Automation in the tree industry

Josephvogel

New Member
Location
Minneapolis
I can't make it through the day without hearing about robots/machines taking peoples jobs and I'm wondering what you think about job security in the arboriculture industry? What kind of training or education will protect arborists from automation?
 

KevinS

Well-Known Member
Location
ontario
The guys I worked with talked about getting a drone to set a throw line or to inspect what they had to go up and do. I said it would be a waste of time, truck space, money, and make jobs longer by the time they got done playing.

There are automation tools like winch, chainsaw, throwline, miniskid, etc which are things that can do the job which hands used to. So I say some is good some are not as helpful
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Olympia, WA
Drones would be more helpful for a bid, IMO.

Video footage for the crew to review at the safety meeting/ job briefing.

If I could set a throwline at the top of a tree, I'd be stoked!
 
D

Deleted member 20369

Guest
I'm afraid there's not much of a chance. Because the automation of the process is already spreading at an increasing rate and the quality and quantity of the products produced is much greater than that of humans. But directly strongly worry about this is not necessary, because human participation is still required. And they cannot completely replace human work. I personally took myself home from this store -https://www.sandfieldengineering.com/automation-products/bowl-feeders/. Automated my plot of land, which is very convenient.
 
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Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
Two companies I contract with regularly have treemeks. I love it- they still need my services, and they make my job easier. One of those companies has a grapple on everything- k-boom, log truck (mechanil grapple saw just like the crane, sweet action), chipper, and mini skid. They really don’t touch anything. They still call me often. I’ve worked with other companies that are equipment heavy as well. Bring it on!
 

Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
I suppose it's possible to scan a tree and generate a digital model of it, use algorithms based on accepted arbor culture practices to generate pruning or removal plans, and have those plans executed by robotic equipment. Seems like the development and operational costs would never be recovered when compared to traditional methods. Automating some grunt work might be more feasible, like having a robot find logs and brush and place them into a truck or chipper.
 

HigherGroundArborist

Well-Known Member
Location
Granger, IN
Drones would be more helpful for a bid, IMO.

Video footage for the crew to review at the safety meeting/ job briefing.

If I could set a throwline at the top of a tree, I'd be stoked!
I was just imagining flying a drone around all day quoting tree work from the comfort of my office. I could zoom in on structural issues, take pictures of the trees, and send the client a detailed proposal. You could do twice as many proposals in a day!
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
A while ago I was talking with an arbo who had a grapple saw about automating the removal process. I wish I remembered who that person was.

He was telling me how he learned how to plan his dismantling cuts. There is Art and Science involved.

After some talk I had an automation idea for him.

Could a drone with a 3D mapping/scanning program be used to 'map' the tree and jobsite? Then, a model of the tree would be designed and a cut-list developed. Along the lines of the CNC machining programs used now.

With enough data parameters the program could crunch away and then go on about its work..sans human.

This isn't far fetched. There are examples of this integration in other industrial processes already. Loading/unloading container ships...building airplanes on screen...now...it could work for arbos.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
Automation already reduces labor needs in the industry.
Chainsaws
Chippers
Bucket trucks
Loaders

etc.... all reduce the need for man hours.
 

Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
Automation will definitely lower the the number of employees, but the overall quality will rise a lot.
This can only be concrete if demand for the work is static. Most people I know have insane backlogs, meaning mechanization makes room for expansion, which requires more workforce.

Also, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, the rise of mechanization (not automation- we’re a long way off from that) has led to increased demand of my contract climbing services in my area, as more people can get into tree work without the skills to do all the jobs available, so I give them an option of increased market share.

We choose to see opportunities or opposition in life. Trust me I end up on the wrong side sometimes, but on this topic, I’m shocked to hear the gloom and doomers.

A leader in the industry told me he thinks the mechanization will stabilize existing companies that might otherwise fail due to the workforce crisis we are facing. He’s seen good businesses close their doors because they couldn’t find people to do the work.
 
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Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
To be honest, I cannot imagine how robots will take care of trees.


I've said this before...it will happen.

There are programs available to make customized cut layouts for sheet goods. I saw a program where a box company said they could make one single box for prototyping.

Now...take this cut list program to 3D

There is a LIDAR-type laser program used to map out irregular shapes. Or something using a drone. Use it to 'map' the tree for removal. Add in some strength and density variables. Park the grapple saw nearby and stand back as it dismantles the tree without an operator at the joysticks.
 

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