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The Best Summer Job

Hi, my name is Christoph Egarter and I am a student of Logistics- & Production Engineering. Furthermore, I am a young farmer in Sesto. We Tyrolean are often descript us people how speaks less, but act, us hardworking and multi purpose. This descriptions may are considerable also for my last summer job. In the following article I will talk about how I cut trees in my forest to sell most of them, and to make some wood for my own construction.

The agriculture activities at home are made as secondary work for ages. By doing so, the access to the nature resources is given, without outsourcing the family properties of field and woods. In this case, it might be comprehensive, that for economical reasons machinery and equipment can not be the most modern one. However, with lots of personal input the work is successfully completed.

The larch wood, destined for my own construction

For preparation of cutting woods, there have been made a request in the forestry office.
The foresters accept the desired quantity of wood which the farmer wants to cut, and compares it with the effective inventory. By doing so, a sustainable development of the forests there is guaranteed. In detail, an amount of 350 m³ were assigned to me, this was my first lot. The next step was the indentation of every single tree by the foresters. Because of the huge snow amounts from previous winter, I had hardly to wait until it was founded. During this time, I searched potential purchasers in order to reach the highest possible price for my high quality wood. Now I could start to work.

The profession of a woodcutter is considered us the most dangerous in the world. Regarding to this, a good preparation is very important. To cut a tree is not highly difficult, but you better learn it in young years. The physically taff work also needs getting used to. Nevertheless, you cut a V-notch out of the wood in that side you want to throw the tree, and than you make the real cut on the opposite side. With some plastic coign you reach the necessity inclination of the tree until it falls down. To watch how the tree falls, accompanied with the noise of the braking wood until it impact to the ground, witch tremble because of the high weight, it’s the most satisfying moment of the activity. The next step is to cut the branches immediately.

Is this done, the work seams nearly concluded, but it is not at all. In fact, the biggest attention is to pay for the transport and the storage of the tree trunks at places reachable for trucks. These steps needs the highest technical equipment and most of the time, and are therefore the most cost intensive part. Instead of my small machines, I tried to handle it as fast as possible to fulfill my customer’s needs. I liked battling at this logistical challenge. The most efficient way to transport the huge number of over 300 trees was to pull them entirely, but without the branches. I realized early that my tractor was not able to pull more then one big tree, but it had advantages in agility in order to reach the trees mostly without cable winch. Instead of this equipment, I could attach a fork on the rear hydraulic lifter.  When I reached the storage place with the tree, I cut it in trunks of 4 meter, and piled them immediately up for space saving. The light trunks of the treetop are not suitable for the factory, and so I let them chaff to wood chips for heating purpose. I accumulated a quantity of heating material in order to heat my house for one year and had a surplus to supply the local heating plant. Finally, the branches remained in the forest and became humus and therefore good for the future growth. After a guessed amount of one truck charge of wood, I organized the shipping. Fortunately, I can admit, that I didn’t have to cut the whole lot, and at this point I want to thank to my cooperators.

The road trains that loaded my wood and brought it to the saw mill

The summer job brought me not only helpful revenues, but also lots of live experience witch allows me to use this kind of nature resources whenever necessary.
To sum up, I defined some of the Lean rules, which brings important benefits also for tree felling:

  • One-peace flow: By felling and treating every tree at once, you avoid damages by the bark beetle, reduce the place requirement and increase the job safety.
  • Pull system: When working in two or more, it is helpful to align the single processes so that the transport and storing goes faster than the felling and branching. At that point you avoid a material push and unwanted buffers.
  • Continuous Improvement Kaizen: Initially there was a lack of experience and therefore it was important to try different operations and don’t to stop searching for optimizations.
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