Breaking Out

The winds of change don’t always blow smoothly in forestry, but down in the lower half of the North Island, one change seems to have breezed in without leaving chaos in its wake.


On the contrary, it’s had a remarkably positive effect, which could become far-reaching for the industry as a whole.


Last year, NZ Logger visited Whanganui to look at some new ideas being trialled by Forest Growers Research (FGR) to make harvesting operations more efficient, safer and kinder to the environment.


One of those ideas was a ‘re-invention’ of two-staging extraction that was about to be put into operation on a 420-hectare privately-owned forest managed by FOMS Ltd.


The idea was based around using an 8x8 truck to run loads from small landings over simplified tracks to a super-skid near the public road for sorting.


It’s now been more than 12 months since the trial began. Has it worked?


We caught up with FOMS Director, Marcus Musson, at the recent Woodflow 2018 conference in Rotorua to hear the results. But first, a recap on what prompted the project in the first place.


Like many in the industry, FOMS has become increasingly concerned about the environmental effects of harvesting steep blocks, where a large amount of land is disturbed in the creation of big landings to process, stack and load wood, as well as expensive roading that results in tracks pushed through erosion-prone hills, leaving large side-casts that are vulnerable to slipping in bad weather...


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