HW Buck for Windows: the optimal hardwood log bucking decision simulator with expanded capabilities
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. These estimates were developed by evaluating the bucking cuts chosen by harvesting crews and comparing them to the optimal bucking pattern chosen by HW Buck, a computerize tool to optimize the choice of bucking cuts for hardwood logs. These losses are not surprising because the hardwood log bucking problem is very complicated. Hardwood log grading and scaling rules are complex. Furthermore, hardwood stems tend to be less straight than softwoods, and have grade and scale reducing defects scattered along the entire stem. The original DOS version of HW Buck, which was recognized by the NHLA Hardwood Research Award in 1996, was very useful. However, it was written to run on the DOS operating system, which limits its current utility. The DOS version also did not have the flexibility required to accurately depict the complexity of hardwood markets, which vary by species, region, and even organization. This article introduces the recently developed Windows version of HW Buck. There are many new capabilities to enhance flexibility as a training and research tool. Some of the most important additions are the ability to define additional log rules, include roundwood products other than veneer and sawlogs, and enhanced ability to alter grading rules.
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