The second issue of July brings the results of research that investigated the productivity of various logging systems operating in Acacia pulpwood. We also examine research into systems used to harvest energy wood from first thinning’s. The Future Forests Research steep slope harvesting project heats up with good progress being made on the ClimbMax harvester. On the trucking side, Volvo introduces their new Euro 6 D13 engine for the Volvo FH series. Finally, Tigercat celebrates 20 years of business with a 1,300 guest party!

Now to the newsletter!
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FESA research - Comparing the productivity of harvesting systems in Acacia pulpwood

Three semi-mechanised and one mechanised system were examined, with the focus on tree size, form and bark adhesion.

The title of the research was “Acacia mearnsii debarking: Comparing the productivity and costs of different debarking machines and systems in the KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga forestry regions of South Africa”, and the publication appeared as ICFR Bulletin 08/2011. The authors were A McEwan, J Eggers and M Ramantswana. The research examined systems containing a Demuth DDM 420 mobile ring debarker, Hyena MK3 debarking head, Hypro 765 tractor mounted debarker and a harvester (Hitachi excavator with a SP 591LX harvesting head).

The systems needed to be able to produce pulpwood logs, and the bark removed needed to be used by bark processing mills. The factors affecting machine productivity that were quantified were tree volume, form and bark adhesion to the stem. Productivity levels of the various machines were determined, and based on this, system costs were calculated. The Hyena debarking head was the most productive machine across all tree sizes studied, followed by the Demuth and harvester which had similar productivity levels, and the lowest productivity was from the Hypro. Cost comparisons included a system where manual debarking took place.

When the bark was utilised, the Demuth system had the lowest system costs in tree sizes of 0.1m3, while the manual system had the lowest cost in tree sizes of 0.15m3 and 0.2m3. When bark was discarded infield, the harvester had the lowest cost in tree sizes of 0.10m3, but once again the manual system had the lowest costs in tree sizes of 0.15m3 and 0.20m3.

Please access the bulletin for a more complete account of the research.
Source: http://www.icfr.ukzn.ac.za/collaboration/forest-engineering-southern-africa/fesa-publications/  




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Choosing a harvesting system for energy wood from early thinning

This research aimed to determine the costs of producing chips for bioenergy from first thinning’s.

The research was published as a thesis, and was titled “Methodology for choice of harvesting system for energy wood from early thinning”. The author was Juha Laitala of the University of Eastern Finland. The most common logging systems and supply chains for chip production from first thinning’s in Finland were compared using productivity and cost models. A decision tree was constructed for harvesting system selection.

The results showed that forwarder productivity following mechanised felling with a harvester was much higher than when following motor-manual felling. This was due to the ability of the harvester to bunch trees close to extraction routes. The cost of motor-manual and harvester felling were the same, but forwarder cost following motor-manual was double compared to following the harvester. The use of a forwarder based harwarder resulted in the highest costs.

The study also showed that delimbing infield using multi-stem enabled harvesters reduced the amount of sites where bioenergy could be cost-effectively harvested due to reduced biomass availability on nutrient sensitive sites. However, this form of harvesting was still feasible. Please access the thesis for a full account of the research. Source: http://www.metla.fi/dissertationes/df143.htm  




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New harvester at work on steep slopes

New Zealand’s Future Forests Research is making good progress with their new steep slope machine.

The July issue of “Four Corners”, the newsletter of New Zealand’s Future Forests Research (FFR) contains an information update on the new steep slope machine being developed by Kelly Logging/Trinder Engineers, with support from FFR and the government. ClimbMax, the beta prototype machine is currently being tested on steep slopes in the Nelson area. A North Island contractor has already ordered the commercial version of the ClimbMax, which contains modifications to the winch hydraulic system. FFR hopes that this research will be able to be exported once commercialised. The ClimbMax helps achieve FFR’s harvesting theme of:

  • Safety – “no hand on the chainsaw, no worker on the slope”
  • Productivity – bigger payloads and reduced cycle times
  • Cost reduction – harvesting and transport, especially on steep slopes, make up 40% to 60% of the delivered costs of logs.

Another exciting research project is the evaluation of a grapple carriage powered by a hydraulic accumulator, which is charged as the grapple moves down the skyline. The grapple is much lighter than a motorised carriage and is fitted with a Trinder Vision System. The grapple carriage was developed by Alpine Yarders of South Africa. Source: www.ffr.co.nz




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Volvo produces new heavy-duty truck engine to meet Euro 6 requirements

The Volvo FH gets a new 460 hp (340 kW) engine for fast and fuel efficient transport.

