For the competitive deployment of hardwood mechanisation in Occitania

For the competitive deployment of hardwood mechanisation in Occitania
DateProject completed
The MécaFox project aims to increase the volumes mobilised by mechanising the exploitation of hardwood stands in Occitania, in order to improve the value of the wood on the property, reduce exploitation costs and supply local markets in a more competitive and sustainable manner. MécaFox therefore combines research-development-innovation approaches specific to the development of innovative technical solutions with more global approaches to the sector, looking at the impacts both on the forest property and on the quality of the wood delivered to industrial users.

Thanks to a project team composed of representatives of the property (Alliance Forêts Bois, CRPF Occitanie, Chambre d’Agriculture du Lot), forestry operators (Alliance Forêts Bois, SEBSO), an industrial technical centre (FCBA) and training centres (CFPPA de Bazas et de Meymac, Lycée André Alquier), industrialists (Fibre Excellence Saint-Gaudens, UCOPAC, Castagné et Fils, Briolance Bois), and with a project of 451 k€ of material investments out of a budget of 766 k€, MécaFox is a structuring project for Occitanie and the neighbouring territories.


The MécaFox project, which seeks a competitive deployment of hardwood mechanisation in Occitania, aims to work on the following challenges identified within the framework of the PNFB (Programme National de la Forêt et du Bois):

Invest in the forest to reduce operating costs,

Accelerate the modernisation of forestry companies so that they can innovate and supply markets under efficient and competitive conditions,

Ensure better wood mobilisation,

All this in a synergy between forestry and industry players.

From a more operational point of view, the main objective of the project is to significantly increase the volumes mobilised from the mechanisation of hardwood stands, based on the latest innovations and practices implemented in certain territories (including the Dordogne) where the mechanised volumes exploited are significant. The aim is therefore to test different technical solutions and methods in order to set up and deploy resources in Occitania and neighbouring areas.

However, prior to this development, it is important to work with the various industrial consumers of hardwood (industrial wood, stakes and timber) to validate the quality of the products that could be produced by mechanised harvesting without impacting on the material yields of current processes. Once these obstacles are removed, it will be possible to mobilise more wood locally, thus significantly reducing the supply radius.

Similarly, action should be taken with forest owners to validate the acceptability of mechanised versus traditional manual logging, but also to identify the gains in the value of their wood. In all cases, mechanised harvesting should be placed back in the stand renewal value chain.