Logger's Voice Winter 2017 - FINAL WEB VERSION


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






Page 7

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.

President’s Message



A Quarterly Publication of the

Professional Logging Contractors of


Executive Board

Scott Madden


Jim Nichols

1 st Vice President

Tony Madden

2 nd Vice President

Chuck Ames


Andy Irish


Brian Souers

Past President

Board of Directors

Greg Adams

Kurt Babineau

Donald Cole

William Cole

Tom Cushman

Brent Day

Wes Dube

Steve Hanington

Duane Jordan

Robert Linkletter

Andrew Madden

Ron Ridley

Wayne Tripp

State of Our Union

Scott Madden

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

ever seen.

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.

Log on,


Gary Voisine

Dana Doran

Executive Director

Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995

110 Sewall St., P.O. Box 1036

Augusta, ME 04332

Phone: 207.688.8195

2 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine Loggers Serving Loggers Since 1995

Executive Director’s Message

New Beginnings

Dana Doran

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

other way.

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

same thing.

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

important markets.

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 VoiceWinter 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

recreational activities.

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

does it.

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

dividend program,

membership discounts, and

the PLC, “giving loggers a

voice and a presence in

Augusta, which is very

important right now,”

Travis said.

The Khiels

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,

Travis says.

“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.”

Travis Khiel

The Logger’s VoiceWinter 2017


Welcome New Members

PLC 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

email edmondroy@sogetel.net.

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

email: valric80@hotmail.com.

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

email: winglogging@roadrunner.com.

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 joeldesjardins@yahoo.com.

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

email: pascallessard@myfairpoint.net.

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: seth.mccoy@ymail.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: molly.e.london@gmail.com

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: molly.e.london@gmail.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

PLC Supporting

Member Spotlight


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 VoiceWinter 2017


Canadian Chains

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

company’s success.

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

Supporting Member.

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 VoiceWinter 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

their community.

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 executivedirector@maineloggers.com 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.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------

Nomination Form:

My Name: __________________________________________ My phone #: ____________________________

My Address: _______________________________City: ___________________________Zip Code: _________

Award: _______________________________________

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.

Class Dates:

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 VoiceWinter 2017


Safety First

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.


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.


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

safety initiatives.

The Logger’s VoiceWinter 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.

EDAT Update

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 VoiceWinter 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

Democratic Government.

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

can be.

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

can be.

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

“Happy Holidays”

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

the future.

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

the Nation.

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

you going.

God bless, and have a Safe and Merry Christmas!

Log safe!

Danny Dructor is the Executive Vice President for the

American Loggers Council with offices near Hemphill,


The Logger’s VoiceWinter 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

of rules.

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 VoiceWinter 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

permits must

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.

Companies that

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 robert.n.nichols@maine.gov

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


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):

Paper logs

Logging software

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 VoiceWinter 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 VoiceWinter 2017


Professional Logging

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.

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