A new forwarder with novel technical features that render wood logging more susatainable is the result of the EU-funded Horizon 2020-project 'Forwarder 2020'. Of all agricultural vehicles, forwarders have the biggest wheel load and consequently the biggest impact on forest soil. In order to implement and test different innovative technical improvements for a new generation of forwarders, universities, forestry machinery enterprises and service providers from six different countries (Germany, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Finland and Switzerland) came together to develop two novel Forwarder2020 prototypes.
Innovations developed for the prototypes include a triple-bogie axle, hydrostatic mechanical transmission, a hybrid hydraulic system and a monitoring system. The prototypes were tested on four demo sites in four different countries. When compared to their predecessors, the environmental impacts were significantly reduced. In addition to ecological benefits, it comes with economic advantages and an increase in comfort for operators.
The project received funding from the Horizon 2020 programme.
To find out more about “Forwarder 2020” download the ROSEWOOD Best Practice factsheet.
How does this Best Practice contribute to sustainable wood mobilisation?
The Forwarder2020 comes with multiple benefits for sustainable wood mobilisation. Due to the machine's triple-bogie axle, the surface under the tracks doubles and ground pressure is reduced. As a consequence, the unavoidable rut traces are not as deep as those of traditional forwarders, thus leaving the forest soil with fewer damages. Moreover, the implementation of a new-power-split transmission system significantly reduces fuel consumption during both loading and unloading processes, as well as during off-road driving. Due to the new technology, longer distances can be covered and, in turn, fewer forest roads are needed. The benefits are twofold: The forests and their eco-system are preserved, and by saving fossil fuel, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced.