Friday, September 10, 2010

New study on working methods for multitree felling heads for energywood

Comparison of Two Working Methods for Small Tree Harvesting with a Multi Tree Felling Head Mounted on Farm Tractor

Helmer Belbo

In this study, the efficiency of a small multi-tree felling head, mounted on a farm tractor with a
timber trailer was studied, when harvesting small trees for energy in thinnings. Both separate
loading and direct loading of the felled trees was studied.
Time studies were carried out in a mixed stand of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst)
and birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.). The time consumption of the work elements in the different work methods was formulated by regression analysis, where the independent variables were tree size and degree of accumulation. The average size of the harvested trees was 0.035 m3. The time consumption for the harvesting and loading were similar for the two studied methods, 20 minutes per m3 at a tree size of 0.035 m3, but the two methods showed different characteristics for different tree sizes and level of accumulation. The direct loading method had the highest productivity when more than 0.1 m3 were collected in the felling cycle, whereas the separate loading method had the highest productivity when less than 0.05 m3 were collected in the felling cycle. The total effective time consumption for harvesting and forwarding the biomass 300 meters to roadside landing was 27 minutes per m3. The efficiency of the initial felling and collecting of the small trees was the main challenge. Both the harvesting technique and harvesting technology needs further development to provide a feasible production chain for woodfuel from energy thinning.

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