Apparatus "Rollover" Accidents:
It is apparent that the number of "rollovers" of apparatus while responding on a run, is on the increase. Nearly every few days, someone rolls one somewhere...usually while turning left, in dry road surface conditions. There seems to be a common thread here, and the first thing that comes to mind is...the driver was [obviously] moving too fast. The second is, maybe the vehicle was not designed to carry all that has been loaded onto it...since designed by the mfgr., i.e., it is now "top heavy." Thirdly, since the steering is so effortless now, and with automatic trans., possibily the driver has "lost the feel" of his rig, which by the way...one had without P/S and auto-trans. I cannot recall the rigs of the 50's hardly ever being in a rollover, therefore in my humble opinion...something is now out of order.
Regardless, it is becoming very serious and costly [in my opinion]. You cannot be of assistance to those in need...with your rig laying on it side, firefigher's injured, and equiment scattered all over the place. I hate to present a problem without a solution...but I am in no position to offer one at this time, except to "slow down while turning." ;)
* Mandatory Shift Change Operation *
I have a suggestion. Many times (typically larger departments), each shift taking the helm is required to run the equipment immediately after “acceptance” of the duty. Particularly this applies to aerials in my end of the business. The new shift is required to take it out on the apron, set it, lift it, rotate it, etc. Not only does this make sure the equipment is in good order, it gets people’s “head back in the game” after a couple days off.
That is my point. When a new shift takes charge, regardless of being a big or small Dept – I think it would be a good idea if the new drivers / operators were REQUIRED to take the rigs for a short spin just to get their “head back in the game” of a big apparatus rather than the Toyota they drove to shift.
I would be willing to bet good money that the majority of these rollovers (And other accidents) happen during a new shift’s “First Out” call. TL