The Cab Structure
Vehicle rescue instructors are encouraged to closely review the images provided here of this brand new truck body structure. The orange firewall area is 600-1,000Mpa tensile strength. The B-pillar steel is rated at 1,300+Mpa. The rocker and the upper A-pillar steel is 1,000 Mpa ultra-high strength steel. You’ll definitely need a new power rescue cutter to make any cuts here.
Variable Thickness B-Pillar Steel
What is important for instructors to realize and then to share with their rescue team members is that the 1,300+Mpa ultra-high strength steel in this B-pillar is not all the same throughout. Look closely at the labels. The upper 1/3 and the lower 1/3 of the B-pillar are 1.0mm thick steel. The center section, the area most likely to take a hit, is double that; 2.0mm thick.
A rescue tool that may be able to get through a layer of one millimeter thick ultra-high strength steel may be shut down when the thickness doubles to just 2.0 mm.
New Style “Upper Rail” Design
To score better in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s ‘Small Offset’ crash testing, automotive engineers are changing the design of the Upper Rail. What used to be an unsupported structure is now becoming a substantial element that starts at the firewall, runs above the wheelwell, and then ties into the front sub-frame. This structural design will make a difference when a rescue crew is doing a Dash Jacking or Dash Rolling evolution. Look how much steel is up front now!