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Doctoral thesis, 2022

Roadmap for teleoperation and automation of forwarding

Lundbäck, Mikael


Annually, about two billion m3 of industrial roundwood is harvested worldwide. For a mature forest industry like the Swedish, the next technological development leaps regarding harvest operations are likely to involve increased level of tele-operation and automation. The overall aim of this thesis was to simulate and evaluate combinations of teleoperation and automation of forwarding within the cut-to-length (CTL) harvesting method, and to discuss their potential application internationally. The economic potential of different configurations of a novel concept called semiautomated tele-extraction or just tele-extraction was investigated. To evaluate the potential application of such a concept in other countries, a worldwide mapping of harvesting methods and reasons behind differences, as well as a global analysis of the slope of forest land was done. The overall result showed that there is potential for between 6% and 19% cost reduction in Swedish CTL forwarding if teleextraction is applied. Automation of more time consuming work elements, such as loading, gave larger potential than automation of driving since more operator time was deliberated. The worldwide share of fully mechanized CTL harvesting was estimated to 37% and some of its drivers include high diesel price, gross domestic product and low share of steep terrain. About 80% of global forest land had slope less than 15°, with Africa, Russia, and the Amazon rainforest especially flat. Furthermore, there is potential for implementation of tele-extraction in at least ten countries with a high share of mechanized CTL harvesting, the potential annual volume is roughly between 100 and 150 million m3.


harvesting systems; global slope; future development; remote control; CTL

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2022, number: 2022:29
ISBN: 978-91-7760-933-9, eISBN: 978-91-7760-934-6
Publisher: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land
SDG9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

URI (permanent link to this page)