Helicopter Logging

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Helicopter Logging

By | Feb. 2013
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MEMO
TO:
FROM:
RE: Seminar

Last week I was able to attend a video seminar on several different types of logging operations. Some of the various logging operations included helicopter logging, standing stem harvest, and shovel logging. In this memo I will discuss each type and their application. The first category, helicopter logging, can be broken into two subcategories; helicopter ‘skidding’ and standing stem harvesting. Logistically, helicopter logging is more in depth than normal, ground-based operations. Using helicopter ‘skidding’ requires trees be felled using a chainsaw at several different locations across the tract. At each location, ground crew members put chokers around the felled trees and then attach them to the tow cable of the helicopter. The helicopter then travels between each location and brings trees to the landing. Because of its ability to move timber across virtually any terrain, helicopter logging is used most in mountainous areas where ground skidding may be impossible or inefficient. However, because of their high cost, logging crews can only afford to harvest the highest valued timber. Helicopter logging is implemented most in areas of high timber values and low accessibility. The second subcategory of helicopter logging is a practice called standing timber harvesting. Initially, specific trees are flagged for harvesting. A sawyer then climbs, limbs, and tops the tree. The tree is then cut at the base leaving a small hinge and wedges in the cuts to keep the tree upright. Later, the tree is harvested with a helicopter using a hydraulic claw which grabs and plucks the tree from its stump. This method is implemented to harvest only the highest and most isolated timber on a large tract. Finally, there is a method known as shovel logging. In this system a tracked machine called a shovel logger or shoveler lays felled timber down to create trails for skidders. After everything has been harvested, the trees on the ground are picked...