Volume 11 Issue 1 | Winter 2017
A Quarterly Publication of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
State of the Union 2
Director’s Report 3
PLC Member Spotlight 4
New Members 6
Award Nominations 10
Logger Leadership 11
Safety First 12
Cover photo: PLC Member John Khiel & Sons job site in Manchester, ME in
early December, 2016. Story page 4.
A Quarterly Publication of the
Professional Logging Contractors of
1 st Vice President
2 nd Vice President
Board of Directors
State of Our Union
I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and we look
forward to having a prosperous new year. It's hard to
believe another year has come and gone. Seems like we've
had the best weather conditions we've seen in the last five
years; also, the worst market conditions some loggers have
PLC has been very busy this year doing what we
do best - helping PLC loggers. I think one of the best things
Members can do for themselves and the industry is to
become more involved with PLC and its Members. Just
think about how many years’ experience we have as a
group; especially if we all work together. PLC needs
volunteers for the many projects we have going on. Any
Members that could spare a little time to contact
representatives, senators, insurance agents and/or
government agencies to put a personal touch on whatever
project PLC is trying to move forward would be greatly
appreciated. (Remember the equipment sales tax and the off
-road fuel tax).
As we head into our winter season PLC Members'
priority should be safety. With all the problems loggers are
facing, we need to make sure everyone goes home safe. It's
easy to overlook safety when times are hard; especially
since many of us have a reduced workforce.
Many employees are doing different tasks than they
typically do, usually for shorter than normal times, and this
can increase risk. We all need to remember injuries have
many hidden costs that hurt employers such as medical
expenses, lost wages, and lost production. And again, most
importantly - potential harm to employees. PLC has and
will continue to work on safety, but it's up to PLC members
to follow through.
At the present time, PLC is trying to improve our
safety training, making it more than one day a year. With
the help of the Cross Agency, PLC will be hiring a fulltime
safety person. If we could get a few volunteers to help
guide this project with some fresh ideas that would be
great. PLC has some safety meetings coming up before
spring so please help if you can by contacting Dana or Jess.
Have a safe and hopefully productive winter.
Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
110 Sewall St., P.O. Box 1036
Augusta, ME 04332
2 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
Executive Director’s Message
2016 was a year that many in this industry would
like to forget. A year of market reductions, lower prices,
increased operational costs and too much wood for too little
demand. The closures of Old Town and Lincoln and the
reduction in capacity at Verso Androscoggin in 2015 bled
into 2016 and started a chain reaction that turned a bad
dream into a nightmare.
As we look to 2017, most are anxious for what the
future may hold because of the experience of 2016. I can’t
say that I disagree with them at this precise moment, but
I’m hopeful that the new year brings a fresh opportunity for
greater investment and new beginnings.
Winter has always proven itself to be our go time.
A time that energizes this industry to exceed expectations
and prove time and time again why Maine loggers and
truckers are the best in the world. Winter is generally the
most profitable time of year since markets have been
starved from a fall/early winter slow down and the
operating conditions provide an opportunity for peak
production. That said, something this winter not only feels
different, but is different.
There is simply too much wood in yards across the
state and some see a very short winter on the horizon;
which is too bad since we had the driest summer that any of
us can remember and the winter is off to a good start with
cold temperatures, snow and frozen ground.
As I have been out visiting and talking to our
membership throughout the state this fall and early winter,
the majority feel that 2017 will bring much of the same and
are already predicting a major industry contraction in the
spring and summer of 2017. There is probably too much
logging capacity for the markets that we have available and
inevitably, something must give. Businesses will contract,
some will leave the industry altogether and this transition
will lead to a major transformation in 2016-17 and maybe
beyond. However, in down times we cannot just sit back
idly and wait for something new to save our industry.
Loggers do what loggers need to do to survive, we know no
As I look at the role of the PLC right now, I would
like to think that we are taking the same approach as our
membership. We need to fight, scratch and claw our way
out of this, working smarter and not harder collectively
because there is too much on the line. Our membership has
payments to make, employees that rely upon them and
mouths to feed. The reality of this transformation is
sobering and just as loggers and truckers deal with this
adversity, the PLC will do the same.
I know that many of you feel like you are working
harder right now than you ever have to protect what
remains. On many a recent day, it has been challenging to
find a ray of sunshine that will keep you going. I can
empathize with you since it feels that we are doing the
The PLC recognized this market shift in 2015 in a
very public way and works every day to protect the future
for logging and trucking, trying to find opportunities for
cost savings and eliminating impediments so that when
new opportunities present themselves, the foundation will
be cracked but not dismantled. There are positives that we
can point to which will help rebuild our future, and more on
the horizon every day.
As this issue goes to press, two of our
achievements from 2016 are now creating positive change
for our industry, saving you money and sustaining
On January 1, 2017, off road fuel used in logging
operations became tax exempt in the state of Maine. This
crowning achievement was passed in the 2 nd session of the
127 th Legislature in April 2016 and was signed into law by
Governor LePage with enthusiastic support. This new tax
exemption will provide immediate cost savings and it
couldn’t come at a better time. Information regarding how
to take advantage of this new exemption has been in our
weekly emails but if you need further information, please
contact the office and we can help you.
On Tuesday, December 13 th , the Maine Public
Utilities Commission approved the allocation of $13.4
million to ReEnergy and Stored Solar, LLC for the
sustainability of the biomass electric industry and in turn,
loggers and truckers. The funding for this subsidy was
approved by the Legislature and the Governor after they
worked collaboratively with the PLC in the spring of 2016.
ReEnergy’s facilities in Ashland and Fort Fairfield will be
sustained for the next two years and the former Covanta
facilities in West Enfield and Jonesboro, which were
purchased by Stored Solar, LLC, are in the process of
restarting. This also means that the fuel purchased for these
four facilities must come from Maine landowners and must
be harvested and trucked by Maine loggers. Good news like
this couldn’t have come at a better time and this initiative
wouldn’t have moved forward without the PLC and its
membership at the table every step of the way.
