1. #1
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    Default Updating Seat Belts- Liability, etc.

    Just checking to see if anyone on here has had experience with updating your fire apparatus lap belts to 3 point shoulder belts. Did you have a dealer do it, or was it something that you were able to do "in house"? If it was "in house," were there any liability considerations taken into effect, etc.? Is there any way for us to do it ourselves and then have the installation certified?

    We have a '90 Spartan Gladiator cab with lap belts. It appears that back in the day, the seat belts were installed, but were never really expected to be used . Our policy is to wear seat belts everytime we ride in any of our pieces, but it is borderline impossible to do so while fully geared due to the placement of the belts.

    Money, like it is for most companies, is tight. So doing the installation ourselves would be the preferred way. There are some in our company that say we do not want the "liability" of installing our own seat belts. Is there anything to this? I'm not doubting that there is validity to this statement, but I also feel if an accident were to occur, we will be held liable for not updating our belts due to all of the new standards, etc..

    Any shared thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 42Truck View Post
    Just checking to see if anyone on here has had experience with updating your fire apparatus lap belts to 3 point shoulder belts. Did you have a dealer do it, or was it something that you were able to do "in house"? If it was "in house," were there any liability considerations taken into effect, etc.? Is there any way for us to do it ourselves and then have the installation certified?

    We have a '90 Spartan Gladiator cab with lap belts. It appears that back in the day, the seat belts were installed, but were never really expected to be used . Our policy is to wear seat belts everytime we ride in any of our pieces, but it is borderline impossible to do so while fully geared due to the placement of the belts.

    Money, like it is for most companies, is tight. So doing the installation ourselves would be the preferred way. There are some in our company that say we do not want the "liability" of installing our own seat belts. Is there anything to this? I'm not doubting that there is validity to this statement, but I also feel if an accident were to occur, we will be held liable for not updating our belts due to all of the new standards, etc..

    Any shared thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Why don't you give your vehicle liability carrier a call and see what they have to say about who does the install?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Try contacting Spartan. They may have an upgrade or info on better belts and how to mount them. Just my opinion.

    Brad

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    Quote Originally Posted by 42Truck
    Just checking to see if anyone on here has had experience with updating your fire apparatus lap belts to 3 point shoulder belts. Did you have a dealer do it, or was it something that you were able to do "in house"?

    Thanks.
    I've been able to upgrade the lap belts to shoulder belts on only 2 rigs, out of 7 or 8 I tried on. The biggest obstacle was the build of the cab, and/or reinforcing the mounting of the shoulder strap to the cab.

    You can't just throw a shoulder belt anywhere you want to. There are safety issues as to where and how they are mounted.

    Your best bet would be to contact the cab builder on their recommendations on doing it or not. They should be able to tell if you can do it, they can do it, or if the dealer can do it.

    If it's not possible, DON'T DO IT.

    FM1
    I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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    What about replacing the whole seat with something like the Bostrom ABTS? I'm unsure as to the anchoring instructions for the seats, but as long as it would be mounted in an approved fashion you wouldn't have to worry about reinforcing behind the shoulder belt, etc.

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    42 Truck,

    I recall an experience I had at a previous employer. We had been asked to upgrade a fire companies current seats that had lap belts to seating with three point belts. The toughest obstacle was the seat manufacturer. They would not sell us the seats unless they had something in writing from the chassis manufacturer saying that the cab had been crash tested with the style of seating we had requested. I am fairly sure it was Bostrom that we were dealing with and the cab was an older Spartan.

    In the end we did get an approval out of Spartan with detailed installation instructions.

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    Contact the manufactuer of the chassis and get their input. The reputable companies have pull tests done to verify the seat belt anchorages meet all the FMVSS safety standards. If the seat belt is anchored to the seat, the seat anchorage has to be pulled as part of the test. I suggest you get their input and not go off on your own.

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    Donethat,

    Yes, that is what they were looking for. A pull test......

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    Thanks for your replies. We will be making contact with Spartan.

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