Pressurized fueling accident (Crickets...)

Josh 8

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Yep^^^^^
 

AZ7000'

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Your intentions are good. But pretty sure all of the racing orgs could care less what some guy says about a system that all the top team have been using safely for years.
The decision isn't made by the orgs, its made by the insurance companies...

Everyone go vote!
 

tapeworm

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I’m sure that I’m going to catch a lot of heat for this post because I’m a nobody but maybe it helps prevent some future accidents.

There are flaws with every fueling system on the planet and without proper maintenance disastrous events do happen. Just because someone has been taught to use a fire extinguisher doesn’t mean they will execute it properly during the fire scenario. If it was that easy to extinguish fires, we wouldn’t pay people in Southern California 6 figures a year to do so.

No person with fire extinguisher training and zero gasoline based firefighting experience is going to put out 12 gallons of burning gasoline underneath a vehicle with a 20 pound extinguisher. Probably not even 2 extinguishers.

Some facts about extinguishers. The 20 pound extinguisher is rated as a 10A120BC extinguisher.Is is full of “dry chem” which is a dry nonflammable powder with a smelting point of 350 degrees. It smothers fires. This means it breaks the chemical chain reaction causing combustion by removing oxygen from the fire triangle, thus “putting the fire out.”

Now back to the rating. The “A” means it is usable on ordinary combustibles (solid objects like fiberglass, rubber, webbing, etc. found on race cars) the “10” means there is an equivalent amount of dry chem to 12.5 gallons of water. 1.25 gallons of water/number in front of the “A”

The “120BC” portion of the rating is broken down to two different ratings: 120B and C.

The “120B” rating means the the extinguisher is rated for flammable liquids fires. (Oil, gas, diesel, etc.)The number signifies the square feet the dry chem is able to cover when used by a professional, of which most fire extinguisher persons in off road racing are not.

Here is how this all ties in to fueling. We are only going to talk about fuel spills on fire, not explosions which is only possible with the PP because gasoline doesn’t BLEVE (google it.) a dump can holds 11 gallons, 12 if you overfill it so we will use 12 gallons for the dump can example.

1 gallon of spilled fuel covers approximately 30 square feet of a nonporous surface.

12 gallons of fuel spilled on pavement (to use the worst possible scenario for square footage of fuel spill, I know it wouldn’t be as large in dirt but it’s better to plan for the worst) equates to approximately 360 square feet. Again that is on a nonporous surface, so much of that will be soaked into the earth in the desert. So worst case scenario you need THREE 20 pound fire extinguishers with professionals to suppress a 12 gallon dump can fire on a completely nonporous surface. Probably good with one 20 pound extinguisher in the desert but that is just a guess and this assumes a full dump can with complete container failure.

So using those numbers for a pressure pro with 110 gallons of fuel you would need TWENTY EIGHT fire extinguishers to suppress the fire assuming complete system failure and a full system. This is worst case scenario, but helps put into perspective that two or even four professionally manned fire extinguishers aren’t going to suppress a fire from a pressure pro failure at full capacity.

There are many many variables and it’s impossible to predict every scenario and I’m giving my opinion only, not fact from this point forward.

What I do know is that the fire extinguishers we carry and use on race cars and in the pits are not enough to put out well developed fires. They are there to give the occupants and pit members more time to get to a safe environment. Life, property, environment is the order of importance during a fire. No ones life is worth less than any race vehicle, but most untrained people are going to exhaust suppression efforts attempting to put the fire out instead of suppressing fire activity for the occupants to get out of the burning vehicle. Occasionally suppressing fire will be the right choice, but sometimes it won’t be the best course of action to save someone’s life.

We have now seen that teams are manipulating the systems to bypass safety devices. Unfortunately this shows that humans are the wild card in these systems that are going to be the leading cause of failures and there is no way to regulate the systems once purchased. As we all know unfortunately news outlets and social media don’t need to present facts or whole truths, just part of it and it can be skewed whichever way the author is publishing it.

It’s for that reason that my opinion on the matter (not that it counts or is relevant, but maybe it opens up the right dialogues between people that do matter) that these systems be banned because at the end of the day once the product is purchased we have to trust that EVERY individual has the integrity, knowledge, training, and clarity to operate these in the proper manner every time they are used and we are all affected by each other’s decisions and outcomes.

