What to Consider When Driving a Log Trailer

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Transportation is an essential part of a log company’s activities. Hauling logs out of the forest or mountains to the mill is done with heavy equipment like a truck or trailer. While some drivers opt to haul logs with a truck, others prefer the power of a trailer. However, there are some key elements to consider before starting the engine if you are hauling logs with a trailer.

Things to Consider When Driving a Log Trailer

Benefits of Log Trailers

Log trailers are one of the ways that logging companies transport loads to the mill for processing. This is an ideal solution if you have a truck and a trailer, and are looking to move a lot of logs.

Trailers also come in handy if you are moving longer logs. You can have one end of the log loaded onto the truck and the other end in the trailer. This is called a “bridge load.” There is also a steel tube that rests on both the truck and trailer to help secure the load. However, a driver will need to manage the trip carefully if they are using a bridge load. This is done by putting the pintle height a few feet behind the wheels of the truck. Doing this offers flexibility for the truck that counters the tendency for a trailer to cut corners. With the pintle height a little ways behind the truck wheels, steering is adjusted so that when a driver turns the wheel left, the trailer will turn right. 

While there are different types of trailers that drivers can use to haul a load, the tandem axle trailer is the most common. The weight limit for each tandem axle is 34,000 lbs. To balance out the weight, logs need to be longer than 40 feet.

Drawbacks of Log Trailers

While log trailers have their advantages, there are also some drawbacks to using them for hauling. One of those is that they are only able to handle shorter log lengths. By using a truck and trailer together, however, longer log lengths can be safely transported.

Trailers also require some special equipment to accommodate various hauling demands. These include:

  • Bolsters and stanchions, which help to retain the load.
  • Equipment that helps restrain the loach like restraints, twitches, chains, and wire ropes.

Another important factor with regards to log trailers is that drivers need to have a commercial driving licence and some experience hauling loads like logs. 

Log trailers are also expensive pieces of equipment, which means many logging companies need to search for trailer financing to be able to buy them. Whether you are looking to acquire new equipment or upgrade what you already have, buying a trailer with company cash is not always an option. However, there are some trailer financing options available for logging businesses. 

Safety Issues with Log Trailers

Log trailers are very large and powerful pieces of equipment. As such, they need to be handled carefully and by a skillful driver who has experience hauling large and heavy loads. Your trailer is also an important asset for your company. Here are some things you’ll want to consider when sending your log trailer out for a haul:

  • Visibility. In good weather, your trailer will be easily seen by other drivers on the road. In low-visibility situations like early mornings, late at night, fog, and heavy rain, though, it can become a hazard. This counts both for trailers that have a load and those that don’t. Having a driver that is skilled and experienced is essential. Ensure that the drivers you hire are fully trained and capable. Don’t forget to update their training occasionally, as hauling methods and procedures may change over time. 
  • Trailer colour. One aspect that relates to visibility is the colour of the trailer. Many trailers are painted black or grey, but this might not be the best choice. While it might cost extra money to have a trailer painted in a more highly-visible colour like orange or red, it can be seen as an investment. Protecting your trailer from collisions and other damage can help retain its resale value in the long run. Having a brighter trailer colour can also prevent legal and insurance issues if a collision does happen. 
  • Safety marks. There are times when a log driver needs to make unusual maneuvers with the log trailer, including, for example, backing up off a highway for a logging job. In these situations, having safety marks on the trailer can prevent accidents and save lives. Be sure to put reflective tape or marks around your trailer, including the central space that other drivers may not see if the lighting is low. It is also vital to check the marks and tape regularly to make sure they are not coming off and need to be reapplied. 

Financing your logging trailer doesn’t have to be a difficult process. With the right lender, you can either buy or lease the equipment you need to be competitive and stay in business. For more information about trailer financing, call Truck Loan Center at 1-866-230-0094 or contact us here


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