Richard heads off to try out the dangle head processor, the feller buncher and the log loader in a bid to become a lumberjack.
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Welcome to Crash Course. This week, I'm in Oregon.
And around these parts, that is a weed whacker!
Oh, there are so many ways to die doing that.
I've driven just about every high powered vehicle there is,
but that was just for fun. The world's biggest, baddest vehicles are made to work.
So, now I've decided to travel across the United States
to see if I can conquer the monsters of the work site.
I'll have just three days to learn how to handle
these complex and dangerous machines
that normally take years of training to master.
And in the end we'll find out if I'm good enough to get the job done.
I'm at the Cross and Crown Logging Company
where I've given myself three days to learn how to use
their three key pieces of highly specialized machinery -
the feller-buncher, that can cut and lift a fully grown tree.
The dangle head processor that can process that tree into a log.
And the loader that loads them onto a truck ready for the mill.
At the end of three days of my final exam,
I'll have to prove that I can cut, process, and load logs onto a truck.
The whole job, I'll have just 15 minutes to do with it.
And if I manage it, then, and only then,
can I call myself a lumberjack.
Look. There it is, I mean that's...
A beautiful sight.
-This is where you work?
-This is my office.
-It's not bad a office, is it?
When you first glance, I would look and just say,
"Wow, there's beautiful tree-clad hills, isn't it pretty?"
Then you look closer and realize, hang on a second,
there's patches that are cleared, patches with new trees on.
This is a working environment, isn't it? This is... this doesn't just happen.
What we're doing is we're basically doing a generational harvest.
We come in here. We'll harvest trees at about 40 to 50 years old.
And then we'll put the trees back in the ground at 18 months.
But you get, I suppose, like everybody else who's involved
in this sort of stewardship of the land, of the natural environment.
You get people saying, "Hang on, you're stripping trees out",
but this landscape wouldn't look like this if you weren't farming.
No. And that's what's really hard for people to grasp -
we're doing it sustainably. For every one we take off,
we plant five or six. What I see out here is something that I've been a part of.
30 years from now or 40, when I'm gone,
my kids will have the opportunity to be part of this,
so it means a lot to me. I want to do it the right way.
What am I looking at here? Cos...
Right here, you're looking at what we call a skyline
coming off of a yarder. They have a cable that they
put around each log that's out here on the hill side.
And they tie it onto the carriage, as you can see it coming up right there.
Your assignment is going to be, as a greenhorn,
you'll be down there climbing a tree and when you get into the tree,
we're going to have you go up the tree about 50 feet, hang a block,
so we can hang that skyline that we call the skyline
in the block in the tree.
Let me just get back to this going up a tree bit. So there's a machine,
it's like a lift, that's got a cage in it? How am I going up the tree?
-You're going to climb up a tree with a belt,
-Right. I haven't climbed a tree for a lot of years.
Well, this is your first assignment. Before you can do anything
as a greenhorn you're going to have to go old school
-to show to me that you can do this.
-Climb a tree?
-Climb a tree.
First thing, old school.
Climb a tree. OK. One thing, not really good with heights.
Richard, here's your tree. Right here.
I was so hoping you were going to say it was smaller.
That's the one, that's next... ready for the next skyline road.
You see that yellow tape up there?
-OK. That's where you go. Do you see that block up there?
There's a block up there. You got to put the rope through the block.
First thing you do is you put spurs on.
-Does that feel good?
This feels faintly sort of medieval.
All right. You ready?
Really, no. I hate heights.
-Oh, that's a big tree. Isn't it a big tree?
-OK. So I'm coming close to the tree.
With which I am going to become one.
You know that feeling when you're really confident about something?
-I don't have that.
-OK, you're ready. Here we go.
I'm not an especially big man.
I feel very, very small indeed right now.
You'll feel really good when you get to the top.
-It's going to be the super, super feeling.
Yeah. OK. Right. So my first step. I'll just...like that?
Yeah, just go like that. And then flip your belt ahead.
And then my second step. Oh, this is horrible.
-Yeah. Lean ahead.
And then flip the belt rope up. And flip the rope up.
One more time. Try it again.
I don't trust the spikes.
Do you feel too far away from the tree?
Uh, I feel too damn close to the tree.
I'd like to be several miles from the tree.
There you go. One more. One more. Get it up higher.
-There you go.
