Unit of competency details

FPIHAR3207C - Conduct feller buncher operations (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 20/May/2011

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to FPIHAR3207B - Conduct feller buncher operationsUnit updated and equivalent 19/May/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to FWPHAR3207 - Conduct feller buncher operations 12/May/2016

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050501 Forestry Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 050501 Forestry Studies  07/Oct/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

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

Compliance with licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may be required in various jurisdictions

This unit replaces FPIHAR3207B Conduct feller buncher operations

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

The unit involves conducting feller buncher operations in a forest environment

The skills and knowledge required for competent workplace performance are to be used within the scope of the person's job and authority

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Refer to Unit Descriptor


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Plan and prepare for operations

1.1. Applicable Occupational Health and Safety  (OHS), environmental , legislative  and organisational requirements  relevant to conducting feller buncher  operations are identified and followed

1.2. Site environmental protection measures  are adhered to in line with relevant legislation and regulations

1.3. Work order  is reviewed and checked with appropriate personnel 

1.4. Equipment is selected appropriate to work requirements and checked for operational effectiveness in line with manufacturer's recommendations

1.5. Tree or log  extraction, placement and access requirements are identified and assessed for safe working conditions 

1.6. Level and/or suitable surface for stability of equipment to be used is determined and confirmed

1.7. Feller buncher operations  are planned  in line with site procedures and environmental and heritage concerns 

1.8. Communication  with others is established and maintained in line with OHS requirements

2. Operate equipment

2.1. All work is conducted in line with work order, environmental and OHS requirements

2.2. Feller buncher is operated within equipment capabilities  and limitations and manoeuvred to ensure safe and efficient operations

2.3. Pre -operational checks  are carried out on equipment and attachments  in line with manufacturer's recommendations and site procedures

2.4. Site hazards  associated with feller buncher operations are detected and safe operating techniques are used to minimise risk

2.5. Operating techniques are selected and adjusted as required to meet work requirements and site conditions 

2.6. Feller buncher performance is systematically monitored to ensure and maintain efficient operations

2.7. Emergency plan  procedures are follow in line with OHS, environmental, legal and site requirements

3. Fall individual trees mechanically

3.1. Movement and whereabouts of other personnel is monitored and work modified to be in line with OHS requirements

3.2. Falling sequence for individual trees is progressively planned to minimise tree damage and maximise falling and extraction efficiency

3.3. Cutting sequence  is planned and communicated to control direction of the fall and minimise damage to the tree and surrounding environment

3.4. Equipment is positioned for stable and safe access to tree and operated to clamp and cut tree in line with industry and site standards

3.5. Clamping and cutting techniques are adjusted as required in response to movement and condition of tree

3.6. Trees too dangerous to be felled safely are marked and referred to appropriate personnel

3.7. Unexpected characteristics of a tree are diagnosed and planning is reviewed

3.8. Controlled manipulation with equipment is used to free tree hang ups to ensure personnel safety and minimise damage to tree and surrounding environment

3.9. Equipment is operated to stack pre-bunched logs and stems to facilitate subsequent extraction operations

3.10. Personnel safety and minimal damage to the timber and surrounding environment are ensured through method used to move timber and stems to pre-bunching site

3.11. Equipment is moved over pre-arranged routes with minimal damage to the environment

4. Carry out machine operator maintenance

4.1. Equipment lock-out procedures are followed in line with OHS requirements and site procedures

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

4.3. Routine operational servicing  is conducted to maintain optimum operational performance of equipment

4.4. Equipment, attachments and other ancillary equipment are cleaned  and stored in line with manufacturer's recommendations and site procedures

4.5. Faults, malfunctions or problems with equipment are diagnosed and reported in line with site procedures

4.6. Feller buncher operation results are recorded and reported  in line with site procedures

Required Skills and Knowledge


This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit

Required skills 

  • Technical skills sufficient to use and maintain relevant tools, machinery and equipment and efficiently and safely operate a feller buncher
  • Communication skills and interpersonal techniques sufficient to interact appropriately with colleagues and others in the workplace
  • Literacy skills sufficient to accurately record and report workplace information, and maintain documentation and interpret, apply and convey information in written, diagrammatic and/or verbal form
  • Numeracy skills sufficient to estimate, measure and calculate time required to complete a task
  • Problem solving skills sufficient to identify problems and equipment faults and demonstrate appropriate response procedures

