Logging Road Risks at Work
Bush Road Safety Reminder
DR I V E AT A SA F E S P E E D
Since most forest roads are not posted with
speed limit signs, it’s the responsibility of the
driver to travel at speeds that reflect road
conditions. Where there are posted signs, you
must obey them. You should always use caution
and expect the unexpected. You must be able to
stop safely in any emergency or in encountering
• Do not create a wide-load
situation on logging roads
without informing all
potential users of your
• 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
Driving on active logging roads
• Sometimes it is necessary to drive on active logging roads
in order to reach a trailhead. The following are suggestions
for your safety when doing so. Remember, fully loaded
logging trucks weigh many tons and cannot maneuver as
nibly as your vehicle, it is up to you to yield the right of way
to these monsters.
• Always drive with your lights on.
• Stay to the right hand side of the road.
• If you see logging truck(s) coming pull over to the far right
edge of the road and STOP.
– Wait until the dust from the logging truck has cleared before
proceeding, there may well be another truck following.
WATC H O U T FO R ROA D DA M AG E
• Forest roads are not
maintained to the same degree
• highways. Wash-outs, slides
and fallen trees can occur at
• any time, meaning that these
risks may not be identified
• signs and you may not have
warning of the hazard. At times
• when flooding or slides occur,
it is not always possible to
• speedy repairs and to erect
appropriate warning signs.
Roads in forests can create significant
opportunities for erosion.
Driving on marshy ground that is not
frozen leaves permanent ruts.
O B E Y A L L ROA D S I G N S
• On forest roads, signs warn
drivers of known hazards
• road, and provide special
driving instructions. Obey
• for your own safety.
Remember that not all
hazards are signed.
• Road conditions can change
rapidly because of weather,
• and other factors. Do not
expect the same level of
• signage as on public
DO N ’ T B LO C K T H E ROA D
• Logging trucks take up a lot of
room and forest roads are built
• for their use. It is essential that
logging trucks and firefighting
• equipment be able to use the
roads without delay. Don’t
• on the road surface to sight-
see or hunt. If you do stop,
• well off the road.
• crashes and close calls due to lack of
communication or miscommunication
• inconsistencies in calling procedures,
signage, area frequencies
• too many channel changes, especially in
multiple user situations (other industries,
more than one mill or contractor, etc)
• If you plan to travel on an active
logging/commercial road, you must:
• Receive verbal permission from your Supervisor.
• Travel with a radio, or in a radio-controlled convoy.
• Know how to use the radio.
• If you do not have a radio, you must travel in
a radio-controlled convoy.
– When driving on bush roads, it is MANDATORY to communicate your position on the road to
others who are using the road. Keep your radio microphone in a convenient location so that
you are not distracted from your driving while using it.
– Scanning frequencies is not permitted. Keep the radio on the road frequency, and avoid
other distractions such as loud music.
– You are required to call your road position (km sign, direction and road name) every 2
kilometres. E.g. “Small Car, Down, Jamieson km 6”. Some road rules indicate this is every 2
Km’s, some every 1 km. Find out the rules for the road you are working on. If not sure, err
on the side of caution and call every one.
– Call “Down” when the kilometers are counting down in the direction you are traveling.
Some roads require “Loaded” when kilometers are counting down in the direction of travel.
– Call “Up” when the kilometers are counting up in the direction you are traveling. Some
roads require “Empty” when kilometers are counting up in the direction of travel.
– Be courteous and brief on the road channel. The channels are busy and casual conversation
presents a safety hazard. Obscene language is not tolerated.
– If you pass someone coming the other way, and they have not been on the radio then you
should let others know to expect a vehicle with no radio. E.g. You should send out a call on
the vehicle indicating which way THEY are going. “No radio, Up Jamieson at 6 km”.
– If you do not have a radio, or your radio fails you should wait by the road until you are
passed by another vehicle heading in your direction. Fall in behind them. If it is a haul road,
wait for a logging truck which will be guaranteed to have a radio. They will include you in
the call for you’re their travel. Similarly, if a vehicle falls in behind you at the start of a road
include them. Eg: “Two pickups, Up, Jamieson km 4”
– SOME ROADS DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH ROOM FOR YOU AND A HAUL TRUCK TO PASS SAFELY.
RADIO COMMUNICATION IS CRITICAL!!
