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# Ann. For. Res.

55(2): 297-308, 2012

ANNALS OF FOREST RESEARCH www.e-afr.org

**Productivity and cost analysis of manual felling and skidding in Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis L.) forests
**

E. Çalışkan

Çalışkan E., 2012. Productivity and cost analysis of manual felling and skidding in Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis L.) forests. Ann. For. Res. 55(2): 297-308, 2012. Abstract. Cost and productivity are major factors when considering which

type of harvesting system to operate. Observations were conducted on felling and skidding harvesting operations, in the Blacksea region of Turkey, Pa ş akona ğ ı spruce forest sites, in order to obtain time study data. The performance of the Stihl chain saw, forest tractor (MB Trac900) skidder was studied for log methods. Production and cost analysis were conducted on the harvesting system data in order to compare the two systems. The productivity and gross-effective productivity of chainsaw for different diameters were 9.11 m 3/hour/man and 10.6 m 3/hour/man respectively. The unit costs with and without delay times were 1.30 $/m 3 and 1.11 $/ m 3, respectively. The significant variables included diameter at breast height and distance among harvested trees for the time expenditure model. This regression function is statistically significante at a level of 5%. The productivity and gross-effective productivity of forest tractor skidding for different diameters were 11 m 3 and 10.43 m 3 per hour, respectively. The unit cost per cubic meters was 3.81 $ for the with delay times while the unit cost without delay times was 3.54 $ per cubic meter. The significant variables included skidding distance, number of logs, and volume for the time expenditure model. This regression function is statistically significance level of 5%. Result of this research can be also useful for in harvesting planning. Keywords: timber tharvesting, felling, skidding, time study, productivity, unit cost, Turkey.

Author. Erhan Çalışkan (erhan_caliskan@yahoo.com) - Department of Forest Engineering, Faculty of Forestry, Karadeniz Technical University, 61080 Trabzon, Turkey. Manuscript received November 18, 2011; revised October 15, 2012; accepted October 21, 2012; online ﬁrst October 23, 2012.

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tree length. peak taking. and the method of data collection (Samset 1990). which constitute 27. The yearly average growing stock is 11. The forest operations are represented by the felling. Hauling through forest roads and main roads is executed by truck and tractor trailer from roadside to main storage. to determine the input of time in the performance of a 298 piece of work (Björheden 1991). and sliding/skidding fashion. tools and equipment used in the production process (Barnes 1968. 2012 Research article Introduction Turkey has 21. agricultural and forest tractors or skidders have been rarely used. the time consumption. in many types of production. Animal force. Time consumption of felling and productivity depends on several variables. It is used worldwide. brach cleaning. and bucking activities are realized in forest stand by means of chainsaw. and ﬁnding the tree are the most time . throwing. the time is recorded continually and the elements are the differences between recorded times. material. The main application of a time study is in the calculation of the productivity. processing primary and secondary transportation phases.3 million cubic meters (OGM 2006). Gonzales 2005) or as time measurement. have been used on mountainous region. felling (cutting and falling. Loading operations on roadside or landing yard is carried out manual with human force. whole tree method (completed tree) and chipping method (Pulkki 1997. Time measurements are done by using either direct or indirect methods.Ann. delimbing. Cutting. productivity is the ratio between output (volume of wood) and input (time consumption or fund). Seconder transportation is related to taking from roadside to store as wood processing centers (Karaman 2001). grapple loaders or hydraulic cranes. For. leading to minimization of work time. One of the most important issues in appraisal of productivity is how to bring factors like weather conditions and operator motivation into the calculation. Debarking with axe and/or log wizard is mostly operated in stand and rarely on roadside (Eker & Acar 2006). According to Harstela (1993). the time for each work element is measured with a stopwatch or a handheld computer. bucking and debarking). Gerasimov 2006). Time study is one of the most common practices of work measurements. The forest skylines. such as harvesting intensity. Direct timing can be classiﬁed as continued timing and repetitive timing. delimbing. A detailed time study is comprised of the time consumption for each work element.2 million hectare of forests. This refers to determining the inﬂuencing factors. full tree. The forest primary transportation is the transport from the felling areas to the landing points near the ﬁrst available road. Time study results also enable the evaluation of the effect of changing work patterns on productivity (Gullberg 1997) and have been used successfully in forest harvesting operations (FAO 1998b) to investigate the level of efﬁciency which operations were conducted. bucking. depending on the required accuracy. Forest harvesting and transportation operations have been carried out by mostly forest villagers and rarely forest contractors. various distanced. Traditionally. Time studies of felling in different areas showed that felling. Time studies are also important in identifying critical areas within a harvesting system or operation that require improvement. The extraction operations from stand to landing or roadside is mostly realized on the steep ground by means of gravity and human force as rolling. Kluender & Stokes 1996). In continued timing. Throughout the world there are ﬁve harvesting methods employed: cut-to-length. classiﬁcation and analysis of the data in order to increase the efﬁciency of work (IUFRO 1995). DBH (or stump diameter) and inter-tree distance (Koger 1983. cut-to-length harvesting method has been used in Turkish forestry. Res.2% of the country area. In direct timing. increased production and reduced costs. Time study is deﬁned as the analysis of the methods. 55(2): 297-308.

