Determinants of Stress, Fatigue, and Injury Risk for Loggers and Log Truck Drivers

Loggers and log truck drivers are at high risk for fatigue and stress, due to long working hours and high job demands. Few studies have characterized the determinants of fatigue, risks, and solutions for this vital workforce. 

Project Overview 

In partnership with industry leaders and safety professionals, this project aimed to understand the determinants of stress and fatigue among loggers and log truck drivers to inform potential solutions. This project developed from Idaho industry concerns over a spike in log trucking accidents. We conducted a survey at the Intermountain Logging Conference and followed up with phone interviews. Secondly, we quantitatively analyzed NW log truck accident data, from workers compensation data in Idaho, and for the NW, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). 

Findings to Date 

  • Surveyed 46 loggers (52%), log truck drivers (20%). 48% also owners. Findings on: sleep & fatigue, work schedules, job demand & support, and injury.  
  • Generally, respondents reported few life stressors, and good physical health, quality of life, including on-the-job safety support. 
  • Work Schedules: 49% worked more than 55 hrs/week and 21% had workdays starting between 1:30-4:30am. 
  • In the last year, 15% received healthcare for work-related pain and 5% had a work-related injury that resulted in time off of work. 
  • Analysis of data from Associated Loggers Exchange (2011-2021) in Idaho, found the most common accident claims were from overexertion, struck by object, and falls, and the most common injuries were strains, contusions, and skeletal factures. Nearly 60% of claims were for log truck drivers age 45-64, and those employed 3 years or less (58%). 
  • Analysis of MCMIS data revealed that among 647 log truck crashes in WA, OR, ID, MT between 2015-2019:  
  • Log truck crashes in Washington or Oregon are less likely to result in injury or fatality relative to those occurring in Idaho or Montana. 
  • Fatalities were more common on 2-way roads without a barrier. 

Next Steps 

This is a report of preliminary results that will be shared back to industry partners to refine interpretation of results and discuss solutions. Future work could include uses of MCMIS data, and fatigue awareness and prevention strategies. The study team will be publishing these findings in 2 papers and reporting back results to our participants at the 2023 Intermountain Logging Conference. 


Clonch A, Harrington M, Spector J, Monsey LM, Baker MG. Exploring determinants of log truck accidents resulting in injury or fatality in the Northwest United States between 2015-2019 using Motor Carrier Management Information System data. Int J For Eng. 2023;34(3):452-458.

Report Determinants of Stress, Fatigue, and Injury Risk for Loggers and Log Truck Drivers

Trade Article Awake at the Wheel, How Fatigue Impacts Log Truck Driver Safety, Timber West

Principal Investigator: Marissa Baker, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Washington

PNASH Pilot Program 2021-2022