Michigan Short Track Racing Club: Head and Neck Restraints - Michigan Short Track Racing Club

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Head and Neck Restraints

#1 User is offline   PFD Icon

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Post icon  Posted 06 November 2007 - 06:49 PM

Hello all..

In this ever growing world of safety it is my duty as a driver, husband, and father to do everything I can do to be safe. I've bought the good suit, gloves, shoes, fire bottle, seat, head rests you name it. Yet I still buy the $60 horseshoe collar. I spend more than that on my gloves. So my question is to everyone who has used these items or just read extensively on them. What are the pro's and con's of each device. The ones I've been looking at are.

- Hans
- Hutchins
- Hutchins II
- Leatt-Brace
- D-Cell
- R3

Basically my wife knows that I'm not going to go any slower. So she's really pushing me to do what I can to be safe. It means a lot to me as well. So what are everyones thoughts. Also if you know of another device I would love to hear about it. This could turn into a great topic.


For that matter, let's talk about head and shoulder braces and seats. You never know who may be in the market.

Thanks in advance
Perry Davenport icon_smile.gif
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#2 User is offline   KCR87 Icon

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 07:04 PM

While the R3 for me was uncomfortable when I tried it on at a Monster Jam show, it's obviously a good product as it is now NASCAR approved also. The price was a bit to swallow as well.

I actually have wore the original Hutchens Device, I have no complaints with it. Although it was a bit uncomfortable at first, it is a nice piece and after you get used to the system and having all the straps.

The hands down best device for me was when I wore a HANS for a few nights. The mobility and head movement in the HANS is alot less then the Hutchens, but thats just the difference in the devices. I also must say that it was nice not having to wear the system around your legs, and hips as it was just slide under your belts. I do notice that you might want to invest in the seats with the notched out back if you're goign to run a HANS, along with the 2" wide belts near the neck as they tend to dig into your neck. I felt that the HANS was the best for my application. I'm running a standard Kirkey seat with the ISP head/shoulder restraint system (I reccomend for any standard seat, best $325.00 I've spent) and the leg supports. This setup worked very well when I was involved with my hard impact at Dixie on the last night with the truck.

I guess what they say is true, any of these devices are safer then nothing, and even the most expensivest restraint is going to be much cheaper then any hospital visit, or better yet, a funeral.
- Kyle Callahan
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#3 User is offline   governor Icon

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 07:10 PM

Perry,

The one important item I have added to my car is the head & shoulder restraint system that Dave Stacys makes. Brent Hook & Nyle Weiler have one plus Dan Frazier & Kevin Lincoln both purchased one from me @ the Ionia swap met and I know this item is on Schinde's wish list. Wayne has one of the Kirkey units, only because he was short on time to get the one from Stacy.

I'm dam glad I had it when I flat sided, left side first into the wall at practice for the Super Shoe. I believe you have set in my car, so you know what I'm talking about.

I feel that on the short tracks we run on, that we are in the most danger from side impact. Not saying that the head a neck restraint arn't a good idea.

I have a Hutchins, but have only worn it once in three years. Next year I hope to attend some of the larger tracks and will be wearing it at the 1/2 mile or larger tracks.

The, Governor / Dan Logan
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#4 Guest_Verwayne_*

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 08:00 PM

Great topic Perry!
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#5 Guest_HRT187_*

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 08:04 PM

I wear a Hans, as they are mandated for sprints and midgets. Worn it about half a dozen times and I don't find it to be restrictive as some have mentioned, in fact I find it more comfortable as far as the belts are concerned. You lose a little range of motion in your neck (side to side) but not at all bad. Jessie Hettinger (gmijessie on MSTRC) wrote an engineering thesis about head and neck restraints and came to the conclusion that the Hans is the best based on the data available at the time, and for the most part I trust her judgment.

However,
I've discussed at length with Greg Whitney and Kyle Trinklein about the Tucker Device from teamtech, and I would probably wear one of them if I didn't have to wear the hans. It sounds like it is more comfortable, more cost effective, and likely just as safe. It also works with the horsecollar to reduce fatigue of the neck, which seems like a good idea. Contact Greg (on mstrc) to get a quote on one, he's our local teamtech dealer.


