Logging industry suffers with economy

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Red dust was scattered everywhere as loggers de-branched hundreds of trees. Work is steady for a Monday, but tomorrow is unknown. "We're only working 3 or 4 days a week because every mill is full of wood," said Curtis Daley, Brisco Forestry Services.

"Once you hall it, you're finished. You just got to wait and get another quota for the next week," said Mike Turner, Brisco Forestry Services.

Daley and Turner are friends. They've been logging wood together since 1988. Turner said they've seen better days. "When they are using a lot of lumber and building houses then we can't cut these trees down fast enough, but when they don't need it, they don't need us. And we just sit," said Turner

They've been at this logging site in Ratcliff for more than a month. After all the wood is chopped down and ready to go, their contract will be over. They have no idea when they're next job will be. "Daley will hall one truck-full of logs today, I'll hall one sometime soon, said Turner. "We have to switch out that's what we're doing. We're trying to help each other just so you know, we can survive."

Like Turner and Daley, foreman Raymond Grimes loves everything about his job for the most part. "I wish it would pick-up," Grimes said laughing. "It's been tough on everybody."

Daley just wants to be able to do the work that makes him happy. "I just like driving a truck; hopefully I can keep doing it," said Daley.

Turner said he'll keep truckin' along with his good friend Daley, looking for work together. "It's going to get better, it's going to get better," said Turner.

Turner said as soon as the housing market picks-up, they'll be working full-time. As to when that will happen is unknown.