Driving safely filled with firewood

If a piece of firewood fell off the back of truck at 90 km/h it could strike another vehicle with the force of a small bomb

Heading out to collect some firewood for the winter this weekend?

Fall was always a good time to watch for pickup trucks with pyramids of firewood in the back on our highways. When checked they were often illegal, and unsafe, in three ways: unsecured load, overweight and a danger to vehicle occupants if the pickup was involved in a collision.

There is a lot of sweat invested in a pickup load of split firewood.

Why would you hazard the loss of some of that hard work by not thoroughly tying or tarping it down?

Imagine the consequences if a piece of it fell off the back of truck at 90 km/h. It would strike another vehicle with the force of a small bomb.

When I weighed any pickup I found filled like this, it was overweight on the rear axle.

This means that your options are to call someone to bring their pickup and transfer part of the load, or leave some of the load behind on the ground and hope that it would still be there when you returned after emptying what you were allowed to carry home.

How strong do you think that rear glass is in the cab of your pickup?

Chances are excellent that in a collision part of that load of firewood is going to come through the back of the cab like the glass wasn’t even there.

This would definitely not be good news for the back of your head!

For more information on this topic, visit www.drivesmartbc.ca. Questions or comments are welcome by e-mail to comments@drivesmartbc.ca. Tim Schewe is a retired RCMP constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. His column appears Friday.

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