1. #1
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    rmoore's Avatar
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    Dec 1998
    Plano, Texas

    Default When To Get Rid of Wood?

    Received this question from a Tennessee Captain. Any advice from you out there?

    Can you give me, or tell me where I can get any information on the life expectancy of wood cribbing? I am having trouble trying to convince my chief that we need to purchase more, we are a small department and money is very tight.

    To me cribbing is very cheap compared to other tools involved in rescue. I have looked on elsewhere and havenít come up with any good materials to present so I can argue my case.

    My Reply .......................

    I've always gone with the physical appearance of the wood as a guide to whether it should remain in service or not. I've never used its' age as a guideline.

    I keep everything unless there are deep grooves, crushed areas or marks, cracks in the ends of the wood, or contamination such as oil and gasoline from a crash scene.

    My "expert" on wood is Mr. Frank Maltese. I'll forward this on to him to see if he has any better guidelines or advice to share with both of us.

    You can contact him directly at: Frank Maltese (branch@sover.net)
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

  2. #2
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    dadman's Avatar
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    Dec 2003


    I'm not well experienced with cribbing and extrication.
    I would recommend replacing wood cribbing once it gets long cracks and/or small cracks start to widen.
    Theres a potential for your cribbing pillar, regardless how short or tall, to fail if one piece splits apart due to a load on it or hammer strike.
    During a bus extrication exercise in FF2 class, we had a bus lifted up onto a car. The car was under the bus frame right under the right forward entry door.
    We then cribbed the busat each side corner, which ate up a lot of cribbing.
    The cribbing needed adjusting with hammers and wedges after cribbing pillar completion on a different side.
    The forward cribbing pillars were a little on the tall side due to the bus being on top of the car.
    With extrication bouncing and movement going on and cribbing failed at one side, it may cause a further injury to someone or produce unwanted vehicle movement.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

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    Dec 2003


    Closely inspect all cribbing for physical, chemical, and naturally occuring natural deterioration after each use, and when you inspect your general rescue gear.

    According to a FEMA study, cribbing is one of the most frequently used pieces of extrication eqt., however typically receives the least attention. Remember, your placing your life in the strength of cribbing. Select the best and take care of it. Learn to use it correctly.
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme

  4. #4
    lutan1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    I come from The Land Down Under!


    I'd tend to treat it like a timber ladder in terms of inspections- cracks, splits, etc. (All the stuff that has already been mentioned! )

  5. #5
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    NB87JW's Avatar
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    Feb 2002


    I also use "sounding" the wood as a rule of thumb for replacing it not just appearance or odor (imbedded fuels).bad wood makes a different noise when it needs replacing. Wood is cheap even for those departments on a tighter budget. Certainly is it cheaper than the price of someone getting hurt with a stabilizing device that failed. Lukes advice is wise. Take care of the wood like any other piece of equipment and it will last longer and take better care of you.

    Be safe.

    Fraternally, Jordan
    "Making Sense with Common Sense"
    Motor Vehicle Rescue Consultants
    ( MVRC@comcast.net) Jordan Sr.

  6. #6
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    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    New Mexico

    Default cribbing

    Our rescue has wooden cribbing onboard, but we also use a spreader bar - type stabilizer when cribbing pilar becomes tall. We don't use the bar for sole support, but only to assist the pillar.

    As far as doing away with the wood cribbing, I have used the new poly- cribbing at another dept. and it is really nice. Appears to be lighter than wood, and virtually maintenance free. Although I understand it is fairly expensive compared to wood.

  7. #7
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    AC1503's Avatar
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    May 1999


    Check with the agency that oversees the recycling program of your state. Indiana had a program, and may still have, of grants to fire departments to purchase plastic cribbing. The cribbing had to be made of recycled material. The Indiana Department of Commerce's Office of Energy Policy program awarded up to $5,000 per grant, not to exceed 50% of the purchase cost. Up to $10,000 of cribbing for 1/2 the cost. I know its not a 90% grant, but 50% isn't too bad. Anyway its worth checking out as a possible funding source in any state.

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