Remember, the ropes got to be above you. That's the easiest way.
-Right about at eye level.
It's really what's below me that's where I...right.
Can't get it out.
Baby steps. Baby steps.
-That's a baby step there. OK.
-Oh. This is unpleasant.
-Yeah. Baby steps.
I am nearly three feet off the ground.
You got a little ways more to go. Lean forward. One more.
Yeah. There you go.
You're getting the timing. It's everything.
Perfect. Look at that. Step one. Step two.
Lean forward. There you go.
-So, there goes the flip.
-There you go. Perfect.
Oh. I looked over my shoulder.
I shouldn't have done that.
Um. Oh, God. Wobbly legs. Come on. Oh, ho, ho.
You're doing exceedingly well.
Oh, good. Good. Ugh, come on. Keep moving. Yeah.
I'm getting a little scared. Come on, keep moving.
-You're almost there.
Huh. I'm not good with heights.
I'm not thinking about it. Think about the job. Here to do a job.
Nearly there. Don't go now. Don't stop.
-Almost there. See the...
-See the block.
I think one more of flip, you should be about ready.
Take the half back to the line.
Now, lean back. Put that rope through there.
And spring it down to us. You can come down.
OK. I've got this rope now - won't fit through the block.
I can't quite get it. Uh. Don't panic. Got it.
-It's through the block. Feeding it down.
-Throw it back down to us.
Oh, that's a lot of rope. Which means I'm a long way up.
Perfect. That's it. Yeah, that's it. Good job.
OK. We got that machine ready for you. You got to get down, though.
Yeah. That feels bad.
When I was I kid, ugh, I saw a guys going up telegraph poles with spikes on.
And I always wanted to try it. I was wrong. Ugh!
That's the easiest flip you'll do right there.
-We're proud of you.
-Can I use a machine now?
You can. We're ready.
Right. Lead on. Where are the vehicles?
OK. Right up here with the beer. Root beer.
Well, I guess I had to do that to find out what it feels like
to be an old school lumberjack and now I know I want to be a new school lumberjack.
One that gets to drive a big scary machine, who doesn't have to climb a tree.
This week I'm in Oregon.
I'm spending time with the Cross & Crown Timber Company.
Where I've tasked myself with learning to use
the highly specialized machinery they operate to harvest timber.
Today, I'm being trained on the feller-buncher
that can cut and lift a fully grown tree.
This is one of the three machines I need to master if I'm gonna pass my final exam
and earn the right to call myself a lumberjack.
What is this?
This is one of the largest hot saws in the world.
And then there's a big arm? But then at the end of it,
this is really the business end.
This is where all the action happens.
And this is called a felling head.
And it goes around about 215 miles an hour. And once it gets up to speed,
the actual weight of the blades keeps it going around.
-So that's the saw in the hot saw?
-In the hot saw.
Couldn't help but notice there's a lot of other stuff going on.
We have two sets of arms. These are your accumulator arms.
They're actually spring-loaded. And that helps you get multiple trees at one time.
So, the idea of this is it can be pushed up to a tree,
-give it a little hug, and cut it off.
And then you've got a tree not attached to anything. What happens then?
Then you can just literally pick it up, move it around.
Put it anywhere you want, and most of the time, we put it all in piles.
About a second?
A second to three seconds.
-What about full grown ones?
All right. That I have to see.
Watch! Here we go. There's one, done.
-So the sawing noise... Done?
-Done. That's it.
So, now he's got a clutch of... one, two, three... four, five, six. He got six trunks.
Six trees. And he's gonna pile that in one pile. Yup.
Is there a danger that it could just fall over?
-Watching that machine work here, again,
-this business of this being a form of agriculture...
When you see it just snipping the trees off like that, you get a better sense of that.
Yes. It's getting them for harvest.
So, what you're gonna operate there is a tract machine,
-which is complicated in itself.
-which extends with two joints in it.
-The head itself, well, it can be pivoted.
-The cab that can be pivoted to self-level.
The head's gotta be in the right place
and the grapples have gotta close. Isn't it a lot of things to do?
-Yes. We'll see how good you are.
Considering this might just be
the most dangerous thing I've operated to date.
We're keeping my first test on it nice and simple.
I've got to use it to cut down five trees
without killing myself or anybody else.
And do you know, I reckon there's a 50-50 chance I might just do that.
-There's no steering wheel.
