- All sections are milled for a good fit to one another. The guide rod fits all sections. Be careful not to damage the fitted surfaces or burr the tips of the sections. If necessary, repair can be made carefully with a fine-toothed flat file.
- Although the stainless steel tip of the cone on the lead section will protect the point to some degree, it is not indestructible. Care should be taken when using in areas with rocky or mixed ground surfaces. Soon you will notice the different sound even hard snow makes from the ground in response to a hammer drop. Listening tot he ram will keep you from damaging it.
It is difficult to add a section when the anvil (guide rod section) is close to the snow surface or beneath the surface. Add a new section sooner, rather than later, and it will save you from re-doing profiles.
- Numbers on the guide rod are centimeters times ten (e.g. 3 equals 30 cm height, 4 is 40 cm, etc.). Numbers are written below the lines so that the user can see them when the hammer is in use.
- Although the entire instrument should be treated with care, the guide rod needs special attention. If it becomes bent, the hammers will not slide down it without resistance and the full impact will not be delivered to the anvil. Poor results will follow. Be particularly careful, while transporting the instrument in the bag, not to allow impacts that might bend the guide rod or other sections. The bag will protect against scratching and maring, but not impacts.
- The ram is a cumbersome instrument that provides little information to those not familiar with it. Your ability to get good data and interpret its meaning will improve radically with experience. If it is used occasionally it will be occasionally useful at best. With some practice over a relatively short period of time, you will find that you can pick out thin layers and anticipate drop heights and numbers of drops that will maximize the amount of information that you may get. A big part of the necessary understnading is knowing when to stop and record a depth or drop another blow. Ten drops from 30 cm with only 2 cm penetration shows a relatively strong layer. If one more drop results in a 40 cm plunge through depth hoar, you have found a weak layer. The same scenario with 11 drops would only tell you a single resistance number for the entire 42 cm. When in doubt, record what you have, then move on because too much data will not hurt, it just makes plotting and calculating more tedious. If you do get two layers with obviously different strengths as in the case of all 42 cm above, do not hesitate to start over. It will make a big difference in your ram resistance profile and your interpretation of the data.
- If you have any questions, concerns, recommendations or otherwise, please feel free to call, write or e-mail.