TLCA Event Inspection Standards

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So...More and more rigs are showing up to TLCA events with automatic transmissions. These vehicles do not fit into tlca's current safety inspection standards for service and parking brakes very well. From www.tlca.org SOP's:

"10. (Note: Line Locks can be allowed in 2000 on a case by case basis by the hosting Trail Committee Safety Chair. As of January of 2001, Line Locks shall not be an acceptable substitute.)
11. Service Brakes must be able to stall the vehicle in 1st gear."

Line locks were a point of contention in the past, as tlca's bylaws sort of indicate...As more and more automatic equipped vehicles are now coming to tlca events (from 62's to 80's to dedicated trail buggies) we need to come up with safety standards in writing for our event hosting chapters to go by, and procedures to check these at tech inspection. We want your input on this! We don't want to exclude auto equipped 62/80/trail buggies, but rather come up with guidelines that will help us include them safely.

A second issue, and one that is again related more to the evolution of the sport to include dedicated trail buggies, is the issue of requiring proof of insurance and registration. Is it possible to insure (at least for liability) a trail rig that does not wear license plates? If not, what should our stance on this be? What happens in the event of a theoretical line lock/parking brake failure that has the "truggy" roll backwards into another vehicle/participant, and how do we limit tlca's liability in this instance?

Sorry for the long-windedness fo this, but I hope to have some good discussion on this. TLCA would like to get the changes made in time for events this year to be able use them...Thanks! Alan
 

wngrog

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Times have certainly changed since the original rules were posted, but the bottom line is, we need rigs inspected each day by trail leaders to ensure they will be safe around others and that they are not on the verge of breaking so you don't hold everyone up.

My other club, FWD-FWD has mechanical/safety inspections at the beginning of each run. They run the vehicles up on jacks to check Ujoints and suspension parts to make sure all is tight and servicable. This inspection always uncovers ujoints and birfs that are about to let go, thus letting the owner fix it before the ride starts or park it and ride.

My main concern with general rules is that they are not always specific enough to make a call on site.

I would simply like to see that verbiage is added that allows the local/on scene run chairman to make a call on whether a vehicle complies.

As for the spare.....if there are 15 6 on 5.5 spare tires on the trail...that should cover the one guy that does not have one.

8 lug? Make sure someone in the group has on-board air and a fist full of plugs.

These are all calls that should be made on site. Not in the rule book.

Parking brakes? There should be some provision. Make sure the rules say so, but dont eliminate a properly designed line lock system. Again, on site calls should be made here.

Proof of insurance? Damn right. I don't care if it is street legal or not, if some dips*** backs over my leg, I want his insurance to pay for it.

Liability insurance is CHEAP. Buy it. Period. It protect you. Not the club, not the organization, you!

My vote is to modify the rules to allow on site discretion. That is all it will take.
 
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Nolan, you were one of the ones I wanted to hear from, as this effects your event first You said "I would simply like to see that verbiage is added that allows the local/on scene run chairman to make a call on whether a vehicle complies." This is an approach we have discussed, and may take eventually. We'd really like to leave the ultimate decision in the hands of the local event safety people, but would like more input on what quantifies a safe system for some types of vehicles, and good ways to test them. Also, I personally am in full agreement with you on the liability issue...
 

Green Lantern

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Nolan's right.
I would prefer the Safety list in the SOPs to reflect generic requirements. For example: adequate braking, adequate steering, ability to remain still on a grade, adequate insurance, etc. That way the event Safety Team can decide what's best for the event. I have complete confidence in the people on the ground. And, I have no confidence in a set of rules protecting anybody. Just my two cents.
Happy Trails! N
 
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It seems to me that past discussions on this topic have always degenerated (?) into general statements about insurance. Before I respond with specific recommendations, it would be extremely helpful to have some specific information about the insurance issue, if that is the primary driving force behind the safety regs. Could someone please provide some specific (not general or second hand) answers to the following questions?

1. Does TLCA have a single umbrella insurance poicy that coveres all sanctioned events, or do the individual clubs have to come up with their own insurance for their specific event, or is it both?

2. Does the TLCA or club insurance actually provide liability monies or does it instead provide defense for the orginization in case a lawsuit is filed and thus rely on the individuals' own libility insurance to provide coverage in case of an accident or lawsuit?

