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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #1  
Old 06-26-2008
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Dieselbird01 Dieselbird01 is offline
John Wyatt – Administrator/Moderator
 
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Default Safely working under a coach?

Hi All,

John (Iamflagman) Finn suggested that I start a thread on safely working under a coach so here it is.

I personally am not comfortable telling people how to safely support their coach so I just say "make sure it's properly supported".

It would be nice to have some examples or standards to go by but with so many different chassis configurations and circumstances it seems like it could be a liability issue if something went wrong.

John (Iamflagman) posted the picture below showing the use of jack stands in another Thread. See
http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.co...ead.php?t=1152





While this does appear to be a safe way to support a coach I was concerned that someone may take a look at this picture but overlook the printed instructions on it so I asked John (Iamflagman) the following questions in a private email.

Hi John,

“Do you think there's any chance that someone might overlook the written instructions about raising the vehicle, look at the picture, and think he just has to slide a couple of jack stands under the axle to protect himself?

To me the picture looks like the tires are flat on the bottom and still sitting on the ground. Do you think there needs to be something added to draw attention to the fact that the tires have to be far enough off of the ground so that even with the air down there is a safety zone under the bus?“

This was the reply I got from John (Iamflagman)

John,
You bring out a very important point and I think that you should ask this same question on the forum, as any discussion about safety can only bring out more good and bad points about the topic.

Please start a new thread on the topic and use that same picture if you would like to by adding it to your post to use as a reference point. Adding a comment to Gardner's thread would be fine, but starting a new thread would put the main focus on safety and where you could make your point more focused on the topic of the thread.

David Brady has some good ideas about the same topic and maybe he will bring those to that Safety thread.

Thanks for bringing it up.

So per John (Iamflagman) here's the new Thread ..... open for suggestions on safely working under a coach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamflagman View Post
When it comes to the proper and safe way to support your 'Bird while working under it we as the administrators of the Wanderlodge Owners Group Forum accept no responsibility for the use of ideas or instructions or related material posted here on the forum.
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1991 40' WB ...From 2008 - Present
1984 ½ PT-36 .From 2000 - 2008
1973 FC-31 .....From 1991 - 2001

Last edited by Dieselbird01; 06-27-2008 at 10:25 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2010
Jim Harvie Jim Harvie is offline
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There seems to be some confusion about where to put those jack stands while working under your coach. Placing them under the axle, will get you killed!, Make sure you support the frame itself!
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  #3  
Old 03-15-2010
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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Jim, That is something that really should be discussed in some considerable depth. I don't really intend to be under the bus (so to speak) and I think I understand ruffly what is required but it wouldn't hurt to have some place on the forum that covers this in detail for people so inclined. Perhaps there already is and I am unaware of it. I know that people in fact have been killed doing what should have been simple repairs under the bus. I am thinking detailed pictures and specific steps on how to safely set up a bus to be gone under. I tend to think at my age and experience level it's best to let the young fellows down the street who have a pit do that stuff.
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubblerboy64 View Post
I am thinking detailed pictures and specific steps on how to safely set up a bus to be gone under.
Jacking and supporting instructions would be very helpful to me and a lot of others too, I suspect. I am used to raising and supporting cars from amateur auto racing days, but a bus is a whole new thing altogether. I'm going to be living in my bus full time and don't have the luxury of a shop. I don't minding buying a heavy duty jack and jack stands, but would like to find a solution that doesn't take up a whole storage bay. Do I need 2 jack stands, or 4? What weight rating?

I remember reading that someone made "ramps" out of 2x12's of different lengths nailed together? Is that a workable alternative to a jack and jack stands for most tasks that don't require getting the wheels off the ground?

Or if someone can point me to a thread on this I can look there--I'm just not very proficient using the search function.
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2010
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John Wyatt – Administrator/Moderator
 
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Default Safely working under a coach

We tried to get a thread going about safely working under a coach back in 2008 but it didn't take off - maybe this new discussion will revive it.

