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A log grader is someone who works in the logging industry. The majority of the work involves inspecting and grading logs, and estimating the amount of value or marketable content in the pulpwood or logs found within a log deck, millpond, and sorting yard. Logging workers harvest thousands of acres of forests each year. The timber they harvest provides the raw material for many consumer goods and industrial products.
A log grader's primary responsibility is to inspect logs for imperfections and signs of rot or other decay. After the inspection, he or she will then make a determination about the marketable value of the wood, as well as the most appropriate markets for that wood. Identification marks are painted specific colours onto logs in order to identify species or grades using spray paint.
A log grader will measure the felled logs or pulpwood loads in order to calculate the weight, volume, value, and dimensions with the use of conversion devices and measuring devices. He or she will often cut the logs that are needed, measure the length of logs, and mark the boles to buck into the logs, in accordance with specifications.
Log graders will identify logs that are of special or substandard grade, which logs will be returned to shippers, pre-cut, regarded, or even transferred to undergo other processing. They will jab the logs using the scale sticks’ metal ends, and inspect the logs in order to ascertain defects or characteristics like splits, knots, broken ends, twists, rotten spots, water damage, and cures.
Log graders will go to wharfs, skids, or sawmills in order to inspect pulpwood or logs. They communicate with coworkers through using signals in order to direct the movement of logs, weigh the log trucks both before as well as after unloading, and record the load weights and identities of suppliers. The log grader may also be responsible for transporting the logs to other locations or loading and unloading trucks.
Logging is physically demanding and can be dangerous. Workers spend all of their time outdoors, sometimes in poor weather and often in isolated areas.
There is no specific education level in order to have a job as a log grader. Most logging workers have a high school diploma. They get on-the-job training to become familiar with forest environments and to learn how to operate logging machinery.