Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Forestry › NE Animal Powered Loggers United??
- March 11, 2016 at 11:10 am #88014
I agree with the school of hard knocks, but it also takes all kinds of education if a wide audience is needed. Many different strategies may arise and most will not result in more draft loggers but they might help with public perception and awareness which will lead to a growing market for the work???March 11, 2016 at 1:37 pm #88015
I guess the unclear part of what I wrote is that I am no longer interested in trying to reach students, as much as I am interested in excelling at my own rate.
The challenge for me is not to grow the culture through providing education, but to grow as a craftsman myself.
I have reached the point where I know that I will get more out of what I know, than anyone else can. And I know from a lot of experience that allowing someone to drive my horses, or to cut trees, is a frivolous benefit that I can only afford in rare situations. Not some much because I cannot make money, but because I am not doing the work that I need to do to be the complete craftsman I aspire to be.
These comments were not to dismiss other approaches, but to explain how I will be applying myself as we move forward.
CarlMarch 12, 2016 at 7:31 pm #88355Rick AlgerParticipant
To return to Brad’s topic, “how we might organize … an association”
I think it should start with a cooperative logging venture along the lines of Carl’s project, only on an even larger scale.
It might be broken up into say three two-man crews and a forwarder. Each two-man crew could be assigned to a different stand, and they could “sell” their wood to the forwarder operator. He would be the jobber, pay the stumpage etc, but he would be no more the employer of the crews than the trucker would be. So perhaps, no worker’s comp required of him.
The two man crews could swap off working weekends, so that for those who traveled, there would always be someone to take care of horses hovelled on the job.
If things work out the association should start to attract some interest.March 13, 2016 at 8:42 am #88405
Rick, the model I will be using moving forward is similar. As a consultant I have authority to act as supervising agent for the LO. I intend to oversee contracts between individual operators and the LO, so that the basic breakdown that you describe can be executed legally.
I have a method that has served me and my clients well for years in hiring operators to conduct forest improvement harvest services at a flat rate per Mbf. In this fashion each section of a timber sale can be jobbed out to a single operator, or team of cooperators. Any other entity such as a forwarder operator can be either contracted by individual operators, or fall under the broader timber sale agreement as an entirely independent operator contracted by the LO.
This way I can lay out expectations and directives within the contract and my authority as overseer so that those actions will not be misconstrued to represent employment, even if I am one of the operators with my team in my own section. Also I will be responsible for marketing and setting rates to ensure that operators can afford to perform the improvement work that is the basis of the forest management. In other words, LO loses money on pulp and fuelwood (at least in the context of the conventional view of stumpage values), but make up for it on high value material, while operators are profitable regardless of the value of material, so that these operations actually leave improved timberland in their wake.
I have two adjacent properties that will need such a harvest during 2016. In May I will begin marking the timber, laying out sections, and looking for operators. Species include red spruce, white pine, and assorted hardwoods. It is not a dry landscape, so conditions and markets will need to be appraised before complete details can be pulled together, but it seems reasonable to expect a late summer/early fall dry season harvest. There is enough territory, 50+/-acres, to accommodate 3-4 teams of horses, with appropriate cutter/teamster configurations, and a forwarder. The lay of the land is moderate in most sections, but it is Vermont, so it’s either uphill, downhill, or both, rocky, steep, and wet in places…..and 1/2 mile from roadside landing.
There may be reasonable accommodations for animals that need to be left on-site, or nearby….. As far as this playing into an association, I will let that take its own course. As I wrote before, I am more interested in perfecting the services that I provide for my clients. I will work with whomever can help me to raise that bar. If that interaction builds a foundation for association, great…. Either way, I will have more such operation coming down the pipeline on a regular basis.
