Close Call: Older logging roads & winter conditions create unique challenges for truck drivers

Location: 
near Princeton, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2011-12-12
Company Name: 
J. Passmore Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Log hauling was taking place on a road that needed an increased level of planning and preparation and driver skill. The road was designed and built prior to current truck configurations being used, had several steep narrow sections and dropped a substantial elevation in a heavy snow area.

The trucking contractor had viewed the road prior to hauling commencing and had developed and documented a plan with the truckers assigned to this road.

The trucks hauled for a week with no issues or incidents. Over the weekend one trucker switched to a hayrack from a super b train. On his first trip on Monday morning he had problems negotiating a moderate right curve with a slight in-slope. He came to a stop but his hayrack slid sideways then backwards over the bank and pulled the truck over violently onto the passenger side. The driver had his seatbelt on and so received only minor muscle strain to his neck, back, shoulders and arms. The road was closed for most of the day and the truck and hayrack received substantial damage (see photos in the attached pdf).

The road at the incident location had a layer of ice under a shallow surface of loose snow caused by a weekend warm spell and public use. The driver had installed one set of triples on his middle drive wheels. Other truckers with different configurations were running with one set or no chains. Another hayrack driver had two sets of triples on.

After a week of hauling on this road system the driver may have been complacent about the potential risks and not adjusted his driving to the different configuration or recognized the icy conditions. It would have been prudent to install more chains for the first trip with the hayrack especially on a Monday morning after being off the road for a few days.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Recognize when any aspect of the operation changes and analyze the risk. Develop a plan to eliminate or reduce any increased risks associated with changing conditions or situations.
  • Too many chains are better than not enough. A single drag chain on the hayrack would likely have prevented this incident.
  • Be honest with yourself. Know your rig and your abilities and base your decisions on that analysis, not what others are doing.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Trevor Passmore 250-499-2721

File attachments
Older logging roads and winter conditions create unique challenges for truck drivers.pdf
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