Education And Training
I have started to compile a list of colleges in areas that offer specialised forest machine operator training. This will include chainsaws, mechanical harvesting, and sky lines.
Being a trained forest machine operator can be a well paid, secure, exciting and very satisfying occupation but there are a few points to consider before embarking on this career.
Self motivation is important as some operators can work on their own for long periods of time with very little human contact. The equipment is very expensive for employers to buy so long working hours and good steady production is expected.
Diplomacy is very important as you may deal with the land owners, agents and foresters on a regular basis and they can make your life very difficult if you antagonise them.
Working to a high standard and paying attention to environmental issues is expected. The quality of your work will determine whether your employer will be rewarded with future contracts.
In some cases, for example on the skyline, you will be working as part of a team, so good communication skills will be needed.
You will get cold, wet and your hands dirty at some point as machines don't always break down on a nice day in summer, some mechanical experience is a big advantage to employers.