Current issue: 53(1)
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.
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