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Author Topic: Big Timber  (Read 1895 times)

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Offline Rhodemont

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Big Timber
« on: July 12, 2021, 09:45:46 AM »
I watched an episode on Netflix of a sawmill in Vancouver that has a "claim" to take cedar of the side of a remote mountain and move it to their mill and sell logs to another.  The side of the mountain has been clear and is a total mess to pull the logs up and off. Looks really dangerous  Why would they not remove the logs as they cut?  Or, a lot of the stump diameters look bigger than the logs so were the big ones already pulled off and they are going after the leftovers?
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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2021, 10:21:45 AM »
I don't work big jobs in the PNW like this at all, so take this with a grain of salt. I'm sure the big cutters here will chime in over time.
Access to these logs is from above. It is safest and easiest for yarding to fell the trees downhill and pull the butts uphill. They start at the bottom so that once they get into it and work their way uphill there is room for the trees to fall and not hang or break. With most of the standing trees on the uphill side, the yarder can't pull the logs through those standing trees, so they have to get them all down first. Also, think of how hard it would be to get that mainline up in the air with all those standing stems. Lastly, falling and yarding are two different things with two different skill sets and they cannot take place at the same time. Falling trees while yarding goes on, to clear them is a very dangerous thing to do. I wouldn't want to be a hook tender with falling going on around me. These are just my educated guesses. I am sure the show is not giving the full details because if you look at the logs on the trucks as they head out to the mill, they look a lot different than the busted up stuff they show getting yarded up the hill.
There is another thread on this show you might want to check out: 

https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=115918.msg1834308;topicseen#msg1834308
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2021, 11:20:43 AM »
Tom has covered it well. The fallers go in ahead of time then the riggers come in with the yarder or helicopter to recover the timber. It is hauled to roadside for processing then trucked, boomed, or barged to the mill. Often they will first go to a sort yard where the loads are broken down according to size and species, different mills have different requirements.
As you noted it is hard dangerous work. The ground crew or hookers as we called them are all in their late teens and 20's, by thirty they are either busted up too bad to carry on in that work or dead. I worked in support with helilogging crews for five years, it was a real eye opener.
Those stumps are from previous harvests, you were seeing probably the third or maybe the fourth. It is a coastal rainforest and the rate of growth is phenominal.
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Online Skeans1

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2021, 05:37:55 PM »
I watched an episode on Netflix of a sawmill in Vancouver that has a "claim" to take cedar of the side of a remote mountain and move it to their mill and sell logs to another.  The side of the mountain has been clear and is a total mess to pull the logs up and off. Looks really dangerous  Why would they not remove the logs as they cut?  Or, a lot of the stump diameters look bigger than the logs so were the big ones already pulled off and they are going after the leftovers?
When planning out a high lead job the cutting start at the bottom working your way up the hill for less potential of a log to go rolling on you. To how the direction of the cutting is done theres two schools of thought straight down the hill which makes a mess of stuff, or quarter across the hill side which is normally safer for everyone involved if its bucked lengths. They do cut well yarding is going but its a much slower process then yarding is so its one of the reasons most if not all cutting is completed before any yarding is started. As far as stumps go youre in reprod timber vs old growth which in someways is more dangerous then the big old girls were.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2021, 06:50:14 PM »
As you noted it is hard dangerous work. The ground crew or hookers as we called them are all in their late teens and 20's, by thirty they are either busted up too bad to carry on in that work or dead. I worked in support with helilogging crews for five years, it was a real eye opener


Local companies are developing remote controlled grapples to eliminate the need to have people on the ground when playing pickup sticks. 

The carriage has it's own hydraulic power pack, and remote cameras so the operator can see and control what's going on down there, steer the grapple to a log and snag it. 

The felling on the hillside isn't especially dangerous because the trees are being dropped downhill and falling away from the logger. Working in that jumbled mess is what gets dangerous, so there is a push to remove that. 

