Email American Loggers Council

ALC Executive Vice President
Daniel J. Dructor
Email Daniel


P.O. Box 966
Hemphill, TX 75948
T: 409.625.0206
F: 409.625.0207

Mauck Insurance and Master Logger Certified Companies: A Win-Win Relationship

by Ted Wright, Executive Director, Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands, and Jennifer Hartsig, Coordinator, American Master Logger Certification© Program


We are often asked about the benefits of the American Master Logger Certification program, and certainly questioning ‘What’s in it for me’ is an important business consideration, not to mention part of human nature.  Master Logger Certification is a way to set yourself apart from the pack and prove to your clients and other stakeholders your company is a cut above.  For this article, we’re going to turn the tables a bit and explore how working with Master Logger Certified clients benefits a business’s bottom line.  


Recently we had a chance to talk in depth with Mauck Insurance, a full-service insurance agency located in Niagara, Wisconsin serving primarily the Lake States region.  Thomas Buckingham Sr., General Manager, explained how Mauck, their partner-carrier Secura and its parent group, Forest Insurance Center, differ from a traditional insurance agency. They are owned through a holding company of the Michigan Association of Timbermen & the Great Lakes Timber Professional Association and profits are distributed at the discretion of the board of directors, made of up business owners of the forest products community. They clearly understand that insurance is a difficult part of running a timber harvesting business and is often one of your most costly expenses.  While their company covers many types of business, they specialize in working together to support the forest products industry in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. 


As part of our conversation, we came right out and asked: ‘What’s in it for you’ working with a Master Logger Certified company? Mauck insurance has been actively seeking out Master Logger Certified clients for the last ten years because they know they are getting great customers.  Dale Kleffman, Insurance Producer for Mauck, simply states “Master Loggers take the time to go the extra mile and show pride of ownership and a desire to be the best of the best, working with them is almost always a positive and mutually beneficial scenario”.  


Mauck and their product Secura have the numbers to back up their statements.  Master Logger Certified clients run considerably lower loss rates than their non-Certified clients.  They are safer, better business owners. “They are professional and will be profitable for the long term”, says Kleffman.   Substantial discounts across their product line are offered to Master Logger Certified clients.  Mauck is looking to grow their relationship with Master Logger Certified companies across the Lake States and beyond.  


Secura Team members Laurie Zwerg and Allison Paulsen pride themselves on developing close working relationships with their clients in order to understand each business and their individual needs.   Brian Nelson, owner of Marvin Nelson Forest Products in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula says “Having a company that recognizes my participation in a professional certification means a lot to me and my business.  I respect Mauck for that.”  Providing top-notch customer service is clearly a companywide goal for Mauck.  Looking beyond their current clients, they are active supporters of the Forest Products Industry nationwide, and are contributors to the American Loggers Council, Team Safe Trucking and Log-A-Load for Kids.  


Tom Buckingham sees lots of room for growth with Master Logger clients, and states, “we are a company that puts our money where our mouth is.  Master Loggers are the type of people we like to insure”.  Turns out, being a Master Logger Certified company gains you recognition for both your work in the woods and your reputation as a top customer. 


Additional information about AMLC can be found at and on Facebook at

Tom Buckingham is the General Manager for Mauck Insurance located in Niagara, Wisconsin.  Tom can be reached at

Komatsu XT-5 Series Track Feller Bunchers – Coming 4Q-2018!

Totally new design, more power, increased lift, and KOMTRAX®  deliver advances in productivity, reliability and durability

New Komatsu XT-5 Series features a more powerful engine, gull-wing style engine hood/service platform, increased lift capacity, new heavy-duty undercarriage, relocated cab and a KOMTRAX® telematics system (photo may include optional equipment).

Komatsu America Corp., a leading global heavy equipment manufacturer, today previewed its new XT-5 Series of Track Feller Bunchers.  Models include the XT430-5 (non-leveling), XT435L-5, XT445L-5 and XT465L-5, which replace the prior XT-3 Series machines. 


The XT-5 Series ranges in operating weight from 66,359 lb. (30,100 kg) to 74,516 lb. (33,800 kg) and features a new, more powerful fuel-efficient EPA Tier 4 Final engine, gull-wing style engine hood, increased lift capacity, heavy-duty undercarriage, redesigned and relocated cab, new hydraulic and cooling systems, forestry-specific guarding and KOMTRAX®  telematics system technology.


“We have been systematically gathering and analyzing voice-of-the-customer input to define our next generation of feller bunchers,” said Mitsuhiro Utsumi, vice president, forestry product marketing, Komatsu America. “This new XT-5 Series represents the culmination of translating that entire input into feller bunchers which truly meet the needs of today’s demanding loggers.  Shipments of the XT445L-5 model will start in the 4th quarter of 2018, with the other models to follow,” Utsumi said.