It's all a joy stick. OK. Another day, another harvest.
Each control is different. Forward, backwards, side to side.
So, I'll let you try to see if you figured it out.
This is your main, obviously, outside, open outside.
-Inside, close inside.
Same with... And this is your bottom,
those are your accumulator arms.
-The other top four buttons, never touch.
And you'll figure it out when you start walking.
Just walk and level yourself out and you'll figure it out.
-How do I walk?
-Pedals at the bottom.
Oh, my head's taking in a lot of facts here.
We're gonna have you, kind of, work your way through.
Starting here, work your way back to this last tree right behind us.
And I want these trees in a pile.
-You got it?
-This is a massive forest eater. You can't...
-OK. You're good to go.
-I'm gonna have a radio right here.
I'll have a handheld radio.
What, you're not gonna be in here with me?
-No, I don't want to be in here with you.
-Right, good, OK.
-Go for it.
-Eh, we'll see.
-We'll see you later.
-That was my training.
He just basically told me what did what,
and I've forgotten what does what.
And now he's left me in it.
So, I guess I'll give it a go.
Oh, I've forgotten everything, every single thing.
All right Richard, when I get out
to a safe distance here, we'll be ready to go.
I can't say a safe distance would be, ooh, out of the woods somewhere.
Get back all the way, son.
Pretty much, directly to your left, it looks like there's a tree,
you can cut that one.
Oh, that feels weird.
Oh, that feels like I can only just get to it.
So, I'm now, I've turned to what I think is the right angle.
I got the grapplers open. I'm gonna cut low,
that's the main thing. OK. This is it.
Let's see if I can cut down five trees.
Here we go.
-Yeah. You've officially lost that one.
I never touched it.
That one just fell over, it just, and that, that wasn't me.
It fell. It must be another guy, or something.
This is the most complicated, mind-bending thing I've ever done.
'OK, a little bit faster, little bit faster. Push through.'
-'Just make sure you...'
-There we go.
-'There you go.'
I'm gonna give it a big hug.
-'You got it.'
-Oh, I've chopped down a tree.
I have chopped down a tree. Oh.
This is nerve-racking, I can't describe the feeling of...
That's a whole tree above me there.
I can't believe he did it.
I just cut down a tree. That's amazing.
This thing is mighty.
OK. Try another one. OK. Grab it, grab it.
And you can spin it around and place it in the same pile.
I'm concentrating to an unbelievable degree.
I'm now moving a tree around.
'I can see you from here. Keep going, keep going.
'I'll tell you when to start going. Close your arms.'
'Keep closing, just the top off. There you go.
'Now, hold them tight and try to place that tree
'as close as you can to the last one you cut down.'
-This is a big one, isn't it?
It is. Just take your time.
'Get the head as close as you can to the tree.'
Give it a really big hug, this one, Richard, cos it's a big one.
'There you go, you have it.'
Perfect, you can start tipping your head forward.
'You can let it go right now, perfect.'
All right. You can spin around and start walking out.
My brain is absolutely hurting.
This is one of those unique things.
For a while, you have it. And then you have nothing.
Thank you. Here's the surprise. Lunch is meat.
This is some good wood you're making.
This is really strong.
This is a combined eight tons of lumberjack.
-This looks really tough.
-Oh. Oh, no.
Yeah, you see that, lads. I snapped my fork, yeah, pretty manly.
That's, yeah, I fit right in, you know.
I just broke that myself, with my hands.
I didn't use a machine, I just did it really.
I know, I wasn't even trying.
Now, just as important as harvesting a crop is planting the next one.
That's what Kirk's brought me here for.
So, we're gonna be planting trees.
Exactly. And sometimes, these guys will actually plant
about a thousand trees a day.
-Brilliant. So, where is it? The machine?
-The big one that is as big as a...
-That's a shovel.
-It's a hand shovel
-That's the machine?
-It's YOUR machine.
You've got an enormous machine I know I've used it,
that can just snip off a tree.
75-foot tall fully grown Douglas-fir.
Pop it on a pile of others,
like putting a knife back in the cutlery drawer.
You're telling me this is what you use?
-This is your machine right now. Now, I planted this one.
You're gonna plant 24 more.
I'm gonna go sit down and have a glass of water.
Well, all I'll say is I'm gonna call this one -
Barry and Tim. I'm gonna separate them.