CarlMarch 13, 2016 at 11:44 am #88406Rick AlgerParticipant
Sounds good. Please keep mein the loop.March 14, 2016 at 10:51 am #88407LongViewFarmParticipant
I would like to try to be a part of that harvest, and this model.April 26, 2016 at 9:22 pm #88762
Just pulling together the basis for a harvesting plan on two adjacent properties near my place. We may be looking for a minimum of four working units. I won’t have numbers for a while yet, but I will try to lay things out so that operators can produce $300-400 worth of material per day. I am looking for enough productive capacity to keep a forwarder moving all day on an average 1/2 mile tun distance.
Just though you would like to think about this….
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.April 28, 2016 at 10:15 am #88773Brad JohnsonParticipant
Looks great Carl. I am tied up in Northfield at the moment, but please keep me in the loop as I would be willing to help out at some point depending on timing. Hope all is well over there.
-BradJune 3, 2016 at 1:39 pm #88980BaystatetomParticipant
I think combining forces to tackle bigger jobs is the way to go. The ability and desire to do what we want, when we want, and how we want may make it difficult to work with each other though! I am always trying to get other horse and ox men to help out on my jobs but I put the kids on the bus at 8, and don’t work weekends so it takes a lot of potential helpers out of the mix and also limits how much I can help somebody else. That doesn’t mean though that I wouldn’t love to help out anyway I can, where I can be useful.
As far as the big picture, I think we are rapidly gaining ground. Patience is what is needed most. I have only been ox logging for a few years and already I have gone from fighting and scrapping for every job to being so buried in work I don’t know how I’ll ever get it done.
It is true that a lot of foresters don’t see the value of animals in the woods, but it is also true that more and more landowners see their forest as more then timber harvest $. I have a lot of forestry clients who are telling me they are most interested in a healthy forest that is good for wildlife and recreation with timber being a distant 3rd. I think our niche is growing and our day is coming. People who know logging may learn animals and people who know animals may learn logging. At least if you start with one or the other your not learning everything at once.
Stay safe out there friends,
TomJune 4, 2016 at 9:18 pm #88982
I like the idea of a network just so that I can get together with all of you and learn on an annual basis. At this point I have had so much positive response from landowners and the county forester that I am not concerned about finding work, I am more concerned on how to fit it into my already busy schedule. I just made a first step by selling my swine breeding stock.
Carl, are you currently working that piece you outlined above? I will be heading through that neck of the woods in the next month or so. I would love to stop by to check it out. All of my jobs are tiny and paid hourly, I am still in the learning curve part to see how real loggers are making a go of it.June 5, 2016 at 12:47 pm #88987LongViewFarmParticipant
I am at the point where I would like to take on a small forestry job for someone else. I feel confident in my ability to do the work, and desire to learn more about the logistics of doing the work commercially.
If anybody has a 3-8 job for a sawyer and team, I’d be interested.June 6, 2016 at 7:31 am #88991
Hi all, I will be marking, inventorying, and laying out the job during June. There may be some preliminary trail work that will need doing ahead of time, and it will need to be done during a dry season, so I’m looking at late Summer. I’ll try to keep you better informed.
On another note, I just returned from a trip to Sweden, which is a story in its self, but I spent time with several other Horseloggers from US and UK and this topic was batted around a lot. I think first on the list would be a comprehensive directory, including a map, list of services, area of operation, and potentially some way for individuals to interact with each other and prospective clients. More on that later.
Daylight’s burning, CarlJune 6, 2016 at 9:20 am #88992
Carl, if you have any cool info/pics from the swedes please post for us?
ThanksJune 6, 2016 at 4:29 pm #88993JeroenParticipant
Maybe a little besides the topic, but over here in France we talk a lot about this topic only not for logging, but for the work in the vineyards. Often because of the weather there is little time to plow a lot of acres. Most of the plowmen are independent contractors who take care of a number of acres. They work together by subcontracting. The plowman who has the contract bills the hours worked in total and pays his collegue 75% of the number of hours billed. This way people stay motivated to hire help.
July 13, 2016 at 3:21 pm #89207
- This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Jeroen.
Carl Can you make a post about your sweden trip? I am very interested to hear more about what you were doing over there???
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