Unit of competency details

FPIHAR3210C - Conduct mechanical processor operations (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
(View details for release 2) Current27/Nov/2012
1 (this release)Replaced 20/May/2011

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to FPIHAR3210B - Conduct mechanical processor operationsUnit updated and equivalent 19/May/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to FWPHAR3210 - Conduct mechanical processor operationsMinor additions to the foundation skills, with no other changes. 12/May/2016

Replaced release

You are currently viewing the components related to release 1.
The current release is release 2View release 2 details.

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 030717 Plant And Machine Operations  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 mechanical processor in a forest environment. It requires the mandatory functions of processing trees mechanically, and segregating and stacking logs

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

This unit replaces FPIHAR3210B Conduct mechanical processor operations

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

The unit involves conducting mechanical processor 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



Plan and prepare for operations

Applicable Occupational Health and Safety  (OHS), environmental , legislative  and organisational requirements  relevant to conducting mechanical processor  operations are identified and followed

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

Work plan  is reviewed and checked with appropriate personnel 

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

Tree or log  load placement and access requirements are identified and assessed for safe working conditions 

Mechanical processor operations  are planned  in line with site procedures and environmental and heritage concerns 

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

Operate equipment

All work is conducted in line with work plan, environmental and OHS requirements

Mechanical processor is operated within equipment capabilities  and limitations, and manoeuvred to ensure safe and efficient operations

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

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

Mechanical processor performance is systematically monitored to ensure and maintain efficient operations

Site hazards  associated with crawler operations are detected and safe operating techniques are used to minimise risk

Emergency plan  procedures are followed in line with OHS, environmental, legal and site requirements

Process individual trees

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

Access and processing characteristics of fallen trees are assessed and processing is planned to ensure minimal tree damage and maximum recovery

Required length cutting patterns are programmed or modified on processing controller to meet work plan requirements

Equipment is positioned  for stable and safe access to felled tree and loads are placed within rated load/reach capacity

Tree is processed to produce standard length and diameter of logs with optimal grade and length combination in line with work plan requirements

Equipment is safely and efficiently operated to stack pre-bunched logs/stems to facilitate subsequent recovery operations

Processing techniques are adjusted as required in response to unexpected characteristics, movement or condition of tree

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

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

Segregate and stack logs

Planned landing layout and log handling procedures are identified from site and work plan instructions and checked with appropriate personnel as required

Stacks are located to provide appropriate space for access by site equipment and to allow for the conduct of other landing operations

Log stacks are positioned and maintained  in line with planned layout and site requirements

Log stacks are constructed to provide stability and minimise problems from slippage and falling of logs

Delivered logs are visually assessed  and directed/moved to appropriate location for further processing or stacking

Carry out machine operator maintenance

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

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

Routine operational servicing  is conducted to maintain optimum operational performance of equipment in line with manufacturer's recommendations

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

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

Mechanical processor 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; efficiently and safely process trees, segregate and stack logs
  • Communication skills and interpersonal techniques sufficient to interact appropriately with colleagues and others in the workplace; interpret, apply and convey information in written, diagrammatic and/or verbal form
  • Literacy skills sufficient to accurately record and report workplace information, and maintain documentation
  • 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 mechanical processor 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 mechanical processor operations
  • Detailed range of products
  • 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 mechanical processor 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 mechanical processor operations
  • following organisational policies and procedures relevant to mechanical processor operations
  • communicating effectively and working safely with others in the work area
  • planning, preparing and carrying out mechanical processor operations to safely and efficiently process trees mechanically and segregate and stack logs
  • 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.

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
  • 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)

Mechanical processor 

may be wheeled or tracked

Environmental protection measures 

may include action to limit the impact to:

  • ground growth and canopy

may include action to limit the impact of:

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

Work plan  is to include:

  • instructions for mechanical processor operations including trees to be processed and cutting length requirements

and may include information about:

  • landing layouts
  • 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
  • clients
  • colleagues
  • managers

Logs may include :

  • full range of species
  • size
  • conditions 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

Mechanical processor operations  must include:

the mechanical processing of trees and segregating and stacking of logs

and may include:

  • the mechanical falling of trees
  • the de-barking, pre-bunching and loading of logs


requires ensuring minimal equipment and product movement during operations including determining level and stable surfaces for safely relocating logs

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


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 be to:

  • visual and audio warning devices and lights
  • engine and stop engine lights
  • fluid levels
  • cab display instrumentation and gauges
  • on-board computer systems, if relevant

and may also involve:

  • start-up, park and shut-down procedures including safety mechanisms operation (horn, operating lights), correct location of equipment, vehicle security

Site conditions  may include:

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

Hazards  may include:

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

Emergency plan  may include:

  • notification of authorities
  • evacuation procedures
  • isolation procedures
  • equipment shut-down procedures
  • clean up
  • first aid
  • use of personal protective equipment and guarding
  • access and exit


of equipment is to ensure:

  • machine stability to minimise movement during and between processing operations
  • safe access to felled tree
  • safe processing and placement clearance for the efficient extraction of processed logs


of log stacks includes:

  • providing for anticipated stock levels
  • stock rotation requirements
  • size
  • segregation of lengths
  • species
  • grades

Visual assessment 

of logs includes:

  • identifying and determining species
  • diameter, length, grade
  • landing layout
  • stock rotation requirements

Visual inspection and fault finding procedures  may include:

  • vehicle number
  • danger tag
  • 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
  • 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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