Current issue: 54(2)
Early thinnings are laborious and costly. Thus forest companies are searching for cost and time efficient ways to carry out this task. The study’s purpose was to determine the productivity of the EF28 accumulating energy wood harvesting head in harvesting small-diameter hornbeam (Carpinus betulus L.) undergrowth trees and evaluate the effect of its multi-tree handling (MTH) capacity on time consumption. The harvester was a wheeled, three-axle Komatsu 911. A time study of 7.1 hours on 19 plots, with a total area of 0.76 ha was conducted. On average, the harvested tree volume was 8 dm³ and the stand density was 2666 trees/ha. The productivity was modelled with MTH conduction, mean diameter at breast height and the number of trees handled per cycle as independent variables. On average, MTH took 27% longer per cycle, increased extracted volume per cycle by 33% and consequently increased productivity with 5.0%. In 71.9% of the cycles more than one tree was handled and if so, dimensions were smaller than in single-tree handling (5.8 cm vs. 12.0 cm). Maximum felling diameter of 23 cm was about 15% smaller than in softwood (according to the manufacturer’s specifications) and the driver didn’t exploit the EF28’s theoretical potential in terms of trees handled per cycle. It can be concluded that the head could significantly improve productivity in small-diameter wood procurement.
According to the available literature, the times when pulpwood limbing was made by axe and barking by hand tools, barking either had no effect on the pile density (if limbing quality was good) or increased pile density (if limbing was bad). When rotary barking machines are used, the branch stumps remain intact during barking. Therefore, if there are branch stumps in the pulpwood, barking decreases the pile density. Nowadays, when power saw limbing is a common practice in Finland, barking presumably greatly decreases the pile density, due to the fact that in power saw limbing branch stumps are numerous and high. Therefore, the method to estimate the solid volume of a pile of unbarked pulpwood are not applicable to barked pulpwood without modification.
The PDF includes a summary in English.