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.
In 1991, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd. reintroduced full-tree systems to their operations, under the assumption that the technology had matured to the point that modern feller-bunchers, skidders and delimbers would be effective in Newfoundland conditions. Preliminary results from the productivity tracking of these machines seemed to confirm this assumption and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper now intend to harvest around 15 to 2O of their timber using this approach.
Most companies that harvest softwoods will eventually implement commercial thinning operations. This report covers the many considerations required to develop the expertise to manage such operations, and examines the most important aspects of this management. Although not all strategies discussed in this report have been the subject of extensive research, they nonetheles represent a pooling of the experience of those companies at the forefront of thinning in the eastern Canada. The report discusses the characteristics of the wood produced by thinning, stand selection, the characteristics of suitable stands, homogeneity of the forest cover, the road infrastructure, inventories, and the logistics required for quality control. The report concludes with a summary of suitable harvesting systems.
In April 1999, the Western Division of FERIC held an implementation workshop for its advisory committee members. Twenty-four presentations were made by 26 speakers, including topics on planning, road construction and deactivation, harvesting and thinning operations and log hauling. This proceeding summarizes the material presented at the workshop.
Load security of crosswise- and lengthwise-loaded 8' roundwood, as well as 16' and tree lengths was assessed from the various standpoints of tie-down systems, load and haul equipment and techniques, trailer type and trailer suspension characteristics. Static and dynamic computer simulations were done to identify rollover threshold and handling characteristics of a typical haul unit. A hydraulic tilt table was used to measure the rollover threshold and changes in the centre of gravity for a loaded trailer. Two different loaded trailers were instrumented for on-the-road testing to measure load sway, cable tension, trailer flex and vibration of trailer and cargo.
Six brands of single-grip harvesters used in eastern Canada were studied working in softwood stands. Considerable variability in the length-measurement errors was observed. Much of the variability could be attributed to the operator, and specifically to the operator's ability to manage the measurement systems and use them correctly. Poorer results were observed where branchiness and stem defects were most pronounced. Under comparable, favorable conditions, all the heads in FERIC's study would be capable of producing logs for which 90% of the lengths would lie within a 10-cm range.
The Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC) examined the level of mechanical wood damage on tree-length stems, associated with storage and handling in a millyard in northern Alberta. The frequency of breakage and the loss of sawlog volume were projected for stems sorted in the millyard for four periods of time. Factors that may have affected damage levels are discussed, and recommendations to reduce wood losses from breakage are made.
The Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC) examined the level of mechanical wood damage associated with the use of overhead cranes and butt-n-top loaders to retrieve decked tree-length stems in a logyard. The frequency of breakage and the loss of sawlog volume were projected using a method developed by FERIC. Factors that may have affected damage levels were discussed.