Current issue: 54(2)
Forest transport of timber in Finland has been arranged as horse haulage during winter time using horses vacant from farm work. Tractors have now begun to replace horses in agriculture, which will lead to shortage of horses for timber harvesting in future. The aim of this investigation was to find a method of mechanized forest transport suitable for Finnish conditions. The method should be provided by an agricultural wheel tractor that is shared with agriculture. It should also be applicable to timber transport of relatively small forest holdings.
A method for time studies of tractor driven timber harvesting was developed. The competitivity of tractor transport of timber against the traditional method was studied in four pulpwood harvesting sites. The results suggest that if the tractor forest transport method in question is to be applied in practice, conditions should first be chosen which favour it most. A tractor forest transport method evolved on the basis of experiments presupposes certain conditions to be successful. These include snow for the construction of the packed-snow driveway, frost to harden the driveway, the location of strip roads in relatively easy topography, and of the main haulage road that is gently sloping in the haulage-loaded direction. The optimal transport distance for this method are about 3-10 km.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
In 1957 the annual cuttings in Finland were 40.2 million m3 without bark. The aim of the study was to estimate the rate of mechanization of harvesting of timber in Finland, and make a prediction of the state of mechanization by 1972. According to the study, harvesting and transportation of the felling volume in 1957 would have required about 25.5 million working hours. Mechanization of forest work has decreased it only by 0.32 million working hours. The profitability of forest work has improved in 1950s, which is mainly due to changes in harvesting, such as shifting to longer lengths of pulpwood and props and cutting unbarked timber.
The study predicts that in 1972 it will take 14.8 million working hours to harvest and 5.4 million working hours to transport a corresponding felling volume as in 1957. However, a new way of producing timber or a working method of wood may change the picture completely. Reduction in harvesting expenses through mechanization may lead to diminishing the minimum diameter of logs, which affects profitability of work. It is also probable that mechanization of wood transportation will lead to working sites with longer distances of forest transportation. Also, industry using wood as raw material will also obviously expand.
The article includes a summary in English.