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Air Shores???

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  • Air Shores???

    I have a couple questions relating to air shores.

    1) What lengths and how many are most comonly carried on your rescues?

    2) What brand (Paratech, ART, Etc...)

    3) Does any one have expierences (good or bad) with using extensions?

    thank you all for your opinions, good, bad and ugly we are all here to learn.

  • #2
    We carry prospan on our heavy rescue. http://www.prospanshoring.com/index.htm#
    Our rescue is set up for an initial stabilization of an incident, Vehicle, Collapse, or trench. We carry two of the pro 1, 2, and 3 which gives us a range of about 2 foot to 5.5 feet. but we also carry 4 extensions 2 foot long. We have the SWIVEL ENDs with wale plates for trench. and for vehicle and collapse we carry v block, point ends, and base plates.
    They are nice and if you don't have a ton of room then the prospan or airshores give you a good bang for the buck.
    I don't like the paratech for trench because you need to double them up at depth.
    At one time airshore was the only one with a ton of attachments, but now prospan and paratech has the same stuff also.

    So far nothing but good things to say about them.
    I hope that helps


    • #3
      2) What brand (Paratech, ART, Etc...)
      Isn't AirShore a brand?

      We have none so I have nothing to offer.
      "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?


      • #4
        AirShore is a brand.

        I am a Paratch man myself. All of the manufacturers have various foot ends and multiple applications from vehicle stabilization, building collapse, and trench. All things considered, I lock the ACME collar much better than the pinning mechanism of the Airshore. It appears Prospan has a similar locking device. I can lock a Paratech with a shovel, or a piece of webbing. For those of you who have worked in Class A or B soil, you can appreciate not entering the trench until everything is secured.

        I am familiar with the double strut equirement for Paratech, but they quit putting trench tables on their struts for some reason so I can't verify if it still in place. Additionally, the max pressure on these struts has dropped from 350 psi (very old models) to 250 psi. I am trying to contact them to see if any of the old table information has changed. Much of the double strut requirement deals with the width of the trench as well as the depth and I would assume would apply to all manufacturers. While I do not have it, I believe the newest edition from OSHA 1926 shows the pneumatic tables for Paratech and Airshore

        To eliminate the double strut in a trench, Paratech does have a 3 1/2" strut. (vs. 3") The "Gold" struts were marketed for collapse, but can be used in a trench application if you can get them to fit as they are longer.

        If I hear from Paratech I will post the information.

        To the original post. I have never had a problem with extensions, however, the capacity of the strut diminishes with an extension, but this infomration is usually printed on the strut. Paratech uses a max of 2 extension and 3'. You can't use more than two extensions, and the extension cannot add more than 3' to the strut.

        To determine the lengths to purchase you need to have an idea of your soil type. I live in North Carolina where we have Class C soil. We ususally see spoil pile slides, or people simply falling into a trench so we can carry shorter struts. I teach a lot in Florida where you have Class C soil and have worked in trenches nearly 7' wide.

        The 37" to 58" and the 25" to 36" are probably the most common.


        • #5
          From Paratech

          to answer ADSNWFLD on the statement that you need to double up with Paratech:

          We at Paratech use a 4:1 safety Factor, we believe this is needed for the safety of Rescue personnel. If you want to use the lower safety factor 2:1 (as Prospan and Airshore), this is done by doubling up the SWL indicated on our 4:1 safety factor label.

          To answer jmatthe2; we still have labels on all struts. On the grey 3" struts we use 4:1 only. On the 3,5" we have calculated the 2:1 as well as the 4:1.

          Our manuals with loads are available on www.paratech.us, here we can be reached for any questions you might have also.


          • #6
            hansfrank -

            The label to which I was referring is the tabulated data for trench applications. I taught a class about 3 years for a state that purchased brand new equipment. The struts did not have this data on them. I am certain of this as I ensure to point out the data to the students during my intro to the strut and the label was not on the strut when I rolled it over to show the students.

            Here is another question. I have noticed through the years the operating pressure has changed. i have seen struts stamped 300psi and 250psi, and I seem to remember another pressure at some point. (This would span about 12 years.) What is the reason for this?.
            Last edited by jmatthe2; 11-07-2007, 04:38 PM.


            • #7

              It is correct that we about 5 years ago took the Trench Spacing chart of the label, it now contains a 4:1 load chart. The Trench Spacing Chart can be found in our manual page 2-9, in the manual is also comprehensive tabulated data. This can be downloaded from our website, www.paratech.us .

              The pressure is 300 PSI. Other pressures that we have had, some time ago, was the max. pressure on the hose, not the strut.


              • #8
                From Paratech part dieu...

                First off, to Hans, hello, this is Brandon, good to see you answering questions in the forums.

                To jmatthe2, we changed to 250psi to make it easier to operate the dual deadman controller. At 350psi, it was nearly impossible to accurately or easily operate the buttons.

                About the labels, we removed the charts from some of the shorter struts because even at full extension a 2'-3' will take 20,000psi at 4:1 etc. We still put the relevant charts on struts that have a decreasing load with increasing length.

                To ADSN, the charts you refer to are older data and we are in the process of having a certified structural engineer sign off as a third-part witness to new tabulated data showing no need to double up at depth. If you have any questions about tabulated data, please feel free to contact your local Paratech dealer and they can show you the FEMA test data collected by a FEMA engineer on our struts. I would be more than happy to send you a copy should you be interested in reading it for yourself. There is a reason why ALL the FEMA Task Forces use our USAR kits.

                As for the original post, I will simply suggest that you try each one out and spend as much time as you can playing with each strut and accessory to see what is easiest for you to use and deploy in the rescue situations you most often encounter. Good luck and safe rescues.
                Last edited by Purdue03b; 11-14-2007, 04:49 PM.


                • #9
                  Question for hansfrank. In reference to the horizontal spacing chart in the manual. Does the note that states in part "spacing is based on using wales" apply to all soil types or just the class C?


                  • #10
                    The paperwork on the site is from 2006 and says that in table 2.4,5,6 in wide trenches and deep trenches you need to double up the struts. Not to mention you loose the 4X4 grid (it gets smaller) Now in the absence of any other data I have to go by the charts. It isn't my decision to make the equipment with a 4:1 safety factor vs a 2:1. Would wider spacing or just one strut work? I'm sure it would but that isn't what the data says. With out being an engineer I can't go against what the manufacturer's tabulated data is.
                    I teach trench and we use Paratech. They seem to be a solid preforming product. I don't like the Acme strut but the lock strut is fine. However at my home department we use Prospan and our regional team uses Airshore. When paratech comes out with different data I may change my mind. However my personal favorite is airshore due to their simplicity and the ability to no tool maintain/fix them at a scene.


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