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PLC Loggers Voice Spring 2019

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Volume 13 Issue 2 | <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

A Quarterly Publication of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine


Board of Directors<br />

Cover: Jackman Lumber truck loading at a landing in Moose<br />

River in March. Story, p.10.<br />

Jim Nicols, President<br />

Tony Madden, 1 st Vice President<br />

Chuck Ames, 2 nd Vice President<br />

Will Cole, Secretary<br />

Andy Irish, Treasurer<br />

Scott Madden, Past President<br />

Aaron Adams<br />

Kurt Babineau<br />

Donald Cole<br />

A quarterly publication of:<br />

The Professional Logging<br />

Contractors of Maine<br />

William Cole<br />

Tom Cushman<br />

Brent Day<br />

Wes Dube<br />

Steve Hanington<br />

Duane Jordan<br />

Robert Linkletter<br />

Andrew Madden<br />

Ron Ridley<br />

10<br />

110 Sewall St., P.O. Box 1036<br />

Augusta, ME 04332<br />

Phone: 207.688.8195<br />

www.maineloggers.com<br />

Member Showcase<br />

Jackman Lumber<br />

Wayne Tripp<br />

Gary Voisine<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> Staff<br />

Executive Director<br />

Dana Doran ▪ executivedirector@maineloggers.com<br />

Membership Services Coordinator<br />

Jessica Clark ▪ jessica@maineloggers.com<br />

Safety and Training Coordinator<br />

Donald Burr ▪ safety@maineloggers.com<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong><br />

Editor and Designer<br />

Jon Humphrey Communications and Photography<br />

▪ jehumphreycommunications@gmail.com<br />

Advertising<br />

Jessica Clark ▪ jessica@maineloggers.com<br />

Email news, notices, and correspondence<br />

▪ jehumphreycommunications@gmail.com<br />

22<br />

Supporting Member Spotlight<br />

Milton CAT<br />

Also Inside<br />

4 Calendar and Updates<br />

6 President’s Report<br />

7 New Members<br />

8 Executive Director’s Report<br />

14 Wage and Employment Study<br />

16 Annual Meeting<br />

18 Trucking<br />

25 MLOP<br />

26 Safety<br />

34 <strong>PLC</strong> News Briefs<br />

36 ALC Updates<br />

39 Master Logger<br />

40 Congressional Updates<br />

This newsletter is printed on FLO Gloss Digital Text paper<br />

produced in Maine and donated by Sappi North America.


Event<br />

Calendar<br />

*Oxford Casino, Oxford<br />

NEW LOCATION!<br />

Cross Insurance Center, Bangor<br />

H.O. Bouchard/Comstock, Hampden<br />

4 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Updates<br />

Do you have news to<br />

share?<br />

The <strong>PLC</strong> is always seeking<br />

news from our Members that<br />

showcases our industry’s<br />

professionalism, generosity, and<br />

ingenuity.<br />

Send ideas to<br />

jonathan@maineloggers.com<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

5


From the President<br />

By Jim Nicols<br />

Hello everyone,<br />

As I write this, winter is winding down and spring is coming fast. I hope<br />

everyone had a productive and safe winter season. We sure had enough snow in<br />

most parts of the state.<br />

For those of you that weren’t able to attend, we had a great turnout for our<br />

legislative breakfast in late March. We had approximately 100 legislators and <strong>PLC</strong><br />

members attend. Legislators got a chance to listen to some of our needs and<br />

concerns and ask questions of the members. A lot of the discussion that morning<br />

centered around labor, energy and road postings.<br />

There is a lot going on in Augusta right now and Dana is doing a great job<br />

representing <strong>PLC</strong> in the Capital. If you do not receive <strong>PLC</strong>’s weekly updates<br />

through email, call Jess at the office and she will get you on the email list.<br />

I know Donald Burr is working hard on putting the next MLOP training class<br />

together. It is slated to start this summer in Stratton in late June, the first time it has<br />

been in western Maine. We should have a full class, as I believe we have had more<br />

than triple the applicants for this year’s class. However, <strong>PLC</strong> members and their<br />

employees get preferential treatment when making recommendations for applicants<br />

so if you have someone in mind that you would like to send, please let Donald know<br />

as soon as possible.<br />

The dates are now out for the <strong>PLC</strong>’s annual spring safety trainings. If you<br />

haven’t signed up yet, make sure to do so as classes are filling up fast. Last year we<br />

had over 800 people attend these trainings. We are also doing fleet trainings for<br />

truck drivers at various locations throughout the state.<br />

Lastly the <strong>PLC</strong> annual meeting is fast approaching on April 26th. I hope you<br />

will all take the time to attend and support <strong>PLC</strong>. It is an informative and fun day and<br />

evening with a chance to see people you may not have seen throughout the year.<br />

Scott Hanington will once again be the auctioneer for the Log A Load for Kids<br />

auction for the Children’s Miracle Network. We want to try and top last year’s<br />

numbers.<br />

Hope to see you all there and have a good spring.<br />

Thank You<br />

Jimmy<br />

6 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Welcome New Members….…….<br />

Contractor Members<br />

Clayton Pelletier Logging Inc. of Rumford,<br />

ME joined the <strong>PLC</strong> as a new Contractor<br />

Member in March <strong>2019</strong>. The company has a<br />

professional staff of one. For more information<br />

contact Clayton at 446-2724 of<br />

email claypel@yahoo.com.<br />

LAS Logging of Hampden, ME joined the<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> as a new Contractor Member in March<br />

<strong>2019</strong>. The company has a professional staff of<br />

two. For more information call Alphonse at<br />

(207) 862-4614 or email spencer313@tds.net.<br />

Supporting Members<br />

Fabian Oil of Oakland, ME joined the <strong>PLC</strong> as a<br />

new Preferred Supporting Member in January<br />

<strong>2019</strong>. The company is a locally owned and<br />

operated marketer of petroleum products and<br />

has proudly served its many customers for over<br />

30 years. It is a full service company offering all<br />

types of heating and motor fuels and maintains a<br />

full-scale service department for oil, propane<br />

and natural gas. For more information call Ted<br />

Fabian at 465-2000, email<br />

tfabian@fabianoil.com or visit<br />

www.fabianoil.com.<br />

Groundtek Inc. of Fort Kent, ME joined the<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> as a new Forest Contractor Member in<br />

March <strong>2019</strong>. The company has a professional<br />

staff of four. For more information contact<br />

Bruce at (207) 834-5047 or<br />

email GROUNDTEK541@YAHOO.COM.<br />

Pelletier Manufacturing Inc. of<br />

Millinocket, ME joined the <strong>PLC</strong> as a new Forest<br />

Contractor in March <strong>2019</strong>. The company has a<br />

professional staff of 17. For more information<br />

contact Jeff at (207) 723-6500 or<br />

email pelletiermfg@myfairpoint.net.<br />

B. Pelletier Logging Inc. of St. Francis, ME<br />

joined the <strong>PLC</strong> as a new Affiliated Contractor in<br />

March <strong>2019</strong>. The company has a professional<br />

staff of two. For more information contact<br />

Buddy at (207) 316-2831or<br />

email bpelletierlogging@gmail.com.<br />

The Winter <strong>2019</strong> Edition of The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong><br />

incorrectly identified <strong>PLC</strong> Supporting Member<br />

Soleno as a Vermont-based company. Soleno is<br />

based in Canada. We regret the error.<br />

ND Paper, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nine<br />

Dragons Paper (Holdings) Limited, the largest<br />

containerboard producer in Asia, joined the <strong>PLC</strong><br />

as a new Preferred Supporting Member in<br />

March <strong>2019</strong>. ND Paper is an environmentallyfriendly<br />

company that manufactures various<br />

types of high-quality pulp, paper and paperbased<br />

packaging materials. Its mills in Rumford,<br />

Maine and Biron, Wisconsin are integrated<br />

paper & pulp facilities, and its mill in Fairmont,<br />

West Virginia is one of only three in the world<br />

that produces air-dried, recycled pulp. The<br />

company is working to restart a currently-idled<br />

pulp mill in Old Town, Maine, with expected<br />

commissioning in the summer of <strong>2019</strong>. ND<br />

Paper has 1,100 dedicated employees, who<br />

together produce more than 1.1 million metric<br />

tons of paper annually. ND Paper is<br />

headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. For<br />

more information contact Randy Chicoine<br />

at 207) 754-8752 or email<br />

mailto:randy.chicoine@us.ndpaper.com.<br />

Not a member but interested in<br />

joining the <strong>PLC</strong>?<br />

Contact Jessica at (207) 688-8195 or<br />

email jessica@maineloggers.com<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

7


From the Executive<br />

Director<br />

As this article goes to print, the snow<br />

is melting quickly, the road postings are up<br />

across the state and many winter time<br />

operations are grinding to a halt. While mud<br />

season can be a time of frustration for our<br />

membership as cash flow slows down and the<br />

attention turns to maintenance and catching<br />

up on paperwork, it is also a time to recharge<br />

the batteries after the big winter push before<br />

summer rolls around and wood is moving<br />

again.<br />

<strong>Spring</strong> is also a time to reflect upon<br />

the industry, all that is good, and all that is<br />

bad as well as the opportunities and<br />

challenges. As I talk to our members and get<br />

the lay of the land out there, I have a sense<br />

the challenges are mounting and even though<br />

markets have opened up, there is less and less<br />

optimism about the future.<br />

Back in December, based upon the<br />

instincts of the <strong>PLC</strong> Board and the input of<br />

the membership, the <strong>PLC</strong> conducted a survey<br />

of its members to determine what the<br />

employment needs were at that point in time.<br />

We were hearing that it was getting harder<br />

and harder to find help, that the markets were<br />

wide open, and they could harvest wood<br />

without hesitation, but the workforce could<br />

not fill the need. Rumors were rampant that<br />

mill yards were nearly empty week after<br />

week and there were not enough operators,<br />

truck drivers or mechanics to do the work.<br />

The survey we did was striking as we heard<br />

Future<br />

By Dana Doran<br />

back from a majority of our membership and<br />

the numbers do not lie. As of January, just<br />

among the <strong>PLC</strong> membership, there were<br />

between 750-1,000 job openings and no real<br />

idea how to fill them. This was surprising in<br />

that we knew there were needs, but not at this<br />

size and scale.<br />

At the same time, we also heard from<br />

the membership that competition for labor<br />

was fierce and members were not only having<br />

a challenging time hiring new employees, but<br />

they were losing employees at a rapid pace<br />

because of the opportunity to earn more<br />

money with better benefits and fewer hours<br />

outside of the industry. Some members even<br />

reported that they were losing employees to<br />

local mills that they delivered wood to. This<br />

is a recipe for disaster at exactly the wrong<br />

time as the state has been marketing itself as<br />

having a glut of softwood pulp and biomass<br />

which has motivated new investment in the<br />

state, but now there are real questions about<br />

who is going to do the work. If the contractor<br />

workforce was not really there, could all of<br />

these new investments actually come to<br />

fruition? Would investment continue to occur<br />

if logging and trucking capacity was in<br />

question?<br />

Following the collection of survey<br />

data and the general idea that contractors<br />

could not fulfill the demands they had<br />

presently, not to mention the additional work<br />

they had on the horizon as a result of mill<br />

8 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Nicols Brothers Inc. logging operations underway in Winthrop in March.<br />

