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Thankful on Thanksgiving

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ccstrebe, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. ccstrebe

    ccstrebe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    I was going to post this in the "Access Problem" thread but since it got hijacked I'll start a new thread.

    Sorry for the long read, I'll try to keep it interesting.

    I'll start with a little background. Out at the track, when the face of a jump gets too rutted or worn down, I will lightly dig out the face of the jump with the bucket to loosen the dirt in order to fill the ruts and holes and then back drag any excess dirt. Next, I will pack the loosened dirt by going forward/backward with the CTL tracks on the face of the jump. As you can see in the track pictures, the jump faces are fairly steep. I need to raise the bucket so as to not run the bucket into the face of the jump while I am going back and forth, but when I do that, the bucket is in the way and I can't see what has been packed down and not packed down, so I have to raise the bucket above the cab so that I can see where I am going and where I have been.

    When I flipped/rolled the Case 450CT last year that is what I was doing. By having the bucket above the cab and going downhill backwards too fast, the physics were such that the 450CT started to flipped over backwards. It came to rest on it's backside with the front of the machine facing skyward. The scariest part was that even after turning off the key, the engine wouldn't shut down, it was sucking oil through the air filter breather hose as it drained from the engine being at that angle. It kept running and the cab was filling with oily exhaust smoke.

    Here I was, gravity pinning me into the seat like an astronaut getting ready for takeoff, trying to hold the door open with my foot so that I wouldn't choke to death on the smoke. I was able to climb out and jump to the ground without the machine falling over on its side.

    Now I'm running as fast as I can to get some chains to upright the machine, while it is still belching out thick black smoke and sounding like the engine is going to blow. Also, it is getting dark. After what seems like forever, but was only two or three minutes the engine finally dies, I'm hoping it is ok.

    At the time I had a Cat 930G out there, so I hook up a couple of chains to it and the skid and start to pull it forward. I am not able to center up like I wanted and the dang skid rolls over on its side as I try to pull it forward. I finally get it upright and try to start the engine but it wont turn over. It is too dark to do anything else so I go home and have a hard time sleeping, wondering if the engine is ok.

    The next day I go out there with a mechanic friend of mine and he thinks the engine is hydro locked from the oil draining into it. He knew a couple of tricks on how to un-hydro lock it with out breaking out any tools and it worked, it started right up.

    This little story leads up to what happened last week. I'm doing the back and forth thing with the Cat to pack down the dirt, but I'm not doing it on the steep takeoff of a jump, I'm doing it on the shallow angle of the landing of a jump. But those dang torsion bars on the suspended cab act like rubber bands and the Cat starts flipping over backward. The first thought that goes through my mind is "not again" and the second thought that goes through my mind is "I wonder how much damage there is going to be to my brand new kitty Cat". Learning from previous experience, I slam the bucket down hoping that it will stop flipping backward momentum, no such luck. The next thing I do as it continues flipping backward is to turn off the key, to my amazement the engine stops. Now I'm hunkering down and tightening up to getting ready for the wild ride. To my astonishment it stops, it doesn't flip upside down but I am now in a familiar position, I am once again getting ready for a moon launch and wondering what kept the machine from going all the way over.

    I am thankful that the engine shut down and that there is no smoke in the cab because I can't get the door to open, it is too heavy and too far away from me to get it open enough to stay open. I don't even know if it would stay open even if I got it opened. Next I pull the rip cord on the back window but the glass wont punch out. I'm not sure why it wont come out but I am not in a position to put a lot of effort into it either as I have to hold myself up with one of my hands using the grab bar on the door.

    The next paragraph is the reason for this post.

    Here I am, stuck in a moon shot position, having to use one hand to hold myself up while using the other hand to try to open the door or the back window. It is almost dark and there is no one around to help me and I keep having to shift arms to hold my self up and I am wondering how I am going to get out of this mess. Then it hit me. How do you think I got out?

    Thanks to Cats awesome window design and my awesome infamous ROPS modification, I effortlessly pulled out the front and back sliding windows and gently lowered myself to the ground hoping that the Cat didn't roll over on me, even though it seemed very stable. When I get out, the first thing I do is look to see why it stopped from going upside down. What I once thought was an ugly aspect of the machine is now what saved my machine. The Cat was in a perfect 3 point stand using the boom towers and the rear bumper. I quickly ran and got my F150 and a chain and hook them up hoping that this time it would not roll over on its side. A perfect touch down and not a scratch on the machine. I wanted to see if the engine would start but I figured I would wait until the next day just in case it got hydro locked like the 450CT did. I had a hard time sleeping that night wondering if the engine was ok. Went out the next afternoon and it started right up. I feel very fortunate to have dodged a major bullet and now know what the limits are on a suspended chassis when the bucket is halfway up going backward on what I considered a small incline.

    I'm not excusing my error and I didn't really want to post this but I figured you guys might enjoy it and I'm trying to keep it real.
  2. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    Glad it turned out okay.
  3. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Houston, we have a problem.:hammerhead:
  4. KTM

    KTM LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Glad it turned out o.k. if your tipping your loader that much I think I would want all the ROPS protection that I could get, including the side screens. Try backing up the jumps to pack them down.
  5. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,581

    :laugh: :laugh: I bet you had to go clean your pants out afterwards...
  6. kreft

    kreft LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,645

    Cats have 9 lives.....
  7. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,581

    But operators only have one...
  8. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

  9. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    And no pictures either!! Damn it!

    Cat's bigger butt saved it, Case has less of a rear end, (or more departure angle) than Cat does.
    While I was climbing a manure pile yesterday, I felt my rear end drag on the concrete for a brief second as I went up, then it hit hard when I went down, that's the tipping point.
  10. minimax

    minimax LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 734

    ccstrebe,I think we should start calling you Junior instead of jlm335.
    I would try to back up the jumps and have something on the front.
    You might look at getting a mini-x when you have to work the front of these jumps,you can rent them or just buy one:).Because I think there is no way around working nose up on the jumps:nono::nono:.


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