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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Articles by Gernot Erber

Category: Research article

article id 10211, category Research article
Gernot Erber, Raffaele Spinelli. (2020). Timber extraction by cable yarding on flat and wet terrain: a survey of cable yarder manufacturer’s experience. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 2 article id 10211. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10211
Highlights: Survey of all European cable yarder manufacturers on flat-terrain yarding; Manufacturers are frequently contacted concerning flat-terrain yarding; Forest resource inaccessibility, regulatory and environmental considerations are most important motivations; Lack of clearance, tree stability and installation costs are major challenges; Mobile, self-anchoring tail spar is considered a chief adaptation; Cost-competitiveness with ground-based systems cannot be achieved without subsidies; Increasing environmental awareness and climate change present opportunity to expand flat-terrain cable yarding.

Cable yarding is a general solution for load handling on sites not accessible to ground-based machinery, and is typically associated with steep terrain. On flat terrain, such conditions can primarily be found on soft or wet soils, most frequently encountered in Central and Northern European countries. Today, changed environmental and market conditions may offer an unprecedented opportunity to the actual implementation of cable yarding on flat terrain in commercial operations. The study goal was to collect cable yarder manufacturers experience regarding the use and adaption of cable yarding technology on flat terrain. European manufacturers of cable yarding technology were interviewed about customer experience, particular challenges, adaptation potential, future potential and main hurdles for the expansion of cable yarding on flat terrain. Almost all manufacturers have received requests for flat-terrain yarding technology solutions, primarily from Germany. Temporal or permanent inaccessibility, regulatory or environmental reasons were the most frequent motivation for considering cable yarding technology. Installation was considered particularly challenging (clearance, stable anchoring). Potential adaptations included higher towers, artificial anchors, mechanized bunching before extraction and un-guyed yarder-systems. An artificial, highly mobile, self-anchoring tail spar was considered the most useful adaptation. While concerned about limited profitability and qualified labour shortage, most manufacturers demonstrated a positive or neutral view concerning the expansion of cable yarding on flat terrain. However, cable yarding is not considered to be cost-competitive wherever ground-based systems can be employed and cable yarding is not subsidized.

  • Erber, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, Institute of Forest Engineering, Peter Jordan Strasse 82, 1190 Vienna, Austria ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1606-5258 E-mail: gernot.erber@boku.ac.at (email)
  • Spinelli, CNR-IBE Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche-Istituto per la BioEconomia, Via Madonna del Piano 10, Sesto Fiorentino, Firenze, I-50019, Italy; AFORA, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore, QLD, Australia ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9545-1004 E-mail: spinelli@ivalsa.cnr.it
article id 1428, category Research article
Gernot Erber, Franz Holzleitner, Maximilian Kastner, Karl Stampfer. (2016). Effect of multi-tree handling and tree-size on harvester performance in small-diameter hardwood thinnings. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 1 article id 1428. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1428
Highlights: Harvesting with the accumulating energy wood head EF28 was studied under small tree dimension (8 dm3) in hardwood thinnings; Reasonable productivity was achieved; Maximum achieved cutting diameter in hornbeam stand was 23 cm and 15% lower than in softwood stands; Head has potential under such conditions.

Early thinnings are laborious and costly. Thus forest companies are searching for cost and time efficient ways to carry out this task. The study’s purpose was to determine the productivity of the EF28 accumulating energy wood harvesting head in harvesting small-diameter hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) undergrowth trees and evaluate the effect of its multi-tree handling (MTH) capacity on time consumption. The harvester was a wheeled, three-axle Komatsu 911. A time study of 7.1 hours on 19 plots, with a total area of 0.76 ha was conducted. On average, the harvested tree volume was 8 dm³ and the stand density was 2666 trees/ha. The productivity was modelled with MTH conduction, mean diameter at breast height and the number of trees handled per cycle as independent variables. On average, MTH took 27% longer per cycle, increased extracted volume per cycle by 33% and consequently increased productivity with 5.0%. In 71.9% of the cycles more than one tree was handled and if so, dimensions were smaller than in single-tree handling (5.8 cm vs. 12.0 cm). Maximum felling diameter of 23 cm was about 15% smaller than in softwood (according to the manufacturer’s specifications) and the driver didn’t exploit the EF28’s theoretical potential in terms of trees handled per cycle. It can be concluded that the head could significantly improve productivity in small-diameter wood procurement.

  • Erber, Addresses University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, Institute of Forest Engineering, Peter-Jordan Straße 82/3, A-1190 Vienna, Austria ORCID ID:E-mail: gernot.erber@boku.ac.at (email)
  • Holzleitner, Addresses University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, Institute of Forest Engineering, Peter-Jordan Straße 82/3, A-1190 Vienna, Austria ORCID ID:E-mail: franz.holzleitner@boku.ac.at
  • Kastner, Addresses University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, Institute of Forest Engineering, Peter-Jordan Straße 82/3, A-1190 Vienna, Austria ORCID ID:E-mail: maximilian.kastner@boku.ac.at
  • Stampfer, Addresses University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Department of Forest and Soil Sciences, Institute of Forest Engineering, Peter-Jordan Straße 82/3, A-1190 Vienna, Austria ORCID ID:E-mail: karl.stampfer@boku.ac.at
article id 910, category Research article
Gernot Erber, Christian Kanzian, Karl Stampfer. (2012). Predicting moisture content in a pine logwood pile for energy purposes. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 4 article id 910. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.910
Determining the moisture content of naturally dried fuel stock without frequent measuring is a problem still unsolved. Modelling moisture content based on automatically captured meteorological data could provide a solution. An accurate model would allow the drying period and the point of chipping to be optimised. For the experimental study, a metal frame supported by load sensors and loaded with 17 tons of logwood was set up next to a meteorological station. A multiple linear regression model was used to link meteorological and load data to provide a formula for determining the moisture content. The pile dried for a period of 14 months (average temperature of 7.3 °C, a humidity of 81%, and 777 mm of rainfall). The overall moisture content dropped from 50.1% to 32.2%. The regression model, which based on daily means and sums of meteorological parameters, provided a mean deviance from the observed curve of –0.51%±0.71% within the period of investigation. Relative humidity was found to be most important parameter in drying. Increased moisture content resulting from rainfall greater than 30 mm per day reverted back to pre-rainfall values within two to three days, if no other rainfall events followed. Covering the pile would have a positive effect on the drying performance. In terms of economic benefit it could be shown that natural drying is beneficial. Overall this study shows that meteorological data used in site specific drying models can adequately predict the moisture content of naturally dried logwood.
  • Erber, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Peter Jordan-Strasse 82, 1190 Wien, Austria ORCID ID:E-mail: gernot.erber@boku.ac.at (email)
  • Kanzian, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Peter Jordan-Strasse 82, 1190 Wien, Austria ORCID ID:E-mail: christian.kanzian@boku.ac.at
  • Stampfer, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Peter Jordan-Strasse 82, 1190 Wien, Austria ORCID ID:E-mail: karl.stampfer@boku.ac.at

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