FORMEC 2017

Performance of a mid-sized harvester-forwarder system in integrated harvesting of sawmill, pulpwood and firewood

Andrei Ioan Apăfăian, Andrea Rosario Proto, Stelian Alexandru Borz

Andrei Ioan Apăfăian
Department of Forest Engineering, Forest Management Planning and Terrestrial Measurements, Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering, Transilvania University of Braşov, Şirul Beethoven No. 1, 500123, Braşov, Romania
Andrea Rosario Proto
Department of Agriculture, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria, Feo di Vito 89122, Reggio Calabria, Italy
Stelian Alexandru Borz
Department of Forest Engineering, Forest Management Planning and Terrestrial Measurements, Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering, Transilvania University of Braşov, Şirul Beethoven No. 1, 500123, Braşov, Romania. Email: stelian.borz@unitbv.ro

Online First: December 11, 2017
Apăfăian, A., Proto, A., Borz, S. 2017. Performance of a mid-sized harvester-forwarder system in integrated harvesting of sawmill, pulpwood and firewood. Annals of Forest Research DOI:10.15287/afr.2017.909


Fully mechanized timber harvesting systems are generally characterized by a high operational performance being widespread and used across many regions. Such systems are adaptable to different levels of operational integration, enabling also the recovery of energy wood, but given integration configurations affect their performance. A production study was carried out in a Norway spruce clear-cut aiming to investigate the performance of a mid-sized harvester-forwarder system in general, and the effect that fuelwood recovery from tree tops may have on its performance. Data was collected in the field during 11 days of observation using state-of-art equipment and software. Harvester’s operations were monitored using a digital camera. Data refined from 27.5 filmed hours that accounted for 1045 felled and fully processed trees was used to model and compute its performance indicators. In addition, fuel consumption data was sampled in the field. The results indicated that a delay-free cycle time consumption was affected by variables characterizing the tree size. The net production rate was estimated to about 26.5 m3 ∙ h-1, being substantially affected by supplementary tree-top processing. Forwarding operations were monitored using a handheld computer and a Global Positioning System unit. The delay-free cycle time consumption was affected by forwarding distance and the amount of loaded wood, resulting in a net production rate of about 19.2 m3 ∙ h-1. Under these circumstances, the forwarding performance matched the harvester’s outputs for an extraction distance of about 100 m, indicating that the supplementary processing of the tree-tops had no effect on the system’s productive performance in the studied conditions. Most likely, it affected the harvester’s fuel consumption given its proportion of 9% in the delay-free harvester’s cycle time. The results also indicated a mean fuel consumption of about 1.7 l ∙ m-3 for the studied harvesting system.

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