Wood Business

Features Harvesting Logging Profiles
Survey Snippet #13 – Perks of being a logger

Sept. 12, 2016 - When it comes to aspects of the contractor role that Canadian loggers enjoy, company size and location matter a good deal. The size of your company determines your likely role, with smaller contractors tending to be more hands on.


September 12, 2016
By Scott Jamieson


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So while 53 per cent claim that the ability to work in the woods is important, a full 71 per cent of the smallest contractors (<$1M) say so. That makes sense, as they are likely machine operators as well as owners. On the other end of the spectrum, only 37 per cent of the largest contractors (>$5M) see working in the woods as a perk – they likely spend little time out there. Loggers in Atlantic Canada (82%) and Quebec (70%) are most likely to see woods time as a perk, while those in the BC Interior (39%) and Alberta (38%) are least likely.

All contractors note independence as a major perk of the job, and again the smaller the company the more likely this is so. In contrast, larger contractors see the variety and challenge of the role as a major perk (55%) while only 29 per cent of the smallest contractors said so.

Not surprisingly financial compensation came in dead last among aspects that respondents most enjoy (15%), followed by the continuation of family tradition (20%).
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Thus it’s also not surprising that contractors of all size rate compensation as the No. 1 aspect of the role that must be improved in order to attract new contractors to the industry (78%). That is followed by employment stability (52%), co-operation with wood buyers/mills (37%), and simplification of regs and procedures (34%). 

Somewhat surprisingly, neither access to finance (14%) nor workload and hours (27%) are as important as we had originally thought, although finance becomes an increasing issue as you head east. Loggers in Ontario (31%), Quebec (30%), and Atlantic Canada (24%) are more likely to see finance as a potential issue.

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For workload, loggers in the BC Interior (36%), Alberta (40%) and Quebec (35%) are most likely to mention hours as an issue that should be managed to attract fresh blood.

Next week’s Survey Snippet #14 looks at industry consolidation by region.

Missed the last Survey Snippet #12 on succession planning? See it here.

Find more news for the CFI 2016 Contractor Survey on www.woodbusiness.ca and in our enews in the coming months, with a final digital report in late September and a summary in the Sept/Oct print issue. Be sure to subscribe to the enews to get every item.

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The survey was conducted in April 2016 for Canadian Forest Industries by independent research firm Bramm & Associates, generating over 230 replies to a detailed list of questions. Respondents were distributed according to the geographic breakdown of the forest industry, with 50 per cent in Western Canada, 25 percent in Quebec, and the rest found in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, and central Canada. Within BC responses were almost evenly split between the BC coast and Interior. Many thanks to our sponsors for making the research possible – Hultdins, Stihl, Tigercat and Ponsse. Also made possible with support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).