Sad reminder of the importance of welding

   / Sad reminder of the importance of welding #1  

MinnesotaDaveChalmers

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Sad reminder of the importance of welding - this story is from a thread on WeldingWeb.
The $3 lesson

Posted by - lighttekku

The $3 lesson

So today, while I was out on my quest to find some scrap metal to weld, I pulled into a local scrap yard to ask if I could buy some scrap to learn with. I walked into the front door and the man behind the counter asked "can I help you with something?" I proceeded to tell him that I was a new welder and was wondering if they had any scrap metal I could buy from them for a few dollars. He replied "a new welder huh? I think I can help you out but first there's something you need to see." I said "sounds good show me the way."

So he led me out back past the cars to where there was a very mangled up trailer sitting alone in a corner. I asked what happened and he explained that the welder that made the trailer didn't have enough penetration when he was welding the tongue. The day after the welder sold it the new owner had it loaded up to half the capacity the welder said it was capable of. He was driving down the interstate at 70 mph when he hit a bump and the welds broke loose. The trailer ended up hitting the minivan that was following him and killed all 4 people inside. Two parents, one 12 year old girl and a six month old girl that they were taking to meet her grandparents for the first time.

As we were walking back to the shop he said "that trailer is the reason I will never teach someone to weld again." Apparently the man who welded the trailer had learned from the yard owner. Needless to say the welder is still in jail.

After we got back he gave me some scrap and told me that I could have it for free. I told him that I had to give him something for it. So I opened my wallet and handed him $3. He said "thank you. Please don't make the same mistake that he did."

If you have any doubts in your welding skills, even a little. Do NOT weld anything that can potentially cause harm if it breaks apart. Its simply not worth the risk. I will never forget this lesson. And I hope you guys won't either.

Yours in the pursuit of better welds
Lighttekku.
 
   / Sad reminder of the importance of welding #2  

Capricious

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"...Needless to say the welder is still in jail..."


I am having a hard time believing that this story is real, or at least not "embellished."

Exactly what criminal infraction would the welder have been charged with?

While I don't dispute the notion that a welder better know how to weld, if welding something of a critical nature, this story lacks credibility.
 
   / Sad reminder of the importance of welding #3  

nybirdman

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I had a friend borrow a equipment trailer to haul his large JD tractor.When he pulled his tractor on the tongue fell off.The owner had been hauling his two small tractors for months.
This was a so called "factory" made trailer.
Luckily my friend is a certified welder and repaired it.The owner was just very lucky that no one was hurt and his tractors wrecked.
 
   / Sad reminder of the importance of welding #4  

kennyd

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Just the sheer mention of the word trailer on WW causes a feeding frenzy.
 
   / Sad reminder of the importance of welding #6  

Capricious

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Let the games begin .....


Not really.

No doubt that trailer tongues occasionally fall off, or are wrenched off.

But that story is just a bit too melodramatic to be believable.


EDITED TO ADD: The real "kicker" is claiming the welder went to jail. While such a situation could certainly involve civil litigation, it would be real hard to make a criminal matter out of it.
 
   / Sad reminder of the importance of welding #7  

Scooby074

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Not really.

No doubt that trailer tongues occasionally fall off, or are wrenched off.

But that story is just a bit too melodramatic to be believable.

It does have a bit of a Fw:Fw:Fw:Fw: type vibe.

That said the risks of taking a poorly welded trailer on the public highway are very real.
 
   / Sad reminder of the importance of welding #8  

Capricious

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While apparently not involving welding, I think this hammers home the issue of trailer safety a lot better than the above story:

CHP: Hitch in fatal crash involving pizza oven | The Press Democrat



EDITED TO ADD: Note that the person facing possible criminal charges, in the wreck of this "custom built" trailer, is the driver of the vehicle, not the builder of the trailer.
 
   / Sad reminder of the importance of welding #9  

Mace Canute

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From that article they say three things contributed to the accident: Spring-loaded safety chain hooks were not engaged, the custom-built trailer did not have an independent brake system and the trailers hitch coupler the extended part of a trailer that lowers into the ball hitch at the rear of a vehicle was rated to pull 3,500 pounds, 450 pounds less than the weight of the pizza oven.

The one thing that would have prevented the accident was having the safety chains hooked up.

Having an independent brake system is a bit of a red herring since it requires a certain distance to bring the trailer to a halt and it's possible that one wheel could have slightly more breaking force than the other causing the trailer to veer to the side which could be into oncoming traffic or the ditch. Would it be better to have it continue in as straight a line as possible or brake with uncertain results? Six of one and half a dozen of the other. The fact that the ball hitch was only rated at 3500 lbs is also a red herring since it was overloaded by less than 13%. It should have at least a safety factor of two which means it would easily handle that small overload.
 
   / Sad reminder of the importance of welding #10  

DarkBlack

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Why would someone want to start a thread to re-post a post of a far fetched welding horror story, originally posted by someone who just claimed to be on day 2 of learning how to weld?

Is TBN the National Inquirer now?
 
 
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