which included variables such as diameter at breast height and the distance among harvested trees. in the north of Turkey. Lanford et al. Dominant canopy species include Picea orientalis. topped. Regression equations were later developed based on the above timestudy data (Brock et al.. skidding. 1990. 2003). Trees to be removed were felled. Legault 1985. Javadpour 2006. Akay (2004) studied the productivity of mechanized harvesting machines such as: skidder. The harvest consisted of manual felling with a chainsaw. they found that the productivity and cost of manual felling were 20. The slope of the compartment was 40 to 60 % and the aspects of the slopes were northern. Felling was performed using a Stihl chainsaw with 4horsepower (hp) engine and bar length of 80 centimetres. with the power of 85 HP and the weight was 6000 kg. 1986). The objectives of this study are: (i) to ﬁnd the production rates (m3/hour) and costs ($/m3) of harvesting operation on the basis of the log methods in the Turkey conditions. Naghdi 1996. They also tried interaction between different variables in the different components of skidding. The skidder type used in this study was a Forest Tractor (MB Tract 900). Carpinus betulus. fellerbuncher. Holmes et al.350 mm. The three treatments were deﬁned as 45%. which can be used for estimating production rates and costs for similar thinning operations. and to ﬁnd the most inﬂuencing factors in each work phase.Çalışkan Productivity and cost analysis of manual felling . consuming elements (Sickler 2004). The cost of skidding is typically the most expensive component in whole tree harvesting operation and directly depends on skidding distance (Mitchell 2000). The forest was an uneven-aged spruce (Picea orientalis ) stand with the average growing stock 300 m3/ha. Skidding distance is perhaps the single most important variable affecting skidding cost and productivity (Conway 1979. Time studies showed that hourly felling production increased while skidding productivity decreased from the treatments 45%. in the Blacksea region of Turkey. The manual harvesting system examined consisted of felling with a chainsaw. The ﬁeld study was conducted in july 2010 in Paşakonağı forests. respectively. 299 . to 60% and to 75% of residual stocking. Materials and methods Study area This study was carried out in compartment 131 in the Paşakonağı forest management city of Giresun. A detailed time study about skidding was done by Wang et al. Nikoie (2007) developed a productivity model for chainsaw felling in Caspian hardwood forests. Egan & Baumgas. The altitude ranged from 1650 to 1750 m above sea level and the average annual precipitation was 1. Meng 1984.. 60% and 75% of the residual stocking. loader and forwarder in Turkey. Pilaver 1996. harvester. 2006). (2004) developed a productivity model for chainsaw felling. (ii) to develop a model for the time consumption and productivity of felling. Feghhi 1989. and bucked into logs motor-manually. to determine the partial model of the work phases. Nurminen et al. They found that the skidding cycle time was mainly affected by payload size and skidding distance.46 m3/h and 0. (2004). McDonald 1999. (2002) conducted a time study on the forests of eastern Amazon. operation in each method.46 USD. Jones (1983) conducted a time study on a 60-acre tract with three thinning treatments in northern West Virginia. Many studies were carried out on productivity and cost of harvesting and logging operation and factors affecting the machine per- formance (Miyata 1980. Many factors can affect the productivity of chainsaws. delimbed. which included variables such as diameter at breast height and the distance among harvested trees. Fagus orientalis. The logs were skidded by forest tractor (MB Trac 900) to the roadside landings. Wang et al.