Required knowledge 

  • Applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation, regulations, standards, codes of practice and established safe practices relevant to the full range of processes for conducting feller buncher operations
  • Environmental protection requirements, including the safe disposal of waste material and the cleaning of plant, tools and equipment
  • Organisational and site standards, requirements, policies and procedures for conducting feller buncher operations
  • Equipment processes, technical capability and limitations
  • Operational procedures and checks including start-up and shut-down procedures
  • Established communication channels and protocols
  • Problem identification and resolution strategies and common fault finding techniques
  • Types of tools and equipment and procedures for their safe use and maintenance including equipment safety requirements
  • Appropriate mathematical procedures for estimating and measuring, including calculating time to complete tasks
  • Procedures for recording and reporting workplace information

Evidence Guide


The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

A person who demonstrates competency in this unit must be able to provide evidence that they can safely and efficiently conduct feller buncher operations in line with organisational requirements

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

The evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit must be relevant to, and satisfy, all of the requirements of the elements of this unit and include demonstration of:

  • following applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislative and regulatory requirements and codes of practice relevant to conducting feller buncher operations
  • following organisational policies and procedures relevant to conducting feller buncher operations
  • following applicable licensing or certification requirements
  • communicating effectively and working safely with others in the work area
  • planning, preparing and carrying out feller buncher operations to safely and efficiently fall trees mechanically and pre-bunch logs and stems
  • conducting pre-operational checks and routine operational servicing of equipment

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

  • Competency is to be assessed in the workplace or realistically simulated workplace
  • Assessment is to occur under standard and authorised work practices, safety requirements and environmental constraints
  • Assessment of required knowledge, other than confirmatory questions, will usually be conducted in an off-site context
  • Assessment is to follow relevant regulatory or Australian Standards requirements
  • The following resources should be made available:
  • workplace location or simulated workplace
  • materials and equipment relevant to undertaking work applicable to this unit
  • specifications and work instructions

Method of assessment 

  • Assessment must satisfy the endorsed Assessment Guidelines of the FPI11 Training Package
  • Assessment methods must confirm consistency and accuracy of performance (over time and in a range of workplace relevant contexts) together with application of required knowledge
  • Assessment must be by direct observation of tasks, with questioning on required knowledge and it must also reinforce the integration of employability skills
  • Assessment methods must confirm the ability to access and correctly interpret and apply the required knowledge
  • Assessment may be applied under project-related conditions (real or simulated) and require evidence of process
  • Assessment must confirm a reasonable inference that competency is able not only to be satisfied under the particular circumstance, but is able to be transferred to other circumstances
  • Assessment may be in conjunction with assessment of other units of competency
  • The assessment environment should not disadvantage the candidate
  • Assessment practices should take into account any relevant language or cultural issues related to Aboriginality, gender or language backgrounds other than English
  • Where the participant has a disability, reasonable adjustment may be applied during assessment
  • Language and literacy demands of the assessment task should not be higher than those of the work role

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Feller buncher  may be:

  • wheeled
  • tracked

OHS requirements :

are to be in line with applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation and regulations, and organisational safety policies and procedures, and may include:

  • personal protective equipment and clothing
  • safety equipment
  • first aid equipment
  • fire fighting equipment
  • hazard and risk control
  • fatigue management
  • elimination of hazardous materials and substances
  • safe forest practices including required actions relating to forest fire location of other people, and potential falling objects
  • manual handling including shifting, lifting and carrying

Environmental requirements may include :

  • legislation
  • organisational policies and procedures
  • workplace practices

Legislative requirements :

are to be in line with applicable Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation, regulations, certification requirements and codes of practice and may include:

  • award and enterprise agreements
  • industrial relations
  • Australian Standards
  • confidentiality and privacy
  • OHS
  • the environment
  • equal opportunity
  • anti-discrimination
  • relevant industry codes of practice
  • duty of care
  • heritage and traditional land owner issues

Organisational requirements  may include:

  • legal
  • organisational and site guidelines
  • policies and procedures relating to own role and responsibility
  • quality assurance
  • procedural manuals
  • quality and continuous improvement processes and standards
  • OHS, emergency and evacuation procedures
  • ethical standards
  • recording and reporting requirements
  • equipment use and maintenance and storage requirements
  • environmental management requirements (waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines)

