Professional loggers know the total investment they have in their equipment and what that investment means in terms of daily production. Woods equipment fires are both dangerous and expensive. Most are preventable. It only takes 15 to 20 minutes daily to reduce substantially the risk of your investment going up in smoke!
Most Fire Hazards Are Created By:
- Accumulation of debris inside mechanical compartments.
- Buildup of oil, grease, and fuel from leaks and spills.
- Faulty or damaged electrical system wiring and components.
- Overheating brakes.
- Heavy buildup of flammable materials around rotating drive shafts.
Follow These Routine Fire Prevention Maintenance Steps to Protect Logging Equipment:
- Perform daily and routine maintenance and service as recommended by manufacturer.
- Use only qualified operators who have been trained to use fire suppression equipment.
Clean unit often!
- Clean out engine and mechanical compartments of accumulated debris at least once a day. During heavy leaf fall or dry periods, clean as often as necessary.
- Drop belly pan and remove side shields to clean and remove accumulated leaves, debris, oil, grease, spilled fuel, etc. from engine and transmission compartments at least once a week.
- Steam clean or pressure wash unit at least once a month.
- Inspect battery cables and connections, as well as electrical wiring, connections, and components at least weekly. Repair or replace any defects in electrical system.
- At shutdown, engage battery disconnect switch if available on unit.
- Maintain and regularly service the engine and hydraulic cooling system to avoid overheating.
- Remove flammable items from operator’s compartment.
- Do not transport flammable liquids on the machine: gas, oil, diesel.
- Before fueling, shut off engine. Do not smoke within 50 feet of fueling areas.
- When Parked at shutdown, maintain at least 50 feet between machines in an area cleared of excess ground debris to minimize the spread of fire.
- Observe machines for 15-20 minutes after shutdown to ensure proper cool down.
- Maintain all protective shields, screens, belly pans, and covers to reduce the accumulation of flammable debris inside machine compartments.
- Immediately clean fuel, oil, and grease spills.
- Prior to using a cutting or welding device, clean the machine and, if necessary, wet the work area down with water. Have a fire extinguisher present during this work.
- Maintain an approved, charged, and operable fire extinguisher when parked at shutdown.
- Place company name and phone number on equipment.
The potential for woods equipment fires can be reduced with daily, weekly, and monthly fire prevention measures. It only takes a few minutes to take those extra few steps to prevent your “iron” investment from going up in smoke. Remember the key to prevention – clean, inspect, and repair.