to log landing areas for processing and loading.
Drive straight or articulated tractors equipped with accessories such as bulldozer blades, grapples, logging arches, cable winches, and crane booms, to skid, load, unload, or stack logs, pull stumps, or clear brush.
Inspect equipment for safety prior to use, and perform necessary basic maintenance tasks.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Multilimb Coordination The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Control Precision The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Depth Perception The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
Reaction Time The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Arm-Hand Steadiness The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Response Orientation The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Operation and Control Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Equipment Maintenance Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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