The Institute for Commercial Forestry Research (ICFR) held its 7th Forest Science Symposium from 18 to 20 July, at the One Life Church in Pietermaritzburg. The three-day event was co-hosted by the ICFR, the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and other research partners.
The forestry industry, through Forest Engineering Southern Africa (FESA), has identified central tyre inflation (CTI) as a technology requiring investigation. This is driven by the fact that transport contributes 35 to 40 % of total delivered cost of timber. It is therefore imperative that transport costs be kept as low as possible in order for the forestry industry to maintain its competitive edge.
During a recent study of shorthaul transport of roundwood pulpwood in South Africa, it was established that the greatest single factor affecting the quantification and assessment of the financial impact of this mode of transport on the timber transport industry was the lack definitive terminology and additionally, the use of inappropriate terminology.
The articulated wheeled skidder is an important component in the primary transport of timber In South Africa. Unlike agricultural tractors, wheeled skidders are specifically designed to winch and skid trees from the point of felling to a landing site. They are heavy, robust machines, with their centre of gravity positioned well forward. The power to weight ratio has been chosen for efficient performance when skidding trees.
Main factors influencing skidder productivity are:
• Skidding distance
• Bunch size (felling operation)
• Terrain (travel speed)