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Technical Safety rant

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 50styleline, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. 50styleline
    Joined: Apr 23, 2010
    Posts: 366


    First of all, only by the grace of God am I alright. I'm gonna rehash a safety topic that comes up every once in a while, getting under a lifted car. Working on my brothers OT 1998 Ford Expediton. It was on ramps in the driveway that has a grade to it. First of the E brake was set and the ramps have that indention that should keep it from rolling. Well the E brake was out of adjustment and the damned rocked enough to roll off. It was my fault cause I didn't chalk the wheels and I'm the one who knocked it out of park while wrenching underneath. It landed on my chest and we rolled 38 feet down the drive into the street. In the process it squished me hard enough to pop a couple of wheels off of the creeper. The only reason we didn't end up in the neighbors yard was that I got wedged enough at the crown of the street that it stopped a 7000 lb vehicle. My brother reacted quick enough to get it off of me before I passed out. I remember yelling for him then not be able to breathe back in after exhaling to call him cause this big bastard of a truck was on my chest. This was Monday and I am fine now(already back at work). I need to emphasize safety here. Just when you think it's safe enough, do a little more to make it safer. It would have sucked to leave my wife without a husband and my kids without a Dad. Counting my blessings.
    brad2v, volvobrynk and Fif-t-3 like this.
  2. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,399


    Glad you are here to tell us,
    now don't ever do that again.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  3. Ramps are for lawnmowers. Jack and jack stands ALWAYS. Glad you're OK
    volvobrynk likes this.
  4. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man

    Yeah, we all have gotten in too big a hurry at one time or another and gotten under a lifted vehicle not really properly secured and chocked. The lucky ones among us survived to tell about it, others didn't.
    Worst case I ever heard about was years ago here in my hometown. Man owned the garage where he often worked late alone to get a vehicle repair finished.
    One morning when his employees came in they found his body pinned underneath a car that had fallen on him while he was working on the exhaust system with an O/A torch, which was still on and had burned a hole almost thru his body before it ran outta gas.

  5. holey Moley!
    Joined: Feb 16, 2010
    Posts: 628


    Glad you're alright, that is scary. I think about working alone and the safety issues involved. What if a car fell on me. I work in a detached garage and I don't think anyone would hear me yelling. I try to keep my cell in my pocket for that reason, but most of all, make sure the car is well support and isn't going to come down.
    clem likes this.
  7. I'm glad your alright, that sounds like it was scary. That's what's really important.

    Now, I thought it was common knowledge that ramps will eventually cause a catastrophe. Secondly I thought it was common knowledge to have any vehicle on level ground when jacked up. And if only one end is going up to chock the wheels. I guess it's not. Or is it just ignored because it only happens to other people.

    I once had a nurse climb my ass because I was seated and had my ankles crossed. She said if there were some issue that I needed to get up quickly I'd fall. I had no idea this was something to consider. She said she's lost count of the people she's seen with traumatic brain injury cause from a fall after standing up from a seated position with their ankles crossed. She said she thought that was common knowledge.
  8. 283john
    Joined: Nov 17, 2008
    Posts: 820


    Wow. That had to be like almost drowning on the scared-shitless barometer. Thank goodness.
    volvobrynk likes this.
  9. ChefMike
    Joined: Dec 16, 2011
    Posts: 647


    Thats a wake up call for sure ! glad your OK
  10. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,633

    Atwater Mike

    Mom always told the girls it was 'prudent' to sit with their ankles crossed. The boys could sit any way they liked. :D
    On this subject, I was sitting on my back porch, (ankles crossed!) and my 80 lb. Chocolate Lab, Annie, stepped up to give me a hug. Balance wavered, Annie got down, I stood and crashed down, (legs tangled in an ankle cross!) Heed this warning, especially if over 60.

