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Modeling the Cost and Profitability of Timber Harvesting with Cable Skidders

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Logging costs and profitability are affected by many variables. Computer simulation based on detailed production studies and an accounting-based cost analysis was used to investigate the relative importance of tree size and species group on logging costs and profits. Tree size had the greatest affect on skidding costs. Species group was found to be important only in felling. Marginal tree size and margins for profit and risk were computed for seven timber sales. Marginal tree size ranged from 12 + to 13 + in. Volume in submarginal trees ranged from 16.3 to 44.8% of the total volume. Margins earned by a hypothetical contractor were found to be low. The findings and methodology can be used by researchers and operations managers for analysis and planning of harvesting activities. The procedures provide a means for establishing merchantability limits for individual harvests based on characteristics of the stand, logging system, and harvest layout. They can also be used to establish equitable contract rates. North. J. Appl. For. 4:87-92, June 1987.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, #385-2357 Main Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1W5

Publication date: 1987-06-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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