As we all know, there are no quick and easy
solutions to improve our floundering markets. To right size
our ship and put Maine back on the map for the long term,
active planning of a long-term strategy to ensure the health
of our industry as well as the entire forest products value
chain has never been done before and there is no better
time than the present.
Now, for the first time, a comprehensive strategy
for the state’s forest products industry is in the early stages
of development through the efforts of a federal Economic
Development Assessment Team (EDAT) task force that the
PLC has played a critical role in.
At the same time, a special Commission to Study
New Beginnings Continued Page 9
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
ANCHESTER - It’s a cold December
morning, snow is falling lightly, and in the
woods west of Augusta you can hear the
steady sounds of grapple skidders and a
slasher/loader working to keep logs moving onto trucks and
out of the woods.
This is a John Khiel III Logging & Chipping, Inc.
job site at the Jamie’s Pond Wildlife Management Area, a
900-acre property managed by Maine’s Department of
Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and used for a variety of
It’s been a good year for this job. Dry ground
followed by frozen ground; big machines moving big loads
with low impact on the land, just the way it needs to be for
a site like this where many citizens weren’t excited about
the idea of logging it in the first place.
“The harvest is in the middle of a popular
recreational area where there are a lot of people and hiking
trails. This makes it a sensitive area,” Travis Khiel, who
has managed the company for his father for the past
decade, said. “The state wants the majority of the job done
with a processor, but there were some areas that they
wanted a whole tree crew on. We are working those areas
now with a buncher and grapple skidders, and plan to move
a cut-to-length crew up here soon.”
Mark Martin is the state forester on the job. He
freely admits he’s not an easy guy to please but says he has
to give credit to Khiel Logging for being among the best
and most professional logging contractors he’s worked
“This crew that (Travis) has here for me is
awesome, I give them challenges and they love it,” Martin
It is that kind of reputation and professionalism
that the Khiels - Travis; his brother, Greg; his father, John;
and the rest of the family - have been working to build for
4 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
many years. That and the adaptability to handle jobs of all
kinds including ones like
this, managing a harvest for
wildlife and recreation
needs as well as forest
health or profit.
The company got its
start when John Khiel began
cutting wood while still in
high school and went to
work full time in the woods
as soon as he graduated,
running a cable skidder and
a chainsaw. It grew and
diversified over the years
under his guidance, and was
incorporated in the mid
1990s. Growing up, Travis
and Greg worked summers
and whenever they could
during the year with their father.
Greg joined the company full-time out of high
school, running the excavation side of the business. Travis
eventually did too, moving up to take over management
duties from his father in 2006. His wife, Rebecca, runs the
company office in Denmark, ME.
“We got into cut-to-length two years ago and Greg
decided to leave the excavation department to run
processor full-time then,” Travis said. “My dad still works
pretty much full-time. Over the past 10 years he’s done
everything from run equipment to drive truck; he’s driving
truck right now.”
There are 45 employees on the company payroll
now. The Khiels own more than 100 pieces of equipment,
including trucks and trailers. The company has three or
four whole-tree crews working at any one time depending
on markets and the season, and one cut-to-length crew. The
excavation side of the business
is very busy in the warmer
months with residential and
commercial site packages. Then
there’s trucking, chipping,
firewood, road building,
plowing – you name it, Khiel
That diversity and a
solid reputation have served the
company well in the last year
and a half, as pulp and paper
mills have shut down and biomass markets weakened.
Travis says they are lucky to work primarily in an area of
the state that still has paper mills and other consumers of
wood and to be close to New Hampshire where more
markets exist as well as work – the company is about to
start a major job in the White Mountain National Forest
The company joined the Professional Logging
Contractors of Maine (PLC) a couple of years ago and
hosted one of the PLC’s annual safety trainings at their
facility in Denmark not long afterward. Benefits of PLC
membership have included
the Acadia Insurance safety
membership discounts, and
the PLC, “giving loggers a
voice and a presence in
Augusta, which is very
important right now,”
continually invest in the
company to maintain
competitiveness and good
working conditions for their
employees, and that
includes operating good
equipment. Travis’ favorite
piece right now is the
Timberpro 830 forwarder
that they purchased two years when they got into cut-tolength
logging; “It’s just so versatile, you can do so much
with it, and it has been very reliable, we have had hardly
any issues with it,” he said.
More than anything else, it’s the high-quality
employees that the company works hard to find and retain
that make the difference between success and failure,
“We’re fortunate to have great employees and they
really define our success. Everyone from our operators to
our truck drivers to the people we have in the office,”
Travis said. “We can go out and get the work and buy the
best equipment we can, but if we don’t have the right
employees, none of it really matters. They’re the ones that
give us a good name.”
The future of the company depends largely on
markets, but the Khiels plan to add a second cut-to-length
crew at some point in the near
future. More general goals
include, “to build upon
relationships we have now with
industry professionals and build
new relationships with people
that have the same values as we
do, that want things done right.
We also want to continue to be
diversified and able to shift
with changing market
conditions as well as the needs
and expectations of foresters and landowners,” Travis said.
The family business has been a good one for the
Khiels, and there’s no place he’d rather be, Travis said.
“I like being in the woods. There are lot of
challenges that we have to deal with and I like problem
solving and figuring out the best way to do things,” Travis
said. “There are no long days. They all go by quickly and it
seems like I do something different every day. I also enjoy
working with the people that we work with – good, honest,
and hardworking people.”
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
Welcome New Members
Bushwacker and Sons Logging Inc. of Cary Plt., ME
joined the PLC as a new Member in December of 2016.
