The Artic air is invading Gurdon. The low temperatures have a potential to be more than just a cold inconvenience for our local loggers. According to Tiger Griffen of Griffen Logging Company, when the weather gets below 12 or 13 degrees and stays there for several days, trees will actually freeze.
“When it gets really cold, we have to make sure our antifreeze is right. We check it when the motor is running, that is when the engine is most likely to freeze because the running motor creates its' own wind chill factor,” said Griffen.
That's not the only thing that makes cold weather logging a challenge. Heath Griffen said that the crew has to get to log woods earlier in cold weather to get the engines on the equipment running and warmed up. “It takes longer to get the fluids warm.”
Logging stops when the temperatures stay unusually cold for two or three days. "The trees will freeze and when they do, they will splinter when we cut them," said Tiger.
Jerry Griffen added, " If the trees freeze they will break when they fall, we have to stop cutting them until they thaw."
The ground also proves challenging to loggers when the thermometer plunges.
"It makes the ground wet, like a rain. When the ground freezes it brings the water up and then when it thaws the water goes back down," said Tiger of the process that makes the terrain difficult in which to maneuver.