    As for jacks failing, (actually 'mechanics failing' to chock and safety stand first) I had a '56 Buick jacked up at my Master's shop during my apprenticeship, 16 years old...
    All the jack stands were being used, so I had the Hein-Werner 2 ton jack under the front crossmember.
    Get this: Front wheels were removed, car was getting brakes as well as a flywheel replacement.
    I was on the creeper, turning the flywheel, and that giant Buick rolled off that jack backwards, slammed me down on the wooden 'Jeepers Creeper', breaking all 4 wheels.
    My head was turned sideways, and my temple took a slam from the side of the lower bell.
    I knew I wasn't dead, but the voices of the boss and his partner sounded far off...
    They jacked the car up real fast, and dragged me off the broken creeper. "Son? Son? Son?"
    I laughed weakly, and got a stern lecture..."Time is NOT that important...Safety FIRST!"
    "Yes, Sir..." That was a good teacher. Never again...
    302GMC, pitman and brad2v like this.
  11. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 3,154

    Dick Stevens

    Thank God it didn't end up a tragedy and yes most of us are guilty of not being as safe in our work practice as we should, although you did what would generally be considered to be adequate. Most times you can get away with it but it only takes one time and you get no more chances. I do have my project car on ramps with the rear wheels chocked and now intend to take steps to insure the chocks are firmly in place before crawling under it again.
  12. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,635


  13. Wow. I don't know if you have religion, but it sounds like you have a higher power looking out for you at that time.
  14. traffic61
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,512

    from Owasso, OK

    Glad that you're OK. I constantly preach to my son about not getting under a car without jack stands and without someone around as a spotter, so to speak. I've know three people who have had cars fall on them, two survived.
  15. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,714


    "...and that's how I got my eye-patch". Glad you're alright.
  16. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,082

    from California

    I'm surprised those ramps have not been banned like Lawn Darts.
  17. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    Gotta say if it wasn't so scary that story actually sounds kinda funny in a "Darwin Award" way.
    I owned a '99 Expedition and it was the heaviest vehicle I've ever owned, so I know what you were dealing with.
    Sometimes we get comfortable with the danger after doing the same thing dozens of times. Although I'm usually real careful, I recently almost tilted a car off the rear jackstands because the floor jack in front had its wheels jammed sideways as I was lowering it, causing the car to move instead of the jack.

    Be careful out there.
  18. Thank the good lord your okay.
    That would of sucked to die under a new car:D couldn't help my self. All jokes aside I'm happy you're telling the story.
  19. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,971

    Jalopy Joker

    those car ramps are For Sale on craigslist fairly often & very cheap. others found out that they are not for working on a car with. have read other stories about people still using construction cinder blocks to hold a car up while working on it. even cheapo jack stands will collapse. we have all cut corners at one time or another causing injury to ourselves at one time or another
  20. luckythirteenagogo
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 1,265


    That's God trying to tell you something right there. Trying to save a couple bucks or a few minutes can cost you a lifetime with your family. Sometimes it's harder to stay alive than it is to kill yourself. I'm just glad you made it out alright.
    I never trusted ramps myself, especially those cheap stamped steel ones. I always use jack stands and try to have a jack under atleast under one side so I can hopefully still get out if something were to happen.
  21. Well first and foremost let me say that I am glad you are still on this side of the grass. It is always better to be able to rant and us not have to send condolences which in reality are too little too late.

    I have been wallered twice in my time once by my '55 Ford and once by a 3/4 ton '84 Suburban. Both times I got pretty lucky.

    The Ford was absolutely my fault, I was 17 and took it upon myself to swap the rear end using a pair of bumper jacks to hold the car up. I was pulling on a nut pretty hard when the jacks (in slow motion) started to fold. Luckily I had a Sheppard at the time who had dug a bed under the car and I rolled into it. down came the ford pinning me but just enough to hold me there. The wife and my mom were out shopping so I was there for a while. When they got back they called for me to help them with the bags and I called back that I couldn't do that just now and could they get this car off of me. Mom panicked, but the wife ran up the road to Dorman's Speed Shop. Old man Dorman threw some jacks and stuff in his truck and came charging to the rescue. He looked at the bruises on my shoulders and to this day I remember him saying, "His shoulder will heal just fine, can't say so much for stupid it seldom gets any better." Then he hugged me real hard. Later that day he showed up with an old pair of A axle bells that he had made into jack stands and said I should use those next time I crawl under a car.

