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Forests 2016, 7(9), 188; doi:10.3390/f7090188

Analyzing the Efficiency of a Start-Up Cable Yarding Crew in Southern China under New Forest Management Perspectives

Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Freiburg, Chair of Forest Operations, Werthmannstraße 6, 79085 Freiburg, Germany
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Academic Editor: Eric J. Jokela
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 9 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 27 August 2016
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Abstract

This case study analyzed the performance of a start-up cable yarding crew in southern China through operational monitoring by consecutive time studies, long-term log book recordings and efficiency evaluation by stochastic frontier analysis (SFA). The crew, which used a KOLLER K303 H mobile tower yarder, was monitored for two years. During this period, detailed data recordings of 687 yarding cycles of 12 yarding corridors as well as log book recordings of an additional 1122 scheduled system hours (SSH, including all delays) were generated. Mean extraction productivity of the system ranged between 5.23 and 6.40 m3 per productive system hour (PSH0, excluding all delays), mostly depending on slope yarding distance and lateral distance. Corresponding gross-productivity ranged from 1.91 to 2.24 m3/SSH, with an overall mean machine utilization rate of 31%. Unproductive yarding times and delays associated with the relative low utilization rate were mainly caused by lengthy rigging processes, as well as organizational deficiencies and not yet fully developed skill sets of the operating crew. The latter was reflected in a mean efficiency effect frontier value of 0.62 based on evaluation of data sets of individual yarding cycles recorded during detailed assessments, suggesting a mean improvement potential of 38% based on the SFA, translating in a potentially achievable gross-productivity of 2.64 to 3.09 m3/SSH. We conclude that current local operating conditions including insufficient planning, implementation and logistics and in particular, frequent discontinuations of system operations of up to three months all resulting in generally low operation hours per shift and per year, inhibit efficient operations and rapid skill development. These circumstances also inhibit an economic utilization of the equipment. Nevertheless, from a technical perspective, yarding systems have a promising potential in southern China. View Full-Text
Keywords: cable yarding; plantation harvesting; forest operations; performance efficiency; productivity analysis; China cable yarding; plantation harvesting; forest operations; performance efficiency; productivity analysis; China
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hoffmann, S.; Jaeger, D.; Lingenfelder, M.; Schoenherr, S. Analyzing the Efficiency of a Start-Up Cable Yarding Crew in Southern China under New Forest Management Perspectives. Forests 2016, 7, 188.

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