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    Author(s): James B. Pickens; Aaron Everett; Scott Noble; John E. Baumgras; Philip A. Araman; Conrad Waniger; Al Steele
    Date: 2006
    Source: Proceedings, Society of American Foresters 2005 National Convention. 9 pp.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (116.81 KB)


    It has long been recognized that inappropriate placement of crosscuts when manufacturing hardwood logs from harvested stems (log bucking) reduces the value of logs produced. Recent studies have estimated losses in the range from 28% to 38% in the lake states region. It has not, however, been clear how to correct the problem. Efforts to improve value recovery have followed two general approaches: using technological methods to actually optimize the bucking of each log or having recognized experts train log buckers to make better bucking decisions. This article describes the state-of-the-art for optimizing the bucking of hardwood logs, and documents a log bucker training approach that resulted in improved value recovery of over 30%. Field buckers underwent an intensive training process to help them make better bucking decisions. This training integrated use of HW Buck, a computerized tool to optimize the choice of bucking cuts for hardwood logs, with other more traditional training approaches. Sample hardwood stems were felled and entered into the HW Buck software to determine the individual bucking options that maximized the value of the resulting logs. This component was integrated with the more traditional instruction in defect identification and the fundamentals of grading and scaling rules. Each of the training components was taught both in the field and using prepared slide shows. Emphasis was placed on a set of heuristics (rules-of-thumb) that simplify the bucking decision process. One very useful component of the training program was a visit to the trainees in the field several weeks after the initial training. This allowed the buckers time to practice the techniques covered in the training and to seek clarification concerning any aspect of the training that was unclear. It also allowed the trainers to reinforce the messages of the initial training.

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    Pickens, James B.; Everett, Aaron; Noble, Scott; Baumgras, John E.; Araman, Philip A.; Waniger, Conrad; Steele, Al. 2006. Intensive hardwood log bucker training using HW Buck dramatically improves value recovery. Proceedings, Society of American Foresters 2005 National Convention. 9 pp.

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