Optimal road spacing for manual skidding sulkies

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Forest Research Institute Malaysia


An optimal road spacing is the one which minimizes the overall sum of skidding costs, road construction and road maintenance costs. As road spacing increases, skidding cost increases while road construction and maintenance cost decreases. Each skidding means has its own optimal skidding distance and road spacing. This study analyses skidding productions and optimal road spacing for hand sulkies skidding logs in one of the forest plantations in Tanzania. Results from this study indicate that when undertaking thinning operations especially in flat to gentle sloping terrains, sulky skidding could be considered as a better alternative to tractor and manual skidding methods. Besides being simple and cheap, the system causes minimum stand and soil damages, creates employment opportunities for the rural people and does not demand foreign capital .The average skidding distance in this study was measured to be 71 m while average skidding production was estimated to be 1.21 m3/man-hour. An optimal road spacing which minimizes the overall total costs in this forest was found to be 137 m.


Journal of Tropical Forest Science, 1999; 6 (1): 8-15


skidding sulkies, skidding distance, skidding production, optimal road spacing, road construction cost