Timber’s Term of the Week: Choker



  1. A 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch diameter steel wire rope used pull a log to landing. A choker is normally 15 to 35 feet long with a knob at both ends and sliding hook for either knob.

Synonyms: Steel necktie

The greenhorn in this video (at just over a minute in) is setting chokers:

As with all of logging, the job of choker setter is dirty and dangerous work. Putting the ferrule knob end under the log to attach to an eyed socket requires scrambling around unstable logs, digging out dirt and branches, and putting yourself in hazardous situations.

CDC NIOSH Fatality Assessment – Logger Killed by Swinging Tree in Yarding Operation
Mondofacto dictionary – log choker
Esco choker setting
Washington State Cooperative Extension – Forestry Hand & Power Tools

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Timber’s Term of the Week: Bucking



  1. The process of cutting a felled tree into logs.

A bucker measures the downed tree while limbing and then cuts the tree into logs for transport. He will try to maximize the log’s net volume since, as a busheler, he’s paid by what the scaler says in it.


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Draft #2-Timberati on the Graveyard Shift

Lee Lofland over at the Graveyard Shift has asked if I’d like to do a guest column. Lee’s a retired detective who’s “solved cases in areas including narcotics, homicide, rape, murder-for-hire, robbery, and ritualistic and occult crimes. He worked as an undercover officer for several jurisdictions, and he even spent a few years as a narcotics K-9 handler.” He’s written a first-rate book on Police Procedure and Investigation, that I turn to when I want to make sure I’m in the ballpark with my descriptions of law enforcement procedures.

Below is the second draft. I can use all the comments, suggestions, grammar corrections, etc., that I can get. Continue reading

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