Your log trucks may seem durable enough to withstand practically anything—and they should be able to, considering that they can cost about $300,000 each! But the strain of transporting large loads of logs across long distances and treacherous terrain can increase the need for costly repairs.
How can you keep your company vehicles in good working order for as long as possible? Try to cut down on the amount of unnecessary wear and tear by controlling these three threats to your log trucks:
- Driver fatigue: Each year, approximately 4,000 people are killed in truck crashes nationwide. Many of these crashes are at least partially caused by truck driver fatigue. In a survey of more than 1,200 truck drivers, researchers found that nearly one in five drivers had fallen asleep at the wheel in the last month, and two-thirds had lied on their driving log reports, saying that they under reported the number of hours they’d driven in the past year. Cracking down on drowsy driving within your organization can save you untold amounts of money in repair costs (not to mention legal fees) by decreasing the likelihood that your log trucks will get into accidents. Make sure your drivers understand the importance of sticking to the most up to date version of the U.S Department of Transportation’s “hours of service” rules for truck drivers.
- Overloaded log trucks: Transporting logs from one place to another eats away at your bottom line faster than practically any other part of your business, so it’s understandable that you’d want to make the process as efficient as possible. If your quest for greater productivity causes your employees to overload or improperly load your logging trucks, any gain in efficiency is likely to be wiped out by excess wear on your vehicles and an increased risk of an accident or load spill.
- Unsafe driving practices: You know how dangerous unsafe drivers can be in the timber industry, so you strive to hire only the best. When searching for the next driver of your logging trucks, be sure to tell your insurance company so that they can conduct an official Motor Vehicle Report (MVR). Your agent won’t be able to give you the exact results of the report, but he or she may offer guidance on how a prospective hire’s MVR will impact your insurance premiums. This will give you a clue as to how safe your potential new employee’s driving record is. Don’t assume your job is over just because you’ve hired drivers with clean backgrounds. Developing and implementing an ongoing fleet safety program is a necessary step that will help you avoid accidents that could damage your log trucks and leave you open to lawsuits.
You do what you can to keep your trucks operating safely and smoothly, but there’s a limit to how much you can control. Accidents happen, even to the best drivers. In these instances, it’s critical that your log truck insurance plan contains commercial auto insurance and heavy equipment insurance policies that can safeguard your essential business assets.
Longleaf Forestry Insurance was created to serve the specific insurance needs of logging professionals. We understand the important issues affecting your industry, and we want to help you find an insurance plan that works for your business. Call us today at (800) 410-6333.