Forest soils are sensitive to compaction by forest machinery. Forest operations such as harvesting and skidding have a high potential for soil compaction. This study was carried out in the Hyrcanian hardwood forests of Iran to measure the changes in bulk density (ρb) in the top 10 cm of soil following machine and animal skidding. The density change or compaction was induced by (i) a rubber-tired skidder in three skid trails: flat skid trail (STF), skid trail with transversal slope (STTS), and skid trail with longitudinal gradient (STLG) and (ii) a mule in two animal trails: flat animal trail (ATF) and animal trail with transversal slope (ATTS). Soil cores were collected pre- and post-skidding at random locations along the upslope and downslope tracks of each skid trail to determine bulk density and moisture content of the soil.
Average soil bulk density in the tracks of machine skid trails was significantly greater than the soil density outside the tracks, but the increase in bulk density was not significant on the animal trails. An increase in soil density was considered significant if p < 0.05.
A highly significant increase in soil bulk density (p < 0.01) occurred with machine skidding after the first 12 skidding cycles on the STF before stabilizing. In comparison, on STLG and STTS the increase of bulk density was greatest after the first six skidding cycles. Additional cycles did not cause a significant increase in soil density. While the number of skidding cycles to reach the steady compaction state varied between flat trails and those with a slope, the severity of compaction was the same between them. Concentrating machine operations will minimize the areal extent of compaction and the use of mules could further reduce the impact of the extraction of short logs.
Forest harvesting with animals is a labor-intensive operation. While mechanized logging is very efficient for large tracts of timber, it is often disruptive to the soil. Small logging operations using animals may be less environmentally disruptive. To better understand horse/mule logging performances for soil disturbance, five different horse/mule harvesting operations were investigated. About 75 percent of the soil was undisturbed and 22 percent of the remaining soil disturbance was judged to be slight. Only 3 percent of the soil examinations were classified as deeply disturbed and rutted – a condition considered to be prone to soil erosion. This study suggests that horse and mule logging has low soil disturbance in a partial cut of mixed pine/hardwood forests.
Monitoring the construction and as-built conditions of a low volume aggregate surfaced forest road in Northwest Oregon coupled with detailed laboratory testing of the subgrade soils allowed an analysis of the potential benefits of improved structural road design and construction control. Specifically, subgrade compaction was found to be far below desirable levels that would achieve greater subgrade strength, and based on a common design equation, allow for the use of significantly less aggregate. It is inferred that a combination of inadequate compaction energy and failure to account for the detrimental influence of high field moisture content resulted in poor subgrade densities. This case study showed that a 34 percent saving in aggregate cost may be possible.
This paper considers three methods for calculating the un-stretched length of a cable with significant self weight when the final static equilibrium conditions are known. The first method uses an average line tension and Hooke’s Law to estimate the un-stretched length. The second method uses a Lagrangian co-ordinate and Hooke’s Law to form an exact equation for the un-stretched length, given the assumption that the cable is linear elastic and the change in length is due to elastic stretch. The third method uses a Lagrangian coordinate; however, construction stretch is included in addition to elastic stretch. The results of this paper indicate the average tension is a suitable surrogate for a tension function that is a function of position when considering elongation to be the result of elastic stretch. When construction stretch is considered, the average tension method also performed well for cables with tensions less than one-third the minimum breaking strength.
Time and motion studies have been and still are frequently used to describe, understand, and improve forest operations. Delays are recognized as being one of the major factors that limit productivity in most operations and are, therefore, an integral part of most time studies. But, delay events are erratic in both occurrence and magnitude and are, therefore, difficult to precisely quantify within the relatively short observation period of a typical time and motion study. Thus, delay information from individual studies have limited transferability. This paper analyzes the delay component of 34 harvester time study data sets that were recorded between 1998 and 2006. All of the studies were designed and carried out with the same principal investigator. The data sets were all based on harvesters either harvesting and or processing. Three delays categories were used: mechanical, operator, and other. Delays averaged 28.9 percent of the total scheduled time for all 34 studies, comprising of 7.1 percent mechanical, 4.7 percent operator, and 17.1 percent other delays. Delay averages were compared within category descriptions assigned to each data set for statistical significance. Example results include: total delays were higher for operations working on hot decks versus cold decks and operations working in mixed stands had more than twice the overall delays compared to operations in plantations. Considering only mechanical delays, machines that both felled and processed, compared to just processing, had higher mechanical delays. Interestingly, dedicated harvesting machines versus harvesting heads mounted on an excavator base had on average higher operator delays.
Log bridges are an economical alternative to steel and concrete structures for temporary crossings; however, reduced availability of large logs for stringers and the advancing age of existing log bridges increases the importance of structural analysis. Load sharing between the stringers is complicated and can result from load spread due to the gravel deck, cable lashing, and mechanical interlocking and friction between the stringers. This paper describes the development of a finite element model (FEM) for gravel decked log stringer bridges that includes elements capable of transferring vertical loads between the stringers. The FEM was used to interpret load deflection data from two in-situ bridges. The results of this paper suggest the segments of lashing that pass under one stringer and over an adjacent stringer contribute to load sharing between the stringers; however, care must be taken to ensure that the pattern of lashing supports the stringers directly loaded by the live loads.
Mobile machine operators in the forestry industry are subjected to long hours of whole-body vibration exposure while adopting static seated postures and performing repeated hand and foot movements to operate controls. These conditions have been found to put operators at increased risk for musculo-skeletal injuries and pain in the neck, shoulders, and back, as well as decreased productivity. This paper provides a review of the individual risk factors for these musculoskeletal problems and explores the possible interactions between risk factors and their effects on injury and productivity. Gaps in the literature and directions for future research are identified and discussed.
Anciens numéros de International Journal of Forest Engineering