Logging companies getting ready for mud season

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 11:32 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Anyone who works in the woods knows the term Mud Season. It’s the time of year when logging companies have to shut down because of melting snow. Isaac Potter finds out how one company prepares for the season.

Irving Woodlands is preparing for the upcoming mud season, which is the term given to the period between winter’s end and spring. It’s the time of year that unpaved roads can become inaccessible for loggers and truckers hauling the product to mills.

Bryce Coffin, Irving Woodlands Harvesting Supervisor, says “So in the spring of the year, temperatures warm up, sun gets a little bit more heat to it, snow starts melting, everything kinda thaws out, ground softens up, so we usually have an eight week period between March and June that we shut down for about eight weeks and don’t do any harvesting or trucking operations in the woods. The ground just doesn’t hold up, we can have environmental issues happen, the roads begin to fall apart with the trucks on it, so we have to wait until June when everything and the ground firms back up again.”

Coffin mentions that during the mud season, they try to look at the weather and if conditions warrant work at night.

Bryce Coffin: “We are checking it on a day-to-day basis, looking at the nights because typically it is always cooler at night. Those nights that drop down below freezing down in the zero’s, low teens, they give us the ability, the roads freeze up. We are able to truck wood at night because everything is a little bit harder. We kind of base our operating plan based on the weather, a lot of times we have harvesters cutting at night. Then in the day time when things start softening up, we will pull the operation. So it is usually a way in the last one to two weeks we will practice doing that, night operations only.”

Coffin says that the mud season is a good time for contractors to take some time and inspect their equipment. That will allow them to have a smooth start when their operation returns when it dries up.

Bryce Coffin: “Pretty much the foresters such as myself who are usually within the act of operation will actually lay out wood. I will be laying out blocks that I am going to be cutting in the summer months and the fall months. It’s a really good time for contractors to take their machine homes to their garage or to their shop, whatever they bring it in the spring time. They can do preventative maintenance that they need to do. Fix broken hoses, parts that are worn out through the operating season.

Even though loggers would like to continue to work Coffin says it is a good time for them to go home and get their equipment ready for the next operating season.. Isaac Potter News Source 8.