Optimizing the Use of a John Deere Slash Bundling Unit in a Tree-Length Logging System
Meadows, Steven Richard, Jr.
Type of Degreethesis
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The purpose of this project was to explore an avenue that could supply a source of readily available energy in Southeastern forested lands. Typical, southern harvesting operations consist of whole tree harvesting in which trees are felled, and then skidded to a landing. After processing, limbs and tops are usually either deposited over the landscape or piled in wind rows. John Deere currently manufactures a mobile slash bundler which harvests the otherwise non merchantable material and maximizes the marketability of the entire tree. In an effort to reduce costs, maximize efficiency, and implement the bundler in a tree-length harvesting operation, a prototype trailer-mounted slash bundling system was designed and tested. The proposed slash bundling operation is capable of producing 15.9 to 17.2 tons per hour of compressed residue logs without negatively impacting a logger’s roundwood production. Bundled material can be produced for approximately $10 to $11/ton and could be delivered to a consuming mill within 50 miles for $19 to $21/ton. During four months of storage, bundled material lost approximately 156 lbs., and decreased in moisture content by 16.8% (wet basis) through evaporative and transpirational drying.