    The Suburban was not exactly my fault, well sort of. When I was in language school in the '80s the school owned the Suburban and I owned a '71 Blazer. The Suburban was lifted and rode like a lumber wagon they didn't like that and I needed to lift my Blazer. so they said I could have the lift kit if I swapped them out. I had the truck up on jack stand, but they were those sheet metal jack stands. The folded up under the weight, if you own a set stop reading now and go take an 8 pound hammer to them. Anyway down the pig came, the brake rotor hit me in the ribs and spit me out the side (no broken ribs) but my folded left arm ended up holding the car up off the ground. It just so happened that the grounds keeper had decided to take a walk around where I was and heard me calling for help. he got the truck off of me.

    The one thing a mechanic never wants to here is "A car fell on me" worse is "A car fell on him" and like I started out to say I am really glad that you are on this side of the grass and could tell us "A car fell on me" instead of someone telling us "A car fell on him".
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  22. Vern01
    Joined: Aug 14, 2015
    Posts: 4


    In our shop we have customs and race trucks, its only a backyard operation but it is safety first. Even if its on jack stand, we slide the tire/wheels under the vehicles, it can fall of the stands but the wheels are back up.
    My grandson[6 years old] nearly caused a disaster in the shop, we were removing the last to jack stand from under the race truck, I was removing the last jack stand and down came the truck. He was just trying to help, he saw us lower the jack so he figured he would too.[appropriate funds were put in the shop swear jar]
    At that age they are curious, they are never to young to have safety drilled into them. Now if his ball rolls under a vehicle, he will not even reach under it, he will go find a broom to push or pull it out. Just the other day I was under one of the vehicles in the shop and I hear a bunch of banging on the bench, I roll out from under and here is my little buddy beating a 2x4 into submission with a hammer proudly wearing his safety glasses, he's learning, I have even heard him tell his dad, "Where's your safety glasses"
    If we run up the race trucks he never hesitates to put on ear protection.
    My daughter started a program with the local racers called "All Eyes, All Ears, Always ways". Teach them early to use the PPE and they will always use it and always have what was protected. My grandson has asked me what all the marks and such are on my hands, "Scares buddy", he replies "Why didn't you wear gloves". What can I say, wise beyond his years.
    Be safe in all you do, teach them you.
    clem and brad2v like this.
  23. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,824

    from Missouri

    Glad you are here to tell the story
    Two lessons learned.
    1] make sure vehicle supported properly
    2] Don't work on Expediton's
  24. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    If I had your drive way, I would have a milk crate full of 4x4 and 4x6 standing on end near the door. Right next to the new floor jack, because those ramps just got tossed out. Its good to hear the story and see you can still type. You could be worm food this week.
  25. Very happy your here to talk about it.
    Please don't do that again.:eek:
  26. I can add a bit of funny to this serious situation if you don't mind. Years ago my buddy was working on his T roadster. He was having a issue with the shift linkage. He starts it up and crawls under it. It is on all 4 wheels so he figures No Problem right?? Well he is dorking around with the linkage and somehow pops it into drive!! It runs over him and then runs into the washing machine!! Now the car was not heavy and it did him no harm but it did leave some cool tire tracks across his T shirt!!!
  27. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,024

    seb fontana
    from ct

    Gees Beaner, nothing can hurt you being married at 17 !!!!!!!
    clem likes this.
  28. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 710


    Glad you are alright.
    As I am reading this, my new students are reading their first chapter, which is SHOP SAFETY.
    I will use this as a teaching moment that they hopefully do not forget.
    saltflats likes this.
  29. Someone mentioned earlier about the floor jack not rolling while letting the car down causing the car to roll some instead. Happened to me yesterday. And as the car rolled a bit as it was going down on the jack stands the stands cocked up on edge some. Good thing I went over and checked them before I went under the car. I jacked it right back up a bit and reset the stands. and then double checked my work. Be alert. :)
  30. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,400


    After I put a car on stands I always grab it and shake it. I'd rather it fall then, than when I'm under it. Also, wheel chocks are MANDATORY. Almost any stand can tilt.
    clem and 117harv like this.

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