What is a Faller?

A faller is a logging worker, part of an industry that harvests millions of trees each year around the world.

Without fallers we would have no raw materials to make wood products that are so important to our construction industry and our daily lives. Although the work is repetitious, falling trees by hand involves a high degree of specialized skill and concentration, and a commitment to make safety part of every work day.

What does a Faller do?

Throughout history, the profession was known as the lumberjack, and the image of a burly man in chainsaw boots, a checkered flannel shirt, and suspenders forms part of legend and popular culture.

A faller using a chainsaw to cut a tree.

Fallers understand sound forestry practices and have a good working knowledge of local harvesting rules and regulations. The faller's job involves cutting down trees with mobile felling machines or with hand-held chain saws.

Typically, a crew will consist of one or two fallers, a log cutter, and several equipment operators who remove the trees and load them. Fallers generally stick to their job of cutting, although they may also assist with other tasks the crew is responsible for, such as putting chains around logs so they can be dragged to another location by the tractors, or driving the tractors.

Once trees are cut by the fallers, they must be separated by species so they can be taken to the tree harvesters and cut.

Because the work is done outside and subject to weather conditions, it is also important to understand how felling methods need to be adapted to fit local circumstances, whatever they might be. Finally, fallers must do their utmost to meet environmental practice standards.

In addition to wanting to work in a forest environment, personal skills required to be a faller include:

  • quick and intelligent decision-making ability, particularly when faced with a potential hazard
  • physical strength and stamina
  • good judgment of distance
  • good attention to detail, able to assess whether equipment is operating correctly
  • good listening skills
  • able to stay alert while performing repetitive tasks
  • attention to safety regulations

Are you suited to be a faller?

Fallers have distinct personalities. They tend to be realistic individuals, which means they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty. They like tasks that are tactile, physical, athletic, or mechanical. Some of them are also conventional, meaning they’re conscientious and conservative.

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What is the workplace of a Faller like?

Logging has a reputation as being hazardous, but recent technological advancements have reduced many of the risks. In addition to chainsaws, feller-buncher operators, for example, use machines that are like backhoes to cut trees at the base and pile them up.

Although technology has made improvements, there are some hazards. Some are associated with the hard physical nature of the job itself, others involve falling branches, rough terrain, and the inherent dangers of felling trees and handling logs.

Work is done outdoors, often in isolated locations, and many times bad weather is a factor. Workers must commute long distances or live in work camps for long periods of time, and shift work is common. It is a physically demanding job for the most part, and requires workers who can manage a high level of physical activity and strength.

Machinery noise means protective gear must be used on the ears, and other safety equipment, including hardhats, boots, and safety clothing must be worn. Trees may be cut on steep, wet and uneven terrain, and workers may have to lift heavy loads.

Fallers are also known as:
Timber Faller Tree Faller Timber Cutter Logger Tree Feller