Remote controlled tree felling trial shows promise

A successful trial in remote controlled tree felling could lead to significant advances in the safety of forestry harvesting operations. The trial was completed by the Steepland Harvesting programme—a partnership between the New Zealand Government and a consortium of forestry companies and contractors, through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Primary Growth Partnership. 

“While remote controlled machines are common in the mining industry and in the military, we understand application to tree-felling is a world-first,” says Keith Raymond, Programme Manager from Future Forests Research, the company leading the Steepland Harvesting programme.

 “We successfully trialled the use of remote controlled tree felling earlier this month—this result aligns to our programme’s aim of improving safety and productivity in forestry harvesting operations and our vision of 'No worker on the slope, no hand on the chainsaw'.

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