Environmental protection measures 

may include action to limit the impact to:

  • ground growth and canopy
  • soil and water

may include action to limit the impact of:

  • general forest lean
  • wind speed and direction
  • fallen trees
  • density of trees
  • ground slope
  • ground hazards
  • obstacles

Work order  is to include:

  • instructions for feller buncher operations including trees to be felled and retained, and logs to be bunched

and may include:

  • information about tree markings, site plans, forest operational plans
  • emergency procedures in case of fire and/or accident
  • instructions for the environmental monitoring of work and procedures
  • environmental care requirements relevant to the work

Appropriate personnel  may include:

  • supervisors
  • suppliers
  • clients
  • colleagues
  • managers

Logs may include :

  • range of species
  • size
  • conditions to be encountered in local harvesting operations
  • softwood or hardwood

Safe working conditions 

may include identification of:

  • risks and hazards
  • unsafe ground
  • fences
  • holes, pot holes
  • materials
  • vehicles
  • abandoned equipment
  • personnel
  • adverse weather conditions (electrical storms, floods)
  • fires

Feller buncher operations 

must include:

  • the mechanical felling of trees and pre-bunching of logs and stems

and may include:

  • segregating and stacking logs
  • snigging and skidding logs
  • loading and unloading logs
  • shovel logging


requires ensuring minimal equipment and log movement during operations including verifying level and stable surfaces for safely relocating logs on equipment

Environmental and heritage concerns  may include:

  • dust
  • noise
  • water
  • flora and fauna
  • heritage legislation
  • culturally sensitive sites and artefacts
  • plantations
  • native forest

Communication  may include:

  • verbal and non-verbal language
  • hand or other agreed signals
  • eye contact with other operators or personnel
  • active listening
  • questioning to clarify and confirm understanding
  • use of electronic communication devices

Capabilities  of equipment and/or attachments may include:

  • efficient and safe operating speed
  • duration of operation
  • type of activities performed
  • weight and/or load limitations
  • operating limitations

Pre-operational checks 

are conducted to ensure equipment and attachments have been set-up correctly, the systems are performing accurately and operating to optimum performance

and may relate to:

  • visual and audio warning devices and lights
  • engine and stop engine lights
  • fluid levels
  • cab display instrumentation and gauges
  • on-board computer systems
  • start-up, park and shutdown procedures including safety mechanisms operation (horn, operating lights)
  • correct location of equipment
  • vehicle security

Attachments  may include:

  • hydraulic chainsaws
  • hydraulic sheer knives

Hazards  may include:

  • uneven/unstable terrain
  • trees
  • fires
  • overhead and underground services
  • bridges
  • buildings
  • excavations
  • traffic
  • embankment
  • cuttings
  • structures and hazardous materials

Site conditions  may include:

  • wet/dry
  • day/night
  • stability of ground
  • broken ground
  • slope of working surface
  • location of water table

Emergency plan  may include:

  • notification of authorities
  • evacuation procedures
  • isolation procedures
  • equipment shutdown procedures
  • clean up
  • first aid
  • use of personal protective equipment and clothing
  • guarding
  • access and exit

Cutting sequence  is to include:

  • the best direction or angle for making cuts to facilitate achieving the fall direction

Visual inspection and fault finding procedures  may include:

  • vehicle number
  • danger tags
  • personnel proximity
  • tyres and rim condition
  • wheel nuts and studs
  • light positioning and cleanliness
  • radiator top up tank
  • oil leaks, fuel leaks
  • water leaks
  • no combustible material around exhaust
  • damage to equipment
  • portable fire extinguisher
  • fire suppression system
  • cab mounts
  • windows
  • engine oil to be checked before starting engine
  • grease lines
  • cab conditions

Routine operational servicing  may include:

  • checking fluid levels
  • greasing
  • tightening loose fittings
  • filter changing

Cleaning methods  may include:

  • water
  • steam
  • degreasing
  • vacuum
  • forced air

Records and reports may include :

  • end of shift documentation
  • work log
  • supplies
  • log and computer readings

and may be:

  • manual
  • using a computer-based system or another appropriate organisational communication system

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

Competency field

Competency field 

Harvesting and Haulage

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