Bushwacker and Sons Logging is Master Logger certified
and has a professional staff of eight. For more information,
contact Ron at (207)-532-4079 or email:
Cunningham Bros. Inc. of Benedicta, ME joined the PLC
as a new Member in December of 2016. Cunningham Bros.
is Master Logger certified and has a professional staff of
three. For more information, contact James Cunningham at
Doyon Logging Inc. of Jackman, ME joined the PLC as
a new Member in November of 2016. Doyon has a
professional staff of four. For more information contact
Yves Doyon at (207) 280-0269 or email:
Edmond Roy & Sons Inc. of Jackman, ME joined the
PLC as a new Member in December of 2016. Edmond Roy
& Sons has a professional staff of 14. For more
information, contact Stephane Roy at (418)-625-8491 or
J.E. Shelley Logging & Excavation of Jackman, ME
joined the PLC as a new Member in November of 2016.
J.E. has a professional staff of five. For more
information contact Valerie Shelley at (207) 668-7737 or
Richard Wing & Son Logging, Inc. of Standish, ME
joined the PLC as a new Member in November of 2016.
Richard Wing & Son has a professional staff of nine. For
more information contact Lynn Wing at (207) 642-6181 or
Up North Corporation of Fort Kent Mills, ME joined
the PLC as a new Member in December of 2016. Up North
Corporation has a professional staff of six. For more
information, contact Joel Desjardins or Matthew Martin at
(207)-834-6178 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
B&D Trucking, LLC of Cornish, ME joined the PLC as
a new Forest Contractor in December of 2016. B&D has a
professional staff of one. For more information contact Dan
Dunnells at (207) 793-3706 or email:
Pascal Lessard Inc. of Rangeley, ME joined the PLC as a
new Forest Contractor in November of 2016.The trucking
company has a professional staff of six. For more
information contact Guylaine Bisier at (207) 864-2855 or
Rob Elliot Trucking and Excavation of Strong, ME
joined the PLC as a new Forest Contractor in December of
2016. Rob Elliot Trucking and Excavation has a
professional staff of three. For more information,
contact Rob Elliot at (207) 684-5558 or email:
Seth McCoy's Trucking & Excavating, LLC of Alfred,
ME joined the PLC as a new Forest Contractor in
November of 2016.The trucking and excavating company
has a professional staff of 2-3 employees in summer and 3-
5 in winter. For more information contact Seth McCoy
at (207) 289-0497 or email: email@example.com.
W.W. London & Son Trucking, LLC of Milo, ME joined
the PLC as a new Forest Contractor in November of
2016.The trucking company has a professional staff of
eight. For more information contact Molly London at (207)
944-4708 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
W.W. London & Son Inc. of Milo, ME joined the PLC
as a new Forest Contractor in November of 2016. The road
construction company has a professional staff of eight. For
more information contact Molly London at (207) 944-4708
or email: email@example.com.
PLC Supporting Members
Labonville Inc. of Gorham, NH joined the PLC as a
new Enhanced Supporting Member in December of 2016.
Labonville Inc. has five locations in Maine and New
Hampshire providing high quality logging and forestry
supplies and work apparel for all your logging needs,
including skidder chains, forestry tracks, log winches, work
boots and work clothing. For more information,
contact Alex Labonville at (207) 233-4801 or email:
Please mark your calendars now for the PLC’s 2017 Legislative Breakfast
Thursday, March 16 2017
7:30 - 9 a.m.
Senator Inn & Spa in Augusta
All Members and Supporting Members are invited!
6 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
KOWHEGAN – The phone rings a lot at Canadian
Chains. To Jason Carrier, that is a good sound
because it means business.
Canadian Chains is a division of Jackman
Equipment Inc., owned by his father, Mario Carrier, and
Jason’s management of it started with that phone in 2013.
“I was doing inventory because I was working here
and my father came out and gave me the phone and said,
you’re officially in charge, call me if you have any issues,
and away he went. That’s how my family does it,” Jason
Three years later Jason is busier than ever building
the high-quality traction tire chain company into a brand
known not just in New England, but nationwide.
The Carrier family has a reputation for that kind of
drive to succeed, and it has served them well. The family
has deep roots in the woods, and Mario Carrier’s
businesses all depend on logging and forestry to this day.
For Canadian Chains, that means Jason spends a lot
of time working with loggers sizing, building, and fitting
chains for skidders, forwarders and other mechanized
equipment. And it’s not just logging, the company also
does a lot of business with farmers, trucking companies,
construction companies, and other customers in Maine and
“If it has a tire, we make chains for it,” Jason said.
Quality of products and service is the top priority
for Canadian Chains. Another big selling point? The steel,
the chains, the workmanship is 100 percent made in the
U.S.A., and that’s how Jason intends to keep it.
Canadian Chains has its origins in Canaan Maine,
where founder Roger Gower began making skidder tire
chains in his backyard in 1963. By 1968 business had
grown to the point that the company moved manufacturing
to Skowhegan and expanded four times in the next 12
years. The company was very successful in those early
years but by the late 1980s had decided to close its doors,
then it changed owners twice before Mario Carrier bought
it in 1999. He quickly built a new manufacturing facility
Canadian Chains Continued on Page 8
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
Continued from Page 7
Production underway on the shop floor in Norridgewock.
for it in Norridgewock, where it moved within a year and
has remained ever since.
Jason went into the family business straight out of
school in 2005 and first worked in excavation for one of his
many uncles in Connecticut, returning to Maine in the
winters when logging-related business was busiest. He
worked for his father as a mechanic one year, as a welder
another, and in other roles. By 2007 he was working in
Maine full-time including helping run the family’s Davco
store in Farmington.
Since taking over the management of Canadian
Chains, Jason has invested heavily in upgrading and
reorganizing the shop; installing overhead cranes, new
welders, new saws, respirators and fatigue mats for
employees, and other things designed to improve efficiency
and working conditions.
Production has doubled, and with a great product
the company is getting business as far away as Oklahoma
and California. It could expand even more, but Jason wants
first to concentrate on doing the best job he can with what
he’s got, and not grow too far too fast.
“Quality is the number one thing obviously, but as
much as I want to make money, I want to be a place where
people want to come work, that’s big for me,” Jason said.
