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Amkus - Afailure or Success?

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  • #16
    I would like to thank all of my brethern who posted their ideas and comments. After going back to the FD who owns the tools, we found that there was no maintance program in effect and that the tools had never been used other than for drill.

    I have to post this though...

    These tools were not from my squad, nor was this a FD that I typically respond with to MVC's.

    There are quite a few details tthat I purposely ommitted:
    1) Most of the volunteer responders had left a party at their FD...Nothing personal, but responders shouldn't have ETOH on there breath in this type of situation.
    2) I responded initially as a Paramedic, not as rescue ops.
    3) We actually did check the hydrolic fluid level after the couplinks let loose and the reservoir was full.
    4) We hypothosized that the porta-power (manufactured some time well before I was involved in EMS/Rescue)just didn't have enough power to run the tools to their maximum capability.

    This was not a persoanl attack on Amkus or their product, however I am very displeased with the way they operated in this situation. I have done well over 300 extrications using both Hurst and Halmotro, and never expierenced a "critical" failure like I expierenced that night. I would not discount using Amkus again, but I have to say I would prefer using Hurst or Halmotro.\

    I agree that Amkus is lighter that Hurst (by far!!!) But I would gladly sacrifice weight for functionality and (at least in my mind) a tool I cam trust.


    Thanks again for the input and keep them coming in. An ideas I can gain from this would be a welcome objective.

    Be safe!!!

    Comment


    • #17
      After 15 years plus, using Hurst, Holmatro, Amkus, and some Phoenix tools, the only failure I have come across was the back connection on a Holmatro being snapped off on a door post. Happened right when the salesman came to demonstrate their tools to try and convince us to replace our Hurst with Holmatro. Needless to say, didn't go over too well. I did notice that Holmatro has since changed the back connectors to be on a short section of hose instead of direct to back of tool, keeps that same thing from happening.

      ------------------

      Comment


      • #18
        I think all of the other posts say it best, its not the equipment being operated but whoever is using or taking care of it. My department uses it and I also use this equipment at Daytona International Speedway, and I must say I have never had a prob with Amkus equipment. Think its time for some TLC on the equipment, and maybe some training. Maybe not for you if you know what your doin, but maybe for the folk's equipment you were using.
        null

        [ 08-16-2001: Message edited by: hydrantkatcher ]

        Comment


        • #19
          My thought on this matter is pretty much the same. I have been "extricating" for about 11 years now and have never had an Amkus fail the way you discribed. The coupling matter, well, I doubt it was spray, dousing, or covered with hydralic oil. You must not have connected it properly. If you don't connect properly there is no flow due to the check valve on the coupling. If you didn't do the quater tunr there would have been a draging og the coupling over something to get it to release and you get a quick spray of hydraulic fluid. As for not enough power, again hydraulic fluid up? Combo tools, I have found are always weaker than specialty tools. As for "vollies" and "paid" guys, well I've seen some pretty good vollies and prety good paid. To call yourself better is pure arrogence! If you interact w/ this agency on a regular basis, why don't you train together?! My department has used Amkus for 18 yrs and the only problems we encountered was user error, or maintanance oversite. I have also used Hurst (too heavy), Holmatro (very nice), Phoenix (ok) and Power Hawk (unique). All were good tools. No offence, but you need to drop the attitude step back and reevaluate your actions way before the call.

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          • #20
            I connected the tools to the porta-power in the usual fashion (self explanatory)and started to dig into the drivers side door with the "combi-tool". Not only did I not have enough power to remove an already sprung door, but the connection "let loose", coating my partners and I in hydrolic fluid - fortunatley not hot enough to burn...yet. We did not even have enough power to roll the dash to disentangle the occupants legs. We ended up using a tow truck to lift the dash...How embarrasing!

            Amkus does not run on normal hydraulic fluid, it uses mineral oil or mineral based hydraulic fluid LIKE SEVERAL OTHER BRANDS DO! THIS IS WHY YOU DID NOT MELT ON POINT OF CONTACT! BUT, YOU KNOW THIS DON'T YOU?

            Comment


            • #21
              amkus cutters can not cut case hardened or cast elements such as door hinges, nader bolts, brake pedal shafts, seat belt plates, and other reinforcers. many of the recent hurst models can. nuff said.

              regardless of what system you use, you need to keep it in top operating condition to achieve its full capability, and always know what those capabilities are.

