Current issue: 57(1)
Under compilation: 57(2)
Road transport produces 90% of greenhouse gas emissions in timber transport in Finland. It is therefore necessary to understand the factors that affect driving speed, fuel consumption, and ultimately, emissions. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of road characteristics on timber truck driving speed and fuel consumption. Data from the fleet management and transport management systems of two timber trucks were collected over a year. A sample of 104 trips was drawn, and the tracking points were overlaid on the road data in a geographical information system. Thereafter, work phases were determined for the points, and they were visually classified into road and pavement classes. Subsequently, the data of 80 trips were utilised in regression analysis to further study the effects of the visually interpreted variables on driving speed and fuel consumption. Fuel consumption was explained by the proportion of forest roads and distance travelled with a loader, and the number of crossings and season when driving without a load. When driving with a load, both asphalt and gravel pavements decreased consumption, in contrast to an unpaved road. Crossings increased fuel consumption, as did the winter and spring months, and the total laden mass of the truck. In conclusion, the study showed that the functional Finnish road and pavement classes can be used to predict driving speed and fuel consumption.