Australasia's home for timber news and information

How Euro tech could help NZ forestry

A University of Canterbury student’s research has taken him all the way to Austria looking at how modern European forestry machinery could be used in New Zealand. Source: Stuff co nz

UC Master’s student Thornton Campbell has been conducting productivity research using a European cable-yarding machine as part of his Master’s project.

Cable-yarding is a system used on steep terrain to transport logs from where they are felled to the main processing site.

Mr Campbell says that the New Zealand forestry industry often uses machines from the Pacific Northwest United States, but different cable-yarding systems are used in Europe.

“Productivity studies have the potential to discover situations in which European machines could be more cost effective for the local industry,” he said.

“By looking at the volume of wood hauled over time periods, we can model what can be achieved with a machine and then compare that to other machines.”

Mr Campbell spent his first four weeks in Austria on exchange at BOKU University where he assisted with preparing abstracts for the international Forest Engineering Mechanisation (FORMEC) Conference.

He also had the opportunity to present his Master’s project at FORMEC; an experience he describes as challenging but extremely valuable.

“It was great to receive feedback on my project from people with different perspectives from all over the world.

“I was presenting in front of people whose names I have read on research papers at UC,” Mr Campbell said.

The conference included a two-day live machinery show that demonstrated the latest innovations in forestry.

Mr Campbell says it was an eye-opening experience to see the technology in action.

“I was seeing the newest and most innovative machinery in the forestry world up close – something that wouldn’t be possible in New Zealand,” he said.

Towards the end of his trip, Campbell assisted UC Forestry Professor Rien Visser, who set up the Austria trip, with a series of presentations at BOKU University.

Mr Campbell says that the Austrian experience was not only important to his Master’s project, but he also gained a global view of the forestry industry and was exposed to new ideas and innovations.

“Going overseas shows you other ways of doing things and possibilities for improving the way we do things in New Zealand. It certainly helps to have a broader vision for my Master’s project,” he said.