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Details for Fallers


Use axes or chainsaws to fell trees using knowledge of tree characteristics and cutting techniques to control direction of fall and minimize tree damage.


  • Load logs or wood onto trucks, trailers, or railroad cars, by hand or using loaders or winches.
  • Mark logs for identification.
  • Maintain and repair chainsaws and other equipment, cleaning, oiling, and greasing equipment, and sharpening equipment properly.
  • Secure steel cables or chains to logs for dragging by tractors or for pulling by cable yarding systems.
  • Tag unsafe trees with high-visibility ribbons.
  • Work as a member of a team, rotating between chain saw operation and skidder operation.
  • Appraise trees for certain characteristics, such as twist, rot, and heavy limb growth, and gauge amount and direction of lean, in order to determine how to control the direction of a tree's fall with the least damage.
  • Clear brush from work areas and escape routes, and cut saplings and other trees from direction of falls, using axes, chainsaws, or bulldozers.
  • Control the direction of a tree's fall by scoring cutting lines with axes, sawing undercuts along scored lines with chainsaws, knocking slabs from cuts with single-bit axes, and driving wedges.
  • Determine position, direction, and depth of cuts to be made, and placement of wedges or jacks.
  • Insert jacks or drive wedges behind saws to prevent binding of saws and to start trees falling.
  • Measure felled trees and cut them into specified log lengths, using chain saws and axes.
  • Place supporting limbs or poles under felled trees in order to avoid splitting undersides, and to prevent logs from rolling.
  • Saw back-cuts, leaving sufficient sound wood to control direction of fall.
  • Select trees to be cut down, assessing factors such as site, terrain, and weather conditions before beginning work.
  • Split logs, using axes, wedges, and mauls, and stack wood in ricks or cord lots.
  • Stop saw engines, pull cutting bars from cuts, and run to safety as tree falls.
  • Trim off the tops and limbs of trees, using chainsaws, delimbers, or axes.
  • Assemble floating logs into rafts for towing to mills.
  • Assess logs after cutting to ensure that the quality and length are correct.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.
  • Experience - Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.



Related Careers

  • Crane and Tower Operators
  • Hoist and Winch Operators
  • Pipelayers
  • Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators
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