Here is the old thread:
http://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1166&highlight=safety
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1991 40' WLWB-WTB
Body Number F095567
My Location: http://www.bbirdmaps.com/user1.cfm?user=4

1991 40' WB ...From 2008 - Present
1984 ½ PT-36 .From 2000 - 2008
1973 FC-31 .....From 1991 - 2001
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2010
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gcyeaw gcyeaw is offline
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I hate to introduce this, but it is a major reality. If I tell you how to support a coach and you get hurt using my instructions, I am liable for a big lawsuit. So I and others must be very careful to state that "this is how I do it", but not tell them that this is how they should do it.

That said, I would prefer a level surface that is capable of supporting the coach weight on the surface area of the jack stand base. I would prefer wheel chocks of a design that reduced any possibility of slippage. The ones that are used on fire trucks come to mind. Although they are very expensive, they should be very effective. Having a 'fail safe' kind of support in addition to the primary method is a real good idea. If you are using jack stands, consider the use of large wood blocks or other structurally sound materials to insure that if the coach slips off the stands, there is a secondary support to protect the person under the coach.

Some do-not's include:

Do not use the leveling jacks as a trusted support. They are not designed for working under the coach. A failure will result in an immediate drop of the coach, on you!

Do not trust the air suspension to stay up if you are under the coach. It does not have a fail-safe system to protect you.

Think very carefully about what you intend to do under the coach. If it could result in undesirable movement of the coach, have you compensated for that in your support plan.

Make sure your jack stands are properly rated for the weight of your coach.

Think very hard about the consequences of a failure of the support mechanism you are using before placing yourself ' in harms way '.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2010
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I think it was Randy who once told me he knew a guy that would work under his bus dragging an old wheel around beside him as he worked. I'm assuming he had properly supported the bus and this wheel was an additional safety measure just in case the bus came down.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2010
ejallison1 ejallison1 is offline
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Default Jackstand Placement

Jim or anyone else,
Where on the bus frame do you place your jackstands? Details please! I have read articles/post concerning having the properly rated jackstands and that a rating is for a matched pair-not for each individual jack.

Front:

12ton rated pair of jackstands (2) would carry 24,000 #'s. For the front of my PT 40 a 12 ton rated pair (2) of jacks would seem appropriate.

Rear:
For the rear could two pairs of 12 ton (4) rated jackstands be used? (I'm not talking about putting all four on one axle but on the frame-say one pair behind the tag and another pair in front of of the drive wheels)
That would give 48000 #'s of carrying load for the rear of coach and 24,000 #,s for front. Would that seem acceptable?

Obviously bus would have to be level and on a surface that could support the weight and HWH levelers would be down as well.
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcyeaw View Post
I hate to introduce this, but it is a major reality. If I tell you how to support a coach and you get hurt using my instructions, I am liable for a big lawsuit. So I and others must be very careful to state that "this is how I do it", but not tell them that this is how they should do it.
When it comes to the proper and safe way to support your 'Bird while working under it we as the administrators of the Wanderlodge Owners Group Forum accept no responsibility for the use of ideas or instructions or related material posted here on the forum.
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  #10  
Old 03-17-2010
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Thanks to all. This is very helpful. A few questions, with the caveat that I am asking how others have worked under their bus.

What about an FC or SP36--around 35,000 lbs or 10,000 less than a PT40. Do people that have work on coaches like this use a pair of 10 or 12 ton jackstands on the front and another on the rear? Or do they really use four jackstands just on the back?

And I am still confused about ratings--does a 10 ton rating mean that EACH jackstand is rated to support ten tons--or half of that load on each stand?

Finally, it seems to me that a lot of the work I will be doing under the bus will not require that the wheels be lifted off the ground--I will just need enough clearance to get under it. I am still interested in the comment I saw recently where someone had made some "ramps" out of different lengths of 2x12's nailed together. This would seem to me to be a cost-efficient way to be able to move and look around under the bus without having to jack it up. Has anyone made anything like this? How many pieces of wood did you use, and how long were they?

Any reason not to use ramps, if you are on level ground and set the brakes properly? What about ramps AND jackstands too?
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