He has four employees, and they are critical to the
It costs more to be able to put that “Made in
America” label on Canadian Chains products, but in a
market where cheaper imports often come with cost-cutting
measures like using case-hardened steel instead of throughhardened
steel, it pays to make something that lasts.
Canadian Chains does business with loggers
throughout Maine and is well aware of the challenges they
face, so in 2015 the company joined the Professional
Logging Contractors of Maine (PLC) as an Enhanced
Pulling together and supporting organizations like
the PLC that fight for the industry is important, Jason said.
“Anything that has to do with loggers, we want to
support what they do, because they are more important than
we are,” Jason said. “If they don’t make money, we don’t.”
For now, Jason remains focused on growing the
Canadian Chains brand through offering a superior product
and service. Down the road, there’s plenty of opportunity to
expand. Taking something and running with it is certainly a
family tradition; his father started out with nothing and
today is the owner of four successful companies.
The company is a good one and he really enjoys
the work and the customers Canadian Chains serves, Jason
“I’m a fanatic about equipment and I really like the
industry,” Jason said. “I love excavation, I love logging and
I love everything that has to do with machinery.”
Jason Carrier, at right, in the Canadian
Chains manufacturing facility.
* See Canadian Chains product at work in
photo on page 4.
8 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
New Beginnings Continued from Page 3
the Economic, Environmental and Energy Benefits of the
Maine Biomass Industry established by the Legislature has
been exploring a wide range of opportunities and strategies
for the state biomass market. This past month the
commission submitted a report to the Legislature outlining
recommendations for encouraging and expanding the
market. Several PLC members were not only on the
Commission but were critical players in the formation of
the bulk of the Commission’s recommendations.
The goals of these two initiatives include
sustaining Maine’s existing forest products businesses;
attracting capital investments and developing greater
economic prosperity in the forest products sector across the
state for both existing and new businesses; supporting the
revitalization of Maine’s rural communities as places where
people want to live, work and visit; and supporting and
encouraging development and commercialization of new
and existing technologies and uses of wood fiber including
heat and power, building materials, and biofuels.
These efforts will take time and none are silver
bullets, but taken together they can be important to
revitalizing the forest products economy in Maine. To
work, they will need the support of the state’s government,
industries, and citizens. In addition to planning, easing of
tax and regulatory burdens may be required along with
changes in existing laws and rules. To succeed, Maine
needs to be ready to do more than talk and plan, but to act.
Much of the responsibility for combining these
efforts into a workable and comprehensive strategy will lie
with state lawmakers, and their commitment to the task will
be essential for success. The Maine legislature returns to
Augusta in early January and what it can accomplish is
anyone’s best guess.
Generally, the return of the Legislature brings
ambivalence and concern, yet like no other time in our
recent past, the Legislature has proven that it wants to help
our industry and create a path forward. The PLC has
already reached out to legislative leadership and the next
two years should prove to be very productive as the
Legislature has taken note of the drastic market changes
and wants to do the right thing. The work that the PLC has
done with the Legislature in the recent past proves what is
possible and our leadership will be critical to moving
policy change forward in 2017.
Given a chance, there is little doubt that Maine
loggers and the entire forest products value chain can
flourish tomorrow if we take the right steps today. The
planning is in process; the road map is being developed and
we have eager partners who are willing to help. New
beginnings are around the corner and they will come
because of the leadership role that the PLC and our
membership has taken and will continue to take in the
Stay safe out there.
PLC’s 22nd Annual Meeting
Log-A-Load for Maine Kid’s Auction
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
22nd PLC Annual Meeting - Call for Award Nominations
Do you know a person or business involved in the logging industry who ought to be recognized for
outstanding professionalism, service to the community, commitment to safety, and service to the
industry? If you do, please nominate them for one of the PLC’s 2017 annual awards.
Acadia Insurance Safety Award - In 1999, the PLC and Acadia Insurance partnered together to make
safety a priority in the logging industry by creating a member benefit for PLC contractors, providing
training and education, reducing claims and increasing profitability. This award will be given to a
company that continuously demonstrates safety throughout their business.
PLC IMPACT Award - Each year, the PLC recognizes someone from the public sector that has
demonstrated a commitment to our industry and has made a significant impact for its improvement.
PLC Community Service Award - This Award is given annually to a PLC member, Supporting
Member or affiliated organization that has demonstrated a significant commitment to giving back to
PLC Supporting Member of the Year Award - The PLC Supporting Member of the Year Award is
presented annually to a PLC Supporting Member who has demonstrated an unprecedented commitment
to logging contractors in Maine.
PLC Logging Contractor of the Year Award -The PLC Logging Contractor of the Year award
recognizes a PLC Logging Contractor for their commitment to the sustainability of the industry and
logging as a profession.
To nominate a candidate for an award:
Nominations should be received by April 1st, 2017
1. Attach a separate page to tell us in a few sentences why you think your nominee should receive the award.
List examples of your nominees’ professionalism, service, safety or support of the industry.
2. Please include the Nomination form below.
3. Submit your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (207) 620-7516 or mail to
Professional Logging Contractors of Maine - PO Box 1036 - Augusta, ME 04332
Each nomination will be reviewed by the PLC Board of Directors and winners will be honored at the PLC
Annual Meeting on May 5th, 2016.
My Name: __________________________________________ My phone #: ____________________________
My Address: _______________________________City: ___________________________Zip Code: _________
Name: _______________________________ Address: ______________________________________________
City: ___________________________ Zip Code: ______________ Phone #: ____________________________
10 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
The logging industry in Maine is comprised of many loggers who have
become managers because of mechanization and new managers that grew
up in the business and are now assuming management roles.
From member feedback, it is clear there is a need for management and
leadership training that is customized to the logging industry in Maine.
To date, a specialized leadership development program tailored to
Maine’s loggers has never been developed or offered. The PLC has
answered this call and developed this class as an introduction to those
topics. Additional classes will follow to assist with the improvement of
today’s continuingly evolving logging businesses.
