Technical Release

INTRODUCTION:  The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), through the efforts of its machine manufacturer members, has produced a variety of safety manuals for different forestry machine types for many years.  AEM recently updated some of these manuals and advertises them for sale on its web site.

GENERAL FEATURES:  AEM safety manuals are developed by manufacturers’ technical representatives with the assistance of AEM’s Technical Publications staff.  Each manual provides equipment owners, operators, service personnel, and mechanics “with basic safety procedures and warnings for their day-to-day work with the equipment,” according to the safety manual overview provided on the AEM web site.  All forestry equipment safety manuals are well-illustrated with equipment and worker graphics that depict important safety points and proper ways to undertake various equipment work practices.  While AEM states that the manuals are not a substitute for manufacturers’ owner’s manuals, the AEM manuals nevertheless provide easy-to-read, easy-to-understand, yet very comprehensive coverage of the many safety considerations when operating the machine under consideration.  For example, the recently revised (2014) Log Skidder Safety Manual includes the following sections:

  • Follow a Safety Program
  • Prepare for Safe Operation
  • State Safely
  • Shut Down Safely
  • Perform Maintenance Safely

The other forestry machine safety manuals include an additional segment on loading and unloading the machine safely.

APPLICATION:  The safety manuals provide excellent initial training content for new hires on a logging crew, good topics for monthly safety meetings for the logging crew, and refresher materials for experienced operators.  AEM sells equipment safety manuals for many (non-forestry) machines, but has a specific safety manual for each of the following forestry machines:

Log Skidder (revised 2014)
Log Harvester/Processor (revised 2012)
Feller/Buncher (revised 2010)
Knuckleboom Log Loader (revised 2010)
Crawler Tractor/Loader (revised 2005)
Forwarder (revised 2004)

Other safety manuals which may be of interest to some loggers or woodyard managers include Wheel Loader/Tractor Safety Manual, Skid Steer Loader Safety Manual, and Hydraulic Excavator Safety Manual.  Manual creation is supported by industry, allowing AEM to price the manuals very reasonably, to promote safety among all users.

SPECIFICATIONS AND COST:  All the safety manuals can be seen at the following link on the AEM web site:  The cost for each safety manual is $5 each for contractors and individuals.  Manuals are available at significant discount prices in quantities, for contractors, dealers, associations, and other bulk purchasers.  (see

Reviewed by:
Nate Burton
Technical & Safety Services Manager
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers

Rick Meyer
Appalachian/Southwide Region Manager
Forest Resources Association