Following Peter Richings Oulton crash and his Hans device saving serious injury, plus discussion with scrutineers, the following link should be read before buying a device: www.fiainstitute.com/publications/Documents/HANS_Guide.pdf
Additionally, on no account must an existing helmet be drilled because Hans prepared helmets are reinforced at the mounting point. New Hans ready helmets should be fitted by a Hans approved specialist recommended by the Hans or helmet supplier. e.g. Schroth Safety Products. Ed'
I, probably like many others, have seriously thought about buying a HANS, and again like many others think the cost is high for the product, and then of course we get into the debate of how much is your life worth etc. I suspect in time we may well see HANS become mandatory at club level, as it already is for some specific formulae.
While working out which HANS would suit my car I've found that the mounting angle of the rear belts to be a problem, the FIA report shows max 60deg down for a formula car, in my car because the rear crossmember is much lower this would be beyond the recommended angle, changing the mounts would mean a completely new roll hoop arrangement, but would using the existing mounts be better than no HANS at all.
The other point that I know people object to is the cost of putting the mounts on the helmet, of course under no circumstances should you use a non-HANS prepared helmet but many are now manufactured ready for the HANS mounts, but where do they get a cost of £50 for a pair of mounts !!
Don't deliberate - a good set of belts, a Schroth HANS device and a good helmet literally saved my neck.
I think you probably understand the severity of my accident and I didn't even have a stiff neck or any bruising from the belts - an added benefit of HANS is that it spreads the load over a larger area.
I really hope you all invest in this relatively inexpensive way to protect yourselves from the accidents which unfortunately will happen in racing.
I'll be back soon.....
I'm not sure what spec is correct for our cars. Angle etc. Pete, can you detail what yours is for reference to all drivers
My guess is you will need either 20 or 30 degrees as you sit 'relatively' upright in a Mallock seat. If you contact Jennifer Grace who deals with/for Schroth UK she will be able to let you have a couple of different examples/angles to try. If you need more angle than either of those I think you may find that you are forced to the more expensive version.
Hans devices can be bought from Jennifer Grace who is the Sales Manager for MSAR Limited -
http://www.msar-safety.com/default.asp - and successfully races a Caterhan Graduates car. Her contact details are: Mobile: 07912 842320 Work: 0208 655 7877 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You will need to let Jennifer know that you're a member of the Register. Ed'
Hello, this is the first time I have posted on here. A few of you know me, but most of you don't. I work for MSAR and as the UK agent for Schroth Racing, so if you have any questions regarding safety equipment, please feel free to ask.
Firstly I wanted to say I am very glad to here Pete is ok! Chris told me about your crash when we were both racing up at Croft. I was shocked to here the severity but delighted to here you were unhurt. Very glad the 'kit' (HANS, Belts and helmet) I provided did there job and protected you. :)
To answer a couple of the questions already on here:
Size and angle will depend on the driver and the car together. There is not a hard and fast rule that says you will definitely suit a particular angle, although there are guidelines that will help you get a much better idea of which one is the right choice for you.
10 Degree = Very upright seating position (some Trucks and pickups use these - but not very common and I don't think any clubmans would use these)
20 Degree = Upright seating position (Touring car, Rally, GT, etc.)
30 Degree = Semi-reclined racing seat (formula cars / single seaters).
So if you look at the general rule, a clubman car with a reclined seating position would need to use a 30 degree HANS. Although if you are a tall driver and the upper part of your body is extended out of your car (as it is with Chris Hart) you may find that a 20 degree is the right angle for you. Because although your seat is a reclined seat - you actually become 'slightly upright'.
What size HANS do I need?
The width of the HANS collar is sized to fit your neck or shirt collar size.
