A Guide to Logging Equipment

This article gets into what logging equipment is, common types of logging equipment, how to ensure proper maintenance of logging equipment, and an innovative way to keep your logging equipment in the best condition.

Logger securing lumber on logging equipment

What is Logging Equipment?

Logging equipment refers to any tools or machinery used in the cutting and transportation of logs. This could mean anything from the chainsaws used to cut through trees, the mulchers, and all the way to the trucks used to transport the logs after the trees have been felled. Since logging is a vast industry, there are many types of equipment that different organizations may use.

Common Types of Logging Equipment

There are many different types of logging equipment available. And depending on the type of logging the organization handles, the equipment may look different. However, here are some of the most common types of logging equipment that you’re likely to use throughout the logging process.


The delimber is a very valuable piece of equipment in the logging process. After a tree has been removed, a loader puts it in a delimber. When it enters this equipment, the machine works to remove all the limbs from the tree to ensure that the log is clean. Most delimbers also come with a saw that cuts off the top of the tree, reducing the workload for the loggers.

Stump Grinders

After cutting a tree, you will inevitably be left with a stump. While this is natural, it can be hard to remove a stump, which is why stump grinders are another valuable logging tool. These machines grind up remaining tree stumps using a high-speed blade and a rotating cutting disk. There are many types of stump grinders, and they can be as small as a lawn mower or as large as a truck for bigger projects.

The ultimate goal of most stump grinders is to reduce the stump into small wood chips. This makes it easier to get rid of the stump, especially since stump grinders can do the job very quickly. There are also stump grinders that you attach to other machines like excavators for even more efficiency and power.

Feller Bunchers

A feller buncher is a type of harvester. After loggers fall off the trees, they will use the bunchers to gather and harvest all the logs and transport them to the delimber or the loader. Feller bunchers are solely used for harvesting and typically don’t come with any processing features.

Typically, a feller buncher will have a small chainsaw to cut the base of small trees. From there, the machine places the tree on a skidder, forwarder, or yarder to start processing or transporting the log.


Mulchers are tools used for the tail-end of logging activities. This is a land clearing tool that is used after most of the logging process is over. After logging, there will typically be a lot of debris left at the site. A mulcher can be used to clear this debris off the site and make sure the area is clean.


Yarders are interesting tools that are used to pull logs from the site to the collection point. Since logs and felled trees are very heavy, loggers require heavy machinery to move these logs around. So, after the tree has been felled, the team uses a yarder to carry the tree from the site to a collection point where it can be processed or transported.

Typically, yarders use a system of cables that wrap around the tree to secure it. This is one of the most valuable tools in a logging site and is essential in bringing the trees from the site to a place where they can be further processed.


Forwarders are used for transporting logs from one place to another. Typically, they bring the logs from the site to a roadside landing. These tools lift the logs at least two feet off the ground during transport, which protects them from damage. 

How Do You Ensure Employees Operate Logging Tools Properly?

Logging equipment is vital for forestry operations, and misuse of the equipment can lead to damage or accidents that harm employees. This is why it’s very important to properly train employees in operating the logging equipment safely and ensure that no one uses the equipment without comprehensive training.

Additionally, it’s important to follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) standards on logging safety. That way, aside from operating equipment properly, employees are safe when doing so, and all unnecessary risks are avoided.

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How Do You Maintain Logging Machinery?

Maintaining logging equipment looks different for every organization. However, it’s very important to have regular maintenance scheduled for every piece of equipment. Not only will this ensure that the equipment lasts longer, but it also keeps employees safe, as malfunctioning equipment can be very dangerous.

When managing a logging project, make sure to include maintenance in the plans. This includes maintenance inspections, lubricating necessary equipment, conducting necessary repairs, and even upgrading equipment as needed.

Logging maintenance is a very complex task. This is why organizations need to have a team behind them to make sure all logging and forestry equipment is cared for properly.

FAQs about Logging Equipment

The most common equipment that loggers use to fell trees is a chainsaw. There are small and large chainsaws designed for different trees, and loggers may also use other specialized tools depending on the type of tree they are cutting down.

After cutting down a tree, loggers can fully remove it by using a stump grinder. These machines grind the stump down to fine wooden chips after the main tree has been removed, which is very important in logging.

Logging equipment, when maintained properly, can last upwards of 10,000 hours. However, it’s important to conduct regular inspections and maintenance to ensure that the equipment doesn’t need repairs or replacement.

Mishandling and poor maintenance of logging equipment are some of the most common causes of breakdowns. This is why it’s very important for loggers to maintain logging equipment properly and train personnel to use the machines safely.

Leon Altomonte
Article by
Leon Altomonte
Leon Altomonte is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. He got into content writing while taking up a language degree and has written copy for various web pages and blogs. Aside from working as a freelance writer, Leon is also a musician who spends most of his free time playing gigs and at the studio.