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 Post subject: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 613
http://kplr11.com/2017/02/25/volunteer-fatally-wounded-in-accident-at-museum-of-transportation/

(KPLR) - The Museum of Transportation is mourning the death of a volunteer after what they are calling a tragic accident

The museum's president says Eric Hesselbarth died Thursday from a head injury.

He was working on restoring a 1937 milk delivery truck and while filling up the tires, one of them exploded. A piece of the wheel hit Hesselbarth in the head.

Hesselbarth had been volunteering with the museum for over ten years.

The area where the accident happened has been closed.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:28 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:36 pm
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Wow such a tragic way to loose your life doing something as simple as filling a tire. Those man killer rims earned their name with blood.

I remember as a boy my dad teaching me about those rims on our 53 Ford dump truck. He had a special air chuck that would clamp on with the hose disconnected, then he would go back to the air compressor and connect the hose with the pressure turned down until he knew it was safe.

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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:12 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 822
Like most things, there is a right (safer) way to perform the task, and a wrong (quick) way.

Having dealt with hundreds of multi-piece wheels and rims, there are two-piece and three-piece types out there. I have an antique truck with 2-piece wheels.

Any truck tire service company has a strong steel cage in which the tire and wheel are placed before adding air. Hook up the air chuck, get back away from it, and turn on the air. If it blows apart, the steel cage contains the parts.

Without a cage, run a good chain through one of the handholes in the wheel, around the tire and wheel, and hook it tightly. In fact, do two, if you have two chains. Hook up the chuck, get away from it, and turn on the air. If it blows apart, the chains will keep everything from flying.

In either case, once all the parts of the wheel have seated, the biggest danger is now safely behind you.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Posts: 549
Location: B'more Maryland
Forgive me for not knowing. But why did they design these things to, essentially, be booby traps?


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:36 pm
Posts: 197
My guess is the tires of the day were too stiff(think old bias ply) to get over the bead so the bead was a separate piece.

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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:03 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9253
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Ed Kapuscinski wrote:
Forgive me for not knowing. But why did they design these things to, essentially, be booby traps?

In theory, one could make the same claim about steam locomotives. You know, if you don't stay atop the water level on the crownsheet.......

There is a right and wrong way to work on anything, and passing on these safety rules and procedures while not either wrapping everyone in bubble wrap or paralyzing them with fear is part of not only safety training but institutional memory, not just in our railroad shops but in trade schools, shop classes, and even online videos everywhere. Any of us can watch perhaps one video a week on "America's Dumbest Home Videos" and end up jumping up from the chair screaming at whoever is in the video "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, STOP!!!!!" (Fortunately, so far the TV networks balk at showing us the fatal errors.....)

I remain flabbergasted at how often I have to stop someone, even total strangers, from doing something potentially dangerous like trying to remove lug nuts from the wheel of a car raised precariously on a teetering jack, simply because they lack what used to be "common sense" often taught by first-hand experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:59 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2442
Location: Northern Illinois
sousakerry wrote:
My guess is the tires of the day were too stiff(think old bias ply) to get over the bead so the bead was a separate piece.


Indeed. The tires were stiff, and back in the day of iron men and all that BS a lot of the mounting out in the hinterlands was done with nothing more than a couple tire irons... no fixture, no power assist (except a sledge).

These wheel rims work, except when they get worn or damaged. As the years go on, more of them are worn or damaged.

A story... Back when I worked for the transit authority, I had the one and only safety man who was worth a damn... didn't harp on piddly stuff, and would go to bat and not back down when management started complaining that the safety procedures requested would cost too much. I got to talking to him one day, and asked him why he wasn't the typical company issued safety man. He responded with this story... His dad had worked for the company for about twenty five years in the Utility Dept... those were the people who went out to change flat tires on buses on the street, among other things. One day his dad was in the shop mounting tires, which were 11 x 22.5 IIRC, and questioned using a damaged rim. His boss ordered him to get on with the program and use it. Later he was loading the newly mounted tires onto the wreckers... he threw one up on the truck, and when it bounced, the ring blew off and hit him in the face. It was the same wheel rim he had objected to. He was totally blind, and had been on disability pension for about six years when I talked to his son, who vowed he would NEVER let a man be put in that position if he could help it. A good guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:15 am
Posts: 546
No idea why this one popped, and don't want to start a guessing game of blame in this tragedy.

