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Author Topic: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing  (Read 2640 times)

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Offline livemusic

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Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« on: March 29, 2021, 08:45:51 AM »
Modern forestry practices use very large felling machines; the guy with a chainsaw is disappearing. When baby boomers are gone, there won't be anyone left, more or less, with felling skills. What negative impacts do you foresee this as having on forestry and woodlot landowners?

For instance, let's say there is a woodlot owner who had necessary skills but has reached an age where, for safety reasons or just not wanting to work so hard, he no longer wants to use his chainsaw skills to fell trees for firewood, thinning or timber stand improvement or land-clearing now and then. He is willing to pay someone to do it. Who's going to do it? Loggers with the big equipment won't because the job is too small; it's too much hassle to move the equipment. As for hiring a skilled feller, they are disappearing.

On top of that, it just seems like people just do not want to work like they used to. Manual labor... I tell ya... around here, it's dang hard to find anyone to work. At anything. Even routine, little-skill-required yardwork. I guess that is why everybody and his brother who ARE willing to work are forming lawncare businesses.

On a sidenote, I recall when I was a kid, there was a young fella just out of high school who cut my dad's yard for $5. With a non-propelled push mower. I own this place now. It's 1.2 acres that I mow myself with my zero turn these days, lol. I dunno how much it would cost to get a yard crew but if it's $100, it wouldn't surprise me. An inflation calculator shows that $5 in 1965 is $43 today.

You guys are the experts, just curious what problems you foresee.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2021, 09:43:12 AM »
its a problem for everyone else.  i see it as a chance to be the first to make the prototype machines that replace humans at cost effective TSI.  then sell the manufacturing licenses to the big fish. because the last thing anyone wants to do anymore is break a sweat.  they want to swipe a card for a $40k machine to shovel the walkway.   hey suit yourself.  ill take your money and retire, you stay at work paying the zero interest notes til you croak.
Psalm 37:16

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2021, 09:55:19 AM »
But Mike, come on now. You KNOW that there is something that should be said (in a good way & job) for a good & honest individual. However few & far between we are. 

I see your point, and honesty WILL trump everything else. Because if youíll lie to me, youíll steal from me. Those 2 things almost always go hand in hand.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2021, 10:17:19 AM »
But Mike, come on now. You KNOW that there is something that should be said (in a good way & job) for a good & honest individual. However few & far between we are.

I see your point, and honesty WILL trump everything else. Because if youíll lie to me, youíll steal from me. Those 2 things almost always go hand in hand.


???  

I have no idea what other people's debt has to do with me lying or stealing from anyone dude.  People can do whatever they want with their money.  Proverbial "they" seem to be choosing to spend more than they'll ever make and it is of no consequence to my bottom line.  Neither does this observation have any credible implications on my integrity.    ::)

Psalm 37:16

Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2021, 10:28:02 AM »
Iím not saying ANYTHING about your integrity, AT ALL! 

Iím only talking about MY personal experience with people that IíVE met FACE TO FACE. 

My post was never pointing a finger at you. Thatís not what I intended for you to read into. 
Trying harder everyday.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2021, 11:25:12 AM »
okay, well my apologies then.  why don't we get back on track. 
Psalm 37:16

Offline mudfarmer

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2021, 11:34:31 AM »
Some double edged swords at play, too.

Around here you used to be able to let people cut firewood on your place in exchange for the wood. That meant thinning and TSI that you didn't have to pay for or work for.

Now you will probably get sued if you let some random neighbor cut on your place and if you are the guy that wants to cut, the landowner wants you to have $millions in liability coverage :D

Then you peek at the "delimber" thread that just got posted, the workman's comp issues, the payroll issues, insurance issues, companies going all mech, production quotas, higher production requirements to pay for mechanization, where is the incentive for people to learn the skills necessary for manual labor jobs such as running a chainsaw all day without dying? At this point they are probably better off playing video games so they can learn how to run a feller buncher or a robot delimber.

Offline timberking

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2021, 01:06:43 PM »
We haven't had a saw guy for a long time.  #1 they aren't out there and #2 the chance we got caught and lost our mechanized insurance rating.

Offline Southside

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2021, 01:25:25 PM »
Started my first business in 2004, finding help was a problem then, now it's impossible.  Absolutely impossible to find folks who will work - and I don't mean sweat shop - can make a decision, have problem solving skills, and enough mechanical skills to know when to shut something off at a minimum, oh and actually care about what one is doing - have ownership in ones work - fuggetabout it...
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Offline Sugar

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2021, 02:17:28 PM »
Didn't you get the memo?  Seems like it went 30-40 years ago.  Everyone's child is extra special and will grow to be an extra special genius.  Manual labor would just be depriving society of their specialness.   We have lost at least 2 but probably 3 generations of hard working Americans at this point.  
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Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2021, 08:31:11 PM »
I dropped another loggers dozer off in Lanesville last night, just thru the notch around the corner from Hunter Mt, the type of ground that will give most men sickness just standing on the landing. GOOD handcutters are around and in demand. We have 17 on payroll, no one has to explain to me how hard help is to find 😆

 We don't have a "logger" shortage here but your seeing the transition to mechanical, grapple skidders are common now. The biggest killer to the little guy isn't the help, its the insurance. Foresters don't really want to see the little iron, these state jobs aren't geared for it, landowners dont want me there 6 months, pulpmill doesn't want to hear that you only can do 1-2ld a week, how im seeing the little guy go away here unless your cutting GOOD hardwood for the mills. 

Offline SW Oh Logger

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2021, 10:16:05 PM »
I almost don't know where to start with this without writing a book. Everything that has been said about the lack of work ethic, changing society, lazy paid-not-to work generations, less demand for quality and responsibility on the job and pride in workmanship, all of these statments are so true. However, I chose to do this, as hard, dangerous and misunderstood as it can be--this appealed to me, there is a place for the little man who does good, honest work and has a good work ethic. My Dad taught me how to work, not to always like it. later. I felt the challenge to always do my best. Like Barge said, in good wood, with a good reputation, and hard work there is a place for smaller, hand cutting guys. My bother who is 63 and I at 72 in just a few days, cut 45 walnut trees in six part days sub-contracting for the landowner, to cut, and help him sell the logs. 170 logs @ 16,000 plus bd.ft. brought $57,000 plus. pick your spots, work hard, don't give up. Sometimes you've just got to want to do this more than anything else. I've cut now for going on 42 years, it's a great life if you don't weaken!
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Offline Cruiser_79

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2021, 01:41:03 AM »
I don't know the situation overseas, but over here it is not only a problem that people don't want to work anymore. It looks like everything is getting more expensive, inclusive labour. A man with a chainsaw will cost a company >30-40 euros an hour. The man his self won't see that amount, only 1/3th of it if he is lucky. 2/3 is insurance and taxes. When the guy get sick or injured it will cost the company loads of money. Employees get paid, even if they are ill, injured or sick. Machines won't get sick, and can be leased quite cheap and most of the times have a higher production.  My grandfather was contractor, in the 50's  and 60's labour was relatively cheap, and building materials expensive. They were cleaning bricks from cement to save money, and denailed wooden beams to re use all of it. Nowadays it's much cheaper too throw everything away and buy everything new. Just to make clear how the cost of labour changed... And still people think they are better for the environment than people 50 years ago  ::)

But indeed, younger people are getting less motivated to do manual work. I know guys of my age that are doing manual labour and don't want to be in an office at all. But it is a fact that the younger generation will get more office jobs. Sometimes I think it's some kind of strategy, to make the western countries a kind of knowledge based economy, not a making/building economy. 

Offline Ianab

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2021, 03:07:32 AM »
If you were advising your kid on a career choice, would you point them at swinging a chainsaw, or operating computerised heavy machinery?  Both require skill, but which has more long term employment prospects? 

All the large operations here have gone with heavy machinery, mostly due to labour and Accident Insurance issues. Forestry work is inherently dangerous, and if someone is badly hurt or killed on the job Worksafe is all over it. Was the guy trained properly? Did he have all the safety gear? Was there a hazard ID procedure?  If you have A: less bodies on the job, and B: they are sitting in armoured cabs, then the companies risk of an injury accident is way less, and your defence is that you did take all practical measures to keep them safe.

There is still the place for chainsaw work, as there are lots of smaller harvests of little forestry blocks scattered over farms, and skidder / bulldozer / excavator works out best. But forestry machinery operator is one of the jobs that foreigners can easily get a work permit for.(not enough trained operators here).  