3. Using Alan';s own example, but turned around for a currently-qualifying and safety-inspected rig, if the LC parking break on a stock FJ40 fails and the rig rolls backward causing an accident, what does the current TLCA insurance do in specific terms of providing liability coverage?

4.What is the direct linkage of safety requirements to the current insurance used by TLCA in sanctioned events? In other words what is the insurance policy language that, for example, states that in order to be covered by the policy, each vehicle must have a spare tire, turn signals or whatever?

5. What has been done for past sanctioned events in terms of requiring a waiver of liability from all participants? I recall this being done before, but am not certain.

Sorry to be so long-winded, but I think it would be very helpful to have answers to these questions so that we can all see how the safety requirements actually link to insurance. If TLCA cannot get insurance unless all rigs have a spare tire and trun signals, it doesn't do much good to talk about changing those requirements. On the other hand if the insurance does not really dictate specific vehicle requirements, then we shouldn't use the "insurance card" to justify vehicle requirements.
 

ginericLC

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I've been doing my own experiments in the driveway with Emergency Brakes and Line Locks. For a 62/80 test of the emergency brake have the participant put the brake on and put it in 2nd gear. When giving it half throttle the
vehicle should stay stationary. This will work on all factory equipped FJ62s,91-92 80s, and 95-97 80s with the 2nd gear start engaged. 93 and 94 80s could be a problem as when putting it in 2nd gear it automatically downshifts to 1st.
My 91 E brake is tight and works probably better than ever and it will not hold the vehicle in reverse or 1st when giving it half throttle. My 94 E brake works good but I can't get it to hold back the vehicle under any amount of throttle. I had the 94 hooked up to a horse trailer with sheet rock in it on Friday. I pulled up a steep loading ramp at the dump and I put it in neutral and pulled the brake. It would hold the Cruiser and the Trailer at probably a 20 degree slope. The trailer weighed in at 5400 lbs full. Nice thing about our dump is
they charge you by the pound and weigh everything. My Line Lock experiments involve a 78 Scout. It has a line lock on only the front axle. When locked the Scout will not move forward on dry pavement. 385hp 350, 727 auto, Dana 20
transfer case, 4.11 gears, 35s. When put into reverse it drags the front end. The tires would not rotate. And yes I have big black marks all over the driveway. :'( With the majority of the weight being over the front in this rig, I'm
sure it would hold the rig on any incline on the trail. One other idea I had was to have the partipant put the rig on an incline and lock the brake. The problem is I already see this as a big hassle for event organizers as they typically pick a parking lot type situation to do the tech in. And who wants to
haul a ramp to an event? Nobody I assume!

Where do all of these experiments lead me? Would I feel safe with any of these rigs on the trail? Yes! But I think more importantly that has to do with the drivers of the vehicles and the actual safety measures taken on the trail. At
Cruisin the Woods I saw a parked 40 come rolling down the hill and hit another 40. This had to do with operator error. He had a working parking brake but did apply it and when it popped out of gear gravity took over. No piece of safety
equipment will work if it is not applied. Also, some common sense when it comesto following distance would help people stay safe.

NW Cruisers had a long talk last Wednesday about safety and rules on the trail.Our club was of the belief that NW Cruisers must follow all TLCA safety rules on every club ride. So a reduction in TLCA rules would effectively reduce the
safety rules of our club. We have a new additional rule that if the run leader is uncomfortable with the safety aspects of a rig that rig is parked. No arguments or protests.

I'm comfortable with the addition of line locks as a safety device for TLCA events. I do like that Jeremiah runs them both front and rear, I believe his are independant from one another. I am comfortable with dropping the registration requirements. Really what is the worse that could happen? A
police officer could give the driver of the vehicle a ticket. The driver could be fined. Nothing would happen to the other vehicles, participants, or organizers. I am very much opposed to the idea of dropping insurance requirements. I think that event organizers should make sure they are enforcing
this. I will probably be the only one, but if you don't check my insurance when I'm at your event I will chew the tech inspector out.

