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Forcing a trunk with hand tools?

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  • Forcing a trunk with hand tools?

    What's the most efficient way you guys have found to force open a trunk with hand tools? Say you have Irons (axe + Halligan) and you want to avoid having to grab a Combi, you're not really pushed for time and you need to get the trunk open to check for hotspots during mop-up. How would you attack it?

    Start at the sides of the trunk, get a good purchase point and try to lift it up a bit, then work your way down/around?

    Attack the bottom/center of the trunk and try to defeat the Nader pin?

    Cut the trunk in half with an axe and pry it up?

    There's a number of ways it can be done but I'm curious to see what you guys find to be the most efficient on "most" vehicles. Understandably, every vehicle is different so you'll never do it the same exact way twice but that aside, what do you think?

    We had a fire earlier and I struggled like hell to get the trunk open with an axe and Halligan. Nader pin would NOT go with a center attack and I lost all leverage when trying to pry up on the sides of the trunk. Finally resorted to grabbing the Combi, setting it up and just spreading it open from the bottom. Now, realistically, I'd rather do it with the combi because it's nearly effortless (minus setup and take down) but if you had to resort to hand tools (or prefer to), how would you go about getting it open?

  • #2
    Horn of the Halligan against the lock face, drive the lock in and manipulate the latch with a screwdriver. Obviously on trunks with no exterior key lock this will not work.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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    • #3
      Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
      Horn of the Halligan against the lock face, drive the lock in and manipulate the latch with a screwdriver. Obviously on trunks with no exterior key lock this will not work.
      This. Works better and faster most times.
      "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
        Horn of the Halligan against the lock face, drive the lock in and manipulate the latch with a screwdriver. Obviously on trunks with no exterior key lock this will not work.
        yep --work smart
        ?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
          Horn of the Halligan against the lock face, drive the lock in and manipulate the latch with a screwdriver. Obviously on trunks with no exterior key lock this will not work.

          quick and easy, and minimal damage if no fire

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
            Horn of the Halligan against the lock face, drive the lock in and manipulate the latch with a screwdriver. Obviously on trunks with no exterior key lock this will not work.
            What then on the trunks with no key lock?
            The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
            There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
            Captain Dave LeBlanc

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            • #7
              Personally power tools then. Either a spreader, a combi-tool works nice, or a saw.
              Crazy, but that's how it goes
              Millions of people living as foes
              Maybe it's not too late
              To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm with everyone above.

                On a side note, the trunk needs to be accessed as part of the search for victims.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm starting to see what you're saying. I need to get my hands on a scrapped vehicle and give it a shot. Now question about that technique.

                  When you're using the pike/horn of the Halligan to drive the cylinder into the vehicle (so you have a hole straight through where it once was), is the latching mechanism "usually" located behind that hole, so it's typically easy to use a flat head screwdriver to push the latch to the side and pop it open?

                  Again, I really need to try this out on a junker. I can't find jack online worthwhile regarding this.

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                  • #10
                    Also, I would imagine we'd be pushing the small "trigger" to the side to release it, am I correct?
                    Click image for larger version

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                    • #11
                      In the olden days the key cylinder had a flat shaped rod that connected right from the cylinder to the latch. Once you popped out the locking cylinder you simply pushed the rod out of the way if it didn't get moved by the cylinder removal and stuck the screwdriver blade in the slot where the rod went and turned the latch.
                      Crazy, but that's how it goes
                      Millions of people living as foes
                      Maybe it's not too late
                      To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                        Horn of the Halligan against the lock face, drive the lock in and manipulate the latch with a screwdriver. Obviously on trunks with no exterior key lock this will not work.
                        Works like a charm.

                        Have done it twice in the last 3 days.
                        Train to fight the fires you fight.

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                        • #13
                          if in no rush , pull the clips and remove the back of the back seat, the newer ones have a trunk release. wont work on all, but minimal damage if the car is rebuild able.
                          ?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My wife got a 2015 Ford Fusion. Had to do something with the battery the other day and found the front hood latch is not in the center of the hood. The release handle is on the drivers side, above the headlight, with a latch on both the drivers and passengers side. Not going to be the typical entry into that front hood as there is nothing in the middle.

                            2 latches to have to defeat in the front = no fun.
                            "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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