This case study focuses on a recent site clearance project conducted by a team of eight Thompson Tree Services arborists over two days. The operation involved the use of specialized equipment, including a 14T Bobcat and grapple saw, 3T excavator and rotating grab, Bandit whole tree chipper and a Unimog and high-capacity chip bin, to fell and remove various trees on the site including four very large leyland cypress trees.



The primary objective of the project was to clear trees to facilitate the redevelopment of a local health care facility.  Mechanised techniques were used to increase the safety of the operation by elimination of work at height and manual handling, and to streamline the operation.


Equipment Used

Kobelco 14T Excavator and Vosch Grapple Saw:

Equipped with the latest Vosch grapple saw technology, the excavator, played a crucial role in safely bringing down the larger trees on the site. Its precision cutting capabilities and lifting capacity reduced the need for aerial tree work and manual handling of arisings.

Bandit 15XP Chipper

The Bandit was utilized for chipping branch wood and timber. Its high capacity output meant that arisings were cleared quickly, preventing delays to project delivery.

Doosan 3t Excavator

The excavator was used to feed felled material into the whole tree chipper. This method reduces manual handling and keeps operatives clear of the large chipper, inside a protected cab.

Unimog and High Capacity Bin:

Versatile and robust, the Unimog was employed for transporting both equipment and woodchip to and from the site. The high-capacity bin and towing capabilities of the Unimog enables a lot of material to be chipped and transported quickly and efficiently


The project works began with a thorough site assessment, identifying potential hazards and reviewing safe methodologies proposed at the initial scoping visit. The supervisor briefed the team on the risk assessment and work plan and the site controls were set up in advance of the felling works, including coordination with site managers. Throughout the operation, communication was maintained through headset radio devices, ensuring coordinated efforts among team members.



The project was successfully completed within the designated timeframe, with no incidents or non-conformances. The use of specialized equipment significantly reduced the manual workload and minimized the environmental impact. The efficiency and safety achieved by a mechanised approach to the project were significant. The adoption of innovative technologies and methodologies in the field of mechanised arboriculture leads to increased efficiency, reduced labour costs,and improved safety standards and is a clear advancement for the industry.

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