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Timber transport guidelines

Guidelines for hauliers and drivers

The transport of round timber presents many challenges and none more so than load securing. Round timber transport involves various different log specifications, lengths, diameters, and the weight will vary depending on moisture content. The amount of bark removal on the logs will also influence decisions involving load securing, particularly in the springtime when bark is more easily stripped by mechanical harvesting. The first part of the journey after the driver leaves the forest is usually on poor quality tertiary roads which presents further challenges. The Forest Industry Transport Group published Managing Timber Transport - Good Practice Guide (PDF) in 2014 to assist hauliers and other stakeholders in meeting these challenges.

In 1963, the Department of Local Government issued the Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment and Use of Vehicles) Regulations and it included a paragraph on load security. This stated that “every load carried by a vehicle in a public place shall be of weight and size and so distributed, packed, adjusted and attached to the vehicle, that, so far as can reasonably be foreseen, no danger is liable to be caused and that there is no interference with the stability of the vehicle”. This law is still in operation today. At that time the maximum gross vehicle weight was 32 tonnes. It is not surprising therefore that there is greater focus on load security now as the current Gross Vehicle Weights have increased by almost 50% since then to 46 tonnes, and there is much more traffic on the roads and increasing volumes of timber being transported.

The guidance document below provides the driver and vehicle operator with the relevant information to enable them to comply with technical and safety aspects of timber transport.

These guidelines have been prepared on behalf of the Forest Industry Transport Group FITG.

Relevant publication