New Zealand Loggers: Kaingaroa Forest
I was wondering if any of you New Zealand loggers had any experiences of the Kaingaroa Forest and could tell me what it's like. Being the largest plantation forest in the southern hemisphere, I'm pretty confident someone from the forums would have worked there!
Thanks in advance to any replies.
I,m not a logger but I spent sometime around 1980,s carting roading metal into the forest . I worked for Jack Shaw and Jim Middleton at that time . Haddy
From what i was told, it's all flat is it? And that from what I've seen there seems to be no weight restrictions?
It is a mainly on a plateau but most definietly not all flat . The roads are owned by the forestry so normal road limits do not apply . I do not know if they have their own weight limits or not . When I worked there trucks with maybe 350 hp were carrying loads well over 100 ton , triples , and very slow , Haddy
most of the logging is flat good conditions. the ground base crews get up around 1000 tonnes per day plus. If you look in the madill thread theres pictures of the latest 124 logging in kaingaroa. check out youtube for an idea of what the trucking like.
and this one
It is Pumice country so is free draining , no worries with wet weather . Roading is simple compared to most places
Did a fair amount of time between Kinleith and Kawerau, as a mechanic for a log hauling company. Most definitely not flat, good quality private roads.
Here is another video
Awesome video. It's really something that you can be in one part of the globe and watch how they do things on the other side.
Thanks for posting.
It definitely appeals to me as a future logger! And all the video's are very good! I suppose the roads would have to be good but, to support 130 tonnes of truck and load. And if crews get 1000 tonnes a day, what sort of machinery mixes are they using? 1 Buncher, 1 (BIG) skidder, 1 Processor, 1 load out machine and a shovel? And their equipment looks a but more advanced then the rest of NZ, i suppose it'd have to be too! And is that 124 the one that Brightwater built and is on their Youtube page?
Hi JCTech , I don't mean the highjack the tread and I'm sorry but I got to say this , I just watched your South Island video , excellent , that Haast pass is a great bit of road , rode thro there on my cruiser a couple of months ago
Last edited by Haddy; 06-11-2012 at 03:01 AM.
My mistake ,it is Arthurs Pass on the video not Haast
Added information on Tokoroa, and the Mill for those who are interested.
I worked there for three years in a Hauler (Yarder) Crew.For the most part it is pretty flat,however large gully's run through it and there you find the Cable Logging.There are some pretty big Radiata Trees there,some were planted in the 1900's by Prison Labour.
Its not just Pine Trees,I logged Doug Fir there,as well as hunted though stands of Ceder and even Redwood.
I'm not a logger but spent nearly 5 years in Kaingaroa Forest roading and building logdumps (skid sites) from 1998 to late 2002.
I was on contract to Tony Elmiger operating a brand new Cat D7R. It had done 11,000 hours when I finished. There was only the D7R and a D6H plus one EX200 and one EX270 excavators doing all the roading, skids and hauler pads.
The forest covers 168,000 acres (I think this is correct) and is the largest plantation forest in the southern hemisphere
Certainly was an interesting place to work with all the big gear, haulers and the stem logging crews.
The terrain is largely flat or undulating on the plateau but north of Kaingaroa village to the Northern Boundary there are some really big gullies where they use the haulers and ground based on the better country between the gullies. It is in these gullies that they get the really tall trees, some of the stem trucks carry logs that are 35-37 metres long.
They log approx 4 million ton a year from the forest.
The first plantings in the forest were in 1913 near the village, when they experimented with Douglas Fir. I built some roads and skids when they logged these, man they were big trees, and also big stumps to get out !! Seemed a pity to cut them down.
Mosy of the Radiata planting was done during the Great Depression when they set up camps for the unemployed to live in while working there, although there is some areas planted in other pine varities as well as D Fir.
South of the Napier/ Taupo Road the terrain varies with good ground based country as well as steeper sidelings.
To the east it turns into Whirinaki Forest, it is joined to Kaingaroa by a bridge over the river and "the million dollar highway".
This is generally much steeper and the pumice is not so deep. When roading you soon dig through the pumice and into the clay. We usually only roaded there in the summer, same with logging.
In Kaingaroa the pumice is really deep, being closer to the volcanic eruption that deposited all the pumice in the area.
In this area the rain does not stop you working, hence you can get 2,500 machine hours a year.