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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1995) 40(2): 31–35
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Mechanical site preparation using excavators

Peter Hall

The use of excavators for site preparation is becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand and overseas. Excavators can be fitted with a wide range of attachments and can fulfil multiple tasks within a forest.

This paper summarises recent LIRO studies of excavators used in a site preparation role in the forest industry.

Windrowing with an excavator fitted with a slash rake achieved 0.46 hectares per productive machine hour at a cost of $240 per hectare.

Spot cultivation by ripping and mounding with an excavator cost $434 per hectare at 0.29 hectares per productive machine hour.

The ROTREE spot cultivator-mounder working on sites with slopes of 0-15° covered 0.23-0.29 hectares per productive machine hour at a cost of $450-$540 per hectare.

Excavators can typically work on steeper slopes than other commonly used site preparation equipment and operate with less site impact.

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