Scooter Ambulance





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  1. #1
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    Default Scooter Ambulance

    I am fortunate to own both 4X4 vehicles and offroad motorcycles, and have also owned a sidecar, which is really interesting and enjoyable ride if you take the time and care needed to get to know it. I have just read that the Eastern Cape are embarking on a project to put a whole bunch of these machines into the field for patient care, reportedly in areas where conventional 4 wheeled ambulances cannot reach. I think that there are few sidecar owners out there who could give them some pointers.

    I would start by saying that if you think you can take a person with a motorcycle licence without specific sidecar training you are going to end up with a lot of injured persons and a whole bunch of broken scooters very quickly-and that is on a reasonable road. If the intention is to travel where a 4X4 fears to tread, you will reduce your fleet to zero and have a health workers strike on your plate within 14 days.

    Lets start with the dynamics. If the sidecar is properly engineered-that is, strong enough-as one finds with the Urals and the large bike attachments done by people like Sidecar Africa, then you have a much better chance of survival. Once you have ticked that box, you have to realise that it is NOT a motorcycle, and neither is it a car. When you accelerate, the bike parts wants to overtake the sidecar, and when the bike part brakes, the sidecar wants to overtake it. So it has a tendency to steer by throttle. If you bounce along a bad road, and your throttle hand gives a couple of 'squirts' the rig reacts by steering itself somewhere-rather rapidly. If you don't correct the weight distribution fast, you can end up 'flying' the sidecar-a bit of a frightening experience for an ill person I would say. This tendency also occurs on banked roads, corners, and by wind and road surface action. It is great fun when you are trained, practiced and have learned to respect that 'speed is not your friend', but I would hate to see what is going to happen on a bumpy track with an injured passenger on board.

    Perhaps I have insufficient confidence in our ambulance drivers. Or I do not properly understand the lovely roads they are going to operate on. (I do actually, and they are great for offroad motorcycles without sidecars attached). Or I am too concerned about the law suites coming out of throwing patients out of the sidecar. If you cannot get a Quantum there I have no clue how you are going to get what looks like a lightly engineered eastern commuter bike with a weight on one side there. Good luck fellows. May the riding gods be with you.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Scooter Ambulance

    Could not find the other thread on this topic right now, but here is a good read regarding the EC bike ambulances.

    https://underthemilkwood.co.za/the-a...-scapegoating/

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Scooter Ambulance

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Could not find the other thread on this topic right now, but here is a good read regarding the EC bike ambulances.

    https://underthemilkwood.co.za/the-a...-scapegoating/
    Very interesting, think humble pie is in order.
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Scooter Ambulance

    The EFF statement is on the right track, build roads. Regardless of the reasoning behind these vehicles, the underlying cause remains, lack of infrastructure.

    This is an inefficient solution to a logistical problem, creates double handling, requires additional head costs and introduces more random variation into the process.

    Kudos to the company for filling a gap with what is essentially a band aid on a severed artery. That I applaud.

    For the rest, it is a symptom of the governments inability to manage a complex modern system which results in reducing or lowering everything to their level of understanding. This is an example of it.
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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Scooter Ambulance

    But, this week, the department’s spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo confirmed that 150 people must still be recruited for the project and then trained, and then obtain their licences. “They have not been recruited as yet. We are taking the scooters to one of the villages in the coming week.”
    https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/arti...eat/#gsc.tab=0

    The intention might be noble, but the implementation was a disaster.

    MEC Gomba standing up and shouting 'look what we are doing to fight corona' instead of just sorting the problems within the hospitals.

    I do believe there is scope for something like it is envisaged
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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Scooter Ambulance

    In Finland the side car was called "Mother-in-law killer". I assume it was named such for a reason. 50cc "bikes" were bought for old papas "to get the inheritance" (very many accidents including my neighbor)

    I just hope those who use those side car bikes are properly trained. One family member is ex JHB motorbike cop and he told me how long a batch of bikes lasted in the hands of the current regime. We are talking about weeks.

    German army during the WWII used them. I assume Russians copied them and then sold to China where they were copied. At one time Germans were importing (80/90s) those Russian side car bikes. Before they were started the engines were opened, sharp edges smoother, shavings taken out, assembled, new oils and bikes became reliable bikes. Chinese sold their bikes with spare engine and full set of tools in a solid wooden box.
    Jouko
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