Performance & Productivity

The new 310 peak hp (231 kW), Cummins QSL9 9-liter engine provides more horsepower, torque and displacement and lowers fuel consumption by as much as 10%, due to advanced engine and hydraulic system control designs.  Lift capacities at full reach lift have been increased by 77% on the XT430-5, XT435L-5 and XT445L-5, and by 15% on the XT465L-5. The XT465L-5 now readily operates the Quadco 24-inch (610 mm) cutting capacity disc saw heads.


Operator Comfort & Convenience

The state-of-the-art, fully-certified, Komatsu forestry cab has been relocated to the left of the boom for industry commonality. Cab design changes provide superior lines-of-sight to each track. Standard rearview and optional right-side view monitoring systems further enhance the operator’s view. Eleven (11) LED lights provide superior visibility for night operations.


Komatsu’s highly intuitive, IQAN-MD4 digital control system programming allows up to three (3) different operators to program their individual control patterns for increased multi-operator productivity.  An IQANsync mobile phone app is available to allow remote access to perform IQAN system functions.


Reliability & Durability

New Komatsu heavy-duty undercarriages significantly increase service life including:

  • Rugged, 8.5″ track chain links, with thicker and stronger bushing strap, to resist “twist”
  • New high-density track roller and idler bushing material extends wear cycles
  • The XT445L-5 and XT465L-5 have larger track guard roller side openings to minimize mud packing and facilitate cleaning
  • The XT465L-5 has 9 vs. 8 rollers for improved load distribution. Track length has been extended to the rear by 5.3” (135 mm) for improved steep slope stability
  • The XT445L-5 and XT465L-5 have a reduced track slider angle that produces 30% lower contact pressure for reduced wear
  • All final drives have a triple labyrinth floating seal housing to protect the seal against mud packing


Larger capacity, hydraulic piston pumps for the implement, attachment and disc saw operate at 500 rpm lower speed, while providing high flow.  Each pump has pressurized suction inlets to reduce cavitation risk. Boom, arm and rear hydraulic tubes and hoses have robust forestry-specific guarding that improve protection and shed debris.


The totally new cooling system features a larger radiator, charge air cooler and a single hydraulic cooler.  All coolers have been relocated to the rear of the machine to minimize debris buildup.  Separate radiator and hydraulic oil cooler fan controls provide the cooling needed to maintain the required temperatures. Both fans have an auto-reversing function to help purge debris and maintain cooling efficiencies.


Ease of Maintenance

A new gull-wing style engine hood folds down to provide an elevated service work platform.  Four (4) other service doors swing wide to provide excellent service access.  An innovative new hydraulic tank design features two (2) tanks, which require 55% less total hydraulic oil (a refill requires only 45 gallons = 171L).  The attachment control valve has been relocated from the main control valve to the arm for ease of service.


Komatsu’s exclusive KOMTRAX remote equipment monitoring and management telematics system is standard. It utilizes highly reliable, satellite-based technology to transmit valuable information such as location, utilization and maintenance records to a website. KOMTRAX provides advanced machine troubleshooting capabilities by monitoring machine health and issues caution and abnormality alerts.  This information serves as a valuable tool for scheduling preventative maintenance and service.  There is no subscription fee for the life of the machine.


Komatsu America Corp. is a U.S. subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., the world’s second largest manufacturer and supplier of earth-moving equipment, consisting of construction, mining and compact construction equipment. Komatsu America also serves forklift and forestry markets. Through its distributor network, Komatsu offers a state-of-the-art parts and service program to support its equipment. Komatsu has proudly provided high-quality reliable products for nearly a century. Visit and for more information.

Note:  All comparisons and claims of improved performance made herein are made with respect to the prior Komatsu models unless otherwise specifically stated. Up to 10% lower fuel consumption results are based on using the XT445L-5 prototype vs. the XT445L-3 model – each operator’s results may vary.  Materials and specifications are subject to change without notice. 

Komatsu® is an authorized trademark of Komatsu Ltd. Komatsu America Corp. is an authorized licensee of Komatsu Ltd. All other trademarks and service marks used herein are the property of Komatsu Ltd., Komatsu America Corp., or their respective owners or licensees.

New approach needed for federal forest management

By Mark Turner


I think it is high time that we had some serious discussions in this country, about how our federal forests are being managed. For far too long, environmentalists have been the ones setting the agenda, with very poor results. For over 20 years now, the most common way of dealing with issues on our federal forests, has been to do nothing. Now, that might have been all fine and dandy, 300 years ago, when there were hardly any people living here. However, with millions of people living and working near our federal forests, it’s not really a viable option any more.


