Logging, for some, the name may strike up an image of the mythical axe-carrying woodsman, Paul Bunyan. Logging is an industry that drives the U.P., and it has greatly evolved since the days where loggers relied on axes and draft animals.
There are tough jobs out there, and then, there's logging. In this day and age, it's still considered one of the world's most dangerous jobs.
Proper maintenance is one of the ways loggers cut down on risks. Before trucks drive out, the loads are chained down, and the uneven ends of the logs are sawed off.
Another safety aspect is a GPS system that's installed in all of J. Carey's trucks.
â??Maintenance is a part of the GPS system as well,â?? explains Operations Manager, Ryan Carey. â??We track every truck on the GPS. We know when their next oil change is due. We know the last time when they were in the shop."
The loggers also have an additional set of eyes watching them: Michigan State Police Motor Carrier Officers.
â??I do know a lot of the motor carrier officers,â?? Carey explains. â??They have common sense. They know what we have to go through every day. They understand our industry. We love to see those officers on the road. They respect you. You know they have a job to do, and they know you have a job to do as well."
Part of Motor Carrier Officer Eric Kestila's interaction with loggers includes stopping trucks for being overweight.
â??When they overload their axles, they start causing damage to the highway,â?? says Officer Kestila. â??And it costs a lot of money to repair the damage caused by overweight trucks."
Kestila's job is to protect the infrastructure of the highways and enforce trucking industry regulations. Common violations are speeding, equipment problems, and weight issues. Part Two on our Logging series airs Wednesday, and it will explore the government's involvement in the U.P logging industry.