Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 73–85 | Cite as

Wood Extraction with Farm Tractor and Sulky: Estimating Productivity, Cost and Energy Consumption

  • Raffaele Spinelli
  • Natascia Magagnotti


A winch and a sulky can transform a farm tractor into an effective small-scale logging machine, closely resembling a wheeled cable skidder. The additional cost of these implements is very small, but they offer significant benefits when extracting timber under the conditions of small-scale forestry. The authors developed a productivity model for skidding timber with wheeled farm tractors, equipped with winch and sulky. The origin data pool contained over 300 individual skidding cycles, extracted from 8 separate tests. Statistical analysis of the data allowed calculating a simple mathematical relationship for estimating skidding productivity as a function of significant work conditions, such as: piece size, winching distance, tractor power, skidding distance and crew size. This model can provide useful directions to prospective users, contributing to operation planning, costing and optimization. It can predict a large proportion of the variability in the data and was successfully validated using reserved cycle records, extracted from the same data pool and not used for model development. Depending on tractor power and piece size, the average turn volume and productivity can exceed respectively 2 m3 per cycle and 4 m3 per Scheduled Machine Hour (SMH). Top performance can reach 8 m3 SMH−1, with heavy tractors and large logs.


Farm-forestry Skidding Productivity Energy consumption Cost analysis 


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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNR – IVALSASesto FiorentinoItaly
  2. 2.CNR – IVALSASan Michele all’AdigeItaly

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