Disconnected glad hand reduces logging truck braking power

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
near Penticton, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Rod & Doug Webber Logging Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A truck driver in a loaded 2005 tri-drive with tridem trailer started down a steep spur road from the loading site. He had been loaded on the same spur several times in the previous days.

He noted that the truck “seemed to be pushing more than usual” this trip. He stopped at the entrance to the block (13.5 km) to hammer and paint his load. He didn’t do a detailed inspection to try to determine why the load was “pushier” this trip.

The driver started down the road from the hammer. When he was part way down a long steep section approaching a left curve at 12 km he applied his brakes but realized he had reduced braking power and couldn’t slow down. He tried to scrub speed off by hugging the right (downhill) shoulder but this caused him to go off the road over several boulders and into a second growth stand of trees and tip over. The load came forward and hit the bull board which bent forward and severely damaged the cab of the truck. The driver sustained minor injuries to his hand but the truck is likely a total loss.

The driver noted that the low air warning buzzer was going off as he left the road. After the incident it was noted that the service line glad hand was disconnected. The driver has several years experience driving highway trucks and on resource roads in other provinces. This is his first season driving logging truck in BC.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Stress the importance of determining the source of any problems associated with a truck before proceeding. Ask for help when in doubt.

• Review periodic load and truck inspection procedures with all drivers. Suggest they dynamite the trailer brakes and switch on the emergency flashers when they exit their cab to check their load. Most air leaks or light issues will be readily apparent.

• Increase supervision and assessments of new drivers even if they have substantial experience in other aspects of trucking or in other regions. A unique, high level set of skills are needed to negotiate BC logging roads safely.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

Rod Webber (Rod & Doug Webber Logging Ltd.) 250-768-7995

File attachments
Disconnected glad hand reduces logging truck braking power .pdf
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