The newest machinery for steep ground harvesting is being operated remotely. The operator isn't even in the cab, he's operating remotely via video link to the actual machine, If something goes wrong and the harvester tumbles 1,000 feet down into a gorge, he's safe. X-Box experience is probably an advantage here.  :'(
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Online thecfarm

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2021, 05:32:37 AM »
I work in a hardware store, we get lots of help in their early 20's. Most have a hard time with the alphabet, can't make change without the cash register telling them how much and some have a hard time counting the change back to the customer.  :o
I am not a brain but basic math and the alphabet I can do easy.
We do a change round up for a dog shelter and 4H. Most can not think how much 43Ę is to be rounded up to a dollar.
My favorite thing is giving a clerk $11 when it come up to $5.65 to get a 5 dollar bill back.  They try to give me the dollar back, saying I gave them too much money. I have to tell them to take it and put it in I want a 5 dollar bill back instead of all the ones. They look at me odd and again I tell them the same thing and than when they do it, they light up and go Oh Yea!!
But as said, it's hard to find help that can be on time each day and not call out once every 2 weeks.
I have a brother that things he works so hard growing up. His kids are not going to work like that. I am still doing the work that I did when I was growing up.
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Offline Kim_Ked

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2021, 06:03:35 AM »
OKAY>> 
I'm going to play the devils advocate here for a moment....
The younger folks referred to in this thread are all a product of their environment! Who created the environment they grow up in? Right, the very people who think they are useless, as true as that may seem.  
I am a bit younger, I'm just shy of 40. My Dad is almost 70. He can work circles around me. Literally. I get 2 tanks into the saw and my back is done. I don't mean tired, I mean spasming and broken. He can do six and only feel a bit tired. Its not because I have poor work ethic. Its simply because Iv been encouraged since I was younger to learn computers, engineering. I had video games in front of me since I was 4. Naturally, I would take to electronics and eventually lead me to a career in Automation for Industrial machines. I sit 45 plus hours a week now for the last 20 years! Plus driving and sitting on the toilet!  Do I enjoy it? the work yes, the sitting no. I hate it, I loath it most days and it really gets to me sometimes. I desperately wish to be outside, working with my Dad on our little forestry operation where we use saws and a harvester depending on he application. No matter what the job of the day is, its more active than what I do now. However, forestry will never pay me what Automation does, nor would it even support my family, currently, its just a little side gig that I hope can take off someday. Furthermore, its getting harder and harder to do our thing with the cost of insurance, fuel, stumpage and every other factor. 
I used to be a stronger when I was a younger guy, dragging Christmas trees and doing odd construction jobs here and there, cutting a bit of pulp wood, wiring houses and such. Nothing that ever paid enough to be able to buy a house or truck. An old beat up tempo or tercel was best I could do. I did it at the time, but it wasn't sustainable and I had to learn something to pay me better. I couldn't fathom working now for minimum wage, which here is just under 13$/HR. I could not buy gas and lunch let alone a house to live in. I don't expect anybody else to do it either for a living, I do figure some do it simply for the enjoyment of it. If they are able to in their situations. I do envy the older folks here that say they have spent their lives in the woods, on their farms and being big strong people, but the reality is, a person will starve now on labor rates. A persons commodities are nearly worthless now, I have 100 acre Pople lot that isn't worth a cent and many large fields that do nothing now, I don't have the knowledge to make them anything more, nor the time to invest in them.
Step to the next generation now. My kid is addicted to electronics, computers and video games far worse than I ever was.  He is "interested" in the heavy equipment, mechanics and electronics, but not enough and I literally struggle with getting him to move on the daily and I fear for his future more so than I fear for my own next 30 years health wise. Everything he sees, everyday, at school, on the radio, his friends, its all games and directing them to the internet for everything. The school activities are on the internet. The virtual tours. It never ends! There is 0 emphasis on physical exertion or hard work. I bet most of you grew up working with your families on farms and wood lots, I did to somewhat when I was a kid. Sure now, my boy helps me split wood or chores I ask him to do, but ultimately, other then sending him out to go for a walk with the dog while I'm at work, I don't know how to get him doing more. How can I call him lazy? He is simply a product of his environment!

Have you have ever seen the movie called Wallie? Its about a robot that is guarding the last plant known to a future human civilization that survives on a spaceship during the apocalypse. These people are huge, shorter arms and legs, as they don't really need them anymore. The robots do everything for the humans, they don't even walk. Sadly, I think there is more truth to the concept of this movie than we know.
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Offline Tacotodd

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2021, 06:12:07 AM »
Youíve hit the nail on the head!!!!
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Offline dukethebeagle

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2021, 06:42:50 AM »
I find the problem is we dont start kids working young enough.
Instead,parent worry about soccer practice,weekend ski trips,whatever.
If you pay everything till there in there 20s.there not gonna want to do much.
Back in the day kids left home and got a job.
Now parents keep them around so they dont aquire school dept.
Gonna have a society of bureacrats with everything made in china
Really headed down the wrong way towards self suffieciency

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2021, 09:19:30 AM »
Iím one of the ďyoungerĒ guys that falls timber been doing it the better part of 15 years with 10 years of 6 days a week straight and Iím only 32. The biggest hurdle is. A the wood is just getting smaller with a quicker rotation so they get less waste they say. B fuel and insurance between the two will kill you where most of your day is spent just paying for those two things. C if the ground can be cut by a machine and the wood can be why would you allow a guy to be on the ground? 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2021, 09:37:48 AM »
the dollar being slowly and steadily ruined is at the heart of all these issues.  the costs continually rise, the margins continually shrink, the regulations continually expand.  

its an accepted truth, that there are "two ways to enslave a nation, by the sword and by debt."  well we know we arent being enslaved in open combat, but if you cant see the debt slavery then youre a fool. it is coordinated and calculated. i took action to get off the dollar when my awareness grew around 2010-12.  taking what i had then and converting it into real assets .. literally just a big hardware store in boxes in a cash-bought field with low taxes and few regs, is the only thing that allows us to do well now and it would be so much harder to be starting it now.. so dont wait.  it only gets harder with time.   we are doing well on a single $13/hr income...  and thats a medical job with an associates degree and 20 years experience.  that whole climb the ladder concept is a pure lie here.  theres no ladder to climb unless you own the ladder and exploit other people's debt leverage, paying them just enough to show up.  and i say that exploit part lightly.  it isnt the ladder owners fault if someone else is broke and takes a job offer at market rate.  matthew 20 gives us God's opinion about it. all he cares about is that the employer and employee honor their agreements.. not that you had a collective bargaining agent get you the best deal and "fair" blah blah blah.  fair is suffering for your mistakes, and not someone elses.  when government makes everything fair they are simply distributing a more equal misery to all.


the country is being conquered by decree, insurance, and money printing.  the only way you can fight it is to be out of debt, collect things that retain their value and utility without expiration, and not having anything nice enough to need insurance.  it is a very abnormal life for anyone born in the USA after vietnam.  or should i say the USSA?


as for the kids work ethic.. i dunno. i am doing the very best i can but television is a problem.  i am extreme about limiting it or taking it away but theyre already addicted to watching youtube vids as soon as i turn my back.  you can make literally millions of dollars by youtubing your minecraft or nerf wars sessions with absolutely no talent so it is very hard to tell a child that you wont make money playing games. you are lying to them.. it might be the most potential they will ever have.  but who knows what the new stupid jackpot will be in a decade.  its not possible to know how to set them up for future success anymore because someone keeps moving the cheese.

mine will not have smart phones until they buy them with after-tax dollars of their own, im not doing it.. flip phone at best and im holding off as long as i can on that. but every other 10yr old has an Iphone even if they live in a trailer it seems.. and you cant stop your kid from seeing porn on a phone of some other kids on the bus.  thats the biggest issue.. youve lost control and the ability to shelter them.   the only thing the school is teaching them is about racism.  racism and a funny math that makes absolutely no sense at all. i can sense the reprogramming that nashville is dictating and if it werent for the needed socialization, i would take them out of school completely.   the crap theyre learning is worthless, except how to behave around strangers and deal with crowds without anxiety.  


as for my family. we are free and can stay free without a handout if we avoid the pitfalls.  money has become a false wealth, if your assets were cash based they cut in half just in 2019/20 from a near doubling of the M2 money supply, so im glad i didnt have any to lose, it was already converted to stable storage.  throw in a stock market collapse at some point and a lot of life savings will evaporate.  but bloomberg and the wall street journal arent training people to see if their souls are content or if their marriages and relationships are intact.  they train us to measure all things in dollars.. that are becoming worthless anyway.  i make certain that i have few dollars because they are continually leaking.  if you had a car that peed out motor oil, would you fill it on friday to leak all over the driveway until empty monday morning? you fill the minimum until you can replace the car.. to me the car in that analogy is the wealth storage vehicle, the currency.


 i havent left the yard in a week, money disappears if i go to town so its best to stay home and chip away at the homestead where value is created instead of expended.  make machine, collect resource, run resource through machine, build lasting physical asset from resource, avoid debt.
Psalm 37:16

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2021, 10:03:16 AM »
Handle design has changed for the worst. Shovels, rakes, most any hand tool today is not for all day use because nobody does.

