Issue №2, Vol. 9
Sokolov A., Seliverstov A., Gerasimov Y. Ergonomic evaluation of wood harvesting machines // Resources and Technology. 2012. №2, Vol. 9. P. 106‒116.

DOI: 10.15393/

Ergonomic evaluation of wood harvesting machines

   A P
Petrozavodsk State University,
   A А
Petrozavodsk State University,
   Y Y
Finnish Forest Research Institute,
Key words:
harvester; forwarder; feller buncher; sawlog; feller buncher; wheeled grapple skidder; tracked cable skidder
Summary: Recently, special attention has been paid to comfortable and safe working conditions in felling operations. This will make harvesting work more attractive to the youth and employment in a harvesting company more desirable. Fourteen wood harvesting systems, applicable currently, were compared based on the obtained total average work severity rate of the single harvesting equipment using the Hodges–Lemann criterion. According to the findings, fully mechinized cut-to-length (CTL) harvesting performed with the “harvester + forwarder” technology and full-tree harvesting with the “feller buncher + wheeled grapple skidder” seemed to provide the best working conditions. The motor-manual CTL harvesting with “chainsaw + forwarder” and the combination of overseas feller bunchers and Russian cable skidders were in second place providing “uncomfortable” working conditions. Traditional Russian tree-length harvesting that employs chainsaw and cable skidders and its various modifications had the worst results in terms of ergonomics, work severity, and occupational safety. Thus, when a motor-manual harvesting system is employed, the use of cable skidders should be as limited as possible, because, on the whole, they do not comply with present ergonomics requirements. The results of the measurements obtained on forestry harvesting works may be helpful in the evaluation of ergonomics performance for single machinery within similar harvesting methods and systems. The fully - mechinized CTL harvesting systems based on the latest John Deere and Volvo machines held the leading position with “comfortable” conditions. For other machines used in CTL harvesting, the results were almost similar; each of these machines was assessed as “relatively uncomfortable”. The Valmet 840.3 had somewhat lower results together with the Timberjack 850 feller buncher. These were followed by the significantly worse Timberjack 460D skidder and Russian TLT - 100 skidder. They had similar work severity rates and as such these were assigned to the “extreme” working condition category. The working conditions of the TDT - 55A skidder, choker setting, and chainsaw turned out to be unacceptable with regard to current requirements.

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