Polytechnical school Ried: fit for forestal challenges with WESTTECH

Storms, snow pressure, bark beetles: The challenges are rising for forest owners. Innovative forestry technology and safety are more important than ever while working in the woods. The polytechnical school in Ried, Upper Austria, are preparing their pupils for those challenges in a special week with a practical orientation.

Austria is a country of the forests: Nearly half of the national territory is tree-covered. Wood is the second biggest foreign currency earner. Likewise the forests are suffering under more and more pressure. Climate stress, bark beetles and other incidents are challenging the forest owners. The amount of storm-damaged timber is huge, the prices for wood are low. Innovative forest technology is getting more important for an economical harvest of wood.

Forest technology is on the curriculum of the classes for agricultural and environmental engineering in the polytechnical school in Ried. To put the educational content in practice, the innovative engineering school organised a special forest technology week for the first time. Pupils from the third year learned how to harvest an energy forest, got to know the newest biomass heating technology of the company Hargassner and witnessed a harvester of the company Easy Forest in action and visited the Lenzing AG.

In the energy forest pupils could test a Woodcracker® CL260 with a collector and harvested short-rotation wood up to 26cm diameter. The Woodcracker® CL is suitable for the requirements in the small scale forest and for harvesting next to streets and paths. The machine can be mounted to excavators and farm loaders, which makes it perfect for agricultural use.

Safety first

Additional to forest technology know-how and insights into the forestry the school imparted the safety aspect: Eventually about half of the pupils are from wood owner families and have to be aware of the importance of it! For practising with the chainsaw, the school bought cut protection clothing and teachers finished adequate trainings.

“The forest technology week, which will occur every year from now on, is only possible thanks to cooperation with the chamber of agriculture, forest society of Upper Austria and regional companies!”, points Mag. Dr. Martin Anzengruber, Head of the classes for agricultural and environmental engineering, out.

The companies Binderberger, Eschlböck, Flixeder, Hackgut Sperl and Westtech allocated the latest forest technology. Lagerhaus Innviertel-Traunviertel and the Raiffeisenbank Region Ried supported the project as well.

New technologies in the forest

The Principal of the polytechnical school Ried explains:

“New technologies up to automatization are more important than ever and will get even more important in the forestry. Likewise the forest technology will get more attractive for mechanical engineers too. That’s the reason why we pay more attention to this sector and will teach more practically relevant”, says the principal of the polytechnical school Wolfgang Billinger.


Learn more about the polytechnical school in Ried: www.htl-ried.at

More about the Woodcracker CL