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Methodology & System

The 'Logfisher' system employs a method of timber log extraction by combining the process of winching and lifting performed by a single machine. The machine embodies the body and function of an excavator with an added feature of a crane. The log extraction technique employed is effective for extracting logs over reasonably long distance by the use of long cable under most terrain conditions without the need to fully suspend the logs. The 'Logfisher' in combination with the Crawler Tractor has given rise to a more environmental friendly and efficient Ground Based System.

The combined system is termed as the New Ground Based Reduced Impact Logging (NGB RIL) System and requires only minor adjustment to the current Conventional and Modified Ground Based System which utilizes only Crawler Tractor to extract logs from the forest. In the NGB RIL, the Crawler Tractor undertakes all the previous planned functions involving construction and skidding of logs to temporary log landings, except that their role in log extraction is limited to areas not more than 30 - 50 meters from the planned roads, beyond which will be carried out by the 'Logfisher' timber harvester.

This system makes planning much easier and less time consuming by removing the need to plan, mark, measure, map, construct and rehabilitate the extensive network of skid trials associated with the Conventional and Modified Crawler Tractor RIL System. The NGB RIL system has been effectively and consistently applied since 1999, incorporating the application of RIL planning procedures and processes in road alignment and construction, marking and mapping of trees to be felled and protected trees, directional felling, marking and mapping of protected areas and buffers in the preparation of a comprehensive harvesting plan.

The result of the application of NGB RIL has consistently recorded low incidences of damage to residual trees and significant reduction in the creation of open spaces (without the need to construction extensive skid trials). Post harvesting assessment results in areas harvested using the NGB RIL system consistently indicates the need for only minimal vegetative and physical rehabilitation, which translates to shorter rotations and savings on rehabilitation.

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