edsanders.com - Modern Logging

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These pictures are from a selective cut along route 3 in Bethlehem, New Hampshire.

The device on the left is a chipper. The man standing on it is sharpening the blade and greasing fittings to bearings, etc. The wide rollers below him and to the left are what pull the trees into the chipper. The thing extending out to the rear of the truck from the chipper is the chute the chips are blown through into the truck.

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This is one of the cutters in the chipper blade, he's sharpening it. It becomes dull from the chipping of the wood and from contaminents such as dirt that gets on the logs while skidding them from the woods. This is why loggers prefer to work in the winter when the ground is frozen and covered with snow and ice.

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Prying out a piece of wood that became caught in the blade.

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This is the "business end" of a grapple used to grab trees to feed into a cutoff saw. The fellow is greasing the bushings where the parts pivot. He wouldn't have to grease it as often, and it would wear less if he used AMSOIL Greases

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A closeup of the grapple. You'll see later how the tongs lift the trees and logs, with the lower end of them pressing against the teeth so the operator can control where they go.

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Greasing the pivot point bushings on the chop saw. This saw is used to chop a tree into logs and pulp wood, with the rest from the tops being fed to the chipper.

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Picking up some of the trees that have been stockpiled. Trees are cut and piled here before the chipper arrives to make the operation more efficient. The chipper and the chop saws are very expensive pieces of equipment and must be kept in operation as much as possible so they can be cost effective. Trees are piled at a site to give the operators something to process while they wait for the skidder operators to skid in trees from the woods.

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On the left you'll see some tops being pulled into the chipper, the operator is re-arranging some on the ground he picked off the pile and getting ready to feed them to the chipper.

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And here they are being fed in.

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Placing logs on the bed of the chop saw.

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Sorting logs and pulp wood from the chop saw. He piles them different areas depending on what they are good for. High quality logs go in one area, low grade pulp wood in another.

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The two operators keep the equipment moving in a blur of motion as they work together. Tops from the chop saw are returned to the chipper operator. In turn the chipper operator feeds trees large enough for logs or pulp to the chop saw operator.

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Sawdust flying from the chop saw. A pile of trees is cut through in a second. Far more efficient and safer then doing it the old way with a chain saw, or the even older method with a crosscut or a bow saw.

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The chop saw operator "handing" the chipper operator some tops. These machines are controlled with joysticks just like video games.

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Setting another log on the chop saw.

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The snow is flying from these trees as they are removed from the pile.

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Grabbing some more trees.

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A skidder bringing in some trees.

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And there he goes, down the trail.

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Coming back up the hill after dropping off the load by the chop saw.

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And off for another load. Notice the large tire chains to help with traction. The grapple at the rear can gently pick up one tree or a large pile.

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Sawdust flying from the chop saw as he processes the load of trees.

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A few minutes later lifting up the last of the load.

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Another skidder coming in with a "hitch". There are two skidders working on this job.

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This is a cable skidder. The operator has to attach cables to the separate trees. A somewhat less efficient and more dangerous process than with a grapple skidder when the operator can remain in the cab.

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Removing the cables. Notice the orange kevlar chaps he's wearing for protection from the chain saw.

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He's also wearing a helmet with ear protection from the noise of the chainsaw and the skidder.

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Feeding more tops into the chipper. The two machines are kept in an efficient ballet of motion by the operators.

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Walking up the skid trail you see the are is loaded with deer tracks. Deer are curious and will come right up to a logging site to watch. They seem to enjoy the entertainment. They are perhaps also checking out what will become an area loaded with food for them later as the new growth comes along.

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A closer look at some of the tracks.

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And a LOT closer... This was a big one!

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You can see where one was bounding through the snow enjoying the open area left by the logging crew.

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Some "blowdowns". What a waste of good timber. The wind is constantly blowing down trees when they get too big for their root structures. Better to make toilet paper or a table out of them.

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The skidder going up for another load.

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You can see the cables dangling behind.

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More blowdowns.

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The grapple type skidder going down with another load. The blurred parts of the picture are snow flakes that kept falling on the camera lense.

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Dropping his load.

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Here he is dropping the blade to clean up the yard. He's pushing up a pile of small limbs that have been broken off.

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He has now driven right over the pile and is grabbing it with the grapple.

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An here he comes with the pile.

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He's checking to make sure it's held well and not falling off.

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And off he goes with it. The pile will either be dropped on a muddy spot to help the road, or in a pile to provide cover for rabbits and birds.

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The trailer is full of chips and ready to haul to a paper mill or a wood fired power plant. Back in the 70's a lot of environmentalists were driving around with bumper stickers that said, "split wood, not atoms". (I was one of them.) Now 20 years later, when we are "splitting wood" for electricity, these same people are protesting that! Go figure. You just can't satisfy some folks, always have to be complaining. Isn't it better to make the best use of your renewable resources? These trees are basically stored solar energy. The ones going into the chipper are mostly diseased or malformed trees. If you left the diseased ones in the woods, you would do more harm than good.

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Another view of a tree heading for the chop saw.

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And the cut.

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Heading out with the load of chips.

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Here you see tire chains hanging from the log trailer for when the going gets slippery.

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A moose antler "drop" one of the guys found in the woods. The orange thing behind it is a plastic guard that is slipped over a chainsaw bar and chain for protection of the equipment and people.

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Another view of it, with a chain saw in the foreground.

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The logging truck backing in for a load.

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The chop saw operator begins loading it up with pulp wood.

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Meanwhile the chipper operator is greasing the grapple.

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The loading continues.

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He carefully places the logs to pack them on as closely as possible.

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A rear view.

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Grabbing another bunch from the pile.

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And more.

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You can see he has a long "reach".

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Here he's using the closed grapple to tap some logs into place by swinging it back and forth.

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One log had fallen from above on the previous section. He can easily pick it up and is placing it for the start of the next section.

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One of the skidder operators dropping off another load.

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E-Mail: edsanders@edsanders.com
Copyright 1997 by Ed Sanders.