and winching distance were recorded. tree species. technical. time consumption. slope of trails (%). Variables included skidding distances(meter). felling action time (y5). pinching chain. A total of 33 cycles for chainsaw felling were observed in the ﬁeld. for each trip. removing obstacle time (y3). Res. inter-tree distance. sharpening of chain. In felling. detailed records of felling. Different variables were measured in each work phase. down time of skidder which was put in this category. terrain slope. when a b Figure 1 Typical conditions of wood procurement felling (a) and skidding (b) 300 . Elemental time functions for chainsaw felling were deﬁned as: walking time (y1). The time for each function and the value of each factor were recorded in the ﬁeld. skidding. number of logs per turn. 2012 Research article Data collection During normal harvest operations. In skidding. For. Finally. preparation time (y2). delay time (y6).Ann. were kept (Figure 1). There are three kinds of delay time: (i) personal delay time. time consumption. skidding in the same study area and working group were studied in the summers of 2010. and of load volume. chain cutting time (y4). For example. The work cycle for each operation consisted of certain elemental functions and factors. travel loaded (t4). (ii) technical delay has different types including chain saw chain breaking and replacing with a new one. hooking (t3). Delay time is unwanted time consumption in each work phase. releasing the winch (t2). independent variables expected to affect on skidder productivity were documented. Field studies concentrated on collecting operational and ﬁnancial data that are essential for subsequent evaluation. (iii) operational delay is related to inappropriate planning. The time elements considered in the skidding(forest tractor) work cycles include: Travel unloaded (t1). The study covered regular working hours of the machines and operators. delay (t5). branching topping time (y7) and bucking time (y8). Delay times are time that is not related to effective working time. skidding distance. 33 work cycles were collected for forest tractor (MB trac 900). logs volume were recorded. Time studies were conducted to assess timber harvesting performances. In addition to measuring skidder working cycle time with a deci-minute stop watch. winch (t6) and unhooking (t7). 55(2): 297-308. number of logs skidded. productivity and costs of log timber harvesting. log size. any interruption or non-working time such as resting or any other breaks related to the personnel were placed in this category. personal and operational delays were recorded. During this time study. The time study of felling was conducted.

Nevertheless. In skidding. With this technique. The stepwise regression model was applied to develop a model. All costs are reported for productive machine hours. F-value. SPSS 14. The response variables were tested by Duncan’s multiple range test at 0. System cost is a sum of machine and labor costs.productvity(m3/hour) In the study. Unit cost Pge = (1) where Xvl = log volume (m3). As statistical parameters used for selecting the bestﬁt model the P-value. 1995. In this method. Total effective time was converted into delay-free productivity and grosseffective productivity by using the formula below: Pe = 60 ⋅ Xvl Ttop 60 ⋅ Xvl Ttop + Tdelay those elements. when the log was not ready for skidding or the operator had to wait for preparing logs. Modeling Unit cost of production in different work phases was calculated by dividing the system cost by the average productivity per hour. Machine cost is obtained by totaling ﬁxed costs and variable costs.. multivariate regression was used for modeling.Çalışkan Productivity and cost analysis of manual felling . The time consumption model was created by combining the elements. The SPSS 14. in which the time consumption can be explained by an independent variable. diameter. Eker 2004). but the effective hours differed in each working phase. Pge= gross-effective productivity (m3/gross-effective hour). for example. or required spare parts are unavailable.05 levels. Tdelay = delay times (min/cycle). Data analysis Time study analysis and calculation of productivity Total effective time in all work phases in log method were recorded and mean log volume per cycle were calculated and included in the Equation (1). Other elements of the model were formed by using average time consumption value. Unit cost: ($ / m3 = Sytem cost($/hour) Av. Ttop = total time consumption (min/cycle). a regression model was formed to estimate the total time consumption of the work cycle directly as a function of the most inﬂuential factor. Regression analysis with appropriate transformation of variable was used in (2) 301 . Pe = productivity (m3/effective hour). it was put in this category. yielding productivity per hour in each work phase. it would be used in the model.0 statistical programme has been applied for developing regression equation of time consumption. and R2 were chosen. if any variable has a signiﬁcant effect on the RMS (Residual Mean Squares) of the model. there was no accessible fuel in working time and therefore should be brought from another place. it was put in this category. The Fvalue and the P-value are statistical measures used to determine the amount of inﬂuence that an independent variable has on the dependent variable. at least 1 hours lunch break and rest should be considered. Working time on the study operation was eight hours per day. Estimates of hourly costs of the chainsaw and forest tractor were computed using the machine rate method (Björheden et al.. Wang 2003.0 was used as the statistical packages for the data analysis.

