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Adaptive tree bucking using group-guiding of harvesters: A simulation approach

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The objective of this study was to test harvester group-guiding methods by comparing how the total log output distribution of independent harvesters differs from the total log output distribution of group-guided harvesters. In this simulation study four harvesters worked in their own stands in the same region for an identical target, given by a sawmill. Group-guiding was done by utilizing other harvesters' bucking outcomes to fulfil the target log distribution better. Harvesters were combined to form a group in an adapting phase where a new price list was formed. For group-guiding, four different price list adapting methods were developed. There were five different simulations: four with adaptation and one reference simulation without adaptation. Apportionment degree and log/pulpwood proportions were calculated to compare the difference between the methods and reference simulation. With group-guiding, by adapting the price list harvesters reached the target distribution better than working independently. The best group-guiding method fulfilled the target distribution almost 9% better than independently working harvesters. However, the pulpwood proportion increased as a result of using the group-guided method.

Keywords: Apportionment degree; bucking; cut-to-length method; simulation; single-grip harvester

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Faculty of Forest Sciences, University of Joensuu, Joensuu, FI, Finland

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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