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Author Topic: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...  (Read 2627 times)

Wittsend

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A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« on: June 22, 2022, 10:52:58 AM »

Taken from our local paper:-

Quote
A father-of-two died after a vehicle he was working under fell and crushed him, a court was told.

James McKenna, 47, who came from King's Lynn, was working on a Ford Ka in the rear garden of his home in Hospital Drove, Long Sutton, when the accident happened.

An inquest at Lincolnshire County Council's offices at Gilbert Drove in Boston heard the car shifted sideways when Mr McKenna used force with a spanner on June 29, 2021.

Mr McKenna’s widow Sally and his parents, Barry and Rosslyn, heard senior coroner Paul Cooper formally conclude that the death was as the result of an accident.

In a written statement heard in court, Mrs McKenna said her husband had gone out to start dismantling the car for scrap at 9.30am.

When he hadn’t come back into the house by 2.30pm to get ready to pick up their teenage children from school she went to look for him.

“I saw James’s legs protruding from under the front of the Ka,” she said. “His legs didn’t move and James didn’t respond to me calling out."

Mr McKenna was pronounced dead at the scene, with a later post mortem finding that he had died from traumatic asphyxia.

Jordan Eagle, a friend of Mr McKenna’s, went to remove the car that night at Mrs McKenna’s request but found it tough to budge.

He then saw the axle stand under the middle of the car, bent and embedded in the soft ground.

In a statement, he said he thought Mr McKenna had been using a spanner to help remove the catalytic convertor and the car had shifted when he used force, causing the axle stand to move and sink, and the car to fall off its jacks.

The coroner said it had been a “tragic accident”, adding: “You can always look back in hindsight and say if he'd been underneath the car on harder ground, he might still be here.
But unfortunately you can’t turn back the clock.”



Please be careful and check the stability of the vehicle, especially if using a jack.
If using a jack, don't go under - use quality axle stands on firm, flat ground.


 :RHD
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Worf

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2022, 11:21:05 AM »

I always sling a couple of spare wheels under the vehicle (if I remember!)
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Matt Reeves

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2022, 11:49:51 AM »

And never use breeze/cinder blocks under a vehicle :shakeinghead
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Eve

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2022, 12:00:05 PM »

That's very sad.

It's a shame the Ka doesn't have the same ground clearance as a Series. If it did he could have removed the cat without needing to jack up the vehicle.

We are lucky we can do a lot of maintenance jobs under our vehicles while they are sat on their wheels.
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autorover1

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2022, 12:23:04 PM »

A well known member of the LRSOC was killed by his own vehicle, so be very very careful working under any vehicle , and remember if you jack up a rear wheel on a Series LR, the vehicle can roll , and even in 4x4 it can move enough to dislodge a axle stand.
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Genem

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2022, 12:46:30 PM »

A good friend was killed in similar circumstances last year. The vehicle was on ramps, rolled back and crushed him. That he was found by his partners young teenage daughter made the incident all the worse. 
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scotty

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2022, 01:01:01 PM »

I also had a friend who was killed in a similar way over 30 years ago, he was working on his JPS Capri at the bottom of there garden and was found the next morning underneath it, his girlfriend new he was at home  and his parents thought he was at his girlfriends. very sad outcome for all, and something i will never forget,  even if I'm jacking a vehicle up for a short time i always do it on hard standing and use axle stands and chock the wheels. Paul
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w3526602

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2022, 06:41:39 AM »

Hi,

NAAFI break at one on my RAF stations, one of my mates was walking to the crew room, when he heard a squeak from underneath a Standard Vanguard that was over a pit.

Investigation revealed one of the boys, in the pit, with one ear resting on a pit board. The car's back axle was resting on his other ear ... with the jack slowly sinking.

He was lucky!

Personally, I would be happier if there were jacking pads under the centres of both LR axles, so the car lifted without tilting, and substatial purpose built, trestles, that could be slid across, under both chassis rails. Once stability, in all four directions, is established, any of the four wheels could be lifted or dropped a small amount, without affecting stability.

The Mk,2 version would have a double trestle, standing on four bogeys, so it can be moved around. Probably not a good idea on a sloping floor.

602
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Romahomepete

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2022, 10:42:37 AM »

55 years ago I remember extricating the lad next door (an apprentice mechanic) from under the rear of his sisters mini.  He had been sorting the rear brakes and had it up on the jack supplied with the car.  He was sat on the ground with his legs under the car.  He was too enthusiastic when trying to remove the brake drum and the car came off the jack trapping his legs.  He was very fortunate to get away with cuts and severe bruising but he was unable to walk for a few weeks and had to be off work.  I ended up finishing the job but I supported the car on blocks of wood and pushed the sparewheel and that road wheel under as belt and braces.

I am about to service our camper, it will be up in the air on axle stands, the 2 trolley jacks will still be in placee and there will be other secondary supports "just in case"

Peter
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Wittsend

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2022, 11:37:40 AM »

The quality of jacks supplied with cars has declined over the years - not that they were much good any way. What with jacking points rusted away in the sills - pre MoT days  :shakeinghead

Today's jacks will lift the vehicle to allow a wheel to be changed (just).
 :-\ It's not safe to put any part of you under the vehicle.
As posted above ^^^ it's a good idea to shove a spare wheel under the vehicle just in case.
Also - you're not doing an F1 pit stop.
Take your time and check.

Stay safe ...

 :RHD
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GHOBHW

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2022, 12:13:58 PM »

i always stack mine with bricks and wood on the chassis rails, along with anything else i can hold it up with, i use the solid paver bricks, really strong, even bricks have gotten worse though somehow, compared to the old solid bricks of the 1930s. good for if youre changing axles etc

the best jacks ive ever used, have been the discovery 1 jacks.
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Romahomepete

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2022, 12:15:52 PM »

On our offroading trip last saturday we had to help a chap in a discovery just after the ford at Goats bridge.  It wa his second trip out and he had a puncture.  The supplied disco bottle jack wouldnt lift it high enough to change the tyre.  The tyres werent suitable for the trip up Fremmington Edge (which he had already done) or the track down Goats bridge.

Peter
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GHOBHW

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2022, 12:21:06 PM »

On our offroading trip last saturday we had to help a chap in a discovery just after the ford at Goats bridge.  It wa his second trip out and he had a puncture.  The supplied disco bottle jack wouldnt lift it high enough to change the tyre.  The tyres werent suitable for the trip up Fremmington Edge (which he had already done) or the track down Goats bridge.

Peter

well, thats true for series as well, with the disco jacks, i always stack 2 solid pavers under it, to give it the height to even take the wheel off. but they are strong :RHD
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autorover1

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2022, 12:39:48 PM »

I was always advised that bricks are not suitable support as they can take little bending loads and stacking dry will virtually always put on a bending load . I use axle stands and large pieces of timber , joist ends and such , plus the spare if practical
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Romahomepete

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Re: A salutary warning about working under our vehicles ...
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2022, 12:55:59 PM »

I have a jack for my land rover that looked like the disco guys jack but mine has a double lift ram, his was just a single lift

I also carry another bottle jack

Peter

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