Traction-assist (also called winch-assist, or tethered-assist) technology for steep-slope harvesting and forest operations has increasingly been implemented worldwide over the past four to five years. Industry involvement and the need for relevant information in western Canada have dramatically expanded in the last year alone. FPInnovations attended the Western Region Council on Forest Engineering (WR.COFE) seminar in January 2016, where one of the technical sessions focused on steep-slope tethered-assist technology. More than 300 attendees received updates from an academic (Oregon State University), a manufacturer (Summit Attachment & Machinery), a contractor (Technical Forest Solutions), a regulator (Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration), and a cable logging specialist(Brian Tuor)
This report presents several technologies developed for steep terrain harvesting in New Zealand. The information was collected from on-site visits conducted in early 2015 by the author. Many of the innovative technologies presented here were developed under the auspices of the steep terrain program designed to improve safety and productivity in forest harvesting operations under the FFR vision of “No worker on the slope, no hand on the chainsaw”
Forestry machines are constantly evolving thanks to technological advancements. As these changes happen, our best practices must change accordingly to ensure optimal safe production and efficiency. For many years, we have used various equipment to bring wood to the road, such as cable yarders, hoe chuckers, and even forwarders on semi-steep ground without the assistance of cable winches. However, there is an increasing need for forwarders to follow harvesters on steeper ground with short pitches. Logging on steeper ground with shorter slopes using winch-assist harvester/forwarder tandems has been taking place in several European countries, Australia, and South America for more than a decade. This manual contains techniques and procedures that will take you through every stage of the forwarding process, including planning, loading, travelling, handling the boom, and unloading.
Machines and equipment are constantly evolving thanks to technological advancements.
As these changes happen, our best practices must change accordingly to ensure optimal safe
production and efficiency.
For many years we used tracked carrier harvesters with tilting platforms that are able to perform
well in semi-steep ground without the assistance of cable winches. However, as harvesting has
continued to take place on steeper ground with short pitches, large cable yarders have not been
economical to use and the slopes too steep for normal conventional steep ground harvesters.
Conventional type harvesters with an ability to work steeper ground with shorter slopes were needed
This style of logging has been taking place in several European countries, Australia, and New
Zealand for a number of years, with equipment manufacturers from around the world now having or
developing machines with computerized cable winches that work with existing conventional harvesters
in such a way that they can safely perform on steeper ground. Wheeled machines are well suited as
winch-assist winches as they have better contact with the ground, tend to burn less fuel, and are
lighter, quieter, and smaller, creating less ground disturbance. Keeping these machines productive
and cost- efficient is achieved by using best practice operating techniques along with appropriate,
This guide provides machine operators who work in winch-assisted harvesting operations with best practices guidelines for handling wire rope. It offers guidance on damage
prevention, inspections, end connectors, storage, and rope
management during harvesting operations. Following these
best practices is essential in order to maximize the service life
of the rope and to prevent accidents.