About a year and a half ago, I was in Southern Colorado. There, I had a chance to visit one of the few remaining mill owners/loggers. He showed me how they were removing dead and dying trees off private lands, to improve forest health. He also explained how the bug infestations got started in that area. He said that he was at a meeting, many years earlier, about addressing bug infestations that had gotten started on Forest Service land. He told me that, at that meeting, a well-known biologist told the Forest Service that, “if they didn’t get the bug infestation under control then, that it was going to just keep spreading”. You can probably imagine what the Forest Service’s response was. They responded by doing nothing. So, subsequently, the infestations got worse and started to spread to adjacent private lands. This mill owner convinced me to drive up into the forest service ground and see for myself, what the conditions were like. The contrast was very pronounced. The surrounding private forest lands were reasonably healthy, however, the federal forests were in very poor health.


The Forest Service, however, is not the only Federal agency that are poor stewards of our public forests. Here in Oregon, the Bureau of Land Management is responsible for a considerable land base. These are called the “O & C Lands”. In 1937, there was an Act of Congress that set these lands aside for, primarily timber production. Now, I always thought that an Act of Congress was something pretty important. Something that you couldn’t just ignore? However, over the years, environmental types have managed to chip away at timber harvest levels, on these O & C Lands. So much so, that the BLM has adopted the same type of “hands off approach” that the Forest Service uses, for managing much of their land base. To the point now, that, I believe, that they are no longer even coming close to fulfilling their mandate through the O & C Act. Subsequently, these forests are becoming just as unhealthy and fire prone as those managed by the Forest Service.


It doesn’t have to be this way. I think we can look to other parts of the world that have learned how to manage their forests for the long run. Last year, at The American Loggers Council annual meeting, Ken Swanstrom, a former president of the ALC, gave a very fine presentation of a tour he had taken through the forests of Southern Germany. For me, it was rather eye opening. He said that during his tour, he saw some of the most beautiful forests he had ever seen. And the entire time he was there, he only saw three dead trees. There, they have been managing their forests for over 500 years. Foresters there explained that absolutely nothing was off limits to logging. They also explained how important of a tool logging was for forest health. His tour included a visit to the City of Munich’s watershed. One of the largest untreated water systems in the world. The forester there told him that “well, everyone knows that if you want healthy forests and clean water, then, of course you are going to log”. I wish more people in this country could understand that. Ken also told us that this part of Southern Germany produces the equivalent of 7 billion board feet of forest products annually. Contrast that with the Forest Service, in this country, who struggle to produce 3 billion board feet from all of their federal forests, throughout the entire United States. In fact, I was very surprised to learn that the country of Germany, because of their aggressive forest management policies, produces the equivalent of 21 billion board feet of forest products annually. While the entire United States produces 40 billion board feet. That, despite a land base that is 28 times larger.


Clearly, when it comes to forest management, we have a lot of room for improvement. One of the goals of the American Loggers Council, is to advocate for better management of our federal forests. I believe that the lack of management of our public forests is not only costing us in lost resources. But is also bad for the environment. In my opinion, the biggest losers from our failing Federal Forest Management Policies, are the forests themselves.


Mark Turner is the President of the American Loggers Council. Mark and his brother Greg operates Turner Logging out of Banks, Ore. Mark is an active leader with the Associated Oregon Loggers.

John Deere Rolls Out ‘Green Carpet’ for ALC Summer Board Meeting

Ever since John Deere fashioned a revolutionary plow from a broken sawmill blade in 1837, his company has delivered products and services to support those linked to the land. That’s why the company rolled out the “green carpet” to host 54 loggers, spouses and staff for the 2018 American Loggers Council summer board meeting July 19-21 in Moline, Ill.


ALC members learned about the John Deere’s rich forestry history on July 19 with a reception and tour of the company’s World Headquarters in Moline, featuring CEO Sam Allen and other members of corporate leadership. The next day, members toured the company’s Davenport Works and walked the same assembly line where John Deere’s L-Series skidders are manufactured.


The company also provided a tour of its Parts Distribution Center, a 2.65-million-square-foot facility that is one of the largest working warehouses in North America. With 61 acres under-roof, and at one half of a mile wide, the massive building stocks more than 900,000 unique parts. ALC members learned of the incredible logistics required to ensure the needs of John Deere dealers and customers are typically met within 24 hours.


