ANYONE WHO attended the inaugural Forestry Expo Scotland in the hills above Elvanfoot will attest to how awe-inspiring it was to watch some of the big harvesting and forwarding machines at work processing the mature commercial plantation onsite – and if you missed it, here is a small taste of those demonstrations, filmed by TSF photographer Rob Haining.

The 'big four' forestry equipment manufacturers – Tigercat, John Deere, Ponsse and Komatsu – rolled out displays of cutting edge performance that were frankly jaw-dropping. An estimated £40 million pounds worth of harvesting and forwarding equipment was put through its paces over two days, harvesting around 6000m3 – around 250 lorry loads.

A modern forestry harvester is a 'single-grip' machine, based on tracks and often articulated for the best weight distribution once its big hydraulic arm has hold of a tree. The operator, from an elevated cab, can grip the tree, cut it from its base with a hydraulically-powered chainsaw, rotate it to the horizontal, run it through stripping knives via rollers within the gripper, then with the same rollers and saw divide it into lengths, dropped neatly into piles which can then be scooped up by equally sure-footed forwarders and taken out of the working area.