There are few regulations for lifting operations with Lifting Equipment that people and companies who own such equipment or operate or have control over such lifting equipment need to follow. In this write-up, we shall try to explain how they are used in forestry.
What do you mean by lifting equipment in forestry?
Any equipment used for lifting or lowering the loads that also includes the following:
- Processing machines which lift as their regular function, e.g.
- Tree harvesters
- Bed processors
- Extraction machines which lift as their function, e.g. cable cranes
- Machines that are fitted with log loaders e.g.
- Clambunk skidders
What is not considered as lifting equipment in forestry?
Any equipment that neither lift nor lower loads, for example:
- Wire rope skidders that is used under normal conditions
- 3-point linkage with forestry tractors as we call them in French as “tracteurs forestiers”, if it is for lifting those machines that are to be used on a tractor
Planning and organising lifting operations
Lifting operations should always be:
- Properly planned
- Safely carried out
It is especially necessary that:
- Workers are trained so that they can use the lifting equipment in a safe manner
- People who plan any lifting operation are practical and knowledgeable having experience to plan such lifting operations
- Work is so organised that no loads are carried or suspended at location where people should not stand or walk under loads.
Suitability of lifting equipment
Lifting equipment must be sufficiently strong for its use. There should be no problem for forestry machines while using them for handling trees and timber.
When used for any other purposes then ensure its strength for the job like lifting of:
- Any tanks for oil, fuel or urea
- Items with slings, chains or hooks
- Unusual loads like pipes for building
Any load attached to it must be of sufficient strength.
The lifting equipment should not overturn or collapse while working. Such risk must be reduced by:
- Choosing equipment suitable for the products to be handled
- Operator’s training
- Planning the extraction routes and harvesting pattern to avoid lifting on side slopes
- Ensuring adequate tyres pressure
- using of stabilising equipment e.g. outriggers and articulation brakes/locks
- Locating suitable points for anchoring the cable crane winch units on the level ground by choosing trees of enough strength with right anchor points for rigging cable cranes
- Choosing for timber stacks any firm and level areas