Next to getting trees on the ground, the biggest challenge facing a crew is shifting the wood out of the forest in a timely manner.
In large, properly laid-out corporate forests it’s not such a critical issue because permanent, well-formed roads allow conventional log trucks to get right into a skid site, load up and drive out quickly.
Not so in many smaller and intermediate forests, where skids/landings are located far away from the highway and tracks can be difficult and expensive to build, especially on steeper terrain.
Which is why there’s been a recent shift in focus to using heavy-duty, off-road trucks in a two-staging operation.
Trouble is, no two forests are alike, and a big, purpose-built log transporter might only be required for some jobs and not others so it could be parked up for long stretches, or not used to its full potential. That would make it uneconomic for a lot of contractors.