Untrained Log Truck Driver

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

A Western Canadian Timber Products Supervisor was onsite at a harvesting block in East Harrison. The loader operator had contacted the site supervisor indicating that the sub-contracted log truck driver whose truck he was loading appeared to be totally green.

He observed that the driver had attempted to turn the truck around twice, stalling out the truck. The site supervisor waited at the stamp hammer location for the truck.

His observations of the driver included:

  • Stalling the truck again
  • Spinning tires despite two sets of chains
  • Incorrect wrapper placement.

The supervisor assisted with wrapper placement and after the driver indicated he did not know how to mark his load, or read his scales, the supervisor asked how long the driver had been hauling logs. The driver indicated that this was his ‘first load ever.’

The driver said he had five years experience hauling freight on the highway and that the company he was now working for had done one ride-along the week before. The supervisor, wanting to give the driver the benefit of the doubt, suggested they proceed slowly from the stamp hammer and he would ride with the driver.

After failing to negotiate the first switchback and coming to a stop on the outside edge of the road, the supervisor requested that the loader operator come and unload the truck. After the load was removed, it became obvious that the compensator was not unlatched or in the open position.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Ensure that drivers are adequately trained and competent to perform the occupational tasks that they are assigned
  • Include an Onboarding Program for hiring contractors and sub-contractors that includes requirements for training and competency assessments
  • Review the information related to the Professional Log Truck Driver Endorsement Program and consider implementation
  • Implement effective mentoring programs to support the development of new drivers
  • Encourage onsite work crews to help identify when workers may need support to safely perform their tasks.

Safety Recognition:

  • Loader Operator for recognizing and reporting unsafe acts to the site supervisor
  • Site Supervisor for taking immediate action
  • Western Canadian Timber for report reporting the incident and supporting the driver through direct hiring and proper training. The onsite safety culture likely prevented an incident that could have resulted in a serious injury or fatality.


For more information on this submitted alert: 
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