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Towards more sensitive forest operations– TECH4EFFECT conducted field trials with forwarders and flotation tracks

The TECH4EFFECT (Knowledge and Technologies for Effective Wood Procurement) project successfully conducted field trials near Rautavaara, Finland, on the impacts of different tracks and machines on the soil. The field tests were conducted during the last week of June 2019 by the project partners Luke, NIBIO and Ponsse in cooperation with contractors and their operators as well as Metsähallitus.

Eight researchers, four operators and representatives of Ponsse were working on the site in soft soil peatland. The researchers conducted measurements on the soil and on the machines.

The aim of the field test was to study the effects of different machine and track combinations on wheel rut development and fuel consumption on soft soil.  5 different track types were tested. The impact was measured as the depth of any ruts developed over multiple passes, both while driving straight and through a curve of 20 m radius.  The trial was also used to evaluate different methods of measuring soil displacement, including a horizontal laser and measuring stick, a personal laser scanner (PLS) fitted on a backpack,  and the use of a digital surface model from derived from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flown at low altitude.  Results of both the track and machine combinations, and the measurement methods will be analysed and disseminated in autumn.

Successful TECH4EFFECT field trials with cut-to-length machines to reduce fuel consumption

Project partners LUKE, CNR-IVALSA and PONSSE successfully conducted field trials near Jyväskylä, Finland, on the efficiency of cut-to-length harvesting machines in cooperation with a contractor and their operators. The aim was to reduce the fuel consumption of harvesters during cut-to-length operations by applying various technical settings to the machines, like idle times, engine settings and fine-tuning of hydraulic power supply components.

A team of three to seven researchers, three operators and representatives of the manufacturer was working on site, collecting lots of measurements, study data and video material. Three different PONSSE harvesters were studied but similar measures can then also be applied for other machine types, such as forwarders used in timber extraction.