Dan makes a good point on the seats, I think seats are the biggest part of safety when it comes to cracked ribs and broken arms. I saw a midget hit the wall down in IL this summer at about 150mph, the kid survived but his Kirkey seat folded bigtime at the rib support (this was one of the seats with the C-channel support welded around the ribs also). He got hurt pretty badly. I vowed right then and there that I'll never use a seat without shoulder supports. Lajoie makes a really nice set that will bolt to a standard seat. I also have a brand new set of richardson head supports and shoulder supports that will bolt to a standard seat. Only the right side head support is used, and I'll sell the whole set for what I paid for them. These are heavy duty stuff too, not the flimsy bent up piece of aluminum that Kirkey sells... that's just a comfort device, not a safety device. PM me about the seat supports if you are interested. I think they are far more important than the head and neck restraint for a stock car at most tracks in MI.
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#6 User is offline   53speeder Icon

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 08:25 PM

Any time you run over 80mi you need head & neck support. Any car running over 60mph should have head & shoulder supports,the good ones[ISP or better].
Speed does'nt hirt but the STOP sure gets your attention.
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#7 User is offline   cpracer Icon

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 07:18 AM

I am a dealer for the new R3 unit. It is hands down the safest restraint system out there.


The HANS device is not made for everyone, it does ok in 70* hits but struggles with side impact and many racers in the country have suffered injuries in side crashes from it. Ask Ricky Rudd.


ISP Safety Solutions offers padding for your seat that will allow the R3 to sit in and you will not even feel the unit on you.


It comes 2 ways, it can strap to your body and stay there or it can actually stay in the car, I prefer the first.


John Force has publicy come out to thank Kris from ISP for saving his life, the R3 unit and his ISP seat were the reason he survived his crash, according to him.

If you have any questions about ordering or pricing please feel free to call me


Claude @ CP Race parts 989 666 0839
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#8 User is offline   Greg Icon

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 07:50 AM

QUOTE(cpracer @ Nov 7 2007, 10:18 PM) View Post
I am a dealer for the new R3 unit. It is hands down the safest restraint system out there.
The HANS device is not made for everyone, it does ok in 70* hits but struggles with side impact and many racers in the country have suffered injuries in side crashes from it. Ask Ricky Rudd.
ISP Safety Solutions offers padding for your seat that will allow the R3 to sit in and you will not even feel the unit on you.
It comes 2 ways, it can strap to your body and stay there or it can actually stay in the car, I prefer the first.
John Force has publicy come out to thank Kris from ISP for saving his life, the R3 unit and his ISP seat were the reason he survived his crash, according to him.

If you have any questions about ordering or pricing please feel free to call me
Claude @ CP Race parts 989 666 0839




Claude,

You are so correct on the Hans! We sell all types and the R3 is a very good system but ,if a racers budget doesn't allow one check into the Tucker.



Greg
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#9 User is offline   schinde Icon

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 09:47 AM

Well,

The Governor is correct, I am going to get the head and shoulder restraint seat kit from Dave Stacy before next season.

I also used a device similar to the D-cell/Hutchens this year because my neurosurgeon said if I didn't use something, just the g-forces involved in our sport would reduce me to a quivering mass of jello due to my current neck issues. And, he would not clear me without such promise to use/use of, (nor would my wife) such a device. Many great thanks to John Mamula for his loan of that for my limited run this year. Big Thanks!

The off season surgery should help some of that problem, (provided I can afford it, due to my recent discovery that all of the State of Michigan Neurosurgeons DO NOT PARTICIPATE with with BC/BS, big warning here everyone!!!!!!!!!!!), but that is another topic.

For next season, come hades or high water, I will be back at the track, but will have to have some sort of TUCKER or R3 system, no question about it, or I won't be racing. And that is not an option for me, no way, no how. The other issue I had is about taken care of, so now it is the cervical support matter to be addressed.

Without some sort of system, any type of impact even at low speed will likely end the Hippie's run. I agree, the horse collar isn't an answer.

I can't help what happens on the road, but I can make my time on the track as safe as it can be, I've no choice.

So, I'm looking, and interested in this topic. Very interested.

have a good day,

schinde


Short track racing is more fun than a human being ought to be allowed to have!
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Posted 07 November 2007 - 01:10 PM

Matt the only company that has done extensive testing on this is Safety Solutions. They have done over 70 sled hits to date. The company took into consideration that all hits are not 70* hits and the seat belts in side impact have a drastic affect on the HANS in a very negative way.

The D Cell, and other harness type units are not very affective, they have to be adjusted every time you get into the car and through the course of a race if you move in the seat they will lose their tension just like seatbelts do.


I can get you any info you may like to have and mail it out, let me know, Claude
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#11 Guest_HRT187_*

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 02:19 PM

QUOTE(cpracer @ Nov 7 2007, 03:10 PM) View Post
Matt the only company that has done extensive testing on this is Safety Solutions.



