A tip to keep yarders stand­ing

New Zealand Logger - - Forest Grower’s Research 2018 -

AU­TO­MA­TION HAS BEEN TOUTED IN FORESTRY AS A MEANS TO HELP IM­PROVE pro­duc­tion, keep peo­ple safe and also over­come the short­age of work­ers in our in­dus­try.

But it can also help con­trac­tors pro­tect their in­vest­ments, ac­cord­ing to Rien Visser, As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor of Forestry Engi­neer­ing and the Univer­sity of Can­ter­bury.

Prof Visser told the 2018 For­est Grow­ers Re­search con­fer­ence in Tau­ranga last month com­put­ers re­act much faster than hu­mans, mean­ing they can avert sit­u­a­tions that might cause equip­ment dam­age and in­jure peo­ple.

He high­lights the ex­am­ple of a yarder pulling a stem to the land­ing, say­ing: “If a tree com­ing up a slope hits a stump it re­sults in a big spike in ten­sion and it takes an op­er­a­tor one-and-a-half-to-two sec­onds to re­spond to that – the com­puter can re­spond in one one-thou­sandth of a se­cond to that and ac­tu­ally slow it.

“We are tip­ping over one yarder here in New Zealand every month and this is one of the ways tech­nol­ogy can help us to pre­vent these oc­cur­rences.”

Prof Visser says that is just one ex­am­ple where foresters should be wel­com­ing au­to­ma­tion in the work­place.

Among other ex­am­ples of how au­to­ma­tion is likely to be seen in har­vest­ing equip­ment are driver­less skid­ders and for­warders. He points out that farm trac­tors do­ing re­peat jobs are al­ready be­ing au­to­mated, as are trucks work­ing in mines. He can fore­see au­to­mated ma­chines be­ing built with­out cabs, thus sav­ing con­trac­tors up to $15,000 for, say, a har­vester for for­warder.


This new Fal­con 171 tower hauler has been equipped with lat­est tech­nol­ogy that will en­able it to be fully au­to­mated in fu­ture.

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