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#20017 - 03/20/13 01:18 PM ATV Safety #2.
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2901
Loc: WV
Guys, we talked about this before, but I'll tell you about a little incident that took place last Saturday.

My neighbors boy Chris, has one of those "side-by-side" 4-wheeler contraptions. It's got a snow blade, dump bed, CD player and all that junk. Anyway, Chris and 2 of his friends were out on the back side of the farm riding the other day.

I talk to Chris just about every day. Just a day or 2 before the incident, he was telling me about this BIG mud-hole he found, a couple of humps over from so-and-so. He was bragging about how deep the water is, etc.

Chris is an adult, 20 years old or so, but just a kid. And according to him, his machine is tougher than the average Sherman tank.

Long story short, Chris got his buggy stuck in the mud. And it must have been stuck pretty good!

So, he had one of his buds hook up their winch cables. They strapped down, tied-up-to or chained the other 4-wheeler to a tree.

All 3 of the boys are old enough to know better. Chris's winch cable snapped. The boy sitting on the other 4-wheeler (right on top of that winch line) caught the cable hooks on his forehead. Just above his right eye.

I talked to the boy that evening, he had a big blue goose egg, from his hair line to his eyebrow. Heck, it stuck out about (---------) that far.

He's just lucky it didn't smack him in the eye. He told me that it happened fast, and I'm sure it did. Ouch! So, you guys keep that in mind! smile

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#20018 - 03/20/13 02:23 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Mike Conrad Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 272
Loc: Sheffield, Ohio
Very bad things can happen when cables snap. Unlike chains, they can store energy that is released violently when they fail. Placing a coat or an old rug over a cable will absorb a lot of energy if a cable should break.

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#20019 - 03/20/13 03:48 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Hal Offline
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Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10196
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
I forget where this happened but... Some town had a "tug of war" with a bunch of people on each side. They used a polypropylene or some type of synthetic rope. They pulled so hard they stretched, and stretched, and finally broke the rope. There was so much energy stored in that rope that it injured a number of people. Some people on the front of the rope had digits amputated.

When you pull anything with a rope or chain, be exceedingly careful.
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#20020 - 03/20/13 04:15 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
neotoxo Offline
Member

Registered: 06/06/12
Posts: 26
Loc: Arkansas
Cable snapping back is exactly why I put Dyneema cable on my 4-wheeler winch...it is twice as strong and if it snaps it goes limp...

However, if it is still a real good idea to drop a blanket or even a jacket over the center of the length of any cable when winching...it will help tame the broken cable.

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#20021 - 03/21/13 03:07 AM Re: ATV Safety #2.
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2901
Loc: WV
Mike, a chain will store energy. I've watched chain break, and it's wild. Best thing to do is get the H. outta the way.

Neotoxo, I don't understand what you mean by the winch line "goes limp".

You've all broken your fishing line, getting stuck in the rocks or under a log, etc. You pull, tug, the line will stretch, then Ka-ping. And that line is in your face in a heartbeat. Now, just imagine a "fish line" that's rated at 1,000 pounds. Or one that's rated at 10-tons. It'll be in your face in a heartbeat!

The point I was trying to make is this: Just like the 3 boys above I mentioned, they have a 4-wheeler and a little toy winch, and think that they can drag a 5-ton oak tree outta the trail. It's not going to happen!

But, you guys have seen this before. Somebody gets their truck stuck, and you've got 10 guys standing around, right there beside of the chain or winch line, between the truck and the tractor/dozer. If that chain or cable breaks, somebody is going to get hurt!

That's just like those "tow hooks" on the front of some of your vehicles. I can think of several guys that have had them fail. Once you pull that chain/cable tight enough to snap off a tow hook, you can bet there's plenty of stored energy. And that chain isn't just going to drop to the ground, it'll get evil first!

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#20022 - 03/21/13 11:04 AM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Ric Online   content


Registered: 07/22/00
Posts: 3695
Loc: Wellington,OH=USA
Dyneema does not stretch. Therefore it does not store energy. Break one and it basically just goes limp.

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#20023 - 03/21/13 12:47 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2901
Loc: WV
I just searched Dyneema, sounds like good stuff. Here's a little more information.

