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Apparatus Wrecks

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  • Apparatus Wrecks

    Seem to be quite a few popping up in the news lately. Whatever the cause, let's be careful out there.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
    Seem to be quite a few popping up in the news lately. Whatever the cause, let's be careful out there.
    Any at all are bad, but I suspect the apparent increase in number is partly due to the fact that we've now got the means to find out about them, and virtually instantaneously.

    Used to be we only found out about the bad ones, usually days later. Nowadays, someone puts an engine in the ditch on a slick road and it's national news in the fire media.

    We almost got one yesterday that pulled out in front of us while we were returning from a call.

    Be careful out there.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

    Comment


    • #3
      One of the positives of living in a very rural area is traffic isn't generally a big problem for us. We had a minor accident here a few years ago when an elderly lady tried to pass a brush truck (5-ton GI conversion) headed to a fire. She tried to pass and hit the driver's side when the truck was trying to make a left turn. She had some minor injuries and her car was damaged, but it didn't hurt the truck or the crew. She knew it was a fire truck going to a fire, but she was in a hurry.

      I am concerned about our tanker. It doesn't go fast at all and is very stable and handles very well in a line. But a fast enough turn or hitting a steep side slope would cause problems. We limit who is allowed to drive it, but there's always the chance that one or two of the know-it-alls might be the only ones there when it is time to roll and try to make an executive decision.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by WVFD705 View Post
        One of the positives of living in a very rural area is traffic isn't generally a big problem for us. We had a minor accident here a few years ago when an elderly lady tried to pass a brush truck (5-ton GI conversion) headed to a fire. She tried to pass and hit the driver's side when the truck was trying to make a left turn. She had some minor injuries and her car was damaged, but it didn't hurt the truck or the crew. She knew it was a fire truck going to a fire, but she was in a hurry.

        I am concerned about our tanker. It doesn't go fast at all and is very stable and handles very well in a line. But a fast enough turn or hitting a steep side slope would cause problems. We limit who is allowed to drive it, but there's always the chance that one or two of the know-it-alls might be the only ones there when it is time to roll and try to make an executive decision.
        Ex-Military vehicles generally don't make good fire apparatus. Very few of them have any kind of ROPS protection.

        Comment


        • #5
          Tree68, I don't disagree with that at all. But I also think the number has increased. Part of the problem is the trucks themselves. Driving the engine we got in 2010 is like driving a SUV, although it's a full sized rescue engine. Creature comforts, ease of steering, braking, accelerating, not to mention the lower sound levels in the cabs. Don't even feel like we are driving/riding in a truck anymore. That tends to have guys forget and not appreciate the size of what they are driving.
          "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by johnsb View Post
            Ex-Military vehicles generally don't make good fire apparatus. Very few of them have any kind of ROPS protection.
            They work good for brush trucks when properly designed and built. No ROPS, so we have to add that ourselves.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bones42 View Post
              Driving the engine we got in 2010 is like driving a SUV, although it's a full sized rescue engine.
              Agree 100%. Back when automatic transmissions started showing up in fire engines, folks had trouble making the transition from their family sedan to the fire truck - forgetting the difference in size. They no longer had that square-geared manual to remind them of where they were.
              Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

              Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

              Comment


              • #8
                No offense, but if having some creature comforts makes you forget that you are driving a large fire apparatus, you probably shouldn't be driving fire apparatus in the first place.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FireMedic049 View Post
                  No offense, but if having some creature comforts makes you forget that you are driving a large fire apparatus, you probably shouldn't be driving fire apparatus in the first place.
                  I agree - but it's not the folks who drive them for a living who have the issues.

                  We only run ~120 calls a year. A goodly number are covered by the brush truck (EMS, MVA's, service calls), so the engine might go out on a response once a week, if that, and not always with the same driver. Driver training is great, but if you only take the truck out a few times a month, your exposure isn't very high.

                  Most of the issues I've heard of are slow speed, forgetting-your-clearance types, and go back a few years.
                  Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                  Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WVFD705 View Post
                    They work good for brush trucks when properly designed and built. No ROPS, so we have to add that ourselves.
                    Most ex-military vehicles adapted for use as fire apparatus are done so by Bubba. And then his brother is driving it. Without SPECIFIC drivers training, they are dangerous. There's plenty of NIOSH LODD reports to back that up. Using them as fire apparatus can be done, but I'm betting it's done wrong the majority of the time.
                    The MRAP's that a lot of Police Depts. are getting required 40 hours of drivers training and over 100 miles of drive time for military personnel. I doubt those guys are getting that much training. That was the #1 killer of troops when I was in Iraq.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                      I agree - but it's not the folks who drive them for a living who have the issues.

                      We only run ~120 calls a year. A goodly number are covered by the brush truck (EMS, MVA's, service calls), so the engine might go out on a response once a week, if that, and not always with the same driver. Driver training is great, but if you only take the truck out a few times a month, your exposure isn't very high.

                      Most of the issues I've heard of are slow speed, forgetting-your-clearance types, and go back a few years.
                      Well, logic would tell you that the higher a person's exposure to a task, like driving large fire apparatus, the more comfortable they would become with that task. As such, it would stand to reason that they would be the ones more susceptible to "forgetting" they weren't driving a car.

                      Most people tend to be more cautious when performing a task that they don't get to do very often. As such, it would stand to reason that those who don't drive often would be very aware that they are driving something much larger than their car.

                      Which brings us back to my point. If you aren't aware that you are driving a large vehicle when doing so, then you probably shouldn't be driving them in the first place.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Excellent topic and thank you. I also am wondering if some study has been done exploring the accident rate with various factors including training, experience, emergency run experience, off duty driving habits and history and so on and so on. Reason I ponder is that most of us years ago moonlighted driving heavy trucks on our days off.

                        I for one drove a gasoline tanker 10 wheeler and pup, (trailer) from Bakersfield to Terminal Island just West Of Long Beach CA. Night runs. The oil refinery in Bakersfield paid good cash per run. Also employed the Class One licenses all of us had to have. My feeble point is ... is there a relationship between the wrecks and experience levels?

                        Just me. Excellent Forum. Trying to pass it forward. A very old school point of view. HB of CJ (old coot) ex Engineer.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by johnsb View Post
                          Most ex-military vehicles adapted for use as fire apparatus are done so by Bubba. And then his brother is driving it. Without SPECIFIC drivers training, they are dangerous. There's plenty of NIOSH LODD reports to back that up. Using them as fire apparatus can be done, but I'm betting it's done wrong the majority of the time.
                          The MRAP's that a lot of Police Depts. are getting required 40 hours of drivers training and over 100 miles of drive time for military personnel. I doubt those guys are getting that much training. That was the #1 killer of troops when I was in Iraq.
                          Geeze, take it easy on us peasants will ya. We gets by with what we have.

                          I have seen a few designs sold by "non-bubba" companies that would make a real bubba barf.
                          The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
                          There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
                          Captain Dave LeBlanc

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I know a department that has an 4x4 engine built on an F550 by a long time fire apparatus builder that was so poorly designed and built that it was overweight before any equipment was put on board. It was sent back for re-springing and even then it needed helper springs.

                            Even buying a name brand will not prevent you from getting a pile of iron for a rig if it is designed and built poorly.
                            Crazy, but that's how it goes
                            Millions of people living as foes
                            Maybe it's not too late
                            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                              Even buying a name brand will not prevent you from getting a pile of iron for a rig if it is designed and built poorly.
                              Yeah - knew of a department that bought a tanker that was horribly balanced fore and aft. Keeping the front wheels on the road was apparently a challenge under some circumstances...
                              Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                              Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                              Comment

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