Offline snobdds

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2021, 10:46:46 AM »
Our young men are getting soft, all young men under the age of 25 have grown up with the internet their entire lives.  They are wired differently now as their curiosity is driven by internet things instead of being outside and playing in their fathers garage discovering things.  These boys can wiz their way around technical things, but outside of that...their confused.  They are losing the ability to do things with their hands.  

Boys need to get off the internet and back outside breaking and fixing thing. 


Offline DonW

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2021, 11:45:49 AM »
Handle design has changed for the worst. Shovels, rakes, most any hand tool today is not for all day use because nobody does.

Now that is an interesting and pertinent observation. I've been having no end of grief finding decent hay fork, shovel etc... handles not to mention axe handles since leaving a collection of self-preped billets behind. It's not like it was when you'd think ahead and plant your ash around the property anticipating a regular need for keeping tools in condition and then making them to suit yerself. At the same time these overly bulky handels available at the farm store, we won't even go into fiberglass, they're yet another example of a loss of refinement brought on by, for one thing poor working practices and this ever creeping tendency to over engineer, the engineering mind having a disconnection from actual working conditions. 

Offline Kim_Ked

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2021, 12:38:52 PM »



 i havent left the yard in a week, money disappears if i go to town so its best to stay home and chip away at the homestead where value is created instead of expended.  make machine, collect resource, run resource through machine, build lasting physical asset from resource, avoid debt.
I like what you said here Mike. I struggle personally with most of what you say here in regards to balancing finances, kids, time in the constant struggle to become debt free and own my house / equipment, plus also, my 8 year old also thinks he has a bright future on you tube.   We don't even have internet available at our house yet!
You did say that you haven't left your yard in a week. I envy that. I often only get a few busy hours playing catch up at home a week and always on call for the next production world daily disaster.
 I'm paid well for the constant interruptions, but realizing after years of this constant on call foolishness and disappointed family when plans always fall through that money isn't everything. However, being reliable for my boss and showing 110% at my job is also important to me. 
I'm keen on getting to the , zero debt, own my equipment and stockpile of hardware/parts. I'm literally 2-3 months away from owning everything I have with one final repair being made to my excavator that is going to cost anything!  Iv started contracting it out to a local mill with my Dad as an operator. It barely will pay for itself and may not cover repairs but my Dad will make decent money and I'm hoping to build a relationship with the customer that might turn into something more. I would love to get out of the 365 day/yr. production noise. Spend some time in the woods, some time at home and try to do more with my boy. Teaching him about things besides the internet. The world seems though to make this a dream and not a reality, I know I have a part in this as well, but my own thing just wont take off enough to parts ways with the daily grind to focus and build on it more. I know it will someday, just keep at it.
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Offline Will.K

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2021, 12:40:29 PM »
This thread has my mind whirling in a lot of directions. I don't have the skill to consicely articulate them. The trends you all are talking about are real, and negative, and cannot change without the absolute demolition of current society. But there are things we can individually do if we value the health and happiness and wholeness of our friends and children. I am 32, and not a perfect example, but I do feel like an outlier of sorts that demonstrates several things.

I enjoy manual labor and am proficient in many areas. I work hard, often, and the benefits are physical, emotional, phycological, spiritual, and practical. I have never borrowed money, have never had a house or car payment or credit card bill. I have avoided addictions to money, pornography, industrial sports and entertainment, garbage food, tobacco and other drugs, politics, social media, shopping, video games, and have overcome addictions to coffee and youtube. I work for money as little as possible, and work for myself and my neighbors and friends as much as possible. I travel constantly if not exceptionally widely, and try to spend time every day in looking and learning. I have my share of troubles, but compared to the popular lifestyle I certainly feel that mine is healthier, and more rewarding and productive to myself and the people around me.

That list is not meant to be self-congratulatory. I deserve credit for very little if any of my merits. My parents do. Someone mentioned this earlier. The example, not the preaching or whining or scolding, the example of parents is essential. My dad was and is a manual laborer, building mostly fences and barns. He took me to work with him from the time I was five or six. I was allowed to play, but expected to work too. My younger brother and I learned skills and ethics from watching him work, helping him work, and mimicking his work in our play. We used to scour the shed or the floorboards of the truck in search of stray nails to drive. Sometimes we would snatch nails he needed for a job. We drove so many nails into a big old stump that there was no place left to drive them. By the time he was seven my brother could pound nails like a man. We went into the woods and worked together all day, cutting little trees to build structures, digging ditches to divert the creeks into ponds we had built. Building dams. Building fences and rock walls and trails and bridges. By the time we were ten and twelve we worked for dad all through the summer as genuine partners in his labor. We knew what to do and how to do it. A recent topic here about chainsaw safety reminded me of an episode when a customer rushed out of his house and gave dad an awful scolding because we weren't yet teenagers and were running the chainsaw. We were paid for our work, and never given a penny of money as a gift or allowance. My mother taught us to cook and many other domestic skills. She and dad taught us a household economy that met our needs efficiently and fully.

My mom and dad taught us to read and write and basic arithmetic well before sending us off to first grade. They quickly realized that the school education was worse than worthless and after third grade I never went back. They taught us how to learn, how to study, how to observe and ask questions, how to analyze and evaluate. They taught us to love the natural world our fellow man. My parents understood what was important and taught us by example. They were not typical of most parents of their generation. They were not hypocrites, they were not lazy, and they were not cowards.

And now it seems to me that the godawful incompetence and ignorance and laziness and uselessness of young people comes directly from some combination of parental ignorance, hypocrisy, laziness, and cowardice. It is your own fault people. Not the fault of the devalued dollar, not the fault of predatory advertising, not the fault of the lousy schools, not the fault of a society that runs on addiction and narcissism and consumption, not the fault of mechanized labor. Any one of us can stand up to all these evils and more. It is your fault. 

Teach your children and grandchildren by example. Be a good example to your friends and neighbors. Don't be a coward. If "no" is the right thing to say, say it. And be kind to all these incompetent kids. No matter how shocking their lack of skills and values, they deserve love and help and sympathy, not disdain. Do what you can for them.


Offline Wudman

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2021, 12:46:49 PM »
Some pretty good points are made above.  I grew up on a farm (tobacco, hogs, cattle, small grain) in Southern Virginia.  I remember the good days when we were making bank, and then the world turned upside down in the late 70s.  There were about 65 hog producers in our local association.  I think one survived beyond 1983.  We were not that one.  College was my route to be able to hold onto the farm.  I have two sisters that went the same route.  My older sister has a Bachelor's and Master's in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Tech.  She has a PhD from Duke.  She was a Professor of Economics and an Extension Specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension for about 20 years.  She left there to establish an Agricultural Program in the Virginia Community College System.  She is now a Dean at one of the Colleges.  She has mentored thousands of kids and helped numerous farmers on the planning side through her tenure.  College was her path off the farm while still maintaining her roots.  She has helped my parents immensely through the years.

I wanted to stay in the area.  Farming was in my blood, but I did not see a path forward for a living.  A degree in forestry from Virginia Tech was my route out and back.  My older sister and I own a farm about a mile from my parents.  Today, I piddle on the farm because I want to.  I am at peace sitting on a tractor running the Bushog, chainsaw in hand cutting firewood, or playing with the sawmill.

My younger sister also went to Tech and graduated with a Degree in Education.  She has been an elementary school teacher in the local system for the last 30 years.  Her home adjoins my farm.  