– RADIO COMMUNICATION IS A LIFE AND DEATH MATTER!!!
Why is a standard radio use protocol necessary?
• to reduce incidences
of crashes in the
somebody was on
the wrong channel
• to ensure that
wherever you are in
the province, you
have the right
channel in your radio
Both these incidents were loaded trucks rear-ending
other loaded trucks in adverse weather conditions –
both weren’t on the right channel as they were short
term hauls, and didn’t get channels programmed into
Passing Equipment at Roadside:
– When you approach equipment or vehicles that are working at
roadside, come to a complete stop at least 35 metres feet back
from the machine. To pass safely, make sure you communicate
with the operator by radio. If you cannot reach the operator by
radio, get his/her attention by flashing your lights or honking
– Do not approach active machinery—maintain a safe distance.
– Never pass until the machine operator clearly signals that it is
safe to pass. Do not make the assumption that because
someone looked your way that they saw you, wait for a clear
indication they are aware of your presence.
– Be sure that the machine has stopped moving and all
attachments are lowered before passing.
– If in doubt, DO NOT take chances. Be patient and wait for
proper communication with the machine operator.
Y I E L D TO I N D U S T R I A L
• Logging trucks use all or most of the road width because
• of their size. This can pose a challenge for oncoming traffic
• since forest roads are often single lane or a lane-and-a-half
• wide, and bridges are almost always single-lane. Please give
• logging trucks and other industrial traffic the right-of-way.
• Due to their size, they just can’t manoeuvre the way personal
• vehicles can.
• Loaded logging trucks definitely have the right-of-weight! When
• you see a logging truck or any other heavy equipment coming,
• get to a turnout and let the oncoming vehicle pass by. You may
• find turnouts on either side of the road -- whichever side it’s
• on, get to it and wait until it is safe to proceed. Remember that
• in winter, road conditions may be very slippery. Allow extra time
• and space for equipment to pass.
WATC H O U T FO R SWE EPERS
Sweepers are very long logs that are
sometimes hauled by logging trucks. They
can hang over the back of the trailer by as
much as six metres! On a steep road with
tight curves, a sweeper could literally
sweep a car off the road. That’s why on
some left-turning curves, you may see a
sign asking you to drive on the left-hand
side. Being on the left will keep you
out of the sweeper’s way. If you round a
corner and find an immobile logging truck,
you should stop. When it is clear to go,
or when the driver waves you on, proceed
with caution – even a sweeper that isn’t
moving can be dangerous.
Lesson learned on Logging Roads
• Keep your gas tank full in winter (we had stopped for fuel on the way up).
• Carry a shovel (we had 3 amongst the 2 vehicles).
• Have spare clothes available to change into (encouraged all participants to bring a change of clothes).
• Carry a flashlight (most of our group had flashlights or headlamps).
• Carry a couple of blankets in the car in case you get stuck at the trailhead. They will add greatly to the comfort of you and your
passengers. (We had two or three).
• Carry some spare food in case you are delayed in getting out. (Elaine had some spare food in her vehicle).
• If conditions are too bad, stay put, don't be daring.
• If the road is icy and the snow is falling, wait while some snow accumulates, you will have far more control in the snow.
• If you have a 4WD put it into 4WD Low and put the transmission into 1st gear for going down hills (we were driving at 1 kph on some of
• If you have to walk the road in icy conditions use ski poles for stability. (We didn't do this soon enough, several of our party fell, some
more than once).
• Put your 4 way flashers on if you are blocking the road. If you do get stuck send someone to the top of the hill to warn other drivers.
• Carry chains and put them on at the top of any hills.
• Make sure you brace your wheels before putting on chains.
• Have a set of tools in the car.
• If a vehicle is coming down the road toward you be prepared to get well off the road.
• If you are going on logging roads cell phone coverage may be very spotty, carry 2 way radios if you have them. This will allow you to
communicate with others in your party.
• Let the most experienced winter driver drive down the hills.
• Ensure someone knows where you are going (due to a mix up the person who we thought knew had us at another location).
• If you decide not to try to drive out then:
– Remain inside the vehicle.
– Check the exhaust frequently to ensure it's not becoming blocked with snow.
– Keep fresh air inside the car by slightly opening the lee-side window.
– Use a candle for light and heat if the motor fails.
Safety Back up could be a couple hours
away, always think about your safety