Relative to military vehicle capable of carrying similar loads, the trafficability of forwarders is poor. Only when the widest recommended tires and wide tracks are fitted to the more commonly used forwarders in Australia does their trafficability on flat ground approach that of a standard military truck. On steep ground their trafficability is significantly worse. Improvements can be brought about possibly through a reduction in chassis weight and the fitting of larger tires, providing the axle strengths are increased. With tires fitted, the load distribution applied to flat ground appears to be optimum but on steep ground significant improvements can be obtained by better design of the bogie wheel system. Other potential improvement involve reducing the shear stresses imposed on the soil by eliminated differential rates of slip between wheels and locating the position of the pivot axis gravity of the loaded machine as possible, while still ensuring the wheels track one another during a turn.
The fellowship provided an opportunity for the author to assess the methodology and role of radiata pine wood quality research in New Zealand (NZ). The study Tour involved discussions with researches – regarding the techniques used in the past projects, and with representative of industry – concerning the extend to which the research results have benefited those processing the resource.