March 8, 2017 Careers 0

Students from NPSS braved the frigid temperatures to take part in an annual cutblock tour on Monday, March 6.  Wind chill brought the temperature to a feel of -28, but students enthusiastically proceeded to witness amazing heavy duty machinery and operators perform their skilled work.  Students were exposed to the full logging process.  They observed standing forest all the way to shipment of logs via logging truck.

First, surveyors collect data on a harvest site, then feller buncher machines (with very powerful circular saw blades) cut the trees down and lay them down in loose groups.

Close up of the cutting head of a feller buncher machine

Click to look at the insanely serious teeth on this feller buncher machine.  The blade was approximately two inches thick!

Skidders come on scene next to make very neat piles near the side of the logging road for the next workers.  Skidder operators strive for nearly perfect stacks of trees, as messy piles on any step of the process equates to lost efficiency in the overall logging operation.  Then, processor operators pick up trees, one by one, to strip them of branches and cut them into smaller logs.  These are placed near the side of the road for loaders to place onto waiting logging trucks.  Trucks then haul the logs to the local Canfor mill or OSB plant for further processing and manufacturing.  These wood products are then sold all over the world … and school district students got a firsthand look at where it all starts.

Log piles made with a feller buncher machine

The students were impressively engaged.  NPSS Work Experience teacher, Jeffrey Mayer has taken numerous groups of students on this tour, and was pleasantly surprised by the great, thoughtful questions posed by the group to the two industry workers who led the school group around.

Thanks go out to Fred Klassen, site superintendent and Wes Neumeir of Canfor for showing the group around and providing many insights.  Thanks to all for braving the frigid temperatures and enjoying a day in nature.