On June 20, ALC members were invited to personally test a full range of John Deere forestry equipment at the company’s unique demo site in Coal Valley, Ill, including the company’s latest skidder, bunchers, loaders, forwarders and swing machines. Loggers also received a demonstration of the company’s cutting-edge technology, including its fully integrated TimberNavi mapping solution that provides operators maximum visibility to the land they’re harvesting, helping them to be more efficient and productive in the woods.


Later that evening, John Deere hosted special dinner for ALC at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., site of the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic.


As a sponsor, John Deere has long supported ALC and has served as an essential partner for protecting and growing the logging industry, promoting logger safety and productivity, and advocating on policy issues that are important to logging businesses. ALC thanks John Deere for hosting the summer board meeting, and especially recognize Brandon O’Neal, Product Marketing Manager, and Faith Mowery, Coordinator Group Tours, Guest Services, for making the meetings and tours both fun and informative.


ALC held its board meeting on July 21 as the council continues to grow as the national voice for professional timber harvesters. Joining the board as a voting member is Southern Loggers Cooperative, which gives loggers and others in natural resource industries access to affordable fuel. The board also voted to further support the American Master Logger Certification and TEAM Safe Trucking programs, which promotes training, safety and recruitment in logging and log trucking.


To further enhance ALC’s policy work in the nation’s capital, the board authorized the council to retain a lobbyist in Washington DC to promote its policy initiatives. They also discussed a recent ALC on-line survey, where loggers overwhelmingly voted to encourage the council to pursue policies that would align timber harvesting and logging activities with agriculture, in order to receive the same benefits and exceptions that agriculture receives under federal law.


ALC will continue to grow, thanks to sponsors such as John Deere as well as to the dedication and hard work of its board and members. We are loggers working for loggers, and ALC is well-positioned to strengthen and protect America’s logging industry for years to come.

Federal Judge Orders Michigan Logging Company to Pay $878,874 In Overtime Back Wages and Liquidated Damages to 50 Employees

From the U.S. Department of Labor


A federal judge has ordered Timberline South LLC – based in Gaylord, Michigan – and its manager Jim Payne to pay $878,874 in back wages and liquidated damages to 50 employees after finding the logging company and Payne violated the overtime and recordkeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  


The U.S. Secretary of Labor filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan after an investigation conducted by the Department’s Wage and Hour Division’s (WHD) Grand Rapids District Office concluded Timberline South and Payne violated the FLSA.


WHD investigators determined Timberline South LLC and Payne failed to pay employees – including truck drivers, equipment operators, and shop personnel – overtime when they worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek.  Instead, the company paid only “straight time” no matter how many hours employees worked, and paid various combinations of hourly rates, piece rates, and day rates.


In his decision and order, Judge Thomas L. Ludington determined the Division properly reconstructed overtime back wages for employees where the employers failed to keep accurate records of the number of hours employees worked, as the law requires. 


The FLSA requires covered employers to pay non-exempt employee’s time-and-one-half their regular rates of pay after 40 hours worked per week regardless of whether the employees are paid on a salary, piece rate, hourly rate, or a combination.


“Employers must understand their obligations under the law. Failing to pay employees overtime gives employers an unfair advantage in the market place and denies employees their hard earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Mary O’Rourke, in Grand Rapids. “We encourage employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division for assistance, and to make use of the many tools we provide to help them understand their obligations under the law.”


For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the Division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.

Barrasso Releases Draft Legislation to Strengthen the Endangered Species Act

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), released the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018 discussion draft. The discussion draft reauthorizes the ESA for the first time since 1992. The discussion draft emphasizes elevating the role of states and increasing transparency in the implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It also prioritizes resources to better meet its conservation goals and provides regulatory certainty to promote conservation and recovery activities.


“When it comes to the Endangered Species Act, the status quo is not good enough,” said Barrasso. “We must do more than just keep listed species on life support – we need to see them recovered. This draft legislation will increase state and local input and improve transparency in the listing process. It will promote the recovery of species and allow local economies to flourish. I have worked closely with the bipartisan Western Governors’ Association to draft a bill that works for endangered species and people alike.”


“I want to thank Governor Mead for his leadership on this important topic. Wyoming continues to be a leader of species protection and conservation. I will work with anyone who is committed to help the Endangered Species Act reach its conservation potential.”


Barrasso has worked with the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) in drafting the legislation. The bipartisan WGA has stated that the chairman’s discussion draft legislation is generally consistent with the WGA recommendations for modernizing the ESA and includes provisions inspired by the association’s Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative, led by Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. In a letter from the WGA, the association wrote of the draft bill:


“The Western Governors’ Association appreciates the Chairman’s willingness to productively engage with Governors, and that the Chairman has approached this polarizing topic in an inclusive, thoughtful manner. The proposed bill reflects this fact and offers meaningful, bipartisan solutions to challenging species conservation issues.”


