Ax Men tells the story of men engaged in the often treacherous job of cutting timber in the Pacific Northwest. Reality TV Magazine was sent an early screener of the premiere episode of Ax Men, and viewers who are fans of similar extreme job shows like Ice Road Truckers will not be disappointed. In fact, this series is by Original Productions, which is the same team that was responsible for Ice Road Truckers.
Much of the premiere episode is set in the deep woods of the Pacific Northwest. The loggers in the series face the difficult task of retrieving timber that is often perched on steep mountainsides. While a TV show about men cutting down trees might seem like a tree huggers worst nightmare, the crews featured on the show are going after trees that have either been knocked down or severely damaged by storms.
The four crews featured on the series are Pihl Logging, J.M. Browning Logging, Stump Branch Logging, and Gustafson Logging. Pihl Logging is run by Mike Pihl, and his son-in-law Kelly is being groomed to one day take over the business. Pihl Logging includes numerous colorful characters including 30-year veteran timber cutter Dwayne Dethlefs, Dwayne’s son Dustin, greenhorn Cody Davis, and site boss Todd Cutright.
J.M. Browning Logging is run by Jay Browning, who lost his hand in a logging accident and now wears a prosthetic. Jay Browning did not take workers comp from his accident, because taking handouts isn’t his style. Because J.M. Browning has the most powerful equipment and skilled workers, they often take on the biggest logging jobs. Jay’s son Jesse is learning the logging business in hopes of one day taking over for his father.
Stump Branch Logging is run by Melvin Lardy, who is only 32 years old. Even though Melvin has been in the logging business for more than a decade, he is still younger than most logging company owners. Stump Branch utilizes equipment that is considered a logger’s beginner set, but they are known to take and successfully complete difficult jobs.
Gustafson Logging is run by Darrell Holthusen, who is considered to be the Superman of logging. In addition to overseeing multiple job sites for a very large logging company, Darrell coaches pee-wee football and counsels underprivileged youth. Robby Motsinger is the crew chief for Gustafson Logging.
All four crews offer a very unique perspective on the logging industry and include an interesting set of characters. While the large mechanical equipment that is utilized in modern day logging is fascinating, the real story is about the loggerswho risk their lives every day. From snapped cables to runaway logs, the show offers up plenty of intense moments.
Ax Men is scheduled for a thirteen episode run. Ax Men premieres on March 9, 2008 at 10 PM ET/PT on the History Channel.
Photo Credit: History Channel