Altering Log Trailer Hitch With “Home Made” Pull Handle Contributes To Accidental Disconnection Of Trailer While In Motion

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Chetwynd, BC
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2011-10-27
Company Name: 
Harroff Bros. Logging Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

While approaching an intersection from a forest service road to a highway, en route with a load of logs from the logging site to a sawmill, the logging truck blew a tire. Fragments of this tire came free and snagged a piece of a home-made extension that was attached to the back trailer’s pull handle. (This extension was made from a piece of a fan belt and was used as a shortcut to grasp instead of the using the required pole and hook to reach and pull the trailer hitch open. This was not a part of the original manufacture of the trailer and was added by someone as a shortcut to using the pull hook.)

The tire fragment from the flat tire caught and pulled the home made pull handle extension with enough force that the pull handle moved, opening the trailer hitch and releasing it from the truck unit. The back trailer came free and came to a stop on the road.

No injuries were sustained in this incident. Trailer sustained damage upon its release and stop.

Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Discuss with all workers not to add anything to a trailer pull handle as a means of opening the trailer hitch as a shortcut.
  • Always use the proper tool for the job, which in this case would have been the pole and hook designed for such a task, which would likely have prevented this incident.
  • Modify truck driver SOP to include this information as a form of prevention. Share this incident with industry to help prevent similar incident.

 

For more information on this submitted alert: 

More information: Harroff Bros. Logging Ltd. sgrubert.harroff@hotmail.com

 

 

File attachments
Safety_Alert_Harroff_Bros_2011-10-27.pdf
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