Batistela Gislaine Cristina, Prof.

Technical-Economic Analysis of Grapple Saw: A Stochastic Approach

volume: 41, issue:

The processing of Eucalyptus logs is a stage that follows the full tree system in mechanized forest harvesting, commonly performed by grapple saw. Therefore, this activity presents some associated uncertainties, especially regarding technical and silvicultural factors that can affect productivity and production costs. To get around this problem, Monte Carlo simulation can be applied, or rather a technique that allows to measure the probabilities of values from factors that are under conditions of uncertainties, to which probability distributions are attributed. The objective of this study was to apply the Monte Carlo method for determining the probabilistic technical-economical coefficients of log processing using two different grapple saw models. Field data were obtained from an area of forest planted with Eucalyptus, located in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. For the technical analysis, the time study protocol was applied by the method of continuous reading of the operational cycle elements, which resulted in production. As for the estimated cost of programmed hour, the applied methods were recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The incorporation of the uncertainties was carried out by applying the Monte Carlo simulation method, by which 100,000 random values were generated. The results showed that the crane empty movement is the operational element that most impacts the total time for processing the logs; the variables that most influence the productivity are specific to each grapple saw model; the difference of USD 0.04 m3 in production costs was observed between processors with gripping area of 0.58 m2 and 0.85 m2. The Monte Carlo method proved to be an applicable tool for mechanized wood harvesting for presenting a range of probability of occurrences for the operational elements and for the production cost.

The Impact of Felling Method, Bunch Size, Slope Degree and Skidding Area on Productivity and Costs of Skidding in a Eucalyptus Plantation

volume: 42, issue:

Grapple skidder is a machine designed for the extraction of tree bunches after felling. Several factors influence its technical performance and costs such as terrain slope, operator experience time, machine type, and the size of tree bunches for each operating cycle, among others. Thus, it becomes necessary to weigh the variables that most influence the productivity and costs of the grapple skidder. So, the main objective was evaluated according to the influence of bunch size using two feller bunchers with distinct technical characteristics, two slope classes and two skidding areas on the productivity and machine production cost in a Eucalyptus plantation. For the analysis of the productivity, the study of time and method was applied and the scheduled machine cost per hour was based on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations methods. When analyzing the results, it was found that the operational elements moving without load (MWoL) and moving with load (MWL) were the ones that spend the most time in the operational cycle of the grapple skidder. Among the cost components, monetary expenditure on fuel and operator labor were the most influential in the scheduled machine cost per hour. In conclusion, the tree bunches and slope class influenced the productivity and, consequently, the cost of the skidding operation.

Exposure to Occupational Noise: Machine Operators of Full Tree System in Brazil

volume: 43, issue:

Physical agent noise can be considered one of the main disturbances that compromise the occupational health of self-propelled forest machine operators. We evaluated whether occupational noise levels emitted by self-propelled forest machines employed in the full tree system are in accordance with both the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and ISO 1999:2013 standards, while also proposing mitigating measures aimed at protecting the operators hearing. Seventeen operators, who performed wood harvesting operations in Eucalyptus forests in Brazil, were analyzed. Noise levels were collected in a daily shift of eight hours as recommended by the Acoustics – Determination of occupational noise exposure - Engineering method for full-day measurements (ISO 9612:2009). The standards adopted for the evaluation were the exposure action value of 80 dBA and the exposure limit of 85 dBA based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health – NIOSH and on Acoustics – Estimation of noise-induced hearing loss (ISO 1999:2013) Directive 2003/10/EC. The operators were arranged in homogeneous groups according to the Acoustics recommendation – Determination of occupational noise exposure - Engineering method for full-day measurements (ISO 9612:2009), classified by the operations of felling, skidding of tree bundles and bucking. The results showed that 17 self-propelled forest machines exceeded the exposure action value of 80 dBA, of which 10 machines exceeded the exposure limit of 85 dBA. It was concluded that the levels of occupational noise emitted by self-propelled forest machines used in the full tree system are higher than those recommended by both standards, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and ISO 1999:2013. Therefore, the allocation of self-propelled forest machines to homogeneous groups allows inferring mitigation actions that protect operators' hearing. The correct use of hearing protectors during the daily workday provides hearing protection for operators in mechanized wood harvesting. Adoption of actions such as maintenance of cabin seals and mechanical components, breaks for fatigue relief, reduction of daily working hours and rotation of operators in different self-propelled forest machines can mitigate the damage to the occupational health of operators.


Web of Science Impact factor (2022): 3.200
Five-years impact factor: 3.000

Quartile: Q1 - Forestry

Subject area

Agricultural and Biological Sciences