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Question for Members clubs, does your club hold 'Tech. Inspections' ?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Little Giant, May 7, 2002.

  1. Little Giant

    Little Giant Registered Member

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    Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    As in a check of minimum equipment requirements (tow points, snatch strap or winch, fire extinguisher, etc. ) as well as a general once over the members vehicle. Maybe just when a new person joins, or on an annual basis?

    The club I am in is holding one this Saturday. Recently one member got so mad that someone who is an 'amateur' compared to them would be the one inspecting their vehicle they got into a huge pissing match. Now they are so angered by the event (which has been talked about for months with little discussion at meetings) that they are planning to quit the club.

    I've been in the club now for a little over a year and have never seen anyone quit. Maybe become inactive, but not make a point to bad mouth the club intentions and leave in such a huff.

    This is the second formal Tech. Inspection we have tried to organize. Last year two members (one who makes his living as a mechanic and the other a mechanic/general manager of the four wheel drive shop in town) stood around for an afternoon, but NO ONE showed up. This year we said it was a mandatory event and made a bit more noise, so that people who actually attend. Even planned a b-b-q or a trail run afterwards.

    So where are we going wrong. Anyone have any experience with this sort of issue. Do other clubs just expect everyone to 'go prepared' and don't have a problem with that? Is there a better term or what to express the event without peeing in someone's wheaty's?

    Thanks for the input if you got it.
     
  2. gokartergo

    gokartergo 3/4 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    We just started our club..But I wanted it to be informal..Everybody nows what they should have..But not everybody can afford it all at once..We are all just out to have fun..And if somebody doesn't have a tow strap should they be banned from the club???..NO...Again we are all just out to have fun..It would be a good idea to put up a section in your bylaws or website of stuff you should have..That is what we are planning on doing..Dan
     
  3. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    Well, our club got boned on a couple of rides because one member blew a tire and didnt have a spare. The entire ride was ruined because we had to wait for another tire to arrive via 'friend' which took so long it cut our ride short. We never had any sort of inspections before, but after these two rides we now have a very minor vehicle req list. Basically it amounts to: having a spare that fits your truck, and having your truck in decent enough repair that you wont break down on every ride... once cant be helped but if it happens regularly, something will be said.
    We also tried to regulate who can go on certain rides due to truck ratings, but that created a lot of hard feelings so it was modified to be a guide to the owner.
    Its a tough call, especially if your club involves a lot of friends, but sometimes it has to be done for the protection of other members. I guess you just have to state that what is required before they join, and explain why its necessary.

    Mike
     
  4. wayne

    wayne 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    Yes and no. me and another member of our club make up the safty team. Basically everybody knows what they should have. We do have certain requirements that must be abided by. We will not have a planned safty inspection since most of us are from Pa and we do have a yearly inspection in this state. What I plan to do is at the runs I attend is just do a quick onceover on everybodys rig and have somebody do mine. You would be suprizied at the stupid little thing that you can miss checking on your truck that somebody else might spot.
     
  5. Little Giant

    Little Giant Registered Member

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    I agree, and we are already there. We have a list of equipment in the by-laws, which is also on the webpage.

    ARTICLE VII: Vehicle Equipment:

    Section 1. The following equipment is required for all vehicles on all runs. It is the Trail Boss’ job to spot check vehicles prior to the start of the run. There will be a $1.00 fine for each item not carried. Only applicable to club members. Fines will go to the treasurer.

    * PL or PD Insurance.
    * Fire Extinguisher.
    * Roll Bar. (Exception to this requirement are those vehicles having a steel utilized structure).
    * First Aid Kit.
    * Tow Rope, Tow Chain, or Winch
    * Safety Belts, one for each person traveling in the vehicle.
    * Spare Tire, Jack, and Lug Wrench.
    * Tow Hook or Strap Attachment Point (front and rear)
    * Pair of Leather Heavy Work Gloves.

    Section 2. Recommended, no fines imposed.

    * Shovel with at least a 5" x 7" blade and 12" handle.
    * Axe, Saw, or Hatchet.
    * Highway Flares (3).
    * One Gallon Bucket.
    * Citizens Band (CB) or Family Radio Service (FRS) Radio.
    * Pair of Hip or Chest Waders.

    Section 3. No Exceptions, these are required.

    * Headlights.
    * Tail Lights/Brake lights.
    * Windshield Wipers.
    * Parking Brake.
    * Spare Tire.

    No, I've never heard of anyone actually getting fined, we probably should just remove that from our by-laws at a meeting. As well, I personally think wipers and a parking brake shouldn't be mandatory (since my e-brake doesn't work anyway).