"Quadratec's legendary Q-Series Winches are now available with Dyneema® winch line; an ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fiber developed in the Netherlands over 20 years ago. Synthetic winch lines are a real game changer in off road recovery. Despite being softer and flexible, Dyneema® is stronger and more durable than winch steel cables. In fact, when properly cared for, Dyneema® winch lines will outlast steel winch cables. Weight for weight, Dyneema® is 15 times stronger than steel and its light weight significantly improves the ease of handling. It even floats and is an obvious benefit when winching in water conditions. Dyneema® will not rust, kink and loose strength like steel cables can. Handling steel cables can sometimes result in wire splinters but synthetic winch lines are much safer and easier to use. In the unlikely event of a synthetic winch line breaking there is virtually no recoil, unlike steel wire where recoil is extremely dangerous. The ease of handling, increased safety and improved longevity of Dyneema® are why so many off road enthusiasts are making the switch. Each Synthetic Series Winch features 90' of Synthetic winch line with a 12' ballistic nylon chafe guard to protect your winch line from abrasions. Each winch line is 3/8" diameter and rated for 18,000 lbs. Other features include a billet aluminum hawse fairlead, deluxe winch hook and Winch Operator's Guide which includes helpful information on winching and the care and use of synthetic line."

My neighbors boy Chris does have some type synthetic winch line on his buggy. I asked him what it was, and he's not sure. The way his machine is rigged up, the winch operates his snow blade, up/down. So, who knows how many times that last 2 or 3 feet of cable have been in and out?

This last decent snow we had, Chris was out pushing snow, at least 4 or 5 hours. I'm sure that section of winch line was chaffed-up.

Next time I see Chris in person, I'll ask him the details of the incident. And I'll check on the other boys forehead too. smile

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#20024 - 03/21/13 05:01 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Mike Conrad Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 272
Loc: Sheffield, Ohio
Redsnow, the chain itself does not store any appreciable energy. The method of use when the chain breaks is what causes any movement. An example would be a situation I witnessed one time when a vehicle had all 4 wheels stuck in the mud. The vehicle trying to pull it out could not get it to move, so they thought it was a good idea to back up and gun it. On about the sixth try the chain broke, flipped up and over the cab of the stuck truck and crashed through the windshield.

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#20025 - 03/22/13 02:33 AM Re: ATV Safety #2.
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2901
Loc: WV
Mike, I respectfully disagree. Chain will stretch, before breaking. (I'll be out on the farm in the morning, I'll try to find a piece of almost broken chain, and get a picture.)

I don't know the details of the chain break, you mentioned above. But if the chain didn't store energy, why would it have flipped, up over the stationary vehicle? As opposed to just dropping on the ground?

A chain is only as strong as the weakest link.

Here's a link, I just checked.

http://www.1st-chainsupply.com/chain/gr30_spec.htm

Look at the stats for 3/8's inch chain, breaking strength of 5-tons, and 50 feet of that chain weighs 75 pounds.

If each chain link stretches just a fraction of an inch, before it snaps, you've got stored energy.

And of course there's a big difference between a slow and steady pull, and a sudden jerk.

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#20026 - 03/22/13 12:39 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Mike Conrad Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 272
Loc: Sheffield, Ohio
I agree that a chain will store "some" energy, but it is very little. Not enough to do harm, or whip around wildly, when used properly. It is kind of like the compression of water, for practical reasons water can not be compressed; but scientifically there is a very small amount of compression that takes place.

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#20027 - 03/22/13 01:31 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10196
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Tim is correct. If there were no stored energy in the fastener, it would not recoil, as in the case of the Dyneema. Dacron is similar. It is used for "no stretch" fishing line. Here's a little story about that:

When we were kids, we did a lot of bow fishing. At first, the only thing we had for string was some nylon "chalk line". Of course, our arrows would stick in the mud. As we tried to pull them loose, the string would stretch. When that arrow finally popped free, it came back at us at about the same velocity that it left! Dangerous! So dad bought us some 150 pound test Dacron line. Henceforth, we could pull those arrows out of the mud, and not have them spring back at us.

If you break a chain, the amount of energy released is commensurate with the amount of energy need to break that link -- not a small amount by any measure. And if you stretch a steel chain, even by a micron or two, that constitutes a tremendous amount of energy. Again, no energy, no recoil. And, I know from experience, broken chains will recoil wildly.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#20028 - 03/22/13 08:21 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Mike Conrad Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 272
Loc: Sheffield, Ohio
Hal, what activities are you doing that a chain would whip around violently? I submit that you must be doing something outside the rated capacity/strength of these chains. Granted, if you take a dog chain and try to pull a vehicle out of the mud the chain will elongate, thus storing the energy we are discussing. My point is a chain used properly will not store an appreciable amount of energy. But cable, used properly, over time will get dirt, water etc., embedded in it, plus the effects of friction, will degregrate the cable to the point that it will break even when used within rated capacity, and fail violently. After a few years I would replace the cable on my truck's winch and plan to do so on my atv, hopefully avoiding any of these problems.

