Log Trucking Support
The job of logging is not over until the wood gets to the mill. Log hauling has its own set of challenges and areas of safety concern.
Log Hauling Permits
Section 24-113.2 of the Transportation Article (Maryland Annotated Code) authorizes the State Highway Administration to issue exceptional hauling permits for the carrying of “farm products” (includes forest products) for vehicles that meet the following:
- are loaded in the fields or other off-highway locations;
- are the only load of the vehicle;
- has an axle configuration of not less than six axles and a front-to-rear centerline axle spacing of not less than 50 feet; and
- passes a North American Standard Driver/Vehicle Level 1 inspection twice a year.
Compliance allows the carrier to haul up to 88,000 pounds of load from the field, compared to only 79,000 pounds of load under conventional hauling regulations. Although this section was initially limited to only Western Maryland and the forest products industry, it now authorizes eligibility within the agricultural community. The permit can be used statewide on all State highways and roads with the exception of the Interstate highway system.
The Forest Resources Association has a strong logging and transportation safety program. The program begins with a good Log Truck Inspection Form to help identify and prevent equipment problems. It also includes a set of procedures for safely loading logs, for safely unloading logs at the woodyard or mill, and for loading and hauling large equipment to and from the logging site.
Trucking has its own set of OSHA guidelines, as well as federal and state regulations.
One hazard that log trucks must face are low clearance underpasses and bridges. A listing of danger sites is on the next page. Care should be taken to go around low clearances to prevent damage to the bridge, the load and to passing motorists.