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By The Sweat of thier Brow

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Jogeephus

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That was another era for sure. I feel lucky to have been part of this and to have known and worked with shortwooders, turpentiners and the deer tongue collectors. Sadly, all these industries are gone now thanks to outrageous worker's compensation rates the insurance companies put these products especially wood sawn with a chainsaw. In 2000 the insurance companies were getting 10% of the gross on the truck. On top of this there was auto insurance and DOT regulations that had to be complied with which just made things not worthwhile and most called it quits. The last holdout I knew was Theo. Theo was 70 years old and had one helper who was 67. They had shortwooded all their lives and they would produce one truck a day and would normally call it a day sometime around lunch. The insurance companies and OSHA had passed regulations and restrictions trying to stop the flow of this type wood to the mill but the mill manager in our area stuck his neck out for Theo and allowed his wood to continue to come to the mill even though it could have raised his insurance rates. Its almost as if the government had conspired with the insurance companies to kill this industry and in the end they did.
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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Neat video. Al Gore is gonna chit a brick when he finds out YouTube has been around since the 50's.
 

kickinbull

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Its almost as if someone was conspiring to do away with small independent sole ownership businesses.
 

TexasBred

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Farm Fence Solutions":15t1wfs9 said:
Neat video. Al Gore is gonna chit a brick when he finds out YouTube has been around since the 50's.
Whatchu talkin' bout Willis??? :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Caustic Burno

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Jogeephus":32depos0 said:
That was another era for sure. I feel lucky to have been part of this and to have known and worked with shortwooders, turpentiners and the deer tongue collectors. Sadly, all these industries are gone now thanks to outrageous worker's compensation rates the insurance companies put these products especially wood sawn with a chainsaw. In 2000 the insurance companies were getting 10% of the gross on the truck. On top of this there was auto insurance and DOT regulations that had to be complied with which just made things not worthwhile and most called it quits. The last holdout I knew was Theo. Theo was 70 years old and had one helper who was 67. They had shortwooded all their lives and they would produce one truck a day and would normally call it a day sometime around lunch. The insurance companies and OSHA had passed regulations and restrictions trying to stop the flow of this type wood to the mill but the mill manager in our area stuck his neck out for Theo and allowed his wood to continue to come to the mill even though it could have raised his insurance rates. Its almost as if the government had conspired with the insurance companies to kill this industry and in the end they did.

Jo that wasn't a living but an existence.
I used to get sent to help my uncle in the summers haul pulp wood.
 

Jogeephus

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Caustic Burno":3nokb4hh said:
Jo that wasn't a living but an existence.
I used to get sent to help my uncle in the summers haul pulp wood.

Compared to what? Theo would clear around $400/day in the early '90's and he and his helper would normally knock off just after lunch. I consider that pretty good money.
 

Caustic Burno

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Jogeephus":3ibqmive said:
Caustic Burno":3ibqmive said:
Jo that wasn't a living but an existence.
I used to get sent to help my uncle in the summers haul pulp wood.

Compared to what? Theo would clear around $400/day in the early '90's and he and his helper would normally knock off just after lunch. I consider that pretty good money.


I couldn't see it.
Not knowing if you were going to work today or tomorrow.
Then if the skidder or truck broke down you were stuck until repairs were completed.
 

Jogeephus

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Caustic Burno":2gdnhwjz said:
Jogeephus":2gdnhwjz said:
Caustic Burno":2gdnhwjz said:
Jo that wasn't a living but an existence.
I used to get sent to help my uncle in the summers haul pulp wood.

Compared to what? Theo would clear around $400/day in the early '90's and he and his helper would normally knock off just after lunch. I consider that pretty good money.


I couldn't see it.
Not knowing if you were going to work today or tomorrow.
Then if the skidder or truck broke down you were stuck until repairs were completed.

It sounds like agriculture wouldn't be your cup of tea then because I don't know of anything in agriculture that is not effected by the weather or equipment breakdowns but not everyone can have or wants a desk job.
 

Jogeephus

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Caustic Burno":2zc4zuqs said:
No barely getting by was not my cup of tea. I could see right quick there were smarter ways to make a living.

Never knew a shortwooder who owned or used a skidder so maybe it was your uncle's technique that wasn't so smart. The beauty of shortwooding was the minimal equipment someone needed to get in the business. Typically shortwooders processed the waste tops left by larger logging outfits and this wood was basically free so it was like picking up free money in the woods which is why we had so many before the insurance companies put them out of business.
 

