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The Gravity of Tanks


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wolfhrt #21 Posted Nov 15 2015 - 04:26

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Great article to help us remember the danger, I remember in the town my grandpa lives in that someone owned a M5 Stuart and he used to drive it around for the parades or just for fun but when he died they placed it at a park and you could climb inside and look around as well as open the engine hatches, it sat there for months with tons of kids playing in and around it but one day a kid shoved his finger in the breach and activated it and off came the fingers, after that they locked the hatches and moved it to a cemetery but you could still look at the engines but sadly one day some one stole a bunch of parts off of it so the locked those up as well.

Nihtwaco #22 Posted Nov 15 2015 - 05:04

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My First Reserve unit had a few near misses running various versions of the M113 Family. Our Sister Battalions operating M48 and M60 Family vehicles had far too many serious accidents including amputations. Part of our makeup was we had police and fire Dept. personnel in our ranks with on the job medical experience under very trying conditions. Combat in Viet Nam for several of our EMT qualified folks plus the streets of Chicago. I provide the off the shelf medical gear the Army did not have the funds to provide. Our unit of 120 folks were trained on Vehicle casualty extraction and care both in place and after extraction. Their worst fear was that I would be the one treating them as my highest Qualification was Various Red Cross courses until very late when Combat Life saver training was introduced. We were the first reserve unit to get it. Fear and attention to detail from both the Top down and the Bottom up limited our exposure to risk. Our preparedness to treat the injured was a major factor in keeping our actions within due bounds. I dealt with One serious casualty myself a Heat Stroke case from another BN. Army Commendation Medal arrived in Due course for that and all the backside work prepping vehicle First Aid kits for our first year as Cav instructors.

 

Everyone allowed near a Vehicle has to be briefed on all the risks and procedures to mitigate those risks period.


Edited by Nihtwaco, Nov 15 2015 - 05:05.


Raghtur #23 Posted Nov 15 2015 - 07:40

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      I'm former Air Force myself, and I worked on ICBM (Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles) facilities for 2 decades.  This meant I primarily worked on the power generation & distribution systems along with the HVAC systems, plus all the miscellaneous systems that the missile or electronic technicians didn't work on themselves.  Almost everything we worked on out there was and still is heavy, from the 2 ton generator, the 1.5 ton brine chiller unit (for the air conditioner), the 1.5 ton personal access hatch, the 7 ton secondary door inside the access hatch, the suspended floor that hangs from the ceiling of the launcher equipment room with the dozen backup power batteries hanging underneath from it (the batteries themselves weigh about 4-5k pounds each when properly serviced), to the ICBM itself the Minuteman 3 whose total weight I can't recall at the moment, but I do remember that just the solid rocket fuel in all of it's stages weighs a total of about 40 tons.  I could go on for hours about just the parts and pieces of the site, but that's beside the point.

     Every day we went out to work on these we would have multiple safety briefings, one conducted by the shop supervision before we left base, one conducted by the maintenance team chief before we went onto the first site (I usually gave that one), then we were required to read the applicable safety warning for each task we were going to do prior to starting it.  Even those of us that did all of this and did follow to the best of our ability still got injured over time, from scrapes and bruises, to concussions, lacerations, sprains and the occassional broken bone.  Thankfully for those of us that follow all of the rules and got injured by accident none of these injuries were life altering by themselves, however I know of far too many people who didn't follow the rules, and paid the price.

     There are several stories (all true) of people attempting to climb down inside of the launch tube via rope or other such items to get work done rather than taking the time to install the motorized workcage normally used, who would then wind up slipping and falling either partway or all the way down the launch tube and be stuck lying there in pain for several hours until they could be evacuated.  I've seen the results of people I knew not using tools or equipment correctly and they would wind up missing chunks of skin, if not a finger or three.  Finally, there's the people who either didn't use the right procedures, the correct safety equipment, or even the right tools even after being told by others multiple times to do so, and they would keep on doing so thinking it's all right to cut these corners, it saves time, up until that moment when things went wrong, and they either did not get clear of a piece of slow moving equipment fast enough, or they triggered a piece of machinery that repositions in a an instant while they were between it, and where the machinery stops, needless to say none of those three that i know about survived.

 

A good day out in the ICBM field was actually a boring day of work, even if you found the work to be fun, it was still boring at times.  I'm glad to say that while I was in everyone that I considered a friend had nothing but good days out there.  Oh sure there were plenty of injuries, but all because of random accidents, even some exciting days (electrical fires, gotta love em & fixing all the wiring afterwards even better yay), but we all came home everyday, even if we did occassionally need a stop at the base clinic or the emergency room first due to injuries, but they were all good days for us in the end.



