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8241 – Logging machinery operators

Logging machinery operators operate cable yarding systems, mechanical harvesters and forwarders and mechanical tree processors and loaders to fell, yard and process trees at logging sites. They are employed by logging companies and contractors.


Example titles

  • Chipping machine operator
  • Delimber operator
  • Feller buncher operator
  • Feller forwarder operator
  • Grapple operator - logging
  • Linehorse operator
  • Loader operator - logging
  • Log processor operator
  • Rigging slinger - logging
  • Shortwood harvester operator
  • Slasher operator - logging
  • Steel spar operator - logging
  • Treelength forwarder operator
  • Yarder operator - logging

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
Cable yarding system operators
  • Operate machines to transport trees from logging areas to landing or log loading sites in mountainous terrain in western Canada.
Mechanical harvester and forwarder operators
  • Assess site and terrain and drive heavy equipment to perform a combination of felling, slashing, bucking, bunching and forwarding operations at logging areas.
Mechanical tree processor and loader operators
  • Operate a variety of machines which perform a combination of slashing, bucking, chipping, sorting and loading logs or trees at landing sites.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school may be required.
  • On-the-job training from three to 16 months is provided, depending on the complexity of machinery operated and the type of woodlands operation.
  • Experience requirements vary depending on the complexity of machinery operated.
  • Mechanical harvester and forwarder operators may require logging experience as a chain saw and skidder operator.
  • Feller buncher operators and cable yarder operators usually require three to five years of logging experience.
  • Mechanical tree processor and loader operators usually require one to three years of logging experience.
  • Certification as a heavy equipment operator may be required.
  • Company certification for mobile logging machinery operation may be required.
  • Provincial air brake certification may be required in British Columbia, depending on the type of equipment operated.
  • Workplace hazardous materials information system (WHMIS) and first aid certificates may be required.
  • Knowledge of tree harvesting regulations is required.

Additional information

  • There is some mobility among jobs in this group from the less complex to more complex machinery operation.
  • There is some mobility between employers, particularly in similar types of woodland operations.
  • Self-employment as a logging contractor is possible with investment in equipment.
  • Logging machinery operators may perform minor repairs and maintenance on their equipment.
  • Progression to logging and forestry supervisory positions is possible with experience.


  • Chain saw and skidder operators (8421)
  • Heavy equipment operators (except crane) (7521)
  • Silviculture and forestry workers (8422)
  • Supervisors, logging and forestry (8211)
  • Transport truck drivers (7511)

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
8 - Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations
Skill level
B - Occupations usually require college education, specialized training or apprenticeship training.
Major group
82 - Supervisors and technical occupations in natural resources, agriculture and related production
Minor group
824 - Logging machinery operators
2016 Version 1.0
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