In Sweden, a major recruitment of forestry drivers will be required. A survey initiated by the TSG (Forestry Technical Cooperation Group) shows that a large proportion of forestry drivers will achieve retirement age over the next ten years. At the same time there are indications that younger engineers jump off after 5-15 years in the profession.

In order to provide simple basic facts to the discussion of forestry skills in the field of machine drivers, data on age and gender of active forest engine drivers were collected via TSG members. The survey is based on information about employed drivers at Sveaskog, Södra, SCA and Holmen, as well as a large number of contractors connected to the Forest Employers (Skogsentreprenörerna). A total of 1 201 drivers are included in the material, which is distributed throughout the country.

Among other results, it appears that there is two “age puckles”, partly in the age group 25-35 years and in 50-60 years, with a weakness in the age range between them. According to this survey, the average age of forestry engine drivers was 44 years. Five percent of the professional drivers have passed the traditional retirement age of 65 years.

One might imagine that the pattern of varying numbers of different ages depends on the size of the cohorts. Therefore, the correlation between the year cohorts and the number of forestry drivers with a particular birth year was examined. This analysis showed that the two puckles and weakness in part, but not entirely, could be explained by the birth rate.