Conduct feller buncher operations


This unit of competency describes the outcomes required to operate a wheeled or tracked feller buncher in a forest environment. It requires functions of mechanically falling trees and pre-bunching logs and stems, segregating and stacking logs, snigging and skidding logs, loading and unloading logs and shovel logging.

The unit applies to those who conduct feller buncher operations in a harvesting environment.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory, or certification requirements apply to this unit in some states and territories at the time of publication, and may differ according to jurisdiction

Elements and Performance Criteria

Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the range of conditions.

1. Plan and prepare for operations

1.1 Prepare to work safely according to organisation and site requirements.

1.2 Review work order and clarify with appropriate personnel.

1.3 Select appropriate equipment for work and check for operational effectiveness.

1.4 Plan feller buncher operations in line with site procedures, environmental and heritage concerns

1.5 Identify access to tree or log to be extracted and assess working conditions for safety.

1.6 Determine best placement of feller buncher and confirm level and/or suitable surface for stability of equipment.

1.7 Plan cutting sequence to control direction of the fall and minimise damage to the tree and surrounding environment.

2. Operate equipment

2.1 Conduct pre-operational checks on equipment and attachments in line with manufacturer's recommendations and site procedures.

2.2 Detect site hazards associated with feller buncher operations and use safe operating techniques to minimise risk.

2.3 Operate feller buncher within equipment capabilities and limitations and manoeuvre to ensure safe and efficient operations.

2.4 Establish and maintain communication with other personnel to ensure safety in line with safety requirements.

3. Fall individual trees mechanically

3.1 Monitor movement and whereabouts of other personnel to ensure safety.

3.2 Progressively plan and communicate cutting sequence for individual trees to minimise tree damage and maximise falling and extraction efficiency.

3.3 Position equipment for stable and safe access to tree and to clamp and cut tree in line with industry and site standards.

3.4 Adjust clamping and cutting techniques as required in response to movement and condition of tree.

3.5 Mark trees that are too dangerous to be felled safely and refer to appropriate personnel.

3.6 Diagnose unexpected characteristics of a tree and review cutting plan.

3.7 Use controlled manipulation of equipment to free tree hang ups to ensure personnel safety and minimise damage to tree and surrounding environment.

3.8 Stack pre-bunched logs and stems to facilitate subsequent extraction operations.

3.9 Move equipment over pre-arranged routes to ensure minimal damage to the environment.

4. Carry out machine operator maintenance

4.1 Follow equipment lock-out procedures in line with WHS requirements and site procedures.

4.2 Conduct visual inspection and fault finding procedures are in line with manufacturer's recommendations and site procedures.

4.3 Conduct routine operational servicing to maintain optimum operational performance of equipment.

4.4 Diagnose faults, malfunctions or problems with equipment and report in line with site procedures.

4.5 Clean and store equipment, attachments and other ancillary equipment.

4.6 Record and report feller buncher operation results in line with site procedures.

Evidence of Performance

A person demonstrating competency in this unit must satisfy all of the elements, performance criteria and foundation skills of this unit. If a specific volume or frequency is not stated below, then evidence must be provided that the following requirements have been performed on at least one occasion:

plan, prepare and operate a feller buncher to fell trees and pre-bunch of logs and stems, including:

segregating and stacking logs

snigging and skidding logs

loading and unloading logs

shovel logging

operate feller buncher safely and effectively within equipment capabilities and limitations including operating speed, duration of operation, weight and/or load limitations and other operating limitations.

follow work order for mechanical removal of trees

progressively plan cutting sequence to control the direction that trees fall and minimise damage to tree, equipment and surrounding environment

adjust operating techniques in response to site conditions

monitor trees for unexpected characteristics that may cause danger and refer to appropriate personnel

establish communication with other personnel and monitor their movements to maintain safety on site

carry out cleaning and operator maintenance of equipment, in line with manufacturer’s instructions and site procedures.

Evidence of Knowledge

A person competent in this unit must be able to demonstrate knowledge of:

workplace requirements and site standards for carrying out feller buncher operations

state or territory logging code of practice

environmental protection requirements

operational procedures and checks including start-up and shut-down procedures

established communication channels and protocols to maintain safety

processes for managing risks and hazards associated with feller bunching operations, including identifying and evaluating defects in trees

operating and maintaining feller bunchers, attachments and ancillary equipment, in line with manufacturer’s instructions

workplace health and safety requirements, fire protocols and emergency evacuation procedures.

Assessment Conditions

The following resources must be made available:

a wheeled or tracked feller buncher and equipment necessary to mechanically fell trees and pre-bunch of logs and stems

a site with trees to be felled

work order, workplace requirements and site standards for carrying out feller buncher operations

relevant personnel for the purposes of communicating information

personal protective equipment required for conducting feller buncher operations.

Competency is to be assessed in the workplace or a simulated environment that accurately reflects performance in a real workplace setting.

Assessor requirements

Assessors must:

hold the appropriate assessor competency standards as outlined in regulations; and

be able to demonstrate vocational competencies at least to the level being assessed; and

be able to demonstrate how they are continuing to develop their VET knowledge and skills as well as maintaining their industry currency and assessor competence.

Foundation Skills

This section describes those core and employment skills that are essential to performance and are not explicit in the performance criteria.

Numeracy skills to:

determine the cutting sequence and the direction of fall to minimise damage on surrounding environment.

Communication skills to:

interact verbally and non-verbally using hand signals and agreed gestures with others on site to ensure safe and effective feller bunch operations.

Reading skills to:

interpret site requirements, environmental information and manufacturer’s instructions.

Writing skills to:

complete end of shift documentation, work logs, maintenance records.

Range Statement

Not Applicable


Harvesting and Haulage