I’m never going to be in a position to use one, but I’ll certainly never setup my pit next to a team using one neither because of the human factor influencing the chance of catastrophic failure.

Like has been said, there is no documented cases of the system failing but there is documented cases of humans failing and the resulting failures are much worse than using a dump can and unfortunately we as a sport can not regulate the usage in a safe manner. I understand that some teams are able to use the system safely, but not all teams have the capability to do so every time.

Im a firm believer in everyone being responsible for their own decisions and actions but unfortunately we don’t live in that type of world any longer and my own decisions can affect more than just myself and those immediately around me. Same for everyone at these events.

It’s not my decision on who gets to use the PP or not. I’ll never race in a class that uses them so I have no emotional attachment to them like a company rep or customer, but please listen to the advice from people that work around pressurized rigs and catastrophic events for a living. It is a system that can have very, very horrible things happen when there is a failure, and there will be more. We just don’t know when or how bad.

Sorry for the rant but burn injuries have a huge affect on me personally because of past trauma.
 

MTPyle

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Tapeworm,

I don't think anyone expects 2 20lb fire extinguishers to put out a 100 gallon fuel spill that ignites.

Most full size trucks have almost 100 gallons of fuel on board in a fuel cell thats no more safe than a PP and they can fail. So if you are saying we need to be able to put out a fire that starts on a truck with 100 gallons than we need to just ban off road racing all together.

Fact is there are 1000's of gallons of fuel being transported to and during offered races and any one of those could have a failure and ignite. Anything is possible and we just cant fix that. All we can do is our best to mitigate the risk.

I was following a flat bed with 55 gallon drums at a race and one of the drums came off the trailer at 70mph. It failed and spilled fuel. It "could" have ignited as it was steel on pavement but it didn't, not sure why. Should at that moment we ban 55 gallon drums? We can not fix every possible scenario.

We have many videos of dump cans starting fires and people getting burned, should we ban those? Oh and we have plenty of towers starting fires. We have zero PP's starting fires.

BTW- We have 2 20lb Foam extinguishers and 2 20lb ABC on our fuel trailer. Not that this is enough to put out 100 gallon fire but its more than most teams have. The great thing about the Foam extinguishers is we re fill them so we can test and get our guys dialed in to how they work. Thanks to Motorsports Safety for providing Foam to our team and the suggestion to add these to our safety tools.

Mike
 

Josh 8

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Mike and Josh- That is the 'What will happen' with this crappy fueling set-up. It's a matter of time. Hope it isn't one of you guys who destroys the sport we love.
Bro, I agree with you.

I have even chimed in and stated I think 11 gallon dump cans should be mandated by the sanctioning bodies. I don’t know if it will happen. Possibly because promoters are weak and afraid of losing the big money teams? Idk. I do know this. A bunch of us pissing on each other here is not going to get it done. I guess I am just tired of all of us fighting back and forth like it politics on a federal/state level.
I am not saying I don’t care. Just getting sick of the poopy process and it time to see a strong promoter step up in a leadership roll and make a decision that is good for the sport at a cost to a few.
And I realize I am now I am the one pissing and moaning.
 

Bro_Gill

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Don't worry about it, Josh. Promoters never seem to step up, even when their lively hood seems to be on the line. There would be NO RACING in Stoddard and Johnson Valley or Ridgecrest had it not been for a very few of us non-promoters who actually took action and did something so hard to do, that it is amazing it was possible. What did we do (about 4 of us)? We went to land use meetings put on by the BLM. The meetings were advertised well ahead of time and they were specific as to what they were about, Land Use Planning for the Western Mohave Desert region. Had I not attended, and received the the proposal for the Western Mohave Land Use management Plan before it was approved, and pointed it out to a couple other people, Do you know that the fastest speed that would be allowed on any gravel or dirt road, path, trail, etc... was to be 35mph maximum for dust abatement? Do you know that EVERY wash that could have water running through it was to be removed from ALL motor vehicle traffic due to the impacts to the watershed? Do you know that even areas that were not home to the protected Desert Tortoise were to be closed to OHV use, even if it was proven that the tortoises did not live there? A few of us spent 2 years going to these monthly meetings, reading the plan, looking at maps, providing ground truthed routes to the BLM and FIGHTING EVERY TIME WE MET to keep desert racing allowed in the open OHV areas because it was already decided that it would be banned every where and the only leg we had to stand on was the existing OHV areas where the 35mph dust abatement rule was proposed to be implemented as well. We manged to keep the OHV areas open for racing. You know who didn't? Every single promoter who makes money off off road racing the the desert. Not a single one, not a single time, in two years showed their face, had a representative, etc... to try and keep the business model working. Why would this be any different?
 

