Together with SATCO LOGGING ATTACHMENTS, Interpine is able through STICKS to track felling progress using GPS in a full tree harvesting system1 without the need for ANY additional software or hardware.

As STICKS the Harvest and Woodflow Solution is constantly increasing its client base within the New Zealand forestry sector we are often challenged with many questions regarding extracting the most value from the collected data. One of the most frequent questions was about the use of the internal GPS unit within the feller-buncher and its capability to monitor harvesting progress. This suits a full tree harvesting system, which is one of the most common setups in the Central North Island. This is whereby one machine is processing on the landing while the other one is felling and delimbing. Full trees are extracted either with ground-base or cable hauler equipment. This arrangement results in limited value of the spatial GPS data from the harvester processing the logs at the skid as it not linked to any felled area. Furthermore a GPS record is not normally recorded by the fell-buncher that is not bucking the tree into logs, within the normal StanForD PRI file.

Working with SATCO on behalf of the forest manager, Interpine reviewed the options to enable this functionality with as little disruption and using the StanForD pri file output. What has been in debate as not possible and too hard for many years was resolved within week. The available data has become of high importance to the management for highly accurate and timely harvest mark-up maps, monitoring age of felled wood, reconciliation purposes and post-harvest assessment. Data is now streaming into STICKS and available within the forest managers own GIS system through the STICKS Geospatial web service.


Fig 1 – GPS Module in Harvester and Harvest Felling Progress Mapped in GIS using the STICKS GIS Web service.

Upgrading the mapping with LiDAR! and making it in real-time for the operator.

In addition to this successful implementation, Interpine started to provide SATCO, in agreement with the forest management, with LiDAR terrain models and canopy height models for the use in SATCO’s internal on-board mapping interface. The mapping feature allows the operator to manage their falling progress more strategically, by being able to see the terrain in detail beneath the canopy. It also positively contributes to crew safety in a much better way as he/she always knows the machine location in proximity to skids and roads. Interpine also have the HarvestNav application for this purpose, but utilising the inbuilt computer system in cab results in no additional hardware.

Fig 2 – Terrain Model on on-board computer 

If you would like to know more about this and the STICKS system, feel free to contact us.   Thanks also to the efforts of the SATCO team in seeing a real world need and working with us to make it a reality.

1 Full Tree – Fell and take full tree to the landing or offsite processing facility / super skid to process