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    Author(s): Matthew A. Holtzscher; Bobby L. Lanford
    Date: 1997
    Source: Forest Products Journal Vol. 47, No. 3 March 1997
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (270 KB)


    Currently, there is a lack of economic information concerning cut-to-length harvesting systems. This study examined and measured the different costs of operating cut-to-length logging equipment over a range of average stand diameters at breast height. Three different cut-to-length logging systems were examined in this study. Systems included: 1) felier-buncher/manual/forwarder; 2) feller-buncher/processor/forwarder, and 3) swing-to-tree harvester/forwarder. Operating costs were ca!culated by generating stands with the stand generator program PCWThin. Once stands were generated, costs for thinning were determined using a computer spreadsheet model known as the Auburn Harvester Analyzer. Each individual system followed different cost trends; however, for all systems, tree size had a significant effect on unit cost of wood produced. As tree size increased, unit cost of wood produced decreased. The swing-to-tree harvester system was much more expensive for small-diameter trees than the other two systems due to individual stem processing and small volume per tree but approached the unit costs of the other systems at larger tree sizes.

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    Holtzscher, Matthew A.; Lanford, Bobby L. 1997. Tree Diamter Effects on Cost and Productivity of Cut-to-Length Systems. Forest Products Journal Vol. 47, No. 3 March 1997

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