Monitoring productivity and utilization of a feller-buncher using FPDat system
Tepylo, Stephen A.
Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry
DisciplineNatural Resources Management
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This thesis summarizes the process of equipping a Tigercat 870C feller-buncher with an FPDat on-board computer system. The harvest contractor participating in this study is based in northwestern Ontario. The purpose of this study was to compile and examine the data collected by the FPDat in order to identify operational implications of these data, to provide insight into the useful features of the FPDat, and to identify areas where it can be improved. Establishment of a machine utilization rate, comparison of operator work habits, and identification of factors influencing machine productivity were attributable to the data collected and examined. The utilization rate of the feller-buncher over the study period was 77.4%. A comparison of operator work habits was also carried out through the use of descriptive statistics. The data collected by the FPDat were used to compare descriptive statistics for key performance indicators according to various operators. A two-way ANOVA was completed to determine that the two operators compared exhibited a significant difference in productivity (α = 0.05) with regard to the response variable, number of trees cut per scheduled machine hour. Experience with using the FPDat in this study allowed for recognition of the merits of the FPDat that make it a useful tool, as well as deficiencies with the current technology upon which recommendations for improvement are based. Further insight is provided into the operational importance of these results, and to how this technology can be better utilized to increase efficiency in harvest operations in northwestern Ontario. Of key importance in a successful implementation of an on-board computer system is diligence on behalf of the technology developer, forest products company, contractor, and operator.