The results of the studies and investigations of automatic couplers presently in use are presented. This includes an analysis of accident data for 1972-76; a discussion of the ability of existing couplers to withstand operational conditions in mines; and a reliability study to estimate the durability, safety, and maintenance requirements of the various couplers. In addition, the reliability and safety of various uncoupling mechanisms were examined to identify which uncoupling mechanisms are safe to operate, rugged in design, and not easily susceptible to damage. An analysis was also conducted to investigate the hazards involved in the various steps of coupling and uncoupling to identify those that are potentially the most hazardous.
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