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Haulage Safety

The haulage of timber products is the highest risk interface between the general public and the timber industry. Poor management of loaded trucks can expose the general public to harm, and can quickly ruin a company’s reputation as a safe operator and manager.  It is essential to ensure every load of logs leaving any harvesting site are secure. Getting the load shape and height right is critical for the security of a load.

Correct load shape
An incorrect load shape can reduce the effectiveness of the lashings dramatically. All loads should be crowned so the lashings touch the outside of all logs. The downward force of the lashing is then applied evenly to all of the load. Placing smaller diameter logs, where possible, on top of the load can be an effective way of getting the load shape right. Loads that are flat across the top will not have the full effectiveness of the lashings and can be hazardous to people around the load, especially whilst travelling.

Correct load height
Loads that are loaded above the stanchions can be very dangerous. The stanchions are designed to stop the logs from rolling off the side of the trailer. It is common for operators to want to load trailers to the maximum height to make the most of weight restrictions; especially over summer or with smaller piece size timber. The risk is, when the lashings are removed, logs resting above the stanchions are able to move unrestrained and pose a danger to anyone in the vicinity of the trailer. This should never be allowed to occur at any operation. In some cases, due to the size and shape of large diameter logs, the operator may need to increase the height of the load because of the gaps created between the logs. In these cases, no logs shall have more than half their diameter above the top of the stanchions and these situations should be avoided wherever possible.

For more information please view ForestWorks Log Haulage Manual published 2014