Trailer reach breaks, loaded log truck crashes on Forest Service Road

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

A loaded logging truck (tandem axle jeep configuration) was travelling down a forest service road when the driver noticed the trailer tracking off the road. The trailer reach came apart, causing the trailer to go into the ditch on the other side of the road while pulling the tractor in with it and consequently spilling the load of logs.

The driver had previously noticed a small piece of the stopper on the reach was broken, which caused the trailer to inadvertently unhitch before, but was ignored because the damage was thought to be insignificant.

As a result of the incident the driver sustained luckily only minor injuries but the damages were estimated to exceed $15,000.

Potential Hazards

  • A very serious incident can result whenever a trailer comes unexpectedly unhitched from the tractor towing it, especially one fully loaded with logs.
  • Loose objects can cause personal injury to the occupants during a flop over/rollover. A coffee thermos in the cab of tractor struck driver in the head during incident resulting in minor injuries (i.e., scrapes & bruising).


Learnings and Suggestions: 

Preventative Actions

  • The contractor has clearly communicated to their subcontractors that all trucks must be 100% in a safe working condition before starting work.
  • The contractor has mandated that all of this particular subcontractor’s trucks pass a maintenance safety inspection before being hired back for work.
  • All drivers have been told to park trucks if they ever notice any potential mechanical or safety issues that they can’t address.
  • All truck cabs will be inspected and any loose objects will be removed or securely stored.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229 Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com 

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