Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
Factors affecting soil disturbance caused by harvester and forwarder were studied on mid-grained soils in Finland. Sample plots were harvested using a one-grip harvester. The harvester operator processed the trees outside the strip roads, and the remaining residues were removed to exclude the covering effect of residues. Thereafter, a loaded forwarder made up to 5 passes over the sample plots. The average rut depth after four machine passes was positively correlated to the volumetric water content at a depth of 0–10 cm in mineral soil, as well as the thickness of the organic layer and the harvester rut depth, and negatively correlated with penetration resistance at depths of both 0–20 cm and 5–40 cm. We present 5 models to predict forwarder rut depth. Four include the cumulative mass driven over a measurement point and combinations of penetration resistance, water content and the depth of organic layer. The fifth model includes harvester rut depth and the cumulative overpassed mass and provided the best fit. Changes in the penetration resistance (PR) were highest at depths of 20–40 cm. Increase in BD and VWC decreased PR, which increased with total overdriven mass. After four to five machine passes PR values started to stabilize.
The strength of soil is known to be dependent on water content but the relationship is strongly affected by the type of soil. Accurate moisture content – soil strength models will provide forest managers with the improved ability to reduce soil disturbances and increase annual forest machine utilization rates. The aim of this study was to examine soil strength and how it is connected to the physical properties of fine-grained forest soils; and develop models that could be applied in practical forestry to make predictions on rutting induced by forest machines. Field studies were conducted on two separate forests in Southern Finland. The data consisted of parallel measurements of dry soil bulk density (BD), volumetric water content (VWC) and penetration resistance (PR). The model performance was logical, and the results were in harmony with earlier findings. The accuracy of the models created was tested with independent data. The models may be regarded rather trustworthy, since no significant bias was found. Mean absolute error of roughly 20% was found which may be regarded as acceptable taken into account the character of the penetrometer tool. The models can be linked with mobility models predicting either risks of rutting, compaction or rolling resistance.