Minimizing soil impacts from forest operations

  • Authors: Carter, Emily A.
  • Publication Year: 2011
  • Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
  • Source: ASABE Paper No. 1111482.1-12.


Several studies were conducted by Forest Service researchers and University and Industrial collaborators that investigated the potential for lessening soil surface disturbances and compaction in forest operations through modifications of machine components or harvest systems. Specific machine modifications included change in tire size, use of dual tire systems, reduction of tire inflation pressures, reductions in load size and ground pressure. Soil surface disturbances were most evident in sites with high soil moisture content that were lessened by lowering tire inflation pressures or using a dual tire configuration. Traffic intensity increased rutting potential of harvest sites, especially with the use of narrow tires. Traffic intensities varied spatially and in intensity in clear cut harvest operations with intensities that ranged between none to 100 or more. Soil physical properties responded to choice of tire size and inflation pressure with narrower tires and/or higher inflation pressures associated with increased soil compaction. Soil disturbance data collected in three clear cut operations in Alabama indicated no differences among the operations by location, but soil response varied depending on site properties. Soil physical properties did not necessarily reflect the intensity of soil disturbance.

  • Citation: Carter, Emily A. 2011. Minimizing soil impacts from forest operations. ASABE Paper No. 1111482.1-12.
  • Keywords: Disturbance class, bulk density, tire, inflation pressure, soil strength
  • Posted Date: July 12, 2012
  • Modified Date: October 1, 2012
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.