Rolling Along, Not Over

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Description: Melodramatic? Perhaps. It's also a scene that becomes more likely with each passing week given the profile of today's log hauler and log haul. Discounting the growing number of younger, inexperienced drivers that will need to take over in coming years, just look at die hauls we're increasingly asking our drivers to do. They are typically getting longer, especially in northern Ontario and Quebec where the easy wood is gone. But elsewhere we are seeing a similar trend, as more sorts and shut mills drive the industry to move raw materials and byproducts farther afield.If the scene is set for more, and potentially devastating, accidents involving the public, what can we do to stack the odds in our favour? Log trucks need to slow down and drive carefully, I've been told by people both inside and out of the industry. I'm neither your priest nor your safety supervisor, so save that one for someone who hasn't been passed dozens of times by log haulers on the way to the mill near supper time. No, we need something foolproof, and more automated, to remove as much of the human element as possible.Read James' report on rollover prevention systems starting on page 22 if you want to see what's coming down the pipe. But do we really need to wait until we're told to put them on our trucks? After all, these systems are not prohibitively expensive. On new rigs, you're talking in the range of $1,700, or as one source [James Menzies] interviews puts it, the price of a chrome bumper.
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