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Extrication Equipment

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  • Extrication Equipment

    I only want the best for my department and for all other departments as well. In order to give a "fair shake" and objective evaluation to all who deal in ANY kind of extrication equipment, hydraulic, electric or manual, I will attempt to set up an event at our drill field and invite surrounding departments to attend, publishing all results and findings on the internet. What I need from the members of the forum is, if you're not a dealer, what objective information would you like to know about the equipment if you were going to buy it? Fanatics for one type or another, what would you compare to other brands? If you are a dealer, when would be the best time of year to facilitate your being able to all be at the drill field in Midland, Texas- or when is your least busy time of year? Please feel free to email me any information not appropriate to this forum. Capt. Dan

  • #2
    Capt. Dan,

    Here's the info I would suggest:

    Power/force - spreading, cutting, pushing - how much does each tool have.

    For the jaws and rams, do they move or tear the metal.

    Weight - how much does each tool weigh. Can one person (prefferably the least strongest) operate it by themself in 99% of the cases without getting beat up.

    Can you use more than one tool at the same time off the same power unit?

    Ease of operation - usually subjective, but in reality, one tool can clearly be easier to use than the other.

    Ease of setup - can a firefighter be trained to set the tools up (not do the extrication) in less than 15 minutes. All he/she should have to do is start the unit, make the connections (if not preconnected), change the tools as needed and work the pressure/dump valve.

    Is the tool durable/does it seem durable, or does it look like it might break when we ask it to perform at its maximum capcity?

    What is the service interval of the tool? How often are you going to have to have it overhauled, cleaned, the fluids changed, etc...

    Better yet, is the tool user servicable for the above or does it have to go to a certified repair center?

    Does the certified repair center have loaner tools while yours is in the shop?

    I'll add more as I think of them.

    [This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited July 05, 1999).]


    • #3
      Great! Thanks Cook. Also, is anyone besides me interested in info like closure speed or spreading speed, replacement tip or blade cost, length of warranty, pinch points, deadman valves or procedures to refit for different fluids? Capt. Dan


      • #4
        Yes, all those items need to be considered. Especially repair costs and length of warranty.

        2 things you mentioned that I'm not sure about - what do you mean by "procedures to refit for different fluids" and what is a deadman valve?


        • #5
          A deadman valve in this case is a valve that returns to a neutral position if you lose control of it or your grip slips off. As far as refitting for different fluids, all pumps will move most any fluid for a while and the most significant difference that I've seen (not putting myself forward as an expert, just going by what I've seen with the ole Mark I inspection device- eyeballs) between systems that use glycol, phosphated ester and mineral oil, is the seals. Essentially what I would like to know is how involved would it be, for each system, to change the seals in order to use a different fluid, and if the dealer would support it. (Probably only using mineral oil in low pressure systems as the reason for using mineral oil in the first place is that it takes the higher pressure better than glycol or p. ester) Capt. Dan


          • #6
            OK, I thought that's what a deadman was. I've never seen a tool without one, but I'm sure they're ou there.

            As far as the fluids, I belive each brand uses a different fluid although I think the Hurst and Amkus are compatable, or at least they should be because I've seen a device that allows you to use an Amkus on a Hurst pump. The owner told me they got it from Amkus.

            I would bet changing the seals would be an authorized service center item. But it would be great if it were user sevicable for this.


            • #7

              Hurst and Amkus are NOT compatable. Our Department uses Amkus a high pressure system ( 10,500 ) and uses mineral oil. Hurst is a low pressure system (5,500) and uses ester. The only tool that can be made to be compatible with all the existing systems out there are the TNT tools. They can even be converted later to a high or low pressure system.

              Capt. Dan, Great ideas, great effort good luck.

              William J. Lynch Jr.
              Deputy Chief
              Portland Hook & Ladder Co. #1
              Portland, Pa.


              • #8
                Thanks for clearing up the compatability issue. Somebody may have stretched the truth just a bit to the Amkus owner.


                • #9
                  To further cloud the brand compatability issue: I have a VERY old Hurst pump and extremely large ( two person) spreader. My cutter is an Amkus. They do make cutters and speaders that are "Hurst Compatable". at least they used to. The Amkus model # would end with "HC"


                  • #10
                    Perhaps I can save you some time in your efforts. While inviting surrounding departments to bring there equipment to get data such as forces and reaction times may seem the logical, but it may not be comparing apples to apples. All the companies have all the figures you need, they are just a fax away.

