Not to be picky but I always felt I never wanted to be sitting in the seat of anything with steel tracks on it during a storm, never had the balls to find out just who was right on the subject so I opted for plan B, get the heck out of the seat and away from anything remotely grounded to anything and look for a safe dry place to sit it out that was lower to the ground than the machine I got out of. I've known a few that got killed by lightning and that was enough for me, if you think its safe, go for it and once the machine your sitting in is struck let me know how it turned out, I'll watch from a safer place and call for the ambulance to come get you, and unless your female and beautiful don't count of me doing mouth to mouth to revive you either, not until the storms over anyhow.
I always shut down for storms not matter what and wait it out, no dirt is that important that it can't wait a few minutes or hours to move, that and from a distance I like rain and lightning, its nice and peaceful to watch a good storm from a dry safe place. Just my two cents worth though
I went to high school with the guy who wound up being my best man. Then we kinda drifted apart cause I went and joined the Army. After I retired we got hooked back up. He was a deputy sheriff in our county. He was catching heck from his fellow cops because over a couple of years his patrol car was hit 3 times while he was on patrol. All 3 times while responding to reports of tornados on the ground ( we are in the county just west of Wadena MN that got hit so bad last summer). Twice the only effects were his radio and radar where fried, the other was a good hit that got the ignitions system too. He was not injured......except his pride at needing new shorts!
While in the Army we never abandoned our tanks when the lightning was bad. Never saw any damage to em. Sat out one storm at Ft Know while an instructor inside the tanks with our students. A large tree was hit about 100 feet from where 8 tanks and 4 HMMV's were parked. About five miles from where we were a soldier was killed when he was struck.......he was in the NCO acadamy doing the dismounted land navigation course.
Guess I never thought about it. Just just told us to stay in the tanks.
Steel on steel!
I'm not sure where I would have liked to be when this one occured. Except a long long way away. I remember when it happened as we were issued the incident report.
So if I were sitting in the truck at the time would the strike have killed me or the concussion of the tires exploding or metal parts flying around?
This back to the fore front because of an officer being struck while in Joplin Mo helping with the storm damage;
I'm not sure where the boss's heard or found this statement but at one time said we should wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike before putting a boom in the air .
Heavy Equipment Relocation Specialist
Our 110' logging tower got hit many times over the years. Often fried the electronics. We usually shut down as a storm approached and took the talkie tooter system out. Sometimes the storm came to quick. Saw my brother get knocked on his ass once when we were standing at the base of the tower when it was hit. He had a chainsaw in his hands. I think the end of the bar was touching the base of the tower. One time our rigging crew was standing in a creek while the rigging was being lowered when the tower was hit. Glad they didn't have a hold of those chokers. Another time the hook tender was laying out a new road. had the hindue of the haywire attached to the strap holding the haul back block. He got nailed, but I think much of the lightning was dissapated by the cable laying on the wet ground. Dangerous indeed.
1 long and a short
I had a lightning bolt pass over top of the truck I was loading, between my 550 Barko and a Washington 108 and continue on over the hill we were on to strike a tree about half a mile away. The lightning was horizontal and right at my eye level on the Barko. That was 20 years ago and I can still see the flash. Why it didn't hit the loader or the 70' boom on the yarder, I'll never know.
At the landfill we work through the rain but sometimes We let lightning slip up on us. Especially if we are working a cell in the main pit its easy for it to get there. Sometimes I will not see a flash but see it. Ive had a spring storm blow up and be striking all around. That old open cab D5B seems mighty slow lol. Since we got the D4H with a cab Ill work in it more even real bad stuff the other day I had to move a surface water diversion berm. I know the cab should work like a Faraday Cage. Back when I was 21 I was running a 5299 and had 120 foot boom I was on the side of the Tennessee river. We were installing an intake tower for a treatment plant and I was runnin the crane some. I I coulnd boom down and a storm rolled down the the river. We had a really had packed clay road and the rain. Our trucks couldnt get out or up one hill as it was so slick. Most of the crew got in my crane, and some of the concrete workers got under a 30by30 Symon form. The ret got in the woods. The old crane actually got struck. I was in the seat and just felt a tingle. I had a flag on the stinger and it was singed pretty good. THe folks on the ground got a good jolt.
At work we have a rul that 45 minutes after the last thunder before we can get back out. We noticed when its dry for a while and the and is blowing is the worst time for a lightning.
I work alot on draglines, almost every dragline now days has a lightening detector. When the alarm goes off, mining stops and you get out of the dragline, they shut it down and cut the pwoer. I dont know for sure what would happens when one gets hit, I think it would be different since a dragline runs off A/C. If anyone knows for sure please let me know.
We're in a major area here for thunderstorms, and they can strike at any time although they are more common in summer. 4 years ago a lightning strike from what was pretty much a cloudless sky killed a guy sitting under a tree having his lunch, so it focused peoples minds wonderfully.
We have a system of detectors all round the perimeter of the site that can detect lightning discharges at a maximum of 50 miles distance. If a strike occurs at 30-50 miles we go on a low level (yellow) alert and work continues normally. If a strike occurs in the 10-30 mile range we go on a medium (orange) alert. Work continues but everyone working outside has to be aware of where their nearest lighning shelter is. If a strike occurs at less than 10 miles we go on high (red) alert and all outside work is stopped. On this highest level of alert all personnel must be either inside a building, in a vehicle with the windows rolled up, or in an approved lighning shelter. If we have a red alert then we must go at least 30 minutes with no strikes inside a 10-mile distance before the alert is lifted, even then it might only be lifted to orange level if we are still seeing strikes in the 10-30 mile range. However even during red alert the operation of all mining/earthmoving equipment continues as normal. That said we have no electrically-powered equipment like draglines or shovels, all our kit is diesel-powered.
In the past I've seen us go on red alert around lunchtime and not go out of it until well into the evening. It plays havoc with construction, not so much with mining.
How did I become a pessimist ..? Well I started off years ago as an optimist but now I have practical experience .........!!
I just got in and saw this thread and wanted to make a comment about tires as an insulator. The last company I worked at used rough terrain cranes to set up drill rigs for geothermal wells. One rig move we were moving a rig on the site of a power plant. It was the middle of winter and there was snow on the ground. The crane operator was passing under the main power lines out of the powerplant and came in contact with them. The arc from the power lines killed the scale and burned dime sized holes in all four tires in the side walls about six inches up the side wall. I don't believe that tires will insulate well.
While this isn't about being on the ground. I've been hit several times in my years in an airplane. Never been electrocuted, but it depends on where it enters and exits the airplane, and the path it takes in between. Sometimes there has been no electronic damage to frying radios and other electronics. An inspection is always done to do a systems test plus find the burn marks where it entered and exited. Granted we don't fly through t-storms, but to avoid all weather out of the range of lightning isn't always possible or practicle. Just my 2c.
Lightning Strike Safety Facts
• Lightning can strike from as far away as 10 Miles from the leading or trailing edge of a storm.
• 30% of victims are struck under blue skies before storms arrive.
• 60% of victims are struck under blue skies after storms have passed.