How Are We Going to Log All Our Steeper Slopes? - The “Kelly” Harvesting Machine

Authors: Kerry Hill
Publication: New Zealand Journal of Forestry, Volume N.Z.J.For. 2010, Issue N.Z.J.For. 55(3) 2010, pp 3, Nov 2010
Publisher: New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Abstract: Nelson based logging contractor Nigel Kelly has a pretty simple philosophy about improving productivity: you identify the bottleneck, and then find a solution. The inevitable outcome is that another bottleneck occurs somewhere else in the production line, which means another improvement opportunity has been identified. Most improvements in efficiency and productivity are relatively small, but occasionally a stepchange occurs. The Steep Slope Harvester is just such a change. The task of manually felling trees on steep slopes is physically demanding, and industry records show the highest risk of injury are both manual tree felling and breaking-out. This risk is also increased significantly where wind-thrown trees are present. Manual tree felling also limits hauler productivity because of difficulties in pre-bunching trees - necessary to maximise pay-loads for the cable yarder. Nigel currently has a harvesting machine felling trees on slopes up to 45 degrees in both clear-fell and windthrow operations, and is well on his way to having an industry solution for the above problems on steep terrain.
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