65924 - Agricultural and Forestry Mechanisation

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At end of the course, the student will acquire the necessary knowledge on the operation and utilization of agricultural and forestry machinery. In particular, the student will be able to establish agro-forestry mechanization plans, choose machines and their combinations in relation to technological, cultural, structural, environmental and economic constraints.


Course contents

Module 1: Agricultural mechanization (60 h)

Elements of applied mechanics:

  • machines
  • mechanisms
  • elementary joints
  • friction
  • lubrication
  • machine efficiency
  • gears
  • gear ratio
  • bearings

Hydraulic systems:

  • machines
  • components (tanks, pumps, valves, actuators)
  • open and closed loop hydraulic circuits


  • classification
  • diesel engine
  • transmissions
  • three-point hitch
  • hitch hooks
  • PTO
  • tractor stability
  • traction and innovations

Soil trafficability and workability:

  • cone index
  • shear strength Coulomb's law
  • Atterberg's limits
  • in-field shear strength measurement

Soil tillage:

  • conventional tillage systems
  • minimun tillage
  • sod seeding

Forage harvesters and different harvester methods:

  • machines for forage cutting
  • conditioning
  • harvesting

Harvesting machines for cereals:

  • combines
  • corn harvesters.

Sowing machines:

  • mechanics
  • pneumatic drills

Field visits: field visits in the didactic centre of Cadriano, field test of the different machines described in the module 1.

Seminars attended by engineers of agricultural machine manufacturers.


Module 2: Agricultural and Forestry Mechanization (20 h)

Introduction to forestry mechanization:

  • Mechanization aims
  • Factors affecting the development of forestry mechanization

Forestry mechanization, productivity, work system organization:

  • Work systems
  • Decision-making factors
  • Mechanization levels
  • Sustainable mechanisation models

Forestry mechanized operations:

  • Felling, cutting, lopping, barking

Forestry tractor:

  • Skidder
  • Forwarder

Forest Operations Equipment:

  • Equipment for felling and processing: chainsaw; debarking machine
  • Timber handling equipment: skidding winch, forestry trailer, forestry crane, knuckleboom loaders
  • Multifunction forestry machines: Feller; Feller buncher; Feller skidder; Processor; Harvester

Equipment for transporting suspended timber:

  • Wire rope
  • Standing skyline cable system

Other equipment Hedge mowers:

  • Timber chipper and shredder
  • Short Rotation Forestry harvesters

Elements of ergonomics and safety in machinery forestry use:

  • Risks associated with use of machinery and equipment in the forestry work
  • Risk assessment, and adaptation of machinery to legal requirements, Legislative Decree no. 81/2008


Suggested course materials:
  • Lecture notes uploaded in virtuale.unibo.it.
  • Biondi P., Meccanica agraria. Le macchine agricole. UTET, 1999
  • Renius, K. T. Fundamentals of Tractor Design. Springer.
    Spinelli R. - Meccanizzazione forestale intermedia; Ed. Edagricole, Bologna
  • Hippoliti G., Appunti di Meccanizzazione Forestale, Studio Editoriale Fiorentino, 1997.
  • AA.VV. Uso di macchine complementari per la gestione dei boschi e della filiera legno, New Business Media, 2021.

Discretionary course materials:

  • Engineering Principles of Agricultural Machines, 2nd ed. St. Joseph, Michigan: ASABE, Copyright American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
  • A. VV. Filiera Bosco-Legno-Energia, Elementi di Sicurezza sul Lavoro: Cippatrici, Gru a Cavo e Harvester, Servizio Sanitario della Toscana, 2014 (downloadable from http://www.regione.toscana.it/-/filiera-bosco-legno-energia-elementi-di-sicurezza-sul-lavoro-cippatrici-gru-a-cavo-e-harvester)

Teaching methods

Lectures in class, in soil mechanics laboratory and in computer laboratory.

Assessment methods

The knowledge verification will be performed only through a single oral examination for both modules, which verifies the acquisition of knowledge and skills expected by an oral examination of about 30 minutes without the aid of notes or books.

The oral examination consists of 5 questions, on the different aspects analysed during the course.

The final grade will be the weighted mean of both results.

Students wishing to take the examination in English are allowed.

Teaching tools

Instruments and lab material.

Office hours

See the website of Michele Mattetti

See the website of Roberta Martelli