As we move into summer, and to what we call in the logging industry ‘silly season’ — so named for the time of year when conflict between logging trucks, private RVs, motorbikes, quads, pickups and cars is at its highest — I would like to make a few points.
As a log truck driver I have had numerous encounters with private vehicles and many times the drivers of these vehicles are inexperienced or have no idea what to do in the event of meeting a logging truck. Many times these drivers panic and drive into the ditch when, in fact, there was ample room to stop in a safe manner.
Here’s a few tips:
• When meeting a logging truck, don’t panic;
• Try to brake on the running surface. Getting off the beaten path could put you into slimy shoulders or gravel that will resemble marbles, both of which will double or triple your stopping distance;
• Once you have come to a stop, if there is no turn-out available for you to pull over in make visual contact with the driver. He will direct you to the safest place for you to go dependent on load, load length and leans in the road;
• If you are traveling in a group check in at the WFP office and let them know your destination and direction of travel. This then allows for an announcement to be made on the radio alerting drivers to your whereabouts so they can be expecting you;
• Pay attention to signs at highway and major intersections. They are not just there for workers in the forest industry; they are also there for the general public. Take the time to read the signs and understand what they mean.
We have frequent log truck traffic traveling in the Cluxewe area, so anyone heading out Keogh Main — especially Clint Beek Campsite — should expect to meet log trucks and be on high alert. So let’s make this a safe and enjoyable summer for everybody.
A note: for the last four years, I have presented a Back Road Safety session to high school students and the newest of drivers. However, with the recent labour developments this did not occur this year. Consequently, this year it is up to parents to educate their kids on the hazards of driving on logging roads when going to lakes and rivers during working hours.
Enjoy your summer,