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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Veal, Matthew
item Taylor, Steven
item Rummer, Robert
item Raper, Randy

Submitted to: Forestry Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/16/2002
Publication Date: 6/16/2002
Citation: Veal, M.W., Taylor, S.E., Rummer, R.B., Raper, R.L. 2002. Evaluation of forestry plow energy requirements for site preparation. In Proceedings of the 25th Annual Meeting of the Council on Forest Engineering. Council on Forest Engineering, Corvallis, OR. June 16-19.

Interpretive Summary: Producers and landowners in the Southeastern U.S. are increasingly concerned about the cost of tillage for forestry production. This study was undertaken to establish the power requirements of the various components of a typical forestry tillage operation. The results show that a majority of the tillage energy is needed to pull the shank through the soil. Future research may need to focus on redesigning this shank to make it more energy efficient or to disrupt compacted soil layers using alternative tillage methods.

Technical Abstract: In this field study, data were collected to determine energy requirements of trailing site preparation plows and the magnitudes of dynamic forces experienced by a plow during normal operation and during impact with stumps or other obstructions. Drawbar pull data were collected from five different tillage treatments on a recently harvested loblolly pine site in central Alabama. The five treatments were: 1) a coulter, ripping shank, and four bedding disks; 2) a coulter, ripping shank, and two bedding disks; 3) a coulter and ripping shank; 4) a coulter alone; and 5) a ripping shank alone. A 334 kN [75 000 lbs] capacity tension load cell was used to measure the drawbar load, a GPS receiver recorded tractor speed, four direct current displacement transducers (DCDT's) monitored the depth of the disks, and two optical tachometers measured the speed of the tractor's front and rear drive shafts. Each treatment produced significantly different drawbar loads (to alpha levels less than 0.001). The resulting mean loads were 45.95 kN [10 330 lbs], 33.47 kN [7525 lbs], 31.50 kN [7081 lbs], 15.84 kN [3561 lbs], and 43.42 kN [9761 lbs] for treatments one through five, respectively. The maximum drawbar load recorded during a collision with a stump was 338.9 kN [76 188 lbs].

Last Modified: 09/22/2017
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