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Thread: Air brakes and parking in firehouse

  1. #1
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    Default Air brakes and parking in firehouse

    I have a station captain in my district that has all vehicles in the firehouse parked with the air brakes lifted at all times and wheels are not chocked.

    I would think that this is an unsafe practice. Are there any of you out there that follow this practice? I would apprecieate your input.

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    Assuming that when you say "lifted," you mean released, that's hard to imagine. What's their logic for doing so?

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    Were I the assigned driver of the piece, I would refuse to do so as it is unsafe- level floor or not. Parking brakes are exactly that- for parking. Are you a volunteer or career organization? I would refuse the order, set the brake, and ask to speak to him behind closed doors with a union representative present, and if you are volunteer, a trusted comrade who could act as a witness. Let him explain his reasoning, and then advise that you will not do it as it is an unsafe act and you want it IN WRITING and that you will also be refusing to drive the rig any further as it is an unsafe act and guess who is in the wringer along with him if the schit ever hits the fan??? I doubt he would give it to you in writing as he probably damn well knows if it were to hit the administration's desks the practice would come to a screaming halt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    Assuming that when you say "lifted," you mean released, that's hard to imagine. What's their logic for doing so?
    I'm with the ChiefEngineer on this one. How in the world are they justifying the rigs sitting in the bay with the parking brake not engaged?
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    As mentioned above, this seems like an accident waiting to happen. I would be having a serious discussion with anyone in my department who left the parking brake off, especially if they did it intentionally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlinBayCapt View Post
    I have a station captain in my district that has all vehicles in the firehouse parked with the air brakes lifted at all times and wheels are not chocked.

    I would think that this is an unsafe practice. Are there any of you out there that follow this practice? I would apprecieate your input.
    I'd put money that your operator's manual, and most every safety organization will tell you that the parking brakes MUST be set when parked, ANYWHERE. This is one of those times when you go over his head. Dementia is the only logical explanation I can think of for him telling you to do this.

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    Thank you all for helping me fix a situation that could have cost lives as well as much $$$

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    Dang, missed this one.

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    did he ever give a reason for this?

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    This "person" if you get my drift thinks it saves time in getting out of the station.

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    The driver should easily be the first one on the truck as he doesn't normally have to get dressed. He should be waiting for the crew to dress, get in, and buckle up. Plenty of time for the driver to release the brakes. Unless the crew sits in the truck waiting for a call, there's no way it "saves time". What is does save is lives. This "person" needs to understand that this is not acceptable, and he won't have to worry about getting out of the station fast when he loses his job for getting someone killed.
    CaptOldTimer and ATFDFF like this.

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    Wow, that person is in a leadership position, let alone let on the truck? Do they also advocate leaving the doors open 24/7, with the engine on?

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    Our sogs are -driver cranks the engine -and then does a fast walk around , gives it a few seconds to warm up/build air
    ?

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    This one continues to boggle my mind. I can only speculate that this officer thinks that if the brakes are already released, he doesn't have to wait for air to be built up. But if the air runs down, the spring brakes will automatically apply, and then you have to wait for enough air to be built up to re-release them. So, unless the trucks are so old (early 60s or before) that they still have manual parking brakes, nothing gained. Even then, if you don't have air you don't have any service brakes either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    This one continues to boggle my mind.
    Not my mind.

    I worked for some of the most retarded officers on the face of god's green earth and this resembles some of the stupidity that I have heard- for example, the exhaust brake (C Brake) on the Pierce Engine delivered in 2004- the "hissing" sound was not an exhaust brake, it was a bad head gasket. When I inquired about it being intermittent and only occurring when the rig was decellerating, I was told "oh thats because there is no load on the engine so the head gasket is not pressed against the seals properly." We wont talk about how I pointed out that there was no smell, no high temps, no coolant missing, etc etc etc

    And when I pointed out in the specification information in the manuals that came with the rig that it was in fact a C Brake, the reply was "Where the fook is the Detroit Engine that's supposed to be in there?" (and this was a stock US Gov't Spec truck ordered from the GSA catalog....Where it clearly stated it was a Cummapart.....)

    This is the guy that I nicknamed "Stanley." Because he is as dumb as a bag of hammers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Not my mind.

    I worked for some of the most retarded officers on the face of god's green earth and this resembles some of the stupidity that I have heard- for example, the exhaust brake (C Brake) on the Pierce Engine delivered in 2004- the "hissing" sound was not an exhaust brake, it was a bad head gasket. When I inquired about it being intermittent and only occurring when the rig was decellerating, I was told "oh thats because there is no load on the engine so the head gasket is not pressed against the seals properly." We wont talk about how I pointed out that there was no smell, no high temps, no coolant missing, etc etc etc

    And when I pointed out in the specification information in the manuals that came with the rig that it was in fact a C Brake, the reply was "Where the fook is the Detroit Engine that's supposed to be in there?" (and this was a stock US Gov't Spec truck ordered from the GSA catalog....Where it clearly stated it was a Cummapart.....)

    This is the guy that I nicknamed "Stanley." Because he is as dumb as a bag of hammers.
    I'm pretty sure he has family here in Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFDMAXX View Post
    I'm pretty sure he has family here in Wisconsin
    Was that the kind of tree without any branches?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlinBayCapt View Post
    I have a station captain in my district that has all vehicles in the firehouse parked with the air brakes lifted at all times and wheels are not chocked.

    I would think that this is an unsafe practice. Are there any of you out there that follow this practice? I would apprecieate your input.
    This Captain must be a old-timer. Back in the day, on some apparatus it was common that you had to wait for the air pressure to build back up before you could release the brakes. Hence the "idea" to keep the parking brake off to get out the door faster - and hoping that brake pressure would build up fast enough to release the spring brakes to start rolling and even higher once you needed to use the air brakes the first time once outside. Like chiefengineer11 stated, even if the air bled off, the spring brakes are engaged, therefore gaining no advantage at all!

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    We have parked our trucks with the park brake releases at times. When we do we place wheel checks in front and back of one rear wheel. The reason we do this is that we have had the brake shoes rust to the drums after being out in real wet conditions, rain, snow or if the humidity is high. When the shoes are rusted to the drums, you have to try and back up to release the brakes. When they do the truck will jump back and there is a big bang when they let go. This could cause damage to the brake system. We realize this is not the best but it is better than damaging the truck or backing into something. All of the operators know about the brakes released when we do this. We are a paid on call department and the trucks may not move for a week or more. The trucks will not drive over the wheel chocks easily, I have tried it. We use small wooden chocks. It depends on the weather and the truck. Our rescue is a low profile chassis and is the worse for the brakes to rust to the drums.

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