expansions, the <strong>PLC</strong> Board decided it was<br />

time to get a third party assessment of the<br />

labor and wage picture both now and the<br />

future. How do we stack up against other<br />

industries and is the company by company<br />

picture the same on a larger scale?<br />

In February, the <strong>PLC</strong> reached out to<br />

the Maine Center for Business and Economic<br />

Research at the University of Southern Maine<br />

and asked Dr. Ryan Wallace and his team to<br />

compare logging and trucking against other<br />

similar industries and determine what we are<br />

really up against with respect to wages and<br />

benefits. Is it nearly impossible to hire new<br />

employees or replace old ones if the pool of<br />

people with similar skills are not willing to<br />

work in logging and heavy duty trucking? If<br />

the sense of freedom and autonomy which has<br />

always driven employees to this business,<br />

along with the enjoyment of the outdoors, is<br />

not enough to attract them anymore if the<br />

wages and benefits are not competitive? Is the<br />

labor shortage real and is it attributable to low<br />

wages and long hours and the fact that<br />

contractors can’t afford to pay their<br />

employees more money and still remain<br />

profitable?<br />

What we found was quite astounding<br />

and now we have the data to back it up.<br />

Put simply, Maine is facing a<br />

shortage of loggers and log truckers that will<br />

grow and could hinder the growth of the<br />

forest products industry in the state if wage<br />

growth does not occur. Wages for logging<br />

equipment operators and log truckers in<br />

Maine are lower than those for comparable<br />

jobs in competing industries in the state, and<br />

this combined with a tight labor market and<br />

looming retirement for large numbers of<br />

loggers is not a positive sign.<br />

This analysis simply confirms and<br />

reinforces what many in this industry have<br />

known for a long time. The root of Maine’s<br />

vital forest products economy - the logging<br />

industry - must be able to offer higher wages<br />

to compete for existing workers and attract<br />

new ones at a time when they are desperately<br />

needed to support a resurgent forest products<br />

industry.<br />

The heart of the problem is profit<br />

margins for logging contractors have<br />

dwindled as costs of doing business have<br />

risen, limiting the ability of contractors to<br />

raise pay for workers. With low<br />

unemployment and strong competition for<br />

skilled operators of heavy machinery and<br />

trucks, logging contractors are struggling<br />

simply to keep the workers they have, let<br />

alone attract new ones.<br />

As I mentioned previously, we know<br />

from surveying our own membership, that the<br />

industry is already unable to fill an estimated<br />

750 to 1,000 jobs today. Add to that the<br />

projected loss of upwards of 200 workers per<br />

year over the next 10 years due to retirements,<br />

coupled with the need for more loggers and<br />

truckers to meet rising demand for wood from<br />

expansions that have been announced by mills<br />

in the state recently and you begin to see the<br />

extent of this problem.<br />

In addition to Maine expansions<br />

already announced by mill owners including<br />

Verso, Sappi, Nine Dragons, and Pleasant<br />

River Lumber, the FOR/Maine (Forest<br />

Opportunity Roadmap), a broad coalition that<br />

the <strong>PLC</strong> is working with to diversify the<br />

Doran Continued Page 13<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 9


J<br />

ACKMAN - Russ Griffin was one year old when his<br />

family moved from Levant to the Jackman area, and<br />

he has lived in this Maine border region ever since,<br />

working in the woods from his early teenage years<br />

through decades of major change in the logging industry<br />

and the state.<br />

His father, Reginald, and grandfather came to the<br />

area in the late 1960s when the industry was booming,<br />

trucking with wheelers for several years before getting into<br />

logging themselves in the 1970s. In 1976 his father was<br />

one of the partners who started Moose River Lumber<br />

company.<br />

“So my father went from trucking to logging to<br />

sawmilling,” Russ laughed, “That’s the woods business.”<br />

Reginald got out of the sawmill business in 1981,<br />

going back to logging, and founding Jackman Lumber.<br />

“That’s about when I got into it,” Russ said. “I<br />

started officially when I was about 15, but from 12 years<br />

old that was all I’ve done my whole life. The name<br />

Jackman Lumber came from when we had thoughts that he<br />

Jackman Lumber Co. truck loading in Moose River in early March.<br />

10 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Jackman Lumber<br />

was gonna build his own sawmills again, but it never<br />

happened and it stayed logging and trucking.”<br />

It still is today.<br />

Back in the 1980s when Russ started full time with<br />

the company, Jackman Lumber was running traditional<br />

hand crews and cable skidders in the woods. The first step<br />

in the move to mechanized logging came when the<br />

company added stroke delimbers so the crews could fell the<br />

trees but leave the limbing portion of the work to the<br />

delimbers on the landings. Over time feller bunchers and<br />

grapple skidders were added to make the company fully<br />

mechanized.<br />

“We only cut softwood in the 80s, and then in the<br />

early 90s we worked with ProPac to build the first<br />

hardwood delimbers, we had the prototype and we worked<br />

with them on building that and it went on to be a pretty<br />

successful thing and they’re still making them today,” Russ<br />

said. “So I figure we pioneered the hardwood delimbing<br />

with stroke delimbers, but now I’ve converted to a cut to<br />

length system, we’ve been cut to length for almost 10<br />

years. We’ve moved more to smaller wood, and I think it<br />

works better with the smaller wood.”<br />

The size of the company has changed a lot<br />

over the years. At its peak in the late 1990s the company<br />

had about 50 employees. There were six feller buncher<br />

crews and more than 20 trucks. Like most logging<br />

contractors in Maine, Jackman Lumber met big challenges<br />

in the next two decades with market changes, rising costs,<br />

and closing mills, and in response the company downsized<br />

repeatedly.<br />

Today Jackman Lumber has gone as small as it<br />

can, down to a five-man crew. The crew includes two truck<br />

drivers, himself running a processor, one man in the<br />

garage, and his long-time feller buncher and forwarder<br />

operator and mechanic, Ed Griffin - no relation, “he keeps<br />

our stuff running,” Russ said. Jackman Lumber has three<br />

trucks; a Peterbilt, a Western Star, and an International.<br />

The company does its own low bedding and also hauls for<br />

Jackman Lumber Continued Page 12<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 11


Jackman Lumber Continued from Page 11<br />

other companies in the area. In the woods, Jackman<br />

Lumber operates a CAT 511 processor, A John Deere 753<br />

feller buncher, and a CAT 564 forwarder. It also has an<br />

excavator, dump truck, and three log cranes. The company<br />

once had two chippers, but the chip market has largely<br />

disappeared. The company also<br />

used to travel to more distant jobs,<br />

but these days works primarily<br />

within an hour of Jackman.<br />

“I have a saying, I’ll work<br />

from here to tidewater,” Russ said.<br />

“I’ve worked quite a bit in<br />

Frankfort, Winterport, Levant,<br />

I’ve cut quite a bit on some of our<br />

family land in Levant, and I own a<br />

lot in Frankfort and Liberty, so<br />

I’ve traveled around quite a bit.”<br />

For the past five years,<br />

Jackman Lumber has worked<br />

about half the time on<br />

Weyerhauser lands and the other<br />

half on private lots. Their primary<br />

markets for wood are the Moose<br />

River Lumber mill which is less<br />

than a mile from their shop, and<br />

the Sappi Somerset Mill in<br />

Skowhegan, 75 miles down Route<br />

201.<br />

Reginald Griffin died in 2014<br />

after a long and respected career in the<br />

woods, but Russ’s mother Linda<br />

remains involved with Jackman<br />

Lumber to this day, overseeing the<br />

books and remaining a part owner of<br />

the company.<br />

Linda Griffin built Jackman<br />

Lumber with her husband and both<br />

were leaders in Maine’s forest products<br />

industry over the years. Linda is a Past<br />

President of the Maine Forest Products<br />

Council. Russ said that over time the<br />

Griffins came to feel that loggers<br />

needed their own organization to better<br />

meet their needs and fight for their interests, and so when<br />

the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (<strong>PLC</strong>) came<br />

along and begin to fill that role, Jackman Lumber joined<br />

the <strong>PLC</strong>. The company is also Master Logger certified.<br />

“I think it’s become a very good thing,” Russ said,<br />

noting the <strong>PLC</strong>’s advocacy for loggers in Augusta, its focus<br />

on safety and professionalism, and its work to inform and<br />

educate the public on the logging industry. “I’ve been<br />

pretty happy with the organization.”<br />

Speaking out for the industry is something Russ is<br />

known for. He has a small but devoted following on<br />

Facebook for his regular “Stump Report” where he offers<br />

blunt commentary on many issues of importance to loggers<br />

Top, Jackman Lumber processor in action.<br />

Bottom, Linda and Russ Griffin.<br />

and other small businesses in Maine’s forest economy.<br />

With some of the viewers including lawmakers in Augusta,<br />

it is not unheard of for an issue or viewpoint Russ shares to<br />

make its way into legislative discussions.<br />

One of the most<br />

important issues to Russ is<br />

preservation of the longstanding<br />

tradition in Maine of keeping<br />

forests open to hunting and<br />

fishing and other recreation by<br />

maintaining their status as<br />

working woodlands - a viewpoint<br />

shared and championed by the<br />

<strong>PLC</strong>.<br />

“The biggest concern I<br />

have is the evaporating land base.<br />

I think over time as loggers we<br />

kind of did our own thing and we<br />

didn’t say much and now I’m<br />

seeing the movement of the<br />

environmental groups buying up<br />

the land bases we depend on and<br />

I’ve become very vocal about it,”<br />

Russ said. “We’re not going to<br />

have a land base to operate on<br />

anymore if we don’t try to combat<br />

this somehow and discourage<br />

landowners from selling to<br />

environmental groups that are basically<br />

locking up land forever. Its dealing a<br />

blow to the people of Maine that don’t<br />

really deserve it.”<br />

For Jackman Lumber, logging<br />

is what pays the bills but Russ has long<br />

enjoyed the trucking side of the<br />

business and sees growth potential for<br />

his company there given the strong<br />

demand for trucking, so he is already<br />

hauling for other companies and hopes<br />

to do more in the future.<br />

“I’m determined to make my<br />

trucking successful,” Russ said. “I think<br />

there’s some future in it because there’s<br />

a need.”<br />

While recent years have been rough ones in<br />

Maine’s logging industry, Russ said he is encouraged by<br />

mills beginning to make a comeback in the state after years<br />

of closings. Overall logging capacity has shrunk as logging<br />

contractors shut down in response to reduced markets, and<br />

now he believes that as demand rises those contractors who<br />

are still standing will be well positioned to capitalize on<br />

that demand.<br />

“Anyone that’s still standing today is a tough son<br />

of a gun,” Russ said. “I do still really enjoy it other than the<br />

winters are starting to be really painful - that’s age I guess,<br />

but I’m gonna stick with what I know to the end.”<br />

12 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Doran Continued from Page 9 16<br />

