FERIC compared three harvesting systems (full-tree, tree-length, and cut-to length) on a clay site in northwestern Québec. None of the systems limited rutting to below the acceptable target level; however, cut-to-length harvesting (using a three-machine system) showed slightly better results than the other two systems.
FERIC conducted two trials in northern Alberta to evaluate alternative methods of constructing temporary forest access roads in areas where gravel is scarce and fine-grained soils predominate. The trials compared the performance of V-ditch, 0.5-m Lift, and o.5-m Lift-over-rootmat designs constructed with and without compaction. The report summarizes the key findings from the study for use as a road building reference.
In Canadian boreal forests, harvesting with protection of advance regeneration requires the creation of an intensively used network of skid trails. In this context, the effects of repeated skidder passes on soils were studied in terms of rut depth, the amount of displaced material in the trails, and soil bulks density. Two types of soil were studied: sands and clays. The factors that helped to explain the observed amount of soil disturbance were the number of skidder passes, the amount of wheel slippage, soil density, the soil's penetration resistance, and the soil's shear resistance. The results of the study indicated that the effects of skidder traffic on soil properties stabilized after a few skidder passes on sands, whereas the effects on clay soils continued to increase with an increasing number of skidder passes.
A forestry operation in northern Alberta constructs its temporary access roads with native, fine-grained materials and uses these roads during both frozen and unfrozen conditions. The log hauling fleet associated with this operation utilizes central tire inflation systems to reduce road damage and improve mobility. This first of two reports describes an evaluation of the design and construction of temporary access roads trafficked in the same year that they were constructed; quantifies grading maintenance savings resulting from the use of road surface compaction and optimized tire inflation pressures; and discusses the validation of a USDA Forest Service rutting model and its potential for use in other applications.
A forestry operation in northern Alberta constructs its temporary access roads with native, fine-grained materials and uses these roads during both frozen and unfrozen conditions. The log hauling fleet associated with this operation utilizes central tire inflation systems to reduce road damage and improve mobility. This second of three reports describes an evaluation of the design and construction of temporary access roads trafficked one year after construction; quantifies grading maintenance savings resulting from the use of road seasoning and optimized tire inflation pressures; and discusses the validation of a USDA Forest Service rutting model and its potential for use in other applications.
The use of high resolution mapping products, increased knowledge of machine/soil impacts and advanced forest landscape modelling offer the opportunity to develop predictive tools to aid in forest operations planning. FPInnovations has been involved in a joint project with the University of New Brunswick and J.D. Irving Ltd. to develop a soil trafficability prediction model to enhance in-block planning and to reduce soil disturbance. This report provides a summary of FPInnovations contributions to this project.
When forest harvesting equipment moves across a cutblock, soil compaction and/or rutting can result. Forest practitioners are therefore concerned about the long-term effects of harvesting on forest soil health, water quality, and tree growth. The purpose of this handbook is to provide practical advice to forestry contractors and equipment operators, and their field supervisors, about the risk of damage to forest soils during harvesting operations, and how to avoid it. The opportunity to protect forest soil occurs at each step of the forestmanagement process, from harvest planning to field layout to harvesting and post-harvesting activities. Operators of forestry equipment, harvesting contractors, and field supervisors are vital links in this process. To help identify when the health of forest soil is at risk, this handbook offers a brief introduction about forest soils, and explains why and how soil is susceptible to damage. The soil terminology used is defined in a glossary along with other equipment related terms (Appendix I). For harvesting contractors and equipment operators, the handbook explains how visual indicators like landscape features and tree species can be used to estimate soil moisture, and offers simple field tests to help them anticipate when soils become at risk. For contractors, equipment features that influence soil compaction and rutting are discussed, and operating techniques to reduce soil damage are suggested. For field supervisors, harvest scheduling options that minimize soil damage are included. As well, the handbook offers ways to modify harvesting operations when soils have become susceptible to damage. Maintaining soil health during harvesting requires knowing when soils are at increased risk of compaction and rutting, and understanding how equipment operation interacts with the soil. If contractors, operators, and field supervisors can anticipate susceptible soil types and conditions, they will be able to plan ahead and make changes to their operating schedules and techniques. Recommendations made in this handbook regarding equipment and operating techniques are to serve as guidelines only. Local operating conditions and regulations, as well as equipment availability, must be considered when interpreting this information.