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Old 07-25-2011, 01:16 PM   #1
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HWH Jacks Again - Folded on their own

I just had a call from my repair shop owner. Our Newmar Dutch Star was in for a new brake line and the owner's son was working on it with the jacks extended. Apparently the jacks folded and injured him quite badly! What would make the jacks fold on their own? How can I fix this? I feel really terrible about this!

This is a 35' - 1996 model
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:22 PM   #2
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What model HWH jacks? Ours don't fold so no way for it to happen.
We have a DSDP and the rams are straight acting rated at 12,000#'s each.
I store the rig on the jacks with the front wheels off the ground for months and have never had it move. BUT, if he had the rear wheels off the ground then it's possible for it to roll. NOW, if that's what happened it pure stupidity on his part. The manual says never to lift the rear tires off the ground as that's what the parking brakes act on.
Not your fault, he did an unsafe thing and any damage to your rig is THEIR FAULT for not following the instructions.
More details would help though.
Did he lift the rear tires off the ground?
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panacea97 View Post
I just had a call from my repair shop owner. Our Newmar Dutch Star was in for a new brake line and the owner's son was working on it with the jacks extended. Apparently the jacks folded and injured him quite badly! What would make the jacks fold on their own? How can I fix this? I feel really terrible about this!

This is a 35' - 1996 model
Sorry to hear the owners son was injured while working under your coach but he should have been using jack stands to insure that the coach wouldn't fall on him. HWH does state not to use the jacks to raise the coach off the ground.

If he was working on a brake line he might have loosened one of the hydraulic lines to the jacks causing them to retract.

Hopefully he will have a full recovery.

Jon
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:30 PM   #4
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I don't know what he did. All he said was that his son was working on it with the Jacks down and the jacks retracted. I will have to find out what he did. It didn't occur to me that he may not have had it chocked properly or had the back wheels off of the ground. He is a mechanic that works on large trucks, motorhomes, etc!
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:39 PM   #5
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Anyone that crawls under a vehicle on a jack or jacks without blocking or the use of jack stands, is foolish.

I feel sorry for the person injured and hope he fully recovers; however, you can feel empathetic, but do not allow yourself to feel responsible. A mechanic is responsible for going about their work safely.
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:42 PM   #6
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Apparently he is back at work today but was banged up as the coach fell when he was under the spare tire. I agree that he should have been more careful but, of course, feel terrible that he was injured working on my coach.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:12 PM   #7
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I am sorry to hear that someone was injured. But, the owner should have a shop safety procedure to place the coach on hard fixed stands before he allows anyone under the coach. This is an OSHA reportable accident.

How they collapsed??? Either someone hit the button or the valve block failed and leaked back. Another scenario is that the coach was not level and it rocked forward on the jack. I have seen this happen.

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Old 07-25-2011, 05:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TXiceman
I am sorry to hear that someone was injured. But, the owner should have a shop safety procedure to place the coach on hard fixed stands before he allows anyone under the coach. This is an OSHA reportable accident.

How they collapsed??? Either someone hit the button or the valve block failed and leaked back. Another scenario is that the coach was not level and it rocked forward on the jack. I have seen this happen.

Ken
I agree he should have been using shop jacks not your LEVELING Jacks, it's not OSHA reportable unless the shop has 11 or more employees, the employee received more than first aid or lost work time beyond the day of injury.

Either way, shop Safety was not in this young mans mind or it would have been on rated stands.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:27 PM   #9
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Make sure whoever works on your rigs have insurance. Ask for a certificate of insurance. If they refuse, run away. It's just like letting someone work on your home without insurance. He gets hurt he sues you. You can't be too carefull anymore. It's a shame, but that's how the world goes around now.
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romeo View Post
Anyone that crawls under a vehicle on a jack or jacks without blocking or the use of jack stands, is foolish.

I feel sorry for the person injured and hope he fully recovers; however, you can feel empathetic, but do not allow yourself to feel responsible. A mechanic is responsible for going about their work safely.
Ditto. It's terrible to hear but I'm glad he's going to be ok. I'm betting there are a LOT of "professionals" out there using this same dangerous practice.

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Old 07-25-2011, 06:50 PM   #11
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Are they the older swinging type jacks? These fold up flat against the underbody rather than having a straight acting ram. Still waiting for an answer to this question.
I've NEVER had a straight acting ram fail unless pushing a button to store them is called a "failure". And as I previously stated, I store our DSDP for months at a time with the front tires completely off the the ground.
The folding ones can indeed fold up BUT ONLY if the chassis isn't properly blocked and the rear wheels are raised off the ground with out properly chocking the front tires. My parents had those jacks on their old 1983 Foretravel.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:09 PM   #12
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Are they the older swinging type jacks? These fold up flat against the underbody rather than having a straight acting ram. Still waiting for an answer to this question.
I've NEVER had a straight acting ram fail unless pushing a button to store them is called a "failure". And as I previously stated, I store our DSDP for months at a time with the front tires completely off the the ground.
The folding ones can indeed fold up BUT ONLY if the chassis isn't properly blocked and the rear wheels are raised off the ground with out properly chocking the front tires. My parents had those jacks on their old 1983 Foretravel.


Yes they are the older swing type jacks. I have only had them fold once and that was when the motorhome rocked forward during very muddy conditions in a rainstorm.

I can't believe that this mechanic would be using the jacks without having blocks or something else under the chassis to prevent an accident like this! This is a licensed mechanic shop that does a huge amount of business on all types of vehicles!

After reading all of the replies I realize that it was indeed the mechanic's fault for not taking the proper precautions. I'm going to make sure that there was no damage to the jacks through his actions! Thanks everyone!

Barbara
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:35 PM   #13
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It's too bad that someone was injured but I'd consider this his fault. Things happen, but he should have known better. Now if there had been an earthquake and it slid of the blocks or jackstands that's an act of God, anything else is an unsafe act.
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