Below is an email I received from Jeremiah Proffitt. I value his opinion as a TLCA member and as a fabricator of some of the more extreme Cruisers you would see at a TLCA event.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeremiah Proffitt [SMTP:jeremiah@p...]
> Sent: Monday, January 19, 2004 4:47 PM
> To: Eric A Vogt
> Subject: Re: insurance question
>
>
> > Jeremiah,
>
> My rig is registered and insured. The registration is mainly for events
> where I know it will be driven to the trail head. It's not street leagal
> but a plate is better than no plate. Plus, without a title...there's no
> proof of ownership! I've gone through several insurance companies trying
> to get appropriate insurance. For a while, It was insured as a parade
> vehical (cheap) untill they saw it. Now, it is insured as the cruiser it
> started out as. American Family works with me with all of the vehicals I
> build...even tube frames. I can't see dropping the insurance
> requirement...too risky.
>
> E brakes are a kind of a difficult one. I have line locks (2) on my rig
> and use them on customer's rigs all the time. They should bleed off after
> time, although I set mine while the rig is on the ramp for extended
> periods of time (10+ hours), and they always have held. They aren't
> failsafe, or street legal, but they are my only option and better than
> nothing. The LC drum e brake isn't failsafe either because of driveline
> failure as you pointed out, and because they sometimes don't hold the rig
> from rolling backwards very well. The question is, are people using
> whatever emergency brake they have anyway? I would drop the e brake
> requirement and emphasize safe parking techniques while on the trail.
>
> Thanks for asking for my opinion,
>
> Jeremiah
> www.proffittscruisers.com
 
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Hey Joe.... I mean JACK... :D

to answer your questions, no umbrella, each specified individually.

defense primarily but not sure

probably nothing, thus the waiver

Phil J. noted nothing, doesn't even require a list.

TLCA and Insurance co. always provide waivers to sign.

Now understand, I am not an expert on the subject matter, just regurgatating what I've heard. I will ask Jennifer Lorincz, who will be taking over from Phil Johnson, to delve into the questions you have asked.

Bottom line, no, you can't bump into another cruiser and expect financial coverage.
 
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Nolan...

I agree with you in principle. I believe that simply allowing the event Safety Chair to exercise good judgement is all that is needed...

But...

folks have brought up the valid point that events are not consistent when this is done and what might work at one event might not work at another.

no answers here, just chiming in. 8)
 

woody

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Unfortunately, the list TLCA uses now is too much in some cases, not enough in others. JasonM had a welded on D-ring on his FJ40 at BHCC and it tore off the bumper when he was pullstarted in camp. Granted, he knew it, and wouldn't have allowed it's use on the trail, but had he not been there to say so, it could have been a potential trail disaster.

Likewise, welded steering arms are something that almost everyone frowns on...same with heims on steering rods...and piles more.

The big issue is you can't force someone to have common sense when they are either on the trail or fabricating in the shop. I installed my e-brake guts specifically for BHCC, and have pulled the lever once now for their tech. I never use it otherwise.....not in the habit....that's mostly cause when I'm in a situation where the rig IS in danger of rolling back, I stay in it and sit on the brakes...or I control the rollback and rest it against a rock/ledge and then turn it off and leave it in granny gear.

By the same token, I know of people who refuse to hit low range, much less 4wd, until they are beyond stuck. Again, you can't "force" common sense.
 

ginericLC

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Medusa,

Scott Johnson is the guy who handles the TLCA insurance. I'm not sure what all the policy covers. I've never seen a copy of it. Wish I would have because I have a lot of questions about what it covers. TLCA gets an insurance policy each year and then each event applies to TLCA for insurance for the event. I believe it is about $175 to add each event. And I would think of this insurance as an additional insurance, not really a primary insurance.

At every TLCA sanctioned event each participant (driver and riders) is required to sign a waiver. But as any lawyer will tell you, you can't really sign away your rights.

I will not support any bylaw changes that eliminate the insurance requirement.
 
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I would never suggest that personal liability insurance be dropped. The point of my asking the questions about insurance is that too often these discussions have ended up by stating that the safety regulations were instituted by TLCA in response to insurance issues. I suspect that is not the case and in fact the insurance that TLCA purchases, together with asking for a waiver of liability for each event primarily serves to protect TLCA against lawsuits. I think that the answers to the insurance questions will indicate that the primary liability insurance is in fact the individual owner's required liability insurance. As others have stated, that is absolutely a must.

But if the insurance TLCA purchases for sanctioned events does in fact not dictate safety regulations such as the spare tire and turn signal or even braking capability, then the BOD can change the requirements. That was my only point.
 
