The #1 preventable cause of timber harvesting equipment loss is fire.
Today's forestry industry has better equipment, better trained operators, improved resource management and more sophisticated business management. Technological advances have created machines of greater size and strength and have improved operator comfort and ease of operation. However, these bigger and stronger machines have greater fire risks.
The large volumes of hydraulic fluids operating under high pressures create potential fire hazards when hoses leak or rupture. Engine compartments designed to prevent the accumulation of debris inhibit access for routine cleaning and restrict the effectiveness of handheld fire extinguishers and water tanks. Engine compartments located at the rear of the machine, such as on feller bunchers, hide fire from sight and make early detection difficult.
Since logging equipment is often operated in remote areas away from the local fire department, a small fire can rapidly turn into a total loss. Equipment losses are not only losses in capital, but also losses in production. In response to their losses, insurers raise rates, increasing the overhead burden for loggers. Unfortunately, due to many myths about fire suppression in the forestry industry, many machines are improperly or inadequately protected.