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  • Battery Powered Extrication

    After searching for previous posts on this topic, I'm interested to hear how some of the brands are doing after a year or so in use. How are the batteries holding up??? How do you like the unit as a whole? Would you put hade the same brand again?

  • #2
    We just got a set of Amkus cutters and spreaders. They were demo units, and are about a year old. Run off a 36V DeWalt battery. I'm not positive, but I think the batteries are 5 Ah. We put them in service this week. Being demo units, they probably saw as much use in the last year as a relatively busy department would see. Both units are in extremely good shape and function as they should.

    When we put them fully in service this week, our rep came out and did some training on them. In the process, we cut up an '04 Impala and a Civic. All the doors were removed from both cars, both trunks and hoods were popped, the Civic had the roof rolled into 2 sections, and probably more that I'm not remembering. Both tools were still showing 2 out of 3 bars on the battery indicator when we finished. I'm confident we could have doubled what we did and not run out of battery- and even if we did we have a spare set.

    I will say that the newer Amkus tools are running the 60V DeWalt batteries, and our rep is not impressed with the battery life of those batteries when the tool is in use. I don't know if the 60V is the only battery you can get or if you can still get the 36V.

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    • #3
      We have had ours in service for two years. There is no noticeable drop in battery capacity. We have used them enough to crack the jaws on the cutter, but we haven't lost any capacity in the tool itself (replaced the jaw inserts).

      We are running Genesis E-Force 2.0 with Milwaukee M-28

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      • #4
        We've had our Genesis tools for about a year, batteries aren't a problem as for the first couple of years, we get replacement batteries automatically. Seems like a bit of overkill in a way, as I have some batteries that are over 10 years old for my personal tools, and they get used a lot more than our rescue tools. But they've performed quite well, and the tools that run off a pump are now the second line tools.
        BTW, I've not seen a Genesis cutter crack the jaws on a cutter before.

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        • #5
          Try cutting a drive shaft on a Subaru Outback.

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          • #6
            We have hurst edraulic tools on both our first out engines, and still use generator powered / hydraulic powered ones on our heavy rescue. Batteries have held up surprisingly well. Functionally they are awesome.

            Personally, I would like to try out the Holmatro tools (they tend to be lighter than hurst, esp the big spreaders, but considering the previous electric cutter was a powerhawk, I can say I am pleasantly surprised by their performance.
            If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

            FF/EMT/DBP

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            • #7
              Originally posted by HuntPA View Post
              Try cutting a drive shaft on a Subaru Outback.
              Was there a reason you were cutting a drive shaft? Or just seeing if it would cut it?

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              • #8
                I was not. A junior officer was in charge of drill and a member with no other training started cutting various thing. Junior officer didn't realize what the other was doing.

                I will say it did better than the Hurst cutter trying to go through the pto shaft on a Hayliner 273. There was shrapnel on that one.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HuntPA View Post
                  I was not. A junior officer was in charge of drill and a member with no other training started cutting various thing. Junior officer didn't realize what the other was doing.

                  I will say it did better than the Hurst cutter trying to go through the pto shaft on a Hayliner 273. There was shrapnel on that one.
                  Good to know.

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                  • #10
                    I know that you are looking for feedback from depts that have tools in use for more than a year - that's not us.

                    But we just (last month) put into service a new TNT battery-powered multi-cutter (http://tntrescue.com/product/ebfcc28d/). This was after looking at a couple different manufacturers. Ours runs on 1 or 2 Milwaukee M28 batteries. We were happy with the original demo we saw last year and were just as excited/happy when our rep dropped the tool off last month and walked us through some extrication techniques. Plenty of power, plenty of battery left after taking off 4 doors and the roof. I'll post here next August and let you know if we're still happy with the tool!

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                    • #11
                      How many times have you used them since you've had the tools? We have Holmatro hydraulic tools on our main rescue engine. The chief really wants a Holmatro electric combo to put on the brush truck, as we do a lot of field and farm equipment fires.

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                      • #12
                        I can't put a number on it simply because we use them more for training than on scene. We have used them many many times since they were put in service. As several of our members teach agricultural rescue, we have used them several times in training and teaching for that purpose.

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                        • #13
                          I was mostly thinking of battery life while it's just sitting in the truck.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RRomeo14 View Post
                            I was mostly thinking of battery life while it's just sitting in the truck.
                            Primary lithium-metal 10% in 5 years
                            Alkaline 2-3% per year (7-10 years shelf life)
                            Lead-acid 5% per month
                            Nickel-based 10-15% in 24h, then 10-15% per month
                            Lithium-ion 5% in 24h, then 1-2% per month (plus 3% for safety circuit)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RRomeo14 View Post
                              I was mostly thinking of battery life while it's just sitting in the truck.
                              We got a package deal with the Genesis Tools that we got. We got a cutter,spreader, and a ram. With that we got a triple charger that runs of the shore line. I think we got 6 batteries to start, and i think we get another 6 at 2 years. Genesis uses standard Milwaukee 28v batteries too, so they're easy to replace, but none have gone bad yet.

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