For us, college was the appropriate path forward at the time.  For my kids, not so much.  My wife and I have a combined family with 4 kids (3 girls and a boy.)  My younger sister has two boys age 19 and 20.  Today, there is "pressure" for all kids to go to college.  I see bunches coming out with useless degrees and then working in retail or other menial jobs because of their "useless degree".  Our kids took different avenues. The two older girls are in the medical field, each with technical training.  Their path forward is their decision.  There are plenty of opportunities.  The youngest is a dental assistant working toward  hygienist credentials.  She has dentists calling her offering job opportunity.  Our son is an equipment operator.  He can run about anything.  Currently, he has found his niche in horizontal boring installing fiber optic lines for Verizon.  He has had the opportunity to see the country.  He likes drilling in Florida sand better than Colorado rock.  He was in Southern California when the pandemic started and determined that place is "crazy."  He is making good money with all expenses paid plus a per diem while travelling.  He likes what he is doing and people are chasing him to get him on the payroll.  My sister's older son is in college working on a Degree in Building Trades.  His Dad works for a commercial building contractor.  The son is following in the same footsteps.  He has worked summers and an internship for the company and has a job lined up upon graduation.  The younger son went to lineman school.  He is an apprentice with the local power company.  There is plenty of opportunity ahead for him.  My youngest daughter's boyfriend graduated a year ago with a degree in Engineering.  He worked his way through school working for an electrician.  He qualifies for his electrician licensing now and could always fall back on that.  He did an internship while in school with a commercial building contractor wanting to actually learn something.  The site supervisor treated him as a "go-fer".  He told me that he spent all his time pushing a broom, cleaning up, and going for lunch.  He didn't get to learn anything of value to him.  However, when he finished school, the company hired him as a site engineer.  Guess who reports to him now?  I guess what I am saying is that not all kids benefit from a college education.  There are other avenues to success.

It reminds me of a story I read in Reader's Digest years ago.  It was under one of the humor columns.  A father was bragging on the success of his 8 kids. He said, "Four are doctors, two are lawyers, and one is a NASA rocket scientist".  The guy he was talking to said "That is only seven.  What about the eighth one."  "Oh, he is a plumber.  He put the rest of them through school."  Have you tried to find a plumber, electrician, HVAC guy, or a good truck driver lately?  Plenty of opportunity out there.......just need somebody to fill it.



Wudman              
ďYou may tear down statues and burn buildings but you canít kill the spirit of patriots and when theyíve had enough this madness will end.Ē
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July 4, 2020 (2 days before his death)

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2021, 01:09:04 PM »
Handle design has changed for the worst. Shovels, rakes, most any hand tool today is not for all day use because nobody does.

Now that is an interesting and pertinent observation. I've been having no end of grief finding decent hay fork, shovel etc... handles not to mention axe handles since leaving a collection of self-preped billets behind. It's not like it was when you'd think ahead and plant your ash around the property anticipating a regular need for keeping tools in condition and then making them to suit yerself. At the same time these overly bulky handels available at the farm store, we won't even go into fiberglass, they're yet another example of a loss of refinement brought on by, for one thing poor working practices and this ever creeping tendency to over engineer, the engineering mind having a disconnection from actual working conditions.
One year I drove the tractor over my grandfather's corn knife. My wife sent away for a new one for Christmas and the handle was huge, I sent it back. It was then I started to see that people thought and bought fat handles so they would not break, thinking this was quality. With the exception of John Henry and Paul Bunyan you can not hang on to these clubs.

Offline DonW

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2021, 02:09:56 PM »
It's an instructive, maybe even enlightening thing, to pick up an old axe by its handle, it almost wants to hang in your grip with no effort and then to compare with the one in the Ace rack. You want to hang it back up as soon as possible just from having a look. Who'd even contemplate doing a days work with this tool after that? Rather go sit at the x-box, whatever that is. 

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2021, 06:48:54 PM »
If you really want to delve into it; I think you can trace every bit of our social downfall to "women's lib". Raising children takes two parents. Fathers need to serve a purpose beyond being sperm donors and paying child support. Women who think they can "do it all" are only short changing their children.

Offline BAN

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2021, 07:31:29 PM »
The workforce in the woods up here is aging no matter if its in equipment or on a saw. I'd say average age of a logger is around 55-60. Very few few cutters left. I've been training all three of my guys to be able to cut but we are the outliers.  Was on a fire last year and there were 5 modules(10 guys). Three of us were 30-50 my son of 22 and the other 6 were 60+ in age.


Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #30 on: March 30, 2021, 07:47:41 PM »
If you really want to delve into it; I think you can trace every bit of our social downfall to "women's lib". Raising children takes two parents. Fathers need to serve a purpose beyond being sperm donors and paying child support. Women who think they can "do it all" are only short changing their children.
The cold hard truth.

Offline Autocar

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2021, 08:44:20 PM »
In my opinion we can also blame cell phones and computers for a lot of the crazy stuff that goes on now a days. I have always told young people to think for them selves and not to let someone else do the thinking for them. Hard work that's what I grew up knowing, and mom and dad was respected not like the kids now a days if I acted like some of these folks act towards there parents today I would had my butt beat till I couldn't set down. I remember once I got my butt beat at school for running in the hall ,when I stepped off the bus dad was there with his belt I tried to out run him and found out that was a bad idea  ;D

Offline Will.K

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2021, 09:32:04 PM »
If you really want to delve into it; I think you can trace every bit of our social downfall to "women's lib". Raising children takes two parents. Fathers need to serve a purpose beyond being sperm donors and paying child support. Women who think they can "do it all" are only short changing their children.
That's a fairly shallow delve. Women's "liberation" only served to allow women to degrade themselves in the same way men already had. The problems are much older than that.

Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2021, 09:42:16 PM »
Back on the main subject, a good many guys with a skidder and chainsaw around here.
A lot of our timber is on ground not conducive to mechanization.
My dad was convinced 60 yrs ago that the youth of that time was lazy and not into manual labor and it would result in ruin.
Society has managed to survive and I m sure still will in spite of the perceived laziness.
The only time I use an axe now is my 1958 model double bit to split kindling.
The handle is great.
My 30 yr grandson is a dynamo.
I think there is still hope.


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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2021, 12:37:18 AM »
Ive taken to making my own handles.  I cant say i know what im doing but i know when my hand likes it.   
Psalm 37:16

Offline Kim_Ked

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2021, 05:30:38 AM »
The last time I split with an axe I ended up heat stroked, vomitiing and severe shivering for days. The doc said I nearly killed myself. I wanted so badly to finish it that afternoon and my wood splitter died earlier. I was just in a rhythm splitting along, I didn't think I was as over exerted as I was until I woke up laying by the wood pile sick as a dog a feeling like I was freezing to death. Bad muscle convulsions all over. I *DanG near crawled to the house. It was very hot outside that day.
I do like the physical labor when I can get to go do some but I'm not in the best physical shape and do have a limit to heat after to much time working in the sun. I do like the wood splitting though with the splitter. I usually only do it in a few spurts through the year. For mine, my dads and sometimes a bit to sell.
Its *DanG good exercise but not overtaxing like running a chainsaw is to me. 
Ironically enough, I just bought a new Husqvarna XP chainsaw. Iv been waiting for it since November. They said it should be in this week.  Just cause I'm out of shape doesn't mean I don't like to use the gear a bit and try to get in better shape when I occasionally get the chance. Plus, my Dads been running the same 2 old Jhonsered saws for years. Hell be pumped when he grabs the new XP model!
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2021, 06:36:35 AM »
if you're peein maple syrup its time to have another water kim_ked!
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Offline dukethebeagle

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #37 on: March 31, 2021, 06:42:03 AM »
the dollar being slowly and steadily ruined is at the heart of all these issues.  the costs continually rise, the margins continually shrink, the regulations continually expand.  

its an accepted truth, that there are "two ways to enslave a nation, by the sword and by debt."  well we know we arent being enslaved in open combat, but if you cant see the debt slavery then youre a fool. it is coordinated and calculated. i took action to get off the dollar when my awareness grew around 2010-12.  taking what i had then and converting it into real assets .. literally just a big hardware store in boxes in a cash-bought field with low taxes and few regs, is the only thing that allows us to do well now and it would be so much harder to be starting it now.. so dont wait.  it only gets harder with time.   we are doing well on a single $13/hr income...  and thats a medical job with an associates degree and 20 years experience.  that whole climb the ladder concept is a pure lie here.  theres no ladder to climb unless you own the ladder and exploit other people's debt leverage, paying them just enough to show up.  and i say that exploit part lightly.  it isnt the ladder owners fault if someone else is broke and takes a job offer at market rate.  matthew 20 gives us God's opinion about it. all he cares about is that the employer and employee honor their agreements.. not that you had a collective bargaining agent get you the best deal and "fair" blah blah blah.  fair is suffering for your mistakes, and not someone elses.  when government makes everything fair they are simply distributing a more equal misery to all.