The first trucks with the new engine will be delivered in early 2013, while the remainder of the Euro 6 engine range will be launched before the January 2014 deadline. The Volvo D13 engine is an in-line six cylinder engine with unit injectors and catalytic exhaust treatment (SCR). To meet the emissions regulations, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is also used, along with a diesel particulate filter system that has been used for some time. Unlike conventional EGR systems which cool down recirculated exhaust gases to lower engine temperatures to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, the Volvo Euro 6 engine’s EGR system is almost inactive during highway cruising, and therefore does not impact fuel consumption. The new engine cuts nitrogen oxide emissions by 77% and halves particulate emissions. The table below provides some of the technical information regarding the new engine.

Engine: Volvo D13 460 for Euro 6
Engine size: 13 litre in-line 6 cylinder
Max power output at 1400 to 1900 rpm: 338 kW (453 hp)
Max torque at 1000 to 1400 rpm: 2300 Nm
Automated transmission: Volvo I-Shift
Engine brake VEB+ at 2300 rpm: 375 kW
Suitable for which trucks: Volvo FH, 4x2 / 6x2, tractor and rigid
Cab configuration: Left and right-hand drive
Source: www.volvotrucks.com  




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Tigercat celebrates their 20th anniversary!

It has been 20 years in business for Tigercat, and celebrations took the form of a party for 1,300 guests!

Tigercat celebrated their 20 years in business with various events taking place around the town of Brantford in Canada. The celebrations included factory tours, a dinner party for 1,300 guests, and the premiere screening of ‘20’, a new high-definition film developed by Tigercat that showcases the origin and development of the company. Speakers at the dinner included Bobby Goodson of Swamp Loggers and other prominent loggers. The picture alongside this article shows Ken MacDonald addressing the audience.

Tigercat began in 1992 when MacDonald Steel and a group of logging equipment specialists collaborated to produce the 726 drive-to-tree wheeled feller buncher. This machine proved to be very popular with loggers due to its reliability, durability and productivity. Tigercat’s product line-up is amazing considering that they are only 20 years old, and they have not neglected their founding principles of producing tough, reliable machines. The focus on all Tigercat machines is durability, reliability, productivity, efficiency, operator comfort and being maintenance friendly. Tigercat now produces nearly 50 different carriers and attachments, including machines that have applications outside of logging operations.
Source: www.tigercat.com




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Newsflash – What’s happening in Forest Engineering?

IVECO releases the new STRALIS Hi-Way
Development of the STRALIS has focussed on reduced fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs, enhanced reliability and quality, and improved cab ergonomics. Iveco claims that due to this focus, the cost of ownership has decreased by up to 4%. New engine technology has been used to meet the latest emission standards, but still show improved fuel consumption.
Source: www.iveco.com  

Barko Hydraulics acquires Norco assets (including Puma Equipment)
Norco manufactures the Puma brand of equipment, which builds 4 and 6-wheeled forwarders, tracked harvesters, processing heads and firewood processors. This will allow Barko to expand their customer options in forestry, bioenergy, recycling and right-of-way maintenance. Source: www.barko.com

Nokian to manufacture wider and straighter Forest King skidder tyre
Nokian will introduce the new 35.5L-32 Forest King TRS LS-2 tyres to complement its existing skidder tyre range. The new tyre is 13 cm (5 in) wider and has a straighter tread pattern for increased traction. The tyre shoulders have been strengthened and the rim has increased protection to prevent wood penetrating between the tyre bead and rim flange.
Source: www.nokianheavytyres.com  

Komatsu scores top marks for calculating weights on forwarders using crane scales
Research carried out by Skogforsk showed that the Komatsu forwarder cranes had the lowest standard deviation of load weights of all the forwarders studied. The study determined how well the crane link managed to weigh and calculate the weight of the load. Source: www.komatsuforest.com  

BPW launches its new ECO Air COMPACT air suspension system
The ECO Air COMPACT has been developed for 9 tonne standard use with single tyres for on-road applications. Advantages include saving 50% assembly time, long life expectancy and a composite tank that has a weight reduction of 60% compared to traditional steel tanks. Source: www.bpw.de  

Bandit offers knife sharpening service to any hand-fed or whole tree chippers
The service covers most major chipper brands and knives. If the knives cannot be sharpened, customers can purchase replacement knives directly. Bandit promises quick turnaround times, competitive pricing and good customer service.
Source: www.banditchippers.com




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Recent research publications

The delayed last issue of the International Journal of Forest Engineering has been published.
The edition can be accessed at http://journals.hil.unb.ca/index.php/IJFE . Articles are now published on-line as soon as they have been accepted.

“Aggregate roads on private woodlands: Does it pay?”
Occurring in the Western Journal of Applied Forestry, Vol. 27(3), July 2012: pp. 150 to 156. Authors: SC Bowers and J Reeb. Access at http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/saf/wjaf/2012/00000027/00000003;jsessionid=1t3oo5u6iq40c.alexandra  





Andrew McEwan & Michal Brink




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