• 15 to 18 Inches (38 cm - 47cm) - Size Medium
• Over 18 Inches or above (> 46 cm) - Size Large
In regards to cost, you have to think about how much you spend on racing overall and put it into perspective. The HANS is a one off purchase that will last (not date) and could save your life. Many customers regard it as an insurance policy. As a racer myself, and on a tight budget, I can totally understand why people find it hard to part with a reasonably large sum of money in one go. But also as a racer that had a big accident without wearing a HANS back in 2007, and now having to pay £40-£50 per hour every few weeks for a chiropractor to relieve the pain from my shoulders and neck...I wish I had chosen to use a HANS and then I wouldn't be suffering now. If I can stop anyone suffering what I went through then I know my job is worthwhile!
Thanks for your contribution Jen.
With regard to the recommended angle that the belts should be at from horizontal,(I think max 20 deg from memory), how critical is that to the efficient working of the device. As previously mentioned my belts exceed that angle I think because they are located on the chassis crossmember and there is no option to mount them any higher, Also they go straight back and do not converge as receommended.
For info I can tell you that the HANS I used which did such good work at Oulton is a 20degree medium. I think the Mallock seating position is relatively upright compared to some and I made sure that I was comfortable and that it worked well with the belts supplied by Jenny. The medics and scrutineers told me it was perfectly ok to use it again....which was more than can be said of the helmet!!
PS I'm not going to make Thruxton - much to my disappointment as I love the thrash through hampshire - we needed another week to be sure the Mk30 was ready. Never mind, Snetterton it will be.
Hi Pete, Just thought it’s worth mentioning that if you used your HANS in a big impact, you really should think about replacing the tethers.
HANS tethers work in a similar way to harnesses. Once they have been used in an impact they will have stretched so should be replaced.
Webbing on a Harness and on the HANS tethers is designed to dissipate the energy during an accident. It is made with a slight elasticity that is designed to stretch once to absorb and the load.
Once they have stretched they will never perform in the same way again. They may look perfect condition to the naked eye, but they will have lost their stretch which will result in a massive loss of performance should you need to use them again.
Tony, In Regards to the angle;
The angle set out by most harness manufactures for ANY harness (with or without HANS) is a 20 degree angle downwards.
This is a guideline, which has been set so that the equipment works as effectively as it has been designed to.
Harness Installation :
* Webbing should lie flat through shoulder openings
* Belts must flow free to harness bar
* Webbing must not be restricted by seat mounting hardware
* Exposed edges of opening or bars must be smooth & protected
* No mounting hardware in body contact
* Optimal rear downward angle from 0º to max 20º
* Crossed shoulder straps on belts mounted 45cm+ behind seat
* Guides or padding to stop sideward movement at mounts
* Anchor point must hold loads of 15kN (3,500lbs) per mounting point
It is my personal not professional opinion that you have to use a certain amount of common sense when it comes to harness installation. Obviously if you can follow the guidelines exactly that is fantastic, but I have seen a few that are limited by chassis shape and design. In these cases it is then up to you as the end user to make your own decisions.
If you can achieve the desired angle by making some adjustment then maybe it would be good idea to do so.
When using a HANS device, any defect in the harness installation will be more apparent and it could limit the effectiveness of the device.
You have to think about it from an overall perspective sometimes. If you were to have an accident would you rather be using a HANS or not? If you would rather be using one then you might find the best way to install your harnesses that you can physically manage with your chassis style.
It might be a compromise between the official guidelines and your situation but you have to ask if this would be better than not using it at all?...
I hope this helps.
Obviously the guidelines are there for a reason and sticking to them is the official advice I would give.
Here are a couple of useful documents to look through:
Hope this helps
I think your final statement sums it up,
"It might be a compromise between the official guidelines and your situation but you have to ask if this would be better than not using it at all?..."
Says the man who hasn't actually gone and bought one yet !
No problem at all :)
They are all available from our online shop - http://www.msar-safety.com/products.asp?s=Hans%20Device%20and%20Accessories&c=1
We also have a showroom just about to be fully opened in south London.
If you want to order one direct with me just give me a call 07912 842 320