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Separating the impact of work environment and machine operation on harvester performance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In mechanized logging operations, interactions between the forest machines and their operators, forest resources and environmental conditions are multifold and not easily detected. However, increased computational resources and sensing capabilities of the forest machines together with extensive forest inventory data enable modeling of such relationships, leading eventually to better planning of the operations, better assistance for the forest machine operators, and increased efficiency of timber harvesting. In this study, both forest machine fieldbus data and forest inventory data were acquired extensively. The forest inventory data, acquired nationwide, was clustered to categorize general tree and soil types in Finland. The found forest categories were applied when the harvester fieldbus data, collected from the forest operations in the North Karelia region with two similar harvesters, was analyzed. When the performance of the machine and the operator, namely the fuel consumption and log production, is studied individually for each forest cluster, the impact of working environment no longer masks the causes based on the machine or the operator, thus making the observations from separate forest locations comparable. The study observed statistically significant differences in fuel consumption between the most general tree and soil clusters as well as between the harvester-operator units. The modeling approach applied, based on multivariate linear regression, finds such reasons for the differences that have clear interpretation from machine setup or operator working style perspective, and thus offers a feasible method for assisting the operators in improving their working practices and thus the overall performance specifically at forest of given type.

ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Data fusion, Fieldbus data, Forest data, Forestry, Harvester, Machine learning, Performance

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

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