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FatJackDurham

Why am I so careless?

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I've turned one tractor over in my lifetime - it's been wheel weights and fluid in those tires ever since and never even come close to happening again . Now , the old Samurai I used to own - we flipped that thing so many times it was almost just a routine - never damaged it too bad due to the light weight but quite a few Sunday afternoon repairs so it could get me to work on Monday....lol . Between being an off-roader for so many years and working Construction I've seen the results of not thinking things through or not using the right equipment to do the job - have seen quite a few people get hurt as well as myself pretty badly in '06 . To this day I won't work around chains that are holding a load , lol .

 

My ex-brother in law's sister flipped a JD lawn tractor a few years ago and lost most of her right arm when the mower blades got her - the safety switch in the seat failed to shut the engine off and when it blew up she got burned from some of the hot engine oil . Her neighbor saw it happen thankfully and got her an ambulance as well as got the hot tractor off her . Lawyers are still trying to work that one out and she's mostly back in one piece , although quite different looking now .

 

If you're having to deal with slopes and conditions that are making it dangerous to mow - might want to consider adding chains as well - I run them on mine due to a bad hill and some ditches - never slip and no damage to the turf . A lot of folks fear tearing up the grass but it's better to have the traction versus being under a tractor....and damage to the grass is so minimal it's worth it .

 

Sarge

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Or let the steep slopes go "Back To Nature"

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Sarges' story about his ex-brother in laws sister jogged my memory on a statistic I could not believe.

 

It's probably worth it's own thread about allowing toddlers and children around our beloved riding mowers.

13,000 children were treated for lawn mower injuries in 2015.

"more than half of those admitted to a hospital with injuries from lawn mowers underwent an amputation, usually in the lower extremities."

 

Personally, I don't let the grandkids around the mowers until I would hand them a Red Ryder BB gun for unsupervised use. :auto-ambulance:

 

 

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It's staggering how many little kids get hurt by lawn tractors and push mowers , you'd think people would be a lot more aware of the hazards in our modern society compared to years past .

 

Another odd one - I used to be a Utilities locator at one time for a contract outfit from MN called NORAM . We had a company-wide bulletin come over the pagers to call in about telephone locates for GTE....stop using the steel wire flags and get to the office asap for replacements . The old flags were made of a pretty stout wire to help poke them into rocky soil and clays - they worked well but if someone hit it with a mower....ugh . I'd imagine most times they just built up on the mower blade/shaft and didn't do any real harm - at least not to the operator . But , a gal wearing flip-flops was using a push mower and nearly cut off both legs at the ankle - GTE put out a bulletin nationwide to stop using those flags since some serious liability was coming their way via the lawyers . This was back in the early 90's and I never did find out how she made out - but we were stuck with those plastic flags for 3yrs and we all hated them . Had to make up a poker rod to add onto the marking paint stick handle , then made 30+ more for the other guys in the company . I see now in recent years they went back to the steel wire style flags , but the wire is definitely a lot softer and not the same gauge size as before - guess that's their solution .

 

I have somewhat about the same luck around here - bashed a finger badly cracking those allen headed bolts loose on the D's hydro pump with the bracing on the right side foot rest , then repeated the same injury about 1/8" from the first one again a week later on the second round with that pump . Can't get the dumb thing to heal since it split part of the nail bed on the right index finger lengthwise . Probably should have had it stitched but too late now....as usual . I need to hunt around and get some suture packs , sulfa packs and silver oxide paste for my supplies here for "ouch" moments so I can keep working - customers get odd reactions to blood on their equipment for some reason...lol .

 

Sarge

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A HVAC mans first aid kits include napkins and duct tape . After you get the bleeding stopped and the wound to stay shut you apply superglue. Many of trips for stitches were fixed this way .

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Blood on a Wheelhorse is like camo👍 @Sarge We had a woman get struck in the face by one of those wire flags when she just happened to be driving by and a guy hit it with the mower. Her window was down at the time. Freak timing. I don't think she got hurt really bad but after that deflecter shields were a priority on inspections.  Also those flag wires do a number on tire sidewalls.

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7 minutes ago, 19richie66 said:

Blood on a Wheelhorse is like camo👍 @Sarge We had a woman get struck in the face by one of those wire flags when she just happened to be driving by and a guy hit it with the mower. Her window was down at the time. Freak timing. I don't think she got hurt really bad but after that deflecter shields were a priority on inspections.  Also those flag wires do a number on tire sidewalls.