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Medusa, I can't answer waht tlca's insurance covers, but as Tony noted, we'll find out. The insurance/registration and the safety regs are currently seperate issues, and afaik, not tied together in any way.
 
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I'm for line locks provided they pass the appropriate tests. We need to exercise reasonable measures to insure the safety of our participants, not the most stringent standards possible . When we inspect a vehicle for its trailworthiness, we need to have simple standards that are easily understood and evaluated by participant and inspector alike. We aren't NASCAR or CART with professional tech inspectors, we're not even at the level of pro rock-crawling events... we're a club with volunteers
who are neither credentialed nor formally trained as inspectors.
Further, as noted above, the best inspector can't prevent ill-advised actions by drivers.
Whatever we decide on the insurance issue, we must have no variation in enforcement. If we require insurance, we must inform participants in advance that this is the case, and we must be prepared to deny registration at the event if clear proof of cuurent insurance is not presented. This is a thorny problem. It will be difficult to have copiers at registration, so how do we confirm that proof WAS presented if and when an accident occurs? Are we gonna have to become CPA's to put on an event?
Some venues, such as Tellico, require neither registration nor insurance, so if we turn down a participant, he simply buys a trail pass and rides anyway. The trails are open to anyone with a pass, so he be on the trail with registered drivers quite legally. How can we be fair and even-handed when we have no enforcement authority?
I think we should require reasonable safety inspections, and require registration and insurance IF and ONLY IF the venue or the TLCA insurance policy requires it.
We should avoid rules that are unenforceable or that place undue hardship on the membership or event organizers.
 
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[quote author=Chef link=board=10;threadid=10401;start=msg93155#msg93155 date=1074661727]
Nolan, you were one of the ones I wanted to hear from, as this effects your event first You said "I would simply like to see that verbiage is added that allows the local/on scene run chairman to make a call on whether a vehicle complies." This is an approach we have discussed, and may take eventually. We'd really like to leave the ultimate decision in the hands of the local event safety people, but would like more input on what quantifies a safe system for some types of vehicles, and good ways to test them. Also, I personally am in full agreement with you on the liability issue...


[/quote] It has always been that we make a call at our event. MNYE Frolic. It has not been in the SOP's written that we can do that. The insurance company does not care if we require a parking brake. (many years at the TLCA insurance committee) That is a TLCA BOD issue. IMHO the TLCA BOD is not in a position to "quantify" anything other than to recommend a secondary braking system. There is just too much liability at stake if they are wrong. OEM's put out alot of money to test, develop etc. I do not see how TLCA can put itself in that capacity. Recommend an OEM or other aftermarket PARKING brake and leave it to the owner and the on site inspector to make the call if it is safe. The call has to made on inspection.
For example a bungee cord does in fact hold a battery down when pulled tight enough but I have turned all away that had them. They go back, wrap some bailing wire or whatever around it, make it safe and I let em in.

Vehicle Liability insurance is a requirement and should NEVER be changed. I do not know how this will work, state to state and for green sticker vehicles etc. That should be the responsibility of the owner to make sure it is in place. I have never been asked at a TLCA event, or any other, if I have insurance. I do have it.
 
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Why not require people to carry a proper wheel chock for there tire size...you can mathimaticly come up with how big the chock would have to be in order for it to hold a vehicle on say a 30 or 45 degree hill...hmm that could get interesting..just another idea.

Ah here what are the SAE or DOT standards of a "Parking brake" when a manufacture builds a parking brake thier are some kind of specifications that they need to follow for holding the vehicle i am sure...maybe take a look at those and see what it says. Automatics have parking brake's in them when they leave the factory....

Ok in general i think that if you make the guidelines read that it's up the the discresion of the TLC safty chairman you are leaving yourself wide open for problems similar to what you have now.

I know we had very loose inspections one year and non the next(non sanctioned event but still an event that we(YT) were responsible for)...anyway

Spare tires? hmm i am kind of in agreement with nolan and kind of not...i see his point of carrying a HUGE tire around on a rig but i think it would suck if somebody held up the entire trail cause they didn't have a trail spare.

I think requireing people to either carry a spare up to a certian size...say 37s or something and over that carry a plug kit with enough plugs to plug an X size hole/gash whatever.

