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Tactical Vehicle PMCS

Tactical Vehicle PMCS

STAFF SGT. JESSE BAKER
A Company, 3rd Battalion, 160th Aviation Regiment
Hunter Army Airfield
Savannah, Georgia

I’d guess that many people who read Risk Management magazine also subscribe to “U.S Army WTF! Moments” on their social media accounts. One of the page’s most recent photos of Army debauchery features a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) pulling an M1082 trailer in the background. Upon closer inspection, you can see the trailer’s passenger-side retractable sling arm is extended. The star of the show, however, is in the foreground — a new Ford F150 literally sliced in half. The people surrounding the scene show two looks on their faces. The first look is of absolute despair. The second look is one of shame and angst, coming from the two Soldiers who were operating the LMTV.

Let’s give this mishap a little background. Last summer, a large unit on Hunter Army Airfield was moved from one area to the opposite side. This battalion-sized element had a lot of people and vehicles in need of parking. Unfortunately, the parking situation on the other side of the airfield was already scarce at best. When the larger element arrived, finding a parking space became near impossible.

With no spaces available, Soldiers and civilians resorted to parking on the grass and sidewalks separating the lot from the main road. This situation created multiple hazards. For example, drivers pulling onto the main road could not see, sidewalks were blocked and did not allow foot traffic, and, obviously, there was little space between moving traffic and parked vehicles.

Let’s go back to the accident scene. Who was to blame? The owner of the F150, who parked his truck on the side of the road? Or were the Soldiers operating the LMTV at fault? I don’t think it really matters, but here’s what does. First, no one was injured. If the F150 driver had been in his truck at the time of the accident, he would not be with us today. That all-aluminum truck cab was peeled back like a sardine tin. Second, how thoroughly are Soldiers performing preventive maintenance checks and services (PMCS)?

I have no doubt the LMTV was dispatched appropriately and the driver was licensed. But how well did the Soldiers inspect the trailer? Not well enough because the retractable arm was not stowed and locked. When it rattled itself out, the arm became a very real hazard to traffic, parked vehicles and pedestrians. The responsibility to perform good before-operations checks rests on the equipment operator. Always conduct proper PMCS by the manual; don’t just “kick the tires.” A lot of Soldiers overlook checking these retractable arms. As an operator, physically ensure the arms are fully retracted and the locks are engaged. These checks really do matter and can save you a lot of time. They may even prevent an accident or, more importantly, save a life.

  • 23 July 2023
  • Author: USACRC Editor
  • Number of views: 477
  • Comments: 0
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