December 2012 - Lowbedding and Log Hauling

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
BC Forest Safety Council
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

BC Forest Safety Council - Safety Alert

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Lowbedding and Log Hauling

Mark was driving the lowbed, moving the yarder up the main haul road to the next block. Tim was coming down the road with his first load of the day.

Tim: “Good Morning Mark, I scouted that new road yesterday, the hill is steeper than it looks.”

Translation: This is only my second week hauling logs and I need all the friends I can get on these roads. I’m the new guy around here but I know enough that he is going to have a tough time with that hill I saw yesterday.

Mark: “Thanks Tim. Watch the 22 corner, it’s slick this morning.”

Translation: Tim is pretty green but he looks like he’s going to be a good driver, once he gets some experience. The corner at 22 km is tricky; it doesn’t look too bad at first and then you realize you’re going too fast. I’ve seen a couple of trucks not make it and go over the bank.

This was a very brief communication but the resulting actions were very important. Mark found the next big pull-out and checked how the yarder was secured. He decided that he should add blocking to make sure it wouldn’t move when he went up the hill.

The roads didn’t seem too bad when Tim drove out for his first load that morning. After Mark’s warning, he decided to slow down a bit and took more care when going around the corner at 22 km.

Looking out for each other and communicating about hazards are good examples of the small steps that can be made to improve the safety culture in our industry.

Lately, there has been a high frequency of trucking incidents in BC. Examples are log trucks not making corners and lowbeds hauling equipment that shifted during transport. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Road conditions can drastically affect how your truck responds. If you encounter poor road conditions, share that information with other road users.
  • Keep communications on the road channels brief and to the point. Don’t chat on these channels, use them to call your kms or relay road safety information.
  • Lowbedding is a job that has unique challenges. Watch out for power lines, shifting loads, narrow roads and oncoming traffic. Consider using a pilot vehicle as an early warning tool for upcoming hazards.
  • Wear your seatbelt. During a roll-over it will keep you in the cab and in the seat where you’ll be protected.


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