Log graders and scalers estimate the market value of logs.
Log graders and scalers perform the following tasks:
- Measure logs
- Weigh logs
- Calculate volume
- Grade logs
- Estimate market value
Log graders and scalers usually measure logs on log trucks. Sometimes logs are rolled out onto the ground to be scaled. Occasionally, they measure logs that are floating in ponds. They do this by walking and balancing on the logs. Log graders and scalers use tape measures to measure the length of each log and the diameter of both the large and small end. Graders and scalers enter the length and diameters into calculators or hand-held computers. They use weigh stations to weigh trucks that are loaded with logs. By subtracting the weight of the unloaded truck, they determine the weight of the logs. Using an approved scaling formula and special software, they calculate the volume of wood.
Graders and scalers use different guidelines for each tree species. They make deductions for knots, holes, and charred, missing, or rotten wood. They assign a grade according to the quality of the wood. Then they estimate the market value based on the amount of useful wood in the logs. They factor tree species and market prices into their estimates, using standard formulas. Graders and scales record the size, weight, and market value of each load of logs. They forward this documentation to administrative centers for review. They may paint the grade value on the logs.
Graders and scalers base their volume reports on several methods of computing. They must use methods that are acceptable to both buyers and sellers. For example, Canada uses the metric system and the United States does not. Japan has its own system. Because these nations are trading partners, graders and scalers must know how to use each country's methods.