-They don't get on.
This is great. I'm building my own forest. Look. Come on.
In 40, 50 years, I'll be dead but, you know.
It's day two for me here in the steep wooded hills of Oregon.
I'm spending time with Cross & Crown Logging Company.
I've tasked myself with learning to use the heavy-duty
specialised machinery they use to harvest trees as modern lumberjacks.
Yesterday, they taught me how to use the mighty feller-buncher,
that can saw off and harvest a fully grown Douglas-fir in seconds.
Today, I'm gonna be trained on processing that tree
for the sawmill using the dangle head processor.
So, Greg, look. I mean, this bit I get.
This is just a tracker.
So your track, cab, and then the boom.
It's just all this at the end of it, I'm guessing, this...
-This is the business.
-Well, it's called the dangle head.
So, this is the dangle head that I've heard mention of.
Right now, all I know is I wouldn't like to be asleep
in a motel and this crashed through the wall,
it looks like something out of a horror movie.
-What does it do?
-Um, takes the trees
and bucks them into logs in normal lengths for the mill.
-This turns it from just being a tree into your product.
Cause the mill doesn't just ring you up
-and say, "hello, can we have some trees please?"
They order logs. How does it do it?
First, you have to grab the log.
These knives here usually you grab it with.
Next, it'll set these drive wheels around it.
These are sort of serrated. OK.
Yeah. They call them thumbs.
What these do is they'll grip the log
and they'll feed the log through the head.
Up here, this looks a chain saw. Is it?
Yes. That's your topping saw. Two saws.
This is called your butt saw.
You use that to flush up the ends of the logs.
Then you switch over to your topping saw.
You use that topping saw to cut the rest of it off.
This, I presume, is also hideously dangerous.
-And there's a million... I could hurt myself on this static, just standing next to it.
Right. Well, make it work.
I wanna see it do its thing.
Light it up.
So this is the dangle head processor at work.
What's it actually doing?
It's actually making trees into logs.
These logs are what we take to the mill.
And that's what our contract requires us to do.
It makes them in certain lengths so they can be put into 2x4s,
2x6s, 2x10s, whatever the public needs for building homes.
How was this done before this machine?
This machine was a lot of handwork.
A lot of power saws, hand saws in the past.
And it was very slow and tedious, and very hard work.
And how long would it take?
It would take about ten to 15 minutes per tree to do that by hand.
-And it just comes down to nothing.
-In seconds. It's too easy.
-Seconds. It's done.
All the guys running these machines, they all
-are critical to the operation.
-That's a lot of responsibility.
That machine right there,
that's our main machine in our cog of operation.
Is it hard to run this machine?
-Oh, piece of cake. You think you can do it?
Greg, there's a lot of buttons and stuff.
Number one thing, I'll go through the main functions.
-This is the butterfly switch, that opens and closes your grab arms, your knives.
This is your butt saw, this is your topping saw,
your throttle's up here to your left, directly above you,
-high load throttle.
-Oh, more buttons.
-We've gone over the basics and plus a little bit more.
You know the functions. Now, that one...
-Well, maybe you don't know 'em, but you've heard them.
What we wanna do is start by throttling up.
And now let's lift up the boom and swing her around.
Right. So, lifting boom.
Is this as easy as you thought it would be?
No, it's so much harder than anything else I've ever tried.
-If I get it wrong, can it be bad with this machine?
Because if you ended up turn that head in the wrong direction
at the wrong time as you're feeding,
you can shove this right,
you can shove a log right through your window.
-Shoot yourself in the face with a tree?
Like Russian roulette.
See if it will make it through between the bars.
It's the most complicated thing I've ever encountered,
-and also incredibly dangerous.
OK. Now, let's swing over, boom down and I'll...
-What am I trying to achieve?
-Any log you wanna try to go for.
-These down here?
-Now, what's you're gonna do is, when you're getting close,
-go ahead and close your drive arms.
-Your drive arms are right here.
-I'm not going to...
-Drive arms, are the top ones?
Tip the head down with the harvester down and grab,
close at the same time.
And then open up your drive arm as you're sucking it in
and then close them again, if that's not too complicated.
Well, I hate to say it, Greg, but it really is!
Oh, dear God. Right.
So, I need to tip the... Oh!
Tip, grab, lift.
-Tip, grab, lift.
