Broken Jaw From Comealong

diogenes

Member
Location
Northern CA
I heard from someone at a company...
Felling a tree, pulling with a come along. Tree takes an unexpected path and come along gets slacked. Some poor chap tried to retighten come along while the tree was felling, and while falling the rope rubbed against another tree, which re-tensioned the line. Comealong went from waist level to smacking the dude in the face. Lost like half teeth on side of face and jaw broken 4 places.
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
I heard from someone at a company...
Felling a tree, pulling with a come along. Tree takes an unexpected path and come along gets slacked. Some poor chap tried to retighten come along while the tree was felling, and while falling the rope rubbed against another tree, which re-tensioned the line. Comealong went from waist level to smacking the dude in the face. Lost like half teeth on side of face and jaw broken 4 places.
Scary lucky to be alive
Hope he has a speedy recovery
 

Dan Cobb

Well-Known Member
Location
Hoover
Sounds very painful. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

The other day, I got a throw line hopelessly stuck. I decided to just put a haul system on it and pull it until it breaks. Thought I might hurt myself pulling it manually. I tethered the pulley away from the anchor to a nearby tree with a cord to ensure it couldn't hit me when the line broke. It didn't recoil much, but better safe than sorry.

Sometimes an instinctual reaction is hard to stiffle. I was teaching a rescue class at a power plant when a contractor working on the adjacent transmission lines grabbed a tower guy wire that was released prematurely. (Just to stop it from swinging.) The set of lines they were working on were deenergized, but the induced voltage from the adjacent energized lines was lethal.
 

TreeCo

Well-Known Member
I got struck in the elbow once by my Masdam.

Instant deep pain but eased up over the next few hours. I was lucky.

This is a real hazard!
 

treesap

Well-Known Member
Location
east TN
im always worried about the secondary dog not grabbing (when you use a come along anchored near the ground, mud and dirt gets in the gear teeth blocking them) never fun, hi-lift jacks, as great as they are as a come along they are scary as crap, ever seen the video where the guy taped a coconut onto the lift bar and let the handle slam into it?


not the video I was looking for, but it still works
 

Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
When I was 18 I was helping lower a house addition onto a trailer to be moved across the property for use as a storage shed. My jack (one of four) dropped and then caught again. The handle sprung upward so fast I never saw it or felt it. I had been looking down at the work and was instantly looking skyward. The handle hit me so hard that I couldn’t bite down for a day, as my bottom teeth were now in front of my upper teeth because my jaw had been knocked forward. I also couldn’t put an earplug in one ear because the opening had become much smaller.

I never went to the hospital (dumb), so I’m not sure if anything was broken or just moved around, but yeah, long metal handles connected to extreme potential energy are very dangerous.
 
Same goes for metal hooks on tow straps (or anything that could give way when you're pulling really). In the oilfield in Alberta we had two separate field operator fatalities one year, due to loaded tow straps breaking and the metal portions of the straps they were using coming right through the pickups' headache rack and the rear cab window and fatally impacting the drivers head. Now we use static straps with no metal.
Potential energy can be a bear if it is suddenly releaased and can't be controlled or directed away. Same with stored hydraulic pressure. Same with a suspended load at height that could release. Or a roap stretched under tension. Etc. We had a rule when we looked at this stuff in design meetings that, if if can happen, it will, eventually, just a matter of time (10-3 on the old risk matrix).
As an aside, I cringed when watching some recent rescue videos where rescuers were at the base of a tree nearly under a suspended load of considerable size while involved in the start of the rescue effort. I think I'da druther get the load down safely first, where it won't fall or even roll onto somebody. First rule of rescue always is - don't make another victim along the way. Cheers all.
 

27RMT0N

Well-Known Member
Location
WA
Yep. The first time I used them was a few months ago after getting my van stuck in the snow... soft shackles on each end and a big tow strap, no metal in the system at all. Really easy to work with when your hands are cold as well, no pins to have to screw in and out, or drop. Not only safer, but lighter and actually stronger than the metal shackles I would normally use. Modern fibers are amazing.

DSCN6826 (Custom).JPG
 
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Yep. The first time I used them was a few months ago after getting my van stuck in the snow... soft soft shackles on each end and a big tow strap, no metal in the system at all.
Hey I'm going to pass this on to some folks up here, thanks. Any idea if you can get these commercially and where? The other issue (tow strap stretch) was addressed by using a modern synthetic - I think it was something like spectra or something. Only downside of such a static tow strap was a great increase/ transmission of stress to the hitch/ clevis/ frame if you reefed on the stuck vehicle suddenly rather than tensioning slowly (that line of thought went like; if backing up slowly is good, think of how much better it would be to have lots of slack, hit the gas and get your rig up to 15-20 km/hr ! ). :) Cheers
 

27RMT0N

Well-Known Member
Location
WA
So I'm no expert at vehicle recovery but there are a LOT of different techniques depending on the situation.

In my stuck van situation, I put a recovery hitch in the hitch receiver (ok, I guess that was a piece of metal), then one of those big orange soft shackles, the flat tow-strap and the other orange soft shackle on the truck. All loops closed, no way for anything to come undone. All I really needed to do was pull the van back onto solid ground because a wheel got off the road, so I just put the truck in 4x4 low and pulled the van out slowly.

Sometimes you do want a bit of a jerk on the vehicle to get it unstuck, and that is where all the off-road guys are switching to what is called 'dynamic recovery ropes' which allow for a bit of a running start that has some stretch, so it yanks but not a sudden jerk.

Soft shackles and dynamic recovery ropes can be found on Amazon or just about anywhere else these days, lots of name brands and lots of cheap clones. I need to get some other work done so I shouldn't sit here and write an essay on recovery right now, but here is a good demonstration video:


Another good discussion:


Here is me using one in tree work to make a pull:

porta soft shackle.jpg
 
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