An older gentleman taught me how to do it correctly (for 2 piece rims). The reason why most blow is because people rush. It can be done safely without a cage. He survived in business till 80 years old, never using a cage (doing passenger, light truck, heavy truck and farm tires), and never had one blow up on him while using a push on filler. He was one of the last in the area that would do 2 piece rims, and at the end only if he knew you or you were sent to him by a friend.

Here was his process: after the rim was cleaned (including wire brushing the groove)
---Use push on air fitting, no lock-ons.
1. Put rim on the table or floor
2. Put tire over rim
3. Install liner
4. Install tube with valve core removed
5. Fill tube, and run hand between tube and tire to get out bubbles
6. Finish liner install and push down tire till it is below ring groove (preferably till it grabs on the inner rim)
7. Use hook pick to make sure groove is clean, wipe groove with cloth, check with finger.
8. Install ring so it is centered and sitting in the groove (if the ring has been stretched from removal, you should be able to see where the flat spot is, so you can tweak out the flat. You should not be able to remove the ring without spreading the gap between the ends.
9. Put in 15 psi to seat the ring
10. Install valve core and refill to 15 psi
11. Hammer against ring with wood or nylon hammer (straight down, no need to hit at an angle), this is to make sure it is sitting in the groove evenly, start from one end and work your way around.
12. Increase pressure by 5psi and hammer twice around ring (every 6")
13. Repeat #12 until you are at proper pressure

13a. Watch the gap between the ends of the ring, if it doesn't decrease every time you complete a loop with the hammer, stop and find out why it is hanging up. You may have to drain the tire, remove the ring and start back at step 7.

The main reason the tires blow (short of reusing bad rims, bad tires, bad tubes, or over pressurizing) is the ring gets stuck and builds up stress. When the stress finally exceeds the friction, then the ring gets launched. If you lay the tire down then the ring pretty much centers itself, if you fill the tire while it is standing (like in a tire cage) then gravity holds the ring off center. If I remember correctly, back when the guy had a garage, he had a thick rubber mat on the floor where he did the tires (IIRC 1/2"-3/4" thick), probably so he didn't beat the concrete into the rim or scuff the tire.

A few drops of lube in the bead groove of the tire also helps, (1 drop of light oil or light smear of Vaseline every 7-12 inches)

Rich C.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:27 am
Posts: 558
Location: Winters, TX
So was the volunteer aware of the dangers with this particular type of rim? Granted that he was 70 years old, but maybe he never dealt with this type of wheel.

Regardless, my sympathy goes out to his family and friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:45 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:44 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Fort Worth Texas
Tire machines have obsoleted split rims. Nobody in the general public should be exposed or even around them, since single welded rims have replaced them for any vehicle. The historical fabric arugement is wrong also, take them off by a qualified person and set them on display next to whatever. We had a split rim come apart stored on a wheel rack with tire that had set for two years. After the safety investigation over seven thousand wheels were replaced on ground equipment. Airplane tires and wheels are still split rim , but only qualified and trained mechanics work on them and not the general public. The tire cages work for saving life , but still fingers can be cut off if a tire blows up. Aircraft wheels are bolted together , but before they are disassembled a hole is drilled in the tire to make sure no pressure is there. They also nitrogen up to over 175 psi. Mktjames


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 613
To be clear, do we know this was a split or multi piece rim?

