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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2010) 55(3): 10–11
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Feature article
Methodologies for Setting Timber Harvesting (Logging) Rates

Rien Visser 1

1 Associate Professor, School of Forestry

Timber harvesting has always been a significant business cost component for forest owners and or forestry management companies. Maintaining a cost-effective harvesting workforce is a major task for many forestry companies; and operating a financially successful harvesting business is also a major challenge for logging contractors. With increased global competition for wood based products there has been real pressure on reducing the cost of harvesting. Harvesting has evolved from manual labour with basic tools to a high capital equipment cost and low labour input system. In modern operations labour may amount to only about 30% of the total operating cost and the effective utilization of the specialised equipment becomes paramount. Technological advances in equipment and systems have resulted in incremental improvements in logging efficiency. However, there have also been real cost increases (over and above inflation) and these have included labour rates, raw materials and insurance.
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