As with all rescue equipment, it’s extremely important to inspect your equipment before and after each use according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Here are some tips from Skedco for inspecting your Sked Stretcher.
- For the Sked Body: Do a visual inspection of the plastic. If there are cuts that go completely through the plastic (especially at the edges or the grommets), it should be taken out of service and replaced. This is a very rare occurrence. If the plastic is wearing thin and preventing the Sked from retaining its shape, take it out of service.
- Check all brass grommets. If they are badly bent or coming apart, they should be changed. This may also require sewing a new strap into it. Grommets can be replaced inexpensively by parachute riggers or any awning shop. When it is done, be sure the grommeting tools do not cut the inside of the grommet. Grommets that are sharp inside can cut webbing or rope.
- Check all straps for broken stitching, discoloring (usually white), and fraying. If straps are badly frayed, discolored or if ten (10) or more stitches are broken, replace the straps.
- Horizontal lift slings: Check for excessive wear, broken stitches or severe discoloration. If these conditions are found, replace the slings.
- Vertical lift slings (3/8 static kernmantle rope): Check for severe discoloration and soft or thin spots. Thin spots that are soft indicate damaged core. If found, cut the rope at that point and take it out of service.
- All other webbing products should be inspected in the same way as the slings and Sked straps.
- The carabiner should work smoothly when the gate is opened and closed. Check for alignment. Check the hinge pin for looseness. The lock nut should work smoothly without hanging up at any point. Failure at any of these points requires replacement. A poorly functioning carabiner should be broken or destroyed to prevent others from using it by mistake.
- If you have any doubts, call Skedco for assistance.