Stew
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[quote author=ginericfj80 link=board=10;threadid=10401;start=msg93403#msg93403 date=1074707683]
Medusa,

Scott Johnson is the guy who handles the TLCA insurance. I'm not sure what all the policy covers. I've never seen a copy of it. Wish I would have because I have a lot of questions about what it covers. TLCA gets an insurance policy each year and then each event applies to TLCA for insurance for the event. I believe it is about $175 to add each event. And I would think of this insurance as an additional insurance, not really a primary insurance.

At every TLCA sanctioned event each participant (driver and riders) is required to sign a waiver. But as any lawyer will tell you, you can't really sign away your rights.

I will not support any bylaw changes that eliminate the insurance requirement.
[/quote]

Scott, here, just read most of the rest of the posts. I am no longer the insuance guy but did it for several years. Phil was doing it and now Tony posted:
Now understand, I am not an expert on the subject matter, just regurgatating what I've heard. I will ask Jennifer Lorincz, who will be taking over from Phil Johnson, to delve into the questions you have asked.

I would be glad to answer any Q's from the new TLCA insurance Chair. Tony, feel free to pass my number along.

TLCA insurance is Commercial General Liability Coverage. It covers TLCA day to day activities such as: BOD meetings. It covers the insured for damages because of "bodily injury" or "property damage". This is a small sentence and the policy is 50-60 pages. I in no way am stating any coverages in full. I have been asked by the past BOD and done on my own inqiuries on specific hypothetical instances. I NEVER got an answer from the insurance co. There are too many specifics that need to be known for a proper answer.

IT IN NO WAY COVERS VEHICULAR LIABILTY for a driver. It has a specific statement to the fact.

The rider issued is for General Liability to protect the Host club only.
 
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After reading here, and at threads on the safety inspection at the Pirate and ihmud tlca forums, here are my thoughts on the issiues at hand: insurance, spares, and service/emergency/parking brakes.
Insurance is a no brainer, I can't see dropping it. Registration is maybe more difficult as some dedicated trailered trail junk may not be plated by the owner...
Spares: make sure each trail group has what they need.

Quote of tlca sops:
"9. Mechanical Parking Brake; {must be able to stall the vehicle in 2nd gear. 10. (Note: Line Locks can be allowed in 2000 on a case by case basis by the hosting Trail Committee Safety Chair. As ofJanuary of 2001, Line Locks shall not be an acceptable substitute. 11.Service Brakes must be able to stall the vehicle in 1st gear

Items 9 and 10 are confusing if we are going to allow line locks to serve as a parking brake for line lock equipped vehicles, since item 10 precludes this currently. We should probably delete line 10 and write in line lock acceptability for parking brake...?
We may be further confusing the issues just a little by the fact that some folks will see the emergeny brake as a secondary brake system to be employed in the case of the failure of the hydaulics in the primary braking system,. Other folks will see the e-brake as a parking brake to secure the vehicle in times of need. Park in an autotran may or may not hold the vehicle safely on an incline when needed when an e-brake or line lock might get the job done. We may need to decide if tlca wants to require a secondary braking system, or just a secure parking brake.
Item 11 states the service brakes must be able to stall the vehicle in first gear. In a standard h42 toyota tranny where first gear is 3..5 to 1, but many trucks are running sm420/465 where first gear is 6.5/ 7 to 1, thus "doubling" the braking force required to do this. An auto equipped truck confuses this more...
We might think about combining these two sections into one that reads "vehicles must demonstrate adequate service and parking brakes as determined by the event safety inspectors."
Lastly, Cruzila and others, you're right, there is a great variation in the "amount/quality" of tech-in, and short of having designated trained tlca inspectors that all go to every event, I'm at a loss as to how to reasonably make them "all the same." I would hope that every event safety chair is really qualified to do a safety inspection that is "worth the paper it's written on" for everyone's sake, and would train those who work with him to do the same.
 

cruiserdan

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There is a recent thread in 80's tech along these lines. I agree that using the brakes' ability to stall a vehicle offers too wide a variance. I was just thinking about automatics and torque multiplication thru the converter, I had not considered the lower gear manuals. Perhaps a standard could be adopted by which a vehicle should hold on an incline to be determined or be able to hold when an external force of (X) is applied to it in an effort to move it.

D-
 

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