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Logging Efficiently with Good Tools

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Logging is probably one of the oldest occupations in the United States. To many, logging sounds very simple...you cut down trees and that's it, right?  Wrong!  Today's professional loggers do a very complicated, high-pressure and dangerous job.  A tremendous amount of skill and experience is what it takes to really thrive in today's timber industry.  But even those with great skill and years of experience need quality tools.  Again, logging is a difficult and dangerous job.  There is no reason to further complicate your day by trying to work with old, worn-out gear.  While our typical logging customer is a professional logger working here in the Pacific Northwest, we sell to companies and individuals all over the country that run operations of all sizes.  This post will focus on the needs of small, common loggers that are clearing their own property or working on a small commercial scale.

For small jobs, one can often get by with simple tools like Chokers, Skidding Tongs, Peavies and / or Log Jacks.  No matter where you're logging, your small job can likely make use of one or all of these tools.  You need to fell the tree, move it, cut it to length and sell it or burn it (assuming you're building a stock pile for your wood stove).  And whether or not you buy such tools from Westech Rigging Supply, just be sure that you buy from a reputable source.  You want quality when buying such tools, and saving a few dollars could really cost you down the road if your logging tool breaks when you need it most.

Our average customer knows how to use all of these tools, we realize that for some this could be an entirely new adventure.  So, let us quickly describe what these tools are and how they are used.  Skidding tongs are used to grab and hold logs while you drag them into place.  Often, our customers will attach them directly to their main winch line.  Skidding tongs are for dragging only, so be sure to check out Rated Lifting Tongs if you plan to lift logs or any kind of timber overhead in a commercial setting (e.g., setting railroad ties).  Even more common than tongs are chokers, and we offer them in both Cat-Style and Skidder-Style.  For most of our customers (especially Internet customers), cat chokers are the most common choice.  Because there is an eye (aka loop) on one end, you can attach them in many simple ways.  Once you skid a log into place, you need to cut it down to size.  For simple positioning, a peavey or cant hook is very popular.  These simple tools give you a solid grip and just enough leverage to manipulate small / medium logs into place.  For cutting and chainsaw safety, you should really use a log jack.  Their sole purpose is to raise the log off the ground so you can safely cut it without burying your chainsaw in the dirt and risking unnecessary kickback.

Now, the above paragraph is merely a brief synopsis and a sort of buyer's guide.  There is a whole lot more to learn about logging before setting out to tackle even a small job.  But, we hope that our simplistic explanations are helpful for you beginners.  And when in doubt, consult with a true, professional logger.  We know many of them, and they have all been in the industry for years and moved millions and millions of board feet of timber.  They know what it takes to get the job done right, safely and efficiently.  Like all industries, the timber industry is evolving.  New technology promises to make logging easier and more efficient than ever before.  But, before you can appreciate the latest and greatest innovations, it's helpful to understand the basics.  And for small jobs, a high-tech approach usually isn't practical.  If you don't already have some or most of the basic tools outlined above, then that's where you should start.

Once you have mastered the basics of small, private logging, you may want to venture out and take on bigger jobs.  If that's the case, then get professional training / consultation.  There are forestry programs available at the collegiate level, and there are private organizations as well that offer great training programs.  Here in Oregon, one such organization is the Associated Oregon Loggers (AOL).

No matter what kind of logging job you are set to undertake, be safe, work efficiently and use quality tools.  If you start off on the right foot, then you are much more likely to achieve success and enjoy your logging experience.


This is great information and very useful for all but I want share one thing to all of us that...

" Always wear the appropriate PPE when handling and transport of materials. Gloves, coveralls, and safety boots are standard gear.Check if the materials are dangerous and can cause additional equipment if necessary. We all know we have to be careful and know the proper method for lifting or physical work. We also know that do not overexert ourselves. Do what is right for themselves."

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