Optimizing the use of a John Deere bundling unit in a southern logging system
With the current energy crisis and with petroleum prices skyrocketing, all sources of alternative fuels need to be explored. John Deere’s Biomass Bundler unit is an effective machine for harvesting forest residues, which can be used as a source of fuel wood and/or a feedstock for bio-fuel production. This project aims to explore an avenue that could supply a very promising 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. Limbs and tops are usually either deposited over the landscape or piled in wind rows. The biomass bundler will serve to capture the otherwise non merchantable material and maximize the marketability of the entire tree. In order to reduce costs, maximize efficiency, and implement the bundler in a tree length harvesting operation, this project will test a prototype harvesting system. The objectives of this venture are to: a) adapt the John Deere B380 bundler unit to a motorized trailer; b) design the optimum deck configuration; and c) conduct a productivity study of the bundler unit.