    You are right. Wheeling can be expensive to get into, and its hard to buy everything at once.

    Our probably is we let just anyone in the club for a while. Some 'just starting out', could get some stickers. Now with the snow melting we are faced with the fact someone who doens't know how to do any maintanenace on their vehicle, nor has tow points, may be trying to run trails with us. So we took a hard stance and said 'this is mandatory', which of course peeved a few people. But what were we to do, say 'only you guys with unsafe rigs need show up' ?

    UGH! Sorry guys, just venting a bit. I can't believe someone actually threatened to leave over this. I heard back before my time in the club, when they first made some of the requirements, that someone left just because they so wholly heartedly disagreed with having to bring a spare tire.
     
  6. Little Giant

    Little Giant Registered Member

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    For the most part all our members know what they 'should' have, but that's were it gets grey. It was mentioned to the officers that someone in the club welded their own tow hooks onto their bumper. Would be okay, but they'd NEVER welded before. Oh wait, yes they did, because they made the bumper the hooks mounted to. So sure, someone says 'I have front and rear tow points'...But if one of those ripped off while someone else was winching them out a hole...oh it'd potentially be ugly. That's sort of why we thought we'd make it mandatory.

    At the same time, lots of people will have very setup rigs, that have been performing fine. Those inspections would just be looking for those "little thing that you can miss checking on your truck that somebody else might spot." Sure, I could see how that could happen. A member told me tonight how his 6 year old kid pointed out how his breather hose was not connected 'Daddy, what's that straw hanging out'. Now I know this guy is competant, just overlooked it.

    So you do these spot checks before every run at the trail head?
     
  7. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    So, it was mentioned about fines for equipment not installed or carried... were those guys allowed to carry on the run after being fined? Thats the same as we ran into. Only his truck was too small for the trail rating. The guy showed up, but got in a huff when he was told he wasnt built enough to go. Then he went into this spiel about us not being able to stop him cause its a free trail, and he was going to follow us anyways. Then when he got stuck, we had to help him anyways cause he is a friend and a member of our club so we werent going to leave him. So basically whats the point of having a rating list?
    I think a lot depends on what kind of wheeling you are doing. Like the tow hook thing, for us, we try to get everyone to have some, but whether or not they are welded or not... thats a hard one because the pulls we do, arent that difficult.
    theres a lot of reasons for having safe trucks, including the possibility of legal action against the club Executive if someone is hurt, but its a tough call for any club that is small with a bunch of friends...

    Mike
     
  8. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    First off, get used to someone getting upset and leaving the club. I have seen it a few times around here. All it seems to take is for one person to get there feelings hurt there it goes.

    For inspections, we do them only at certain events. We have a big competition each year and you have to pass tech inspection to compete. Other than that, we don't do inspections. We have a recommended equipment list, but it is up to the individual to comply. It is often that first time wheelers don't have straps or adequate tow points. When they get stuck, it makes it tougher to get them out. But, it usually only happens on one trail ride. Becomes their top priority after that!

    It often sucks to constantly have to be strapping someone through a trail because they attempted something beyond their rigs or the drivers capabilities. But, it is going to happen. One key I have found is to make sure there are enough people doing enough varieties of trails. If no one is doing the "bunny slopes", then they probably are going to stick with you. If there is a group on lower rated trails, try to encourage them to hit those. If they repeatedly don't abide, then club leadership needs to have a discussion with them.
     
  9. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    A guy is going to quit becuase he doesn't want to deal with a safety inspection that may possibly make the trail rides better for the WHOLE club?. Gooood ridden's. Sounds like he won't pass and your tech sheet is very reasonable. Gee poor baby.....what's his beef? no spare?
    Only thing I would add is Battery must be BOLTED down in a simular fashion as original. No Bungy cords.
     
  10. txbartman

    txbartman 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    When we did our tech inspection for our competition, one of the items being checked was a securely mounted battery. You wouldn't believe the number of batteries that were poorly fastened! Some we could practically lift out!

    another thing we checked for was fuel leaks near the manifolds and any "excessive" leaks from the undercarriage. We know most rigs have small oil leaks, but we don't want to be dripping oil or tranny fluid along the trails. That just isn't cool.
     
  11. Little Giant

    Little Giant Registered Member

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    No one has been fined, or threatened with being fined. It is in our by-laws, as a way of enforcing the rules I suppose, but to my knowledge has never been used. But just the reminder of tech. inspections being less than a week away set this guy off. Got him all worked up, he posted on a public message board (frequented mostly by local wheelers) and insulted the VP, saying he would be 'confused' by whats under their rig and calling him an ameature. Anyway, the thread got out of hand, and that's when they said they would quit, and run any trail they wanted, whenever they wanted.

