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  • Old Hurst Tool

    I would like to know how many of people still use the old Two-Man Hurst Jaws. My department has one and we still use it today. We also have a Code 3 Combo tool, but there has been times that the combo tool will not get the job done. Belive it or not a local coal company got it for us some 20+ years ago, after we had problem getting into a overturned coal truck.

  • #2
    Believe it or Not

    In this day of modern tools and gadgets there are still organizations using the old original 32A Hurst spreaders.

    Does it really make them obsolete, no they still do the job that they were intended for and keep on ticking.

    Yes there are other tools out there that will out perform them in spreading/crushing abilities, weight and compactness. However, the tools is life saver for many organizations with a limited budget.

    There are companies that will buy older rescue equipment and sell them to departments that may be struggling with budget restraints. To these organizations, the tool is like it was brand new state of art.

    I travel all over the country and still see the tool in action and work flawlessly. Yes, you need two people to operate the tool, but its also nice to have two rescuers on a new 32B as well.

    Regards,
    Ron

    ------------------
    Ron Shaw
    http://www.extrication.com

    Comment


    • #3
      We still use a 32A hurst tool, yes its a back breaker to handle but, it works as well as alot of new ones. I do believe that a lot of tool success is in the back of the operators. If they are experienced operators they will get the job done with any tool. If not you'll be there awhile. We purchased our complete set of tools with a used rescue about 10 yrs.ago. We had gas power plant upgraded to 4 stroke unit shortly after that. We have 2 hurst rams, hurst cutters, as well as 32A spreader. Stay Safe

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      • #4
        Do you guys have the cross bar installed on your 32a? We had the handle added to our spreader many,many, years ago, and now having a handle nar theon/off mechanism, allows us to use the tool with one person.

        Some people wont be able to handle this tool by themselves, in that case I would say find a smaller tool that you can manage alone, I say this cause I am not a fan of having two operators on one tool, This is just a pet peeve of mine, but I feel that if two people are operating one tool then someone is in the danger zone.

        We have never had a problem with our 32a, we have bought the new cutter, and new combi tool, but about the 32a, I like the old saying, if it aint broke dont mess with it!

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        • #5
          Yes we use the Hurst Cutters and Spreaders as front-line. We have it on our rescue Engine as well as our Front-Line Ambulance. We like it. Even though it's a ball-buster we like the size of the spread and the psi. I personally like the "thumb controller" opposed to the Motorcycle grip on others, I feel this is safer because if the tool starts to slip on you it won't pull you with it, you can easily stop the tool. We have trained with neighboring departments who have smaller tools but we still like our Hurst. We have a great budget and have all new apparatus but are keeping our Hurst.

          Comment


          • #6
            Got to admit Our "Big" jaws is a 32 A, as many of you know this is an Over Engineered tool, Like it has been posted here this is an OLD TOOL, that is this is where Modern day Extrications tools were born. I understand that Holmatro also lays claim to that title and will not argue who is who here, but In the USA Hurst gave birth to modern day Extrication with the 32A, HEAVY, too frippin HEAVY, but for its day it was a Leader. How many tools have Titanium Arms today, Very few if any anymore. I agree with the post that recomends their repalcement due to weight/ ability to manage wiht one person. But keeping in mind Budget considerations and the FACT these tools seldomly die and DO DO the tasks they were made for, it is HARD for those of us on a tight budget to "toss" it aside! If you can replace it do so with the tool that does the jobs and fits your needs wants and desires. I will second the note though about how sometimes Combi tools just won't cut the Mustard somtimes and the they will not REPLACE the BIG JAWS, Just another, Newer, lighter weight set of BIG JAWS will really replace the Model 32A

            ------------------
            Rescue is the Art & Science of matching your tools, talents and tricks to needs of our customers!
            Carl D. Avery

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            • #7
              We still have the 32A on our back-up squad. It has been updated with Ethyl Glycol so we don't have to worry about mixing up fluids with our Phoenix tools on the crash truck.. To my knowledge, we have never used the 32A on a crash scene since we got the "new" tools, but they are available if we need them. I curtainly don't miss that 2-cycle PIA whining at a crash scene!!



