CHPS for cable harvest planning

Friday 25 Oct 2013

The Cable Harvest Planning System (CHPS), developed by ATLAS Technology in conjunction with Geographic Business Solutions, is a modern software system that breathes new life into tried-and-true physics.

“Payload analysis for cable harvesting is not new,” says Jeremy Snook, business analyst at ATLAS. “While similar systems have been developed in the past, CHPS is the first to be directly integrated into GIS - geospatial software, which is one of the forest manager’s core tools. This provides easy access to detailed information about the terrain, while allowing seamless transition to other day-to-day forest management activities such as harvesting, as well as linking to log yield information.

“Much of the forest due for harvesting was planted in the early 1990s on steep, erosion prone land. It’s too steep to use ground-based mechanical harvesting equipment so must be harvested using cable haulers. Planning these harvesting operations is challenging and ensuring the safety of the ground crew is paramount.”

Tailholds need to be positioned for maximum hauler reach and payload. Repositioning a tower is costly particularly on combinations of steep terrain and some soils. CHPS uses geospatial terrain data (for example, derived from LiDAR), hauler and rigging characteristics, such as tower height and cable breaking strain, and then applies robust, well established science to determine the best positioning of the tailholds to achieve maximum payload.

“CHPS translates rich terrain data into usable information, equipping contractors with a better knowledge of any constraints they may be faced with, such as where hauler vision will be restricted. This helps forest managers and harvesting contractors find optimal locations for the hauler pad and identify solutions along extraction corridors, plan upfront for any safety issues and help them set contract rates. “This provides greater certainty, enabling more informed risk management for contractors and forest growers.”

In this year’s Steep Slope Wood Harvesting Conference planned as part of ForestTECH 2013 in Rotorua on 26-27 November, Megan Costello, Harvest Engineer with Ernslaw One will be outlining just how CHPS is being used operationally by the company for their harvest planning. Further details on the event can be found on

Source: Scion Connections

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