Driving Tips for Log Truck Drivers


Safety tips for log truck drivers to tackle tail swing radius, turns, curves, backing, stopping, parking, night operation, and more.

Log truck drivers are an integral part of the transportation industry. As such, it is important to ensure their safety on the roads. To encourage safe driving practices, we have compiled a list to help log truck drivers tackle different situations they may face while on the road.

Tail Swing Radius/Log Overhang

Drivers must be aware of the dangers that exist to nearby structures, approaching traffic, and motorists following behind log trucks when logs extend past the rear of the trailer. To tackle tail swing radius/log overhang, remember these tips:

  • You are responsible for your load! Maintain your lane and do not turn while a vehicle is in danger of being struck by your extended logs.
  • Make it visible! Always mark the longest log, per State statutes. At BITCO, we recommend a minimum of two highly visible load flags and an amber strobe light on the longest log, day or night. Check State laws for flag requirements.
  • Certain states have limits on load length and some require Permits, while others do not. Ensure you know the laws in your State. We recommend going shorter, when in doubt. For States with no limit on length, avoid logs "sweeping" the road.
  • Before your trip begins, become familiar with your route while considering stops along the way for fuel or breaks, avoiding congested downtown areas when possible, and turns along the way, including the mill entrance or possible roundabouts.
  • Watch for others and watch your load. Be aware of other vehicles, structures, and pedestrians.
  • Check your mirrors – look left, right, and left again before starting your turn. Signals should be used well in advance when preparing to make a turn.
  • Know the distance between stop signs/lights and railroad crossings. Don't get trapped with your logs extending over the tracks. If necessary, choose a different route