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Career profile Logging Equipment Operator

Also known as Delimber Operator, Feller Buncher Operator, Harvester Operator, Loader Operator, Log Processor Operator, Logging Equipment Operator, Logging Shovel Operator, Skidder Driver, Skidder Operator, Yarder Operator

Logging Equipment Operator

Also known as Delimber Operator, Feller Buncher Operator, Harvester Operator

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$25,760 - $63,050 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operation and Control
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Equipment Maintenance
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Production and Processing
Core tasks
  • 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.
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What does a Logging Equipment Operator do?

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.

In addition, Logging Equipment Operators includes operating stand-alone logging machines, such as log chippers.

What kind of tasks does a Logging Equipment Operator perform regularly?

Logging Equipment Operators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • 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.
  • 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.

The above responsibilities are specific to Logging Equipment Operators. More generally, Logging Equipment Operators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

What is a Logging Equipment Operator salary?

The median salary for a Logging Equipment Operator is $43,210, and the average salary is $43,570. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Logging Equipment Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Logging Equipment Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Logging Equipment Operators earn less than $25,760 per year, 25% earn less than $33,080, 75% earn less than $52,780, and 90% earn less than $63,050.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Logging Equipment Operators is expected to change by 8.4%, and there should be roughly 5,100 open positions for Logging Equipment Operators every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$25,760 - $63,050
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Logging Equipment Operators?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Logging Equipment Operator are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Logging Equipment Operators typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Logging Equipment Operator tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Logging Equipment Operators very strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Logging Equipment Operators moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Logging Equipment Operators somewhat value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Logging Equipment Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, initiative, and self-control.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Logging Equipment Operators, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Logging Equipment Operators need?

Working as a Logging Equipment Operator may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.

Logging Equipment Operators need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Educational degrees among Logging Equipment Operators

  • 29.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 46.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 13.6% completed some college coursework
  • 5.6% earned a Associate's degree
  • 3.7% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.5% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Logging Equipment Operators

Logging Equipment Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, public safety and security, or production and processing knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Logging Equipment Operators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Important Abilities needed by Logging Equipment Operators

Logging Equipment Operators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Logging Equipment Operators need abilities such as control precision, reaction time, and arm-hand steadiness in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Logging Equipment Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Depth Perception
The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.

Critical Skills needed by Logging Equipment Operators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Logging Equipment Operators frequently use skills like operation and control, operations monitoring, and equipment maintenance to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Logging Equipment Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.