Logging operations are a prerequisite for all biomass harvesting. Once this operation has been completed, a third of the mass of all coniferous trees and a bit more for deciduous trees lays on the forest floor because this resource has no value in current markets. With rising energy costs, this once unwanted biomass provides an opportunity to improve forest rehabilitation on more productive stands, while providing increased revenue and employment opportunities for local contractors and forest communities.
To do this safely and efficiently, CYCLOFOR has developed and patented a reliable and productive forest machine, the RC03. This machine recovers and compacts forest slash using an interchangeable container system without altering the physical property of the resource. The base of the machine is a 22 tonne TimberPro TF 840 forwarder. The distinctive feature of this forwarder is its 360° rotating cabin, much like those seen on an excavator. This machine has the flexibility to operate either in a cut-to-length or in a full tree operation, and in all seasons to recover the forest slash.
The RC03 performs all of the forest slash recovery work on its own, salvaging tree branches, tops, needles, leaves and downed trees, and leaving the full container at roadside ready to be transported by semi-trailer to the sorting and processing plant. There the recovered biomass will be processed and refined according to market needs and prices. The RC03 operator then loads an empty container and continues the slash recovery cycle. The productivity versus GHG emissions ratio in this one-stop solution is very positive, and reflects CYCLOFOR's philosophy and approach.
The sophisticated GPS navigational system and data collection computer that is mounted on the RC03 gives CYCLOFOR a significant advantage in forest operations planning and management. The GPS is a real time navigational tool that shows the operator his position on the cut block, so he can track slash to be recovered and other natural ground features of concern. Other key technology is the MultiDat productivity monitoring system. All of this gathered information is constantly transferred to the sorting and processing plant by satellite modem to allow real-time management of the forest operations, the transportation, and the value-recovery process at the mill, all using a just-in-time inventory approach.