The purpose of this work was to develop a model of the interaction process between the wheeled forwarder and the soil of the cutting area, which allows evaluating the influence of soil conditions, the parameters of the wheeled forwarder, as well as load and number of cycles of its application, on the indicators of resistance and adhesion of the forwarder to the traction surface. Modeling results for 3-and 4-Axle forest machines with different load levels showed that for different soil categories, types of bodies, and tire sizes. The results of the approximation analysis enabled the derive of calculation formulas for estimating the propulsive coefficient and rut depth after the first passage depending on the values of load-bearing capacity, body load coefficient, wheel width, and soil deformation module. The proposed model can be used at laying down the skidding roads and its optimization not only in economic terms but also with respect to the environment as intensive harvesting operations lead to extensive soil destructions. The practical application of the results is expressed in increased performance capacities of wood skidding operations and minimization of costs for restoring the productivity of forest area. © 2020 Polish Society of Technical Diagnostics. All rights reserved.