The discussion draft legislation will:

  • Elevate the role of state conservation agencies in species management;
  • Increase transparency associated with carrying out conservation under the Act;
  • Prioritize available resources for species recovery;
  • Provide regulatory certainty for landowners and other stakeholders to facilitate participation in conservation and recovery activities;
  • Require that listing of any species must also include recovery goals, habitat objectives, and other criteria established by the Secretary of Interior, in consultation with impacted states, for the delisting or downlisting of the species;
  • Require that the satisfaction of such criteria must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available;
  • Enable states the opportunity to lead recovery efforts for listed species, including through a species’ recovery team;
  • Allow such a recovery team to modify a recovery goal, habitat objective, or other established criteria, by unanimous vote with the approval of the secretary of the Interior;
  • Increase federal consultation with local communities;
  • Improve transparency of information regarding the status of a listed species;
  • Create a prioritization system for addressing listing petitions, status reviews, and proposed and final determinations, based on the urgency of a species’ circumstances, conservation efforts, and available data and information so that resources can be utilized in the most effective manner;
  • Include studies on how to improve conservation efforts and to understand in greater depth the extent of resources being expended across the federal government associated with implementation of the act; and
  • Reauthorize the ESA for the first time since its funding authorization expired in 1992.


Read the draft legislation here.


Read a section-by-section of the draft legislation here.


Letters Supportive of The Discussion Draft Bill, The Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018:

Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts

Wyoming County Commissioners Association

Wyoming Department of Agriculture

Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Wyoming State Forestry Division

Wyoming Stock Growers Association

Wyoming Water Development Office

Wyoming Wool Growers Association

Petroleum Association of Wyoming

American Forest Resource Council

American Loggers Council

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

Arizona Game and Fish Department

Colorado Cattlemen’s Association

Family Farm Alliance

Hardwood Federation

Independent Petroleum Association of America

Land Conservation Assistance Network

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Public Lands Council

American Sheep Industry Association

Safari Club International

South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks


Western Energy Alliance

Wisconsin Farm Bureau


Background Information:

On February 15, 2017, the EPW Committee held an oversight hearing titled “Modernization of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).” The hearing focused on the need to modernize the ESA in order to improve recovery rates and examining ways to lead to the eventual delisting of recovered species.


On April 26, 2017, congressional staff received a briefing from state officials titled “State Perspectives: Modernization of the Endangered Species Act.” The briefing highlighted the bipartisan efforts currently underway by the Western Governors’ Association and the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies to identify opportunities to modernize the Endangered Species Act.


On May 10, 2017, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) held an oversight hearing titled “Conservation, Consultation, and Capacity: State Views on the Need to Modernize the Endangered Species Act.” The purpose of this hearing was to hear from state officials on their roles and capacities in species conservation. The hearing examined state’s views on the need to strengthen and modernize the Endangered Species Act, including its effectiveness in incentivizing conservation, facilitating federal-state consultation, and ensuring adequate capacity. The hearing assessed ways to best help the Endangered Species Act meet its conservation potential.


At both hearings and the staff briefing, the EPW Committee considered the views of wide cross section of state officials, impacted individuals, environmental groups, and other stakeholders from across the country. Their feedback and testimony highlighted opportunities to modernize the ESA so it works better for species and for people, and so it better achieves its full conservation potential.

Action Alert: Urge Congress to repeal 12% excise tax on truck, trailer purchases

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to repeal the 12-percent federal excise tax (FET) on the sale of heavy-duty trucks and trailers.


The federal excise tax on commercial trucks and buses was originally imposed in 1917 to help pay for World War I. It has grown from 3 percent to 12 percent and adds $12,000 to $22,000 on the price of a new heavy-duty truck. It is the highest excise tax Congress levies on a percentage basis on any product, including alcohol and tobacco.  Truck owners pay this tax whether a truck is driven 100,000 miles or never driven at all, forcing them to pay taxes on an investment that may not be generating any revenue. 


The American Loggers Council supports this important legislation, and we ask you to contact your federal representatives to approve it without delay.


Click here to find contact information for your Senators. Urge them to pass S. 3052, the “Heavy Truck, Tractor, and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act of 2018” 


Click here to find contact information for your U.S. Representative.  Urge your Representative to support H.R. 2946, the “Heavy Truck, Tractor and Trailer Retail Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act of 2017.”


Thank you for helping us pass this legislation. 

