Construction and Heavy Equipment Accident Reconstruction
Heavy Equipment, Machinery, Construction Equipment and Train Crash Analysis
With the wide variety of experiences and backgrounds of our Board Certified Forensic Engineers, we are able to evaluate the functionality of the various mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical systems employed in construction equipment and machinery. Additionally, members of our staff have been trained in the proper operation of scissor lifts and forklifts as well as having operational experience with wheel loaders, skid steers, back-hoes, and concrete handling machinery.
Veritech has expertise in the following areas:
Veritech engineers have substantial experience with the investigation rail related accidents including roadway crossings, (involving both vehicles and pedestrians), railyard incidents, and track fouling incidents. The train locomotive is commonly equipped with log recording devices (commonly referred to as a “black box”) and can also be equipped with a front-facing video camera that is capable of recording the movement of the subject train. Veritech has investigated numerous train accidents and has experience in data analysis of the recorded black box data, as well as experience in reviewing recorded video (from GE LocoCAM and others) of train collisions through the use of videogrammetry.
Machinery used in manufacturing, including material removal machines such as mills and lathes require specialized skill and training in order to use safely. These machines are very powerful and contain spinning objects that can be harmful to the operator in the case of a malfunction. Veritech has first-hand knowledge of this type of machinery and its dangers and limitations. In addition, Veritech has first-hand experience in the design, manufacture, and production of robotics systems, SCARA robots (Selective Compliance Articulating Robotic Arm), and industrial automation engineering.
Veritech forensic engineers are experienced in the reconstruction of accidents involving material handling equipment such as, all-terrain forklifts, telehandlers, and other types of machinery. Typically these machines are used in a loading dock or similar area. Forklifts can be powered by compressed natural gas, or other internal combustion fuel types such as diesel or gasoline. Some forklifts are used indoors, in factory settings and warehouses. These forklifts are commonly powered with electrical motors and contain massive lead-acid batteries as power storage.
Reconstruction of accidents involving scissor lifts, and other man lifts designed to be used during access to significant heights. These accidents pose dangers to the lift occupant that are sometimes disguised. It is common for scissor lift operators to inadvertently contact surrounding objects while operating, which could lead to a potential tip-over of the lift.
Crane accidents involving the use of gantry cranes, rough terrain cranes, all-terrain cranes, and all other types. Cranes are pieces of industrial machinery that are used to lift heavy objects using a hoist, or motorized cable drum. These types of accidents are less common, however very serious in nature and magnitude due to the size of these machines and the significant weight of loads handled by them.
Otherwise known as skid loaders or even skid-steer loader, or even by the trademark name Bobcats, these small machines have exceptional power for their size and are easily maneuverable. One of the defining characteristics of these machines is a relatively large loading bucket affixed to the front of the machine, and no separate steering linkage attached to the drive wheels. These machines achieve superior maneuverability through the use of turning by propelling the drive wheels in opposite directions allowing the machine to spin “on a dime”.
Wheel loaders are known by many different names: tractors, front end loaders, back hoes, scoop, shovel, or bucket loader. These loaders are capable of carrying large heavy loads of material in their buckets and have massively heavy vehicle weights. These machines are massive, and are typically operated off-road. Therefore, reconstructing accidents that involve wheel loaders requires special attention to the operating environment and terrain.
Roadway Construction Equipment
As licensed professional mechanical engineers, Veritech's team is qualified in accident reconstruction dealing with excavators, graders, and bulldozers, backhoes, trenchers, and all other industrial earth moving equipment. Roadway construction accidents pose a unique situation in that the accident is usually within a road work zone. Therefore, these accidents can and frequently do involve passenger vehicles and even pedestrians. Careful attention to the surrounding environment of the location of the accident must be taken into consideration during accident reconstruction.
Concrete Hauling and Pumping
Concrete is very heavy, and hauling it can pose hazards due to the massive payload and change in vehicle center of mass due to the concrete weight. Pumping concrete can also pose significant hazards for many of the same weight reasons. Our expertise includes vehicles that haul and pump concrete. Concrete can be considered a liquid while it is being transported, and concrete weight can be on the order of 150 pounds per cubic foot, making it extremely heavy and difficult to move. Typically, only a relatively small amount of concrete is needed to completely maximize the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of a concrete truck. Accounting for concrete weight can become a serious issue during an accident involving a concrete truck or concrete pumping truck.
Construction equipment and machinery accidents pose unique issues during investigation and therefore, must be handled with special care. Veritech engineers would be happy to discuss the specifics of your case in detail.