Cable road layout planner

Cable road layout planner Seilaplan

Seilaplan: Cable road layout planner
Seilaplan is a tool that supports the design of cable roads for timber harvesting. It works as a QGis-Plugin.
Wood extraction with cable yarder

Starting point of the calculation are terrain data (digital elevation model or field measurement data in CSV format), machine and cable road properties.
The program calculates the skyline tensile forces, the skyline sag, support saddle forces. By knowing the rope forces, critical constructions can be avoided. This increases the safety at work.

Seilaplan includes an optimization algorithm that proposes the height and location of the supports. The load path of the skyline together with the terrain profile are displayed graphically and a construction manual is generated. Coordinates and saddle height of the supports can be saved as CSV and KML data so that they are electronically available for further planning steps.

The planning of cable road layout goes much faster. The calculated routing takes advantage of the natural terrain shapes and helps to reduce overall harvesting costs in mountainous regions and steep terrain.

Anchorage, supports and rope height above ground
Region of origin
Type of wood
Origin of wood
Mobilization Potential
> 100'000 m³ for Switzerland
Kind of wood concerned
stemwood and full trees
Impact on environment & biodiversity

The cost reduction will allow new, poorly accessible areas to be developed and additional timber to be harvested.
This has a positive effect on the protective function of the forest in the mountains and it promotes adaptation to climate change.

Ease of implementation
Very easy
Economic impact
Reduced installation cost, improved profitability
Job effect
Faster and saver skyline layout planing
Income effect
Improved profitability of logging in steep terrain
Specific knowledge needed
Knowledge of QGis is necessary
Costs of implementation ( Euro - € )
100.00 €
Exploitation potential

For forest owners and forest contractors

Key prerequisites

Terrain data must be available or collected along the planned line.

Forest management, ecosystem, resilience
cable road skyline QGis plugin mountain forest
Challenge addressed
5.- Enhance economic and environmental performance of forest supply chains
Type of solution
Advice and services for forest owners
Digital solution
Country of origin
Region of origin
Scale of application
Start and end year
2012 - 2021
Contact data
Owner or author
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Research WSL
Leo Bont
BFH Berne University of Applied Sciences
Thuer Peter
References and Resources
Project reference
Bont, L. G., Moll, P. E., Ramstein, L., Frutig, F., Heinimann, H. R., & Schweier, J. (2022). SEILAPLAN, a QGIS plugin for cable road layout design. Croat J For Eng. Bont, L. G., Ramstein, L., Frutig, F., & Schweier, J. (2022). Tensile forces and deflections on skylines of cable yarders: comparison of measurements with close-to-catenary predictions. International Journal of Forest Engineering, 1-22.
Project under which this factsheet has been created
Rosewood 4.0