Felled Tree Strikes Crew Cab Truck




BACKGROUND: On a summer morning in the Southeastern U.S., a crew cab truck transporting three logging company employees was traveling to the deck to begin their shift. Conditions were clear that day and weather was not a contributing factor.

UNSAFE ACTS AND CONDITIONS: The tracked feller buncher operator was cutting alongside the haul road fully aware that additional crew members would be arriving soon to start their workday.

ACCIDENT: The employees in the company crew cab had traveled approximately four miles through the woods on the haul road en route to the deck. The crew cab stopped along the haul road before arriving at the deck to drop off the skidder driver close to his machine. The truck continued traveling to the deck where the loader and second skidder were located. Other crew members had arrived onsite approximately 45 minutes earlier and had already started their workday. The tracked feller buncher operator began cutting along the side of the haul road near the deck. The feller-buncher began cutting a 20-in. (DBH) gum tree measuring approximately 80 ft. in height. As the tree was being severed from the stump, the operator lost control of the tree and it started to fall back toward the machine. Instinctively, the operator used the cutter arm to push the tree away from the cab and toward the haul road. At the exact moment the operator was pushing the tree away from the feller-buncher, the crew cab truck was arriving at the deck. The felled tree struck the crew cab and came to rest on top of the truck. The feller-buncher operator alerted the other crew members and they assisted with removing the top of the tree from the cab.

INJURY: The crew extracted both employees from the crew cab truck and transported them to the intersection of the haul road and state highway to meet EMS personnel. The injured workers were transported to the local hospital where both were treated and released later in the day. One was diagnosed with a cervical fracture and referred to a neurosurgeon for further evaluation.


  • Always be aware of other crew members’ location, especially while conducting felling operations
  • Properly assess the weight and balance of trees prior to felling to minimize accident risk

Supplied by Forest Resources Association

Latest News

NC To Offer First High School Forestry Course in 2024-25

     The North Carolina Forestry Assn. (NCFA) has teamed up with the North Carolina Future Farmers of America Assn. (NC FFA) to create North Carolina’s first-ever high school forestry course with an industry-aligned credential: AN53 Natural Resources...

Enviva Proceeds Into Chapter 11

Enviva Inc., the world’s largest producer of industrial wood pellets, and certain of its subsidiaries have commenced voluntary Chapter 11 proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, citing $1.8 billion of debt outstanding.

Drax Group Allies With Molpus Woodlands

     Carbon removals and renewable energy company Drax Group has partnered with Mississippi-based Molpus Woodlands Group in an agreement that will provide Drax with an option to purchase sustainably sourced woody biomass to fuel its bioenergy with...

Georgia, Florida Record Increased BMP Performance

According to a report in the Southeastern Wood Producers Assn. Out of the Woods publication, both Georgia and Florida loggers and landowners recorded impressive best management practices (BMPs) compliance based on 2023 surveys in both states.

Have A Question?

Send Us A Message