Team Safe Trucking: Releasing 30 Forestry Transportation Training Modules in 2018

Team Safe Trucking has been working on developing a Forestry Transportation Training Program for Forestry Transportation professionals since 2015.  This year the organization has hired their first employee thank you to WSRI (Wood Supply Research Institute), she is a Safety Director from Maine, Miranda Gowell.  Miranda has been working on the development of a curriculum along side with Jeremiah O’Donovan, Team Safe Trucking’s Executive Director and the Team Safe Trucking Executive Committee, Mike Macedo, Danny Dructor, Joanne Reese, Keith Biggs, Jimmie Locklear, John Lemire, Scott Barrett, Richard Meyer, Richard Schwab.    


Recently, Jeremiah O’Donovan announced that the Team Safe Training curriculum has been developed.  That there will be three training tracks for the online training:  Forestry Transportation Owners (FTO), Forestry Transportation Drivers (FTD) and Forestry Transportation Safety Professionals (FTSP).  The curriculum includes 30 class offerings, each class covers a topic.  The classes will cover the following topics and more:  Introduction to Team Safe Trucking, Driver Qualifications, Driver Selection, Driver Training, Driver Condition, Maintenance Program/Vehicle Condition, Alcohol, Fatigue, Medical Clearance, Fleet Safety Programs, Accountability, Speeding, Distracted Driving, Right of Way, Turns & Curves, Following Distance, Rollovers, Clearance, Backing, Passing, Stopping and Parking, Coupling and Uncoupling, Railroads, DOT Inspections, Accidents, Breakdowns, Accident Investigations, Mill General Safety, Loading and Unloading, Entering and Exiting the Woods.  The classes will range in length from 15-30 minutes.  Each training track will be approximately six to seven and half hours of forestry transportation industry training.  After completing each class, a certificate will be issued to the student for that topic.  There will be quizzes following each training class, which can be downloaded and saved to document the student’s completion of the training session.  When Owners, Drivers and Safety Professionals complete their training tracks, they will receive a picture ID card certifying the individual as either an FTO, FTD or FTSP. 


Team Safe Trucking’s online training platform has the unique capacity to store and print each student training records at any time after completion of a class.  Miranda believes this is a valuable resource for Forestry Transportation Owners, Drivers and Safety Professionals.  Prospective employers can pay an annual due to Team Safe Trucking to have access to training records at Team Safe Trucking.  Prospective employers may request permission to request training records from Team Safe Trucking training records from prospective drivers.  Upon permission being granted, Team Safe Trucking can release training records to the member/prospective employer and gain access to the drivers training records.  Participants training records are retrieved by the combination of a participants’ driver’s license number and first and last name. 


It has been estimated that there are 88,000 forestry transportation drivers in the United States.   Team Safe Trucking has announced their goal to reach 5% of the forestry transportation drivers approximately 4,500 drivers by years end.  The challenge is more than you may think.  Many drivers do not have smart phones where they could complete the training online.  The word needs to get out to forestry transportation professionals.  Owners, drivers and safety professionals in the industry need to make the commitment to complete the trainings.  But not only that there is a financial challenge ahead of Team Safe Trucking.  When Team Safe Trucking meets this goal, the organization will need to cover costs associated with users utilizing the online training platform.  The non-profit is charged based on users using the training platform.  If all the potential forestry transportation employees in the United States were reached, the investment for this  training will be approximately $180,000.00 a year.  Since the beginning, Team Safe Trucking Board members have had the goal to provide this training at no-cost to Forestry Transportation Owners, Drivers and Safety Professionals.  To try to keep that goal, Team Safe Trucking is looking to apply for two grants to support this endeavor (OSHA’s Susan Howard Grant and The Washington SHIP Grant each are approximately $150,000).  Team Safe Trucking board members are looking at other ways to support this Team Safe Trucking Forestry Transportation Training effort.    During that effort have decided to have Educational Training Sponsors, who will offer all modules and topics released after module two this Summer.


In 2017, Team Safe Trucking released an online training Module One Forestry Transportation Owners and Drivers.  This module is available now to Mills, Logging Associations, Universities, Technical Schools and others whom are interested in holding classroom trainings, conduct online trainings and just to review.  If you are interested becoming a train-the-trainer you can attend a train-the-trainer training by registering for one of the train-the-trainer trainings at, Miranda holds trainings every Wednesday 10AM to 10:45AM.   If you are interested in becoming an educational training sponsor please reach out to Miranda Gowell at or by phone at 207-841-0250. 

