volume: 41, issue:
Excavators-based harvesters are self-propelled forestry tractors that normally operate at maximum engine speed. This results in maximum hydraulic pump flow regardless of operating conditions. The objective of this work was to quantitatively investigate the technical performance, as well was the economic and environmental outcomes, of excavators-based harvester as a function of engine speed and hydraulic pump flow. Machine operations were analyzed in forest stands with an individual average volume of 0.08 or 0.16 m3 tree–1. The machine was operated with engine speeds of 2060, 2000, 1950, or 1900 rpm and hydraulic pump flow rates of 300, 295, or 290 L min–1. This resulted in 12 different excavator-based harvester configurations. With regards to the technical performance of the machine, a study of times and movements, productivity, hourly fuel consumption, and fuel consumption was performed. Economic outcomes were considered in terms of the operational costs, while environmental impact was determined by carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Optimal excavator-based harvester operating conditions with an average volume of 0.08 m3 tree–1 were determined to be with an engine speed of 2000 rpm and a hydraulic pump flow rate of 295 L min–1. With the 0.16 m3 tree–1 volume, the best results were obtained with an engine speed of 2000 rpm and a hydraulic pump flow of 300 L min–1.