Harvest operations on soft soils can be particularly challenging in order to respect site and soil disturbance guidelines as well as operational requirements. To address the challenges of operating on soft soils, FPInnovations has worked on solutions designed to reduce disturbance on weak soils while minimizing implementation and investment costs by using machines already being used in the operation.
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.
Harvesting with 33-m trail spacing was proposed by FERIC as a way to meet the quality criteria for single-tree selection in hardwood forests in Quebec's public forests. The approach is, however, applicable to any partial-cutting treatment in hardwood forests, and the method was studied in 16 operations in 2003-2004. The approach represents an acceptable compromise between protection of the residual stand and operating costs, as the productivity of the feller-bunchers using this method decreased only slightly as a result of increased travel. The operations that FERIC studied did not all meet the target quality criteria, but provided an adequate level of protection of residual stems. The method requires a certain degree of control to limit the felling of non-marked stems, and the use of evaluation criteria specially adapted to this method would facilitate its implementation.
The survey objective was to describe and compare how common cable-yarding systems are currently being applied in Coastal British COlumbia with respect to access requirements. This Field Note summarizes the survey results.
FERIC assessed a cable skidder with a dual-drum winch and radio remote control in hardwood partial-cutting operations. Productivity increased by up to 32% depending on the technology used, and ground disturbance decreased by up to 40%. Trail occupancy and damage to residual trees also decreased (by up to 53% and 79%, respectively). Operators entered the machine significantly fewer times, thereby improving safety. Remote controls are cost-effective for any machine, but dual-drum winches are probably too costly to install on older machines.
Spruce Falls Inc. demanda a FERIC d' étudier deux debardeurs a grappin equipes de pneus larges et extra-larges afin de comparer leur productivite de meme que la perturbation du sol liee a leur utilisation. Le Timberjack 450C (figure 1) etait chausse de pneus extralarges de 68 po (173 cm) de largeur fabriques par Rubber Applicators Inc. Le John Deere 648 etait equipe de pneus de 50 po (127 cm) de largeur provenant de United Tire and Rubber Co. Ltd., pneus d'usage courant dans les operations de Spruce Falls. Comme les deux debardeurs possedaient par ailleurs Jes memes capacites, nous croyons que les differences observees etaient principalement attribuables a la difference de largeur entre les pneus. Le terrain etait plat et le drainage variait de frais a tres mouille. Les peuplements etaient composes surtout d' epinette noire avec une faible proportion de sapin et de tremble.
This report describes the key considerations when converting a used skidder into a single-grip harvester suitable for small-scale commercial thinning. The owner increased the machines's hydraulic capacity, and modified the machine's structure to support the new functions and permit bidirectional use.