Really? Where does NASCAR and all of the other companies get their sled testing data from? I'm not trying to be a wise-ass, I really don't know, and I am curious.
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#12 User is offline   cpracer Icon

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 02:28 PM

The R3 unit will be used exclusively in Nascar in 2008 as far as I know.
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#13 User is offline   PFD Icon

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 03:48 PM

This is the stuff I was looking for. What can anyone tell me about side impact in any of the units. Personal data not just what's on paper. Who uses what and how has it worked. Although, Claude could you pm some info on the R3 unit. I'm interested in whatever data I can find. For that matter if this forum helps one racer I'm happy.


Thanks everyone, let's keep it up.
Perry
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#14 User is offline   Greg Icon

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 05:27 PM

QUOTE(PFD @ Nov 8 2007, 06:48 AM) View Post
This is the stuff I was looking for. What can anyone tell me about side impact in any of the units. Personal data not just what's on paper. Who uses what and how has it worked. Although, Claude could you pm some info on the R3 unit. I'm interested in whatever data I can find. For that matter if this forum helps one racer I'm happy.
Thanks everyone, let's keep it up.
Perry


My son Bubba uses a Tucker after getting rid of his Hutchens. His Hutchens was uncomfortable being strapped through the crotch and we felt in a high speed crash it would promote spinal compression in the back area. He has hit the wall at Madison International at the end of the back straight doing a high rate of speed and never had a sore muscle. He has also tagged the wall in turn 3 at Auto City at a 45* angle and never was sore. He also uses a Jet Pilot belt system that helps.
You are doing the correct thing by investigating all angles. I will be at Teamtech tomorrow and get all the SFI stats and try to post them for everyone to see. They are all good it's just that some are better.


Greg
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Posted 08 November 2007 - 06:44 AM

I've used the Hutchens device since my second year at Berlin. The first year I raced I used nothing.....I had a small wall slap that cranked my neck good, that tought me to add head support. The next crash was a head on crash and that one hurt. For about 3 weeks my neck hurt pretty bad. Not to mention, my belts (manufacture not to be named in public) stretched about 10 inches letting me come up out of my seat to make contact with the roof of my car. The second year I bought a Hutchens and it was uncomfortable at first. I wasn't used to not being able to turn my head and it felt like I had a 60lb gremlin sitting on my head....but you get used to it! I had a couple of crashes and the device worked well. Something like a Hutchens or D-cell really needs to be used in conjunction with the new style head and shoulder supports. You have to remember, most of these head and neck restraint systems were designed to combat the G forces in a frontal impact and did minimal if nothing for a side impact. I'd like to see data about how every one of these devices do in a side impact. This year we are looking for something that provides a bit more protection. We've not decided yet on head and neck restraint but we do know that we will invest in one of the new head and shoulder support seat add ons. This a great topic!!!!!!! BTW, I wouldn't use anything but IMPACT belts!
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#16 User is offline   Greg Icon

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 08:22 AM

QUOTE(KBM17g @ Nov 8 2007, 09:44 PM) View Post
I've used the Hutchens device since my second year at Berlin. The first year I raced I used nothing.....I had a small wall slap that cranked my neck good, that tought me to add head support. The next crash was a head on crash and that one hurt. For about 3 weeks my neck hurt pretty bad. Not to mention, my belts (manufacture not to be named in public) stretched about 10 inches letting me come up out of my seat to make contact with the roof of my car. The second year I bought a Hutchens and it was uncomfortable at first. I wasn't used to not being able to turn my head and it felt like I had a 60lb gremlin sitting on my head....but you get used to it! I had a couple of crashes and the device worked well. Something like a Hutchens or D-cell really needs to be used in conjunction with the new style head and shoulder supports. You have to remember, most of these head and neck restraint systems were designed to combat the G forces in a frontal impact and did minimal if nothing for a side impact. I'd like to see data about how every one of these devices do in a side impact. This year we are looking for something that provides a bit more protection. We've not decided yet on head and neck restraint but we do know that we will invest in one of the new head and shoulder support seat add ons. This a great topic!!!!!!! BTW, I wouldn't use anything but IMPACT belts!



Bob,

On the belt system that stretched, where were the shoulder straps mounted? Just curious.


Greg
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#17 User is offline   cpracer Icon

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:32 AM

http://www.safedrive...3_Sled_Test.pdf




That is a link to safety testing for you guys.


Also when it comes to belts, materials used makes a huge difference, I will post some valuable info for you in a few minutes
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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:40 AM

PLATINUM RESTRAINTS VS. STANDARD NYLON
Our focus with restraint development is to load the driver earlier in the crash through the use of proper mounting, 6-point restraints and improved webbing, as used in the Platinum Series. Through testing, we have found that there is a delicate balance between force and elongation of the webbing.