              [ 08-27-2001: Message edited by: buckethead101 ]

              [ 09-03-2001: Message edited by: buckethead101 ]

              Comment


              • #22
                amkus cutters can not cut case hardened or cast elements such as door hinges, nader bolts, brake pedal shafts, seat belt plates, and other reinforcers. many of the recent hurst models can. nuff said.
                Buckethead...who told you that, a Hurst salesman? We've used Amkus for over 15 years and they WILL do all of the above.
                _________DILLIGAF

                Comment


                • #23
                  Buckethead: I dont know what C-25 " Amkus" cutters you have used, but you may want to try again & again & maybe again. I have even cut apart a train engine and a NO PROBLEM. I do not know how many cars you've cut or how many brands you have used yourself, but most of the posts about this is way off and just not true. If the tools are so bad I wonder how they became the official tool of NASCAR. I wonder what they use to cut the roll bars since Amkus cutters can not cut case hardened or cast elements such as door hinges, nader bolts, brake pedal shafts, seat belt plates, and other reinforcers, and why is Hurst not the official tool when many of the recent hurst models can.



                  [ 08-27-2001: Message edited by: EXTRICATIONRESEARCH ]

                  [ 08-27-2001: Message edited by: EXTRICATIONRESEARCH ]

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    OK, OK. Like most things in the EMS/Fire/Rescue business, I see the old ideation of "what ever I use is best" applies here. Now I'd like to reply to a few questions that have been posted:

                    1) Yes, I was well aware that it was not hydrolic fluid as opposed to mineral oil. I used the words "hydrolic fluids" as a catch all. Sorry for the confusion.

                    2)As far as Amkus being the official tool for NASCAR, who cares? Do we care who is the main supplier of female hygiene products on the LPGA? Not really. As long as we have tools that work and do the job effectively and efficently. And, it all boils down to finances. Who ever has it, gets it...
                    Case in point- Recently, Abbott labs poured millions of dollars into ACLS research for their new "mirical drug" Amiodarone...Needless to say, just about every protocol for ACLS has Amiodarone in...Again, it all boils down to the buck - Whom ever has it and spend it, will get what they want.

                    3)Also, I wish to re-interate that these tools nor the scene was initially mine. Please follow me to get the full understanding:
                    -I was called upon for PARAMEDICAL SERVICES, not extrication.
                    -Upon my arrival, we had status-paramedicus, so I fell into the roll of extrication due to the lack of expierence on scene displayed by the home fire company.
                    -As far as the entire incident went, we worked with what we had...not much! As far as the department who owned the tools, I agree with everyone - They should have a PM program. Again, this responsibility is not my responsibility. If we do a mutual aid fire, do we get all ****ed off at the guy on the nozzle if the hose breaks? No. We blame the owners of the hose, or the MANUFACTURER. Same rules apply here.
                    -I like to feel that I have a wide base and knowledge of automobile extrication and vehicle stabilization. For those of my brethern who feel it neccesary to make personal attacks on my abilites, a big old 'one-fingered-wave' to you! Instead of the personal attacks, give me a solution; something I can work with...

                    If I have offended anyone, to bad, so sad. Unfortunately I must catagorizing those who have offered me ideas and solutions to the problem with those who would rather pick a fight and spout their negativity.

                    Be Safe to All!

                    firemedic818

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      My best guess on why Amkus is the "official" tool of NASCAR... They (Amkus) gave them as many sets of tools they requested at no cost.

                      Holmatro is the "official" tool of IRL or CART....

                      NHRA has selected Hurst as the "official" rescue tool of that series... and they (NHRA) purchased that equipment.

                      And as was previously posted... does it really matter??

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Something to work with,

                        how about product knowledge rather than putting it down. I am sorry for putting your knowledge down but come on, don't slam something you do not know about. I like this post but lets keep it real. You was upset and said something's that you now see was not the best way to handle it, and that is ok. I just think that you would be offended "and you was" by what people said about you, how do you think other people feel about your Amkus comments. I will tell you something else, you had better worry about your neighbors equipment as you have already found out it could cost you a life one night "not just them", and that is what really counts isn't it? An answer to the problem, maybe the power unit was low on mineral oil thus causing power shortage to the tool before it came apart. I judged you on your post and maybe I was wrong, but you judged Amkus on your one time problem and maybe you are wrong. As far as you never using them again, that is your choice. I hope that company does not need your experience again because you have refused to help them already. Holmatro and Hurst are great tools, we ran with Holmatro for years and we run about 65% heavy entrapment, when our mineral oil is low we loose power too. Sorry for judging you, but please re-evaluate the tools, if not for anything else but your own knowledge. Just for my own knowledge, does this rig not have a set of hand tools or even a good old bumper jack? My point about the tools being the official tool of nascar was not to you, it was about the post saying amkus cutters can not cut case hardened or cast elements such as door hinges, nader bolts, brake pedal shafts, seat belt plates, and other reinforcers. many of the recent hurst models can. nuff said. The point about this was if it was true then how do they cut the roll cage of a racecar.