HDRider

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Caustic Burno":1rgktrog said:
No barely getting by was not my cup of tea. I could see right quick there were smarter ways to make a living.
It is simply an opportunity, now lost. A man could start small and take it as far as he wanted. Not everyone is as smart as you, or headed in the same direction as you.
 

Caustic Burno

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Jogeephus":6l3114ng said:
Caustic Burno":6l3114ng said:
No barely getting by was not my cup of tea. I could see right quick there were smarter ways to make a living.

Never knew a shortwooder who owned or used a skidder so maybe it was your uncle's technique that wasn't so smart. The beauty of shortwooding was the minimal equipment someone needed to get in the business. Typically shortwooders processed the waste tops left by larger logging outfits and this wood was basically free so it was like picking up free money in the woods which is why we had so many before the insurance companies put them out of business.
That wasn't the way it was done in the piney woods early 60's.
The only short wood was pulp wood or you cut timber for saw logs. Skidded the tree to a set and cut and loaded the truck.
A skidder in those days was a tractor and a pair of log tongs.
 

Brute 23

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That's a great video.

HDRider":11h3cdy5 said:
Caustic Burno":11h3cdy5 said:
No barely getting by was not my cup of tea. I could see right quick there were smarter ways to make a living.
It is simply an opportunity, now lost. A man could start small and take it as far as he wanted. Not everyone is as smart as you, or headed in the same direction as you.

I agree 100%. It would not be my cup of tea either but it's a great opportunity for some one.
 
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hurleyjd

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Lots of things that a farm family could do to make a living during the fifties, Dad produced water melons and did very well Mom had a chicken flock and sold eggs to the local grocer. We kids milked the cows in one of the first grade A dairy barns in our area. My Dad would be selling watermelons to the independent truckers out of Louisiana after every one else decided that it was not worth their time to gather and sell the melons at the price offered. After all melons were sold that could be sold we would repair the fences around the melon patches now I am talking about fifty to a hundred acres. Dad would go to the cow sale and buy some grown cows and turn them out. A lots of grass in the patches. Cut a few melons for the cows and they would learn to step on the melons and eat them. Now everything is commercial and big operators not much way to support a family farm without some outside income from somewhere. Wife teaching school or working in the bank, legal assistant, or etc.
 

Brute 23

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That's the problem with this whole global market deal. Back then you supplied your little area. There were lots of little producers. Now there are few mega-companies. Even though it looks like we are headed for a slow shift if the govt will allow it.
 

Jogeephus

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hurleyjd":2bkvm4o3 said:
Lots of things that a farm family could do to make a living during the fifties, Dad produced water melons and did very well Mom had a chicken flock and sold eggs to the local grocer. We kids milked the cows in one of the first grade A dairy barns in our area. My Dad would be selling watermelons to the independent truckers out of Louisiana after every one else decided that it was not worth their time to gather and sell the melons at the price offered. After all melons were sold that could be sold we would repair the fences around the melon patches now I am talking about fifty to a hundred acres. Dad would go to the cow sale and buy some grown cows and turn them out. A lots of grass in the patches. Cut a few melons for the cows and they would learn to step on the melons and eat them. Now everything is commercial and big operators not much way to support a family farm without some outside income from somewhere. Wife teaching school or working in the bank, legal assistant, or etc.

That sounds very similar to how it was here. There was a time when the local grocers would buy your produce and sell on their shelves. It was good for everyone but I suspect there is some rule against this now. I think the nation was stronger when the economy was comprised of these little micro-economies rather than being so centralized.

Going back to the pulpwood, there used to be pulpwood yards in most every small town in Georgia that had a train track running through it. Here they would unload pulpwood to a rail car and pay you. It was as simple as selling cattle but all you had in it was the sweat of your brow and some fuel.

The draw was shortwood, unlike tree length pulpwood, was viewed as waste and not worth the hassle to the guys with equipment who worked on production so all you needed was a truck and a chainsaw and you were in business. For these people it was like money laying in the woods just waiting to be picked up. Typically, arrangements with the production loggers were made and the shortwooders would follow them around like remoras follow sharks. Today, you are not going set foot on a wood yard unless you can show proof of $2 million liability insurance, all your DOT papers and proof of worker's comp insurance. I only know of one yard that will still buy from the public but the owner of this yard is about 80 years old and just does it because he doesn't like anyone telling him what to do. Prior to 2000 we had two local yards but they are closed now.
 
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