Description of Common Operational Processes

ie: Equipment and Planning

Most logging operations can be generally defined and described as cable logging, helicopter logging, and ground based logging.

Cut-to-Length Logging

Cut-to-Length (C-T-L) was developed most aggressively in Scandinavian countries until it was introduced to the United States in the late 1980’s and early ’90’s.  In Europe this system was developed to address multiple issues of harvest effects on trees, soil, and water quality.  This method initially started as “at the stump processing” which meant that a tree was felled, limbed, measured, bucked into segments, and placed into piles near the stump of the previously standing tree.  At the stump processing allows for nutrients to be left on site and slash mats to be created for equipment to operate on, creating less ground disturbance compared to dragging trees or logs.  A forwarder with 4-8 tires would follow and load the pieces (short logs) into the bunks that hold the logs and then they are carried to the landing for subsequent loading onto truck-trailer configurations.  This C-T-L method can be altered in a way that a feller buncher can be used to initially fell the trees and bunch them a short distance from the stumps.  A processor then follows and would process out of the bunched piles.  This amended version allows for the benefits of “at the stump processing” to still be obtained.

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Cable Logging

Cable logging involves stationary machines with towers and winches that are parked and anchored near or on roads.  These machines skid trees or logs from steep or sensitive slopes with cables.  This type of logging is preferably done by skidding logs uphill, but can also skid downhill depending on the configuration of the machine, as well as having the ability to suspend logs fully from the ground.

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Helicopter Logging

Helicopter logging flies trees or logs with an extended cable attached to the helicopter.  Trees or logs are attached to the cable with chokers, ropes, or grapples (ie: clamping jaws).  These logs are flown mostly short distances (less than 2 miles) and hopefully downhill from the forest to a central landing.

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Ground based Logging

Ground based logging can be separated into two categories, tractor logging and Cut-to-Length (C-T-L).

Tractor Logging

Tractor logging is also referred to as “mechanized logging”, meaning that all the steps in the logging process are handled by people operating machinery.  A typical operation will fell and bunch trees with a tracked or rubber mounted carrier that is equipped with an attachment that can cut trees at ground level with a rotating disc or bar saw.  The trees are skidded in bunches by a tracked or rubber tired skidder to a “landing” where they are  processed by a machine that can de-limb, measure, and buck to specific log lengths.

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Cut-to-Length Logging

Cut-to-Length (C-T-L) was developed most aggressively in Scandinavian countries until it was introduced to the United States in the late 1980’s and early ’90’s.  In Europe this system was developed to address multiple issues of harvest effects on trees, soil, and water quality.  This method initially started as “at the stump processing” which meant that a tree was felled, limbed, measured, bucked into segments, and placed into piles near the stump of the previously standing tree.  At the stump processing allows for nutrients to be left on site and slash mats to be created for equipment to operate on, creating less ground disturbance compared to dragging trees or logs.  A forwarder with 4-8 tires would follow and load the pieces (short logs) into the bunks that hold the logs and then they are carried to the landing for subsequent loading onto truck-trailer configurations.  This C-T-L method can be altered in a way that a feller buncher can be used to initially fell the trees and bunch them a short distance from the stumps.  A processor then follows and would process out of the bunched piles.  This amended version allows for the benefits of “at the stump processing” to still be obtained.

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