                        caus·tic (kôstk)
                        adj.
                        Capable of burning, corroding, dissolving, or eating away by chemical action.

                        chemical action n : any process determined by the atomic and molecular composition and structure of the substances involved [syn: chemical process, chemical change]


                        to bad, so sad. are you still stuck in the 80's? This is like saying AB C = "see" your way out of it. Thanks for the laugh!

                        spout their negativity. Lets see, I vow to never again use an Amkus tool as long as I live. "The (they) are nothing but extra weight on the truck...I'd rather carry the extra weight in sand..."



                        [img]null[/img] Can't cut?

                        [ 08-28-2001: Message edited by: Extrication Research ]
                        web page

                        [ 08-28-2001: Message edited by: Extrication Research ]

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Carl Avery,front and center please!I was taught to never attempt to cut case hardened parts with hyd. cutters because of (1) potential breakage of the tool or (2)at the least nicking the cutting edge.Now what I want to know is someone lying to me or is this a non-issue with the new generation of tools.I've yet to have a vehicle we couldn't acess,but I'm the first to admit they weren't all textbook.T.C.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            The "Official tool of NASCAR" is Amkus??? That is interesting when you consider that NASCAR does NOT have a dedicated rescue team... so I wonder where their "official" tools get carried.., maybe in a media trailer??? I checked the Amkus webpage and found that they list NASCAR as a "racing partner" http://www.amkus.com/html/partners.html.

                            I do know that the Simple Green Safety Teams for CART have Holmotro as their "official" tools. What makes an "official" tool? The best I can tell, all you need to do is supply tools for free and get exclusive rights to put your patches on the users and your decals on the vehicles that carry them.

                            As for the ability to cut case hardened components, I am not sure why anyone would want to do this in the first place. You are using case hardened cutting surfaces to cut these objects which will result in some kind of damage to your tool's cutting surfaces. If you are cutting something like a nadar pin, you could potentially launch a projectile when the tool shears the pin.

                            The case hardened objects in a vehicle are connected to parts that are not case hardened. it is safer, faster and better for your equipment to make your cuts here if you need to use a hydraulic tool to do it. These are places where your reciprocating saw is a better choice. Those of us who have worked around auto racing know that often times, the saw and the ram are the tools of choice rather than spreaders and cutters just for that reason.
                            Richard Nester
                            Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

                            "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Forget the NASCAR BS, who cares? If you buy any tool because it's the official tool of something I've got a bridge to sell you.

                              As for Amkus cutters being able to cut anything, I can assure you that I've not found a part on a car it couldn't cut. I use both Hurst and Amkus and found both to be quality tools. As it has been said before the maintenance of the tool and firefighter training are the important things. If you have Hurst or Amkus you will be able to preform many successful rescues. Both manufacturer's tools can basically do the same thing. Their are things about Hurst I like and their are things I like about Amkus. Both also have things I don't like.
                              If you realy want to learn next time it is time to buy invite the manufacturers out at the same time.
                              We recently had Hurst, Amkus, Champion, Lucas, and TNT at our dept. at the same time. The side by side comparison was great, it gave us the tools needed to make a choice.
                              Our department decided to stay with Hurst, while my full time department is in the middle of switching to Amkus from Hurst.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!

                                My point about the tools being the official tool of nascar was not to you, it was about the post saying amkus cutters can not cut case hardened or cast elements such as door hinges, nader bolts, brake pedal shafts, seat belt plates, and other reinforcers. many of the recent hurst models can. nuff said. The point about this was if it was true then how do they cut the roll cage of a racecar.
                                My point about the tools being the official tool of nascar was not to you, it was about the post saying amkus cutters can not cut case hardened or cast elements such as door hinges, nader bolts, brake pedal shafts, seat belt plates, and other reinforcers. many of the recent hurst models can. nuff said. The point about this was if it was true then how do they cut the roll cage of a racecar.

                                Comment

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