Lifting and Stabilizing: Vehicles on Their Sides
Photo: David Pease
David Pease, Carolina Fire/Rescue/EMS Journal
When placing the struts on the roof side, they would be placed at the base of the “A” post and the “C” or “D” post for stability. Again this places the struts higher on the vehicle. The next key point on using this type of system is the use of straps to secure the bottom of the struts back to the vehicle. This keeps the bases of the struts from sliding during a load or shift.
They should be secured at angles and close to the bottom of the vehicle. (see photo) Another good rule of thumb when using this type of system is to think in triangles. The struts and the straps should be set at triangular patterns whenever possible. This will not always be the case, but it will apply a majority of the time.
When using the struts on large vehicles such as trucks and buses, it eliminates the use of large amounts of cribbing. The use of struts NEVER eliminates the use of cribbing or wedges, but does reduce it quite a bit. The struts can be applied under the frame of the trailer or bus, similar to that on the smaller vehicles. (see photo)
Again, using this type of system can allow you to manage the higher center of gravity by placing the struts higher on the vehicles such as a bus or truck.
There are several types of stabilization devices on the market; ART, Paratech, Rescue 42, Kodiak, the Crutch, and the Junkyard Dogs, to name a few. They all stabilize and get the job done. I use the Rescue Jacks, as I feel they are a very versatile stabilization system.
All pictures will reflect the use of this system, but for the purpose of this article, they are used to show how any buttress system is used. In the case of showing the buttress stabilization system, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.