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  #1  
Old 10-02-2009, 07:39 PM
Paul_in_Harrogate Paul_in_Harrogate is offline
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Chains dragging under school bus: why?

Driving behind a yellow schoolbus, I spied and heard chains dragging from the axle. There must be a reason for them.
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2009, 07:50 PM
SmartAlecCat SmartAlecCat is offline
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Ground wires so an electric charge doesn't build up?
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2009, 08:57 PM
Harry1945 Harry1945 is offline
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They're called "on-spot" chains, and their purpose is to keep the wheels from spinning on snow/ice when the bus pulls away from a stop. They're attached to an arm with a spinning head that can be deployed in front of the wheels when they're needed, and moved away when they're not.
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  #4  
Old 10-02-2009, 08:58 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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They're for students who misbehave on the bus.
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  #5  
Old 10-02-2009, 09:22 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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In Soviet Russia, the gulag trains had chains at the end of the train with hooks on them, so if you managed to escape through the floor of a car the hooks would catch you and drag you to a horrible death. Just sayin'.
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2009, 09:27 PM
Billdo Billdo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
In Soviet Russia, the gulag trains had chains at the end of the train with hooks on them, so if you managed to escape through the floor of a car the hooks would catch you and drag you to a horrible death. Just sayin'.
Worst Yakov Smirnoff joke, ever!
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  #7  
Old 10-03-2009, 06:25 PM
pabstist pabstist is offline
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I've always wondered what those were, but not enough to Google it. I was behind a school bus a few weeks ago with those, and it had a sticker that said "Automatic Tire Chains". I still can't figure how they work, even with the description above.
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  #8  
Old 10-03-2009, 06:30 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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http://www.onspot.com/
They have a good video of how they work.
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2009, 06:37 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Originally Posted by gazpacho View Post
http://www.onspot.com/
They have a good video of how they work.
That's pretty slick.
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2009, 06:47 PM
Henrichek Henrichek is offline
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That's pretty slick.
No, in fact it's the opposite.
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2009, 06:49 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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No, in fact it's the opposite.
Zing!
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2009, 06:52 PM
mswas mswas is offline
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For the kids that don't behave.
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  #13  
Old 10-03-2009, 07:18 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Originally Posted by mswas View Post
For the kids that don't behave.
Confucious say, he who laughs last thinks slowest!
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  #14  
Old 10-03-2009, 08:42 PM
Qwakkeddup Qwakkeddup is offline
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So far, as I have driven a school bus and been behind my fair share as I cruise down the road, I have never seen those.

I have seen a few recently with chains dangling below across the rear axle, but those are just for preventing kicked up debris from hitting the car behind, especially since they don't seem to keep mudflaps on buses around here.
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  #15  
Old 10-03-2009, 08:51 PM
Alex_Dubinsky Alex_Dubinsky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartAlecCat View Post
Ground wires so an electric charge doesn't build up?
I've seen those on cars. Particularly in soviet russia now that we mention it.... What do they do again?
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2009, 01:02 PM
Mahaloth Mahaloth is offline
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Originally Posted by mswas View Post
For the kids that don't behave.
See, I almost posted this, but then I read the thread and realized someone else had already made the same joke.

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  #17  
Old 10-04-2009, 01:18 PM
Lobsang Lobsang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
In Soviet Russia, the gulag trains had chains at the end of the train with hooks on them, so if you managed to escape through the floor of a car the hooks would catch you and drag you to a horrible death. Just sayin'.
I recently read Child 44 which had that in it. Can't quite remember the specifics of what happened to the characters though.
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2009, 01:57 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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That's where I got it from.
SPOILER:
They escaped the train by throwing a guard's body out first and letting it get caught up in the hooks. I think he got caught by one of them, though, and tore free.
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  #19  
Old 10-04-2009, 08:37 PM
Sapo Sapo is offline
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Maybe it was a school bus with highly flammable children and they need them to prevent explosions from static electricity.
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  #20  
Old 10-04-2009, 08:42 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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I find it pretty hard to believe that chains dragging behind a train, with hooks on the ends of them, would not get snagged on something and pulled off of the train in very short order once it was in motion. This sounds scary but I think it was probably the invention of the author; I can't find any references to this actually happening in real life.
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  #21  
Old 10-04-2009, 09:28 PM
qazwart qazwart is offline
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Originally Posted by gazpacho View Post
http://www.onspot.com/
They have a good video of how they work.
I'd be more impressed if they didn't offer a choice between dialup and broadband. Looks like that webpage hasn't been updated since 1991.

We use Frames! Best viewed with Netscape 2.0!

(I might be rather close. Their website was created with HoTMetaL Pro 3.0 which was released back in 1997.)
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  #22  
Old 10-04-2009, 11:06 PM
Henrichek Henrichek is offline
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Originally Posted by qazwart View Post
I'd be more impressed if they didn't offer a choice between dialup and broadband. Looks like that webpage hasn't been updated since 1991.

We use Frames! Best viewed with Netscape 2.0!

(I might be rather close. Their website was created with HoTMetaL Pro 3.0 which was released back in 1997.)
They even have the visitor counter that was a prerequisite for any respectable site during the 90's .
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  #23  
Old 10-05-2009, 05:43 AM
Lobsang Lobsang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
I find it pretty hard to believe that chains dragging behind a train, with hooks on the ends of them, would not get snagged on something and pulled off of the train in very short order once it was in motion. This sounds scary but I think it was probably the invention of the author; I can't find any references to this actually happening in real life.
If I remember correctly the chains dangled just low enough to catch a person but not low enough to snag on things. FYI the author did do a lot of research for the book.
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  #24  
Old 10-05-2009, 06:53 AM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qwakkeddup View Post
So far, as I have driven a school bus and been behind my fair share as I cruise down the road, I have never seen those.

I have seen a few recently with chains dangling below across the rear axle, but those are just for preventing kicked up debris from hitting the car behind, especially since they don't seem to keep mudflaps on buses around here.
Where (generally) did you drive bus? If you drove in Florida, they may not be necessary. Yukon, quite possibly.
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  #25  
Old 10-05-2009, 01:16 PM
HorseloverFat HorseloverFat is offline
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Why ordinary chains? I would think something with more texture or more bite would work a lot better. Or are chains just good enough and easy to replace?
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  #26  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:48 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HorseloverFat View Post
Why ordinary chains? I would think something with more texture or more bite would work a lot better. Or are chains just good enough and easy to replace?
It's got to be a mix of giving good traction without eating up the tires or the road surface.
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  #27  
Old 10-05-2009, 07:19 PM
Fetchund Fetchund is offline
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I wonder if those things are legal where regular tire chains are not?
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