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NOC Code: NOC Code: 8421 Occupation: Chain saw and skidder operators
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Chain saw and skidder operators operate chain saws to fell, delimb and buck trees, and operate skidders to move or yard the felled trees from the logging site to the landing area for processing and transportation. They are employed by logging companies and contractors. Chain saw and skidder operators operate chain saws to fell, delimb and buck trees, and operate skidders to move or yard the felled trees from the logging site to the landing area for processing and transportation. They are employed by logging companies and contractors.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
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Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2
Money Math Money Math 1
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2 3
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read telephone messages. (1)
  • Read bulletins which include specifications for cutting trees, such as the required length and quality of logs and defects to be eliminated. (2)
  • Read newsletters or memos from your employer. (2)
  • Read environmental regulations or forest management plans. (3)
  • Read training manuals. (3)
  • Read the Occupational Health and Safety Act and related safety information. (3)
  • Read operating and maintenance manuals for machinery. (3)
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Writing
  • Write notes to operators on the next shift describing problems encountered. (1)
  • Keep a daily diary with entries about such things as hours worked and weather conditions. (1)
  • Document any Culturally Modified Trees (CMT), for instance, those with native bark stripping, by recording date and location. (1)
  • Write notes as reminders of what parts or supplies to pick up. (1)
  • Keep a record and description of any trees cut outside of the boundary. (1)
  • Write incident or safety reports. (2)
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Document Use
  • Take note of marks which indicate a tree contains protected wildlife. (1)
  • Read mill sales slips when the mill receives the wood shipments. (1)
  • Read lists of emergency telephone numbers and numbers for supervisors and other operators. (1)
  • Read (weigh) scale sheets which indicate how many trees and how many cubic metres of wood were skidded by each operator. (2)
  • Read forestry maps to determine the cutting area and to locate notable features such as streams, drainage or bridges. (2)
  • Refer to the Falling and Bucking Card which charts the cutting specifications for various species of trees. (2)
  • Read charts in manuals which indicate the preferred angles for cutting trees. (2)
  • Fill in expense forms for repairs and maintenance. (2)
  • Complete work stoppage reports which indicate the reason for the stop and the duration. (2)
  • Write a weekly report indicating the number of trees cut and their weight, the number of kilometres travelled and the number of hours worked. (2)
  • Read labels on equipment, parts and fuel containers, including Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) labels. (2)
  • Complete incident reports, injury claim forms and safety report forms. (3)
  • Consult drawings of machinery to troubleshoot problems. (3)
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Oral Communication
  • Warn others in the vicinity that a tree is about to be felled. (1)
  • Receive directions from foremen or supervisors. (1)
  • Keep in touch with co-workers by two-way radio to know their location. (1)
  • Deal with suppliers to order parts. (1)
  • Answer questions from members of the public visiting the work site. (1)
  • Speak with forestry officials to discuss concerns regarding government regulations. (2)
  • Interact with co-workers to share information on different cutting techniques or ask for help with a broken machine. (2)
  • Advise mechanics of problems with machinery. (2)
  • Discuss division of duties, problems and decisions with team members. (2)
  • Make suggestions to suppliers for improving the design of parts. (2)
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Money Math
  • Calculate how much money is owed to particular suppliers by adding items. (1)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Keep a running tally of expenses for repairs and maintenance. (1)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure the length, diameter and circumference of logs. (1)
  • Prepare fuel for the chain saw using an appropriate mix of gasoline and chain saw oil, usually a ratio of 20 parts gasoline to one part chain saw oil. (2)
  • Calculate the length that logs should be bucked, using a Falling and Bucking Card. The card specifies the preferred length for logs of various diameters according to species. Calculate what combination of lengths of logs to buck a tree into to maximize the value that can be extracted from the tree. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the diameter of a tree trunk in order to avoid cutting a tree that is too small. (1)
  • Estimate the volume of wood cut. (2)
  • Estimate the height of a tree and the angle at which it should be cut to fall properly. Judge by eye and experience. Errors could result in the tree falling on another tree, damage to the tree and foliage below, damage to equipment or injury to personnel. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Chain saw and skidder operators plan how to begin a new cutting area to log it in the most efficient way, by observing the area, the lay of the land, identifying possible hazards, and determining the best skid route. They may be assigned to work in a particular section of the forest. The workers must co-ordinate their work with a partner, as well as organize equipment, tools, vehicles and supplies for the job. (3)
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Decision Making
  • At the beginning of the day, decide which tools to use depending on tree type and height. (1)
  • Decide which trees to cut and which to leave according to regulations and instructions from the foremen, and which trees to harvest first. (2)
  • Decide which route is best to transport trees out of the bush. If the wrong route is chosen, trees may get stuck or roll over, resulting in a loss of production or an accident. (2)
  • Decide when the weather is bad enough to stop work. (2)
  • Decide the best approach and direction to fell trees so they can easily be skidded to the pile. (2)
  • Decide how to "buck" (trim to specifications) logs to maximize the value and meet length and recovery specifications, using a Falling and Bucking Card. (3)
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Problem Solving
  • Machines are malfunctioning in cold weather. It may be necessary to ask a mechanic to come to the site to get the machines running. (1)
  • It may be necessary to deal with frightened or aggressive animals. (2)
  • You may get lost trying to reach the work site when there are no marked distinguishing features in the woods. Use maps and look for signs of other workers having passed that way. (2)
  • It is difficult to reach the work site because of overgrown paths or uneven ground. Be careful and patient, moving slowly and making sure the skidder does not capsize when it hits rocks or high stumps. (2)
  • Bad weather has made the ground and wood slippery. Be careful and take the appropriate preventative measures. (2)
  • A tree needs to be cut which is not well situated for felling. Find the best way to work on steep ground or on terrain which is crowded with protected trees. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Contact foremen or logging company personnel to clarify cutting requirements. (1)
  • Consult the Workers' Compensation Board Regulations to identify unsafe working conditions. (2)
  • Look up mechanical problems in the operators' manual. (2)
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