1. #1
    Forum Member
    RLFD14's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004

    Wink Lesson learned - snow hides ditches

    At a recent house fire, we had two engines in the front of the house, each supplied by their own drop tank. We were backing tankers up the driveway to dump water into whichever drop tank needed it. There is a lot of snow where I live, and after a while it fills up the ditches so you can't see where the road ends and the ditch begins. Sure enough, a tanker eventually pulled a little too far towards the side of the road while angling for the right backing alignment, and dipped the front axle off of the road and into the ditch. Stuck. With the snow leveled off, it was impossible to tell exactly where this point was at until it was too late.

    On the one hand, if I were the guy setting the scene up, I would have positioned an additional drop tank at the driveway entrance and had an engine pumping the water up to the drop tanks for the engines at the house (it was a good distance and had bends), we certainly had the apparatus available for this operation. This way the tankers can use their side dump valves right from the road and never have to back up. However, scenes get set up real fast and it is easy to have Einstein Hindsight.... in the meantime, after the setup is done you pretty much have to just work with it.

    My suggestion..... when snow is a problem, as soon as you have the manpower, get someone with a shovel to dig until they determine where the pavement/grade ends and soft ditch begins, and then keep a spotter off the front corner of the apparatus to allow the driver to get close without going over.

    FWIW, we were able to get the stuck tanker out pretty quick with chains and pulling with a 4x4 rig.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Maryland (DC Suburb)


    At least it stayed top-side up
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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