How terrain slope affects the machine slope when harvesting
Steep terrain harvesting can be expensive and have high safety risks. Mechanised ground-based machines are increasingly being used on steeper slopes to decrease harvesting costs and improve safety by removing the manual tasks of tree felling and choking.
Researchers from the University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry in New Zealand examined machine stability related factors for steep slope harvesting. A key aim was to determine whether the slope that the machine was operating on was the same as the actual slope of the machine.
Slope measuring equipment was attached to 22 forest machines in New Zealand, Austria and Norway to capture real-time measurements of machine slope.
The results showed that terrain slope does not accurately predict the actual slope of the machine. This means that terrain slope is not sufficient on its own for planning purposes, but other aspects such as the specific operator, ground conditions and the machine itself need to be considered.
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