                    If a department has a brand-X tool that is 5 years or older it may not compete with a unit delivered from your dealer.

                    Going to trade shows to speak with the factory representatives or requesting information from the various companies is the most reliable way to compare tools stats. Each company will publish there tools with all the data you will need and it should be more accurate.

                    Here is a sampling of some companies that can help you with data:

                    Hurst Fire Supply Inc (Richie McKittrick)(Texas) 800 388 1461
                    Hurst (Steve Zahuranec) 800 901 2590
                    Hurst In the Northeast Firematic(Tom Hanigan)800 654 1744 (one of the most knowledgable sources in the N.E.)
                    Holmatro (Al Sergio) 410 768 9662
                    Res-Q-Tek (John Healey) 401 245 7013
                    Phonenix (Kevin Brick) 800 394 5118
                    TNT 800 474 4189
                    PowerHawk 800 PWR HAWK

                    Of those that I have mentioned by name, can help you the most with any answer that you can come up with, they are tops in their field. I am sure there are many of you that will recognize these names. If I left anyone out please fill us in.

                    As far as trying out the tools, compare apples for apples, let the dealers in your area bring you a tool to try out. I am sure you will be using a new tool for your evaluations. If you want to, put the clock against these tools to compare against the factory stats.

                    One thing you might see that can be confusing is that some companies say that their hydraulic pumps are capable of operating at the 10,000 PSI, but the operationg system may be 5,000 PSI. Don't think that because the pump is capable that you can boost it up to 10,000 PSI it doesn't work that way.

                    There will be no books that will allow you the feel of the tools, so by all means contact your dealer to get a demonstration for your department members to try out.

                    Ron Shaw


                    • #11
                      Amkus will be coming to do a 3 day school, our local Hurst dealer in Lubbock has expressed an interest in demonstrating their tools. I have info on how to contact TNT, Holmatro, Genesis, Phoenix, Kinman and Power Hawk. Is there anyone else I should contact- every manufacturer should have a chance, although I am presently leaning towards TNT. Our Assistant Chief has put in a budget request for a new system and he leans toward Hurst, But we will be open minded. Also, does anyone know where to get a good 10 ton chain type come-along (tired of the razor sharp wickers that develope on aircraft cable type) or a heavy duty grade porto-power set? Capt. Dan


                      • #12
                        Check with WW Grainger for the chain come-along and the Port-a-power set.


                        • #13
                          Look up www.lukas.com. I have had very good luck with my LUKAS tools and would not trade them for anything on the market. Give them all a shot and pick the one you like best.


                          • #14
                            Check out www.lukas.com. I have had good luck with my LUKAS tools and would not trade them for anything. Give them all a try and pick the one you like best.


                            • #15

                              I think I have your Comealong Answer..I know the Moderator, and this is his pet answer.

                              Chain Comealong or Coffin Hoist,Buy it from The Construction Jobber in your Area,The One who sells to the Big Boys in Construction. My Fire Dept. has 2 Chain Comealongs,one is a "COFFIN HOIST" Brand by Duff-Norton, the other is a CM Brand by Columbus McKinnon. ALL Major Manufactures of these,offer very versatile uses, and Built in Safety Devices, Most importantly is that once it reaches its Limit for use strength;"WILL HOLD THE LOAD IN PLACE", and will not allow you to "Torque" on it anymore,so now the Chain will not reach its Breakpoint. We use "Herc-Alloy" Chain and Hooks, that are compatible with the unit, and they are Color Coordinated to be used with the Unit exclusively. Ours is a 6 ton Unit, and has a 180% Safety Factor,or it will lift @ 10 tons before it Breaks, but the Safety will not allow this area to be approached, since the Handle just slides in place under the load, once the 6 Ton Load is in place. There are no Ratchet Teeth to Fool with, and they all offer Ease in use. Solid Cast Handles, no bending, and Short Chains to maintain and Check, unlike Cables. And usually the Person who sold it is the person who repairs it. I think I babbled enough..LOL

                              Good Luck, and Thanks for the Post..



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