    Which yes, they can do because we have no right to keep someone off a public trail. But it just makes for a bad situation.

    The inspections are this saturday, they haven't happened yet. So we'll see. These particular people didn't attend tonights club meeting as they threatened.

    I think it'll blow over in a few days. And in the end, if this one vehicle is in or out of the club, it doesn't make too much of a difference. The club is up to 45 members or so, and its alot more work for three officers than I think we expected.
     
  12. Little Giant

    Little Giant Registered Member

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    Well here, I'll just repost what they wrote so you all understand what got me upset. "We dont need a ammerture such as you, looking under such highly modified vehicles such as are's. It would just confused you, and you wouldnt even know what you were looking at. I think most of the people that are in the club, and go wheeling with us know more about there vehicles than you do. Also what about the lift you put on and left the bolt out of one of the control arms? [edit, it was an RE XJ lift install that went till 3am, one of the control arm bolts worked its way loose the next day] Are you qualified enuff to inspect someones vehicle? I dont think so. We will be on any trail when we want, no matter who is on it. How do you know what to look for? Have you even been up here in Alaska for a year? I would think someone more qualified should look at the vehicles such as ..." he then proceeded to schedule a trail run at the same time as the tech inspections.

    Anyway, the person that was in response to was the club VP. Who, while he will be present and looking at simple stuff, is not the one performing the inspections. There is a whole lot more to the story than I care to get into here.

    Anyway, the reaction I seem to be getting is the club is in no way out of line, or requiring anything more than some other clubs do. That reassures me we are doing the right thing, thanks.

    Today I talked with my brother, he owns an automotive repair business and will be one of the members performing the inspections. Basically they will be using the by-law requirements as 'mininum equipment' list, but also worked up a list of safety items to check. One item was a good battery hold down (good thinking eh?). There was also brake lines (in case anyone installed a lift and not extended lines), u-joints, ball joints, wheel bearings, etc. We have alot of members who are new to wheeling, and vehicle maintenance. So a large part will just be a general 'once over' of the vehicle, and pointing out trouble spots to the owner. Of course the more veteran members will be aware of those items, so those inspections will be more of just a second pair eyes checking things out. Even experts can miss little stuff right?

    On a slight side note. I've heard some clubs require BOLTED toe points, no welded hooks allowed at all. Any thoughts on that? Seems like as long as the weld is done by a qualified person it shouldn't be a problem.
     
  13. Little Giant

    Little Giant Registered Member

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    I'll have them add 'excisive oil leaks' or something like that to the list. TreadLightly should include not leaking atf or oil all over the the trail right? As you said, its just not cool.
     
  14. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    attach points should be thought out whether welded or bolted.
    I have seen bolted ones rip right out of the frame.
    I have good points in the rear but my front is bare.
    I bought some hooks a year ago and have not put them on because there is no good place to attach them to that I would feel safe about.
    When I get around to building a front bumper the points will be welded on.
    A good solid welded point is not gonna let go.
    A tech inspection is a great idea, our club has the required list, but I think that an inspection would be a good thing as it would get the guys with less experience a heads up .
    And the ones with more experience a boot in the butt to get things fixed.
    I am still running around with my battrey bungied down, after it wound up in the header last year ya would think I would have fixed it by now LOL
    As far as the "inspecters" folks that have solid experience doing this should be the ones doing it.
    I am not knocking the guy that knows how to wrench on his rig but there are enough people in clubs that 1 or 2 guys there are wrenching for a living and do this sort of thing on a daily basis.
    Now as far as failing the requirements and still wanting to go.
    Ya it is up to the driver, but he or she should let the others go through first so as to not hold up the group when they get stuck or whatever.
    But anyone who gets pissy over the inspection and wants to leave then like Grim said "see ya"
    As far as the less experienced lookin over a rig hell yeah, look at mine.
    When ya are done and give me the list I will politely point out all of the stuff ya missed LOL
     
  15. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Re: Question for Members clubs, does your club hold \'Tech. Inspections\' ?

    Yeah my club generally recomends Bolted over welded. The reason is a Grade 5 or 8 bolt is easy to spot and you know it's going to hold. A amature weld with the wrong rod, Improper welding technique to Weld Mild steel to a cast steel hook and other factors are not easlily seen.
    The club I run with has their Requirment list on line at www.gbr4wd.com
     

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