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Forest equipment and machines


chainsawChain Saw

 Whilst the chainsaw was patented in 1926, it was not introduced generally for tree-felling until the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Safety trousers, gloves and helments with ear muffs are essential equipment.


The Mighty Harvester

Most trees are felled by an amazing machine called a Harvester.This machine grips the standing tree and cuts through its trunk with an automatic chainsaw. Then the tree is laid on the ground and pulled through the harvester's felling head, where the branches are cut off by special knives. The length and diameter of the log are measured by the harvester's onboard computer, which then tells the machine just what lengths to cut the log into. Harvesters can fell 400 tonnes a week, about 15 times faster than a man with a chainsaw!  These machines are very expensive about £250,000 - a very big house!

The cut logs have then to be removed from the forest by vehicles called forwarders.  If the ground conditions are unsuitable Horseloggers.


horse loggingHorse Logging
In some forests the ground is too steep for big machines or the forest is very special for wildlife and big machines would be too damaging. Today's foresters now turn to yesterday's technology and use horses to remove the felled timber.  More than 30 Horse Loggers are now working full time in Britain's forests. They choose the type of horse to suit the conditions, sometimes heavy shire horses and other times Shetland ponies.


Cables and winches are used to take timber off very steep terrain.