Influence of Loading Distance, Loading Angle and Log Orientation on Time Consumption of Forwarder Loading Cycles: A Pilot Case Study

2022-02-25 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Influence of Loading Distance, Loading Angle and Log Orientation on Time Consumption of Forwarder Loading Cycles: A Pilot Case Study​
Hartsch, F.; Schönauer, M.; Breinig, L. & Jaeger, D.​ (2022) 
Forests13(3).​ DOI: 

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Hartsch, Florian; Schönauer, Marian; Breinig, Lorenz; Jaeger, Dirk
Fully mechanized timber harvesting systems are well established in forest operations worldwide. In cut-to-length (CTL) systems, forwarders are used for extracting logs from the stand. The productivity of a forwarder is related to site- and stand-specific characteristics, technical parameters, organizational aspects, and the individual skills of the operator. The operator’s performance during “loading” considerably affects forwarder productivity, since this element occupies nearly 50% of forwarding cycle time in CTL operations. When positioning the forwarder for loading, different loading angles and loading distances arise. Additionally, different log orientation angles in relation to the machine operating trail can be observed. Therefore, an in-depth analysis of loading conditions was conducted. The goal of this pilot case study was to explore the potential impact of different loading angles and distances, and log orientation angles, on time consumption per loading cycle in order to derive indications for more efficient work practices. Therefore, controlled loading sequences were tested on a physical Rottne-F10-based forwarder simulator with an experienced forest machine operator. Three loading angles (45°, 90° and 135° azimuthal to the machine axis) with five loading distances (3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 m), and three log orientation angles (45°, 90°, 135°), resulted in a total of 45 settings, which were tested in 10 repetitions each. The time required for a loading cycle was captured in a time study, applying the snap-back method. Results showed that all three tested variables had a significant influence on time consumption per loading cycle. Loading at an angle of 135°, and from a close (3 m) or far distance (7 m) led to especially increased cycle times. Loading from 4 to 6 m distance could be detected as an optimal loading range. Additionally, log orientation angles of 45° and 90° led to increased loading efficiency. Even if the validity of the results may be limited due to different conditions and influencing factors in field forwarding operations, these data can contribute to a better understanding of the loading element and, in particular, to productivity determining factors of forwarder work.
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Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Arbeitswissenschaft und Verfahrenstechnologie 
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds 2022



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