CHIP TRAILER LOOP RAIL PROTECTS DRIVER ON LADDER

15-R-18
Sat, 08/01/2015
Technical Release
FOREST RESOURCES ASSOCIATION INC.
1901 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, NW, SUITE 303
WASHINGTON, DC 20006
PHONE: 202/296-3937
FAX: 202/296-0562
 
 
CHIP TRAILER LOOP RAIL PROTECTS DRIVER ON LADDER
 
 
Safety: trucking August 2015
 
 
INTRODUCTION: Truck drivers face safety risks as they tarp their open-top trailers. Many injuries have occurred from drivers falling from the top of trailers. It is never a good idea for drivers to walk on top of the trailer, loaded or unloaded. Several facilities have installed tarping stations to help reduce the risk of drivers falling. (See FRA Technical Release 13-R-26, Trailer Tarping Safety Solutions, for example.) One problem that continues to exist is drivers falling backwards from the chip trailer ladders. In several cases, as the driver was pulling the slide tarp back to the front it would become hung on the top of the trailer. The driver would pull harder on the tarp. As the tarp came free, the driver would lose balance and fall from the ladder.
 
Fig. 1: Loop rail: example of a chip trailer safety “best practice.”
 
GENERAL FEATURES: Some mills recognized this problem and began requiring trucking companies that hauled chips to their mill to address this hazard. Shuford Lumber, Inc., a trucking company located in Marion, North Carolina, investigated possible ways to comply with the requirement. After searching among several trailer manufacturers, the Shufords purchased a loop rail to be mounted at the top of each ladder.
 
Fig. 2: Loop rail is fairly easy to install.
 
 
APPLICATION: Since the rails have been installed, owners Richard and Troy Shuford stated that several drivers have come into the office and thanked them for installing the loop rails. These drivers cited incidents in which they lost their balance and fell backwards when they were pulling the tarps back. If the rail had not been there, they would have fallen off the ladder. Shuford Lumber, Inc. has seen the benefits of installing the loop rail on each of their trailers. They have recommended the same rails to everyone that owns open-top trailers.
 
SPECIFICATIONS & COST: The Shufords purchased the loop rails from CRTS in Statesville,
North Carolina. (CRTS is a truck trailer sales and trailer products company: www.crtsinc.com; 1-
877-754-4329.) One thing the Shufords discovered was that if they purchased ten or more at a
time, they were able to get each rail between $170 and $180. Their total cost to fix all 50 trailers
with the new loop rail was approximately $8,500. Mr. Greg Shuford installed the rails himself. He
said that it took about 15 to 20 minutes per rail, bolting each to its trailer.
 
 
Greg Helton
Field Representative
Forestry Mutual Insurance Company
P.O. Box 2511
Marion, North Carolina 28752
828-442-3143
 
Reviewed by:
Rick Meyer
Appalachian/Southwide Region Manager