Saturday, 07. January 2017

Motor-manual harvesting

Among other densely wooded countries it was Norway, where we gained our experiences in motor-manual harvesting. Therefore we are well aware, that trees and their precious commodity wood are respectable natural goods, whose power must never be underestimated.

"Believe me, for I have learned, you will find more in the forests than in the books. Trees and stones will teach you what you never get told by any teacher."

Bernhard von Clairvaux (gest. 1153)

A man had spoken these words, who lived in the so-called "wooden age" – an era lasting from the early Middle Ages to late 18th century.
During this period, the indispensable raw material wood was not only been used for building construction, but was also of crucial importance to the manufacturers of marine- and war equipment, for heating and for the production of equipment and furnish-ings in general, as well as for manufacturing pieces of artwork and cultural property in particular. It is beyond all doubt, that a key factor for the development of our civilization is this precious natural good and subsequently the knowledge we gained about harvesting it.

Alongside the technical progress the methods of harvesting became more powerful, cheaper and therefore highly efficient: throughout the mechanised process, harvesting machines do all the work from logging to recording. They are called "harvesters" and they perform semi-automatic felling, delimbing and generating the assortment. Other semi-automatic processors, such as the "Forwarders", pass on the timber from steep slopes to the landing.

But the forests are not living according to our temporality. Which is why motor-manual harvesting techniques, based on traditional methods, are still the most appropriate solution in many cases. Although while doing so, axes and horses are supplemented or replaced by chainsaws and winches. But difficult terrain and steep slopes are no problem for trained lumbermen.

Especially in the alpine region the adjustment of harvesting methods appropriate to the extreme challenges plays a significant role. In case the terrain is not accessible for "Harvesters" or is for "Forwarders" at the most, then the only alternative are traditional motor-manual harvesting techniques. The lumbermen have to do the preliminary work for the "Forwarders" – meaning the felling, delimbing, bucking and the division of the log into smaller parts for classification and to achieve transportability.

If not even the "Forwarder" can access the terrain, cable logging or driving methods must be used: the first means the skidding of the logs with temporarily constructed cableways and cable cranes to a passable intermediate landing or a final storage place, where the timber is stacked for pick up. The second means taking advantage of suffi-ciently steep slopes. The logs will be driven to the landing on aisles or in slides, con-structed from other logs. Rain and snow facilitates working with this techniques and so does a special tool, developed in the alpine region: the log peavey. As a combination of turning hook and hammer, it fulfils its purpose to help lifting and turning the log into position.

The motor-manual harvesting method is undoubtedly a costly as well as a physically and mentally extremely demanding procedure, associated with a high risk of accidents. Nevertheless one must admit, that damages to environment and tree population are much lower in comparison to those caused by the semi-automatic, mechanised methods.
And because it requires smaller organisation expenditure, this method is much more flexible and can be used at any time.

Of course the service range of our company includes the motor-manual harvesting. We are convinced, that our profound experience in this difficult field is an indispensable basis for challenging tasks such as special felling.