state’s wood products businesses, attract capital investments,<br />

and develop greater economic prosperity for communities<br />

impacted by recent mill closures has announced an action<br />

plan to grow Maine’s forest economy from the current $8.5<br />

billion (annual) to $12 billion by 2025. This growth would<br />

position the state to compete in and take advantage of<br />

substantial global market opportunities with much of the<br />

projected 40 percent growth coming from new markets for<br />

the state. Such growth would also require a significant<br />

expansion of the logging and log trucking workforce in<br />

Maine.<br />

Key findings of the employment availability and<br />

wage study include:<br />

· Although capital expenses in the logging industry<br />

have risen across the board, rates for wood harvesting and<br />

trucking have not.<br />

· Recently announced expansions increasing demand<br />

for wood will require an additional 100 jobs in the logging<br />

industry in the immediate future. In addition, occupation<br />

projections suggest upwards of 200 workers per year will need to<br />

be replaced over the next 8-10 years due to an aging logger<br />

workforce.<br />

· Business critical occupations in the logging<br />

industry, including equipment operators and truck drivers<br />

which comprise 2 out of every 3 jobs, currently earn relative<br />

wages well below comparable occupations in other industries,<br />

making it difficult to recruit and attract workers. Logging<br />

equipment operators ranked lowest for wages out of 19<br />

comparable skilled occupations surveyed, while logging truck<br />

drivers ranked second to last for wages out of 14 heavy truck<br />

driving sectors.<br />

· The average earnings for all employment in<br />

Maine’s logging industry have increased by 5% since 2010,<br />

an average increase of just over $2,100 per worker compared<br />

to an average increase of $5,500 in comparative industries,<br />

such as construction, wood manufacturing, and pulp and<br />

paper manufacturing.<br />

· Over 400 workers in the industry are at retirement<br />

age (65+), while an additional 850 workers will be reaching<br />

retirement age within the next 10 years. Attracting younger<br />

generations of workers will be critical in replacing the retiring<br />

workforce.<br />

All of this data and the findings of this report brings<br />

me back to a discussion point I mentioned in my last article in<br />

January and one that needs to be revisited. Contractors own<br />

and operate businesses with the intent to earn a return; they<br />

are not in business to subsidize the financial returns of their<br />

customers. During a time of high prices for lumber markets<br />

and increasing pulp demand, far too many contractors in<br />

Maine are running on borrowed time. Despite some price<br />

creep and increased demand for wood, a majority of<br />

contractors are still reporting much lower profit margins. And<br />

when it comes to cost savings in the supply chain, loggers<br />

have nothing left to give. Any business that does not earn a<br />

return, closes down. It’s that simple.<br />

Back in January, I was reading the blog of a<br />

management company who will remain nameless. In that<br />

article, the author discussed a recent timber sale negotiation<br />

that they conducted with a landowner. The management<br />

company took great pride in the fact that they competed<br />

against a logger to earn the sale and boasted that they could<br />

provide more value to the landowner as a service provider,<br />

could hire a logger to work for them and at the end of the day<br />

would provide a greater financial return to the landowner than<br />

if they contracted directly with the logger. Furthermore, the<br />

logger really wasn’t trustworthy, and it was absolutely<br />

necessary for the landowner to have an intermediary involved<br />

as a result of this trust. Wow!! Not only was I angered to hear<br />

this kind of double talk, but I found this to be exactly what is<br />

wrong with the system that contractors operate in today.<br />

Can you imagine what backlash the logger would<br />

feel if they publicly scrutinized a management company this<br />

way?<br />

I guess all is fair in competitive business, but is this<br />

really the kind of environment we want the landowner<br />

community to be subjected to? Further, this is also exactly<br />

why contractors can barely afford to stay in business. We<br />

have a system in place that encourages the control,<br />

manipulation and degradation of the logger at the logger’s<br />

expense. No wonder loggers cannot hire good people and pay<br />

them a living wage when those who exert control use profit as<br />

a four-letter word and try to use scare tactics against them.<br />

To use an analogy, do architects use these same<br />

tactics when working with property owners? Do they scare<br />

the property owner and tell them they cannot trust their<br />

building contractor? Do engineers use these tactics in similar<br />

circumstances when competing against plumbers and HVAC<br />

professionals? I have a feeling it is a violation of their license<br />

and their professional code of ethics. So, if this is the case in<br />

those professions, shouldn’t it be the same in this business?<br />

I bring up this example because I’m hearing stories<br />

like this more and more as the competition for wood<br />

increases. <strong>Loggers</strong> can compete with anyone, but the playing<br />

field should be equalized and there should be a better level of<br />

respect at this point in time because there isn’t, “just another<br />

logger out there that can take the job.”<br />

We hear all the time that this is a supposed to be a<br />

three-legged stool and the chain is only as strong as its<br />

weakest link. Well, the stool is broken and if it’s going to<br />

stand, it has to stand on its own. If one leg is going to push<br />

the other one down or continues to try to make one leg<br />

stronger than the other, the stool will ultimately fall.<br />

As you start to unwind this spring and look at your<br />

business, please take a look at the study we just released and<br />

see how it compares to your business. If the data is similar<br />

and you don’t see things changing, don’t hesitate to refer to<br />

this in your discussions moving forward. In the end, loggers<br />

are the root of the industry and must speak with one voice.<br />

Now might be the time to use it.<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

13


Maine Logger and Log Trucker Employment Availability and<br />

Wage Analysis Report Released<br />

AUGUSTA - Maine is facing a shortage of loggers<br />

and log truckers that will grow and could hinder the growth<br />

of the $8.5 billion forest products industry in the state if<br />

wage growth does not occur, an occupational analysis<br />

released in March concludes.<br />

The employment availability and wage analysis<br />

prepared by the Maine Center for Business and Economic<br />

Research at the University of Southern Maine found wages<br />

for logging equipment operators and log truckers in Maine<br />

are lower than those for comparable jobs in competing<br />

industries in the state, and this combined with a tight labor<br />

market and looming retirement for large numbers of loggers<br />

is concerning for Maine’s forest economy.<br />

in Maine, that the industry is already unable to fill an<br />

estimated 750 to 1,000 jobs today,” Doran said. “Add to that<br />

the projected loss of upwards of 200 workers per year over<br />

the next 10 years due to retirements, coupled with the need<br />

for more loggers and truckers to meet rising demand for<br />

wood from expansions that have been announced by mills in<br />

the state recently and you begin to see the extent of this<br />

problem.”<br />

In addition to Maine expansions already announced<br />

by mill owners including Verso, Sappi, Nine Dragons, and<br />

Pleasant River Lumber, the FOR/Maine (Forest Opportunity<br />

Roadmap), a broad coalition working to diversify the state’s<br />

wood products businesses, attract capital investments, and<br />

“profit margins for logging contractors have<br />

dwindled as costs of doing business have<br />

risen, limiting the ability of contractors to<br />

raise pay for workers”<br />

“This analysis simply confirms and reinforces what<br />

many in the industry have known for a long time,” Dana<br />

Doran, Executive Director of the Professional Logging<br />

Contractors of Maine (<strong>PLC</strong>), which commissioned and<br />

partnered with the Center on the study, said. “The root of<br />

Maine’s vital forest products economy - the logging industry<br />

- must be able to offer higher wages to compete for existing<br />

workers and attract new ones at a time when they are<br />

desperately needed to support a resurgent forest products<br />

industry.”<br />

The heart of the problem is profit margins for<br />

logging contractors have dwindled as costs of doing<br />

business have risen, limiting the ability of contractors to<br />

raise pay for workers. With low unemployment and strong<br />

competition for skilled operators of heavy machinery and<br />

trucks, logging contractors are struggling simply to keep the<br />

workers they have, let alone attract new ones, Doran said.<br />

“We know from surveying our own membership,<br />

which cuts approximately 75 percent of all wood harvested<br />

develop greater economic prosperity for communities<br />

impacted by recent mill closures has announced an action<br />

plan to grow Maine’s forest economy from the current $8.5<br />

billion (annual) to $12 billion by 2025. This growth would<br />

position the state to compete in and take advantage of<br />

substantial global market opportunities with much of the<br />

projected 40 percent growth coming from new markets for<br />

the state. Such growth would also require a significant<br />

expansion of the logging and log trucking workforce in<br />

Maine, Doran noted.<br />

▪ The Executive Summary of the study is available at:<br />

http://maineloggers.com/new/wp-content/uploads/<strong>2019</strong>/03/<br />

Professional-Logging-Contractors-of-Maine-Occupational-<br />

Wage-Analysis_final-1.pdf<br />

▪ The Full Report is available here: http://<br />

maineloggers.com/new/wp-content/uploads/<strong>2019</strong>/03/<br />

Professional-Logging-Contractors-of-Maine-Occupational-<br />

Wage-Analysis-Data-Appendix-FINAL.pdf<br />

14 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Legislative Breakfast<br />

A great success!<br />

The <strong>PLC</strong>'s Annual Legislative Breakfast<br />

was a great success March 14th, drawing<br />

a crowd of more than 100 to the<br />

Governor's Hill Mansion in Augusta to<br />

hear directly from our Members about<br />

the challenges in Maine's logging<br />

industry and the importance of the<br />

Legislature to our efforts to sustain and<br />

improve that industry.<br />

Thanks to the many lawmakers who<br />

attended, including Senate President<br />

Troy Jackson of Allagash and Speaker of<br />

the House Sara Gideon of Freeport.<br />

Thanks also to our <strong>PLC</strong> Board Members<br />

who did such a great job standing up to<br />

speak about issues that were highlighted<br />

during the event including worker<br />

shortages and the need for higher wages<br />

for logging operators and log truckers.<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 15


The <strong>PLC</strong> of Maine 24th Annual<br />

Meeting<br />

April 26, <strong>2019</strong> - Oxford Casino & Event Center, Oxford, ME<br />

An Invitation,<br />

Please join us for our 24th<br />

Annual Meeting to learn and network<br />

with other professional loggers as we<br />

look toward the future.<br />

24TH<br />

ANNUAL<br />

MEETING<br />

Highlights<br />

-Nine Dragons<br />

-Commissioner of Agriculture,<br />

Conservation & Forestry<br />

-Legislative Leadership<br />

-Children's Miracle Network Children<br />

-Log A Load Auction<br />

-<strong>PLC</strong> Annual Awards<br />

The Morning Session is only for <strong>PLC</strong> Contractor<br />

Members. During this time, we will: Conduct a<br />

general membership meeting, hold Board elections<br />

and review our legislative agenda. Acadia Insurance<br />

will let us know how the dividend program<br />

performed in 2018, hear from the new<br />

Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture,<br />

Conservation and Forestry and Nine Dragons to learn<br />

about their expansion plans in Rumford and Old<br />

Town.<br />

During our Luncheon, which is open to all <strong>PLC</strong><br />

Contractor Members, Supporting Members and<br />

invited guests, we will hear from the President of the<br />

Senate , Troy Jackson and Speaker of the House, Sara<br />

Gideon about policies to ensure profitability for<br />

Maine <strong>Loggers</strong>.<br />

We reconvene at 4:00 pm for our social hour and<br />

time to preview the Log A Load Auction items, open<br />

to all <strong>PLC</strong> Contractor Members, Supporting<br />

Members and invited guests.<br />

To help the Children’s Miracle Network raise<br />

money, our Log A Load Auction will be kicked<br />

off by a Miracle Network Children.<br />

Can we exceed the $46,000 we raised in 2018?<br />

Dinner will include a welcome and remarks from<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> President, Jim Nicols and remarks from<br />

Congressman Jared Golden, 2nd District (Invited).<br />

The Master Logger Certificate Ceremony will<br />

follow and the night will conclude with the <strong>PLC</strong>’s<br />

annual awards presentation.<br />

Dinner Guests — Join us for a buffet dinner and the honor<br />

of meeting a couple of the many children helped by the<br />

Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), Hazel and Edgar are<br />

wonderful children who would like to share their story!<br />

Meet the amazing people that our fundraising is impacting<br />

and feel the difference that we are making!<br />

In 2018 the <strong>PLC</strong> of Maine raised over $122,000 to<br />

support local Maine children!<br />

Creating Real Miracles by Raising Funds for Local Hospitals<br />

Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals<br />

have raised more than $5 billion for 170 children’s<br />

hospitals across the United States and Canada. The <strong>PLC</strong> of<br />

Maine and Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems (EMHS)<br />

Foundation have raised over $1,129,000 since 1996 for<br />

children in Maine. These donations have gone to support<br />

research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for<br />

uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save<br />

and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Some<br />

are battling cancer, some are suffering from a traumatic<br />

injury, and others require constant care because they were<br />

born too early, or with a genetic disease.<br />

14 Professional Logging April Contractors 26, <strong>2019</strong> - Oxford of Maine Casino & Event Center, <strong>Loggers</strong> Oxford, Serving ME <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Meeting Agenda:<br />

