Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By RFD21C

Thread: Morning Checks

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default Morning Checks

    What does everyone do in terms of checking your small engines during the morning checks?

    Checking fluids I think is a minimum. But we have a few people that believe that running the chainsaw, positive pressure fan, etc., can be more harmful than good for that piece of equipment. I personally like firing them up to make sure they start up easily and run smoothly, at the start of every shift.

    If it is harmful to those tools to do that... please, let me know!

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Hillsboro, MO
    Posts
    225

    Default

    Up until about a year ago we use to start everything every day. Since then we have started doing it only on our Monday checks. It seems to work well for use this way as it cuts down on wear and tear on the equipment. It also extends the life of most of our equipment.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    sfd1992's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Wa
    Posts
    403

    Default

    Simply starting them every day isn't going to hurt them. Where the trouble comes is when they get started, powered up all the way and then shut down in the span of 10 seconds. Small engines develop issues when they aren't allowed to warm up.

    Having said that, starting them is a weekly thing for us, and has been for at least 18 years, not sure about prior to that.
    Last edited by sfd1992; 07-17-2011 at 04:44 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    virginia
    Posts
    537

    Default

    Department policy states that all gas equipment will be run on every saturday.

    However, personally I run everything everyday for several mins until each engine is "warmed up". like stated before just firing up them up for for 5 secs is harmful for them. Let them run!!

    Reason why:
    1) it use gas this avoids it from getting old and sitting in the gas cans around the station. the newer style gas doesnt seems to go stale quicker then the older fuel blends. IMO
    2) it seems to make the saws, fans, etc. easier to start later on during the shift.
    3) if for some reason the saw is needed and doesnt start it is my responsablity as the driver of the rig. I can atleast say "lou, it started this morning"


    I tend to check everything from bumper to bumper every day that i drive. I view it as it is my truck for the next 24 hours. My "name" is tied to every piece of equipment on the truck. The condition of the truck and equipment is a direct reflection of myself.
    FireHooligan352 likes this.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I agree with you completely. It's like "trusting" the firefighter before you to have filled his SCBA after using it... But you're going to check it regardless. I feel the same way about the saws and such. Yeah, they're supposed to get checked on a weekly basis... but, sadly enough, you just can't always trust that it gets done.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Wolverine3982's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    86

    Default

    We start all of our small engines and the start of every tour, same with checking off the rigs, and the rest of our gear. We work the 48/96 though, so everything gets ran and checked off every other day by the oncoming crews.

    As others have noted, not checking/running the small engines could be just as detrimental as not checking your PPE or drug boxes. Someones life may be on the line at your expense.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Sunny South Florida
    Posts
    453

    Default

    Our small engines are started twice a week on the days we clean the bay floor. We have inventory sheets that account for EVERY piece of equipment carried on the vehicles that must be filled out each day. Certain kits/boxes like the Hazmat leak kit, rope rescue equip, tool box, surface water gear etc are all tagged and the tag number must be recorded with the check off sheet. All tagged boxes are opened Mondays and inventoried.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

    Firefighter/Paramedic

  8. #8
    Forum Member
    backsteprescue123's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    4,318

    Default

    We do rig checks every morning right at shift change or before. Usually once everyone gets in and gets coffee or their chosen poison its about 615-630 and both the oncoming crew and offgoing crew will head out to the engine bay to BS and check the rigs out.

    The SOP states that the small engines will be run every Friday and while this happens, through working overtime I have found that my shift is the only one that checks them every tour. We are careful to let the tool warm up before going ballz to the wall. We have found quite a few problems by simply checking the saws, etc every morning. Guys have gotten slammed with calls all day then a few fires after midnight and a saw blade/chain can get put on backwards or they will fill the fuel but not the bar oil. We all have been there but that excuse isn't gonna fly when at 0715 you get tapped out for a box.

    Plus, when all the little things are done right, everything else seems to fall into place. Our crew has great cameraderie and everyone is motivated. No one has to be reminded to do chores or to find something to do. Rigs will get washed or at least sprayed down. Even if it isn't the day to wash bay floors, if they are ridiculously dirty, we take 20 minutes to spray em down.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Slightly off topic...but I'm wondering if anyone else is having issues running the Ethanol gas in their small engines? We're playing h*** trying to maintain saws and other equipment which is constantly gumming up.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    DeputyMarshal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    2,638

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FFD122 View Post
    Slightly off topic...but I'm wondering if anyone else is having issues running the Ethanol gas in their small engines? We're playing h*** trying to maintain saws and other equipment which is constantly gumming up.
    Gas has had ethanol in it since the mid-70's; as much as 10% in premium blends but you typically wouldn't be using those. I doubt ethanol is your issue.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber
    tajm611's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Gas has had ethanol in it since the mid-70's; as much as 10% in premium blends but you typically wouldn't be using those. I doubt ethanol is your issue.
    Negative.

