Working Papers of the Finnish Forest Research Institute 120

Comparison of wood harvesting methods in the Republic of Karelia

Authors: Syunev, Vladimir, Sokolov, Anton, Konovalov, Alexandr, Katarov, Vasily, Seliverstov, Alexandr, Gerasimov, Yuri, Karvinen, Sari & Välkky, Elina
Pages: 117

Abstract

Impacts of cut-to-length, tree-length and full-tree harvesting technology on direct operating costs, productivity, forest environment, ergonomics and work safety, as well as on wood quality were studied in 2007 and 2008 in 15 harvesting companies in the Republic of Karelia, Russia.

Productivity varied within a relatively wide range from 20 to 150 m3 per shift. Fully mechanized full-tree harvesting provided the maximum productivity. The professional skills and experience of harvesting machine operators had a significant impact on the productivity. Direct operating costs had insignificant differences – the average costs were 250 RUB/m3. In the traditional Russian tree-length and full-tree harvesting, real harvesting costs were higher than in the cut-to-length technology, due to additional work at the central processing yard.

All the technologies demonstrated an almost identical impact on the lower layers of soil, when applied on sandy or sandy loam soils. Porosity was reduced by 9–10%. On clay loams, the tree-length technology resulted in significant topsoil compaction but, at the same time, formed almost no track. The studied full-tree technology was only acceptable in harvesting sites where no undergrowth preservation was required. Partially mechanized cut-to-length technology ensured high undergrowth preservation. In thinnings the tree-length and the fully mechanized cut-to-length technology resulted in less damage to the remaining trees compared to the other technologies.

The best working conditions in terms of ergonomics and occupational safety were provided by the chain consisting of a harvester and a forwarder. It was closely followed by the chain “feller buncher and wheeled skidder”. Traditional tree-length harvesting with cable skidders demonstrated the worst results in terms of ergonomics, work severity and occupational safety.

Fully mechanized cut-to-length technology provided with the best results in the preservation of wood quality The quality of wood harvested with the tree-length or partially mechanized full-tree technology turned out to be the lowest, especially during the summer season.

Keywords

Wood harvesting, harvesting costs, productivity, forest environment, ergonomics, work safety, wood quality, Russia

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Bibliographic information

Syunev, Vladimir, Sokolov, Anton, Konovalov, Alexandr, Katarov, Vasily, Seliverstov, Alexandr, Gerasimov, Yuri, Karvinen, Sari & Välkky, Elina. 2009. Comparison of wood harvesting methods in the Republic of Karelia. Metlan työraportteja / Working Papers of the Finnish Forest Research Institute 120. 117 p. ISBN 978-951-40-2162-6 (PDF). Available at: http://www.metla.fi/julkaisut/workingpapers/2009/mwp120.htm.

Contact information

Sari Karvinen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu Research Unit, Yliopistokatu 6 (P.O. Box 68), FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland, E-mail sari.karvinen@metla.fi

Other information

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 Metla:    15.05.2009 14:40 Metla : Publications : Working Papers 
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