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Hello all, I am in need of some help. I work for a fire department who had a significant fire truck crash last summer. Because of this, my department has set about making a training program for our drivers. Lucky me, I am in charge of said program. So I need some help. Here is the story. Last summer one of our Ladder Trucks ( fire truck with the big long ladder on the top of the truck that extends out, not a fire engine that has water) was traveling around 58 mph on a curved road then is lost traction, slide and rolled. No one was seriously hurt. Here is what we know. Said ladder truck was traveling around 58 MPH and weight 62,500 lbs. I know, using the formula for kinetic energy, ( KE= 1/2 Mass X Velocity squared) that this truck produced 7,016,409.78 ft lbs or 3,508 tons of energy. What I am looking for is a way so show the members of my department what that much energy looks like. As in, that kind of power in an explosion, or a wrecking ball destroying a building. I need a way to relay to my guys, the power that they are driving down the roads and highways every day. Luckily when this truck crash, it only hit a telephone pole a picket fence and a few cars. The extent of the damage was very little in comparison to what could have happened. I have searched the web for a way to show this and have come up with nothing. Someone suggested I try a Science blog, so I leave it up to you. What have you got ? And thanks for the help.
With all due respect to Mr Box, I would keep relativity out of it and keep it simple eg 3500 tons falls on you. Seems graphic enough to me.You could equate it to a weight of TNT, but most people have difficulty imagining an explosion of say 2lb TNT unless they have worked with explosives.