55(2): 297-308. y3 .35 m. Delay 20% Oper.time consumption for delay. y8 . Average felling time includes only chain cutting time while total time consumption of felling includes time consumption of all felling elements.total effective time consumption for felling.time consumption for branching and topping.time consumption for bucking time.53 cm .time consumption for removing obstacle. y4 .time consumption for walking. delay Tech. Bucking time (y8) is the most time-consuming element in felling. y6 . Res. y2 . Ytop = y1 + y2 + y3 + y4 + y5 + y6 + y7 + y8 (3) where Ytop . 3]. For. y7 . Delay Y2 11% Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y3 4% Y5 Y6 Y7 Y8 Tech. The signiﬁcant variables included diameter at breast height (D) in centimetres and distance among harvested trees in m (L). the delay free work cycle was deﬁned by totaling the time consumption of the elements [Eq. The breakdown of the different types of delay is shown in Figure 2b. The cycle time equations calculated for the chainsaw took the following a Y8 29% Y1 13% b Pers. The relation between stump diameter and time consumption (without delay) constitutes an exponential model and these variables were medium correlated. y1 . delay 61% Y4 12% Y7 20% Y6 8% Y5 3% Figure 2 Distribution of time consumption in manual felling (a) and delays (b) 302 . Diameter of felled trees ranged from 26 to 85 cm and averaged 81. followed by branching topping time (y7) and walking time (y7) time. y5 . Operational delay is the most time-consuming delay time in felling. delay 19% Oper. Table 1 shows the detailed time study results for the felling work phase for the methods applied.time consumption for preparation.Ann. Time consumption of felling increases with diameter. The distance among harvested trees varied from 10 to 190 m with an average of 78. Table1 shows the summary of time study variables for this Total Felling time. The stepwise regression analysis was applied to the time study data base to develop a delay-free cycle time equation.time consumption for chain cutting. Figure 3 shows the time consumption of felling and total time consumption of felling with different diameters. delay Pers. 2012 Research article Results Distribution of time consumption of felling and unit cost Total time consumption model of felling.time consumption for felling action time. The time consumption distribution of the felling work phase is shown in Figure 2a.

3 3.00 0.344 Total 49. form: Ttotaltime = 6. 0.02 0. Total cost of felling per hour was 11.90 7.61 0.676 are interpreted as 67.60 0. respectively.) 15 12 9 6 3 0 0 Total Felling Time Felling Time y = 8..55 0.Çalışkan Productivity and cost analysis of manual felling .642 Regression 147.30 $/m3 and 1. L (4) The multiple correlation coefﬁcient (R2) 0.50 Diameter D 81.257 30 1.4243e 2 R = 0.4 6.38 1.01 Distance among felled trees (m) L 78. D + 0. which are explained by the regression equation with chainsaw.35 39.81 $. respec- 21 18 Effective time (sec.5 1.. The productivity and gross-effective productivity of chainsaw for different diameters were 9.11 m3 and 10. 3. deviation Walking time (min) y1 1. The signiﬁcant level of ANOVA shows that models are signiﬁcant at P = 0.52 3.6183 10 20 0.70 26 10 Max.38 0.946 33 Min.689 3 49.7 3.027x 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Diamater (cm) Figure 3 Time consumption of felling for different diameters Table 1 Descriptive statistics of different element of felling work phase Factor Parameter Mean St.53 13.65 Chain cutting time (min) y4 1.35 Bucking time (min) y8 3.22 Removing obstacle time (min) y3 0.52 1.6 5 2.56 1. The unit costs with and without delay times were 1.90 Branching and topping time (min) y7 2.50 0.00 0.05 0.000 303 .0101x y = 0.50 0.6 m3 per hour/one person.72 Felling action time (min) y5 0.2 21.11 $/m3.135 .49 Delay time (min) y6 1.6% of total variability.03 1.22 Table 2 ANOVA table for regression equation in Chainsaw Sum of Squares Mean Square df Residual 98.179e 2 R = 0.053 Sig.4 7.90 Preparation time (min) y2 1.05 (Table 2).6 85 190 F 30.54 Total time (min) Ytop 12.00 1.02 . 0.943 + 0.00 0.