24TH<br />

ANNUAL<br />

MEETING<br />

REGISTER NOW!<br />

WE NEED AUCTION ITEMS FOR LOG A LOAD!<br />

Morning Session<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> Contractor Members Only<br />

7:30 AM Registration<br />

(Coffee & Continental Breakfast)<br />

8:00 AM Full Board and General Membership Meeting,<br />

Board Elections, Legislative Update and Acadia<br />

Dividend Program Update.<br />

10:00 AM Amanda Beal, Commissioner of Agriculture,<br />

Conservation and Forestry<br />

Director of the Maine Forest Service<br />

11:00 AM Randy Chicoine, Mill Manager, Nine Dragons<br />

- expansion plans in Rumford and Old<br />

Town<br />

Afternoon Session<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> Contractor Members, Supporting Members<br />

& Invited Guests<br />

12:00 PM Lunch Buffet<br />

Children’s Miracle Network Auction<br />

Would you like to donate an item or cash?<br />

Contact Jessica at jessica@maineloggers.com<br />

12:30 PM Luncheon Speakers:<br />

<strong>2019</strong> Maine Legislature – Policies to<br />

Ensure Profitability for Maine <strong>Loggers</strong>.<br />

- President of the Senate, Troy Jackson<br />

- Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon<br />

2:00-4:00 PM Afternoon Break<br />

Evening session<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> Contractor Members, Supporting Members, Invited Guests<br />

4:00 PM Social Hour—Auction Items Preview<br />

5:00 PM Children’s Miracle Network Children & Log A Load for Kids—Special Guest Auctioneer—Scott Hanington<br />

6:00 PM Dinner Buffet<br />

6:45 PM <strong>PLC</strong> President’s Welcome & Congressman Jared Golden, 2nd District (Invited)<br />

7:00 PM Presentation of Master Logger Supporter Award & Presentation of Certificates to 2018 Cohort of Certified<br />

Master Logger Companies<br />

7:30 PM Awards Presentation: <strong>PLC</strong> Logger of the Year, Acadia Insurance Safety Award, <strong>PLC</strong> Impact Award,<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> Community Service Award, Supporting Member Award & <strong>PLC</strong> President’s Award<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 15 17


Photos<br />

Top: Groundtek Inc.<br />

low-bedding<br />

equipment.<br />

OWNERS: Bruce and Meagan Plourde<br />

YEAR FOUNDED: April 2009<br />

ADDRESS: South Perley Brook Road, Fort Kent, Maine.<br />

Below: Bruce<br />

Plourde.<br />

Opposite: Groundtek<br />

Inc. Western Star.<br />

PHONE NUMBER: (207) 316-3006<br />

EMPLOYEES: 6<br />

TRUCKS: 2 Western Star 4900 heavy haul trucks, 1 Western<br />

Star 4900 dump truck, 1 International 9370 eagle dump truck<br />

AREA OF OPERATION: Aroostook County<br />

SERVICES PROVIDED: Construction, excavation, concrete<br />

work, sewer systems, retainer walls, heavy equipment<br />

transportation up to 55 tons, on and off road hauling<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> FOREST CONTRACTOR SINCE: January <strong>2019</strong><br />

18 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


WHY DID THE COMPANY JOIN <strong>PLC</strong>: “<strong>PLC</strong> is a wonderful group with a voice. They work for the<br />

people and give us the opportunity to be heard at different levels of the state. They provide great<br />

trainings and accommodate all areas of the forest industry.”<br />

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST ISSUES THE COMPANY WOULD LIKE <strong>PLC</strong> TO WORK ON:<br />

“Currently <strong>PLC</strong> is assisting us with the process of lowbed transportation permitting, rules and<br />

regulations.”<br />

Trucking section Continued Page 20<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 19


Trucking Industry News...<br />

FMCSA Updates SMS Website...<br />

FMCSA has updated the CSA SMS Website with<br />

the February 22, <strong>2019</strong> results.<br />

Motor carriers participating in FMCSA’s Crash<br />

Preventability Demonstration Program will continue to<br />

see the Agency’s final determinations on SMS for crashes<br />

reviewed as part of the program. Logged-in carriers and<br />

enforcement users with crashes determined to be Not<br />

Preventable as part of the program can view measures and<br />

percentiles calculated with and without those crashes.<br />

View the site here: https://maineloggers.us10.listmanage.com/track/click?<br />

u=50356bc32e7c1ced15b258bf6&id=7bae694128&e=114d<br />

18f9f8<br />

FMCSA Launches Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse<br />

Website...<br />

FMCSA has launched a new website with<br />

information about the Commercial Driver’s License Drug<br />

and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Visit https://<br />

clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov to learn more about how<br />

CDL drivers and their employers will be required to use the<br />

Clearinghouse beginning January 6, 2020. You will be able<br />

to sign up for email updates.<br />

Canadian Revenue Agency Notice of Fuel Charge<br />

and Registration Requirements...<br />

A new fuel charge, administered by the Canada<br />

Revenue Agency (CRA), was introduced as part of the<br />

Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act.<br />

The fuel charge is expected to be effective April 1,<br />

<strong>2019</strong> for the provinces of Manitoba, New Brunswick,<br />

Ontario and Saskatchewan and July 1, <strong>2019</strong> for the<br />

territories of Nunavut and Yukon.<br />

The attached informational bulletin, provided by<br />

the CRA, details the fuel charge plan. IFTA, Inc. is<br />

forwarding this bulletin to provide jurisdictions with<br />

20 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


information to assist their carriers. It will also be posted on<br />

the IFTA Inc. website.<br />

The registration materials are available at:<br />

https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/<br />

excise-taxes-duties-levies/fuel-charge.html<br />

Unified Carrier Registration Online Service…<br />

This service allows Maine based individuals and<br />

companies that operate commercial motor vehicles in<br />

interstate or international commerce to register their<br />

business and pay the annual UCR fee based on the size of<br />

their fleet. Brokers, freight forwarders, and leasing<br />

companies are also required to register and pay a fee equal<br />

to the lowest fee tier. Companies providing both motor<br />

carrier services as well as broker, freight forwarder or<br />

leasing services are required to pay the fee level set at the<br />

motor carrier level.<br />

Roadside enforcement period will begin April 1,<br />

<strong>2019</strong>. You can access the payment portal at Maine<br />

BMV here: https://maineloggers.us10.list-manage.com/<br />

track/click?<br />

u=50356bc32e7c1ced15b258bf6&id=d4a06e1c92&e=114d<br />

18f9f8<br />

Open Seats for Class A CDL Program…<br />

Eastern Maine Community College's January 14th<br />

CDL class was postponed and the college is seeking to add<br />

a few more participants, like you! Class will run from noon<br />

to 6 p.m. for the first few weeks. Driving and range times<br />

will be scheduled during class to accommodate your<br />

schedule.<br />

The next classes are scheduled to start:<br />

June 3.<br />

Learn more at: https://www.emcc.edu/workforcedevelopment/non-credit-classes/commercial-drivers-license<br />

-cdl-training-center/<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 21


<strong>PLC</strong> Supporting Member Spotlight<br />

B<br />

REWER - There are few companies as deeply<br />

embedded in Maine’s logging industry today as<br />

Milton CAT.<br />

Milton CAT heavy equipment can be<br />

found working in Maine forests from Fort Kent to Kittery,<br />

and the state’s loggers have been reliable and solid<br />

customers for the company for decades. Now, though the<br />

company is changing some of its approach to the forest<br />

equipment market, its commitment to the Maine logging<br />

industry remains as strong as ever.<br />

“For us, Maine is a big piece of the pie,” Peter<br />

Collins, Forest Industry Manager for Milton CAT said<br />

recently during a discussion at the company’s Brewer<br />

location, the distribution center for all forestry parts for<br />

Milton CAT. “Maine is historically about half the<br />

opportunity in terms of forestry machine sales for the<br />

entire territory.”<br />

Those equipment sales are critical to the<br />

company, and so is the Maine logging industry, Collins<br />

said.<br />

From its start in a dirt floor garage in Concord,<br />

New Hampshire, Milton CAT has grown to 12 locations,<br />

spanning a six-state territory. Two of those locations are in<br />

Maine; Brewer and Scarborough.<br />

Milton CAT has over 1,000 employees, many with<br />

twenty, thirty or even forty years of service at the<br />

company, and it's widely recognized by Caterpillar as<br />

being one of its top performing dealerships worldwide.<br />

Milton CAT still runs on the same philosophy that<br />

made the company successful in its early years. The<br />

company's growth and reputation have been a result of<br />

experience, continuity of purpose, empowering employees,<br />

and a longstanding partnership with Caterpillar.<br />

A privately-held company, Milton CAT is owned<br />

by the Milton family. Dealer principal and Chief Executive<br />

Officer Chris Milton, is the third-generation Milton to be<br />

at the helm of a Caterpillar dealership. Chris Milton's<br />

father, Jack, learned the ropes under his father, Milt<br />

Milton, at former Massachusetts CAT dealership Perkins-<br />

Milton. In 1960, Jack Milton and partner Bill Jordan<br />

founded Jordan-Milton Machinery and represented<br />

Caterpillar equipment and engines in New Hampshire and<br />

Vermont, expanding into Maine with the acquisition of<br />

Arnold Machinery Company in 1982. In 1991, Jordan-<br />

Milton acquired Southworth Machinery and the company<br />

name became Southworth-Milton. That name was changed<br />

to Milton CAT shortly after the company expanded its<br />

territory into western New York with the acquisition of<br />

bordering CAT dealership Syracuse Supply Company in<br />

2004.<br />

Today, the company's products and technology<br />

can be found in logging camps and nuclear facilities; dairy<br />

farms, U.S. Army Defense installations, hospitals, lobster<br />

boats and underground salt mines; solid waste landfills,<br />

data centers, paving projects and ferries; commuter rail<br />

trains, quarries, school buses and on job sites of all sizes.<br />

22 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Peter Collins has been with the company for 36<br />

