Jack Osborne - Forest Machine Magazine Front cover photo winner

Our cover photo winner this month is Jack Osborne who is from a small village in mid Wales, ten miles from Builth Wells. Builth Wells is known to many as the home of the Royal Welsh Show.

“I am currently 22” said Jack, “I decided I wanted to get into the industry from a very young age due to my dad being a timber hauler. He packed the lorries in when I was seven to operate a forwarder for one of his mates who was starting out. He later progressed to a harvester and I spent many weekends and school holidays going up to his workplace to watch them working. It didn’t take long for me to realise that is was what I wanted to do.

“I’ve been operating a forwarder for six years now, I started after leaving school and two weeks before my 17th birthday. I was offered a position with MV & JM Davies & Son, my dad had been driving a harvester for them for about a year at this point. I started as banks man for a while helping the winch boys on the bank and assisting them setting up the skyline between racks. It was a good experience to get a taste of the different roles this job has, but I was eager to get on one of the machines, for sure.

“I haven’t had any experience operating a harvester apart from simulators, I do find the harvesting very interesting but also very stressful and I feel the level of concentration needs to be doubled, especially when working in mature timber. I find it easier on the forwarder as you just follow where the harvester goes, maintaining the site is probably the most difficult part of forwarding especially if it’s a very wet site.

“I thoroughly enjoy operating the forwarder, it is good being able to sit back and relax a little with some music or a podcast playing in the background. I usually work for around 10 hours, but I can work longer or shorter hours if I wanted to. Fortunately, our work-sites are not too far from home, so I travel each day but there have been occasions where we have had to stay away. Most of our work is in mid or south Wales and the size of the jobs can be anything from 8000m³ to 30,000m³ and range from flat sites with a short haul to steep banks with a long haul.

Jack Osborne - Forest Machine Magazine Front cover photo winner


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“My current forwarder is a 2020 John Deere 1910G, I didn’t get it new. I was operating a new John Deere 1210G roughly for two months after the 1910 arrived but due to driver changes, I was offered the opportunity to drive the big beast last year. I have previously operated a 2011840tx, which I started my forestry career on, I then drove a 2015 Ponsse elk for just over two years before I got the 1210G brand new. I’ve driven a few different forwarders so far but in my opinion the John Deere 1910G is my favourite by a long shot! The drive power it has is incredible, it appears to go anywhere you want it to and gets out with minimal effort, even when fully loaded. The swivel cab with the IBC crane is a huge game changer, it makes loading and unloading much faster and far more efficient. The only thing I’ve struggled with is the single extension crane. Although it’s far more powerful, all my previous machines had longer reach with double extensions.

“The site I was on when I took the winning photo was a 7000-tonne skyline/harvesting site. We had spruce to skyline to the road with a steep larch bank we managed to harvest. I’m fortunate to be following my dad 90% of the time he’s currently driving a 2021 John Deere 1270G 8-wheel harvester. We are lucky with our product sizes, most of our jobs tend to have three to five different sizes. The sizes depend on the size tree and company you’re cutting it for.

“As for the future, I don’t have any plans on leaving the industry anytime soon. I think if I was to stop operating a forwarder, I’d look at going to the management side of the industry. I don’t think I’d want to leave the industry fully as it’s always been a big part of my life with both my dad and grandad being in the forestry. Even my hobbies away from work are forestry related, I like to go on walks in the forest and exploring the trails on my mountain bike. I love my cars but it’s a costly hobby, so I quickly sold mine and now enjoy looking at other people’s instead. Any other free time is spent with my family and close friends”.

Jack Osborne - Forest Machine Magazine Front cover photo winner

Thank you all for taking the time to send your photos in. The quality of your photos was outstanding and it was a very difficult decision choosing one for the front cover. As well as winning the usual £100 Amazon voucher, Jock McKie of John Deere Forestry UK, kindly donated a hundred pound voucher for the winner and runner up prizes of fifty pound vouchers for the other two finalists.

Forest Machine Magazine is written and edited by a forest professional with over 40 years hands on experience. We are dedicated to keeping you informed with all the latest news, views and reviews from our industry.

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