    While ethanol was used in the original Model T car and widely implemented in the military, it was not as common as you think in the early years. Methanol, not ethanol, was introduced as a consumer fuel in 1975 through MTBE (which replaced leaded fuel additives) which was later banned due to groundwater risk. It wasn't until the clean air act in 1990 that progression in the ethanol based fuel was given the green light as a way of introducing the mandated oxygenated fuel to the country (along with MTBE, which would be banned 4 years later) on a wide scale. In the late 80's-early 90's, 5% of fuel service stations sold ethanol. By 2007, ( I forgot the name of the bill but it was something along the lines of Energy Independence Act) a bill was signed to nearly double our ethanol production within 8 years. As a result, within 15 years, over 60% of service stations sold ethanol enriched fuels.

    It is widely known and proclaimed by E-85 experts that you should not use E-85 in conventional (small motors, 2-stroke motors, outboard motors, etc.) motors. While E-10 is considered safe for newer motors, the risk is still more prevalent than ethanol free fuels.

    The government doesn't make the selling of e-85 mandatory but does require a certain quota of renewable fuel to be sold. (E-10,E-15, E-20, and E-85 may all be used at the businesses and state's discretion. So it's very possible that continued use of ethanol enriched fuel in the departments gas powered tools is contributing to their malfunction.

    We've fixed our same problem by going to a single station in the city that sells non-ethanol based fuel. See if that helps.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Todays fuel SUCKS. I had to replace a carb in a one year old snow blower because the fuel ate the jets in the carb.

    Stihl has come up with (maybe they did not come up with it, but they are selling it) a great solution to the whole issue of Ethanol and the problems it causes.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/pressrelease..._products.aspx

    92 Octane pre mixed fuel with NO Ethanol. It can be stored with no issues for up to two years and will not absorb moisture like the fuel you buy locally. And since it's pre mixed, no chance at all of anybody making a poor fuel mix, which happens a lot more then you think.
    The mix ratio is approved for Cutters Edge and Partner saws so their will not be any issue. Since we started using this stuff we have already noticed quicker starts.

    As for starting up the equipment for testing....

    If you are going to start the equipment every day but only run it for 30 seconds, you are doing far more harm then not starting them every day. I personally see no need to start a saw 7 days a week. Once or twice a week is plenty. Their is no reason that a saw would work on a monday, be put away and not touched till friday and then have it not start. Their is no battery that could die. If your logic is that they need to be tested every day to make certain they start, then tell me this, are you running your pumps at full pressure every day using all the outlets and inlets? Are you bringing your ladders and platforms to an empty parking lot and running them through their paces at all angles and extensions and flowing water through them? Probably not? And why would that be? Probably because it's ridiculous and time consuming and complete overkill seeing as at a fire scene, if a pump or aerial fals to perform, you would go to a backup plan. Well??? At a fire scene when you pull a saw off the rig, you are going to start it immediatley to make sure it starts, right?. And if it does'nt, what do you do? You grab another one and life goes one. Juts like if a pump fails, an Axe head falls off or your air pack fails as soon as you put it on.

    We run up all our saws on Saturday mornings for a minimum of 5 minutes each. And we keep a 6 foot long log behind my station that we change out as needed and make one cut, only a few inches with each saw. This does two things, it puts a load on the engine which is important to make certain the saw will not bog down or die under load but it also makes sure that belts on rotary saws are at the proper tension and that chain saw clutches are working properly. Just because your rotary saw blade spins when you pull the throttle does not mean the belt is at the proper tension. A loose belt will still spin the blade but as soon as you put the saw against an object to be cut the belt slips and the blade stops. I have seen it happen. The only way to test the belt is to put the blade into an object to be cut. For chainsaws, you can check the chain tightness with the saw off by pulling up on the chain off the bar.

    That is my advice for your saws.

  13. #13
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FFD122 View Post
    Slightly off topic...but I'm wondering if anyone else is having issues running the Ethanol gas in their small engines? We're playing h*** trying to maintain saws and other equipment which is constantly gumming up.
    Anymore, we add Sta-bil to all our gas, wether 4 cycle or 2 cycle. You can also add Seafoam additive. Ethanol is causing a lot of problems, and the additives should help prevent most of that.

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    RDU, NC
    Posts
    318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Anymore, we add Sta-bil to all our gas, wether 4 cycle or 2 cycle. You can also add Seafoam additive. Ethanol is causing a lot of problems, and the additives should help prevent most of that.
    We switched to "Tru-Fuel"....seems to work great, very little exhaust too.

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Mass
    Posts
    1,037

    Default

    Well you answered your own question.

    You established that despite a saw starting earlier in the day, it did not start later that day. So even if you started checking a saw to make sure it starts every hour on the hour of your shift, it's not going to assure the saw starts when it's needed any more then starting the saw once a day. So why bother doing that?

