The first edition of this document was known as the Harvesting Code of Practice and resulted from a project initiated by Forest Engineering Southern Africa (FESA) in 1992. In the second edition of the document, it was renamed the Guidelines for Forest Engineering Practices in South Africa, and was published in 1999.
Since the 1999 publication, the industry has progressed in areas such as mechanisation of forest operations, forest certification, safety standards, biofuels and other advancements. This has therefore resulted in the need for a handbook revision in order to stay abreast of and provide updated guidelines for current practices. Revisions have been made and new information added to make this document a current useful hands-on tool for the South African forest engineer and forester.