What are skidders?

A skidder is a type of heavy vehicle used in a logging operation for pulling cut trees out of a forest.

What are the dangers associated with defective skidders?

The skidder operator is exposed to numerous environmental hazards. One of the hazards the operator is exposed to is being struck and seriously or fatally injured by trees or other saplings while skidding. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, 40% of all injuries and deaths suffered by skidder operators were caused by objects, such as limbs, entering the doorway. During this time-frame, over 50 loggers a year suffered injury or death from intrusion accidents similar to our client’s husband.

The defect with these skidders manufactured prior to 1991 is that the occupant’s protective system leaves the operator vulnerable to being seriously injured by objects in the woods.

John Deere skidders manufactured prior to 1991 were built and sold without doors. John Deere and the industry’s decision not to protect skidder operations in the 1970’s and 1980’s is amazing when you consider SAE recommendations relative to skidders.

In 1975, SAE, a group of engineers, adopted J1084, which recommended that all skidders be equipped with full forestry protective systems which included side protection or doors.

John Deere and other manufacturers actually had engineers who voted to adopt J1084 as a recommended practice. Remarkably, although the industry’s engineers acknowledged the need to fully protect skidder operators, the industry’s engineers continued to vote throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s against adopting J1084 as a design standard which would require manufacturers to equip safety doors on skidders as standard features.

What can I do if I have been injured as the result of an defective skidder?

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as the result of an defective skidder, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free legal consultation, contact us today!

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