Josh 8

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Wow. I see and hear your point.
 

jon coleman

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fueling is dangerous, wes pac 89, walking thru the hanger bay going to mid- rats, all of the sudden i heard a pop and woosh/ water fall sound, i was about 20 feet from a kA6 d ' buddy store'tanker was re fueling in the main tank, a tranfer dohicky And drop tank cap failed, probably 50+ gallons of jp5 ran out all over the hanger bay,SommmmBitch!!, got to ' volunteer' as fire watch phone talker for about an hour& a half
 

jon coleman

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ps, large percentage of us pissers& moaners are Guilty as He// !, not going to meetings, not doing our part, but expecting some one else to do the un -bitchen no 'glory' dusty work, thanx B G👍
 

Dave Cole 4454

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Don't worry about it, Josh. Promoters never seem to step up....We manged to keep the OHV areas open for racing. You know who didn't? Every single promoter who makes money off off road racing the the desert. Not a single one, not a single time, in two years showed their face, had a representative, etc... to try and keep the business model working. Why would this be any different?
You know I respect you, but you might want to be factual before making statements like that. I have been talking to the Barstow Field Office, specifically Katrina, as well as the District and State about Wemo, the managenment plan and Land Use in General for most of the 2 decades Ive been in Cali. Looooonnnngggg before I promoted an event.


I may never have been at the same meeting as you, but Ive set at the same table and walked the same dirt countless times.

Not looking for attaboys. But some basic facts would be cool.
 

MTPyle

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I just talked to Vince again and he confirmed he has tested both Co2 tanks on full open and the PRV keeps up with both tanks. So that helps me be less worried about a run away regulator or failed coil.

I know some of you guys do not trust Vince since he sells the system but I believe he cares and has spent a lot of time refining this system. He has some units that have been in the field for 10 year. He has had zero PRV failures.

Which I was thinking about the failure modes of the PRV and if it fails it means it will not hold pressure. With out a foreign object or holding it closed there is no way for it to stay closed and not let pressure out.

I think I will add the cap PRV that Green found. I will be like a Valley Girl on the pill with a diaphragm, For Sure, For Sure... LOL

Mike
 
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green787

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I think I will add the cap PRV that Green found. I will be like a Valley Girl on the pill with a diaphragm, For Sure, For Sure... LOL

Mike
That's the nicest thing anybody has ever said to me on RDC.....

But it's really just one racer helping another get the win and be safe while doing it.....

Thanks for letting me visit your virtual pit and tolerating my personality defects......

Soon I will be out there with my off road RV and would gladly volunteer to run the PP rig for you....

I don't drink.... and..... With the addition of "my" PRV I think the rig is safe enough to be ascociated with......

I take no responsibility..... If anyone asks, say "it's something you saw on the internet"......
 

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43mod

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It certainly can fail in a closed position. A failure would also be a no lift until higher or much higher than set pressure. Wait until your 1000 pounder does not pop until 1500 or so. It will make ya jump a little 😊.
 

Bro_Gill

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You know I respect you, but you might want to be factual before making statements like that. I have been talking to the Barstow Field Office, specifically Katrina, as well as the District and State about Wemo, the managenment plan and Land Use in General for most of the 2 decades Ive been in Cali. Looooonnnngggg before I promoted an event.


I may never have been at the same meeting as you, but Ive set at the same table and walked the same dirt countless times.