Why Logger Owned and Logger Controlled Certification Produces Results

Ted Wright, Executive Director, Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands

Jennifer Hartsig, Coordinator, American Master Logger Certification© Program



The American Master Logger Certification© (AMLC), a project of The American Loggers Council (ALC) kicked off its revitalized program just over two months ago at the ALC Fly-In in Washington, DC.  One of the most exciting components of this project is to spread the ‘logger owned and logger controlled’ Master Logger Certification© program across the United States to help loggers earn respect and improve their image through branding.


The American Master Logger Certification© program seeks to unite professional loggers under a common cause of promoting the advancement of the timber harvesting companies that meet or exceed high performance standards, and to gain recognition and respect for these highly professional timber harvesting companies by the American public.   Over the past two months, we have had the chance to see first hand how the AMLC program is gaining momentum as a vehicle for like-minded, high quality timber harvesters to share ideas and work together to effect positive change for the industry.  This program has active participation by logger representatives from over 18 states and is growing.


During the recent AMLC committee meeting, a new chairman for the program was selected by the group.  Logger Richard Schwab, Vice President of M.A. Rigoni, Inc. in Perry, Florida was chosen by his peers to take over as Chair of the AMLC Committee. Schwab is well known nationally and in the southeast for his past leadership roles in the ALC, Southeast Wood Producers Association and many civic endeavors. Richard’s reputation demonstrates the greatest level of commitment to the ‘Seven Areas of Responsibility’ and the ‘Logger Owned Logger Controlled’ philosophy that is central to the American Master Logger Certification program.


Under Schwab’s guidance, the American Master Logger Certification© program is poised to take off across the nation, expanding the numbers of Certified Logging companies and promoting better understanding of modern, responsible timber harvesting to the public.  “I am passionate about taking the American Master Logger Certification© program to the next level and to additional states across the U.S.”, says Schwab. 


Another example of the commitment to American Master Logger Certification©’s ‘logger run, logger controlled’  set of standards was expressed by Mark Turner, current president of American Loggers Council’s  and owner of Turner Logging in Oregon.  Mark traveled from Oregon to speak to the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine on May 4, 2018 during their recent annual meeting. In this excerpt of Turner’s remarks, he highlights one of the overarching components of the AMLC program:


In Oregon, as in many other parts of the country, the largest logger training programs have been essentially forced on us by the mills and timber companies we work for.  This has never sat very well with me and it is my hope that the American Master Logger Certification© Program can be something that we, the loggers of the United States, can take ownership of.  Something that we do not because someone else has told us we have to, but rather something that we do because it is good for business, and more importantly, because it is the right thing to do.


Pride in doing the right thing and recognition for good work is certainly one of the most commonly cited reasons we hear about for going through the Master Logger Certification© process, and something we are hearing coast-to-coast and north-to-south.  In many areas, earning Master Logger Certification© also brings a variety of tangible incentives that can add up financially. 


In Missouri, Master Logger Certified companies are recognized with preferential status when bidding on state land jobs.  Jason Jensen, a Supervisor of the Missouri Department of Conservation has this to say:  “One way of rewarding Master Loggers is by a point system.  And the bottom line is that a Master Logger can bid … less on a timber sale and still be awarded that sale. What we expect to gain is a little better job of managing our forest resource and less time by our timber sale”.   


Shannon Jarvis, owner Master Logger Certified© Jarvis Timber Company, LLC states “Some mills will give a bonus for a Master Logger.  My insurance company has discounted my rate on equipment insurance for being a Master Logger.  And, I find it easier purchasing timber from landowners when they realize they are getting a Master Logger and getting a top quality job”. 


In Maine, Master Logger Certified companies have earned preferential interest rates on environmentally friendly equipment through the Direct Link Loan program.   Brian Souers, owner of Treeline, Inc. says “It has been a big help by lowering finance costs on low ground pressure, environmentally friendly, equipment.  There is normally a premium on this type of equipment, so this program helps to mitigate that cost.”  An interest rate subsidy is available to qualified borrowers for equipment loans through the Direct Link program.


Matt Jensen, past ALC president and owner of Whitetail Logging in Crandon, WI  also reports similar benefits for being a Master Logger Certified© company, including insurance breaks, bidding  on state jobs, and some preferential mill contracts and access to market share.  In Michigan and Wisconsin, Secura Insurance offers a substantial premium reduction to Master Loggers on liability insurance. A Lake States consulting forester stated working with Master Logger Certified companies “dramatically decreased administrative and field costs because of the quality of the work”.


The reason behind earned incentives like these is the fact that Master Logger Certified© companies ARE safer, more productive and more adherent to best practices for environmental concerns. Master Logger Certified© companies have proven they are innovative business owners with solid track records, fair employers and excellent stewards of the land they are entrusted to harvest.  Richard Schwab, Mark Turner, Shannon Jarvis, Brian Souers, Matt Jensen and other Master Logger Certified© companies  across the country are leading by example in the work they do, the products they send to market and image they project to the public.  