Dunfalach #24 Posted Nov 15 2015 - 13:29

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View PostBaron_von_Roflstomp, on Nov 14 2015 - 11:23, said:

A terrible tragedy. One does have to question the wisdom of letting anyone live fire ammo with aging WWII era tank or tank destroyer guns. Is there not a point when this simply becomes too risky regardless of the safety precautions taken?

 

That's not really our call. It's good to have a desire not to see people hurt, and none of us want to see incidents like this happen. But we have to balance that with the rights of the individual, and often that means letting their rights win, because not thinking it is wise doesn't always give us the right to restrict them.

Spiley_Craw #25 Posted Nov 15 2015 - 17:03

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What is the 3rd "tank-related" death in the US this year?

 

If you are referring to the man who died in southern California, he fell off an M5 artillery tractor. That's about as

 closely related to a tank as it is to a construction or farming machine.

 

-Kle.



stalkervision #26 Posted Nov 16 2015 - 02:12

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wonder if any tanker ever suffered a concussion from a heavy tank hatch landing on their head by accident ?

Anlushac11 #27 Posted Nov 16 2015 - 23:38

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View Poststalkervision, on Nov 15 2015 - 20:12, said:

wonder if any tanker ever suffered a concussion from a heavy tank hatch landing on their head by accident ?

 

Its not a coincidence that early US tanker helmets were modeled after football helmets.

 

Most tanker helmets had hard protection or lots of padding on top to protect the noggin from a hatch ringing the bell.



The_Chieftain #28 Posted Nov 16 2015 - 23:56

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Hmm. I was tracking a guy in NorCal run over by a Stuart, but I think the point remains,  it's a historical WW2 vehicle operated for cool factor.

zloykrolik #29 Posted Nov 17 2015 - 04:04

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View Poststalkervision, on Nov 15 2015 - 17:12, said:

wonder if any tanker ever suffered a concussion from a heavy tank hatch landing on their head by accident ?

 

Yes. Ask me how I know.

Spector668 #30 Posted Nov 17 2015 - 09:44

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Stalkervision...

 

The tank hatches for the loader have a spring dampening system built into the pivot arms that are meant to assist in the opening, relieving the crewman of having to start the hatch opening from a dead-weight start. Also, these have a positive lock to hold them open when fully opened. HOWEVER, the TC's hatch on the M1 family is not built that way. It's a dual pivot, with a main pivot for the hatch assembly, but the hatch lid itself has it's own pivots, and both pivots have their own lock points. In either case, when closing the turret hatches, the TC and loader always have to be careful to not slip up and crush a finger, get banged in the head, etc....

 

Chieftain....

I will never forget the First Gospel hammered into me by my DI's at Ft. Knox. My Drills kindly placed us all in the 'instructional pose'(aka "Front-leaning Rest Position...MOVE"), and with the utmost kindness and attention to detail, started 'The Lesson'. Bear in mind this was December of 1987, and the wonder that is Ft. Knox, Kentucky weather was in full effect.

"Privates, The M1 Abrams is the most advanced killing machine in the world. HOWEVER, know this and know it well. !!IT!! !!DOES!! !!NOT!! !!CARE!! !!WHO!! !!IT!! !!KILLS!!

It will kill you with the same quickness that you will be trained to do to your enemies! If you are STUPID....LAZY....CARELESS...or a GENERAL WALKING CLUSTER-F$%#...you WILL become a victim of Natural Selection!! You...WILL....DIE!!"

We were then regaled with various stories of the various and sundry ways tankers and mechanics had been maimed, cropped, and killed by the M1.

 

The loss of Steve and Austin is a tragedy, and they will be missed. 


Edited by Spector668, Nov 17 2015 - 09:46.


stalkervision #31 Posted Nov 17 2015 - 12:41

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View Postzloykrolik, on Nov 16 2015 - 22:04, said:

 

Yes. Ask me how I know.

 

alright :)

Walter_Sobchak #32 Posted Nov 17 2015 - 18:15

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Nov 16 2015 - 17:56, said:

Hmm. I was tracking a guy in NorCal run over by a Stuart, but I think the point remains,  it's a historical WW2 vehicle operated for cool factor.

 

The late August event in which a man was crushed by a WW2 tracked vehicle took place near Fairfield California, which is between San Fran and Sacramento.  The news reports referred to the vehicle as an "M5 Tank" but the pictures included in the news reports showed an M5 High Speed Tractor.  This vehicle is part of a collection owned by Herman Rowland, who's family owns Jelly Belly Candy Co.  

