Abstract

In forest biomass recovery operations from harvest residues, processing equipment can work most productively if they can work without interference or waiting on trucks. A deterministic simulation model was developed to estimate the economic effect of truck–grinder interference in forest biomass processing and transport operations on steep terrain. Truck–machine interference can occur in situations where the grinder is waiting for trucks or vice versa. We analyzed how the number of available trucks and road characteristics affect grinder utilization and biomass delivery cost. Three cases based on different road characteristics were designed and applied to actual operations in order to illustrate how particular road features in relation to the spatial location of the grinder can affect the economics of the operation. An economic model was also developed to estimate the waiting cost of trucks and machinery due to truck–machine interferences. Grinder location in relation to available truck turnaround, turnouts, truck turning-around time, truck positioning time, and distance traveled on each road surface have a significant effect in forest residues processing and transport economics at the operational level. After the optimization was performed, the grinder utilization rate on a harvest unit with highly constrained road access reached 60 percent using six trucks. Waiting cost represented 15.15 percent of total grinding cost. On the medium constrained road access harvest unit, maximum grinder utilization reached 77 percent using five trucks. A loop road case resulted in a grinder utilization rate of 81 percent using five trucks.

You do not currently have access to this content.