Retaining ring type rims are still pretty common on older equipment, and from what I can tell, they aren't terribly hazardous. The 'real' killers were the multi piece rims. There were at least dozens and probably more of rim designs over the years. Many of them are basically crazy looking. As for the idea they should all be pulled off and more modern rims put on, is that even possible all of the time? I would assume on old stuff, modern style rims may have not been made to fit the wheel.

It's also worth noting, that some of these rims can be fairly safe UNTIL they get low on air, so when they get low, you should not assume that just because they have been together, that they can just be aired up. Also notable that tires can and do explode while being aired up due to age and condition.

I would say it may be prudent for all of our organizations to audit their wheels and come up with safe procedures based on what's on it. Even places that are not 'museums of transportation' often have historical equipment either on display or in service, or in storage.


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:06 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Oroville, CA
Retaining ring rims are necessary because the wheel has no drop center. Modern tire beads do not stretch, so a drop rim is needed to provide the clearance to fit the bead over the permanent rim. Power tire changers just make the job easier.
If everything is in good condition and properly assembled, they are safe, but that's a big IF, and safety rules are pretty well-defined (although not always followed) for installing them.

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David Dewey
Celebrating the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:20 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:52 pm
Posts: 914
Hi,

[img]Forgive%20me%20for%20not%20knowing.%20But%20why%20did%20they%20design%20these%20things%20to,%20essentially,%20be%20booby%20traps?[/img]

This is where many do the same as you. They think in terms of today's technology and try to apply it to the past when the thinking was different.

For instance, how many OSHA unsafe installations of belt driven machine shops can you think of. They were grandfathered past OSHA since there have been in constant use since before OSHA was created.

In the early 1800s the belt driven machine shop or textile factories were cutting edge of NEW technology.

The same thing applies to the tire that exploded. At one time it was a cutting edge design - better than anything else out there.

Please do not take this as my trying to hurt you. I'm trying to get you to consider other angles. If you feel I'm full of crud, please feel free to ignore this.

Doug vV


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:45 am
Posts: 84
Very disturbing to hear of this tragedy! One of my first mechanic jobs was about 4 1/2 years as a fleet mechanic on a fleet of about 100 school busses. These all had the split ring style tires on them. It was crazy, but one of the first jobs they gave a new kid was to "Beat tires". This was using a sledge hammer to break down the bead and get the tire far enough down to be able to pry the ring off. It was tough work, and we did have a cage.

I was always cautious of them, and particularly when mounting tires to the wheel assemblies and tightening them down. We used to use impact wrenches, but I would always stand aside and only have my hand in the line of fire in case the ring would let loose. Some guys would get down in a catchers position right in front of the wheel as it was easier to hold the impact wrench. I would always warn them of the chance they were taking. The rim was being placed under stress as you tightened the lug nuts, and on these kind of wheels, the amount you tightened each lug made a difference in how true the tire assembly was on the wheel. We used to place an object, on the ground, (spray can, etc.) and rotate the tire to see how true it was running and adjust them accordingly. This was mostly the front tires as on the rear tires, the ring faced inward on the outside dual tire. I did see one ring come off on a tire in the cage, and one that came off while the bus was on the highway going into a curve. That one really could have been a real cause of an accident.

Later we ended up having a tire company do our tire work, and they never used a cage, but aired them up flat on the ground. I stayed away, but I was always careful of them at any time I was near them.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Fatal accident at the St. Louis Museum of Transportation
PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:43 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 341
Location: Oroville, CA
Doug,
I was not promoting the use of these rims, just explaining why they came about, and their nature. To avoid having them on one's equipment, you have to find drop center wheels that will fit your equipment; not always possible; sometimes the brake drum is too large to provide any room for the drop center. If that can't be done, then one has to respect the technology and follow the safety procedures required. It is a tragedy that a volunteer lost his life because of this wheel design, and not understanding their inherent danger.

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Steamcerely,
David Dewey
Celebrating the return to the American Rivers of the last overnight steamboat, Delta Queen!


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