Collaborative operational harvest planning

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As we’ve reported, the HarvestTECH 2017 event ran a couple of weeks ago in Rotorua with around 450 logging contractors, forest managers, harvest planners and key equipment suppliers to the industry turning up. Details on how event delegates download the many presentations and resources that came from the event have already been sent out.

As part of the two-day conference programme, Dave Robinson, Chief Operating Officer with Nelson Forests outlined the joint approach that their company was taking to harvest operations.

This included:

  • Maintaining a 6 month ahead constructed position. The rationale here is to ensure that there is a stock of roads and skids in place that will carry you through the wetter periods of the year. As well as engineering staff, the logging crew is involved in the planning of their work so they can have direct ownership of the success of their operations at the area made ready.
  • Achieving a 6-12 month field verified plan. Here the harvest unit has been walked by all plan stakeholders (Company, Engineering, Harvesting) to the extent that setting boundaries, and road /skid locations have been verified as feasible and of suitable size, shape and gradeability.
  • Achieving a minimum of 12 – 24 month paper planned set of harvest units. Harvest units (typically of 20 to 50ha in size and are defined by their usage of a common set of roading infrastructure and estimated natural topographic boundaries) are drawn off from the combination of stands and terrain classes as provided by the resource plan.
  • Maintaining a 5-year view of terrain classified by topographic type. All terrain within the two to five-year harvest plan is classified by its topographic type. Terrain classes form the basis of large scale harvest units which the resources forester can use for harvest planning and in doing so provide the operations team with a smoothed flow of volume by terrain type. This will aid a strategic approach to ensuring the right kind of equipment is available as the forest topology changes through time.

A more detailed report on partnership planning for those involved in resource management, harvest planning and logging operations has already been supplied to HarvestTECH 2017 delegates. The basis of the briefing paper is that it was provided to the Nelson Forests Business in 2013. Since then the business has refined partnership planning and built software tools to support the processes described.

A copy of this paper on collaborative operational harvest planning prepared by Dave Robinson has also been included here for wider use.

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