Ups and Downs Associated with Implementing Shift Schedules on a Southern Harvesting Operation
Extended working hours can increase the number of hours that equipment is available to perform work, but how effective are workers during those additional evening/night hours? A study was conducted in Alabama to compare daytime and nighttime production rates of a feller-buncher. The study was installed in a first thinning of a single-aged loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation. A single operator was observed during both daylight and dark hours. Data indicates that the number of stems cut per accumulation was similar between the shifts. However, bunches created during the night shift were smaller than those created during the day and nighttime production was 8.4% less than daytime felling. Further research is needed on this whole harvesting system to determine machine interactions and system performance when implementing shift schedules.