the country is being conquered by decree, insurance, and money printing.  the only way you can fight it is to be out of debt, collect things that retain their value and utility without expiration, and not having anything nice enough to need insurance.  it is a very abnormal life for anyone born in the USA after vietnam.  or should i say the USSA?


as for the kids work ethic.. i dunno. i am doing the very best i can but television is a problem.  i am extreme about limiting it or taking it away but theyre already addicted to watching youtube vids as soon as i turn my back.  you can make literally millions of dollars by youtubing your minecraft or nerf wars sessions with absolutely no talent so it is very hard to tell a child that you wont make money playing games. you are lying to them.. it might be the most potential they will ever have.  but who knows what the new stupid jackpot will be in a decade.  its not possible to know how to set them up for future success anymore because someone keeps moving the cheese.

mine will not have smart phones until they buy them with after-tax dollars of their own, im not doing it.. flip phone at best and im holding off as long as i can on that. but every other 10yr old has an Iphone even if they live in a trailer it seems.. and you cant stop your kid from seeing porn on a phone of some other kids on the bus.  thats the biggest issue.. youve lost control and the ability to shelter them.   the only thing the school is teaching them is about racism.  racism and a funny math that makes absolutely no sense at all. i can sense the reprogramming that nashville is dictating and if it werent for the needed socialization, i would take them out of school completely.   the crap theyre learning is worthless, except how to behave around strangers and deal with crowds without anxiety.  


as for my family. we are free and can stay free without a handout if we avoid the pitfalls.  money has become a false wealth, if your assets were cash based they cut in half just in 2019/20 from a near doubling of the M2 money supply, so im glad i didnt have any to lose, it was already converted to stable storage.  throw in a stock market collapse at some point and a lot of life savings will evaporate.  but bloomberg and the wall street journal arent training people to see if their souls are content or if their marriages and relationships are intact.  they train us to measure all things in dollars.. that are becoming worthless anyway.  i make certain that i have few dollars because they are continually leaking.  if you had a car that peed out motor oil, would you fill it on friday to leak all over the driveway until empty monday morning? you fill the minimum until you can replace the car.. to me the car in that analogy is the wealth storage vehicle, the currency.


 i havent left the yard in a week, money disappears if i go to town so its best to stay home and chip away at the homestead where value is created instead of expended.  make machine, collect resource, run resource through machine, build lasting physical asset from resource, avoid debt.
I really like your theory.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #38 on: March 31, 2021, 06:45:14 AM »
I really like your theory.
thanks man.  it definitely came with some surprises and a lot of "unpaid" hard work.  not for everybody. 
Psalm 37:16

Offline nativewolf

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #39 on: March 31, 2021, 07:31:08 AM »
I don't think it is all doom and gloom.  I'm a very educated person, could have been a business school professor at Yale or something like that.  Instead I went back to my forestry roots and am much happier. My oldest son, 22, had opportunities to basically make a grand living in various computing fields and at 16 made more money in a week than I did.  He's out working with a chainsaw because he senses an opportunity in forestry and wanted to know how to do everything.   So the work is not about the $ per se, but about learning the business.  I think many smart young kids today don't actually mind work.  Lots of the small young organic farmers are college educated couples that have no farming connections whatsoever.  

 I've not had good success hiring manual labor but think the deck is stacked a bit against kids nowadays.  If you are a poor kid from WV it is about impossible to get your feet under you if you had a broken home, I've had kids show up to work at a portable sawmill as off bearers who had no bank account, they had to carpool with the one kid that had a drivers license.  They can't get a drivers license because they don't have a house, they cant get a house because they don't have ID, etc etc.  They'd all carpool and then cash checks, they were not good workers but the overhead to getting them to be a good worker was as much work as teaching them how to offbear.  A lot of overhead for a 1 week gig.  Too much.  A couple would have been ok I think with some mentoring and maturity.  


In some ways large immigrant networks are more supportive than our own communities.  Speaking of which.  Why in the heck did we try to stop immigration?  The only large group of people wanting manual labor and we build a wall to keep them out??? .  I just did not get that, in the near future we'll be looking for some manual labor and we're dreading but we'll deal with it.
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Offline mudfarmer

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #40 on: March 31, 2021, 08:08:35 AM »
This is a nicely wandering thread so I'll throw out some more thoughts ;D

Modern forestry practices use very large felling machines; the guy with a chainsaw is disappearing. When baby boomers are gone, there won't be anyone left, more or less, with felling skills. What negative impacts do you foresee this as having on forestry and woodlot landowners?

For instance, let's say there is a woodlot owner who had necessary skills but has reached an age where, for safety reasons or just not wanting to work so hard, he no longer wants to use his chainsaw skills to fell trees for firewood, thinning or timber stand improvement or land-clearing now and then. He is willing to pay someone to do it. Who's going to do it? Loggers with the big equipment won't because the job is too small; it's too much hassle to move the equipment. As for hiring a skilled feller, they are disappearing.
(bolding mine)

There are a number of non-boomers on this forum and even in this thread that have spent a lot of days and years running a saw (I am one of them, some others have spoken up) so I would not worry about the first part.

The second bolded part ties into the first, I think.

There are two parcels I know of right now that are being harvested and then will be sold. One 200 acres, one 600 acres. Both have been stewarded since the 1950s by the owners alone, with no "commercial" harvests except what these men cut, sawed, and sold with their own hands. Beautifully managed forests that are leaps and bounds above anything for miles and miles and miles around. These fellas cut firewood for themselves and a little for sale or friends in need (TSI) and cut softwood when they needed it sawn to build something on the property. Sold a load of sawlogs here and there by all accounts but this would be cutting on 100 acres to get a single load type stuff.

One man is dead and the other is dying. The properties were left to the "baby boomer" sons and instead of continuing the stewarding tradition and passing down through the familial lineage they are being cut so hard it would make your head spin.

Then they go up for sale and you won't have a tree to cut aside from high graded garbage twisted small diameter firewood sticks for a long time. These cutover properties will be for sale for high dollars, actually the same they would sell for if they still had all the timber. As mike belben has said, "some hardwoods with nature trails." These folks inherit property their fathers and grandfathers and mothers and grandmothers have tended for decades, and all they see is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

This is not a unique story. It happens far too often, and it is short changing future generations out of a lot of things, not just the ability to learn how to run a chainsaw.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2021, 08:19:02 AM »
i live on a place that was highgraded and subdivided by some mega rich boomers because theyve been doing just that with thousands and thousands of family acres for decades.  


while it is a shame in some aspects, the flip side is if they didnt reap and dice it, i wouldnt have it.  

the nicest stand i have ever seen in TN is a family managed 1200 acre commercial cattle and crop farm that i almost abut.  they cut the low grade for firewood or barn board and whats matured is super prime gunbarrels.  just a joy to walk through.  an inspiration that makes me go home energetic to piddle in my tiny woodlot. im friends with the current manager who is a grandad now.. probably 3 or 4th gen.  
Psalm 37:16

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #42 on: March 31, 2021, 08:44:04 AM »
Why in the heck did we try to stop immigration?  The only large group of people wanting manual labor and we build a wall to keep them out??? 


The US has never tried to stop immigration.  Don't turn this into a political thread and get it moved to the restricted board.  There are members here engaging in a legitimate conversation without the influence of politics.  
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2021, 09:18:08 AM »
There are very few of our larger loggers that have a chainsaw on the job.  The only thing that is allowed is a pole saw for trimming an odd limb that may be sticking out on the loaded truck.  Insurance.  A chainsaw would immediately cancel their insurance.
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #44 on: March 31, 2021, 09:55:46 AM »
     I have no problem with LEGAL immigration. Illegals on the other hand deserve nothing, the Constitution doesn't apply to them.  No social welfare, nothing but a quick trip back across the border.
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #45 on: March 31, 2021, 10:30:50 AM »
I have multiple university degrees and had enough of working for some dysfunctional companies building and selling high tech to the biggest wall street banks. The customers were always far easier to deal with than office politics. Now I work a couple days a week doing odd jobs for locals! Sometimes I help out an arborist buddy bucking up and feeding a chipper. No office politics, great exercise. Love trees and work outside. We sometimes get younger folks who will help climb and take down trees and they each lasted a day as they both had lots of pricey climbing gear but would get tangled up in a tree with their work method. It became priceless to watch.  My buddy can climb most trees and delimb in an hour with the tree coming down in 16" blocks in that 1 hour. The cleanup and removal is always the most work. There will always be the need for manual labour. I live in an area with disposable income and people just pay to get things done so there is always lots of work and not enough people willing to do it. On the other end, people haggle on price far too much. I am all for a good haggle, but people think taking a tree down in between 2 houses should be done for a couple hundred clams sometimes.