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#20029 - 03/23/13 03:01 AM Re: ATV Safety #2.
redsnow Online   content
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Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2901
Loc: WV
Mike, above you used the key words: "...when used properly."

That's the point! I'll refer back to the chart above, let's look at the 3/8's inch chain.

According to the chart, the "working load limit" rating is 2,650#. But the "breaking strength" is 10,600 pounds. Basically, if the chain is used with common sense, within recommended guidelines, you've got almost 4 tons of strength, to play with. (keep in mind that's a low grade of chain)

Years ago, the company that I worked for sent me to school, into their apprentice program. Powerline work. In that line of work, you'll use rope, chain, cable, hoists and all kinds of rigging. And, it's stressed from day one, don't take chances.

It's also stressed, if a rope/cable/chain/strap breaks, that's mostly human error. Not using the right tool for the job. Things can get serious, if you have a failure.

But you guys think about it yourself, how many of you have had the same winch line on your 4-wheeler for years and years. I'm sure some are rusty, kinked and full of mud and grit.

Oh, talked to the boy that got smacked on the head, with the cable hooks today. He's still got a red/black spot above his eye. But it's only stuck out about (--) that much now! smile

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#20030 - 03/23/13 05:08 AM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Mike Conrad Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 272
Loc: Sheffield, Ohio
Big difference between safe working load and breaking strength on any of those items you mentioned. I think that is where most folks get into trouble, they sacrifice safety for money by not buying the proper size, or by not replacing cables and ropes when they should.

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#20031 - 03/23/13 01:26 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10196
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
"Hal, what activities are you doing that a chain would whip around violently?"

Pulling vehicles, pulling logs, pulling stumps. I didn't say it would whip around, but it will recoil and you don't know where it is headed (wildly). But as observed, these chains were old, and weak links broke. By the way, the weaker the link, the less recoil in the chain.

"if you take a dog chain... the chain will elongate, thus storing the energy we are discussing. My point is a chain used properly will not store an appreciable amount of energy."

Untrue. Even a good, brand-new, heavy-duty chain will stretch, maybe only a micron or two. But just one micron of stretch in a heavy duty chain, may translate into the same amount of stored energy as 6 inches of stretch in the dog chain. It's not an unappreciable amount. It can be a huge amount. That said, the heavy chain my recoil less due to the amount of energy consumed in accelerating the weight of the chain.

And here's another factor to be considered. It's the nature of cable. Cable is a continuous unit. When it starts flying around. The back end can hold up the front end, even push it forward. So it whips like a snake. Chain doesn't whip so badly because the links can't push one another, they tend to collapse on themselves.

In every one of these instances, it's not the stored energy we are concerned with. It's the failure of the device, and the subsequent recoil of the fastener. If the rope doesn't break we don't need to be concerned about how much recoil energy it has. The energy was still there, it just didn't beat us up. Same with the chain. The recoil energy is still there, but if you don't break it, you're fine.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#20032 - 03/23/13 08:35 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10196
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
I drug this way off topic. Safety. You can get hurt by a broken cable, rope, or chain. There is one rule, treat it like it is going to break whether it's half worn out or brand spanking new. Remove all bystanders to a safe distance, and shield yourself.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#20033 - 03/24/13 02:19 AM Re: ATV Safety #2.
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2901
Loc: WV
Hopefully this link will work. Watch the video "Breaking of rig anchor chain".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPnzjGNEXFo

By my count it's over and done with in less than 5 seconds. Notice the sparks when the chain snaps. And it's wild recoil. That's a big chain!

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#20034 - 03/25/13 01:06 AM Re: ATV Safety #2.
FLSH ETR Online   content
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1170
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Redsnow--wow!! What a great film clip! I never thought a chain that size would act like that. Good thing the dude scootched when he did. That baby surely would have left a mark!!!

Frank.
_________________________
"A wise man once said--nothing."

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#20035 - 03/25/13 01:35 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2901
Loc: WV
Well, we don't know the details, but that one man is very lucky. I'd like to know the specs on that chain.

