A Computer Simulation Model for Predicting the Impacts of Log Truck Turn-Time on Timber Harvesting System Productivity

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Virginia Tech

A computer simulation model was developed to represent a logging contractor's harvesting and trucking system of wood delivery from the contractor's in-woods landing to the receiving mill. The Log Trucking System Simulation model (LTSS) focuses on the impacts to logging contractors as changes in truck turn times cause an imbalance between harvesting and trucking systems. The model was designed to serve as a practical tool that can illustrate the magnitude of cost and productivity changes as the delivery capacity of the contractor's trucking system changes.

The model was used to perform incremental analyses using an example contractor's costs and production rates to illustrate the nature of impacts associated with changes in the contractor's trucking system. These analyses indicated that the primary impact of increased turn times occurs when increased delivery time decreases the number of loads per day the contractor's trucking system can deliver. When increased delivery times cause the trucking system to limit harvesting production, total costs per delivered ton increase. In cases where trucking significantly limits system production, total costs per delivered ton would decrease if additional trucks were added.

The model allows the user to simulate a harvest with up to eight products trucked to different receiving mills. The LTSS model can be utilized without extensive data input requirements and serves as a user friendly tool for predicting cost and productivity changes in a logging contractor's harvesting and trucking system based on changes in truck delivery times.

Log trucking, Computer model, Logging Contractors