New Publication: Mechanized Timber Skidding Productivity and Costs

The Department of Forest Engineering and Wood Sciences (DFEWS) is excited to announce a new publication titled “Productivity and Costs of Mechanized Skidding Operations at Sao Hill Forest Plantation, Tanzania” authored by Gilberth Prosper Temba, Ernest William Mauya, and George Ansigar Migunga.

This paper examines the productivity and costs associated with using a grapple skidder for timber extraction at the Sao Hill Forest Plantation in Tanzania. Key findings include:

  • The average productivity of the grapple skidder was 67.5 m3/hour under the productive machine hour approach and 64.1 m3/hour when including necessary delays.
  • Skidding costs were 3.36 USD/m3 excluding delays and 3.50 USD/m3 including delays – a statistically significant difference of 2.1%. This shows the importance of minimizing operational delays to reduce costs.
  • Variables like skidding distance, slope, and volume per trip were significant predictors of productivity and cost. Statistical models were developed that can estimate grapple skidder performance within the observed variable ranges.
  • Productivity ranged from 85.5 m3/hr at 0-50 meter distances on flat terrain to 20.1 m3/hr at over 150 meters on steeper slopes. Costs showed an opposite trend, increasing from 1.7 to 12.7 USD/m3.

To read the full article please visit:

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