I just searched the ship's name, Skandi Vega. Here's one quote that I found: "It was Skandi Vega that accident happend,they had forgot to lower the shark jaw down when they were tenched up the chain."

Accident my butt! Human error!

But here's something else to think about. You're dealing with some "high dollar" equipment, and you'd surly think that the winch would have had some kind of PSI/torque gauge. Alarm, red light, auto-shut off or something. But it happened fast.

And here's something else to think about, that man was directly in the line of fire. That's stupid. Winch line, cable, rope or strap, that's just ignorant. Folks, you've got to keep anything valuable out of the way.

I figured there'd be an interesting video on U-tube. I watched one, showed a young boy walking
around, beside a chain under a load. Another showed a dog, running around under the chain. Watched a strap break, people standing around.

Above we were talking about cable/wire-rope. Years ago there was a man here that owned the local junk yard, towing/wrecker service. Dad was working on a little project, and hired the man and his truck to help do some heavy pulling. And the man told us about a cable break he'd had before.

Not positive, but it was probably 5/8's" or 3/4" cable? You know how young trees will sprout up along the river or in freshly dozed dirt? The way he told us (and I have no reason to doubt the man) when the cable snapped, it sliced them off, just like a weedeater would grass. And he was talking about saplings, 3" across or so. You can imagine what that'd do to a person.

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#20036 - 03/25/13 06:40 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
FLSH ETR Online   content
Member

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 1170
Loc: Cudahy, Wisconsin,USA
Years ago, on a commercial construction site, I saw a D-8 dozer stuck in a muck hole. I said the only was to get a D-8 unstuck is with a D-9 and a big chain. They came with a rubber tired earth mover and a very large cable. The earth mover tugged, lost some traction too, but never budged the dozer. Finally the cable snapped. The cable recoiled, and took out the vertical exhaust piping and a window on the earth mover. (driver not injured) On my visit to the site the next day, the D-8 was up on level ground getting shovel cleaned. One man was dragging a very large chain back to a flatbed truck where a D-9r was being loaded.

"So soon old, so late smart." smile Frank. cool
_________________________
"A wise man once said--nothing."

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#20037 - 03/28/13 02:52 AM Re: ATV Safety #2.
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2901
Loc: WV
Well Frank, I'm going to have to disagree with you too. smile

Give me enough chain, cable and snatch blocks, I'll pull that D-8 dozer out of the mud, with a 78 Ford Pinto!

As I mentioned before, if and when a chain/cable/strap breaks, that's almost always human error.

Above, Hal brought up a good point. If you're skidding logs, and the chain/cable is dragged across rocks, pavement, that's very hard on the equipment. You can ruin a good chain, quick.

But honestly, out here in the real world, nobody has a dynamometer. To let you know when you're overloaded. And who's going to pay $500 for a gizmo, and drag it around in the mud?

It's spring time now, and across the country, every day, folks are using chain and cable, and they're pushing it to the limit.

Now about the dozer in the muck. Some of you might not understand this, but if they'd have put in a "deadman anchor", rigged up 2 or 3 snatch-blocks, chances are the rubber tired earth mover, would have pulled the D-8 up on dry ground.

If any of you don't understand what a "deadman anchor" is, do a search. Lots of ways to rig one. Basically, dig a "T" shaped trench, cable up to a cross-tie or pole butt, drop it the ditch, cover it up and pull all you want. Put a pole butt, down under, 5 or 6 or 8 feet of undisturbed dirt, it takes a pile of energy to snap it. smile

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#20038 - 03/28/13 01:00 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10196
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Sounds like you've been in the woods a time or two. smile -- Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#20039 - 03/31/13 02:25 AM Re: ATV Safety #2.
redsnow Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 2901
Loc: WV
Just in case any of you guys get your D-8 dozer stuck in the mud this weekend, give me a call. I just checked this morning, a D-8 is only 36,520 pounds, (I know the weight will vary with different models) this pair of blocks are rated at 20 tons, so we're good to go. And I've got a half a spool of cable on the farm.



For the first thing, we're going to try to get it unstuck with a dumptruck full of dirt or rock. If that doesn't work, I'll rig up a few more blocks, and fire up the Pinto. laugh

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#20040 - 03/31/13 12:13 PM Re: ATV Safety #2.
musher Online   content
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Registered: 07/22/03
Posts: 2322
Loc: Qc.
I'll give you a call.But you're going to have to change you foot wear. You might drop one of those puppies and smash a foot!

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