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The novel wood-harvesting system for mechanical steep-slope logging

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Timber Shuttle (The novel wood-harvesting system for mechanical steep-slope logging)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-03-31

Logging is a high-risk occupation, with a 2-8-fold higher rate of fatal incidents than construction or manufacturing (24-30 per 100,000 workers in Europe). Although risks have been minimized with the mechanization of the harvesting process in recent years, mechanized systems (either cable or ground-based) are currently limited to slopes up to 50-60% grade (i.e. 30°). Therefore, forest stocks in mountainous areas still must either be harvested manually, which is less productive and more dangerous than mechanical harvesting, or left unproductive. Additionally, a growing timber demand for both manufacturing and renewable energy production purposes is forcing companies to harvest more wood on steeper terrains.
The main goal of the project is to provide a fully mechanized solution that enable harvesting in steep slopes over 50% in a safe, productive and sustainable way. We will address these objectives delivering a machine that will remove workers from hazardous activities, reduce the set-up and cycle time of operations and reduce the impact on forests soils.
The main results of the execution of Phase 1 are technical and commercial. We have assessed the requirements applicable to our machine according to standards and industry needs and conducted a risks assessment. We have then defined the technical specifications for each component and carried out an assessment of the necessary changes to integrate them into a single machine, then drafted a prototype.
We have confirmed that the countries that KONRAD will target in the short to medium term are located in Central Europe, South and North America – with demand driven by their high amount of timber in steep slopes, their forestry infrastructure and interest in sustainable solutions. Thus, have engaged partners for distribution and for dissemination of the project results worldwide but focused on these regions. Likewise, we have secured the support of important companies in our supply chain.
Timber Shuttle will significantly reduce the potential risks (only two people required to run operation - protected in cabins from treefall or roll-over) and boost productivity. By reducing the set-up time and cycle time, Timber Shuttle increases productivity by 40-50% compared to traditional systems used in steep slope logging. It will also produce less impact on soil.
The estimated the profit and loss shows that Timber Shuttle will mean a major milestone in the company’s strategy and boost growth: it will double our revenues and generate 43 new jobs (from project’s start to 2025).