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Open AccessArticle

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

Power Brite Sdn Bhd, Parkcity Commerce Square, Bintulu 97000, Sarawak, Malaysia
Forest Engineering Dept., Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Private Bag X6531, George 6530, South Africa
Istituto per la Valorizzazione del Legno e delle Specie Arboree, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Via Madonna del Piano 10, Sesto Fiorentino 50019, Italy
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.
Forests 2017, 8(10), 396;
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)
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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