    As i said in an earlier post. Pumps, hose, nozzles and ladders are FAR more important pieces of fire service equipment then a gas powered saw. But i know of no department that tests every bit of that equipment on a daily basis. So why is a saw something you worry about so much?

    I don't see how your reputation is on the line if a saw fails to start?. Follow your department SOG for equipment checks and their should be no issue. A saw can fail to start at any time. Their is no assurance whatsoever that a saw will give some sort of warning during an equipment check to let you know it may fail later that day. The most imporant check for a saw other then a weekly check is checking it the second you pull it off the rig at a fire. That is when it counts. Start it before you even walk away from the rig. If it does not start, grab the spare and let someone know to troubleshoot the dead saw right away.

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber
    tajm611's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    Personal accountability. Saws don't need to be started every day but it gives each crew member a 3/10 chance to practice it. We may use the saw once every other month or so but when that time comes, we better be competent enough for quick and efficient action. Unfortunately we tend to spend 99% of the time starting it, failing to realize 99% of its use is in cutting but we do our best to, at a minimum, discuss and practice the proper way of operating on a roof or whatever the case may be. Murphy's law still applies, espicially on the fireground, but if anything malfunctions then the person who checked it is usually the first interrogated. Of course, if your only saw breaks then use the only one that'll always start, the axe.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FireFuss View Post
    When I'm driving or in a position to use a saw, I make sure either I start and run them, or watch as someone else does.

    I've personally started a chainsaw, let it run 3 or 4 minutes. Topped off the fuel, checked the bar oil and put it away with my Captn watching me. Later the same shift we made a 1st in dwelling and guess what. Saw would not start. Less than 5 hours after checking it. I looked at him like "I CHECKED IT, WTF" and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "schitt happens..."

    Had I not checked the saw, and it didn't start. It would have been my reputation on the line.

    Luckily, we always bring two saws, so I just ended up using the warthog (that I also checked that evening).

    So me personally, I checked saws at the beginning of every shift, daywork AND nightwork. I could care less if the saw started at 0700, im checking it again at 1700.

    And like many have said, don't just start it, rev it and cut it off. Let it warm up, run the rpms up for a minute and then let it idle for a few minutes.

    my $.02
    Sounds like you need to upgrade your saws to a more reliable one. What brand are you using. In my experience, Stihl's seem to be very reliable.

  18. #18
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,802

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnsb View Post
    Sounds like you need to upgrade your saws to a more reliable one. What brand are you using. In my experience, Stihl's seem to be very reliable.
    Heavily used tools often break, no matter who makes them.


    Who in the world wouldn't check the apparatus daily and run the pumps, hoses, nozzles, and/or ladders? Always put into pump or fly the main at the beginning of the shift. Although we don't fully check the hose and nozzles daily, but we do ensure they work and all moving parts move freely. Water, fuel, and oil level is checked as well as extinguishers. It doesn't take long, and if we do anything at work it should be to ensure the fire truck is ready for action.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Wheaton IL
    Posts
    1,765

    Default

    Making sure our tools are in ready position is just as important as making sure your airpack or firefighters are ready to go. Tool manufacturers don't make tools for us, they make tools for the trades who run them several hours a day 5 days a week so starting a saw and running it till it is warm will not hurt it.
    We use a synthetic oil called OPTI 2 and it has worked great with no problems with our stuff.

  20. #20
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 1999
    Location
    Engine 74
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RFDGloWorm View Post
    We switched to "Tru-Fuel"....seems to work great, very little exhaust too.
    I don't recall the name of the stuff we switched to - that might be it. We had issues with our Holmatro power units. We start our small engines once a week, and most of us let them run a few minutes to warm up. But we weren't 'exercising' the Holmatro engines correctly. We learned, from the factory rep, that you have to put them under load in order for an internal valve in the engine to open, and if you don't do that it will gum up. The result of that is that when you need the power, such as on an extrication, the engine bogs and the tool doesn't function. It sounds counter to what we always were taught, but you're supposed to open the spreaders/ram/whatever all the way, and let the engine rev up to apply full power to the tool. Then close it and again let it rev up and apply full force. Between that procedure and the new fuel, our Holmatro tools are supposed to be good to go.

    The chain saws, fans, etc. still get regular gasoline, and so far have worked well, as long as you keep a fresh spark plug in it.
    E-4-A
    IAFF 1176

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Federal Background checks for all fire/ems..
    By sassyffmedic in forum Hiring & Employment Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-06-2007, 01:53 AM
  2. WHEN to do rig checks?
    By Gillgrabber in forum Fire Politics
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 01-09-2007, 02:03 PM
  3. What do you listen to on the way to work in the morning?
    By sbfdco1 in forum The Off Duty Forums
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: 04-10-2005, 09:47 PM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-31-2003, 11:38 PM
  5. Background checks for county EMS approved
    By sconfire in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-25-2002, 07:45 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register