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    Description

    The majority of the timber harvested in the United States is extracted by ground-based skidders and crawler/dozer systems. Ground-based systems generally require a primary transportation network (a network of skid trails/roads) throughout the area being harvested. Logs are skidded or dragged along these skid roads/trails as they are transported from where they were cut to landings where they are loaded onto trucks for transportation to processing plants (sawmills, paper mills, OSB plants, veneer mills, etc.). The degree of construction/excavation required on these skid roads/trails varies with terrain steepness and the size of machines that will use them and the size of logs being transported. The excavation/construction of these skid roads/trails can create certain hazards that if not dealt with or eliminated can damage property or threaten human lives. For example, in the White .vs. Wenturine Brothers Lumber, Inc., ICI Explosives, USA and American Forestry Consultants .vs. John Bouch case, skid road excavation undercut the lateral support of a tree that was left on a vertical cut bank. The tree later fell on a logger severely injuring the logger. In this article we briefly review skid road/trail construction methods, review safety regulations, and provide a decision algorithm for determining practical and safe clearing limits/guidelines for the construction of skid roads.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
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    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, shobrla@fs.fed.us if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    LeDoux, Chris 2006. A decision algorithm for determining safe clearing limits for the construction of skid roads. In: Eastern CANUSA conference handbook. Forest science across the borders; 2006 October 19-21; Quebec, Canada: 96-99.

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