Walter_Sobchak #33 Posted Nov 18 2015 - 14:48

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Just to reinforce what many have said already about AFVs being dangerous, two crewmen were recently killed in a training accident in Taiwan involving a CM-21 (M113 variant) APC which fell into a lake.  

 

Two servicemen drown after armored vehicle plunges into lake in Kinmen



coolathlon #34 Posted Dec 10 2015 - 14:23

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Some fellow I know from German WOT educatinal clan was run over by a tank in Afghanistan but survived. Those are the veterans that Germany has no holiday for. :(

thedalek247365 #35 Posted Dec 10 2015 - 16:13

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Just out of curiosity, could you show said scar? Just wondering what that would look like

VillainIV #36 Posted Dec 12 2015 - 19:55

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Very well written article, and one that is close to my heart. I knew Steve, He was a terrific guy and was all about safety. The accident was just that, an accident. But the fact that tanks are not toys is one that can not be overstated. I collect and restore tanks, and I try my best to participate in events so people can see the vehicles and appreciate their history...and how damn cool they are. Recently I stopped participating in one public event because it has become incredibly dangerous. They insist on using a tank to crush cars for the crowd (not one of mine, another local guy). Now personally the whole idea of crushing cars with a tank for the public's amusement is not my cup of tea. These aren't monster trucks or demolition derby mobiles...these are historic military vehicles, veterans if you will. They are not toys for Bubba's amusement...I think once we reduce them to this then we lose sight of what they were designed for and we do let our guard down and begin to see them as recreational vehicles...which they are not. Anyway this event has grown bigger every year but the area allocated for the car crushing has grown smaller, and with a smaller area and bigger crowds, people are within feet, sometimes inches of a 40 ton tank as it lurches, turns and moves with no signal or warning. The last event I attended the tank was doing some moves when it came to a stop, the thrilled crowd who had been following the tank began to crowd around it, when suddenly it lept into reverse and shot back about four feet as the clutch was let out...very nearly crushing a lady who had been seconds before touching the right rear fender...if the track had got her leg she would have been pulled under and crushed between the track and the pavement....Very Scary. The driver and owner of the tank did not have a person in the turret to guide him and the ground guides had no radio communication with the driver and no pre-determined hand signals, just a bunch of pointing and waving. Nobody seemed to mind and my cautions fell on deaf ears so that was it for me...Enjoy tanks, worship tanks, even LOVE tanks...but always RESPECT tanks...My two cents...Now who do i talk to about the awful sand shields on the in game JUMBO?!?!?!?!

Walter_Sobchak #37 Posted Dec 14 2015 - 15:38

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And to further enforce the point:

 

Soldier airlifted to hospital after being crushed by armoured vehicle



scout_1994 #38 Posted Jan 07 2016 - 07:25

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Love the thread!!

 

My "Come to Jesus Moment" came as a 19Delta shoved into a Echo role at Graf in Germany...We were on Tank Table 8 and it was for record.  I had been loading all day and a bit tired come the night qual.  Cold as a well digger azz.  I had my gloves on, not the new, pretty Nomex the kids get now, but the old two piece ones, wool and leather outside.  Do any of you remember the old M60A1 and 3's?  Remember "vacuum loading"?? Got a shell in the breach, one in your arms and one, or two between your legs.  The joke used to be that you could tell a good loader by how many fingers he was missing!!  Well I thought the joke was funny, until I loaded the third shell and was a little slow to get my hand back and that breach snapped up and my outer leather glove went down range and lost a third of my pinkie finger. No crap! Only started to hurt when I looked at it!

 

I learned my lesson most rick-tick.

 

Sadly, after twelve years in, not a field problem, exercise, and even the motor pool it seemed that someone was always forgetting the number one thing... as you say, "military equipment is designed to kill and it does not care who, you or the bad guy.....

 

I live in Oregon and I knew these men well....

 

Good Speed gentlemen

 

Patrick Lowe Sr.

Cpt, AR. (Ret)

 

 

 

 

 



Walter_Sobchak #39 Posted Jan 17 2016 - 01:57

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Another example of people being careless with a vintage (in this case reproduction) armored vehicle.

 

 

Based on some comments over in the Historic Military Vehicle Forum, these guys are not the most reputable vehicle restorers.

 

 



CK16 #40 Posted Jan 17 2016 - 02:21

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View PostWalter_Sobchak, on Jan 16 2016 - 18:57, said:

Another example of people being careless with a vintage (in this case reproduction) armored vehicle.

 

 

Based on some comments over in the Historic Military Vehicle Forum, these guys are not the most reputable vehicle restorers.

 

 

 

O.o dont think brakes helped much! 

 

1. Everyone in there mostly ok?

2. How is the M10 doing is she ok! D:






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