Forestry is dangerous work as we all know and the costs for workers comp are steep. 

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2021, 04:23:52 PM »
A lot of points made on this thread were also observations made by Mike Rowe back in 2009:



Mike's common sense needle has been past the stops for long time.

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2021, 04:52:08 PM »
I do a lot of jobs but my money has come primarily from flooring installation for the last 15 years. Flooring installers are so scarce in the areas I work that old retired guys are being lured back onto their knees by the mercenary fees they can demand. I could easily charge double and often triple my rates and still be booked six days a week. Workaholic floor guys in the midwest can easily gross $400,000 per year with a 2 man crew; hard to guess what they make on the coasts.

Yet almost weekly I run into kids who tell me they used to do flooring. They usually sum up their experience with a story about their destroyed knees or with a simple, "Screw that!" Beyond the aversion to physical labor are several other factors. There is a shortage of good teachers. Tradesmen and laborers of all sorts are becoming increasingly notorious for shoddy work. This not only damages the efficiency of work but customer relations, money profits, the bodies of the workers, and pride in craftsmanship. It is also true that apprentices are too often poorly paid. They are treated as disposable monkeys, good only for a few weeks of dumb labor, and paid accordingly. Thus they act accordingly. In my experience, a person treated with dignity, well taught, well treated, and well paid, will learn rapidly and become an asset. 

I think that almost everyone will get satisfaction out of meaningful, skillful physical labor. It is the mislabeling of labor as drudgery, and the degraded quality of labor, that keeps many from ever discovering this. 

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2021, 10:19:50 PM »
Man was sentenced to toil in thorn and thistle for his bread a very long time ago.  Trying to find a way around it is usually a pretty slippery slope. 
Psalm 37:16

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #49 on: March 31, 2021, 10:47:04 PM »
In my experience, a person treated with dignity, well taught, well treated, and well paid, will learn rapidly and become an asset. 

Will K.  -. Amen to that.  We all learn as we go through life.  Treat people well and the grain will separate from the chaff.
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #50 on: March 31, 2021, 11:08:08 PM »
There isn't anything that keeps me up at night but if there is anything that greatly concerns me about the future it is automation. I'm not smart enough to figure out how this is going to play out. There seems to be no end to the advance of automation. Multiple jobs are being replaced by one robot or machine. Think how many chainsaw guys are replaced by one felling machine. And then we have AI ever-advancing. So, how is society going to function with more and more jobs being taken over by machines? Is socialism the answer for survival of the lower class? I have no idea but I can't figure out how this is going to work because people have to eat or there will be anarchy. Speaking of which, that could also keep me up at night if I let it.

It might end up with an even greater disparity between the haves and have nots. And the haves will include those simply willing to work.

In my little town, there is a great need for a dependable handyman. A jack of all trades who can fix most any routine failure around a home. Such a person does not exist here anymore. One of these days, somebody is going to move here and make a living doing that because the need is real. Men who did that my whole life are now dead. I gave up after multiple attempts, hiring someone to do a job and then they flake out and are a no-show or get drunk on the job or quit halfway through and such.

But again... automation... more, more, more... bugs me as to how it can work. Technology is fascinating in many ways and there are benefits. Some of it is really cool. Hopefully, we'll survive, lol.
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2021, 04:05:16 AM »
There isn't anything that keeps me up at night but if there is anything that greatly concerns me about the future it is automation.



That concern has been around since machines were invented. Like when cotton mills started to be  automated about 200 years ago, and has been ongoing ever since. It used to take a lot of workers to build a car before Henry Ford invented the production line etc. If those predictions had come true 90% of the population would now be unemployed... And that's not counting the increased number of women in the workforce. Meanwhile I think unemployment here is ~5%, and that's in spite of Covid and a basically universal unemployment benefit. 



Instead there are whole careers that didn't exist 200 years ago.  or even 50 years ago. Now "Rocket Scientist" is an actual career option for a school leaver here, as there is actually an active space launch operation.  Although arguably they might be better going for film production, either film or computer based. New LOTR TV series is currently being filmed here for Amazon's streaming service. Sure there is a lot of  automation and computer work involved, but also hundreds of actual workers on the project. 
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2021, 07:41:21 AM »
Ian, plot out the welfare enrollment next to the mechanization of society curve and youll see an alarming relationship unfold.  those who are for whatever reason ill equipped to keep technological pace, are obsoleted and discarded by it.  change happens fast now with these crisis.  terrorism?  no fly lists.  virus?  work by zoom.  poof.. insta-change.


there is a welfare saturation point that is exploited by the cloward and piven strategy. bread and circus brought down plenty of empires past and technology makes us even less immune than in the horse and candle ages.  look how fast you can distribute a trillion dollars.. and just how fast the recipients can blow it then need another shot next week.


regarding handymen.  its strange how in my life when i chose one thing to become for success, i was never successful at it.  the lotto ticket had always been moved before i got there so i kept moving on and learned not everything, but a lot.  a real lot.  and now my identity is pretty scattered like a handyman's work docket.  he cant call himself a painter or plumber or electrician or roofer or drywaller but does all of it, very scattered.  thats me.. i lack a one stop identity and dont even know where to start when asked "what are you?"  housewife is usually the fastest, funniest way to dodge that bullet and change the subject because i still have no idea.

the great irony is now that i am equipped and knowledgable and in demand, im so flipping tired of slaving for everyone but me, that i have no interest in even letting anyone know i can solve their issues. i dont really care how much money its for, i just want my time back to build my own dream and solve my own issues.  work is my favorite thing to do, but i generally hate when its for someone else.

does anyone else feel that way?
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2021, 07:54:01 AM »
Ian, plot out the welfare enrollment next to the mechanization of society curve and youll see an alarming relationship unfold.  those who are for whatever reason ill equipped to keep technological pace, are obsoleted and discarded by it.  change happens fast now with these crisis.  terrorism?  no fly lists.  virus?  work by zoom.  poof.. insta-change.


there is a welfare saturation point that is exploited by the cloward and piven strategy. bread and circus brought down plenty of empires past and technology makes us even less immune than in the horse and candle ages.  look how fast you can distribute a trillion dollars.. and just how fast the recipients can blow it then need another shot next week.


regarding handymen.  its strange how in my life when i chose one thing to become for success, i was never successful at it.  the lotto ticket had always been moved before i got there so i kept moving on and learned not everything, but a lot.  a real lot.  and now my identity is pretty scattered like a handyman's work docket.  he cant call himself a painter or plumber or electrician or roofer or drywaller but does all of it, very scattered.  thats me.. i lack a one stop identity and dont even know where to start when asked "what are you?"  housewife is usually the fastest, funniest way to dodge that bullet and change the subject because i still have no idea.

the great irony is now that i am equipped and knowledgable and in demand, im so flipping tired of slaving for everyone but me, that i have no interest in even letting anyone know i can solve their issues. i dont really care how much money its for, i just want my time back to build my own dream and solve my own issues.  work is my favorite thing to do, but i generally hate when its for someone else.

does anyone else feel that way?


I do.

I just want to ďplayĒ with my own stuff. Iím lucky that I can. I donít have much. 😕 But I know that itís ultimately nobody elseís fault, just mine. But I like what I have, thatís why I still have it.
Trying harder everyday.

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #54 on: April 01, 2021, 07:57:58 AM »
But I like what I have, thatís why I still have it.

my mother in law just visited her property where her other daughter and grandkids are sorta squatting and trashing the place.  went on about how the driveway was full of junk and so forth.  i said wait until you see mine someday.  just remember my name is on the deed to this one.
thats one more good thing about junk.  its a form of polite repellant.  :D
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #55 on: April 01, 2021, 08:10:55 AM »


the great irony is now that i am equipped and knowledgable and in demand, im so flipping tired of slaving for everyone but me, that i have no interest in even letting anyone know i can solve their issues. i dont really care how much money its for, i just want my time back to build my own dream and solve my own issues.  work is my favorite thing to do, but i generally hate when its for someone else.

does anyone else feel that way?
Yes. I do. 
Pretty much in the exact same place as far as not wanting to chase dollars that are worth a little less every day. I have a lot of skills in demand, most of all being reliable and returning phone calls, paying attention and caring about getting the job done  :D  But I have time in a bunch of building trades, enough to make me a high demand handyman if I wanted.
I love to work and build and create useful things, and I feel that's what humans should do with their days , but grinding it out day after day for someone else, purely for a check.. nope... Been there, done that.  We have a nest egg for the future, but I feel I have traded enough time for money. For now anyway. We have always been adaptable and if I need to go back to full time waged work I certainly will. 
But for the foreseeable future I plan to work on my homestead or whatever you want to call it , and work for cash as needed. Or if a job is interesting enough I can't turn it down. A learning opportunity is like a drug to me. 
I have rambled enough, but I think we are not alone Mike. I wish we lived closer. 

