Current issue: 54(2)
Recent developments in on-board technology have enabled automatic collection of follow-up data on forwarder work. The objective of this study was to exploit this possibility to obtain highly representative information on time consumption of specific work elements (including overlapping crane work and driving), with one load as unit of observation, for large forwarders in final felling operations. The data used were collected by the John Deere TimberLink system as nine operators forwarded 8868 loads, in total, at sites in mid-Sweden. Load-sizes were not available. For the average and median extraction distances (219 and 174 m, respectively), Loading, Unloading, Driving empty, Driving loaded and Other time effective work (PM) accounted for ca. 45, 19, 8.5, 7.5 and 14% of total forwarding time consumption, respectively. The average and median total time consumptions were 45.8 and 42.1 minutes/load, respectively. The developed models explained large proportions of the variation of time consumption for the work elements Driving empty and Driving loaded, but minor proportions for the work elements Loading and Unloading. Based on the means, the crane was used during 74.8% of Loading PM time, the driving speed was nonzero during 31.9% of the Loading PM time, and Simultaneous crane work and driving occurred during 6.7% of the Loading PM time. Time consumption per load was more strongly associated with Loading drive distance than with extraction distance, indicating that the relevance of extraction distance as a main indicator of forwarding productivity should be re-considered.
Understanding the characteristics of unutilized biomass resources, such as small-diameter trees from biomass-dense thinning forests (BDTF) (non-commercially-thinned forests), can provide important information for developing a bio-based economy. The aim of this study was to describe the areal distribution, characteristics (biomass of growing stock, tree height, etc.) and harvesting potential of BDTF in Sweden. A national forest inventory plot dataset was imported into a geographical information system and plots containing BDTF were selected by applying increasingly stringent constraints. Results show that, depending on the constraints applied, BDTF covers 9–44% (2.1–9.8 M ha) of the productive forest land area, and contains 7–34% of the total growing stock (119–564 M OD t), with an average biomass density of 57 OD t ha–1. Of the total BDTF area, 65% is located in northern Sweden and 2% corresponds to set-aside farmlands. Comparisons with a study from 2008 indicate that BDTF area has increased by at least 4% (about 102 000 ha), in line with general trends for Sweden and Europe. Analyses revealed that the technical harvesting potential of delimbed stemwood (over bark, including tops) from BDTF ranges from 3.0 to 6.1 M OD t yr–1 (7.5 to 15.1 M m3 yr–1), while the potential of whole-tree harvesting ranges from 4.3 to 8.7 M OD t yr–1 (10.2 to 20.6 M m3 yr–1) depending on the scenario considered. However, further technological developments of the harvest and supply systems are needed to utilize the full potential of BDTF.
Stump wood is a possible alternative to fossil fuel. Its harvesting, however, disturbs the ground and this has not yet been quantified at stump level. Such disturbance is likely to be dependent on stump size, type of soil and timing of stump harvesting. Therefore, we measured ground disturbance and root breakage diameter at two Norway spruce sites with sandy glacial till soil. The sites were harvested with a fork type head, 6 and 18 months after clear cutting. Measurements were made within 2 weeks of harvest. No difference was found between the two sites. The mean area of disturbed ground was 6.06 (std 3.14) m2 per stump and increased exponentially with stump size. A regression function modelling the relationship was constructed. Unexpectedly, many fine roots where extracted in the harvest. The arithmetic and basal area weighted mean root breakage diameter was 4.6 (std 2.2) and 29.5 (std 17.9) mm, respectively. There seems to be a limited increase in root breakage diameter with increased stump size. The small root breakage diameter is associated with reduced fuel quality and greater nutrient removal. It appears that much of the ground disturbance is associated with the creation of ruts rather than stump harvest per se. Stump harvesting disturbs a larger percentage of the area of a harvested site than mounding. Postponing stump harvest by one year did not decrease the ground disturbance or increase the root breakage diameter. To achieve less disturbance and larger root breakage diameter, probably new stump harvesting technology is required.