Ovaskainen, H., Palander, T., Tikkanen, L., Hirvonen, H. and Ronkainen, P. 2011. Productivity of different working techniques in thinning and clear cutting in a harvester simulator. Baltic Forestry 17(2): 288-298

The objective of this study was to compare the productivity of three working techniques in thinning and three working techniques in clear cutting using a single-grip harvester work. Typically, forest conditions are so heterogeneous that a reliable comparison between working techniques is not possible. For this reason, the experiments were performed using a harvester simulator environment, which enables very homogeneous experiment conditions for operators and therefore good comparability for the results: the same stand can be reloaded and cut with different working techniques using the same technical settings as many times as necessary. The studied working techniques in thinning were: right-angle piling, oblique piling and under the boom piling, and in clear cutting: one-sided piling, two-sided piling and forward felling. In thinning the difference in productivity of the least productive, right-angle piling, and the most productive, under the boom piling, was about 7%, which was mainly caused by the faster felling. In clear cutting, the productivity of forward felling and two-sided piling were similar (difference only about 1%). Their productivity was about 11% higher than one-sided piling. This difference was caused by faster (about 5 seconds) catching and felling. The results are useful from the perspective of the education and training of operator candidates.

Keywords: cut-to-length, productivity, simulator, single-grip harvester, working technique