Chainsaw Safety

About Carl Smith

Carl Smith training

Partial Biography

I began operating chain saws while attending Green River College and receiving a Forest Technician Degree.   In 1969, one of our classes consisted of operating a chain saw while doing pre-commercial thinning and stream cleanout after a clear cut logging operation.  Those contracts lead directly into a snag falling contract where timber falling became my passion.

Upon graduation, I worked for Weyerhaeuser Co. for eleven years, in Washington and Oregon.  While working for them I was a Certified Forestry Technician, foreman on their tree planting crews (up to 32 people at a time), Log Scaler, Timber Cruiser, Buyer, Bucker, Team Cutter, Faller and Head Faller, amongst other things.  I was also involved with their Forest Genetics Program as a Progeny Site Foreman.

On weekends, layoffs, holidays and vacations, I worked for many Gypo loggers as a Timber Faller and Contract Cutter (Bullbuck). 

In 1975, I began training various people and organizations on safe chain saw use and proper timber falling techniques. 

I was working as a Contract Cutter on Mt. St. Helens, before and after it blew up in 1980, with 12 Fallers and 4 Buckers.

In 1983, I froze my retirement with Weyerhaeuser Company and moved to East Texas where I became involved with cutting Southern Pine Beetle infestations, timber sales, danger trees around houses, and tornado/hurricane damaged trees.  I also started my own chain saw repair shop and trucking company.

In 1989, I eventually decided to go back to work in the woods with the US Forest Service.  I transferred from East Texas to Northern Arizona, in 1991.

I have trained instructors and employees and helped set up training programs for the US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, United States Coast Guard, Arizona National Guard, Arizona Wildfire Academy, Arizona Department of Transportation, South Dakota State Penitentiary, various Conservation/Environmental Corps and companies operating in foreign countries.  I have also helped write several Chain Saw Safety Programs for various State and Federal Organizations.

I have also helped as a Technical Advisor for the TV reality show *Worst Case Scenarios” and as an expert witness for many lawyers and their clients.

I also train chain saw operators for timber companies, such as Weyerhaeuser Company and other smaller Companies.  I have my “Basic Chain Saw Safety” training manual on 14 internet web sites and answer many questions and help other operators, companies and organizations, from all over the world.  I have written and am continually updating my own training manual on this subject.  My book “Chainsaw Safety and Training Guidelines is due to be published in May of 2009.  I am also making a training video that is continually being upgraded by utilizing the students in various training sessions. 

~Carl Riley Smith


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