Tuesday, January 31st 2017, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm - Lincoln, HAN Office, 175 W. Broadway Lincoln ME 04457
Thursday, February 2nd 2017, 8:00 am- 4:30 pm - Auburn, Farm Credit East Office -615 Minot Avenue,
Auburn, ME 04210
(Feb. 3rd- Snow date for either training)
Reactive: Risk -> Loss -> Company Cost = Real cost across the local industry Proactive: It is important to make changes
to prevent risk and lower the real cost.
Lynne Richards, Leading Generations 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Leadership - What makes a good leader?
Effective Communication and sharing company information-macro and micro. How much should you share?
Empowerment and Employee Buy-in - How to get it and why it's important.
Steve Bick, Northeast Forests, LLC – 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Personnel Management - What do you need to know?
Organizational Design - Who is responsible for what?
Financial Management - What is at stake?
Limited to 20 participants per location. First come first served - reserve your space today. $50 for first attendee and $40
for each additional. This training is designed for owners, managers, future managers and foremen. Breakfast and Lunch
Please go online to
to register today!
Training brought to you in part by: The PLC of Maine, Acadia Insurance, Cross Insurance, Bangor Tire,
F.A. Peabody, Farm Credit East and G.H. Berlin Windward.
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
Ted Clark, CLCS, Loss Control Consultant, Acadia Insurance
Although production is critical to the lifeblood of a company, it’s important to recognize the cost and loss of
production associated with seemingly simple incidents like a slip, trip or fall. With all the uncertainty in the industry
today, it seems near impossible to worry about something as simple as a slip and fall. However, slips and falls are a
hazard that increases significantly with the ice and long hours that accompany the winter months. These costs can be
detrimental to the profitability of your business.
We talk about slips and falls a lot because it is an exposure that plagues many industries, including logging, and
the injuries that occur can have severe, lasting effects. The following information is what I have learned from my time in
the field with you.
SPECIFIC AREAS, DIFFERENT APPROACH
Three points of contact is an industry buzzword that continues to ring true. When climbing on and off vehicles
and equipment the employee must have both hands free so they can always have three limbs in contact with the machine.
This means the operator should place their lunch box and coffee into the cab from the ground before climbing up into the
There is no arguing that forestry equipment is generally not user friendly when it comes to getting into the cab or
accessing the engine compartments. The best solutions I have found are from companies who encourage their operators
to come up with ideas on how to prevent slips and make access easier. Typically these changes are as simple as adding a
step or hand hold with some scrap metal and a couple of hours labor; a cheap solution when you consider the cost of
losing an employee due to a fall off the equipment.
Truck drivers are perhaps the most susceptible to injuries from slips on a logging operation. The driver jumps
out of the warm truck into the freezing cold, he’s in a hurry, he’s been sitting in the seat for potentially hours, and he
may not be in the best physical shape. As soon as he gets out he starts unraveling straps and hurling 50 feet of nylon or
cable as hard as he can to get it up and over the load. The road is glare ice, and when he moves his body he slips and falls
and tweaks his back. Sound about right? How do we prevent this?
First we need to understand what causes accidents like these. Without going into excruciating detail, when you
sit in the same position for an extended period of time (like a truck seat), your body’s muscles stretch into that position
and become tense. When you jump out of your truck and start throwing straps, your muscles haven’t had a chance to
warm up which significantly decreases your ability to stay on your feet and increases your chances of being injured when
you take a fall. Your best defense from slip injuries is to educate your drivers and implement a basic stretch program that
requires the driver to take a minute and stretch his back out when he exits the truck. This may not prevent the fall itself,
but it will significantly reduce the chance of being injured when you do take the fall.
YOUR FEET COUNT
It shouldn’t go unsaid that there are some manufactured options that can assist in reducing the likelihood of slip,
trip or fall. This includes products such as cleats designed to fit over your boots that will provide excellent traction. As
always though, it does present some new hazards when you use them so I would encourage you to weigh the pros and
cons before spending a lot of money.
It’s important to consider what your employees are wearing on their feet. Experience confirms that the “logger”
style boots with the elevated heels on them are about the worst thing you can wear in the winter. The soles are much
harder than a traditional boot and the style gives you little control over weight distribution when on ice. A more
traditional style work boot with a lower heel and a softer sole is a better option. It is worth researching which boots
would serve this purpose, then encourage employees to purchase them by offering to pay for a portion of the cost when
they present you with a receipt.
This article has presented several ideas that I have seen in the field and believe could be effective in helping you
prevent accidents from occurring. Slips trips and fall claims have haunted the logging industry since the first time an ax
was placed to wood. Preventing these types of losses will start with recognizing that the way we have always dealt with
the issue may not be the best way. Listen to your employees, learn from others, and don’t be afraid to try something out
of the box. It just may work.
12 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
PLC Safety Updates
Safety Consultant: The PLC will soon be hiring a full-time safety consultant to
provide free safety consultations for Members beginning in the second quarter of
Safety Trainings: The 2017 PLC Safety Trainings will begin on April 7. The full
schedule will be available shortly.
*watch your weekly email updates for more information on both of these important
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
Tumultuous year for Biomass ends with hope
2016 has been a pivotal year for Maine’s embattled
biomass industry, during which the PLC and its Members
and Supporting Members led the way in the fight to
stabilize the industry to buy time for efforts that can
strengthen it in the future.
One year ago, the industry was in free fall,
hammered by a mild winter, cheap natural gas, and a
tighter renewable energy standard that took effect Jan. 1 in
Massachusetts. Those pressures hurt all Maine biomasselectric
producers, and resulted in the shutdown of the two
Covanta Energy plants in Maine.
The effects on loggers and sawmills were
immediate and severe: Combined with the drop in demand
for pulp brought on by pulp and paper mill closures, the
biomass situation created a revenue crisis for loggers and
sawmills, and a forest management crisis for loggers and
foresters who needed those markets to properly harvest
trees of all kinds to create healthy forests.