years and his long-time customers include many founding<br />

members of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine<br />

(<strong>PLC</strong>). He has worked with multiple generations of many<br />

well-known Maine logging families.<br />

Milton CAT’s relationship with the <strong>PLC</strong> began<br />

long before the organization offered Supporting<br />

Memberships (Milton CAT is an Enhanced Supporting<br />

Member). The company has been a strong supporter of<br />

<strong>PLC</strong>’s Log A Load for<br />

Maine Kids annual<br />

fund raising efforts<br />

and other initiatives<br />

over the years.<br />

Among the<br />

most noteworthy of<br />

Milton CAT’s more<br />

recent contributions to<br />

the <strong>PLC</strong>’s efforts has<br />

been the company’s support for the Mechanized Logging<br />

Operation Program (MLOP), launched three years ago to<br />

provide entry level training for mechanized logging<br />

operators. The program was created thanks to a partnership<br />

between three Maine community colleges, the <strong>PLC</strong>, and<br />

industry partners including Milton CAT and Nortrax.<br />

The program gives students a broad overview of<br />

the most common mechanical systems found in modern<br />

timber harvesting equipment, an understanding of the<br />

variables of timber growth, tree species, and markets, and a<br />

strong emphasis on safety. It also includes hands-on<br />

training in mechanized logging equipment, and Milton<br />

CAT has provided half the equipment for the training<br />

program since its start. On the Milton CAT website, a<br />

video promoting MLOP is prominently displayed in the<br />

forestry section.<br />

Like most companies involved in Maine’s logging<br />

industry, Milton CAT realizes there is a skilled worker<br />

shortage in the state’s forest economy, particularly for<br />

mechanized logging operators and truck drivers, Collins<br />

said.<br />

“I think the training program is a good thing as we<br />

try to deal with the situation, and I think Milton CAT has<br />

put some money and<br />

some emphasis on that<br />

because you’ve got to<br />

try and do something<br />

about it,” Collins said.<br />

Milton CAT<br />

has served Maine<br />

loggers through major<br />

changes and challenges<br />

in the industry, and is committed to maintaining the health<br />

of that industry.<br />

In August 2018 Caterpillar Inc. announced a major<br />

change for the industry itself - Caterpillar had entered into<br />

a preliminary agreement with Weiler, Inc. to sell its<br />

forestry product business, which includes Wheel Skidders,<br />

Track Feller Bunchers, Wheel Feller Bunchers and<br />

Knuckleboom Loaders. As part of the sale, Weiler is taking<br />

ownership of the Caterpillar manufacturing plant in<br />

LaGrange, Georgia, the training center in Auburn,<br />

Alabama and the parts distribution center in Smithfield,<br />

North Carolina.<br />

For Milton CAT the announcement is bringing<br />

change, but not drastic change. Milton CAT already had a<br />

long-standing relationship with Weiler in the paving<br />

Milton CAT has been a strong supporter of the<br />

Mechanized Logging Operations Program since it<br />

began three years ago. Opposite: Graduates of the<br />

most recent class pose with a grapple skidder donated<br />

by Milton CAT for their use in the summer of 2018.<br />

Milton CAT Continued Page 24<br />

Alex Labonville, Sales Manager<br />

Cell: 207-233-4801<br />

www.labonville.com<br />

Ask about special <strong>PLC</strong> of<br />

Maine member only discounts!<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 23


Milton CAT Continued from Page 23<br />

business, and Weiler will be manufacturing track feller<br />

bunchers, skidders, rubber tired feller bunchers, and<br />

knuckle booms. The machines to mount delimbers on will<br />

still be manufactured by CAT.<br />

Milton CAT will remain the source for sales, parts<br />

and service on CAT forestry products as well as Weiler<br />

forestry products and will remain the source for parts and<br />

service on Prentice product as part of the deal as well.<br />

This spring Milton CAT is continuing to sell<br />

Milton CAT forestry equipment but it is anticipated that<br />

Weiler product will be available this year. Milton CAT is<br />

also selling Logset forwarders and processors, so the<br />

product lineup for the company is diversifying, but<br />

customers so far seem comfortable with the changes,<br />

Collins said.<br />

For Milton CAT the relationship with the <strong>PLC</strong> and<br />

with Maine’s loggers is a natural one that is mutually<br />

beneficial, and that is not going to change, Collins said.<br />

“The membership needs to know how important<br />

their business is to our business, it’s not just an<br />

afterthought, Collins said. “Long term we’re committed to<br />

this and we’ve got a lot of different products that we’re<br />

working with now and Milton CAT’s still going to be in<br />

the forestry business, we’re not going anywhere.”<br />

Photos, top: MLOP students with CAT delimber in 2017.<br />

Bottom: A CAT log loader in action.<br />

24 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Mechanized Logging Operations Program Recruiting<br />

Students for Summer <strong>2019</strong><br />

STRATTON - Recruiting is now underway for<br />

students in the Mechanized Logging Operations Program<br />

(MLOP), which is beginning its next class June 24 in the<br />

woods of Western Maine.<br />

Students enrolled in the post-secondary training<br />

program will spend weeks harvesting timber using<br />

sophisticated state-of-the-art machines like those they will<br />

encounter in the logging industry. The hands-on experience<br />

students gain operating equipment is<br />

something unavailable anywhere else<br />

in Maine and neighboring states.<br />

This summer’s class will be<br />

the third since the program launched in<br />

2017. Graduation for the class will be<br />

held on Sept. 19.<br />

“I would encourage any<br />

individual with an interest in a goodpaying,<br />

exciting career in the Maine<br />

woods to take a look at the MLOP<br />

program,” Dana Doran, Executive Director of the<br />

Professional Logging Contractors of Maine (<strong>PLC</strong>), said.<br />

“There is literally no better or more efficient way to gain the<br />

experience and knowledge you need to become an<br />

equipment operator in the logging industry.”<br />

The Mechanized Logging Operations Program was<br />

created thanks to a partnership between three Maine<br />

community colleges, the <strong>PLC</strong>, and industry partners<br />

including Milton CAT and Nortrax.<br />

The program gives students a broad overview of the<br />

most common mechanical systems found in modern timber<br />

harvesting equipment, and an understanding of the variables<br />

of timber growth, tree species, and markets. It also includes<br />

a strong emphasis on safety.<br />

Students who are accepted into<br />

the program pay no tuition, but are<br />

responsible for transportation, housing,<br />

and food costs. Personal Protective<br />

Equipment (PPE) is provided by the<br />

program.<br />

A 2014 study by the <strong>PLC</strong><br />

found the average annual salary for<br />

workers employed by logging firms in<br />

Maine was $42,795. Mechanized<br />

logging operators are among the<br />

highest paid members of the logging workforce.<br />

Anyone with an interest in the program should<br />

contact Leah Buck at Northern Maine Community College<br />

at 207-768-2768. Information and application instructions<br />

may be found online at https://www.nmcc.edu/industrycustomized-training/mechanized-forest-operations/<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 25


SAFETY<br />

STARTS<br />

WITH ME<br />

<strong>2019</strong> Safety Training<br />

Presented by:<br />

SAFETY<br />

STARTS<br />

WITH ME<br />

<strong>PLC</strong>’s Safety Committee is committed to offering tools to help keep our members safe! The goal of this FREE, for <strong>PLC</strong><br />

Contractor members and Maine Master <strong>Loggers</strong>, training is to provide practical, hands-on instruction to improve<br />

individual & company safety. Still time to register for remaining classes! Go to http://maineloggers.com/safety/<br />

<strong>2019</strong> Logger Safety Training: 7:30 AM—3:30 PM<br />

Safety training is designed for all company employees and employees may attend one or both spring trainings.<br />

Topics: STOP The Bleed | Hydraulic Hazards | Road & Job Site Communication<br />

Accident Review - Report, Not Repeat | Falling Safely - I’ve Fallen & I can get up! | Driving Simulator<br />

Training locations:<br />

1S. Friday, April 5 th Denmark— John Khiel III Logging & Chipping, Inc.<br />

2S. Thursday, April 11 th Rumford—Nicols Bros.<br />

3S. Friday, April 12 th Waltham — Elliott Jordan & Son, Inc.<br />

4S. Friday, April 19 th Passadumkeag — Madden Timberlands, Inc.<br />

5S. Friday , May 3rd Stratton—Pepin Lumber<br />

6S. Thursday, May 9 th Millinocket— Gerald Pelletier, Inc.<br />

7S. Monday, May 13 th Lincoln — Treeline, Inc.<br />

8S. Wednesday, May 22 nd Fort Kent—TNT Road Company, Inc.<br />

9S. Friday, May 31 st Jackman—E.J. Carrier<br />

<strong>2019</strong> Fleet Training: 7:30 AM—3:30 PM<br />

Fleet Training is specifically designed for drivers, mechanics and loader operators. Employees may attend one or<br />

both spring trainings.<br />

Topics: Legal Liability—You said what?<br />

Troop-K: Practical Pre-Trip<br />

| Not your Daddy’s Diesel<br />

Ditch Diving & Digging Out | Trailer Tech. & Techniques | Driving Simulator<br />

Training locations:<br />

10F. Thursday, April 4 th Denmark— John Khiel III Logging & Chipping, Inc.<br />

11F. Thursday, April 18 th Milford—Randall Madden Trucking<br />

12F. Thursday, May 2 nd Stratton—Pepin Lumber<br />

13F. Tuesday, May 21 st Fort Kent— TNT Road Company, Inc.<br />

NEW FOR <strong>2019</strong> – During Fleet Trainings there are optional, alternative training classes:<br />

• CPR & First Aid certification— $35 a person (Company options available—see registration)<br />

• Maine Driving Dynamics Course—3 point credit on driving record - $10 a person<br />

26 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


The <strong>PLC</strong> would like to thank sponsors of the <strong>2019</strong> Safety<br />

