The bearing capacity of Nordic soil
Heavy forestry machines have great immediate effect on soil properties. This increases the interest to develop approaches that help understanding better the interaction between the forest machines and the terrain and consequently develop the forwarders to be gentle to the environment. The most predominant indications of soil disturbances caused by harvesting are mainly rutting and soil compaction. It is critical to understand and evaluate these damages to be able to protect the remaining trees and improve their tree growth rate. Comprehending the bearing capacity of the soil and the interaction between tire and soil are the key issues to develop forest machines that preserve the terrain. The first step to accomplish this goal is to compare the rut depth theoretical data from empirical models with the rut depth data from a full scale field test, the models suitable to predict rut depth is descripted. Tree roots reinforce the forest floor and significantly increase the bearing capacity of the soil. The contribution from root layer to the soil bearing capacity depends on the number, diameter, orientation of the roots and their mechanical properties. To improve the root tensile strength model, a root bending and stretching laboratory test has been carry out and compared with FEM-based results. The existing Valmet 860. 3 Adams MBS model is finally used to study the suitability of the model to predict rut depth. A comparison between several existing methods to predict rut depth is also shown.
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