My job is to make sure the gate is open so the log truck will have clear passage onto the county road.
From my vantage point, I can see across the river as the first load emerged from the woods after coming down the newly installed logging road.
The truck stops on level ground to check that the load has not shifted and that the chain binders ( cables that surround the load and hold it firm to the truck) have not loosened.
Once the truck fords the river and makes it to the logging gate, flaggers are positioned both directions on the county road so the truck has full access to both lanes while making a sweeping turn onto the road.
The first loaded log truck from our clean-up operation is now on the road to the mill in Clatskanie.
This load is the smaller sized timber that was damaged during the storms and would never grow to make good lumber. There were more than 30 pieces on this one truckload.
The dirt road into and out of the woods is surely getting a workout and the moisture level is the woods is shrinking.
The dust is beginning to be noticeable as the rigs travel on the logging road.
Time is short to complete the operation for once we start getting rain, the road will become impassable. The thick layer of fine powder will turn into a sticky, gooey mess with anything more than an inch of rain.
Cat/Catapillar, Dozer/Bulldozer, Logging Skidder, the list of names can go on, but our loggers needed a larger dozer than the one we use here on the farm. This one arrived on the trailer attached to the self-loading log truck and is about 1/3rd heavier than our Cat.
The purpose for this one is not to do the actual logging. It is going to be the safety anchor for the log truck as it makes it’s way into and out of the forest.
I had said that the logging road we were building was now ready for travel and much of the equipment, along with 4-wheel drive pickups for the loggers, have been traveling the road. But the loaded log truck needs an extra advantage at it brings heavy loads out of the woods.
Once loaded, the winch on the back of the dozer that is spooled with logging cable will tether to the log truck. The cable is pulled from the back of the dozer, snaking under and between the tracks to be attached to the log load. Going down the hill, the heavy dozer will act as a weight to keep the log truck from gaining too much speed where it could miss the turns.
It was an off-handed remark, “You have enough lettuce out there to choke a small horse.”this coming from Mike as he walked past the garden.
It was true. Even though I have scattered out my seeding of lettuce rows two weeks apart, they have all gotten ripe at the same time and I am going to have to cut a wheelbarrow full for the cows so the leaves can grow back.
A few hours after his remark, I was picking lettuce for a big dinner salad when Marilyn called out, “So that is the horse choking lettuce your going to feed us?”
Yes, yes it is. Along with half the neighborhood and several cows. No horse choking this time around.
Getting the equipment into the area that needs to be cleaned up is just the first step.
Two separate goals need to be accomplished up on the hill. Removing damaged trees and thinning the areas (pre-commercial thinning) that are simply growing too close to other trees. Continue reading
Work has begun on the top of the hill. It started with the official, OSHA (Occupational Safety And Health Administration) required signage.
Since there will be more than one person working on the site, this sign is required alongside the road that leads into the woods.
The signage will stay in place throughout the logging process to assure that anyone entering will be aware of dangers. If we were to have multiple access points, there would need to be signs at each entrance.
The next piece of necessary resources to arrive is the shovel. This wide, low piece of logging equipment has a long arm that can reach out and maneuver heavy logs, tear out stumps in the path and shovel around slash piles out of the way.
Our woods seem to be filled with equipment and people. So far we have one operator for the feller/processor, one for the shovel, one and sometimes two fellers (those manually cutting the larger trees) and Mike on our bulldozer. This truck is also the same one that will be hauling loads from the top of the hill.