On a cold winter morning in the southern U.S., two loaded log trucks were parked on a woods road while the drivers secured their loads. The woods road was on a 15% slope, with some snow on the road surface.
The driver of the first truck was in his fifties and had over 20 years of experience. The driver of the second truck that rolled was in his thirties and had 10 years of experience. This was the second load of the morning for both drivers.
UNSAFE ACTS AND CONDITIONS:
Both loaded log trucks were parked close together on a slope. The snowy ground and cold temperature made the surface slippery. The drivers did not assess the risk of parking on a slope, and as it turned out, the brakes on the rear truck had frozen, apparently due to the cold weather.
The trailing truck started to roll slowly towards the first truck. The driver ran to his truck and entered the cab, but the brakes were not working. The truck collided with the truck in front of it.
No one was injured. However, the grill of the rear truck smashed into overhanging logs on the back of the first truck and sustained significant damage.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CORRECTION:
- Never attempt to enter any moving vehicle or other piece of equipment.
- Logging operations and log truck drivers should conduct a risk assessment prior to deciding where to park the trucks for load securement.
- Avoid parking two trucks in a line on sloping ground. If a sloped surface is the only option, chock the truck’s wheels to prevent unintentional movement of the trucks (considered a best practice by many leading trucking firms).
- Be aware that slippery road surfaces can contribute to a truck sliding or rolling and make it more difficult to stop.
- Drivers should make a complete walk-around inspection of their trucks at the beginning of each work shift, which includes checking the working order of the brakes. Additional inspections should be made whenever there is a change in the operating condition of the truck.
FRA Southwide Safety Committee;
Rick Meyer, Appalachian/Southwide Region Manager