I was a big fan of Timber Kings and its spinoff, Carver Kings. Both series, which aired on HGTV Canada, delved into the lives and projects created and carved by the folks at Pioneer Log Homes in Williams Lake, B.C.
Now I’ve got a new show to fill the void left by the cancellation of that duo: Big Timber.
The reality series—which bows Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on History—rides alongside logger Kevin Wenstob and his team of family and staff as they work deep in the heart of Vancouver Island. Kevin has sunk $1.5 million into a remote piece of timber on the side of a mountain and is determined to cut down and ship out red and yellow cedar, fir and hemlock to his customers. Aside from dangers like weather and injuries at the hands of sharp machinery and thousand-pound chunks of wood are the logistics of creating your own roads in and out of the site you’re cutting.
When viewers catch up with Kevin, he’s got 200 loads of wood to get off the mountain and to Wenstob Timber before winter shuts him down for the season. If he pulls it off, Kevin will make millions. Miss that deadline and his business could go out of business.
Logging like this is an intricate dance between team members cutting up trees which are then hauled up the mountainside by a contraption called a yarder, a machine that is an octopus of cables pulled taut. Kevin’s right-hand man, Coleman, and rookie Gord walk down the claim—wary that any wrong step would mean a broken leg—to affix 50-pound choke chains to logs pulled up the incline by the yarder.
Once hauled into place, the logs are inspected, evaluated and trimmed prior to transport to a sorting area and then down the hill and over 200 km to the mill where final cuts are made. This is the domain of Sarah, Kevin’s wife, who makes the sales critical to the mill’s survival and Erik, their son, who keeps the machinery working.
Boasting stunning drone shots and a spectacular natural setting, Big Timber is the latest in a series of must-see programs about the unique jobs available and the folks who do them.
Big Timber airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.