Tip, grab, lift. No, I haven't got it again.
Grab... Oh, oh, God.
Yeah. You wanna tip down at the same time.
-There you go. Now, close your drive arms.
-And that's here.
There. Close. OK.
Now, swing over to your left, to your left, your idea is,
you wanna go over to this direction, by this other log over here,
so you can see the saw cut.
That's why I was setting it up for you,
to be able to see what you're doing, over there.
Now, here's the complicated thing.
Oh, what, we haven't got to it until now?
No, because it's the nudge thing.
You press "in" on this one and "out" on that one at the same time.
What? How do I? What? Oh.
Back it off, and then try that, in on both of them.
Whoa. That really took off.
Yeah. Uh. Right...
So, any questions so far?
Yeah, how does it work?
-Man, that was... Is it me?
Am I stupid, I mean, I can fly a helicopter,
I've operated a hovercraft,
all manner of things, but that is just another world in there.
I'm completely baffled,
I don't think I've ever felt so beaten by something.
It's got so many functions. That is a kind of massive,
quite deadly logger's Swiss Army pen knife.
-And every button you press, something else springs out
and goes, "Bing, Er", and the saw starts.
And it all jams up,
and then you gotta press 16 more buttons to get it released.
It's really timing, and that's the hard part. It takes years.
I'll tell you what.
Watching you operate it earlier on properly has given me an idea.
And it's quite a good one.
-You'll like it, you'll be pleased.
-Let's find out.
Think of it as my gift to you.
I watched these guys working out here for a bit now.
And whilst, at first glance, it's all big-scale, roughty,
It's also about precision and accuracy.
The logs that they're working at out here are big and heavy,
they could kill you if you get it wrong.
But watching them position them, sometimes throwing them,
exactly where they want them to be, got me thinking.
That's exactly like...
You can see where this is going, this is really coming together.
So, we have our darts, we are about ready to do this
apart from one critical piece of kit, we need a target.
Now, we've scaled the whole game up, so it is gonna have to be big,
I would say, something roughly minivan-sized?
Yeah. And I simply cannot think of a better use for a minivan
than as a target for 5,000 pound log darts.
'All right, Greg. Let's go.'
This is about as exciting a thing as I've ever been involved in.
-How are you feeling?
-I love it.
-I love it.
You must've thought of trying this?
Thought about it, never thought that I'd ever see the day.
All right. I'll let you concentrate on your first dart.
'All right, Greg. Let's see what you got.
'Oh, Greg, follow the...'
-2.1 from the crew, Greg.
They're not going to go easy on you, fella.
Oh, I know they're not.
Bear with us. This is the birth of a new sport, it takes time to perfect it.
Come on, I feel like your trainer. I'm your manager and trainer.
Come on, Greg, we can do this.
I'd like to stress we're not just messing about here.
This is a scientific and journalistic demonstration of what these guys actually do.
Let's see if you can get a little bit more arch with it this time.
Let's get one in there.
Oh! Yeah. Nice hit. Yeah, yeah.
OK. Here we go, come on, come on, come on.
Let's focus. This is the second round.
All right, Greg. Let's see what you can do.
One, two, three.
Oh! Dead hit!
Oh, nice, Greg.
7.2 Greg. Good job.
Here we go again.
The crowd's gone crazy, the crowd's gone crazy.
It's a new sport for loggers.
Low swing. Whoa!
That was a bull's eye.
Greg, as an idea, why don't we just try another sport?
We've done dart, why don't we try jousting?
-Yeah. We're just going to try another sport.
Through the top. Oh!
Now, the crowd goes wild!
What a showman.
Right through. Oh, oh!
Right through the seat.
It's a ten.
It's a ten, Greg. Another ten.
That was kind of an historic moment really,
the launch of a whole new form of sport.
-The birth. I can't believe it.
One good day in the workshop, pluck these out, you could have that up and running.
-Yeah. I think so.
Guys, I want to thank you all, and especially Greg,
as world champion of a new sport.
A truly inspirational demonstration of the finesse and precision with which you guys work.
I mean, look, if that doesn't say
and I hope you don't mind me using a soft word out here, elegance.
-I think it does.
-I think it says that.
-Right, back to work.
-Yeah, there we go.
It's the beginning of my third day with the Cross and Crown Logging Company
where I've tasked myself with learning to operate
the high-tech, heavy duty machinery they use as modern lumberjacks.