Should pay for itself in reduced accident insurance alone, and a misspent youth playing the Crane games at the amusement arcade is now a valuable job skill. ;D
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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2021, 07:32:14 PM »
We experimented with grapples but it was not as productive as men on the ground. The logs were not laid out neatly, often jumbled like pick up sticks at the bottom of the slope, and gave the pilot another task to take his mind off flying.
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Offline donbj

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2021, 08:02:54 PM »
I hooked chokers on a yarding show in the late 70s. I was 23. You had to be on your game for sure as a good part of the time the operator couldnt see you or know where you are. We wore radio signal belts that sounded the horn for the operator. Stop, haul in, haul back, tightline etc.

The tightline was where you better keep your eyes open and yourself well out of the way while getting mainline back on track or jumping to the next block. Actually enjoyed it and we set some production records on top of it all.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2021, 08:22:25 PM »
Yeah, I can see more problems with helicopter operation. Having to fly AND play Pick-Up-Sticks at the same time would be "tricky". 

This is a carriage on a fairly conventional cable yarder. They are experimenting with VR headsets view from the cameras on the carriage, so the operator is "right there" looking at the grapple, 

It might be slower than a team doing hookups, but it's a heck of lot safer, and a cable yarder cost's less per hour than a heavy lift chopper. 

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Offline teakwood

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2021, 08:14:01 AM »
I am sure the show is not giving the full details because if you look at the logs on the trucks as they head out to the mill, they look a lot different than the busted up stuff they show getting yarded up the hill.


That is exactly what i thought also. loved the show, couldn't stop watching, sadly just one season. cool operation he has going one, although i would hate to repair every machine every time you use them, it seems they loose half of the day with fixing that old crap equipment.
what really astoniged me is how weak that cedar wood is, a 3 foot log just snapped right of where the choker is just because it hits a rock, snapped like a tooth stick :o 
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Offline Rhodemont

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2021, 09:07:44 AM »
Watched a couple more episodes.  They must dramatize every little thing they can to make it exciting with all the breakdowns to overcome in order to get the "200" loads out.  Beyond that as you guys have pointed out...if being a hooker is anything like they are showing it must be a short life. 
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Offline donbj

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2021, 02:38:39 PM »
Those reality shows dramatize everything big time. We just watched our backs and the guys we worked with and did our jobs. I find it hard to watch some of those shows.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2021, 03:23:12 PM »
I shun television as much as possible.  On the rare occasion i am in the vacinity of some "work show" where the stuff is hitting the fan and stupid things are breaking at every commercial break on a 4 minute rotation 3 cycles long to build suspense before they play the whole segment..  Next thing you know the sergeant in me is chewing a bunch of boots up one side down the other. I will get terribly angry at the stupidity of it all and that theyre brainwashing the young suburban teenage viewers into thinking this is normal on a jobsite when it just isnt.

Next thing you know im wide eyed, veins popping,  yelling at the stupid show.   all you idiots are fired.. where the hell did you learn to be a man.. at the circus!? What is wrong with you?!  Whatd you think was gonna happen stupid!? get out of here and bring me a crew of teenagers that will listen and use half a brain for gods sake.   


Yeah im pretty bad.  No tv for this guy.  Especially not "reality" television. 
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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2021, 03:48:05 PM »
I shun television as much as possible.  On the rare occasion i am in the vacinity of some "work show" where the stuff is hitting the fan and stupid things are breaking at every commercial break on a 4 minute rotation 3 cycles long to build suspense before they play the whole segment..  Next thing you know the sergeant in me is chewing a bunch of boots up one side down the other. I will get terribly angry at the stupidity of it all and that theyre brainwashing the young suburban teenage viewers into thinking this is normal on a jobsite when it just isnt.

