Current issue: 56(1)
Under compilation: 56(2)
In Germany, management restrictions for Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) due to climate change lead to increasing interest in Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) as a potential substituting species. However, Douglas fir requires cost-intensive silvicultural treatments, such as periodic thinnings and, in particular, pruning. In order to improve the efficiency of such treatments, a new tending system with an adapted two-step work system was analyzed. The new system, using electric pruning shears and the backpack clearing saw Husqvarna 535FBX ‘Spacer’, was compared to the conventional three-step work system, using handsaw and chainsaw and characterized by tree selection previously conducted as an independent work step. Time and motion studies to determine productivity and costs, as well as ergonomic analysis through heart rate measurements and posture analysis were conducted. Overall, the new system was found to be more productive and to have lower costs, with 8.9 trees per scheduled system hour (4.17 € tree–1), compared to the conventional system with 8.1 trees per scheduled system hour (4.44 € tree–1). Ergonomic improvements with the new system could be mainly observed during the felling of competing trees, when the level of heart rate reserve was reduced by 9.3 percent points, compared to the conventional system. However, significant advantages in reducing unfavorable body postures expected for the ‘Spacer’ could not be confirmed. Since time savings within the new system were mainly attributed to the adaptation of workflow and the use of the electric shears during pruning, it should be considered to replace the ‘Spacer’ within the new system by light chainsaws for best results under the conditions investigated.
Four teams of two workers were time-studied in clearcutting of a cypress plantation and three teams in sulky skidding. The heart rate was recorded every 30 s. The average heartrate in timber cutting was 117.5 ± 13.4 P/min, and it was mainly dependent on worker’s working capacity. Average work load index was 41 ± 3% when working at 97% performance. The production rate was then 2.5 m3/h (crew). In sulky skidding the heart rate was lower, 106 ± 1.1 P/min, as well as the work load (WLI 30 ± 1%) and performance rating (87%). The low production rate (1.1 m3/h) (crew)) over 45 m distance is mainly due to under-dimensioned load size. The energy expenditure in timber cutting was 21.4 kJ/min and in sulky skidding 16.3 kJ/min. Daily energy expenditure was 15.0 MJ/d, and most of the timber cutters belonged to the class ”exceptionally active”.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The influence of horizontal whole-body vibration of fairly low intensity alone and combined with the mental load and motor action typical for the forest machine drive on heart rate variability (HRV), respiration rate (RR) and heart rate (HR) was studied by testing five subjects. Horizontal vibration had an influence on HR, HRV and RR. ’Control activities’ had the most influence on RR and HRV, but some influence on HR, too. ’Moving the control devices’ (motor action) gave the same response in HR as ’control activities’, but not in HRV and RR. ’Control activities’ together with ’vibration’ had a more effect on HRV and RR than these two factors singly, but not on HR. The possibilities of using these variables in field studies are discussed.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.