So far, I have mastered the mighty feller-buncher.
I have chopped down a tree.
And proved myself just a natural-born operator
of the fiendishly complicated dangle head processor.
Whoa, that really took off.
Any questions so far?
Yeah. How does it work?
Yeah, all right, I did struggle with that one a bit.
Today, though, I'm going to learn how to use
the loader and hopefully carve out some time for some extra lessons,
cramming, if you will,
in that processor before my final exam
which is coming up...
far too soon.
Now, finally, something I understand. This is the loader.
A log loader.
And I can work at what's that for.
I mean, the dangle head, whatever.
You've done everything. What this does,
this is a grapple.
What that does is it comes around the log
and lifts it up, puts it into a...
You have a bed.
..grip and then you use this rack here, about 10, 15 feet out
and you pick that up.
Now, what we're doing is we've got logs here that you'll sort out by length.
And you'll sort out by grade,
so we're going to see how you can do that.
OK. Let's mount up.
OK. You're going to have to move the seat ahead a little bit.
-Short legs. There you go.
These are your buttons for your controls.
Up, down on your stick
-and this is your main boom.
-This is your triggers for your grapples.
-Yeah. There you go. OK. Throw this ahead.
-Wherever you want it.
-Are you going to stay there while I'm...?
I'll stay here for just a little to see if you pick it up.
-There it goes. Picking itself up.
-There you go.
-Squeeze the trigger shut with your grapple.
-That arranges it like that.
-That closes it. That opens it.
-There you go.
Therefore, if I try just getting all this, I mean.
You want the short logs right there.
Just drop your stick boom down.
-Pull it up.
-Oh. Oh my God.
-So you let down on the...see?
OK. Right there. Lift it up.
-There you got it.
Lift it up away from you. You know, right.
-Yes. So I'll it take it out with that.
-Now, swing right.
So, swing right.
Drop your heel right down. All of them. OK?
See? Up your main boom. There you go.
OK. Now you start dropping.
OK. Just drop your main boom down.
Use your main boom. That's quickest.
Up little more.
Swing to your left. See?
OK. There you go.
Perfect. You're on your own.
I'll try some more of that.
-I'm enjoying that. That's a good game.
Go to your right. There you go.
Now, put your heel rack down.
RADIO: 'There you go.
-'Lift your main boom.
'Hey. That's the way.'
I told you I can get him to do this in about 10 minutes, didn't I?
It's been half an hour.
Oh, no, no, no. I don't know what time you're on.
The time on American time, it's been only about ten minutes.
I'm loving this. Nearly finished. There's just one more thing I want to do.
'I've always wanted to do this.'
'What are you doing?'
Oh, what is that over there?
I don't know. I can't tell.
I guess you got your dollar in, you're ready to try it again.
-He's got it.
-He's got it!
-He's got it.
-He's got it.
He's got the limb, too.
It's snowing. It's snowing.
'We won! We won!'
Look at the precision.
'That is really good precision.'
That is the best game I think I've ever played.
It's just tremendous.
Oh, where's the prize?
-Here it is.
-Well, here it is.
That's the best game.
-I mean, that's as good as it gets.
-Yeah, that was fun.
Yeah? I told you. 15 minutes.
That's a good game. I like that.
So what do we do now?
We're going to have you come down and try to build a lean-to
to see if you are capable of loading one of our 200,000 log trims.
So how do I do it?
You're going to sit in that shuttle, and you're going to take these logs
and you're going to stack them against both sides of this.
Oh, so I line them up on the A frame like that?
Yeah. I want to see everything smoothly done.
Line it up, so it's perfect. Remember your training. You're one with the machine.
-I can do that.
-You'll be sleeping in it tonight, make sure you do the job.
-I can do it. No, I can do this. I can do this.
It's about finesse, I've got this.
Honestly, trust me, I've got this machine. I'm confident.
It's running, good.
-It's running up to half.
I've got complete confidence in this man.
Uh, let's pick a log.
OK. I have a log.
OK, right. This is how I rotate it.
Now, I'm going to reach forwards a bit.
Get it over the top.
If it stops swinging. Argh.
I don't know how we won the war with him.
And now I begin to lower it.
Here we go.
I'm doing three things together now.
I'm rotating slightly whilst lowering it
and making sure it's straight.
Making sure it's straight out that way.
