Negotiating Turns and Curves

Log truck drivers encounter turns and curves numerous times daily. Quite often the scene of devastating rollover accidents, turns and curves present drivers with numerous concerns; from the length of the load they are transporting to the size of lanes and nearby traffic. It's vital for drivers to maintain a safe speed, remain alert and adhere to sound driving principles to prevent the likelihood of an accident. 

Below are key best practices that log truck drivers should follow:

Negotiating Turns and Curves

  • Speed and steering must be fluid to successfully handle a turn or curve.
  • Reduce your speed before and during a turn or while driving on curved roads to reduce the risk of an accident. If you need to break, it's important to do so while driving in a straight line before entering a curve.
  • Turn on your blinkers approximately 500 feet prior to a turn on an open road and 100 feet prior to any turns in a city or built up area.
  • When driving on highways, if you suddenly realize your turn off is coming up sooner than expected, never swing to catch the exist. Instead, slow down and prepare to take the next exit. Proceed by doubling back to your desired destination.
  • If you are transporting a load with overhang, ensure it is not going to strike vehicles, pedestrians or any other objects. 
  • Ensure your trailer is tracking safely and stays in the correct lane. 


Right Turns

  • Move into the right-hand lane well in advance to ensure you are well positioned to make a safe turn.
  • If you are merging into another lane, remain alert and check your surroundings carefully as you may have to wait for other vehicles to clear the way. 

Left Turns

  • Only start turning when there is enough time for the rear of your vehicle (including extended logs) to clear an intersection without forcing opposing drivers to slow down or swerve. They may or may not see you; never assume!
  • Once you make a left-hand turn into a four-lane road, turn your blinkers on and merge back into the right-hand lane. 
  • Do not turn your steering wheel until you're past the halfway point of an intersection to compensate for off-tracking. 

Common Driver Faults

Avoid these common errors when steering to prevent accidents:

  • Gripping the steering wheel too tightly.
  • Removing both hands from the steering wheel.
  • Removing either hand from the steering wheel for an unnecessarily long time e.g. while changing gears.
  • Allowing hands to drop to the lower half of the steering wheel.
  • Turning the steering wheel too much or too little, or maintaining a turn for too long.

For more information about Victor's Forest & Logging program, get in touch with your Regional Marketing Contact or email

Underwriting Contact

Peter Elmalis
(916) 274-8780 

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