Trainings<br />

Presenting Sponsor<br />

Presenting & Prize Sponsor<br />

Fleet Lunch Sponsor<br />

Lunch Sponsor<br />

Fleet Lunch Sponsor<br />

Break Sponsor<br />

Breakfast Sponsor<br />

Break Sponsor<br />

Knowledge Check & Prize Sponsor<br />

Safety Prize Sponsor<br />

Safety Prize Sponsor<br />

Safety Prize Sponsor<br />

There is still time to register for<br />

Safety and Fleet trainings! Visit<br />

http://maineloggers.com/safety/<br />

to learn more!<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 27


Wearing the right<br />

Safety Sunglasses<br />

By Donald Burr<br />

<strong>PLC</strong> Safety & Training Coordinator<br />

Today we are going to talk safety sunglasses. One<br />

of the standards that I apply to writing articles is can the<br />

everyday logger use this information to be safer and spend<br />

less money? In today’s topic I think the answer is yes.<br />

Buying the right safety sunglasses you get<br />

protection and you don’t have to spend a lot to get it. The<br />

average price for safety sunglasses is well under $20.00 (I<br />

saw some that meet the ANSI standard for $1.50 each), but<br />

you can spend hundreds if you want but you don’t get any<br />

better protection by spending the big money. Picking the<br />

right sunglasses is one of the most important things you<br />

should consider first before starting your day, every day.<br />

We are entering into longer days with brighter sun with<br />

snow & water bouncing the light around us into our eyes.<br />

You need to protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays.<br />

There are three different types of UV rays that we<br />

need to protect from: UVA, UVB and UVC, and it is<br />

important that your sunglasses protect you from UVA & B<br />

and here’s why.<br />

UVA rays affect the inner eye and can cause eye<br />

damage. These rays have a longer wavelength and can<br />

easily pass through glass.<br />

UVB rays also affect the inner and outer eye and<br />

most people have felt the effects of snow blindness and this<br />

is caused by UVB rays.<br />

The last is UVC, the good news here is that this is<br />

blocked by the earth’s upper atmosphere so we don’t have<br />

to worry about this type.<br />

All UV light is cut down by the earth’s<br />

atmosphere. This is not important to you unless you work<br />

in high altitudes areas or you’re a pilot, then you need to<br />

take extra precautions. The pilots wear those cool<br />

sunglasses not just for looks, they are functional too.<br />

Now whether or not you know the names of these<br />

rays or care it is important that you take steps to avoid<br />

exposure to these rays with sun glasses. Look for the<br />

amount of UV protection. Make sure it reads 99 - 100%.<br />

With UV protection settle for nothing less, and you<br />

shouldn’t because full protection does not have to cost a lot<br />

of money.<br />

Get sunglasses that wrap around your face because<br />

light can come in from the sides also and with your eyes<br />

dilated because you are looking through dark glasses you<br />

are letting in more harmful light from the sides. This goes<br />

for sunglasses that don’t have uv protection or have poor<br />

protection also.<br />

Sunglasses should take out most of the visible light<br />

(75% - 90%). This refers to how dark they are and if you<br />

look in a mirror and can see your eyes they are not dark<br />

enough.<br />

Make sure you get glasses that have good quality<br />

lenses. Take them off and look through them an arm length<br />

away and notice if the image stays consistent when moving<br />

over a straight line like a corner of a door or wall. If the<br />

straight line wobbles any these sunglasses are not good<br />

quality.<br />

Here are some special options that you can<br />

consider:<br />

Polarized: Cuts down the glare. Fishermen, river<br />

guides and skiers like these because of the high glare<br />

environment that they are operating in. Be aware that these<br />

will sometimes change your perception of color. A long<br />

time ago we sent a coworker to bring a group of people to<br />

the blue bus. He was wearing polarized sun glasses and the<br />

blue bus turned green. The funny thing was that it did not<br />

change the color of the other buses in line that happened to<br />

be green. So he looked and he looked and came back and<br />

said that there were no blue buses only green. I told him to<br />

take off his sunglasses and then tell us what he found.<br />

Bingo!<br />

Mirrored sunglasses: This is more than just a look.<br />

They are popular in high glare environments and with law<br />

enforcement and they tend to be good at filtering UV rays<br />

but not always. The one caution about these is that you can<br />

sunburn your nose and cheeks easily and then that leads to<br />

skin issues so remember to wear sun screen and reapply<br />

often.<br />

Impact resistant: Look for Z87 stamped on the<br />

frame somewhere. This is a reference to the ANSI high<br />

velocity impact resistant standard. Don’t buy safety<br />

sunglasses without it.<br />

I will leave you with this: put on your safety<br />

sunglasses and Hum a few bars of ZZ Top’s classic song<br />

“Cheap Sun Glasses”<br />

28 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Ted Clark, CLCS, Loss Control Consultant, Acadia Insurance<br />

Year after year, falls continue to be one of the<br />

leading causes of death and serious injury in the workplace.<br />

Did you know that many of these falls actually occur on the<br />

same level or from a relatively low surface? In fact, recent<br />

studies show that one of the leading sources of falls is<br />

actually from ladders. Luckily, many of these falls are<br />

preventable with only minor changes in your approach. In<br />

this safety meeting we will discuss a few points that will help<br />

reduce your exposure to falls when utilizing a step ladder. In<br />

addition to the following points, it is important to also refer<br />

to manufacturer requirements.<br />

1. Proper ladder selection: Ladder selection is the first of<br />

several critical steps to working safely at height.<br />

A. Many people don’t realize that step ladders<br />

are designed only to be worked off and are<br />

not designed for accessing higher or lower<br />

levels.<br />

B. The ladder also needs to be tall enough to do<br />

the job. Most step ladder manufacturers<br />

clearly state that the ladder is not designed<br />

for the user to stand on the top or the second<br />

-to-top rungs. If you need to step on the top<br />

two rungs, your ladder should be replaced<br />

with a longer ladder.<br />

C. Is the ladder rated for the user’s weight?<br />

Unless it is a heavy duty step ladder, it may<br />

not be rated for more than someone<br />

weighing 200 pounds. Verify the weight<br />

load limits of the ladder by referring to the<br />

stickers on the ladder’s rails.<br />

2. Ladder inspection: One of the most critical but often<br />

overlooked steps is to thoroughly inspect your ladder<br />

before each use.<br />

A. Steps: Steps should be intact, with no dents,<br />

clean, and free of oil and grease. The<br />

manufacturer generally prohibits<br />

modification or repair of the steps.<br />

B. Rails: Rails should be in good condition, with<br />

fiberglass in good shape without divots or<br />

dents. Aluminum should be free of dents<br />

and cracks. Pay special attention to the areas<br />

where the steps are mounted to the rails.<br />

Look closely for cracks in the fiberglass.<br />

The manufacturer labels should be legible<br />

and, therefore, should be protected from<br />

damage when the ladder is new.<br />

C. Feet: Feet should have the manufacturer<br />

mounted slip free pads in place. The pads<br />

should be clear of debris, oil, and grease.<br />

D. Spreaders: These are critical to the stability<br />

of the ladder and proper setup. Therefore,<br />

they must both be on the ladder and must be<br />

intact without any bends or dents.<br />

Quarterly Safety Meeting: Ladders<br />

3. Ladder Setup:<br />

A. Inspect the ground prior to setting up the<br />

ladder. Look for uneven surfaces that will<br />

cause the ladder to rock while working on it.<br />

Look for slippery substances such as oil and<br />

grease and avoid setting the ladder up in<br />

those areas.<br />

B. Avoid setting up in front of closed doors. If<br />

you must leave the door closed, clearly label<br />

it and/or lock it, to avoid someone coming<br />

through and knocking your ladder over.<br />

C. The ladder should NEVER be leaned against<br />

a wall or machine and climbed.<br />

Manufacturers require that the ladder, in<br />

order to work properly, be opened<br />

completely. Not completely opening and<br />

locking the step ladder can result in the<br />

ladder toppling over.<br />

4. Step Ladder Use:<br />

A. When climbing and descending the ladder,<br />

three points of contact is critical. Don’t<br />

carry tools or equipment in your hands.<br />

Generally, you can set your tools on the<br />

ladder prior to climbing or, on taller ladders,<br />

you may need to pull tools up once you are<br />

in place.<br />

B. Always climb, descend and work facing the<br />

ladder. Never stand back-to on the ladder.<br />

C. While working off the ladder, it is critical to<br />

stay balanced. A good rule of thumb is to<br />

keep your belt buckle between the rails of<br />

the ladder at all times. Leaning too far will<br />

cause the ladder to tip over.<br />

D. Step ladders are not designed for the user to<br />

stand on the top two rungs. Standing on the<br />

top two rungs puts the ladder off balance<br />

and the user at risk of a fall.<br />

The above recommendations were generated based<br />

on some of the most frequently observed step ladder misuses.<br />

It is critical to refer back to the manufacturer<br />

recommendations when selecting and working with a step<br />

ladder. This will help assure that the ladder is used within the<br />

design parameters.<br />

*(ASK FOR ANY QUESTIONS)*<br />

Acadia is pleased to share this material for the benefit of its<br />

customers. Please note, however, that nothing herein should be<br />

construed as either legal advice or the provision of professional consulting<br />

services. This material is for informational purposes only, and while<br />

reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no<br />

warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness.<br />

*Meeting sign-in sheet on the back! Cut along dotted line to left to detach this section. 29


*This sign-in sheet is intended to be used with the quarterly Safety Training Topic on<br />

page 29. Refer to the cutline on page 29 when removing it from the magazine.<br />

30 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Listen Up: Protecting your hearing on the Job<br />

Can you answer “YES” to one or more of the<br />

following?<br />

▪After a day of work, does it sound like people are<br />

talking to you through a pillow or under water?<br />

▪Do your ears ever feel “full” or “stopped up” after<br />

working near a loud noise?<br />

▪Do they hurt at the end of a work day?<br />

▪Are family members or roommates hollering at you to<br />

turn down the TV?<br />

▪Is your spouse or significant other often accusing you<br />

of not listening?<br />

If you identify with any of the first four questions,<br />

you may be suffering from hearing loss. If you answered<br />

“yes” to question 5, that could be hearing related. You<br />

may also be having relationship troubles, and that’s a<br />

whole other ball of wax (pun intended). One way to find<br />

out is to have your hearing checked at the free logger<br />

health exams being offered this spring through the Maine<br />

Logger Health and Safety Study (see schedule at the end<br />

Hearing Continued Page 32<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 31


of this article for dates and locations).<br />

Hearing loss is permanent. Of the roughly 36<br />

million American adults suffering from hearing loss, 10<br />

million can be attributed to noise-induced hearing loss—for<br />

short, NIHL. A one-time exposure to a loud sound - like a<br />

valve bursting on a hydraulic air pump - can cause NIHL.<br />

Also, repeated exposure at certain sound levels over an<br />

extended period of time can cause NIHL.<br />

NIHL doesn’t just hurt your ability to hear, it can add stress<br />

to a relationship (see question 5) and recently was found to<br />

contribute to the early onset of dementia.<br />

It’s complicated. NIHL doesn’t just make<br />

everything seem quieter – it actually changes how you are<br />

able to hear sound frequencies. The sound of speech, for<br />

instance, is made up of a complex mixture of sound<br />

frequencies. With NIHL, a person’s inability to hear<br />

different frequencies can make another person’s words<br />

sound muffled or mushy and harder to understand.<br />

Background noise only make it worse. Often, people with<br />

NIHL think everyone else is mumbling (when it is really<br />

their own hearing that is not working properly). And, sadly,<br />

wearing a hearing aid and turning up the volume can’t fix<br />

that.<br />

Tuning Out. Losing the ability to hear certain<br />

sound frequencies can also make something we all love -<br />

music - no longer enjoyable. Music can sound distorted,<br />

tinny, muddled, or “harsh.”<br />

Sound damage to a person’s hearing can also cause<br />

tinnitus (ringing or a range of other noises in your ears or<br />

head). That’s a double whammy because, with tinnitus, you<br />

not only have trouble hearing what you want to hear, but<br />

you’re also hearing something you don’t want to hear. If<br />

you’re curious what it’s like to have tinnitus, you can listen<br />

to some examples at www.hear-it.org/impressions-ofhearing-loss-and-Tinnitus.<br />

(In short, it’s irritating.)<br />

Can You Hear Me Now? Though you can’t<br />

restore your hearing once it’s lost, you can save what<br />

hearing you have if you wear the right hearing protection.<br />

If you haven’t had a hearing screening before, the 10-<br />

minute screening can provide you a baseline measurement<br />

of your hearing levels. This gives you a marker by which<br />

you can measure if there are changes over time.<br />

The exam is the first step. Next is to sit down with<br />

an occupational hearing specialist to review your results,<br />

the type of work you do and the type of exposures you<br />

work with—both in terms of noise levels and duration of<br />

exposures. The occupational hearing specialists conducting<br />

32 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


exams for the<br />

Maine Logger<br />

Health & Safety<br />

Study are<br />

CAOHC<br />

certified and can<br />

provide<br />

guidance on<br />

task-specific<br />

personal<br />

protective equipment (PPE) with the most appropriate noise<br />

reduction ratings for your work based on your individual<br />

test results.<br />

The study is a project of the Northeast Center for<br />

Occupational Health and Safety in Agriculture, Forestry<br />

and Fishing. If you are a Maine logger interested in<br />

participating in the study, you can earn up to $250 in LL<br />

Bean gift certificates and will be entered into a drawing to<br />

win one of seven $250 Visa gift cards. You can learn more<br />

on Facebook @MaineLoggerHealthandSafetyStudy or by<br />

calling 800-343-7527.<br />

Decibel level exposures for common logging jobs:<br />

Forestry/Logging Noise Sources<br />

dB Level<br />

Skidder 72-102<br />

Cutter 76-96<br />

Loader 78-108<br />

Bulldozer 84-112<br />

Chainsaw 76-120<br />

Source: www.noisebuster.net/forestry.html<br />

Free health exams, which include a hearing screening, are available to<br />

Maine loggers at the following dates and locations at right. All but the<br />

Logger’s Expo dates will be held at <strong>PLC</strong> Safety Trainings (see page 26<br />

for detailed locations and times). Maine loggers receive a $25 gift card<br />

for participating. To schedule an appointment, call 800-343-7527 or<br />

email NEClogging@bassett.org<br />

Date Location<br />

4/11/19 Rumford<br />

4/12/19 Waltham<br />

5/17/19 <strong>Loggers</strong>’ Expo, Bangor<br />

5/18/19 <strong>Loggers</strong>’ Expo, Bangor<br />

5/22/19 Fort Kent<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 33


<strong>PLC</strong> News Briefs...<br />

The <strong>PLC</strong> traveled to Washington D.C. in<br />

early April for the American Logger's<br />

Council's Annual <strong>Spring</strong> Fly-In. Our<br />

members met with our Maine lawmakers<br />

and with agencies important to our<br />

industry. Thanks to our Congressional<br />

delegation for taking the time to meet with<br />

us, and a special thank you to <strong>PLC</strong> Board<br />

Members Andy Irish and Chuck Ames,<br />

seen here with Maine Sen. Angus King,<br />

for representing our interests in the<br />

Capitol!<br />

34 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


UMaine Forest Operations Winter Camp <strong>2019</strong><br />

students visited <strong>PLC</strong> Members and Master<br />

<strong>Loggers</strong> John Khiel & Sons Logging and<br />

Chipping and Richard Wing & Son Logging<br />

and Chipping in January to see active harvest<br />

operations in Hallowell and Gray. Thanks to<br />

both contractors for sharing their time and<br />

expertise with the students, and thanks to<br />

UMaine for the opportunity. Great day in the<br />

woods with the students!<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 35


