Safety Alert: Feller-Buncher Backs into Pick-Up Truck

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Safety Alert

On a spring morning in the Southeast, a wood buyer followed a logger down a woods road to where a crew was cutting a new logging deck. The wood buyer parked his pick-up truck about 75 feet behind the logger’s truck. A rubber-tired feller-buncher was cutting trees about 150-200 feet in the woods.
The wood buyer had worked with a forest products company over 16 years and had experience in timber sales inspections, timber purchasing, coordinating logging activities, and related tasks. The feller-buncher operator also was experienced.
After the logger exited his vehicle and walked into the woods, the wood buyer exited and walked toward the back of his vehicle. The feller-buncher operator, having seen the logger, began backing up so that he could speak with him. The wood buyer’s truck was directly behind the feller-buncher and was in the operator’s blind spot. The feller-buncher did not make sure the area directly behind him was clear before backing.
The wood buyer, seeing that the feller-buncher operator was getting very close to his vehicle, yelled and waved his arms. However, the feller-buncher operator was looking in another direction and was not aware the truck was behind him. He backed the feller-buncher into the passenger side door of the pick-up truck.
No one was injured. The pick-up truck sustained $3,000 in damage and was out of service for a month.
1. Use special caution when driving into areas of active logging operations.
2. Park vehicles out of the way of logging truck traffic and logging equipment to avoid the potential for accidents and disruption of logging operations. Never assume you or your vehicle are visible. Make sure!
3. Logging equipment operators should look behind them when backing up machinery.
(Source: Forest Resources Assn.)