Developing solutions for safer harvesting techniques on steep terrain
The forest industry in British Columbia (BC) is facing increasingly difficult challenges regarding fibre supply. New winch-assist technology that enables fully mechanized ground-based forest harvesting on steep terrain has been increasingly used in BC since 2016. The new systems have improved safety and provide access to fibre that was previously uneconomic. New low-consumption small-size cable yarders have also received increasing interest in non-trafficable terrain. Both the winch-assist and the cable yarding systems have similar issues related to the use of tensioned wire ropes and natural anchors (stumps or trees).Rope and anchor failures have serious safety risks for the operators and the forest industry as a whole. To date, only a few studies focused on cable tensile force analysis and suitability of trees or stumps as anchors. This research aims to study the behaviour of cable-supported systems and anchors under varying conditions and improve safe practices of the newly introduced technology in BC.