Traditional standard nylon webbing available in the U.S. has elongation (stretch) of approximately 15% to 17% at 2,500 lbs. Our new Platinum Series webbing, made primarily of polyester, is both stronger (in excess of 20%) and has less elongation (7% to 9% at 2,500 lbs.) than nylon webbing. It also has better resilience to abrasion, moisture and chemical deterioration over time.

With our Platinum Series restraints, these properties help insure that the driver is properly positioned and restrained earlier in the crash equation. The chart below highlights the relationship between the forces applied to the restraint webbing and elongation.

As force is increased, the Platinum Series restraints shows less elongation. For the driver, this means that the restraint webbing is taking a higher load (force) with less travel by the driver (elongation). Leading industry restraint experts have also shown that this reduces Head Injury Criteria (HIC) numbers that are used to evaluate the effectiveness of head and neck restraints in laboratory conditions.

Elongation
This characteristic is important in “loading” the restraint earlier in the crash. The ultimate goal is to restrain the driver earlier by keeping the pelvis back and allowing the upper body to ride the load down in a more controlled fashion. The Platinum Series restraints accomplish this more effectively.

Tensile Strength
The Platinum webbing has 20% more strength than standard Nylon webbing. This combined with redesigned hardware has further improved the strength and retention during a crash. Many racers have reported having improved restraint during hard impacts and were impressed to find that these adjusters do not loosen up during the course of a race. Drag racers have also noted dramatic restraint differences under deceleration especially after parachute deployment.

Wet Strength
Nylon loses approximately 12% of its strength when wet and has a propensity to absorb water. The Platinum Series restraints show better performance under these same conditions.

Chemical and Ultraviolet Resistance
Nylon and Polyester belts seem to show inverse results when tested to chemical resistance. The Platinum Series belts show better performance over time when exposed to sunlight. The relationship between strength over time is improved. Note: SFI Foundation recognizes this relationship of strength over time and requires belt dating as part of its certification compliancy program.

Less Elongation During A Crash Event
7% to 9% for the Platinum Series (Polyester) vs. 13% to 17% with Standard Nylon Belts.All of our testing indicates that earlier loading on the belts positions the driver better for the impact and helps reduce the forces that lead to increased neck tension or whipping.

Stronger Webbing and Adjusters
Webbing is 20% stronger with redesigned adjusters. The combination of redesigned webbing and adjusters have prompted several positive comments from our drivers including high marks with regards to “memory locking.” These belts stay tight and require almost no adjusting during the race. We have also found that our CamLocks are 500 to 800 pounds stronger than our competition.

Better Durability
Provides good resistance to chemicals, moisture and sunlight degradation. Over time, all belts diminish in strength when exposed to the elements. The Platinum Series restraints offer better performance when exposed to racing conditions such as sunlight, moisture (sweat) and abrasion. The performance over time is greatly improved.





Simpson Restraint Properties Material Comparison
Standard Belts
(Nylon) Platinum Series Belts
(Polyester)
Elongation
(Static @ 2500 lbs.)
(Dynamic @2500 lbs.)
(Dynamic @3000 lbs.) Elongation
15-17%
11%
12.5% Elongation
7-9%
5%
6%
Tensile Strength 9,000 lbs. 12,000 lbs Platinum Series
10,500 lbs. New Black Platinum
Wet Strength 88% 100%
Acid Resistance Fair Good
Alkali Resistance Excellent Fair
Elastic Recovery Superior (32%) Excellent (51%)
Ultraviolet Degradation
(12 months) Fair Good
Moisture Regain 4% @ 65% R.H. 0.4% @ 65% R.H.
Water Absorbency 8% @ 95% R.H. 0.5% @ 95% R.H.

Sources: The Parachute Manual, Volume II and Simpson Tests at Autoliv





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#19 User is offline   cpracer Icon

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 09:53 AM

One think to look at on the chart is Ultraviolet Degradation.

That is sunlight, a non synthetic material is drastically affected by sunlight, so just being in the sun for the summer has a very negative affect of your belts.

Mounting is huge yes, but the stretch in the material is just as big, the way that the NON Synthetic starts low at impact and then ramps up , that is where you are seeing belt stretch.


This is a tough subject for me because my best sponsor is RJS and I love those guys over there but when it comes to belt safety there is not one local company that compares to the best.


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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:53 PM

Head and neck restraints:
I wish they showed the neck tension for the side impacts with each system. They show different seats in each photo too. Displacement doesn't always equal load.
I was also suprised to see that the hans was in between 2 runs of the R3, I'm not sure what the difference is in each R3 though.
I would be interested in trying one of these out, but I'll be honest, I don't like the adding foam to the seat and possibly compromising what the seat is trying to do.


Belts:
How much load do belts commonly see in these high G hits? It's just hard to gauge that graph without knowing what range you're operating in?


Great discussion guys!
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