Current issue: 53(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.