Log truck spills load, trailer almost separates on highway

Safety Alert Type: 
Log Hauling
Location: 
Highway 33 south of Beaverdell (southern interior)
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2013-03-11
Company Name: 
Gudeit Bros. Contracting Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A short log truck driver with 25 years’ experience had his trailer spill 1 kilometre south of Beaverdell on Highway 33. The location of the incident was on a straight stretch of road. The weather was clear and the road was dry.

The driver was travelling approximately 80 km/h when he felt a thump. He checked his load and the back trailer was swaying from side to side. He tried speeding up to control the trailer, that didn’t work. He then tried to use the trailer hand brake valve to slow it down. He continued approximately three truck lengths before the trailer tipped its load to the passenger side of the highway. He pulled the truck and trailer to a safe spot.

Upon inspection the driver found the trailer attached to the truck with only the safety chains. The large nut on the end of the compensator had come off. It had backed off because the lock nut inside the reach tube had come undone.

These lock nuts are housed within the reach tube and cannot be seen for inspection. The contractor’s mechanic attended and repaired the trailer, welding the large nut in place. The contractor spoke with the highways foreman and obtained permission to reload the trailer.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Cause of Incident: Equipment failure – the lock nut inside the reach tube came undone, allowing the large nut on the compensator to back off.

Basic or Root Causes: Engineering or design – the lock nut within the reach tube cannot be visually inspected without taking the reach tube apart.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information: Gudeit Bros. Contracting Ltd. (250) 547-9899

File attachments
Log truck spills load, trailer almost separates on highway.pdf
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