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Saving in Scandinavia

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Logging operations in places like Sweden have already made great strides in reducing the amount of fuel needed to get a cubic metre of wood to the mill - Dropping from 5.4 litres/m^sup 3^ to 3.7 in the past 20 years according to Swedish forest research agency SkogForsk. Still, this 32% improvement is not enough, given the recent spike in diesel costs. A recent benchmarking study by SkogForsk's Torbjrn Brunberg shows the average CTL crew in Sweden uses a total 1.7 litres to bring a cubic metre to roadside. Excellent numbers, no doubt aided by good wood, but the idea is to use these as a baseline for further improvement. Here's some of what is, or soon will be done to improve fuel efficiency in Scandinavia.SkogForsk has studied the effect of forwarder operator training on both productivity and fuel efficiency, and the potential is impressive. Much like the Smart Driver program for log haulers currently managed by FERIC, the project involved first studying forwarder operators in action to get a baseline. Movements were videotaped, fuel weighed, and system operations recorded, all to get a baseline. Then operators were given a few operating tips, like not loading while moving, cranes were adjusted for smoother operation, and engines set to run around 1,100 rpm. Just this resulted in runs that were 10% faster, using 7% less fuel, and causing significantly less vibration and operator stress. While the project used forwarders, the principles and results are transferrable to just about any piece of logging gear. I imagine bunchers would likely yield the biggest savings in the Canadian context.Modern, electronically-controlled forwarders do an admirable job of bringing a lot of timber roadside with relatively low fuel consumption. Quebec loggers in the fuel efficiency story in CFI Nov/Dec using large (18-tonne or more) forwarders reported fuel consumption as low as 11 to 12 litres/hr. Still, technology will improve further. In this light, machinery suppliers and loggers in S

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