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webby1289

The realities of hand cutting

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I'm a self employed cutter working in the midlands, been going a year now. I mostly do work felling on country estates. Lots of day rate stuff, fair to say it's pretty cushy as far as forestry goes. I get a pretty good range of stuff, single tree felling, clearfells, thinning, machine work etc & I'm happy with who I'm working for/with at the moment. 

 

My question is, would it be daft to move somewhere like Wales/Scotland and work as a cutter there? I've been told by the folks I'm working for at the moment that it's mostly piece rate work with naff pay and very hard graft at that, as the cutters essentially do what the machines can't (gnarly trees, steep banks, oversize and small thinnings etc).

 

I know my current boss is interested in keeping me about so I'm just looking for other people's opinions to help me make a good decision. I'm not worried about hard work or mediocre pay, if these things bothered me massively I wouldn't have got started in forestry at all 😁 cheers all

Edited by webby1289

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6 minutes ago, felixthelogchopper said:

I wouldn't be looking to change if I was happy where I was. The grass is seldom greener.

I also wouldn’t be keen to be chasing harder work, even if you’re fit now, your body won’t thank you down the line. There’s a lot to be said for lazyness 😁

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Yr skills define you- if yr good at production , thats where you will go . Its like Dry Stone walling, once yr in yr rythmn yr way ahead . K

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Yes, you would be mad. The weather is terrible. The midges will bring you to the brink of insanity, and the rain will make you rust. 

 

From inside a forwarder or a harvester it doesn't matter, but hand cutting in that is awful. I can ask one of my guys to relay his experiences if you like. Years on the west coast of Scotland, he's now cutting down here in Devon. 

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Stay in the midlands it’s flat.... the living definition of hell is a steep slope with multiple large wind blow in every direction , bad access and rain .. we called one job hamburger hill ,crawling and slipping trying to climb it or sliding down... going home covered in mud , bent bars off big stumps ,holes in your hands from winch cables and enough mosy and horse fly bites to take the pain off from falling down every hole hidden by brambles and bracken and the bruises from slipping off wet tree stems as it was the only way to cover ground relatively quickly , it was utterly soul destroying.

 

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If you really want to push your limits,
Go to the American west coast or Australia, west Africa or the amazon.
You'll be glad to be cutting little English trees afterwards.

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12 hours ago, MattyF said:

Stay in the midlands it’s flat.... the living definition of hell is a steep slope with multiple large wind blow in every direction , bad access and rain .. we called one job hamburger hill ,crawling and slipping trying to climb it or sliding down... going home covered in mud , bent bars off big stumps ,holes in your hands from winch cables and enough mosy and horse fly bites to take the pain off from falling down every hole hidden by brambles and bracken and the bruises from slipping off wet tree stems as it was the only way to cover ground relatively quickly , it was utterly soul destroying.

 

yep been there done that, thats good addvise stay on the flat, your job sounds very much like one we did a few years ago felling larch to waste up hill by the time it stoped sliding down hill it hardly needed any snedding,

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