Not looking for attaboys. But some basic facts would be cool.
Dave- Which WEMO? The current one or the previous one? You weren't promoting anything back then. I was at pretty much every meeting during the 2000-2002 series of meetings. Don't remember you or your name coming up. Ed Waldhein was at pretty much every meeting rep'ing CORVA. Paige Donahoe was pretty regular after I talked to her about what was going on with the 35mph speed limit in the OHV areas, so, as a business owner in the industry, she started coming. And a couple years ago, when the BLM threw their hands up and said they were starting over because the Sierra Club and CBD had sued them to stop implementation of the WEMO plan from 2000. At the hotel at the Outlet Center in Barstow. Still didn't see any promoters. I get what you are saying, you can pick up the phone or drive into the Barstow Field Office and get a face to face because of who you are. That's great and I am glad you are fighting for us. So, now that you are 'in' for the land use fights, what are you going to say about pressurized fueling?
 

Dave Cole 4454

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Now that Im in? How about sucking a dic....

I have been laughing at this thread the whole time. Neither BLM or Insurance have any position on how we fuel with the exception of containment devices (BLM).

All the hyperbole and doomsday about how BLM, or Highway Patrol or Insurance are going to get involved is garbage.

None of those agencies set safety policy. They put that honus on the promoters to avoid the risk.

I dont arbitrarily change any rules in Ultra4.

We have a drivers summit annually at our National Championship races and we discuss it among our teams.

This will be discussed next week in Oklahoma.

We have one team (outside of T1) who uses a PP.

I personally have seen no data or factual evidence that PP's are more inherently dangerous than cans or towers. But I am not a fan of them becuase they artificially raise the costs to race and the perceptions that you need 'x' to be competitive.
 

ACME

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A few questions not yet answered & thoughts:

1) Who is going to ensure and monitor that this "update" that was mentioned is done to all the 200ish(?) of these systems out there? Honor system??? (as we know how that will work... ). Will they be tagged or something so everyone knows it's been updated to the new safest standards or again just on the honor system???
1a) Who will pay for these updates?: As that will be a factor in getting them done. Honor system again?

2) We keep hearing about "training" and professionals and knowing how to use these systems; but we all know 99.925% of the pitters in this sport are non professional volunteers with a very wide range of knowledge, skill and common sense. With that in mind does anyone really believe 90% of the users of these systems are really-truly "trained" on them? Or most of the time is it 1-2-3 guys know something about them in a pit, but the other 2-3-5 in the pits will be guys "helping out" that aren't regulars which is 20-50% of most of the people in most of the pits on 90% of the teams... It only takes one mistake by guy that kinda knows. Having raced and helped small-large teams in a variety of classes at MORE-SNORE, HDRA, BITD, SCORE-LaRana, FUD etc over a few years in the sport: I've seen random accidents, mistakes and stupid decisions be made by everyone from seasoned vets in correct gear, to the sometimes pitter, to the guy that just got asked to help because he was standing nearby in Baja or Barstow just because someone needed extra hands. Trusting people with this type of responsibility is a very real thing that these team owners need to consider. All it takes is someone in the know or not having clue tinkering with the amount of pressure...

3) So Team X pulls into a pit and starts setting up one of these right next to your pit in Baja, Parker or Barstow:
A) How do you know if that system was updated and/or has been maintained? B) The operators are properly trained? (again volunteers in a hobby sport see 2)
And who is responsible if an incident happens as responsibility will be a very real thing if a major incident ever happens.

4) In every form of motorsports where this has been banned the pits; they were in a controlled environment where equipment standards & practices can be evaluated and where you didn't have the potential for spectators or a mass of uninvolved people nearby. A pit-fueling accident at Indy, Talledaga, LeMans or Sebring is a very different situation with an entirely different set of controls than 100 gallons in Baja, Lucerne or Parker. (Refer to 2 & 3)

5) This should be a organizer mandated deal and comments and concerns and worries about alienating 20-30 teams who may be upset because they want to use this system IMO is very dumb reason to allow or not allow their use (to use a Pete ism).

And dumb also applies to comparing a 100 gallon non pressurized fuel cell in a truck to a pressurized fueling system or comparing the safety of a 10 gallon dump can or non pressurized tower to a pressurized system. There's an entirely different potential for an incident with respect to each one and only one system seems to have been banned in other forms of motorsports (sorry but seem to be channeling Pete today with the DUMB references...)

6) The comment about letting insurance companies decide is about as smart as letting the competitors decide, or the government decide your best interests. By the time insurance companies would have to decide the sports fate, it will likely be too late.