Just get that palm out forwards, so it's in the right place.
I think that's going to cap. Yeah.
Does everything you do take you ten times longer than everybody else?
Let's try one from over here now.
That is the world's biggest game of pick-up sticks going on here.
Oh, ho, ho. All right!
Look at that.
Soft and gentle.
There are things in this show that I sometimes, on occasion,
believe it or not, can't do. This, I've got.
OK. You got the dexterity down.
Let's start worrying about my prosperity.
One at a time isn't going to cut it.
We got to put about a dozen on it a shot.
-Let's get this done. Come on.
-OK. I'm going to pick it up.
Here we go.
A little higher, a little farther up. There you go.
See how easy that is. That's what I'm talking about.
Do the other side, too.
Get those suckers up there.
I'm getting quick at this now. Going for speed. I'm going for speed now.
I've got to do this quickly
so let's just get this done as you sling them on.
Oh, ho, ho.
'Oh. We can't sleep in that, Richard.'
'Yeah. I was trying the whole speed thing.'
It's when you... I've got it, slowly,
but when you're fast, it's a lot harder.
The final exam is getting closer by the second.
And, well, I've got a big worry.
And it's behind me right now.
The dangle head processor.
It's kind of become my nemesis. I made such a mess of it.
And, uh, I've got to get a hold of it.
I've got to get that thing right.
So, I've arranged some extra practice. And I am scared.
Can I be honest? I don't like this machine.
Get me through the basics.
Let's just do the basics.
All right, go ahead. Just like a log loader.
-So I can lift the boom.
-Exactly. You can just do a little more, see?
-All right. Let's swing over to try one.
So, swinging over. Being careful not to hit anything whilst I do that.
Pick the easiest log you can.
That's one of the key things.
-Pick a log that you can get.
Let's pull that little tiny one. Oh, hello.
Just give it a little squeeze. Ah, right there.
-Oh, look at that.
-Now I can lift.
-Yep, yep. Perfect.
-All right. Swing it out this way.
And you're going to reverse speed with this little button right here as you're swinging.
-So, now reversing.
-So, we're swinging.
Now, I don't want to reverse into me.
-That's away from us. Right, OK.
-Yep, yep, yep.
And then cut in?
Right, use your saw cut.
Saw cut and it goes grrrr.
-and I'm going to show a little trick.
-Swing it on over here.
-Click that one button.
Put down a little bit.
OK. Now bring it back. Look at that.
There you go.
Yeah, there you go. So what do you think?
Yes, I've got a better understanding, yes.
Throttle down. Switch that off.
Oh, man, that is still going to be my weak point.
More than weak. That's really hard.
Oh, this is it. My final exam. Here's what I've got to do.
Five trees have been marked like this.
I have to use the feller-buncher to cut them down
and then place them carefully on the ground.
Then process them into logs using the dangle head processor.
Yeah, I know, that's the tricky bit.
I then have to pick them up with a loader and load them into a truck.
If I get it right in 15 minutes, that's all I got,
then, and only then, can I call myself a lumberjack.
Right. This is my examination board here.
15 minutes, I've got to cut down five trees,
process them into logs, the dangle head processor.
-Load them onto the truck. The full job, yeah?
-15 minutes. That's all you give me?
-Yup, 15 minutes to do all that.
It starts 15 minutes when I'm in the cabin start working, yes?
I'm going to do it. I'm going to run the buckle.
All right, let's see.
All right. We're ready.
Oh, God. Right. This is it. Exam time.
Here I go and...
let's get this in place.
There is my first tree.
Let's start the saw.
Where's the saw button?
Where's the saw...? Oh, there is.
This is it. I'm going to do my first tree. Oh, God I'm really nervous,
I really am nervous.
Right, going forward.
As soon as I see anything like cutting, close those.
I got a tree.
'All right, Richard.
'All right. Good job. Pick it up and just set it down.'
One down. Four to go.
Let's extend these forwards. Let's just stay calm.
Richard, stay calm.
Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Hang on.
Oh, no, no, no. Come on. Oh, no!
OK. That wasn't neat but it's down.
That one I've got. That one I've got.
Let's get rid of it.
Let's have this one.
Towards it, down.
So, forwards and close.
That's mine. You're mine. You are mine.
Definitely you're my big tree.
Come to Papa!
Oh, not that quickly.
Don't do that.
