Monday, March 7, 2016

Out with Area Engineers

Last week I spent the day with Area Manager Richard Frit, of the Mulchen region.  The day varied with discussions surrounding eucalyptus chip processing to rock pit possibilities.  The group included the area engineer, road manager, contract operations boss, feller buncher operator, transportaion manager, and a few others with additional perspectives in the operations. 
Native forest and
plantation soft boundary,
observed for remediation

First order of discussion included harvest area boundaries and landing locations.  The main concern was that native trees were included in the boundary.  However part of the objective for harvest units adjacent to native forest reserves is to remove the exotic species.  A small portion of native forests can be cut but may be made up in community projects or restoration mediation.  Additionally, the landing locations was revised based on native forest densities and slope. The majority of the harvest plans are created based on LiDAR and images in the officer prior to on the ground verification.  Furthermore, the feller buncher operator pointed out locations were a cable winching system was needed because of the slope changes.  Several hectares of prime eucalyptus was barely out of reach and needs to be recovered prior to reforestation.  They were tricky spots adjacent to native forests, public road, and slope changes.  The group was able to identify a plan of action for the additional transport and cable harvesting systems needed to complete the harvest areas.

We also got to take a look at the eucalyptus harvesting system.  On relatively flat terrain a feller buncher and grapple skidder were bringing in eucalyptus to the landing for chipping.  The chipper or astillador processed the entire logs directly into the chip truck.  The 30 ton truck is filled with fresh chips in approximately 20 minutes. This product goes to pulp or biomass mills. This particular landing was seeing about 34 trucks per shift, or 60 per day.  The haul is 4 hour on mostly dirt and gravel roads where speed is limited in the community adjacency zones.

Roads foreman observing rock pit opportunities

15 year old Eucalyptus trees

1 comment:

  1. you are so fortunate - loved the smell of working in gum forests