Utilization and cost of log production from animal loging operations
Forest harvesting with animals is a labor-intensive operation. It is expensive to use machines on smaller woodlots, which require frequent moves if mechanically logged. So, small logging systems using animals may be more cost effective. In this study, work sampling was used for five animal logging operations in Alabama to measure productive and non-productive time elements to determine utilization with respect to operators, functions (felling and processing of trees, skidding, loading, and forwarding of logs), animals, and machines. Cost of log production was calculated from the figures reported by owners and the crew members. Average utilization of crew was 58 percent, animals (horses and mules) were utilized only 22 percent and the machines were utilized from 5 to 74 percent of scheduled time. Average cost of log production per m3 was $11.28. There appears to be an opportunity to reduce cost of log production by coordinating functions, increasing scheduled work hours, utilization of machines and animals, and reducing labor cost.