On April 4-6, <strong>2019</strong>, members and guests of the<br />

American <strong>Loggers</strong> Council (ALC) will once again travel to<br />

Washington, DC in hopes of making a difference for the<br />

timber and log trucking industry. Our issues remain<br />

basically the same as they have for the past several years,<br />

but one thing has changed since November that should give<br />

us all a little encouragement as we visit the Hill.<br />

In November, the United States replaced 100 U.S.<br />

House of Representative members as well as 10 U.S.<br />

Senators. To our knowledge, not any of them has the first<br />

minute of experience in the logging business and it is<br />

highly doubtful that any of the incoming members have<br />

ever hauled a load of logs.<br />

While we do not anticipate seeing a lot of<br />

significant legislation being passed in the next several<br />

months due to the highly partisan politics that are still in<br />

play in Washington, we do see this as an opportunity to be<br />

the first organization to address the new members on what<br />

the issues and concerns are for the logging community, as<br />

well as work with the administration to effect change in the<br />

industry. It is up to us to educate them on what professional<br />

timber harvesting is, and the how and why of the process.<br />

If we don’t continue to do it, somebody else will, and that<br />

is not something that any of us would like to see happen.<br />

ALC President Chris Potts has already stated that<br />

we will continue to work on truck weight and Commercial<br />

Safety Administration (CSA) issues. He has also indicated<br />

a desire to continue to pursue the Future Logging Careers<br />

Act that would give the 16 and seventeen year old sons and<br />

daughters the opportunity to legally work in their parent’s<br />

logging business.<br />

With a new Chief of the US Forest Service, and the<br />

authorities that have managed to pass through Congress<br />

over the past couple of years, we hope to further engage<br />

that agency to assist in their modernization efforts to both<br />

expedite and implement all of the authorities now given to<br />

them by Congress to increase the pace and scale of forest<br />

restoration efforts that include timber harvesting.<br />

By the time this editorial goes to press, there should also be<br />

a new Secretary of Interior who we should also seek out<br />

and familiarize with our issues.<br />

Energy will still be a priority in order to help<br />

develop new markets that we all need for our smaller<br />

diameter wood, as will deregulation and lessening of the<br />

tax burdens that all of our businesses face.<br />

We asked and you responded favorably in looking<br />

at logging as a part of agriculture, and we intend to<br />

continue to follow up on that as well.<br />

Even with the change in leadership in the House,<br />

there is still hope that those who are elected will once again<br />

follow the wishes of their constituents and lay partisan<br />

politics aside. The “Swamp,” as President Trump has<br />

called it, has been draining, but there are still those that<br />

As We See It February <strong>2019</strong><br />

“It’s Time to Educate ”<br />

By Danny Dructor<br />

hold on to the idea that party politics should take priority<br />

over policy issues.<br />

November 2020 is not that far away, and you<br />

should be paying close attention to what your<br />

representatives in Washington are doing to deserve your<br />

vote again. Meanwhile, let’s continue to educate those<br />

that have been elected to serve, so that the excuse of “I<br />

don’t know” cannot be used when questioning them about a<br />

vote.<br />

Danny Dructor is the Executive Vice President for the<br />

American <strong>Loggers</strong> Council with offices near Hemphill,<br />

Texas.<br />

The American <strong>Loggers</strong> Council is a 501 (c)(6) not for profit<br />

trade organization representing professional timber<br />

harvesters in 33 states across the United States. If you<br />

would like to learn more about the ALC, please visit their<br />

web site at www.amloggers.com, or contact their office at<br />

409-625-0206.<br />

We Support Maine <strong>Loggers</strong><br />

36 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


As We See It March <strong>2019</strong><br />

“We the People”<br />

“We the People of the United States, in<br />

Order to form a more perfect Union, establish<br />

Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for<br />

the common defence, promote the general Welfare,<br />

and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves<br />

and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this<br />

Constitution for the United States of America.”<br />

Perhaps the most powerful and meaningful 52<br />

words ever put together, the Constitution of the United<br />

States of America is the supreme law of the United States.<br />

Empowered with the sovereign authority of the people by<br />

the framers and the consent of the legislatures of the states,<br />

it is the source of all government powers, and also provides<br />

important limitations on the government that protect the<br />

fundamental rights of United States citizens.<br />

So why, as United States citizens, do we continue<br />

to blame the government for things that we can change that<br />

are within our power and authority granted in the<br />

Constitution of the United States of America? It is time that<br />

we accepted responsibility, accountability and ownership of<br />

what has become the partisan bickering in Washington, DC<br />

and quit complaining, blaming and making excuses for our<br />

failure to elect representatives that still value the wants and<br />

needs of the citizens of the United States that put them into<br />

office.<br />

The mismanagement of our federal lands is a good<br />

example. Last year, while lives and property were being<br />

lost in Paradise, California, our “representatives” in<br />

Washington, DC spent their time bickering over language in<br />

the 2018 Farm bill that would have helped expedite the<br />

treatment of overgrown national forests, which could help<br />

reduce the number of catastrophic wildfires. The politicians<br />

spent more time debating the cause of the problems than<br />

considering real solutions to this crisis.<br />

The blame game continued as usual as one party<br />

did not want to make it appear that the other party might<br />

actually be right when they called for active forest<br />

management to reduce forest fuels. If this is the new<br />

“norm” in Washington, then it is high time that “We the<br />

People” took back the sovereign power that is vested to us<br />

and fire those whose political interests take precedence over<br />

the needs of the people.<br />

This also goes for the use of our federal interstate<br />

highway system to haul existing state legal loads along the<br />

safest route to the mills. We should not allow the federal<br />

government- or any federal agency- to hold states hostage<br />

by holding back highway funds if they do not comply with<br />

federal mandates. We the People should hold those same<br />

agencies accountable. We should call for the replacement<br />

of personnel as lives are lost due to regulations that only<br />

serve to force haulers onto secondary roads where they’re<br />

much more likely to be involved in an accident.<br />

Members of the American <strong>Loggers</strong> Council will<br />

once again return to Washington, DC on April 4-6 to<br />

educate the 100+ new representatives on the Hill. We will<br />

give them the truth about our industry and the “who, where,<br />

why and how” of what we do to promote healthy,<br />

sustainable forests. Our strength is in our numbers and the<br />

contacts and relationships that we build during our visits.<br />

We need to tell our story before someone else tries to tell it<br />

for us. You are the expert in your field- no one else- and<br />

only you can convey the message that members of Congress<br />

need to hear. We ask that you please consider joining our<br />

ranks this year and help us, yes, We the People, chart the<br />

future and destiny of this profession that we call logging.<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong> 37


Since the <strong>Spring</strong> of 1997, the American <strong>Loggers</strong><br />

Council has walked the halls of Congress seeking to<br />

allow the industry’s trucks the ability to haul state legal<br />

weight tolerances on the Federal Interstate Highway<br />

System in order to have available a safer route to the mills<br />

where those routes are available.<br />

In the 22 years that we have made that request,<br />

not one member of Congress has told us that it was a bad<br />

idea, with the majority stating that it just makes sense.<br />

Over the course of 22 years, there have been many<br />

individual exemptions to allow those tolerances on<br />

sections of the Interstate, but it hasn’t come without us<br />

pressuring Congress to do the right thing. In Maine, case<br />

studies illustrated the safety benefits of this exemption.<br />

Here’s an excerpt of a 2010 report from H.O. Bouchard, a<br />

large logging and trucking firm, which helped lead to a<br />

permanent exemption for their weight tolerances that<br />

allows 100,000 pounds on a large portion of I-95.<br />

H.O. Bouchard - Brian Bouchard, President of<br />

this large logging firm, decided to record some<br />

quantitative data. The company loaded two trucks to<br />

99,800 pounds and measured their performance on two<br />

routes: the conventional state-road route that connects<br />

Hampden and Houlton—a distance of about 120<br />

miles—and the newly accessible Interstate route. The<br />

driver recorded that, over the local-road route, the truck<br />

passed 86 pedestrian crosswalks, 30 street lights, 9<br />

school crossings, 4 hospitals, 4 railroad crossings, and<br />

644 oncoming vehicles. The truck using the Interstate<br />

passed zero of each. The truck confined to local roads<br />

shifted gears 192 times and applied brakes 68 times. The<br />

truck using the Interstate shifted 3 times and applied<br />

brakes only once. Apart from a 10-gallon reduction in<br />

fuel and corresponding reduction in emissions, says<br />

Bouchard, “the avoidance of risk and driver fatigue is<br />

huge.”<br />

As most members of Congress have stated, “It<br />

just makes sense.” Isn’t it time that members introduced<br />

language that allows our trucks to travel on those routes<br />

that are safer for the general public and our drivers as<br />

well?<br />

As we’ve reported in the past, our efforts have<br />

been stymied by the railroad industry and Washington DC<br />

lobbyists, who are resistant to any policy changes that<br />

might invite competition. However, the policies we are<br />

seeking would only pertain to products being hauled in<br />

short distances, in this case from the forest to the mill and<br />

typically within a 150 air mile radius. We are not seeking<br />

exemptions for long-haul, nor to promote competition to<br />

the railroads. This is about safety, not profits.<br />

We will once again be in Washington this spring<br />

making visits to the Hill, seeking the cooperation of our<br />

legislators to introduce legislation that just makes sense<br />

As We See It April <strong>2019</strong><br />

“Safe Routes Save Lives ”<br />

By Danny Dructor<br />

and saves lives and reduces risk in the process. We ask<br />

that you please make us aware with examples as to where<br />

this just makes sense in order to reduce risk and save<br />

lives.<br />

If you have a story that helps illustrate why this<br />

solution would result in a safer transportation system,<br />

please contact me at americanlogger@aol.com.<br />

PO Box 337, Milo, ME 04463<br />

943-7415<br />

info@lumbrahardwoodsinc.com<br />

38 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


Northeast Master Logger Certification Expansion Effort<br />

AUGUSTA, ME – The Northeast Master<br />

Logger Certification Program has launched an effort<br />

to expand the ranks of Master <strong>Loggers</strong> in the region<br />

through promotion and outreach efforts including in<br />

states where numbers of Master <strong>Loggers</strong> are<br />

currently low.<br />

The effort is happening at the same time as an<br />

American <strong>Loggers</strong> Council (ALC) push to reinvigorate<br />

and expand the Master Logger brand nationally.<br />

Northeast Master Logger Certification is using<br />

targeted mailings to potential Master <strong>Loggers</strong> and<br />

organizations representing loggers or whose<br />

membership includes large numbers of loggers to<br />

spread awareness of the program and its<br />

benefits.<br />

The organization is also reaching out to key<br />

people and organizations in the Northeast to promote<br />

the program.<br />

Advertising in key publications including<br />

logging magazines and newsletters reaching large<br />

numbers of landowners or loggers is underway to<br />

promote the Master Logger brand and encourage<br />

more loggers to seek certification and more<br />

landowners to choose Master <strong>Loggers</strong> for harvests.<br />

The program is also stepping up visibility at<br />

events for loggers and landowners as well as media<br />

releases to increase awareness.<br />

Expansion efforts are being aided by an L.L.<br />

Bean grant to support Master Logger outreach and<br />

communications efforts to Pennsylvania,<br />

Massachusetts, and New York.<br />

L.L. Bean’s support is based on fostering the<br />

kind of responsible timber harvesting and forest<br />

management in the Northeast that will encourage<br />

landowners to keep their lands undeveloped and<br />

open to the public.<br />

There are currently 110 Master <strong>Loggers</strong><br />

in the Northeast.<br />

If you know of any logger who may be<br />

interested in certification, please have them contact:<br />

Ted Wright, Executive Director of the Northeast<br />

Master Logger Certification Program at 207-532-8721<br />

or executivedirector@tcnef.org.<br />

A Higher Standard<br />

You know your company holds itself to a higher standard of timber harvesting<br />

