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Forests 2017, 8(10), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/f8100396

A Robust Productivity Model for Grapple Yarding in Fast-Growing Tree Plantations

1
Power Brite Sdn Bhd, Parkcity Commerce Square, Bintulu 97000, Sarawak, Malaysia
2
Forest Engineering Dept., Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Private Bag X6531, George 6530, South Africa
3
Istituto per la Valorizzazione del Legno e delle Specie Arboree, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via Madonna del Piano 10, Sesto Fiorentino 50019, Italy
4
Australian Forest Operations Research Alliance, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, QLD 4558, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 September 2017 / Revised: 12 October 2017 / Accepted: 13 October 2017 / Published: 17 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Operations, Engineering and Management)
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Abstract

New techniques have recently appeared that can extend the advantages of grapple yarding to fast-growing plantations. The most promising technique consists of an excavator-base un-guyed yarder equipped with new radio-controlled grapple carriages, fed by another excavator stationed on the cut-over. This system is very productive, avoids in-stand traffic, and removes operators from positions of high risk. This paper presents the results of a long-term study conducted on 12 different teams equipped with the new technology, operating in the fast-growing black wattle (Acacia mangium Willd) plantations of Sarawak, Malaysia. Data were collected continuously for almost 8 months and represented 555 shifts, or over 55,000 cycles—each recorded individually. Production, utilization, and machine availability were estimated, respectively at: 63 m3 per productive machine hour (excluding all delays), 63% and 93%. Regression analysis of experimental data yielded a strong productivity forecast model that was highly significant, accounted for 50% of the total variability in the dataset and was validated with a non-significant error estimated at less than 1%. The figures reported in this study are especially robust, because they were obtained from a long-term study that covered multiple teams and accumulated an exceptionally large number of observations. View Full-Text
Keywords: productivity; logging; steep terrain; cable logging; Acacia mangium productivity; logging; steep terrain; cable logging; Acacia mangium
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Engelbrecht, R.; McEwan, A.; Spinelli, R. A Robust Productivity Model for Grapple Yarding in Fast-Growing Tree Plantations. Forests 2017, 8, 396.

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