Next thing you know im wide eyed, veins popping,  yelling at the stupid show.   all you idiots are fired.. where the hell did you learn to be a man.. at the circus!? What is wrong with you?!  Whatd you think was gonna happen stupid!? get out of here and bring me a crew of teenagers that will listen and use half a brain for gods sake.  


Yeah im pretty bad.  No tv for this guy.  Especially not "reality" television.
Im not one for television, I did use to love the show mighty machines, how its made, mythbusters and dirty jobs. Havent seen any of those in a long time. Discovery channel use to have some cool and inspiring stuff playing on it each day.

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2021, 05:16:12 PM »
Well first, this isn't TV, it's netflix. I too hate those shows where they simply everything down into a crisis of the moment and create artificial drama. I didn't get much of that from this show at all. It's the reason I enjoyed it. As a reasonably intelligent and experienced adult I found this to be quite watchable. It is the same reason I could not watch axmen which was also working guys, but in my mind they made them out to look like incompetent baboons working without due regard for anything but money.
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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2021, 05:41:07 PM »
Well first, this isn't TV, it's netflix. I too hate those shows where they simply everything down into a crisis of the moment and create artificial drama. I didn't get much of that from this show at all. It's the reason I enjoyed it. As a reasonably intelligent and experienced adult I found this to be quite watchable. It is the same reason I could not watch axmen which was also working guys, but in my mind they made them out to look like incompetent baboons working without due regard for anything but money.
Netflix and YouTube are basically the new television lol a tradesman drama series that comes to mind for me was ice road truckers. What a unprofessional clown show they displayed it as.

Offline tawilson

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2021, 06:05:00 PM »
Well first, this isn't TV, it's netflix. I too hate those shows where they simply everything down into a crisis of the moment and create artificial drama. I didn't get much of that from this show at all. It's the reason I enjoyed it. As a reasonably intelligent and experienced adult I found this to be quite watchable. It is the same reason I could not watch axmen which was also working guys, but in my mind they made them out to look like incompetent baboons working without due regard for anything but money.
Netflix and YouTube are basically the new television lol a tradesman drama series that comes to mind for me was ice road truckers. What a unprofessional clown show they displayed it as.
The first season or two were better. They started out focusing on the ice trips themselves as I recall.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2021, 06:24:40 PM »
If you wanna live a clown show just get a CDL and a CB radio.   The road can be a total zoo at times.  Very unforgiving.  
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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2021, 07:18:05 PM »
If you wanna live a clown show just get a CDL and a CB radio.   The road can be a total zoo at times.  Very unforgiving.  
I almost went that route. Did the useless schooling too(I did learn a little but big rip off), I was 19, so I was young and dumb and got suckered in.I found a job in a  Fab shop shortly after and I enjoyed that more so forgot about the trucking. They call it a class 1 license here

Offline Ed_K

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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2021, 06:47:42 AM »
 I never understood why OSHA never came and shut them down  >:(.
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Re: Big Timber
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2021, 06:56:08 AM »
I shun television as much as possible.  On the rare occasion i am in the vacinity of some "work show" where the stuff is hitting the fan and stupid things are breaking at every commercial break on a 4 minute rotation 3 cycles long to build suspense before they play the whole segment..  Next thing you know the sergeant in me is chewing a bunch of boots up one side down the other. I will get terribly angry at the stupidity of it all and that theyre brainwashing the young suburban teenage viewers into thinking this is normal on a jobsite when it just isnt.

Next thing you know im wide eyed, veins popping,  yelling at the stupid show.   all you idiots are fired.. where the hell did you learn to be a man.. at the circus!? What is wrong with you?!  Whatd you think was gonna happen stupid!? get out of here and bring me a crew of teenagers that will listen and use half a brain for gods sake.  


Yeah im pretty bad.  No tv for this guy.  Especially not "reality" television.
Pretty much the same, but i yell even more at the translators, who know zilch about the job they're doing the translation about. I have seen fenders called culasse (head) or block and tackle, called chane et bloc! (chain and block) 
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