Let's get rid of another one. we go. Here we go.
'Everyone's getting worried.'
Get ready to drop.
There you go. There you go.
I got it.
It got away.
You know I think I'll give you a pass on that.
You're coming up on six minutes
and you still have two more pieces of equipment to go.
It's going to be tight.
I am out of here.
This is the dangle head processor and yeah,
this is the one I dread.
If I hit the wrong control at the wrong time
I can send a log hurtling back into the cab killing myself.
But it's absolutely probably the most important one.
So, these are my logs here.
Just remember your training. Don't think about it and just do it.
This is the most incredible device, this machine.
It really is, it dices, it slices, it does the lot.
I wonder if it makes those melons into balls.
Right, let's... That's a bit dodgy on the end cos that where my saw went in twice.
So, I'll cut that bit off.
There you go.
Oh, I've made a log right there
and then it's just... The saw...
There you go.
That's one log, I've processed one.
I think I've got that, there you go,
there it goes.
Number two down.
OK. So, let's get that turned and ready.
Is this number three? I'm losing count.
It's really tense now.
A little claws, now, yes, we do. Closing the arms.
Let's turn that into a log, processing. That's perfect.
Yeah. I think that was good. I think that went well. That's mine.
I don't know, getting that thing snortin'.
You hit the one button. Zing!
Now, you're gettin' it, now you're gettin' it. Good job, Richard.
Yeah, Rich. You've got five trees done
and you've got a little over one minute to get them on the truck.
I can do that, I can do that. Right, so...
All right, Richard. This is it.
We've got a little over one minute left.
Due to that fact,
I'm going to allow you to take any five logs out of that deck
and put them on this truck safely. Got it?
Yeah. I got it, got it.
OK. And if you do that, you win.
OK. Here I go.
I'm terrified of hitting this truck. It's such a nice thing.
Ooh, I'm nervous of hitting it, I really am.
We're going to do one first.
Lookin' good, Richard. Lookin' good.
Oh, I don't want to hit that truck.
Go ahead, go ahead.
Get another one quick.
Get four of 'em fast, come on, Richard.
What's the time left?
30 seconds, Richard, 30 seconds.
-He's getting two of 'em.
-There you go.
Two if 'em, heel 'em up and put 'em on the truck as fast as you can.
You've got 10 second countdown here.
-I'm not going to do this.
A little more to the right.
two and a half,
one and a half.
-Where's the bloody button?
Oh, no. I can't even find the button to...
Is that it? Is that my time?
That was it.
-They're three good ones.
They're not just any three.
No, they're not just any three.
They're nice big three logs.
All right, oh, you look very severe.
Come on then, talk me through my final exam.
Let's go through it one by one.
The feller-buncher, cutting in the beginning.
You actually did decent, a few got away.
-It got away.
-But that happens.
I think that you did very well in the processor.
I think that the first go-around,
it was a little, touch and go, to say the least.
But I think the last go round, I saw 200% improvement, not 100 but 200.
That's cool, that something. And then the loader.
Since your trainer was my father, I'll try to be nice.
But it, yeah, yeah... It needed a little bit of work.
So lumberjack marks out of ten possibly, ten being full-blown.
What do you think guys, 2.2?
I'd give him a 7.9.
Honestly, the experience of learning how to,
just at a basic level, run the machines here.
And I'm not making this up just cos you're standing there with axes and you're bigger than me.
Genuinely, I will look at areas of woodland differently.
You definitely do get a different respect for people, when you actually have to do their job.
So, at least a logging nod?
-I'll give you the nod.
-There's the nod. Here's your axe.
Oh. Thank you very much indeed.
Right, I'm going to put that one on.
That's a proper hat.
That's the proper hat. There it is.
You might have to adjust it but...
I suspect I look magnificent here.
-And the buckle.
-And the buckle. That's the pride.
You see. It's been brilliant. I've learned a lot.
-I loved the experience. I hope you've learned a lot as well.
We have learned a lot.
Well, so long, little fella. I have to leave now.
Hope I've got you off to a good start
and I shall be back in 50 years.
I might look a bit different, you will too.
I'll stand there in the shade.
Richard Hammond crosses the USA to learn how to drive some of the biggest and most deadly machines on the planet. Here, he heads out to try out the dangle head processor, the feller buncher and the log loader in a bid to become a lumberjack.