Cut to Length
The use of cut-to-length (CTL) methodology is an approach that allows Miller Timber Services to increase the return on saw and non-saw log volumes recovered from the stands. The cut-to-length approach eliminates the landings and soil disturbance associated with conventional tractor logging and burning of slash on landings. This approach is highly effective when the in-the-woods harvesters are coupled with forwarders.
The in-the-woods harvester will fall, limb and buck trees into logs in the stand. During the process of falling, limbing, and bucking trees, the harvester is able to create common-use trails (used by both harvester and forwarder). Trails are typically established 60 feet apart and pre-marked in straight rows. The limbs, tops and brush are pulled into the skid trail as a base on which the processor and forwarder may run. Utilizing this approach, the travel of both harvester and forwarder break down limbs, tops, and brush, accelerating the decay and nutrient cycle processes. This approach also provides a cushion of protection against soil compaction.
The use of in-the-woods harvesters also ensures greater accuracy in diameter and length measurements, producing a cleaner log while maximizing volume. Where terrain and soil conditions permit, trails parallel to forest access roads may be created to allow harvest of selected trees and the removal and placement of limbs/slash in trails well off the roadside. Where terrain does not allow this approach, harvest may be performed from the roadside. In such an application, limbs and slash can still be removed a safe distance from the roadside thanks to equipment boom-length. Care is taken to ensure that drainage ditches along roadsides are free of limbs and slash. The end result is an aesthetically pleasing roadside buffer free of limbs/slash. This practice also reduces fuels along travel roads.
The forwarder is used to pick up saw and non-saw logs from the forest and transport them to the roadside, where they are sorted and placed in decks, thus eliminating the need to establish landings. Once these decks have been established, logs can easily be loaded onto trucks and delivered to local mills. Loading may be accomplished by having the forwarder double as a loader, or through the use of a dedicated log loader. The use of a dedicated log loader enables parallel processing (forwarding and loading), thereby shortening the overall process time.
The company’s cut-to-length line-up of equipment is state-of-the-art technology in mechanized forest harvest. Made up exclusively of Ponsse harvesters and forwarders, Miller Timber Services maintains four sides on a year-round basis. One harvester and one forwarder are paired on each side to perform thinning operations in stands of varying density. On-board computers enable accurate dimensioning of saw and non-saw logs, while minimizing/avoiding unwanted environmental impac
Thinning is the cutting and removal of select trees from a stand to promote healthy growth, desired spacing and optimal growth of the remaining trees. Low-light forests showing little to no signs of understory growth are quickly transformed into healthy forests. If the cut trees can be marketed the thinning is considered “commercial”. If harvested trees are too small to sell, the thinning is considered “pre-commercial”. Great care is taken during the thinning process to avoid damaging the residual trees.
Like other crops, trees grow poorly if there is competition for resources such as water, nutrients and light. The deliberate control of stand density by thinning can improve growth rate, vigor, reduce wildfire threat, improve wildlife habitat, increase plant diversity of the forest floor, and improve aesthetics and overall forest health.
The Company’s commercial fallers are capable of directionally felling harvested timber to maintain the integrity and value of the wood. They typically fell timber in a herring bone pattern away from yarding corridors and directionally fall those trees in marked corridors away from designated landings. Trees are skillfully felled away from private property, fences, and designat
Our professional timber cutters’ extensive qualifications and falling experience uniquely position us to meet even the most difficult falling objectives. Collectively, Miller Timber Services, Inc.’s timber cutters have over 70 years of falling experience.
Yarder logging, partial cut and thinning
With the Company’s yarder equipment ranging from the smallest models to the largest most powerful equipment in the industry, the capacity to handle projects varying in complexity, size and stand type can be can easily be accomplished. The company is capable of completing large scale clear-cuts, modified clear-cuts, partial cut and thinnings.
Cable Logging is a commonly used technique on steep terrain that is inaccessible by machinery or on ground that is ecologically sensitive. A yarder is a piece of logging equipment that uses a system of cables to pull and lift the felled trees to the landing area. The cables are suspended from spars and/or towers allowing the logs to be dragged across the ground on the cable or carried while suspended from the cable. Landings are commonly located on a flat area above the logging unit on a ridge and are strategically placed to minimize their size and the number necessary to complete the unit.
Trees are felled by professional timber fallers capable of falling and bucking the trees in a safe manner that utilizes as much of the tree as possible. The felled timber can be directionally felled in a herring bone pattern away from corridors. The trees are yarded to the landing using an appropriately sized yarder and carriage. Skyline and skidding line capacities vary, dependent upon the yarder that is deployed to the site which is based on the unit’s terrain, wood size and specific environmental factors. The carriage is capable of clamping on the skyline, and pulling skidding line slack from the yarder. Care is taken not to damage the leave trees while yarding.
Landing machines consist of a log loader and a processor. Processors are machines that have a maneuverable articulating arm onto which a processing head is attached. A tree can be pulled by rollers through a clamp which removes all branches; then a saw in the processing head cuts off the top of the tree. The machine then pulls the delimbed tree through the processing head, stops at the desired length and cuts off the log, then repeats the process until all trees on the landing have been processed into piles of delimbed, cut-to-length logs.
Saw logs that meet the required specifications are decked and sorted for transport to the approved mills. Log loaders are used to strategically place processed logs onto log trucks in order to evenly distribute the weight for safe, secure transport.