Mechanized or hand operations: which is less expensive for small timber?
Two harvesting systems, one manual post-and-rail and one small-scale cut-to-length harvester, were compared in a lodgepole pine thinning. Elemental time study data were collected, along with estimates of residual stand damage. The harvester was about as productive as a manual crew of five. For material 5" and larger, the cost for felling, processing and piling small material with the harvester was less than the manual operation. However, the mechanized system resulted in considerably more residual stand damage.