A newly released report on the productivity and utilization of winch-assist machines in Canada and New Zealand provides insight into the efficient management of steep-slope harvesting at a time when the demand for the system is increasing in both countries.
Six on-site case studies in Western Canada and New Zealand were analyzed during fieldwork between the summer and winter of 2018-2019. “The report will help harvest planners and forest managers understand winch-assist requirements to maximize the value from this approach to falling and extraction,” says co-author and FPInnovations forest operations industry advisor, Colin Koszman.
In the report, the authors explain that winch-assist falling and extraction operations differ considerably from traditional falling and yarding on steep slopes and require separate planning and layout strategies. The detailed report, including planning recommendations, is available to FPInnovations forest-operations members.
Authored by Cameron Leslie, a graduate student at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, and co-authored by Koszman and former University of Canterbury research assistant, Hunter Harrill, the report is titled, “Productivity and Utilisation of Winch-Assist Machines: Case Studies in New Zealand and Canada.”
International exchange of research
The study was made possible by the funding agency, Forest Growers Research (FGR), based in New Zealand. Canadian fieldwork support was provided by FPInnovations. FPInnovations and FGR renewed a memorandum of understanding last year to facilitate the international exchange of their combined research in the area of steep-slope harvesting.