The Axeman ash tray would not have done that. Well Mike, looks like the Axeman has one up on your beloved EFM.The Axeman would still likely be there. Looks like one less EFM for sure though. Must be killing you inside!!!
Here we go again.
I have not personally seen an Axeman that was run with the ash tray disabled or totally plugged with ash, but I expect the fire would eventually get up into the transfer head and probably not do the brass parts and wick oiler any favors. AHS units are a different story, with the ash try disabled the fire eventually gets to the hopper
...hence the additional safety controls on the new units.
If the person in charge of the boiler doesn't know what they are doing, eventually it is going to have some sort of failure. I make an effort to take excellent care of my machinery, so up until now I have never really thought about which unit can take the most abuse.
As for Mike mourning over one less EFM, it is only one less burn pot. A service guy like Matt probably has a rebuilt pot or complete stoker right on the truck.