Prove you are a cut above with Master Logger Certification<br />

masterloggercertification.com<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ Winter <strong>Spring</strong> 2018 <strong>2019</strong><br />

29 39


Congressional Delegation Updates<br />

The Timber<br />

Innovation Act and Community<br />

Wood Energy Program: Two<br />

Provisions That Will Help<br />

Strengthen Our Forest<br />

Products Industry<br />

‘Maine’s forest-based<br />

economy is an integral part of our<br />

state’s heritage and has helped to<br />

form the bedrock of many rural<br />

communities. The Farm Bill that was<br />

Sen. Susan Collins<br />

signed into law late last year includes<br />

key provisions I championed to<br />

strengthen this vital industry here in our state and<br />

throughout the nation.<br />

The Farm Bill incorporates provisions of<br />

the Timber Innovation Act I co-sponsored that establishes a<br />

performance-driven research and development, education,<br />

and technical assistance program for advancing mass timber<br />

building construction in the United States. Mass timber,<br />

which consists of timber products engineered for use in the<br />

construction of large buildings, is a safe, innovative,<br />

effective, and environmentally sound material that is<br />

currently being used in structures all over the world to great<br />

success. Supporting the use of this material in the United<br />

States will help meet sustainability goals, reduce<br />

construction time, and benefit rural economies across the<br />

country.<br />

The Farm Bill and Maine Forest Products<br />

You wouldn’t think it by watching the arguments<br />

on cable TV all the time, but sometimes bipartisan results<br />

are accomplished in Congress. That kind of compromise is<br />

the product of a lot of hard work and consensus-building.<br />

We were fortunate to see this cooperation with the 2018<br />

Farm Bill, which passed the Senate in December by a vote<br />

of 87-13 and was signed by the President. And though it<br />

may be called the ‘Farm’ Bill, this comprehensive<br />

legislation will have an important impact not only on<br />

Maine farmers, but on rural Maine people from all walks of<br />

life – and particularly on those in the forest products<br />

industry.<br />

As we work across all levels of government and<br />

with private enterprise in Maine to strengthen the rural<br />

economy, common themes have arisen – innovation and<br />

opportunity. How can we protect our state’s traditional<br />

industries, and also ensure that future generations of<br />

Mainers can make a living in the woods? As a friend of<br />

mine in Maine says, “There is no single bullet, but there is<br />

often silver buckshot.” I am proud to say that provisions<br />

we secured in the Farm Bill are part of this buckshot.<br />

Building off the Timber Innovation Act, legislation<br />

I sponsored along with Senator Collins, the Farm Bill<br />

includes language that will accelerate the research and<br />

Maine is in the midst of reorienting its forest<br />

products industry following the downturn of traditional pulp<br />

and paper production in our state, and it is encouraging that<br />

the Farm Bill establishes a competitive grant program to<br />

support innovative wood products research and development<br />

at institutions of higher learning. In awarding this research<br />

and development funding, priority will be given to proposals<br />

that include the use or retrofitting of existing sawmill<br />

facilities with higher-than-average unemployment rates,<br />

which could be helpful to states such as Maine that are still<br />

recovering from the job losses associated with the closure of<br />

traditional mills.<br />

The Farm Bill also includes legislation I cosponsored<br />

to expand the Community Wood Energy program<br />

at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to better support<br />

investments in energy systems and facilities that use lowvalue<br />

wood. This authorized $25 million per year to support<br />

a grant program for community wood energy systems that<br />

help reduce our dependence on oil, offset the costs of forest<br />

management, and create jobs in rural forest-dependent<br />

communities. In addition to reauthorizing the Community<br />

Wood Energy program, my provision provides support for<br />

initiatives to help manufacturing plants and mills produce<br />

innovative wood products, such as mass timber or wood<br />

products from nanotechnology.<br />

Throughout Maine’s history, our forest products<br />

industry has helped drive local economies and sustain rural<br />

communities. As the economy evolves, I am committed to<br />

working with your industry to meet the challenges and<br />

opportunities of the 21st Century.<br />

development of cross laminated<br />

timber (CLT) and other engineered<br />

wood for use in construction<br />

projects. CLT, which can be used<br />

in place of steel in buildings up to<br />

twelve stories high, is an exciting<br />

new opportunity for Maine’s forest<br />

products economy. Already, the<br />

Mass Timber Commercialization<br />

Center at the University of Maine<br />

is helping our state lead the way in<br />

CLT innovation. The Farm Bill<br />

also includes a provision to require Sen. Angus King<br />

federal agencies to accept more<br />

methods of sustainably harvested wood, ensuring fairness<br />

and increased opportunity in federal purchasing of forest<br />

products. With these provisions in place, we can work to<br />

grow jobs in our state, and lay the groundwork for young<br />

men and women to succeed right here in Maine<br />

communities.<br />

There is always more to do for our state’s forest<br />

products industry – and I’m here to listen – so please be in<br />

touch. Together we can build off the important work<br />

secured in the Farm Bill, strengthen the Maine economy,<br />

and support hardworking men and women throughout our<br />

state.<br />

40 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


The 116th Congress has<br />

been off to a running start since<br />

the last edition of the Logger’s<br />

<strong>Voice</strong>. I’m honored to once again<br />

represent Maine’s first district and<br />

advocate for our state’s unique<br />

needs and resources in the U.S.<br />

House. We are in the midst of a<br />

busy hearing season covering<br />

issues that we address every<br />

year—like the budget—to those<br />

that have not received much<br />

Rep. Chellie Pingree<br />

attention in several years—like<br />

the impact of extreme weather on<br />

our communities.<br />

In this Congress, I will continue to serve on the<br />

House Appropriations Committee—and several<br />

subcommittees which are directly connected to our state’s<br />

logging industry. In February, I was appointed Vice Chair<br />

of the Interior and Environmental subcommittee, which has<br />

oversight of the U.S. Forest Service and the Environmental<br />

Protection Agency (EPA). And I’m once again excited to<br />

serve on the Agriculture subcommittee which has<br />

jurisdiction over agencies ranging from the Animal and<br />

This is my first update for<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong>, so I’ll take<br />

the opportunity to introduce<br />

myself. I’m Jared Golden, your<br />

congressman representing the<br />

people of Maine’s Second<br />

District.<br />

I was born and raised in<br />

Leeds, Maine, and I have a real<br />

appreciation for the significance<br />

of forest products in our state.<br />

Some farmers in Leeds ran<br />

logging operations in the winter<br />

Rep. Jared Golden months, and growing up I was<br />

never too far from the sawmill in<br />

Livermore Falls that is now PalletOne.<br />

In Maine, the forest products industry helps drive<br />

our economy. Generations of loggers who call our state<br />

home are part of Maine’s history and identity. I know the<br />

forest products industry faces challenges: workforce<br />

shortages, crumbling infrastructure, unfair trade policies,<br />

and more. I’m committed to standing up for Maine’s<br />

heritage industries and working with them to confront these<br />

challenges.<br />

That’s why one of the first bills I introduced was<br />

bipartisan legislation with Senator King to encourage<br />

young loggers to learn the ropes of the industry. The Future<br />

Logging Careers Act allows 16 & 17-year-olds in our great<br />

state to work on family logging operations. Under parental<br />

supervision, young loggers can carry on and contribute to<br />

their family’s business.<br />

Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to USDA’s Rural<br />

Development.<br />

I’ve also been reappointed to the House<br />

Agriculture Committee. As a long-time farmer, agriculture<br />

is my passion. That’s why I’m so proud to be back on a<br />

committee that has an integral role in creating national<br />

food and farming policy. I’ll also serve on the House<br />

Agriculture Committee’s Conservation and Forestry<br />

subcommittee.<br />

In the coming weeks, Secretary of Agriculture<br />

Perdue, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and the<br />

Director of the Forest Service will all appear before my<br />

committee and I will be raising your concerns regarding<br />

Maine’s forest economy, industry and its current and<br />

upcoming needs. Whether it is a question about what the<br />

Department of Interior is doing to address invasive species<br />

or how the Forest Service can help address the shortage of<br />

loggers and log truckers in Maine, I look forward to asking<br />

the questions and getting the answers that we need.<br />

As always, please reach out to my office at any<br />

time to make your voice heard with issues that you would<br />

like to see us address in Congress. I am eager to hear from<br />

you and hopefully see you out and about in Maine.<br />

Our bill will better prepare Maine’s young people<br />

for good-paying careers in logging, help sustain rural<br />

Maine family businesses, and boost the economy in our<br />

state’s rural communities. Maine’s timber industry hires<br />

over 7,000 people and contributes more than $850 million<br />

to the state’s economy. I’ll do everything in my power to<br />

grow those numbers and support loggers in our state.<br />

This bill is just the start. I am looking forward to<br />

working closely with the forest products industry. Going<br />

forward, you’ll find me all over our state meeting with<br />

loggers, their families, and many others in our heritage<br />

industries. These conversations drive the work I do in<br />

Congress. What I hear from Maine people will help me<br />

find solutions that invest in our infrastructure, work with<br />

Maine’s colleges and universities to support innovation in<br />

logging and forest products, and find new ways to add<br />

value to forestry products right here in Maine.<br />

I’d like to hear from you. Call my nearest office to<br />

share your thoughts or set up a meeting:<br />

Lewiston: (207) 241-6767<br />

Caribou: (207) 492-6009<br />

Bangor: (207) 249-7400<br />

Washington: (202) 225-6306<br />

It’s an honor to represent Maine’s Second District<br />

in Congress. I look forward to working with<br />

you.<br />

The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ <strong>Spring</strong> <strong>2019</strong><br />

41


34 Professional Logging Contractors of Maine <strong>Loggers</strong> Serving <strong>Loggers</strong> Since 1995


The Logger’s <strong>Voice</strong> ▪ Winter 2018 31


Professional Logging<br />

Contractors of Maine<br />

110 Sewall St.<br />

P.O. Box 1036<br />

Augusta, ME 04332

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