701-1645-00L  Forest Operations

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersH. Griess, J. Schweier
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


701-1645-00 GForest Operations2 hrs
Mon14:15-16:00ML H 34.3 »
06.11.13:15-16:00HG D 1.2 »
H. Griess, J. Schweier

Catalogue data

AbstractThe discipline of Forest operations is constantly challenged to find solutions for unique problems. Each forest site requires specific technological approaches and machinery based on given management goals and ecological and environmental circumstances. Various terrain types and soil conditions, harvesting costs and taking care of the workforce by creating safe working conditions are some of the a
ObjectiveIn this course, students will learn to use a wide variety of approaches grounded in the natural sciences, engineering and technology to develop solutions tailored to unique challenges from the field of forest operations.
The course is aimed at students who either plan an academic or professional career in the field of forest operations, or who will work at the interface between forest operations and the various related disciplines, such as forest ecosystem management and forestry in the wider sense.
After participating in this course students will have acquired foundational knowledge of a wide variety of core elements in the field of forest operations:
• The course will provide students with the ability to describe and differentiate site and stand conditions from an engineering perspective.
• Students will gain an overview and good working knowledge of current technology used in forest operations in Switzerland and around the world.
• Students will acquire the ability to assess the strength and weaknesses of the most commonly used equipment and analyze their suitability for a given set of environmental, economic and social factors.
• Students will be able to combine different types of technology to create an optimal harvesting system for a given task, and assess a given system for its task specific suitability.
• Participants will be able to assess the sustainability and potential short- and long-term impacts of harvesting systems under ecological, economic and social constraints.
• Historic overview
• Scope of operation
• Site and stand characteristics

Timber harvesting
• Logging methods
• Felling methods
• Motor-Manual felling methods
o Falling and processing
• Forest machine structure and function
• Harvester Technology
o Felling heads
o Carriers for felling heads
• Bunching
• Mechanical processing
• Loading equipment
• Operating techniques

Primary Transport Systems
• Ground based
o Common features
o Skidder
o Forwarder
o Loader Forwarder
• Cable yarding
o Common features
o Wire rope
o Cable yarding systems
o Operating techniques
• Aerial
o Common features
o Operating techniques

Winch-Assisted Harvesting Operations
• Harvesting
• Primary transport

Loading Equipment

Secondary transport
• Truck configurations
• Soil compaction and contamination
• Riparian areas

Forest Operations management
• Ergonomics
• Work Safety
• Economic Aspects
• Environmental impact assessment
• Equipment selection

Forest operations across the globe
• New Zealand
• North America
o British Columbia, Canada
o South-eastern U.S.A

Specialized equipment for small scale forest operations

Outlook into the future of forest operations
LiteraturePublished on Moodle
Prerequisites / Notice701-1544-00 Forest Access and Transportation

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersH. Griess, J. Schweier
Typeend-of-semester examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionA repetition date will be offered in the first two weeks of the semester immediately consecutive.
Mode of examinationwritten 90 minutes
Written aidsNone

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Environmental Sciences MasterEcosystem ManagementWInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterMinor in Forest Engineering and Wood ProductsOInformation