Timber harvesting has always been and is still heavy physical work affected by harsh weather conditions. For this reason machines were invented to support this laborious work, to improve overall working conditions and at the same time to increase efficiency and decrease costs. Effectively running and organizing fully mechanized timber harvesting operations is a complex task and is still under pressure by costs and time consuming processes. Fluctuating demand of round wood over the year due to unforeseen weather conditions in alpine regions combined with unexpected salvage cuttings represents a challenge for highly specialized harvesting entrepreneurs. In addition balanced machine utilization in particular of costly harvesting equipment is not easy to reach and is well known as a main cost driver. Therefore successful harvesting operations require high productive, specialized and costly machinery including skilled and well trained operators. The aim of this presentation will be to give an insight into fully mechanized timber harvesting machinery based on actual research activities at the Institute of Forest Engineering.
Franz Holzleitner is a research assistant at the Institute of Forest Engineering, Department of Forest- and soil Sciences University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) Vienna. He received his PhD in 2013. His main research interests are Road network planning, Timber harvesting, Harvesting Systems for Mountainous Regions and Cable Yarding.