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Time Consumption and Production Costs of Two Small-Scale Wood Harvesting Systems in Northern Greece

Koutsianitis, Dimitrios, Tsioras, Petros A.
Small-scale forestry 2017 v.16 no.1 pp. 19-35
Pinus sylvestris, debarking, equipment, felling, forest roads, harvesting, labor force, nonindustrial private forests, production costs, roundwood, sawmills, trees, Greece
A field-based study was carried out to determine the productivity and production cost of the tree length (TL) and the wood assortment (WA) systems implemented under small-scale forestry conditions in two Scots pine stands in Northern Greece. Tree felling and processing productivity were estimated at 8.64 m³ per productive machine hour (PMH⁻¹) and 10.21 m³ PMH⁻¹, respectively. Wood felling and processing times were strongly dependent on dbh and total tree volume. However, when manual debarking was also considered the productivity rates decreased to 1.96 and 1.43 m³ PMH⁻¹, respectively. Skidding productivity was calculated to be 3.35 m³ PMH⁻¹ for TL and 7.17 m³ PMH⁻¹ for WA, respectively. Strong correlations have been found between the net skidding time and (a) the skidding distance and (b) the load per turn in both wood harvesting systems. Production costs varied greatly, from 19.38 € m⁻³ up to 44.81 € m⁻³ of roundwood depending on the harvesting system and the inclusion of debarking. The findings suggest that the WA system is more efficient in terms of productivity and production cost than TL, and that there is a substantial optimization potential. The optimization potential can be encoded in four suggestions: (a) opening up of more forest roads to reduce high skidding times, (b) replacement of manual debarking by mechanical debarking at the sawmill, (c) replacement of old pieces of equipment with newer ones and (d) training of the existing workforce.