As the biomass market began to weaken, the PLC
rallied lawmakers, Members, and Supporting Members
including ReEnergy Holdings with its four standalone
biomass plants in Maine to lead an effort in the Legislature
and in the public eye to save the industry. For months, the
group worked at every level to win support. In the end, that
support was bipartisan, and the biomass market got shortterm
incentivized contracts to stabilize the industry as well
as the first state-level effort to examine the opportunities
for the market and come up with a plan to capitalize on
them to ensure the industry stays strong in the future.
One year later, the industry remains challenged,
but there is hope.
On Dec. 13, the Maine Public Utilities Commission
(MPUC) voted to split $13.4 million in incentives between
ReEnergy Holdings and Stored Solar - a subsidiary of
French energy firm Capergy - for two-year biomass-electric
contracts. The contracts will benefit ReEnergy's Ashland
and Fort Fairfield plants as well as the former
Covanta biomass plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro
that were purchased by Stored Solar in October after being
shut down for months. Stored Solar has applied for federal
permission to restart both plants and sell electricity to the
regional grid again.
At the same time, The Commission to Study the
Economic, Environmental and Energy Benefits of the
Maine Biomass Industry that was established by Maine
lawmakers to conduct the first in-depth assessment of
biomass opportunities for Maine has been hard at work for
months. In late December, the commission submitted a
series of recommendations to the Legislature in a draft
Some of the recommendations urged by PLC and
industry partners included:
Biomass continued page 15
14 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
Biomass continued from page 14
* Amending Maine’s Renewable Portfolio
Standards to include a thermal class similar to that used in
states like New Hampshire and Massachusetts, to
incentivize increased biomass use for thermal energy.
* Creating biomass energy policy that fits within
the state’s comprehensive energy plan, including Maine’s
federal Clean Power Plan.
* Enabling and encouraging co-located
manufacturing facilities to stand-alone biomass electric
facilities. Encouraging net metering/microgrids and
distributed generation to lower transmission and
distribution costs and incentivize manufacturing growth.
* Encouraging combined heat and power (CHP)
system investments and creating incentives for
Work to develop a comprehensive strategy to
address the ongoing crisis in Maine’s forest products
economy has been proceeding since a three day visit by a
U.S. Commerce Department Economic Development
Assessment Team (EDAT) in the summer of 2016 that
began the process.
Regional leaders and economic development
experts, alongside officials from federal agencies,
participated in a series of economic development sessions,
tours, and briefings during the visit to analyze strengths,
opportunities and weaknesses in the Maine forest products
The PLC is one of five industry organizations to
have a seat on the EDAT steering committee to help guide
the process and ensure that industry’s voice is part of it.
The visit was followed by extensive deliberations and
analysis to chart a roadmap for the future.
Goals and recommendations of the group over the next
three years include:
Priority A. Conduct a global market assessment to assess
future demand for Maine wood products.
Priority B. Conduct a statewide wood supply analysis to
attract new markets.
Priority C. Conduct a transportation analysis to determine
where infrastructure improvements are necessary to
increase profitability for the forest products value chain.
Priority D. Support and grow markets for low-value wood
and biomass utilizing CHP(Combined Heat and Power)
biomass plants, micro-grids, and modern thermal systems.
Priority E. Invest in the research, development and
commercialization of emerging wood technologies such as
forest bioproducts as an opportunity for the utilization of
low value fiber.
development of smaller CHP applications connected to
public and private institutions and wood manufacturers.
* Promoting use of local wood – similar to the
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and
Forestry “Get Real Get Maine” campaign; support a “Heat
Local” campaign among Maine residents.
The next phase of the ongoing fight for Maine’s
biomass market will include working with lawmakers to
implement recommendations that can aid the industry and
the loggers and sawmills that depend on it. The PLC will
continue its efforts with the aid of our Members and
Supporting Members who were so key to success in
Priority F. Support small landowners who want to grow
and harvest more wood.
Priority G. Invest in Logger and Forest Products Workforce
Priority H. Redevelop and reutilize or repurpose Maine’s
closed pulp and paper mill industrial sites.
Priority I. Diversify and strengthen Maine’s rural economy.
Announcements regarding these recommendations
and plans for securing funding to accomplish them are
planned for early 2017 with action to follow.
The PLC and its Members and Supporting
Members have been closely involved with the process and
will continue to represent the interests of Maine loggers
and related industries as the work proceeds.
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
As We See It—November 2016
By Ken Martin
First I would like to thank Richard Schwab for his
Leadership of ALC during the last year and the great job he
has done. Richard is always interesting in his thought
process as well as entertaining in the delivery of those
thoughts. He was certainly born “Out of the Box”
As 2016 moves right along, Thanksgiving and
Christmas are fast approaching. We have a lot of serious
decisions to make in the coming months that will affect us,
not only as individuals, but our country for years to come.
I am sure most of us remember 9-11. Our country was
united, as we have never seen it before, following this
tragic event. Being united is what America has done for
more than 200 years. We became the nation that the world
looked to for Leadership, Financial Stability, and a Model
Today America is as divided as most of us have
ever seen in our Lifetime. We appear to have run low on
leadership at every level of government. We stall
meaningful legislation in Congress because we are so
divided. Where is the humility that our founding fathers
had when writing a document that has served us for more
than 200 years? Our very presence as a Democratic
Society is at stake. This may very well be the most
important election of our lifetime.
When we go to the polls in November, we must
elect Leaders who will bring Americans back together.
Leaders that truly want to inspire and serve the people and
not their own financial interests. We must elect Leadership
that will pass Laws that will create an environment
encouraging entrepreneurs to develop new, productive
technology and equipment, to exert the U.S. in global trade,
and allow American industry to once again lead the World
with our ability to produce quality products at a
competitive price while employing American workers. We
must select Leaders that inspire us to be the very best we
Make no mistake, the men and women we elect in
November will set the tone in Washington, while the world
evaluates our decision. The next President will most likely
have the opportunity to appoint several Supreme Court
Justices for life, to make appointments that shape the
attitude for Clean Air and Clean Water Standards, and
transform our Transportation Industry, just to name a few.
