European Union
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727883



Innovations for better efficiency

Hydrostatic mechanical transmission
This innovation to forwarders has already proven it’s ergonomic and very fuel efficient operating characteristics in agricultural tractors. The setup of the transmission controller and the vehicle controller needs to be very different due to the request to drive safe and fast downhill with a load. Still an improvement like with the agricultural tractors can be expected, that is a 30% lower fuel consumption during driving. The impact of this module on the working process is that longer hauling distances can be economically forwarded and the need for more forest roads is reduced. Moreover, as the forwarder can drive longer distance, there is less need to interrupt the process for refueling. This supports sustainable wood production without burdening the forest with more forest roads.

Hybrid hydraulic crane system
This innovation of cranes, including forwarder cranes, should reduce the fuel consumption during loading and unloading processes by 30% over a conventional load-sensing system and increase the speed for loading and unloading, if the operator can control the higher speed.

Especially the high number of movements in narrow thinning will show the biggest improvement. This helps selective thinning being more competitive than clear-cutting and supports sustainable wood production from forest managed on a multifunctional basis, as a source of recreation and as a permanent production forest. Of course, energy saving improves the process of loading and unloading and makes it more economical and more environmental friendly.


Innovations for soil protection

Hydraustatic mechanical transmission
This module works in the same direction as the power-split transmission. It enables long hauling distances and reduces the need for additional forest roads.
The reduction of the dynamic wheel load reduces ruts and therefore improves the process of forwarding. Due to the reduced dynamic load on the structure, the chassis of the forwarder can be more lightweight and either reduce the dynamic wheel loads again or increase the payload and thus reduce the number of passages.
The human resources are also being saved by the suspension, especially the back of the operator. Occupational diseases make this an important factor and stricter limits for maximum vibration exposure for operators are being expected.

Triple-bogie axle
This module will double the surface under the bogie-tracks and is an innovation to the forwarder market. It enables a cost-effective, productive and environmental friendly timber harvest on wetlands, where standard forwarders can hardly work or would be unproductive with the devise of extremely deep ruts in the skidding lane.


Monitoring system

Forwarder2020 will develop the necessary hardware and software to collect data during the work process of the forwarder. This data gives evidence of the working area of the forwarder and shows the impact of the new developed technique relating to efficiency and environment. The following tools are going to be developed:

  • Tool and sensor to measure the machine load
  • Development of a human machine interface to present machine related data
  • Design and development of a web platform to display and monitor the collected machine data
  • Adaption and further development of the software to integrate and use the collected machine data

On the part of forest machine owner the collected and displayed data will prove the productivity of the machine under different working conditions. The operator will get good and easy to understand information of his working area to notice where the operator is allowed to work and where not under wet conditions or in several times of the year (breeding season etc.). Forestry owners will be able to see that the contractor has fulfilled the given requirements. Conservation organizations will be able to monitor harvesting processes to make sure that the environmental impact is as low as possible. During the project, this collected data will be used to prove how efficient and environmental friendly the new machine works.