Workload analysis in logging technology employing a processor aggregated with a farm tractor

Krzysztof Leszczyński, Arkadiusz Stańczykiewicz


Aim of study: The aim of this research was to analyze the workload of the operators while logging at the motor-manual level in coniferous stands undergoing two tending treatments (early and late thinning). The technologies under the investigation employed a power chainsaw, tractor equipped with a cable winch as well as delimbing and cross-cutting Hypro 450W processor.

Area of study, materials and methods: The research areas were located in lowlands and in a mountain range of the Western Carpathians. In the analysis it was assumed that the heart rate at work, expressed in beats per minute, would be an indicator of the workload affecting the human organism. Based on the heart rate, three indicators were calculated: relative heart rate at work (%HRR), 50% level of heart rate reserve, ratio of working heart rate to resting heart rate.

Main results: The lowest average workload (typical for light work, %HRR<20) was recorded for the processor operator in late thinning (%HRR=16), whereas, the highest one (indicating heavy work, %HRR=48.69>40%) was for the chainsaw operator in early thinning, working with a processor. Cumulative distribution function of the workload at the work station of the skidder operator was characterized by bimodality – an occurrence of two extreme, high and low, workload values.

Research highlights: The workload in early thinning was higher by about 7% than in late thinning at the work station of both, the processor operator as well as the chainsaw operator working with a processor.

Keywords: logging; tractor processor; heart rate; workload; cardiovascular strain.


Full Text:




Anonymous, 2014. Forestry 2013. A. S. D. CSO, Ed. Warsaw: Central Statistical Office. Poland. 344 pp.

Bünger J, Bombosch F, Mesecke U, Hallier E, 1997. Monitoring and analysis of occupational exposure to chain saw exhausts. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J, 58(10): 747–751.

Crawley MB, 2008. Validation of the sensewear hr armband for measuring heart rate and energy expenditure. Master thesis. Clevelan State University. USA.

Fibiger W, 1978. Workload on workstations and physical capacity. In Polish, Warszawa, Poland, Instytut Wydawniczy CRZZ. 100 pp.

Fisz M, 1967. Probability theory and mathematical statistics. 3rd ed. New York London Sydney: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 678 pp.

Grzywiński W, Sawa L, Nowik A, Nowicki G, 2013. Structure of work accidents in the Regional Directorate of the State Forests in Szczecinek in the years 1990−2009. Sylwan, 157(6): 403–411.

Grzywiński W, Wandycz A, Tomczak A, Jelonek T, Szaban J, 2010. Occurence of musculoskeletal disorders in woodcutters. Proc. FORMEC 2010 Forest Engineering: Meeting the Needs of the Society and the Environment, Padova (Italy), July 11 – 14. pp: 1–10.

Keytel LR, Goedecke JH, Noakes TD, Hiiloskorpi H, Laukkanen R, van der Merwe L, Lambert EV, 2005. Prediction of energy expenditure from heart rate monitoring during submaximal exercise. J Sports Sci 23(3): 289–97.

Kim DH, Cho JS, Oh HS, Chee YJ, Kim IY, 2009. The estimation method of physical activity energy expenditure considering heart rate variability. In A. Murray (Ed.), 36th Annual Computers in Cardiology Conference (CinC 2009), Utah (USA), Sep. 13-16. pp. 413–416.

Kirk PM, Sullman MJ, 2001. Heart rate strain in cable hauler choker setters in New Zealand logging operations. Appl Ergon 32(4): 389–398.

Leonard WR, 2003. Measuring human energy expenditure: what have we learned from the flex-heart rate method? Am J Hum Biol 15(4): 479–89.

Leszczyński K, 2011. Factor analysis in ergonomic profiling of workplaces in forestry. In: Technology and Ergonomics in the Service of Modern Forestry, Publishing House of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland. pp: 113–129.

Leszczyński K, Jałowska M, 2011. Similarity of the workstations involved in sanitation felling. Sylwan, 155(7): 437–445.

Magagnotti N, Spinelli R, 2011. Replacing steel cable with synthetic rope to reduce operator workload during long winching operations. Small-Scale For 11(2): 223–236.

Ottaviani G, Talbot B, Nitteberg M, Stampfer K, 2011. Workload benefits of using a synthetic rope strawline in cable yarder rigging in Norway. Croat J For Eng 32(2): 561–569.

Schlick C, Bruder R, Luczak H, 2010. Arbeitswissenschaft. 3rd ed., Heidelberg Dordrecht London New York: Springer. 1208 pp.

Shannon H, Robson L, Guastello S, 1998. Methodological criteria for evaluating occupational safety intervention research. Saf Sci 31: 161–179.

Sowa J, Kulak D, Szewczyk G, 2007. Costs and efficiency of timber harvesting by NIAB 5-15 processor mounted on a farm tractor. Croat.J For Eng 28(2): 177–184.

Sowa J, Leszczyński K, Szewczyk G, 2006. Human energy expenditure in late thinning performed in mountain spruce stands. Acta Scientarium Polonorum Seria Silvarum Colendarum Ratio et Industria Lignaria 5(1): 73–80.

Spinelli R, Magagnotti N, 2012. Wood extraction with farm tractor and sulky: estimating productivity, cost and energy consumption. Small-Scale For 11(1): 73–85.

Stampfer K, Leitner T, Visser R, 2009. Efficiency and ergonomic benefits of using radio controlled chokers in cable yarding. Croat J For Eng 31(1): 1–9.

Toupin D, LeBel L, Dubeau D, Imbeau D, Bouthillier L, 2007. Measuring the productivity and physical workload of brushcutters within the context of a production-based pay system. Forest Policy Econ 9(8): 1046–1055.

DOI: 10.5424/fs/2015242-06607