These are serious times, do not take your choice of
elected official lightly. Become an informed voter before
you go to vote this year and vote for candidates that will
unite us and inspire us, to once again, be the best that we
Ken Martin is the current President of the
American Loggers Council and owns and operates
MarCal, Inc. based out of Mendenhall, Mississippi.
The American Loggers Council is a 501 (c)(6) not for profit
trade organization representing professional timber
harvesters in 32 states across the United States. If you
would like to learn more about the ALC, please visit their
web site at www.amloggers.com, or contact their office at
16 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
As We See It—December 2016
By Danny Dructor
It is always difficult to try and speculate what
might happen between the time that this editorial is written
and then goes to print 30 to 45 days later, and this is one of
those particularly difficult times when the elections have
been held and yet as of this writing we do not know the
Regardless, we will have to work with whatever
President and administration that is elected, and our issues
will not go away simply because one political party
defeated the other in the Presidential race. Let’s just hope
that whomever is elected will listen to the will of the people
and place their values and needs over that of any party.
As you read this, the staff of the American Loggers
Council has already made plans to visit DC in mid-
December to get an idea of what the transition might look
like from one administration to the next, and to see if there
is a better opportunity to work across the aisle in
completing legislation in the 215th Congress set to begin
work in January.
Just because the American Loggers Council is
working for you, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be
involved in what’s happening. Regardless of the results in
the November election, we need all hands on deck with
loggers engaged at the grassroots level to get the policy
changes we need and ensure our industry is prosperous for
We have many issues to deal with for the industry,
including truck weight reform on the Federal Interstate
Highway System, attracting and retaining employees to the
logging and log trucking industry, working to develop and
support markets for the products and services we provide,
and ensuring that our Federal Timber lands are sustainably
managed to support a viable timber sale program that
would help the many timber dependent communities across
While these are some of the issues, we know that
there will be many more to contend with in the future as we
strive to tell our story to the public where they will have a
better understanding of what we do and why we do it. Here
at the American Loggers Council, we will do our best to
keep the public informed of your professionalism in
harvesting timber and dedication to protecting the
environment as you continue to provide the fiber that is
consumed on a daily basis by those that do not know it’s
true source or the people that work tirelessly to provide it.
Many of you will be able to be with family and
friends this Christmas, and it is justifiably right that you, as
a member of this invisible industry, come out of the woods
and take the opportunity to enjoy the companionship and
fellowship of those that appreciate what you do and keep
God bless, and have a Safe and Merry Christmas!
Danny Dructor is the Executive Vice President for the
American Loggers Council with offices near Hemphill,
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
As I look at our Logging Profession, I reflect on
the change through the years. Remember when you knew
in January the product you would be cutting and the price
you would be paid for the next 12 months? Remember
when that changed to six months, three months, monthly
and even weekly? As a southern logger, I have seen the
change from the chain saw felling days and cable skidding
equipment to fully mechanized operations. Along with
these changes came lower worker compensation insurance
costs and reduced chain saw accidents.
While it has been a very interesting 40 plus years
of change, there has also been a great deal of improvement
in the utilization of forest products, to a point any waste is
almost human error. During this time, the forest products
industry has worked through performance and efficiency
issues at mills while local markets have evolved into world
markets, thus requiring us to operate under a whole new set
Who would have ever thought that truck drivers
would be at higher risk than woods workers as related to
workers compensation insurance costs? Who would have
ever thought that equipment to harvest timber would come
with the current price tags on it? Or be as operator
friendly, ergonomically comfortable, and productive as it is
During all these industry adjustments, we have
seen trade policies debated, a changing U.S. dollar, mills
shuttered as well as laws enacted by Congress that have
had far reaching effects on our industry. Our adjustment as
loggers is we have learned to operate wiser and leaner.
Logging professionals have learned to become advocates
for our industry by telling our story. We must not sit back
and complain, but offer up solutions for the array of
problems we face.
The only thing consistent in our industry is change.
We can accept change and with it, take advantage of the
situations and opportunities we find ourselves in, or we can
be left sitting and wondering what the tag number was on
that truck that ran over us. The logging and forest products
industry has always adapted - we will continue to adapt.
The American Loggers Council exists to help us
transition through some of these changes. We are taking a
greater role in both regulatory and logging and trucking
safety issues, and have set a goal of having the logging
As We See It—January 2017
“Election Results Bring New Opportunities,
But Old Challenges Remain”
By Nick Smith
industry disappear from the top “2” list for the most
dangerous occupations by the year 2021.
You can help us to achieve those goals by being
active. Adapt, change, and overcome.
Nick Smith is Communications Specialist for
American Loggers Council and founder of Healthy Forests,
Healthy Communities, a non-profit, non-partisan
organization that advocates for active forest management
on federal forest lands.
18 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
Information for upcoming tax year from Sales, Fuel, and Special Tax Division
Maine Revenue Services on exemptions including the new sales tax exemption for off-road fuel for commercial wood
*In April of 2016, the Maine Legislature voted to include the PLC’s bill to exempt off highway fuel used in commercial
logging and commercial agriculture from sales tax in an omnibus bill that was subsequently signed into law by Governor Paul
LePage. The exemption was implemented on January 1, 2017.
Businesses that currently have an exemption card that they use for equipment and parts exemption will get a notice for retailers
for the expanded exemption. Businesses that don't have a card can apply for a new one that they can use. The link below is for
the exemption affidavits that must be presented along with a copy of the card when making qualifying tax free purchases. The
applications are not changing. The correct link to the application for wood harvesters is:
Commercial Wood Harvesting:
A new combined affidavit of exemption for farmers, fishermen, and wood harvesters is also now available that can be used by
all three groups for all of their qualifying purchases. The top portion requires checking off the type of exempt activity (For
example, wood harvesting). The lower portion requires checking off the type of exempt purchase (For example, fuel).
