Feller Buncher erupts in flames, cause unknown

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2013-03-07
Company Name: 
Monte Lake Forest Products Inc.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

During the course of regular operations on a 2001 model year Tigercat L830 Feller Buncher, the operator smelled smoke and then saw flames coming from the engine compartment.

The worker immediately shut down the machine, grabbed a fire extinguisher but while attempting to extinguish the fire, had to quickly jump back as the Buncher’s internal suppression system had automatically activated.

The suppression system did not totally extinguish the fire - which accelerated - at which point the operator deemed it safer to not make any more attempts at extinguishing the fire, which eventually expired on its own. At no time was there a threat of the fire spreading or igniting anything else.

The root cause of the fire is unknown, leading to speculation that it had to be the wiring, as the machine was clean, always well maintained, had no history of fires and no known leaks. There were no unsafe conditions, acts or procedures to report.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Be aware and prepared for the possibility of machinery & equipment catching fire for no apparent or obvious reason.

• Be safe, establish safe practices and routinely ensure emergency equipment is current/up-to-date.

“RADAR” Recognize the risk; Assess the situation (stop to think); Develop a safe solution; Act safely to fix the problem; Report and record the upset condition.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information contact: Wayne Bergman, President, Monte Lake Forest Products Inc. (250) 375-2221

File attachments
Feller Buncher erupts in flames, cause unknown.pdf
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