From the Unforgiving Landscape of the Pacific Northwest,
Comes the Second Season...
The AX MEN Are Back
Returning Monday, March 2 at 10PM ET/PT on HISTORY�
Battling Mother Nature by Air, Land and Sea on the Original Loggers Series
New York, NY, February 2, 2009� The AX MEN are back, and they're bigger, badder and tougher than ever. The first ever non-fiction series about the treacherous life of Pacific Northwest timber cutters, premieres its second season Monday, March 2 at 10pm ET/PT on HISTORY�. Going deeper into the forest, high into the sky and even down into the sea, the new season follows two leading teams from last season along with three new companies, racing to fall the most timber during logging's most dangerous season.
For more than a hundred years, larger than life characters, many of whom are members of logging families who go back to the time when the West was being settled � have spent their days among towering trees and powerful machines and their nights in outposts far from the comforts of civilization. AX MEN tells the remarkable story, detailing the history of the logging industry and how technology has transformed life for today's logger, while the struggle of man versus nature stays the same.
This season, AX MEN picks up with two of Oregon's top logging companies from last year, J.M. Browning Logging of Astoria and Vernonia's Pihl Logging. Adding to the competition are three newcomers, each bringing something different to the table. Rygaard Logging of Port Angeles, Washington, a fiery father-son team; R&R Conner Aviation of Conner, Montana, which utilizes helicopters to maximize its output; and S&S Aqua Logging of Aberdeen, Washington, a team of diving loggers who fish for timber in some of the Pacific Northwest's most treacherous waters.
Over the course of twelve episodes, AX MEN will follow these five logging crews through a season of fighting mechanical failures, relentless weather and unpredictable terrain. We'll witness how loggers battle the elements, picking up where their fathers and grandfathers left off, to conquer America's final frontier.
Danger is a full-time job, as these brave men put everything on the line each and every day to retrieve the timber with which we build our country. Snapped cables, runaway logs and razor-sharp chainsaws are just some of the dangers that threaten their lives daily. Even with new technology that should make the job easier, it all boils down to the toughness and perseverance of the logging crews. Anything and everything can and does go wrong. Not everyone will survive, but those who do will earn their place in a long line of men who call themselves �Ax Men.�
The five crews of AX MEN are:
J.M. Browning Logging � Operating out of Astoria, Oregon, no-nonsense, all-business Jay Browning started his company from the ground-up. Logging is one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet, and Jay knows it. He lost his hand in a logging accident and now wears a prosthetic, but prides himself on not accepting any of the workers compensation checks that followed the ordeal. Taking handouts isn't Jay's style. This year, Browning Logging is looking for its next leader. Jay's natural successor is his son Jesse, but he has yet to prove that he has what it takes to step into his old man's boots. Jay is a tough boss and an even tougher dad, but it's the expectation of perfection that's earned him the respect of his crews, business partners and the logging community. As Jay's career winds down and the market approaches its lowest point yet, will Jesse have what it takes to carry on the family torch?
Pihl Logging � Pihl Logging has been the lifeblood of Vernonia, Oregon for almost 25 years. Almost everyone in town - all 2,300 of them - knows someone who relies on company owner Mike Pihl to keep their family fed. Pihl Logging is comprised of a group of men who like to trade jibes with each other almost as much as they like to cut timber. The real heart of the operation is 30-year veteran timber cutter Dwayne Dethlefs. Dwayne is the embodiment of old-school logging. Rounding out the crew is Dwayne's son Dustin, and a host of other colorful characters. The men at Pihl are like family � at-times dysfunctional but always entertaining; men who fight like brothers but always have each others' backs.
S&S Aqua Logging- Retired logger, Jimmy Smith, started his Aberdeen, Washington underwater logging company because no one else was doing it and he hoped to make a quick buck. What he uncovered in the process was century-old perfectly preserved timber that his ancestors cut but was lost in Washington's waterways along its journey to the mill. Now, Jimmy seeks to harvest this slice of history for today's America to enjoy. He's a colorful man with big dreams, big ideals and very little attention to detail. Try as they may, Jimmy, his son James and the revolving cast of friends-turned-deckhands struggle every day to keep the underwater logging operation afloat.
R&R Conner Aviation - Based in Montana, R&R Conner Aviation is a family-run helicopter logging company owned and operated by Ryan Conner and wife Robin. Helicopter logging is one of the most dangerous and expensive forms of timber harvesting. The demands of working beneath a thundering helicopter and the severe weather are more than most can bargain for. Having an experienced team of pilots, mechanics and ground crew is crucial. R&R has been grounded for nine months after a hard landing destroyed their helicopter. Now, R&R is back with a rebuilt rig and Ryan is getting his company in the air and back in the woods of Montana. This is going to be a critical logging season for R&R and chief pilot, Bart Colantuono, will be a key factor in getting the business back to a place it was last year� making money.
Rygaard Logging � Based in Port Angeles, Washington, Rygaard Logging is a family business consisting of father Craig and son, Gabe. Craig is a wild man with a big heart, sharp mind and a quick wit. These are hard working salt-of-the-earth men, risking everything they have to get the job done. Logging is in their blood. As Rygaard moves onto a downhill logging site� the most dangerous of all logging operations� gravity works against them on every turn. This is brutal work and one of the quickest ways for a logger to go broke or get hurt. Adding to the liability is greenhorn Brad Hewitt, who is stepping onto the mountain for the first time.
On history.com, the AX MEN web site will feature videos on the new and existing loggers, logging technology and behind the scenes footage. The site will also include maps, photo galleries and fast facts on the logging frontiers.
AX MEN is produced for HISTORY by Original Productions. Executive producers for Original Productions are Thom Beers and Philip Segal. Executive producer for HISTORY is Dolores Gavin.
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