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Logging Legend: Cable Logging

3 min read
April 11, 2023

Logging Legends Cable Logging Geraldine have built a reputation for progressiveness and a ‘people-first’ culture while working in the bush over the last 21 years. They’re also part of a collaboration between Port Blakely and local businesses ensuring more value is extracted from the forest, where ‘everyone wins’. Read more about our latest Logging Legends below.




Based on the hilltops of Geraldine, Mike May and Tracy Burrows, co-owners of Cable Logging, have been in business for almost 21 years.

“I love it in the bush. I always wanted to do it and started out felling, then got into the haulers,” says Mike.

“We’ve just worked our way up to what we’ve got now.”


Cable 13 113 Video 00-00-36Pictured: The team at Cable Logging Geraldine working seamlessly as a fully mechanised crew.

There are 8 in the crew including Mike and Tracy. Working for Port Blakely, who Mike describes as “brilliant company to work for”, the guys have spent the last eight years in the same forest.

With many of the components of the operation still being original, the guys have proven they take the time to do it right.

Industry Collaboration

Cable 13 113 Video 00-01-51Pictured: Stockpiles of wood residues sit stacked to season on skid sites which will be utilised at a later date, giving benefits to the environment and forestry management company.

As part of a larger operation, the company also stores large piles of wood residues to minimise waste and utilise more of the wood produced.

A collaboration between the forest management company, logging contractors and local businesses such as firewood and wood energy providers, ensures more value is extracted from the forest.

This has a direct impact on operations, as more time is spent collecting lower-grade or secondary products. But Cable Logging says everyone wins this way.

“If we can work with our forestry management and their needs, it ensures everyone wins, including the environment,” says Mike.


They’ve built a reputation for being progressive while investing in mechanisation.

“Everyone’s pretty much in a machine all the time. We hardly ever do breaking-out anymore. Our felling happens in a machine,” says Mike.

About ten years ago, Cable Logging commissioned their first Falcon Claw Grapple Carriage, the thirteenth one ever to be manufactured.

“We went up to Nelson to have a look, and were pretty impressed with what we saw,” says Mike.


“Ten years on and we commissioned a second carriage, which just happened to be the 113th one manufactured which is a bit of a coincidence. Number thirteen is lucky for some,” he laughs.

“We’ve still got the first one going strong but just wanted to have a back-up.”

Tracy says the Falcon Claw has improved both production and safety and agrees that investing in gear helps their crew succeed.

People-first Culture

There’s an obvious ‘people first’ culture that exists throughout, from everyone’s deep understanding of the logging operation to the crew being adamant they’re there because they want to be.

The extremely high staff retention rate reflects the sentiment.

“We generally don’t have staffing issues here,” says Tracy.

“We’re really proud of our team,” adds Mike.

They’re not the largest crew, they’re not the most vocal but they’re very impressive in terms of a well-oiled operation balancing people and production with a positive impact to the industry making them Logging Legends – keep it up guys!


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