Effects of forwarder tyre pressure on rut formation and soil compaction
In Swedish forestry, final felling is usually done by a harvester and a forwarder. These machines are heavy and the risk for rutting and soil compaction can be considerable under unfavourable soil conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate effects of forwarder tyre inflation pressure on rutting and soil compaction after final felling. Three levels of forwarder tyre pressure were studied, 300, 450 and 600 kPa, after 2 and 5 machine passages. The first passage was driven with a 19.7 Mg harvester, and the second to fifth passages with a fully loaded forwarder totalling 37.8 Mg. Rut depths were not significant affected by tyre pressures but increased significantly with the number of machine passages. Soil density was significantly increased by 0.075 Mg m–3 by the harvester passage. Soil density increased significantly with increasing number of forwarder passages, and tyre pressure did not significantly influence this increase but the interaction between number of forwarder passages and tyre pressure was almost significant. Data suggest that density increases occur earlier in the 600 kPa treatment than in the other treatments. Only parts of an area harvested are trafficked in a normal harvesting operation. Outside the research area approximately 12.5 per cent of the area harvested was covered with ruts. On primary strip roads, which are heavily trafficked, soil compaction cannot be avoided by reducing the tyre pressure. On secondary strip roads, not passed more than once by the forwarder, a low forwarder tyre pressure may reduce soil compaction.
Received 22 December 2004 Accepted 23 September 2005 Published 31 December 2005