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #56 on: April 01, 2021, 08:17:19 AM »
There isn't anything that keeps me up at night but if there is anything that greatly concerns me about the future it is automation.



That concern has been around since machines were invented. Like when cotton mills started to be  automated about 200 years ago, and has been ongoing ever since. It used to take a lot of workers to build a car before Henry Ford invented the production line etc. If those predictions had come true 90% of the population would now be unemployed... And that's not counting the increased number of women in the workforce. Meanwhile I think unemployment here is ~5%, and that's in spite of Covid and a basically universal unemployment benefit.



Instead there are whole careers that didn't exist 200 years ago.  or even 50 years ago. Now "Rocket Scientist" is an actual career option for a school leaver here, as there is actually an active space launch operation.  Although arguably they might be better going for film production, either film or computer based. New LOTR TV series is currently being filmed here for Amazon's streaming service. Sure there is a lot of  automation and computer work involved, but also hundreds of actual workers on the project.
I do find the future incredibly exciting in some ways, centered around technology because I am fascinated by innovation. I just don't get how society will handle job loss. Overall, I just cannot see how we will not have largescale job loss. I hope I am wrong. Another angle... let's say the potus announced an apollo-moon-mission type of directive to rebuild the infrastructure of this country. It seems that quite a bit of that would involve manual labor. Manual labor using the tools of modern technology but, still, quite a bit of manual labor. Who's going to do it? Will people take these hot, dusty, tiring jobs?
Here's a recent article, an example of concern in the oilfield. Similar concerns are applicable to forestry, agriculture, etc...
oilfield automation
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Offline Will.K

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #57 on: April 01, 2021, 08:23:57 AM »
There isn't anything that keeps me up at night but if there is anything that greatly concerns me about the future it is automation.
That concern has been around since machines were invented. Like when cotton mills started to be  automated about 200 years ago, and has been ongoing ever since. 
Ian suggests the Luddites, which name has been turned into a scornful designation for any who dislike or misunderstand or fear technology for any reason. But the Luddites were real craftsmen warring against machines which had actively dispossessed them. 
That dispossession of people from their work has been accomplished pretty thoroughly by now. That there are plenty of jobs does not change this fact. Most of these jobs are wholly meaningless and serve only one right human purpose (to put some food in bellies), but many other ends which boil down to sinister. The wealth of jobs is a distraction from our separation from good work. 

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #58 on: April 01, 2021, 08:29:49 AM »
Back when I was logging full time my boss hired some young hotshot firefighters.  Lasted a couple days and were done.

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #59 on: April 01, 2021, 10:10:29 AM »
Why in the heck did we try to stop immigration?  The only large group of people wanting manual labor and we build a wall to keep them out???


The US has never tried to stop immigration.  Don't turn this into a political thread and get it moved to the restricted board.  There are members here engaging in a legitimate conversation without the influence of politics.  
Thanks for that. The USA admits ~ 1 million people legally per year. 
Down the road from our land is a medium sized sawmill operation with modern equipment. The owner, head sawyer(when he's not in jail) maintenance guys, truckers and contract loggers are all local yokels. All the rest are directly from Mexico. I was talking to the oldest Mexican a week ago hoping to find some casual labor for myself as they mostly are on 4 weekdays operation at that mill. Also, myself and my wife have traveled extensively in Mexico for many years. My first trip as a kid was in 1954 and I've toured Mexico on winter MC tours over 21,000 miles in 3 trips down there. Jose is 31 yr's old, came to work there age 19 from Vera Cruz, MX. Of 5-6 Mexicans there I think he's the only one who's married a local girl and fixed work status. This county not only has extremely high (for KY) un-employment it has been on the USA list of the ten poorest counties in the entire USA at one time. Vera Cruz is a very far piece from here to come and work among all this endemic poverty. 
That said-the last really semi-permanent high school farm helper I've had is nearing middle age now and a married veteran too. Local ag teacher gave me a kids name but damned if I can get that kid to take the initiative to make that first call about work. I have another HS kid who I found via FB county group request I made and ran his name by the ag teacher who said he'd had him two previous years and found him lacking, lazy and inconsistent behavior. He's also the nephew of one of my former secretaries. I can work with any kid, period and ran juvy treatment and a retired school person with much world of work experience but I'm really not looking for a project kid either. Maybe I've been around far too many of those. 
At my house our kids made their own career decisions in spite of both my wife and myself being in the career business and more. The power in developing a person is found in one word-empowerment. It is gained via guidance, cutting them loose some and encouraging efforts that may fail and being there when they need it. Coddling kids is so prevalent that it saddens me. 
If you want to know where we stand towards child development at my house read John Rosemond, Child Psch and his stuff. Not that he's always spot on but he's close in my opinion.
I won't even begin to dig in on the rest of stuff that came up above!  Way too many people now days who want me to finance their ability to stay home on a government paid leave program? My wife combined a career of work that costs us dearly in dollars as she stayed home and was not paying into a retirement plan at several points in our family growth. It's a point of pride, good fortune and some serious effort on our kids part and ours too that we raised three extremely high powered kids. There are people in my area who brag on how there kids were able to stay here and live. I suppose that great in a manner of speaking but much of the entire world of work job spectrum is not present where we live. But you can log and many are born into it here bouts. :D   
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #60 on: April 01, 2021, 08:29:26 PM »
Labor is definitely in short supply where I live.  A lot of the reasons have been covered.  Another part of the problem is how much work there is to do.  There didn't used to be many mature trees 10 feet from a half million dollar house.  There didn't used to be three plus bathrooms in a single family house.  Vehicles can break down more ways than ever.  There are so many complicated problems that require competent labor that demand is above supply.  
So now we spend a lot more time maintaining what's already here and that takes away from our ability to grow or change.  It also makes it harder to get the young ones started when things seem overwhelming.  Kinda like learning to drive on the interstate.  
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #61 on: April 02, 2021, 02:59:41 AM »
the great irony is now that i am equipped and knowledgable and in demand, im so flipping tired of slaving for everyone but me, that i have no interest in even letting anyone know i can solve their issues. i dont really care how much money its for, i just want my time back to build my own dream and solve my own issues.  work is my favorite thing to do, but i generally hate when its for someone else.


Then don't! Take a cup of coffee and go sit beside a stump and just think about what you just said. Looks to me like you're pretty much there. Pick your poison. Sometimes you're your own antidote. It's a journey! 
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2021, 06:38:32 AM »
What a nice problem to have?- knowledge, experience, means and what not... :D  Time is the one most precious commodity(during one's work years) so you've figured out :o
Retirement is the place where it comes down to your own dreams if yer lucky enough to be healthy.
And wouldn't I have loved to have had the time as I built our home-all while I was working a FT job a 50K RT from home and had 3 babies at home. Now my projects mostly revolve around weather and giving my body time to recover some.
Chainsaw fellers, etc. is a very dangerous job and those who manage to keep their bodies intact until old age are fortunate. 
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Offline hacknchop

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2021, 07:29:32 AM »
Drives me crazy how some people pack their own lunch and then complain about it everyday. 
 As far as working with a chainsaw bad things can happen when people who shouldn't be in that line of work try it looking to saw money or for recreation do not take the time to educate themselves first.
Often wrong never indoubt

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #64 on: April 02, 2021, 07:39:45 AM »
Maybe ask an orthopedic doc if that's always the case. Sad but true as "stuff happens". No doubt there are more inexperienced firewood cutters who get injured but in the end it's dangerous work.
At one point I was doing vocational evaluations of previously injured workers for the KY Dept of Voc Rehab and I can assure you I never once had a former lawyer, banker or insurance salesman in my office. Broken backs, loss of body parts and all sorts of serious injuries were seen. The logger/sawyer who's cutting my own cabin wall logs has a repaired knee joint from a tree accident. He's a KY Master Certified logger and cut all his life as has his family. Knock on wood as they say.
I always packed my own lunch for every job I had in all 5 careers, exception was the US Army. I also packed my 3 sons school lunches. I make a great PB samich.
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Offline Will.K

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #65 on: April 02, 2021, 08:34:22 AM »
What a nice problem to have?- knowledge, experience, means and what not... :D  Time is the one most precious commodity(during one's work years) so you've figured out :o
Retirement is the place where it comes down to your own dreams...
Retirement is where The Machine throws it's garbage. 

