We have a variety of tools for precision logging. My favorite system is a radio controlled Farmi winch on our Ford 4000 tractor. A small radio transmitter allows me to control the pull of the winch as the log is being skidded through the forest to the trail. Fetching Arches are incredible and simple tools that lift most of the weight of the log off the ground and carry it on rubber tires. This keeps the logs clean also. The logs are piled by the trails, where the old Iron Mule prehauler picks them up and carries the logs back to the sawmill. We never skid or haul when the ground is wet. We work in the woods when the weather is good, and work at the sawmill or in the barn workshop if the ground is soft.
The Fetching Arch converts to an ATV Arch for quickly skidding small amounts of logs. Sometimes the tractor/winch is used as a pole skidder. We can also hire local Amish horse loggers if needed - another excellent Arthroscopic method.
I am probably the world's slowest logger. When a chain saw is in my hands, there is always thinning, weeding, pruning, vines to cut….. It's hard to concentrate on logging some days. Cutting trees is the most exciting part of the whole process. Directional felling using "Game of Logging" techniques is essential to FVF. Besides the advantages of safety and logging efficiency - damage to the butt log is minimized. Loggers who sell their logs to a sawmill never know how much damage they do to the butt log when felling. When you sawmill the logs and kiln dry the lumber, then you see all the cracks and splits caused as the tree leans on the stump and falls.
Just one of the many lessons learned when you go forest to finished flooring!
Most loggers just laugh at me when I describe my harvesting system, but then they don't sell their wood for $10,000/MBF either! HA!
Excellent forestry is only as good as the logger.
FVF is not possible in the traditional timber market system. Log prices are simply too low to pay a professional logger to do the required work and make a reasonable profit for the forest owner. I gave up on the traditional market, and developed a new market where 100 times the money is available to do good forestry. Full Vigor Forestry and Forest to Finished Flooring were developed to pay a professional logger well for excellent work. I don't care how much it costs or how long it takes, careful logging is simply absolutely essential to sustainable forestry. Direct marketing is needed to earn enough money to truly do it right! Really!
After working as a consulting forester for several years, I became totally disillusioned! It became obvious that trees around here never went to college - they simply didn't follow the rules like they are supposed to. A tree doesn't care about the basal area per acre, the number of trees per acre, the volume of sawtimber per acre, stand management practices, species management systems, industry demand, or how to make a real nice timber sale….. They are simply affected by the trees growing right around them.