t2 . For. Manual tree felling is a highly variable operation. The skidding distance varied from 10 to 65 m with an average of 29. delay 48% t4 22% t3 12% t7 Tech. Res. delay Pers. Equation 6 shows the regression equation t7 16% t1 19% t1 Oper. The dependent variable is skidding time per cycle without delay.70 m.time consumption for delay. Time consumption distribution of different elements of skidding are calculated and presented in Figure 4a. Table 3 shows the summary of time study variables for this total skidding time. releasing (t2). In the log method. min/cycle. t6 time consumption for winching. winching (t6) and delay (t5).10 to 2. hooking (t3). Table 3 shows the summary of time study variables for this forest tractor. t3 . unhooking (t7). delay 29% Figure 4 Distribution of time consumption in skidding (a) and delays (b) 304 . Operational delay is the most time-consuming delay time in felling. 3. min/cycle. Total time consumption model of skidding. technical and operational delay was 3. There are many complicated factors affecting felling productivity. time consumption for personal. min/cycle. Volume of skidding trees ranged from 0. t7 . t4 .time consumption for hooking.total effective time consumption for skidding.04 m3.Ann. 55(2): 297-308. delay 23% Tech. The methods introduced by Conway (1979) regarding the proper way to fell trees as well as by FAO (2002) about reducing the impact of logging and directional felling would help to increase the productivity of felling and improving the potential of the future stand. The total time consumption model of a delay free work cycle was determined by adding up the time consumption of all individual elements.8 and 6. min/cycle. delay Pers. delay t6 9% t5 7% t2 15% t2 t3 t4 t5 t6 Oper. The breakdown of the different types of delay is shown in Figure 4b.time consumption for unhooking. Distribution of time consumption of skidding and unit cost. This was the highest followed by travel unloaded (t1).time consumption for releasing. t5 .time consumption for travel unloaded. Delay time was calculated as a mean time consumption value for methods.time consumption for travel loaded. Regression analysis with the stepwise method between independent variables was performed on time study data to develop an operational cycle time equation for this machine.90 m3 and averaged 1. In the log method travel loaded (t4) took 22% of the gross-effective time. t1 . 2012 Research article tively.2 seconds per payload. Tstop = t1 + t2 + t3 + t4 + t5 + t6 + t7 (5) where Tstop . min/cycle. min/cycle. min/cycle. min/cycle.

38 Delay (min) t5 0. number of logs.4 2.20 3.43 m3 per hour.96 Skidding distance (meter) D 29.81 for the with delay times while the unit cost without delay times was $3. The effect of each variable factor on skidding time and cost was studied by changing one variable while holding the other variables constant at their mean value.skidding distance (m). Tstop = 2. of time consumption using forest tractor.145 Sig.10 0.0 2.776 df 3 29 32 Mean Square 19. Total cost of skidding per hour was $39. 0. D ..39 Winching (min) t6 0.000 305 .9 5.75 Min. 2.79 0.9 3.892 are interpreted as 89.00 0. The variables such as distance between harvested trees.562 .V + 0. However. diameter at breast height (dbh).69 Travel loaded (min) t4 1.number of logs per cycle.20 0.64 0. and volume per cycle were entered in model at signiﬁcant level P = 0.skidding time without delays (min/ cycle).04 Number of log N 2.90 Hooking (min) t3 0. D + 0.863 0.69 0. The multiple correlation coefﬁcient (R2) 0.10 1.1 2.00 Max.load volume per cycle (m3).63 0. and slope between two harvested trees were entered into the general model for predicting felling time as signiﬁcant variables.53 Unhooking (min) t7 0.00 0.0 2.031 .248 F 80.24 St.589 7.20 0.Çalışkan Productivity and cost analysis of manual felling .13 Releasing (min) t2 0.05 (Table 4). 0.925. The productivity of felling large diameter trees was higher than in felling trees with a small diameter.2 65. The signiﬁcant level of ANOVA shows that models are signiﬁcant at P = 0. deviation 0.54 per cubic meter.50 10.35 0.34 0. N .187 66.70 Turn volume (m3) V 1. slope in the stump area..8. N (6) where: T .05. which are explained by the regression equation with forest tractor. The unit cost per cubic meters was $3.88 1.94 Total time (min) Tstop 5.2% of total variability.59 0.36 0.47 0. in wood extracting with forest tractor skidding distance.0 1.9 3.0 Table 4 ANOVA table for regression equation in Forest Tractor Residual Total Regression Sum of Squares 59. The productivity and gross-effective productivity of Forest Tractor skidding for different diameters were 11 m3 and 10.443 + 0. respectively. Discussion The results of this study reveal that the diameter of the tree was the most signiﬁcant factor affecting time consumption and productivity of felling while inter–tree distance also inﬂuences the time consumption and productivity of felling.0 10. which can be applied in harvesting Table 3 Summary of time study variables for forest tractor Factor Parameter Mean Travel unloaded (min) t1 1. V .68 17.00 0.

