Research Papers

The Anatomy of a Rollover

Version 1
Date added June 17, 2014
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Category 2014 CMRSC XXIV Vancouver
Tags Policy and Practice, Session 5C
Author/Auteur Terry Betts, Grant Aune
Stream/Volet Policy and Practice

Slidedeck Presentation Only (no paper submitted)

5C Betts_The Anatomy of a Rollover


During a period of 1.5 years, a forestry company managing log harvesting and log hauling
experienced 27 individual vehicular rollovers relating to their log hauling operations.
A root cause analysis of incident 26 and 27 revealed operations had changed from a two stage
process involving two separate configurations of trucks and a variety of driver experience to a
singular process involving a newly designed truck and no additional driver training.
The first stage, in an off-road environment, was the transport of raw logs from the “harvest” area
to the “dry land sort” area. This process was conducted by a truck referred to as a “Fat Truck”
due to its unique off-road configuration. The second stage was the process of transporting logs
from the “dry land sort” area to a mill by utilizing public highways and a truck equipped to
conform to Motor Vehicle Act Regulations.
With an objective to minimize time handling raw logs the two stage process was reduced to one
stage by eliminating the “dry land sort” operation. This was accomplished by designing a new
truck capable of operating off-road and on public highways. With the implementation of a newly
designed truck and exposing untrained drivers to new driving environments, former highway
drivers were crashing in off-road areas and off-road drivers were crashing on public highways.
Eliminate the occurrence of vehicular rollovers during the harvesting and hauling of raw logs.
Personnel involved in the harvesting and hauling process including company drivers, loading
operators, contractors and supervisors.
Based on the initial root cause analysis, it was determined the drivers had a low level of
understanding relating to the dynamics of the trucks they were driving and the loads they were
hauling. The best course of action was to educate drivers with an objective to heighten the
driver’s awareness in relation to how trucks and trailers rollover. A program was developed
based on experience investigating motor vehicle crashes.
A course was developed and came to be known as “The Anatomy of a Rollover.” Focused
training was delivered over a 2 week period in 6 locations. The course information provided
drivers with an understanding of how rollovers occur and how they may change their behaviour
to prevent a rollover.
In the year preceding this training, the organization had been involved in 17 rollovers. The year
following the delivery of this program, the organization only experienced 1 rollover which
involved a contractor who had not participated in the training. The organization estimated as a
result of the training, the total hard cost savings to be approximately 3.6 million dollars when
compared to the ten months prior to the delivery of this program.

Terry Betts, Grant Aune