Productivity varies with conditions Of course, site conditions have an impact on production rates and operating costs. To see how the Bio-Harvester performs in all manner of environments, the development team ran it in a wide range of applications.
"One was a forest site where we were trying to get control of small-diameter woody biomass growth between the rows of a plantation," recalls Roise. "Another was in the wildland urban interface where we were clearing underbrush close to home sites. We also worked in a traditional development site, and in a brush-dominated ecosystem. Another was all woody brush - 20 feet high and densely packed together."
The highest production rates were achieved while performing pre-commercial thinning in a Louisiana pine timber plantation. The long rows allowed the machine to spend a maximum amount of time processing debris, while minimum time was devoted to maneuvering around obstacles.
However, operators - knowing they will sell the shredded product for $18-28 per ton - can typically live with lower productivity due to the maneuverability issues inherent when moving a large machine through the woods. Company officials said that under these circumstances, production may be closer to 8 tph.