Performance of a Tracked Feller-Buncher with a Shear Head Operating in Small-Diameter Pine
A Tigercat 845D tracked feller-buncher equipped with a shear head was evaluated while performing a clearcut in a 15-year old Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation and a 18-year old natural stand. Mean density of the plantation was 573 TPA (Trees per Acre) while the natural stand averaged 328 TPA, with a slightly higher density of 390 TPA in the study area. Total cycle time was not significantly different between the two stands and averaged 66.8 seconds. The feller-buncher harvested an average of 6.3 trees per min and 7.1 trees per accumulation. Productivity of the feller-buncher in the plantation averaged 77.9 green tons per PMH (Productive Machine Hour) with a mean tree size of 0.19 green tons. In the natural stand productivity averaged 118.7 green tons per PMH with a mean tree size of 0.49 green tons.