The online newspaper for the forest products industry including loggers, sawmills, remanufacturers and secondary wood processors.
Log Truck Backs into Loader Operator

Safety Alert

By Forest Resources Assn.
Date Posted: 10/1/2006


      A log truck driver was waiting to back under a knuckleboom loader while another truck was being loaded at the landing.

Personal Characteristics

      The truck driver was in his 50s and experienced.

Unsafe Act or Condition

      The waiting truck was partly turned so that the loading area was in the truck’s blind spot. After the first truck was loaded and had pulled away, the knuckleboom loader operator set the grapple down in the loading area. He exited the cab to check hoses or to fix a problem with the grapple. The driver of the waiting truck did not see him and backed into the loading area, assuming it was clear. The knuckleboom operator was unaware the truck was backing toward him. (The log truck had no ‘backing up’ alarm.’)


      The truck continued backing and pinched the knuckleboom loader operator between the moving trailer and the grapple.


      The knuckleboom loader operator was seriously injured. The truck driver pulled the trailer forward, and the injured man subsequently was flown to a hospital for treatment.

      The knuckleboom loader operator suffered four broken ribs. He was hospitalized more than a week in intensive care. He is expected to make a complete recovery.


• Always be alert as to the whereabouts and actions of others on a logging job, especially at the landing. Remember: it is the responsibility of those in an enclosed cab to watch out for ground workers.

• Use CB radios, two-way radios or other visible-audible means to communicate an ‘all clear’ signal or announce potential hazards.

• Take time to be safe. Saving a few minutes of time is not worth the possibility of a life-changing accident. Plan ahead, and think about the consequences of actions ahead of time.

• Keep first aid and CPR certification current.


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