Log Hauler Truck Accident Attorney in San Francisco
Log Hauler trucks carry large loads that are both heavy and high. They
have to move around in difficult terrain with gradients. Drivers operating
these big rigs require special skill and training. Over-height forestry
trucks can cause personal injury, torn down power lines, damage traffic
signals, damage overpasses and bridges and damage equipment being hauled.
Several precautions should be taken to prevent accidents caused by over-height trucks:
- When planning the route beware of the low bridges along the route and possible
detours if the load height exceeds the posted limits.
- Outside logs should not be loaded over the standards on a log trailer.
Crowning of interior logs is permissible as long as the total height does
not exceed a legal highway maximum of 13 feet 6 inches.
- Measure the height of standards on new trailers and on repaired trailers
to be sure an over-height situation does not exist.
- Always use binding chains, straps, or cables with the proper strength requirements
for the load. Follow the safety procedures when securing the load.
- Carefully check the load for shifted logs before unbinding.
- Measure the height of the total load after equipment is properly secured
- Don’t assume all lowboy deck heights are the same. This will influence
total load height.
- Over-height loads may have a higher center of gravity, affecting how loads
are positioned and affecting truck handling. Dropping a wheel off the
pavement could result in a roll-over accident.
- Secure and bind all equipment, including booms and grapples.
- Obtain over-height permits from appropriate state highway agencies and
insure that the assigned route is a safe route. Determine low bridge locations
on your own as a check.
- Use escort vehicles if required by the state agency.
- Be aware of low obstructions once the hauler leaves the public road system.
Power lines and phone lines to temporary structures such as hunting camps,
farm buildings, etc. may be too low to pass under.
(a.) Drive According To Road Conditions
Roads can be very slippery after snow or rain, braking technique should
be suited to the condition of the road. Driving technique needs to be
adjusted to meet these different road conditions.
A log truck driver skidded when turning a corner on an ice-covered road.
He lost control of his truck and the truck slammed head-on into an embankment.
The force of the truck hitting the embankment drove part of the load through
the truck’s bulkhead. The driver was fatally crushed inside the
cab by one of the logs that came through the bulkhead.
(b.) Defensive Driving
It’s extremely important to adjust driving technique and speed to
meet road conditions, especially roads made slippery by ice or other factors.
Drive defensively; expect the unexpected on logging roads. A worker was
killed when his crew truck collided with the tracks of a log loader. The
log loader was being carried sideways on a low-bed truck. The log loader
tracks extended about two feet over each side of the flatbed. The collision
happened on a narrow stretch of icy logging road.
- Do not create a wide-load situation on logging roads without informing
all potential users of your movements.
- Use radio communication to chart your movements with other road users.
- Make sure all vehicles drive within the accepted speed limits and that
driving speeds are reduced in poor road conditions.
(c.) Look For All Approaching Vehicles
A loaded logging truck and an empty low-bed truck collided on a logging
road. A mix-up in mileage calls prior to the accident lead to this fatal
incident. In this accident, the low-bed driver was instantly killed when
the logs from the loaded truck toppled over him and his truck.
- Confirm location of other vehicles before entering critical road sections.
- Follow proper radio calling procedures at all times.
- Use extreme caution when sharing forest service roads with approaching vehicles.
- Radio communications can go wrong – follow safe driving rules.
Two recent logging fatalities stress the importance of defensive driving
on logging roads. While climbing up or down the road, one must drive with
the possibility of another vehicle being around the next bend. In addition
to listening to the radio, driving cautiously according to the road conditions
and always being alert and ready for the unexpected are the best precautions
one can take.