IT’S a smaller Bites from the Blog than usual this issue, so we’ll let members’ pics do most of the talking.

Topics of discussion this month included the felling of the sycamore at Sycamore Gap, diesel prices, Storm Agnes and the Confor Woodland Show.

And there was a good response to the story of a young lad who successfully passed his forwarder, harvester and digger base with drainage, mounding and mulcher assessments all in the same week he turned 16 years old.

Forestry Journal: Baden PowellBaden Powell (Image: Bites)

“Good to see,” said one member. “I hope they pay him for what he produces and not for his age. I hate it when productive youngsters get paid less than older cruisers just because they’re young. 

“That’s one of the reasons young folks leave the industry. Pay them their worth regardless of age.”

Another said: “I see all too often in all different industries young people being penalised for being young.

“I’ve watched a crew pay the most productive faller less because he was 18 and the fattest, laziest bastard got the most because he was the oldest.

Forestry Journal: Robbie FilgateRobbie Filgate (Image: Bites)

“That lad moved on in the end and now that crew’s production is down. Great to see young coming into the industry. Pay them fairly and they’ll stay.”

The original poster of the story responded: “This particular young guy is operating his own machinery. It’ll be entirely up to him what he pays himself, so I’d say he’s going to be okay.”

We’ll echo the rest and say: good for him!

Forestry Journal: Robert WrightRobert Wright (Image: Bites)

Massive thanks also went to Komatsu Forest for taking member Chris Boddington on an all-expenses-paid trip to its new factory in Umea, Sweden.

Chris was the winner of the Blog’s 2019 Christmas charity raffle, which raised more than €20,000 for the Samaritans. Fulfilment of the prize was delayed due to COVID.

Bites from the Blog will be back up to its regular size next month.

In the meantime, keep up with discussion on the Forest Machine Operators Blog on Facebook.