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Application of a Small Forwarder in Plantation Thinning

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Thinning the South's managed pine stands is a major problem facing forest landowners in the immediate future. A small log-length forwarder--the Gafner Iron Mule--was examined as a potential improvement to the most common current method--the bobtail truck system. Forwarders are less sensitive to weather and terrain, require less access area in a stand, provide more man-day productivity, and allow greater payloads and less maintenance on highway haul vehicles than the bobtail truck. Travel speeds of the forwarders studied were influenced only by the distance traveled. Loading and unloading were a constant time per swing cycle. Large piles of wood were less expensive to forward than small piles. Production rates were increased and cost rates decreased by increasing the length of logs forwarded.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor, School of Agriculture, Forestry, and Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

Publication date: 01 November 1982

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