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Career Profile: Logging Equipment Operators

Drive logging tractor or wheeled vehicle equipped with one or more accessories, such as bulldozer blade, frontal shear, grapple, logging arch, cable winches, hoisting rack, or crane boom, to fell tree; to skid, load, unload, or stack logs; or to pull stumps or clear brush. Includes operating stand-alone logging machines, such as log chippers.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 34,300 people employed as logging equipment operators in the United States. The median annual salary is $46,400. Entry level employees earn approximately $28,810 per year and senior employees earn approximately $61,070 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Drive straight or articulated tractors equipped with accessories such as bulldozer blades, grapples, logging arches, cable winches, and crane booms to skid, load, unload, or stack logs, pull stumps, or clear brush.
  • Drive crawler or wheeled tractors to drag or transport logs from felling sites to log landing areas for processing and loading.
  • Fill out required job or shift report forms.
  • Drive tractors for building or repairing logging and skid roads.
  • Drive and maneuver tractors and tree harvesters to shear the tops off of trees, cut and limb the trees, and cut the logs into desired lengths.
  • Calculate total board feet, cordage, or other wood measurement units, using conversion tables.
  • Inspect equipment for safety prior to use, and perform necessary basic maintenance tasks.
  • Control hydraulic tractors equipped with tree clamps and booms to lift, swing, and bunch sheared trees.
  • Grade logs according to characteristics such as knot size and straightness, and according to established industry or company standards.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
34,300
Annual Openings:
5,200
Increase in Openings by 2031:
-3%
Annual Salary Range:
$28,810 - $61,070
Education Requirements:
High school diploma