Woodlot harvesting a real test of diplomacy skills
YOU NEED THE SKILLS OF A DIPLOMAT TO MAKE A SUCCESS OF harvesting in woodlots, according to Frank Carran.
The veteran contractor has done it all, from working in native trees as a youngster, to harvesting in big corporate-owned forests and in recent years he’s run a crew specialising in woodlots in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
Frank, who runs Longwood Logging, spoke at the Harvest TECH 2017 conference in his (current) home town of Rotorua about what it takes to succeed in woodlots, with diplomacy topping the list.
As well as getting the owner of the forestry block on side, the woodlot harvester also needs to talk to owners of neighbouring land and others who live nearby.
Keeping all these various entities happy will help to make the job go much smoother, he says.
Disputes can easily crop up where trees are being harvested close to a boundary and the neighbour wants assurances that fences – regardless of how tatty they are – should not be touched.
And those who live nearby, rather than next to the site, can also be upset by the noise from heavy machinery and log trucks rumbling past their front doors.
“It pays to go round and talk to everyone first and explain what you are doing before you start,” says Frank.
Other human issues? When the land owner turns up to the site without any safety gear, riding a quad bike without a helmet, for example, Frank has to politely explain that they could get into trouble when the bush inspector turns up.
Woodlots are never easy, but keeping people on side helps the job go smoother.