Monday, November 30, 2009

Logging Lots Of Miles

These log trucks can be seen all over the Pacific Northwest. I've read that logging is one of the most dangerous trucking jobs out there. Many of these trucks drive deep into the forest over roads that are unpaved and typically carved out by bulldozers. The locations where they logs are loaded are very often remote areas with no access to emergency medical care if needed.

It's not uncommon for a logging truck to be parked precariously on a hillside while being loaded down with raw timber. They've been known to topple over due to the weight not being distributed evenly. A logging truck flipping over and rolling down a hillside can't ever be a good thing. I can't even imagine what it would be like sitting in the cab of my truck hoping the guy loading me knows what he's doing.

They often take loads out of the forest that are over their gross allowance, since they haul as much out of the forest as they can, but once they get on the highways, they have to be of legal weight; typically 80,000 lbs. but in some areas, those weights can be higer. Many of the trucks also may pull a triple-axle trailer, which allows for extra weight.

Every time I see one of these trucks, I get a little freaked out. I always envision a log coming off the truck and shooting through the window of my cab, like in the movies. I don't like being behind them as they're going uphill either, for that very same reason. Because they're so heavy, they move super-slow uphill and even though the logs are chained down and the trailers have those stakes on the sides, I just don't trust it being held in if that log decides to move, so I stay faarrrr away.

To see what one of those logging roads looks like, click HERE and watch as the driver navigates the Snow Peak Main Line through the narrow mountainside road high in the Cascade Mountains of Sweet Home, Oregon.


Leigh Hutchens Burch said...

Those log trucks freak me out, too. I think it's because of Final Destination 2.

That pile up gave me nightmares for weeks.

Evil Pixie said...

My grandfather use to drive these trucks in his younger days. He hated it. When we were growing up and were on the road with him, he'd always drive faster to get ahead of these trucks so I figure he must have had some inside knowledge about them and their safety. Incidentally, a couple of years ago two men were crushed to death when one of the enormous metal prongs that are suppose to keep those logs in place broke and the logs fell on top of their car. While I'm sure the odds of something happening with these trucks are low, I still avoid driving anywhere near them. I trust my grandfather in that respect.

Gil said...

Those trucks have unbelievable power! I remember thinking that we was setting the world on fire winding up one of the redwood logging roads in my 67 Volvo 122s doing about 65 in third gear and one of them blew right by us! This was way back in 75 or 76.