Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Patrick Jernigan; Tom Gallagher; Dana Mitchell; Mathew Smidt; Larry Teeter
    Date: 2016
    Source: Forest Products Journal
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (974.0 KB)


    The southeastern United States has a promising source for renewable energy in the form of woody biomass. To meet the energy needs, energy plantations will likely be utilized. These plantations will contain a high density of small-stem pine trees. Since the stems are relatively small when compared with traditional product removal, the harvesting costs will increase. The purpose of this research was to evaluate specialized harvesting and skidding equipment that would harvest these small stems cost efficiently. The feller-buncher utilized was a Tigercat 845D with a specialized biomass shear head. The skidder was a Tigercat 630D equipped with an oversized grapple. This equipment was evaluated in a 4-hectare stand with characteristics of a southern pine energy plantation. During the study, the feller-buncher achieved an average production rate of 47 green tonnes/productive machine hour (gt/PMH) and the skidder had an average production rate of 112 gt/PMH. A before-tax cashflow model was used to determine a cost per ton for each machine. The feller-buncher costs were $3.85/gt over a 10-year life span, whereas the skidder costs were $1.95/gt over the same 10-year life. The results suggested that the current system working in a southern pine energy plantation could harvest and skid small stems for approximately $5.80/gt.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Jernigan, Patrick; Gallagher, Tom; Mitchell, Dana; Smidt, Mathew; Teeter, Larry. 2016. High tonnage harvesting and skidding for loblolly pine energy plantations. Forest Products Journal, Vol. 66(3-4): 7 pages.: 185-191.  10.13073/FPJ-D-14-00055


    Google Scholar

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page