The affidavit can be found on http://www.maine.gov/revenue/forms/sales/salesforms.htm
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
Empty Low Bed Pilot Project Nov. 2016 - April 2018
This August, the Professional Logging Contractors
of Maine and PLC Member Voisine Bros. Inc. of Fort Kent
conducted a road test in partnership with Maine State
Police Troop K and the Maine Department of
Transportation for a potential pilot project to allow empty
low beds (greater than 8'6") to move at night in Aroostook
County. This project has now been approved for
any company operating in the County. The company does
not need to be based in Aroostook County to qualify.
This is an 18-month pilot program for any
company that operates an empty low bed in Aroostook
with existing overwidth
contact the Bureau of
Motor Vehicles (BMV)
and notify them of their
intent to utilize this new
pilot program. They
must receive a new
permit with revised
language to be eligible.
wish to get a new
permit, whether as a
result of an expiration
or because of new
equipment, must also
notify the BMV of their
intent to utilize the new pilot program.
Any incidents, whether crash related or other,
should be communicated to Maine State Police Lt. Robert
Nichols at 207-624-8939 or email@example.com
PLC Members and other contractors must do their
best to minimize risk, promote safety and mitigate any
possible issues that might arise from this pilot project. We
must put our best foot forward, take advantage of the
opportunity, and prove that we are deserving of this pilot
See photo below showing placement of lighting at
the extreme corners of the trailer for reference purposes.
*FEDERAL UPDATE: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA) has announced a final rule that establishes a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus
drivers. The clearinghouse database will serve as a central repository containing records of violations of FMCSA’s drug and
alcohol testing program by commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.
20 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
ELECTRONIC LOGGING DEVICE (ELD) MANDATE:
By December 18, 2017, most commercial vehicle operators who are required to keep Hours-of-Service (HOS) Records of
Duty Status (RODS) will also be required to use Electronic Logging Devices (ELD).
What are the key requirements of the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule?
The ELD rule:
Requires ELD use by commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status
Sets ELD performance and design standards, and requires ELDs to be certified and registered with FMCSA.
Establishes what supporting documents drivers and carriers are required to keep.
Prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or connected technology (such as fleet management system). The
rule also provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed.
When and how will the ELD rule be implemented?
The ELD mandate which was enacted in 2015 applies to all drivers of a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV), beginning
December 18, 2017. A court appeal challenging the mandate was denied in October 2016, and at this point there is no
reason to believe the mandate will not be implemented in three phases.
Phase 1: Awareness and Transition Phase: This is the phase we are currently in - a two-year period following publication of
the ELD rule February 16, 2016 to December 18, 2017.
During this time, carriers and drivers subject to the rule should prepare to comply, and may voluntarily use ELDs.
Carriers and drivers subject to the rule can use any of the following for records of duty status (RODS):
AOBRDS (Automatic On Board Recording Devices)
ELDs that are registered and listed on the FMCSA website
Phase 2: Phased-In Compliance Phase: The two-year period from the Compliance Date to the Full Compliance
Phase, December 18, 2017 to December 16, 2019.
Carriers and drivers subject to the rule can use:
AOBRDS that were installed prior to December 18, 2017.
Certified, registered ELDs following rule publication December 16, 2015.
Phase 3: Full Compliance Phase: After December 16, 2019, all drivers and carriers subject to the rule must use certified,
registered ELDs that comply with requirements of the ELD regulations.
Who is exempt from the ELD rule?
According to the FMSCA, drivers who use the timecard exception are not required to keep records of duty status (RODS) or
use ELDs. Additionally, the following drivers are not required to use ELDs; however, they are still bound by the RODS
requirements in 49 CFR 395 and must prepare logs on paper, using an Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD), or
with a logging software program when required:
Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days out of every 30-day period.
Drivers who conduct drive-away-tow-away operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000.
In addition, the FRA is advising that if a driver qualifies for the 100 air-mile radius (short haul) general exemption or 150
air-mile ag exemption from HOS, they are not required to have an ELD. This includes Interstate transport (e.g., a log trucker
who meets the 100 air-mile exemption from HOS will not be required to use an ELD, even if hauling across state lines.)
For more details, see the FMCSA website’s ELD Frequently Asked Questions section: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hoursservice/elds/faqs
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
Norway spruce, a wood species extensively tested at the Advanced
Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine, was
approved this fall for use as construction-grade dimensional lumber.
The American Lumber Standards Committee (ALSC) approved the
inclusion of Norway spruce in the Spruce-Pine-Fir South grouping of
wood species for home construction and industrial applications.
Above, Pleasant River Lumber co-president Jason Brochu speaks at a
press conference announcing the decision. Pleasant River Lumber is a
PLC Supporting Member.
22 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995
The Logger’s Voice ▪ Winter 2017
Contractors of Maine
110 Sewall St.
P.O. Box 1036
Augusta, ME 04332
2017 Meeting Schedule
Professional Logging Contractors of Maine and
Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands
Executive Board and Full Board
January 2017: No meeting
February 16, 2017: Executive Board, HO Bouchard/Comstock, Hampden
March 16, 2017: Legislative Breakfast, Full Board, Senator Inn & Spa, Augusta
April 2017: No Meeting
May 5, 2017: Annual Meeting, Jeff’s Catering, Brewer
June 15, 2017: Executive Board, PLC, Augusta
July 2017: No Meeting
August 17, 2017: Executive Board, HO Bouchard/Comstock, Hampden
September 21, 2017: Full Board, Augusta - TBD
October 2017: No Meeting
November 9, 2017, Executive Board, PLC, Augusta
December 14, 2017: Full Board, Bangor - TBD
This newsletter is printed on FLO Gloss Digital Text paper
produced in Maine and donated by Sappi North America.