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #66 on: April 02, 2021, 08:44:30 AM »
As in worn out people? ??? 
I must say that my past 20 years of retirement have been mostly very enjoyable. ;D
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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #67 on: April 02, 2021, 08:54:51 AM »
I've been enjoying all the responses in this thread but held off replying for a bit. WHen I was in Jr. High (1969) my guidance counselor made it sound like I wanted to be a failure if I didn't go to college and was pitching all kinds of fields of study that had no appeal to me and made no sense. If I had to go to college I wanted to go into some part of Forestry work either as a Ranger or a forester working with tree harvests, etc. The guidance counselor wasn't too keen on that but found me 3 schools: Virginia Tech, Syracuse, or Paul Smiths. I didn't have the grades to get into either one. I settled on a 2 year associates program in Mechanical Technology after graduating from a technical high school where I learned a lot. In fact I learned enough in high school that my first year in college was a waste, same text books and I challenged out of all my classes the first semester (except gym and english lit). The second semester was supposed to be new technology for us, but it turned out that the professor was not familiar with these 'NC Machines'. Bottom line was, I wound up teaching much of the class because we did all that in high school and I would teach the underclassmen. I didn't see the point in paying to teach, so I dropped out (dumbest thing I ever did). I took a job as a cutter grinder's apprentice and began my trek through a half dozen shops in 5 years, learning what I could then moving on. All kinds of industries. I did my last 5 year stint in a large aircraft hydraulic manufacturer where I learned the bulk of my high tech skills, but when there was no advancement opportunity, I opened my own shop in 1980... All of that was seat of the pants self-guided learning. No fancy office job, learning from the ground up from good journeymen (and women). I closed my shop in '85 (different story) and bounced through more places looking for one where I could make a difference, use my skills, and 'fix' their operation. Moved the family north eventually and settled in learning more and adding skills, two more job changes and I had worked my way into a job as a tool designer and Manufacturing Engineer (still no degree). WIthout college it's a long hard road. The biggest obstacle I found everywhere I went was the weight that is put into that danged piece of paper. That is all they cared about, not skill or knowledge. I was working with a very gifted engineering designer on a new product for a period of months and had been making 'adjustments' to the design as we went. He was pretty happy with my practical tweaks on his original ideas. About a month in when we were tweaking some stuff he asked me "Where did you get your degree? Must be a good school, because you have some approaches and ideas I have seldom seen." I confessed I had no 'paper'. He said "Well you can work with me anytime, you are much smarter than 95% of the engineers I learned from." That was his 15th patent, and my first.
 I told you all that so I could tell you this:
The 'problem' as I see it is that manual labor is looked down upon as being something for the 'less smart' folks in our society. School counselors are judged by how many kids they get into college, not how many kids are successful at what they have chosen, whatever that is. The schools imply that 'working for a living' in manual fields is not what anybody should want and this trickles through everyone else, including HR managers. I missed out on several major jobs because of that paper alone. The other issue, as a result of this, is manual skills are way underpaid in many areas. Companies complain they 'can't find good help' and I call BS on that because if they paid for what they were getting, they would get it. My last company needed to hire a tool/model/experimental machinist. This required a lot of skill and confidence. I found them a guy and told them what he wanted to come on board (60K), they scoffed and said 'there is no way we are paying that for a machinist.' I told them there is no way they are getting what they need for 35k, ain't gonna happen. (ANd it never did.) Even the employers no longer understand the skills required for these jobs because companies are run by people who have never done these jobs....ever. Not very long ago most shop managers started at the bottom and learned all the skills in the shop, worked their way up, and after 30 years were running the shop. Now they hire shop managers with 4 and 5 year degrees only who likely never ran a drill press.
 Nobody can explain this as simply and clearly as Mike Rowe. Here is a clip of him testifying before congress (for the second time) regarding this issue and the problems we face. Mike and I think alike.



Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, yet.

Offline Will.K

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #68 on: April 02, 2021, 09:24:59 AM »
As in worn out people? ???
I must say that my past 20 years of retirement have been mostly very enjoyable. ;D
We fuel the machine, trading time for money, until our time is least valuable. Then we quit driving it and start greasing it with whatever excess we've scraped together.
 I'm glad your retirement has been good, and don't mean to say that people of retirement age are useless, only that serving a career is often a losing transaction on both ends of life. Retired people are often bored, having developed no meaningful interests or skills during the all-work years. 

Offline SunnyHillFarm

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #69 on: April 02, 2021, 09:51:16 AM »
Living in a rural area and having worked a full time and part time job for most of my working life I would have to disagree with the fact that  most retired people are bored and have no outside interests. This may be true in a more urban setting. I am retired for 15 years and have more work and duties to attend to than I have time. Maybe I am an exception, but most of the retired folks I know feel the same way. There is always a project for tomorrow. I would not want it any other way. 120 acres, a sawmill and making maple syrup keeps me out of trouble most of the time.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #70 on: April 02, 2021, 10:03:50 AM »
Mentally i retired at 36 when i left S&W with the deed to my current place and a small nest egg to relocate our family and their future and all the equipment to it.


 So 13 to 36 i was whatever the man wanted.  36 onward is the hardest ive ever worked and the least money ive ever had but i do what i want.  When necessary i will periodically work for others to continue advancing my program but im clear about the terms from day 1 and its always a subcontract-ish arrangement.  My life is my ladder and im the undisputed CEO.. It just happens to be a pro-bono position at a 1man non profit!


But we are happy.  Find me a bigger severance check than a happy, healthy family all under one roof.   So happy we are taking in 3 more mouths to feed because they need a safer place to live and the Lord has blessed us so thoroughly.
Psalm 37:16

Offline teakwood

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #71 on: April 02, 2021, 11:02:17 AM »
and dont even know where to start when asked "what are you?"


:D:D me too mike, i really can't answer it. i just say allrounder. or handymen
National Stihl Timbersports Champion Costa Rica 2018

Offline Trackerbuddy

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #72 on: April 02, 2021, 11:51:24 AM »
Things change.
Grandpa didnít fight in WW2, they needed him in the north woods of Wisconsin.  Story is he didnít like big trees I guess cutting a white pine 5í dbh with a 6í cross cut saw involved lots of smashed fingers. Uncle Alan peeled popple by hand because the pulp mill didnít buy logs with the bark on and he was poor.
Is there something wrong with your generation because you use chain saws and fellers?  Are you lazy because you pull logs out of the woods with a skidder instead of horses or a steam winch?  Why do you load logs with a grapple instead of a horse team and jack pole?
Things change.
The small farms where the loggers of yesteryear grew up are gone.  Dad tells me that most everyone had a farm 8-40 cows then in the winter they cut trees.  His dad quit logging when he could make more money in the winter running a machine in Milwaukee.
Change isnít good or bad. Itís inevitable.

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #73 on: April 02, 2021, 04:46:12 PM »
Things change. The trouble is people now want things without having to work for them.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #74 on: April 02, 2021, 04:49:23 PM »
Its not new for people to want free things, its fairly new here thatlarge masses of people are able to get them so easily.
Psalm 37:16

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Re: Chainsaw fellers / manual workers disappearing
« Reply #75 on: April 02, 2021, 04:55:20 PM »
Still lots of skidder and tractor operators around here and mainly family operations. Don't see as many horses as I did 30 years ago. These guys certainly can't justify $1.5M in equipment to manage their woodlots. Skidder and tractor on decent ground, everything paid for, makes for a good night's sleep. :) I know lots of farms where the owners never cut a stick themselves, but they still have dairy or row crops. Probably enough work. I know dad had to make a decision years ago, row crops or cows. Said he can't work 24 hrs a day for 7 days. Worked 16 hrs, I think that was enough time managing and marketing row crops and cutting firewood in winter to heat 4 structures and logs in July for a little $$ when the row crops were growing. ;) Me, I work hard enough these days swinging a clearing saw and mapping out thinning for 7 months, firewood in between and hopefully a little after the thinning shuts down. Take her easy for 3 months and go back at'r again.  Don't owe anyone anything. New house, woodlot to play on. Can't complain, not wanting for noth'n. Don't plan on changing a thing until it time to retire.  :)
ďNo amount of belief makes something a fact.Ē James Randi


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