Main Article Content
This study aimed to determine levels of pressure and compaction induced by forest harvesting operations in a Red Latosol (LV) under planted eucalyptus. Undisturbed soil samples were collected from layers 0-3 and 15-18 cm and then used in a uniaxial compression test. Sampling was done before and after harvesting operations. Equipment being evaluated included: harvester, feller buncher, forwarder, self-loading adapted tractor, standard truck, wide-tire truck and grapple saw. Average pressures induced by the grapple saw were 320 kPa and 272 kPa, causing compaction in 80% and 20% of samples respectively from layers 0-3 cm and 15-18 cm, which indicates substantial degradation of soil structure in areas where timber is processed. In layer 0-3 cm, average pressures induced by the harvester and by the feller buncher were 240 kPa and 263 kPa respectively, while in layer 15-18 cm pressures were 234 kPa and 239 kPa respectively. The feller buncher caused higher soil compaction than the harvester in layer 0-3 cm, yet in layer 15-18 cm they had similar behavior. All timber forwarding equipment led to soil compaction. The wide-tire truck was the forwarding implement promoting the highest rate of compaction, in both residue conditions. Traffic intensity 7 promoted the highest rate of soil compaction.