 

That's a big reason why I've always prefered a Rear Discharge to a Side.  Tires are much easier to fix compared to someone face or eye.

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I absolutely agree - the wire flags were much faster to install and lasted longer , but the plastic was far safer for everyone else . The whole problem was when the industry went to contractors for the utilities - I averaged well over 100 tickets a day . Some I could write off as I had nothing in that district/area , but still visited at least 60-70 sites 5-6 days a week which made for some very long days . Add emergencies with broken water mains and cable hits or gas leaks - it was nearly impossible to keep up and we had a rotational on-call system where you had to be available 24/7 , I went out almost every night . My territory was 5 counties and included most of Peoria Metro - that section alone was a real pain with Cilco Gas/Electric since their system was in poor shape and their mapping was horrible . GTE across the region was almost as bad and Illinois Power Gas/Electric was really nice with their digitized maps that had good accuracy . We had pushed in the first year between my supervisor , myself and a company boss to get JULIE (Illinois one-call system) written into a mandatory law - had too many hits on fiber optic lines by homeowners since prior it wasn't mandatory - had a guy knock out the entire long-distance service to metro Peoria digging a hole for a lousy bush . That one wasn't GTE , but cost AT&T nearly 2.2 million - they joined in the lobbying effort to help us push the State to write the law and it passed easily .

 

In my opinion , the liability should be on the nut running the mower at least to some extent - you should never run over objects that are not grass or small twigs , the machine isn't designed for it . Those wire flags stick up at least a foot and have a brightly colored flag on top - why run it over with a mower ?? Plus , you're interfering with upcoming construction work that could impact local utilities on a huge scale . There are spots that have 4" high pressure gas lines running 1,000psi ,the fiber optic that feeds NORAD or even the communication link system to nuclear plants - these lines are not only critical but can be dangerous to hit . The folks doing the digging are expected and are liable to call in for a re-mark if the utility marks have been wiped out by age or mowing - that results in an emergency call back to the Locators and they have 2hrs to respond , which is a real problem if they have a large district and most commonly their territory is pretty large . At least in recent years the states and even the utilities themselves have had TV and other campaigns to inform the Public better about how important this stuff is - you really don't want that bill if you hit any line , let alone some that can easily kill you . North of me on a desolate country road is a feeder fiber that links NORAD to the Pentagon - no one is allowed anywhere near that line and twice I had the State Police involved when someone thought they could sneak in and get their work done without supervision . In many cases I was required by GTE to babysit their fiber lines and in some cases I dug up the lines and monitored the construction work to protect that line by order of GTE's local Managers - which put me off my route for the better part of a day and created a ripple effect of other Locators having to cover my territory and emergencies . The whole industry needs to evolve better and the utilities themselves need to invest into getting this stuff marked in a manner that doesn't put them at risk . The Laws have helped , but the utilites interest in it was to protect vital infrastructure and mostly their profits - that's why you'll see so many different contract companies doing locates over just the span of a few years - the come in and usually go out of business in a short time .

 

I do agree the plastic is a much better idea , but the extra time it takes to work with those flags results in Locators that can't keep up and the industry doesn't leave any room for that - the industry has to change one way or another . I'm surprised there haven't been more injuries and lawsuits from people getting hurt by those wire flags - one of those coming out of a mower discharge could be lethal at that speed . Not clear on why the industry went back to using them , probably due to the extra time it took to work with the plastic replacements - who knows....? Most people never know how those marks suddenly show up in their yard , who is doing the work and let alone why - they just suddenly appear out of nowhere . Many are quite surprised to find out what is actually underground on their property , especially in rural areas around here and elsewhere . Working construction means I have to deal directly with this stuff and I see some of the craziest results of an industry that hasn't evolved very well - nor upgraded nearly enough to keep up with demands and expansion . The amount of things buried in the ground over the last 75yrs is amazing - from the surface you'd never even know it , lol....

 

Sarge

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Infrastructure.

It is interesting to me that Microsoft and Facebook are in the trans continental fiber optic infrastructure business now.

It makes business sense. The mega-corporations are providing what used to be government scale projects.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/25/16359966/microsoft-facebook-transatlantic-cable-160-terabits-a-second

 

Back to the regularly scheduled bumps and bruises show.

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