Effect of landing size on operational delays for New Zealand harvest operations
Landings are an integral part of New Zealand Harvest operations where extracted trees are processed into logs and loaded out onto trucks. Forest owners need to balance the cost and environmental considerations when designing and constructing landings, with the productivity and safety of the harvesting crew that will use the landing.The objective of this study is to gain a greater understanding of landing size and how they affect forest harvest operations. This study investigates the relationship between landing size and processing delays. A time study was carried out for ten harvest operations predominantly in the lower North Island. The time study recorded all delays on the processing task of measuring and cutting stems into logs. The delays were then categorised so that only processing delays that are influenced by the size of the landing remained. These processing delays were then expressed per m3 and used as the response variable in regression analysis to test their correlation against landing size and a range of other predictor variables.A very strong, linear relationship between processing delays per m3 and actual landing size was found. This indicates that harvest operations on smaller landings exhibited higher delays per m3 than those on larger landings. Loading of the deck was the most significant processing delay; this is a direct result of not having enough room for surge piles as delimbing was not able to be carried out during loader downtime. The significance of the relationships developed in this study can help forest owners realise the implications of building landings that are too small for the intended purpose. Not only will small landings affect productivity, but have the potential to financially affect the forest owner also.