46. The methods introduced by Conway (1979) regarding the proper way to fell trees as well as by FAO (2002) about reducing the impact of logging and directional felling would help to increase the productivity of felling and improving the potential of the future stand. which were explained by the regression equation with chainsaw. the number of logs per turn by using cut to length system was most important variable in forest tractor (MBTrac 900) and the most of the time spent in providing a sufﬁcient volume in each cycle. respectively. It can be used for reorganizing and planning of forest work in order to meet the economic concerns. the models and results provided in this study could. In felling with chainsaw. Eghtesadi (1991). For. There are many complicated factors affecting felling productivity. 55(2): 297-308.2% of total variability. Although skidding distance was generally the most important variable since it effects cycle time more than other variables. on the productivity and cost in different work phases.6. skidding distance. Obviously. Conclusions The developed models and production rate of manually felling and skidding are useful tools for logging planners in order to predict the time and cost of felling and skidding in the area of this study.05 . Jones (1983) conducted a time productivity and cost of manual felling were 20. number of logs. respectively. which were explained by the regression equation with forest tractor(MBTrac 900). respectively. Most of the time was spent travel load the logs in skidding with forest tractor (22% of total time). As a conclusion.676 are interpreted as 67.The unit costs with and without delay times were 1. 2012 Research article planning. The high rate of delays in both time studies is important to planners who want to increase the efﬁciency of felling and skidding diminish the logging cots. 11. The results of this study can be used to set . personal delays were the most frequent. diameter at breast height and distance among harvested trees were entered in model at signiﬁcant level P = 0. The multiple correlation coefﬁcient (R2) 0.8.30$/m3 and 1. in this study. Increasing distance between harvested trees will increase felling time. Total cost of skidding per hour was $39.54 $ per cubic meter. In addition 36% of skidding time was devoted to three working cycle as following: releasing the winch. The unit cost per cubic meters was $3. respectively. hooking (choker setting) and winching. Bucking time was the most time-consuming element in felling.81. Feghhi (1989).892 are interpreted as 89.7 m3/effective hour. in general. The productivity of skidding in the study was similar to the other studies conducted in the Hyrcanian forest. help forest managers to better understand the inﬂuencing factors. The felling cycle time per tree and felling productivity were mostly affected by dbh of the tree being felled but they were also affected by the distance between harvested trees. the felling time decreases. Res. and volume per cycle were entered in model at signiﬁcant level a = 0.46 m3/h and $0. The productivity and gross-effective productivity of chainsaw for different diameters were 9.81 for the with delay times while the unit cost without delay times was 3. Manual tree felling is a highly variable operation.43 m3 per hour. followed by branching topping time and walking time.11 m3 and 10. Total cost of felling per hour was $11. operational are the most frequent.11$/m3. The productivity and gross-effective productivity 306 of forest tractor skidding for different diameters were 11 m3 and 10. After the operational delays.Ann.6 m3 per hour/one person. 10.05. and Naghdi (2005) calculated 8.4. In skidding with forest tractor. but if dbh increases.6% of total variability. respectively. The multiple correlation coefﬁcient (R2) 0.

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