Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as ¿building blocks¿ because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Chainsaw 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.
- May find that machines malfunction in cold weather. They may ask a mechanic to come to the site to get the machines running. (1)
- May get lost trying to reach the worksite when there are no marked distinguishing features in the woods. They use their maps and look for signs of other workers having passed that way. (2)
- May have difficulty reaching the worksite because of overgrown paths or uneven ground. They must be careful and patient, moving slowly and making sure the skidder does not capsize when it hits rocks or high stumps. (2)
- May have to work in bad weather which makes the ground and wood slippery. They must be careful and take the appropriate preventative measures. (2)
- May have to deal with frightened or aggressive animals. (2)
- May have to cut a tree which is not well situated for felling. Operators must find the best way to work on steep ground or on terrain which is crowded with protected trees. (3)
- At the beginning of the day, decide which tools to use depending on tree type and height. (1)
- Decide the best approach and direction to fell trees so they can easily be skidded to the pile. (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 which trees to cut and which to leave according to regulations and instructions from foremen, and which trees to harvest first. (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)
Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Chainsaw 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)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember the location of ribbons that indicate danger or a boundary.
- Remember emergency phone numbers.
- Remember how to recognize culturally modified trees or wildlife trees that are to be protected.
- Remember which trees are which grade and which mills want certain cuts of trees.
- Contact foremen or logging company personnel to clarify cutting requirements. (1)
- Look up mechanical problems in the operators' manual. (2)
- May consult the Workers' Compensation Board Regulations to identify unsafe working conditions. (2)
This occupation does not use computers.
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Chainsaw and skidder operators typically work alone in their assigned area after receiving instructions from their supervisor or foreman. They must co-ordinate their work with the rest of the crew. Some may work with a partner, who stays within hearing distance for safety.
Chainsaw and skidder operators should be familiar with new forest management agreements which outline changes related to environmental concerns. They may be required to take courses in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and forest survival. Chainsaw and skidder operators are continuously learning more efficient ways to perform their tasks.