1. #1
    The Snake Man
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question To put chalks down on flat surface or not to put chalks down on flat surface.

    As a driver engineer I am always hesitant to trust my "air" parking break on our new American LeFrance fire engine. Is it normal to just trust the parking break on flat ground or should I chalk the tires everytime?

    ------------------
    Thanks,
    The Snake Man
    Be safe!

  2. #2
    Wayno
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Carry two chalks and place them on opposite sides!

  3. #3
    EPFD-AL
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The ONLY time the wheels of your apparatus should NOT be chocked is when you're driving it.

  4. #4
    F02
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Firetrucks have a funny way of moveing in pump gear sometimes.E brakes won't hold them if they are left in road gear by mistake.

  5. #5
    Hammerhead338
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    In my volunter dept we had a fire truck take off while in pump, it jumped the wheel chalks, went down a hill and hit 2 cars and 1 house. After that happened I always put down chalks even if its on flat ground.

    Have a good day and be safe.

    Joe
    Local 3905

  6. #6
    Twostix
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Our s.o.p. is chock ahead and behind the driver's side drive wheel anytime the apparatus is parked except when actually inside the station. This includes when parked on the ramp. Doing it every time the same way establishes the placing and removing of chocks as a routine for every engineer. It is important to have chocks that are correctly sized to the tires on your particular apparatus.
    Be Safe, Get Home -twostix-

  7. #7
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Play it safe and chock the wheels. I'd rather take ten seconds to chock the wheels than spend an hour or two filling out accident and property damage reports!

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    Take care and be safe...Lt. Gonzo

  8. #8
    stvfd88
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I'll agree with everyone else, even though as good as I am remembering to put the things down, sometimes I forget to pick em up! Nonetheless, I've never had a truck get away from me, and don't plan on it! Be safe!


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    Scott Lambert
    Seminole Trail Volunteer Fire Department

  9. #9
    Member

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Roswell, GA, USA
    Posts
    58

    Post

    Utility companies have, for several years, required their employees to place an orange cone behind their vehicles. I was told this began after one or several backed their vehicles over children. I cannot verify this. But, the reaction (always using an orange cone) ensures that before the driver gets into the vehicle, he/she will have physically and actually checked the back of the truck for any obstructions, including humans.

    So, to use chocks (not chalks) as a matter of standard practice is a good thing. And if your truck jumps into a gear, did it really jump, or did someone not have it completely into P or N? Not to point fingers, but we sometimes make mistakes too.

    I'm also curious to know why you don't trust the air brake (not break) on your new fire engine. If it's not working, why is it in service?

    ------------------
    Rick Reed
    Do it right, do it safely, do it once.

  10. #10
    F02
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Large deisels with an automatic trans have enough power to overcome the maxi brakes{park} if there throttled up in gear.Don't try this at home.Might result in broken driveshaft,twisted backing plate,etc.

  11. #11
    Twostix
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    To take 26DC's point a step further, don't just look behind the apparatus, walk all the way around it. This is standard practice for many commercial trucking companies, where employees are expected to do a "walkaround" anytime they move a vehicle. The idea is to spot loading equipment, personnel, flats, etc. before they become an accident. At a recent meeting of my company's accident review board they found that all five cases to be considered could have been avoided if the drivers had done a simple "walkaround".

    Getting back to topic, the best reason for using chocks is a guy named Murphy, as in MURPHY'S LAW! Brakes, parking or otherwise, are only as good as their adjustment. Anything mechanical that is done in a hurry, such as a gear selection by an engineer rushing to get the "wet stuff on the red stuff", is a candidate for error. Setting chocks (or chalks, as they say in some parts of the country) is a good way to cover your butt, and to make certain that someone else's butt doesn't get covered by a fire truck!
    Be Safe, Get Home -twostix-

  12. #12
    Davidjb
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Check out the Emergency Vehicle Operations article in the November 1999 issue of firehouse.
    Some testing was done with wheel chocks and it seems they provide little protection if the pump slips out of pump gear and power is applied to the drive wheels during pumping opperations.
    One of the more intersting tests; apparatus (varying manufacturers) were put into drive with parking brake on, throttle was advanced at the pump panel. The drive train overrode the maxi- brakes at between 1300 and 1800 rpm. Quite an eye opener.

    ------------------
    David Brooks, Firefighter, D/O, 1st Resp.
    Newmarket Fire & Rescue
    Newmarket, New Hampshire
    http://www.NewmarketNH.com/Fire

  13. #13
    Chris Deyerle
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Better safe then sorry I always put them down

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    Chris Deyerle

  14. #14
    G Koons
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Wheel chocks are cheap insurance to prevent the truck from rolling away. Trucks with air brakes must have the brakes adjusted properly. This should be done by an experianced mechanic!! Don't rely on small wheel chocks to stop a 50,000 lbs truck. Purchase the NFPA approved big folding wheel chocks. They are not cheap but well worth the cost. I can not stress enough the importance of proper brake adjustment. You should test the paring brake adjustment once a month. Place the truck on an incline and apply the parking brake to see if the brakes hold. The driver should stay in the truck in case the trucks rolls backward. If the parking brake doesn't hold the brakes are out of adjustment.Remember only the rear brakes are applied when the parking brake is used. If your truck is equipped with self adjusting brakes don't be mislead. Most fire trucks are not driven far enough or often enough backwards to adjust themselves.

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