Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 71–87 | Cite as

A Case Study on the Productivity of Forwarder Extraction in Small-Scale Southern Italian Forests

  • A. R. Proto
  • G. Macrì
  • R. Visser
  • H. Harrill
  • D. Russo
  • G. Zimbalatti
Research Paper


Most timber harvesting operations in the southern Mediterranean area of Italy can be considered to be in an early stage of mechanization. It is mainly based on agricultural tractors that are sometimes equipped with specific forest-related accessories such as winches, hydraulic cranes, or log grapples. In recent years, there has been an increase of specialized forestry machines working in Calabria, southern Italy, including forwarders, skidders and cable yarders. This study assesses the efficiency and costs of extraction using forwarders, as a mechanized alternative to agricultural tractors and horse logging. Time studies were conducted to quantify the productivity and operational cost of log forwarding for two John Deere forwarders in two different coniferous stands: (A) Calabrian pine and (B) silver fir. The empirical time study included 100 forwarding cycles (i.e., 50 for each site) that were broken down into four different work phase elements. Models for cycle time, total productivity and individual work phases were calculated. The average load per cycle was 11.8 m3 in stand A and 9.97 m3 in stand B and the average one-way forwarding distance was 306 m in A and 597 m in B. The average productivity per scheduled machine hour (SMH) was 14.4 m3 in A and 15.7 m3 in B, while the costs, calculated to be 3.60 €/m3 in A and 4.90 €/m3 in B, were considered lower respect traditional methods.


Distance Slope Cost Harvesting Italy 



This study is a part of the Project “ALForLab” (PON03PE_00024_1) co-funded by the National Operational Programme for Research and Competitiveness (PON R&C) 2007–2013, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and national resource (Revolving Fund-Cohesion Action Plan (CAP) MIUR).


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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. R. Proto
    • 1
  • G. Macrì
    • 1
  • R. Visser
    • 2
  • H. Harrill
    • 2
  • D. Russo
    • 1
  • G. Zimbalatti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AGRARIAMediterranean University of Reggio CalabriaReggio CalabriaItaly
  2. 2.New Zealand School of ForestryUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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