              ------------------
              Richard Nester
              Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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              • #8
                We still use our 20 year old 32 A spreaders as a backup to our Cutters and Maverick Combi tool, Sometimes the combi tool is under powered and you need to bring out the "big gun". Dont use it too much though. I dont remember them ever breaking on us.


                ------------------
                Shawn M. Cecula
                Captain
                Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2

                Comment


                • #9
                  We bought our 32A in 79 and I still would rather use it than our newer combi tool. I like to use it alone. Some little runt will try to help and just get in the way. We did junk the two cycle and run it with hoses from an on-board electric pump.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We purchased a Hurst set in Feb of 1978. For $5500 we got the power unit, model 32a spreaders and a set of slip-on cutters for the model 32a. We were the 2nd FD in western NY to get one.

                    It set the extrication world on its ear.

                    nearly 23 years later we still use it. Its not our first off unit, but its always close by. I have had the opportunity to use many different types of hydraulic tools. When you look at each one of them, they each have their own particular features and advantages, but you also have to admit that everything on the maket today, is just another variation of the original - the Hurst 32A. I think that if the history buffs dig around, they will see that Hurst was producing the american version of the Lukas tool(made in germany, I think).

                    Bottom line: Hurst got it done when no one else could. Their innovation, the model 32A, has saved uncounted lives. If we could count the lives saved, that number would be absolutely incredible!

                    Never get rid of your Model 32A. Never. If you thinks its life is over, that its of no further use to you, do not bronze it and put on display - just throw in the back compartment of the rescue. Someday, you will be glad you did.

                    ------------------
                    Dan Martelle

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ccsr12:
                      I would like to know how many of people still use the old Two-Man Hurst Jaws. My department has one and we still use it today. We also have a Code 3 Combo tool, but there has been times that the combo tool will not get the job done. Belive it or not a local coal company got it for us some 20+ years ago, after we had problem getting into a overturned coal truck.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        yes,there are still large metropolitan dept. that still use the old 32a spreaders.yes these dinosaurs are not extinct.the only problem with these jaws are the tips are smaller than the newer models and the power supply is still the old 2 cycle generator.but with some retro fit and a new 4 cycle generator you can still have a fine tool there.still,with the 32A being to heavy and the new vehicles being so tight for two men to work close together,you may find using a six foot hook underneath the spreaders might help support the weight. also if your budget can support some upgrades,you might invest in some new hydraulic lines.but most of all,you still have a lot of power in the old tool so use alot of finese when using that tool

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have to correct myself a little... which is embarrassing. We don't have a Hurst 32A... we have a Hurst 32!! That is the one with the silver base and the dog-ear controls. Definitely a boat anchor, definitely have saved a lot of lives over the years. As I said earlier, they serve a back-up role to our Phoenix 35/25. We can't call them the "big guns" though, since the Phoenix is a more powerful tool.



                          ------------------
                          Richard Nester
                          Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yeah there still are some dinosaur's out there. I am one who uses them. I came from a department who had a complete set of Hurts including the good old 32A. They had a ram break and hurt two guys from the fluid burns. They purchased Holmotro. Incredible difference in weight and power. My new department has the 32A, cutter, sm, med, long rams, and a paladin, with straight blades for cutting guardrails. We primarily use Sawzall's, but sometimes break out the 70lb'er. It still does the job and we do have the crossbar at the controls. Be safe.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There are great new tools, that work much better at some jobs, and are easier to use. But you can never truly replace the big old 32, there are times when it the only tool for the job. And in the department I'm with now it's our only spreader. Money just won't allow for new toys. But we did replace the old 2 cycle power head with a new 4 cycle, but not before if gave up during a critical cut. Tried to finish it with prybar and saw. But finally had to monkey around with engine and got one last spread out of it to finish the job. Needless to say a the replacement was ordered that day!

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