A great comment in an old thread RE these systems we should consider: "ME and MANY others SHOULD of said something about MDR......and WE didn't......look where that got us.......you guys don't see what COULD and most likely WILL happen, and what a bad accident could lead us too...." Pete Soren 2014 (RIP)

7) The exact same convo from 2014...

 

Bro_Gill

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Dave, have you notified your carrier that you will be allowing pressurized fuel at your events? Real question. I know that when ever I got insurance for just about anything, they wanted to know many things about me, what I was doing, what my profession was, etc... And sometimes they decided I wasn't worth the risk to them because of the answers. And many times over the years of responding to incidents where people were doing things that they did not inform their carrier about, guess what happened when an incident happened?
 

MTPyle

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Acme

1. the upgrade kit that Vince is providing is not necessary for safe operation. I would feel perfectly safe operating our PP without the mods. And I would feel safe along any of the current teams in the states that use a PP without the mod. The mod simply make it more dummy proof. Our system is already dummy proof as we do not let dummies operate it. Good question on who pays for it, I have not heard. But I doubt it’s expensive enough to keep people from doing it if they have to pay themselves.

2. We got training directly from Vince in person as well as his video. We then trained every person in our crew. That’s just part of the commitment of having a PP. there is absolutely no way we would let a non triained and proficient operator use the PP.

3. I agree it would be nice to have someone like Vince go around and make sure everyone is current on training and maintenance at the races. I think BITD is doing this next season. Currently they have guys go thru the pits and check on teams and filling practices. But unfortunately we race in a dynamic wide open environment that can not be 100% policed so yes teams need to be responsible on their own.

4. I don’t see many spectators in pits at our races. So I don’t feel like that’s a concern. At last years Mint400 they put the unlimited guys out further away for this very reason. I thought that was a little much but it’s fine with me. At fixed pit races like BWDC and LDC there is no fast fueling going on but there are more spectators in the pit areas.

5. you are making some assumptions that are incorrect. The racing orgs are not just letting teams use the PP because they are afraid of the teams. Haha. They let them us the PP because when used properly it’s proven to be the saftest means of fueling large amounts of fuel. If I was a race promoter I would want teams to use the PP. it’s much safer than cans or towers when used properly.


6. Insurance companies almost always drive what is safe or not. The FAA does not care if I get into a large airplane and fly it, but the insurance companies do and require me to get certified in large types before I can fly them. But again you are assuming the PP isn’t safe, which it is. Pretty sure if the insurance companies started to regulate the fueling of desert races (which they don’t) they would be fine with the PP as it has a proven safe track record. My insurance on my aircraft type does not go up if some kid jumps in a plane like mine with no training and crashes it. You can’t blame one group of user for someone doing something stupid. Nor should the PP be banned because someone used improperly.

7. the 2014 conversation was also filled with opinions and Misunderstanding of the system. The fact that there have still not been any failures of a properly used PP shows how safe they are and how the negative comments about them in 2014 were unfounded and just fear mongering.

hopefully these answers help, but I bet they will just add more arguments from people that have no idea what they are talking about.

I would say if anyone is not comfortable being around a PP then don’t be. Your choice. If one of my team members does not want to race with us because of the PP that’s their choice. Trying to ban something that has proven to be safe is just wrong. Trying to get the government or governing body to ban them because you are scared of them is wrong. If that’s how we are going to be then we would do absolutely nothing but live in a padded safe room.

Can’t wait to get racing again next week. Haha

Mike
 

J Prich

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Just chiming in on #4 here for clarity.

At the Mint, the move to put unlimiteds in a separate pit was not a specific safety mitigation strategy. It was more rooted in production and visibility, but the distance ended up being ultimately too far for spectators to really be able to see the pit action anyway.

What WAS a specific safety mitigation strategy however, was the decision to separate camping from pitting. The reason the pit areas were moved from the south side of Primm Blvd (which was then camping ONLY) is rooted in the attempt to keep pit operations (specifically fueling) away from the masses as much as possible. When camping was allowed in the main pit, you could potentially be fueling (with whichever mechanism you desire) in the presence of children, elderly grannies, etc. The intent of separating pits from camping is to reduce the pit footprint and attempt to ensure that the only people in the actual pit are crew that need to be there for race operations.
 
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