As a group, Master Logger Certified© Companies make top customers for insurance products, equipment loans and make the jobs of state agencies easier.  As the number of Master Logger Certified companies grows across the US, the greater the expansion of these tangible incentives.  We plan to highlight benefits of the Master Logger Certification© program in more depth during future articles.


For more information about American Master Logger Certification©, please visit our website at and find us on Facebook


Logger Survey: Is Logging an Agricultural Activity? We Want Your Feedback

by Danny Dructor, ALC Executive Vice President


For years the Agriculture sector has enjoyed various Acts passed in Congress which have helped to bring some semblance of stability to their industry.  While there are many inferences to the timber harvesting community in many of these Acts, there is no explicit support for the timber harvesting industry as a whole.  We have a valid argument that timber harvesting and logging activities are already recognized in many statutes on a comparative basis with Agriculture, as well as our classification in the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) Code 1133 which falls under agriculture.  This code recognizes the industry as being an agricultural crop producer, and the exemptions and the benefits that the agricultural community currently receives should be extended to the logging industry as well.


A few of the Bills where there could be potential benefit for the industry if clarification as to logging being an agricultural industry include:


The Agricultural Marketing At of June 15, 1929. This Act established a Federal Farm Board to promote the effective merchandising of agricultural commodities in interstate and foreign commerce, and to place agriculture on a basis of economic equality with other industries.  The Act encouraged the organization of producers into effective associations and corporations under their own control for greater unity in effort in marketing and by promoting the establishment of producer-owned and producer-controlled cooperative associations and other agencies.  Section 15(a) states: “As used in this Act the term “cooperative association” means any association in which farmers act together in collectively processing, preparing for market, handling and/or marketing the farm products of persons so engaged and also means any association in which farmers act together in collectively purchasing, testing, grading, and/or processing their farm supplies…”. 


The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. Section 207.  “When used in this title, the term “agricultural products” includes agricultural, horticultural, viticultural, and dairy products, livestock, and poultry, bees, forest products, fish and shellfish, and any product thereof, including processed and manufactured products, and any and all products raised or produced on farms and any processed or manufactured products thereof.”


Agricultural Fair Practices Act of 1967. “An Act to prohibit unfair trade practices affecting producers of agricultural products and for other purposes.”  “Because agricultural products are produced by numerous individual farmers, the marketing and bargaining position of individual farmers will be adversely affected unless they are free to join together voluntarily in cooperative organizations as authorized by law.  Interference with this right is contrary to the public interest and adversely affects the free and orderly flow of goods in interstate and foreign commerce.  It is, therefore, declared to be policy of Congress and the purpose of this Act, to establish standards of fair practices required of handlers in their dealings in agricultural products.”

The Act prohibits the following activities by the “handler”:

  1. To coerce any producer in the exercise of his right to join and belong to or to refrain from joining or belonging to an association of producers, or to refuse to deal with any producer because of the exercise of his rights to join and belong to such an association.”
  2. “To discriminate against any producer with respect to price, quantity, quality, or other terms of purchase, acquisition, or other handling of agricultural products because of his membership in or contact with an association of producers or a contract with a handler.”
  3. “To coerce or intimidate any producer to enter into, maintain, breach, cancel, or terminate a membership agreement or marketing contract with an association of producers or a contract with a handler.”
  4. “To pay or loan money, give anything of value, or offer any other inducement or reward to a producer for refusing to or ceasing to belong to an association of producers.”
  5. “To make false reports about the finances, management, or activities of associations of producers or handlers.”
  6. “To conspire, combine, agree, or arrange with any person to do, or aid or abet the doing of, any act made unlawful by this Act.”

Many lawmakers in Washington, DC are surprised to find out that the logging industry is not always considered a part of Agriculture in many of the statutes that exist today.  While several states have made it quite clear that logging is considered an agricultural activity and offered up many of same exemptions and  exceptions that our friends in agricultural currently enjoy at the State level, we are behind the curve in making our case at the national level.


We would like to hear back from you on whether or not the American Loggers Council should actively pursue this issue, and of course we would welcome any comments or concerns that you might have as we move forward.  Please click here to vote in our on-line poll.


You can also feel free to contact us at 409-625-0206, e-mail at (please include “logging as ag” in the subject line), write comments on our Facebook page (American Loggers Council), or mail us at ALC, PO Box 966, Hemphill, TX 75948.  We look forward to hearing from you.