Why do Ambulances have Chains underneath them?
Every time I see an Ambulance drive by me I hear and see chains clinking and clanking underneath the vehicle. Why do they do this? Is it to warn animals ahead or some other reason?
Bear with me for a minute as we go into left field for just a second. Grocery carts at our grocery store have small chains hanging down from the bottom of the cart to the floor. I always wondered why until I heard the manager telling someone that it grounds the cart to avoid a static electricity shock.
Could the same hold true of the ambulance?
All the school buses in CT and many pieces of heavy equipment I see have chains as well. I've never asked this of anyone but have always wondered myself. I figured it had something do with grounding and electricity. Now it's been confirmed.
So why don't all vehicles have chains? What's different about cars, etc. that they don't need them or aren't required to have them?
When I worked as a Paramedic in Colorado, we used a product from a company called "Onspot" for winter driving. The idea was that there was a hydraulic swing-arm above each tire with a number of short chains connected. When the system was put into use, the arm would lower and rotate, effectively swinging the chains under the tires as the vehicle made its way down the road.
All that to say, when the system was not being used for winter driving, there were just chains hanging below the ambulance.
Along the same lines, many trucks, etc. store their "tire chains" under the vehicle.
The automatic tire chains answer is correct, at least for ambulances. If you look at the chains they are not actually dragging on the road, so they would not work to ground the ambulance. And in any case, the idea of static electricity somehow building up and affecting systems INSIDE the ambulance doesn't make sense, first because the interior of the ambulance would have the same charge, and second because of Coulomb's law.
Also, look at the diagram here: http://www.carguydad.com/wp-content/gal … spot-2.jpg -- the chains you see under ambulances look exactly the same. They are there for traction, not static discharge.
Interesting question, in my country Ambulances don't have chains, so it may be something for traction if you are in a country like Canada that snows allot?
The chains that are usually located in front of rear axle or rear end, is for wintery roads, school buses usually have them as well. It makes sense for icy roads. To cause heat to the ground for solid tread contact. For safe driving.
My father has to have a special device dragging under his vehicle to keep electrons from making his heart defibrillator from going off.
Interesting, these are not chains for winter driving on the tires? They may be suspension related, to raise and lower the vehicle, sometimes you will see chains on Handicap Accessible vehicles.
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