Abstract We present the first application of a forest gap model to the study of logging techniques in Malaysian tropical Dipterocarp rain forests. The aim of this paper is to reveal the impact of different logging techniques on forest composition, sustainability and logged biomass. We performed simulations both with and without damage to trees due to harvesting. The latter simulations allowed us to deduce that an optimum logging cycle of 100 years maximizes yield. In contrast, short logging cycles of 20 years show low yields and dramatic changes in the species composition of the forest. To restore the species composition to its undisturbed state, a regeneration time of 200 years is needed. From our simulations we deduce that it is crucial to take logging damage into account in order to obtain realistic descriptions of both the yield and forest composition.