Dumb luck

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DanEpps
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Dumb luck

Postby DanEpps » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 7:06AM

Recently there was a thread about practicing shop safety, along with some gruesome experiences from several members.

I want to add to that a little by saying don't let safety practices stop at the shop door.

I have worked on cars most of my life--since well before I was old enough to drive. Monday I was replacing the universal joints in my wife's Yukon XL. I had the vehicle's rear wheels on a ramp to give me enough clearance to remove the driveshaft.

Now, this is something I have done literally hundreds of times and I have always been overly cautious about making sure the parking brake was applied and wheel chocks were in place before going underneath the vehicle.

This time, for whatever reason (in a hurry maybe?) I did neither. As soon as I removed the driveshaft there was nothing left to keep the vehicle from rolling down the ramp--and roll down it did...right on top of me.

I remember thinking \"Please God, let this be fast and don't leave me crippled or paralyzed.\"

The vehicle quickly stopped and I lay there, assessing the situation. The left rear wheel had rolled up against the creeper I was on and it kept the car from rolling further. Now all I had to do was free my left arm from a very awkward position above the axle and roll off the creeper, leavig it to hold the car. I thought \"if I only had my cell phone in my pocket...\"

I was able to free my arm but in doing so I also moved the creeper and the car started rolling again, this time with nothing to stop. Our driveway is over 100 feet and downhill.

I was able to pull myself out the rear of the car as it rolled downhill. Then I jumped up and ran after it, hopped in and slammed on the brake just as the front wheel rolled over the curb and into the street.

God was merciful to me that day as I was neither killed nor crippled and the first thing I did after I calmed down a little was give thanks to Him. Luckily I am skinny enough and the Yukon has enough ground clearance that I got out of this with minor injuries--a pulled muscle and a couple of scrapes.

The moral of this story is that no matter how many safety habits you have, you can always overlook the obvious, especially if you are tired or in a hurry. Keep your cell phone in your pocket at all times so that if you find yourself pinned underneath a 7000 pound vehicle, you can call for help!!!

Don't rely on \"habit\" for safety either--make it a checklist practice.

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Al Navas
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Postby Al Navas » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 7:14AM

Holy cow, Dan! I am glad you are well and no injury! Thanks for the reminder to practice safety in our everyday lives.


Al

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Postby DaleKern » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 7:42AM

Dan,

I am grateful you were able to type this entry into the forum - that we all didn't hear about it from someone else...

Thank God indeed.

Your last line really sums it up perfectly, and could save countless injuries if followed:

\"Don't rely on \"habit\" for safety either--make it a checklist practice. \"

Dale
I have no business being in this business...

http://www.dalekern.com

Dennis G. Blackburn

hundreds of times?

Postby Dennis G. Blackburn » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 7:53AM

Dan - I am so glad you are OK and didn't get hurt.
BUT
Dan Says: \"Monday I was replacing the universal joints in my wife's Yukon XL. I had the vehicle's rear wheels on a ramp to give me enough clearance to remove the driveshaft.
Now, this is something I have done literally hundreds of times\"
Why would you have to replace the universal joints in this Yukon hundreds of times!!!! :lol: :wink:

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DanEpps
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Re: hundreds of times?

Postby DanEpps » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 8:13AM

Dennis G. Blackburn wrote:...Why would you have to replace the universal joints in this Yukon hundreds of times!!!! :lol: :wink:


Not hundreds of times in the Yukon Dennis, just hundreds of times in my (recently exrtended) life. :lol: :wink:

Cars today have no method of lubricating anything, including universal joints. The u-joints were dry (no grease) and the needle bearings had turned to dust. The front u-joint even had broken bearing caps on it!

Thanks to everyone for the kind words. This post was not to ask for sympathy, but to raise everyone's awareness of the importance of safety in everything you do.

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Postby Mike Bowers » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 10:07AM

Dan I'm glad your alright, you made the hair on my neck stand up. Pretty scary incident. Bet you won't make that mistake again :shock:
Mike
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Perry Pravettone
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Postby Perry Pravettone » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 11:53AM

Glad your ok Dan. I did the same thing in my younger days; it was winter time so I was in the garage with the door shut. I was able to hold on to the tire long enough to slide out from under my Van as it rolled into the garage door. All that happen was it scared the hell out of me. Also those were the days before cell phones.

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Postby Rick Palechuk » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 2:12PM

I don't think we're done with you yet Fuzzy, so don't be scarin' us like that. :wink:

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DanEpps
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Re:

Postby DanEpps » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 2:53PM

Rick Palechuk wrote:I don't think we're done with you yet Fuzzy, so don't be scarin' us like that. :wink:


That is sort of what I told my wife--there is something left for me to do on this earth and when the time is right, God will let me know what it is. :D

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Lee Morris
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Postby Lee Morris » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 3:48PM

Dan
After almost being crushed, I don't know if I would have been able to chase the Yukon and jump in! Glad you're safe. We make so many right decsions in one day, but its the one wrong decision that can undo all of them.
Lee
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every problem looks like a nail.

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Paul Ellis
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Postby Paul Ellis » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 5:04PM

Dan

Don't you dare go chicken out on me (read 'all of us') now. Who do you think
we will then be giving sh**? Just glad you are ok.

AND THANK YOU FOR THE WAKEUP CALL!
Paul Ellis

"If it works, don't fix it"

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Al Navas
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Postby Al Navas » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 5:33PM

.


Paul,

What ARE you doing up at midnight???

Duhhh!!!! I bet the party just broke up... 8)



Al



.

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Paul Ellis
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Postby Paul Ellis » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 5:46PM

Al,
Its you that kept me up with all your mails. I just had to go to all the references and read absolutely everything!
AND I am still busy!
(Oh and the party is only on Sunday!)
Paul Ellis

"If it works, don't fix it"

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Al Navas
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Postby Al Navas » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 5:49PM

Great! Hope something is of some use to you, Paul. Get some sleep, so you CAN party on Sunday.


Al

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Jeremy Schiffer
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Postby Jeremy Schiffer » Fri, Aug 31 2007, 8:41PM

Wow Dan, I'm glad you're okay!
The good thing about the replacement U joints is that you can grease them. The good thing about near-misses like that is you never repeat them again. Makes you look at just about everything you do in a new way.
Being skinny is handy sometimes, eh? :wink:
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