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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Changes in technical performance, mechanical availability and prices of machines used in forest operations in Sweden from 1985 to 2010

Nordfjell, Tomas; Björheden, Rolf; Thor, Magnus; Wästerlund, Iwan


This study describes developments in large-scale logging technology in Sweden from 1985 to 2010. Data were collected from manufacturers' sales material and from large forest enterprises. On average, forwarders manufactured in 2010 had 27-33% higher boom lifting torque than those manufactured in 1985-1989. The inflation-adjusted prices of medium-sized single-grip harvesters remained the same, but prices of forwarders increased by 30-50% in this period. The mechanical availability of various classes of machinery used increased from 70-80% to 85-88% between 1985 and 2008. The harvesting costs of thinning decreased between 1990 and 1998, while those of final fellings decreased from 1985 to 2006. However, in 2008 costs of both thinning and final felling tended to increase. The productivity of logging by the Swedish forest enterprise SCA increased almost three-fold in the period 1985-2010. However, since 2003 there have been signs of declining productivity. Currently, there is considerable interest in harvesting forest biomass for energy production. The new work tasks involved will affect the configuration of forest machines. A possible trend is that a new generation of forest machines and methods will be developed to facilitate integrated handling of roundwood and forest biomass for energy generation.


boom lifting torque; forwarder; harvester; harvesting costs; productivity

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2010, volume: 25, number: 4, pages: 382-389

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management
Björheden, Rolf
Thor, Magnus
Wästerlund, Iwan
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Resource Management

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG8 Decent work and economic growth

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

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