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  • Hydraulic Failure

    Just an FYI for everyone. We recently had a tool failure on an extrication. I wasn't there, but here is the jest of what happened.

    We have a Hurst simo-pump system w/ dual 100' hoses. Apparently they were using the cutters when they froze up for unknown reasons at the time. Somehow they got then working again, and same failure. No apparent reason why at the time.

    Anyway, after they got back from the run, they found hydraulic fluid all over the compartment. Seems a connection from the hose reel had worked loose, and emptied the hydraulic reservoir. We are obviously now checking those connections during our weekly checks, but I wanted to pass it on for others.

    It doesn't seem to be necessarily a Hurst problem, just what we are using right now.

    As a side not, the crew adapted and overcame. Unfortunately it was not a good scene, lots of bystanders, kids involved, etc. Extrication seemed to go pretty well even with the problems they encountered.

    And the Hurst rep showed up that night to fix the system. Certainly above and beyond the call of duty...

  • #2
    A Posting From Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

    Interesting similar type incident at a training demonstration. Hose connecting to body of hydraulic spreader unit ruptured and leaked fluid under pressure all over everything.

    Crew was working off 100' hose reel from heavy rescue and was almost 90' from the apparatus.

    By the time a crew member moved from the vehicle being worked on to the rescue to shut down that leaking line, significant fluid leakage had occurred. Apparatus-mounted power plant went out of service due to low fluid level.

    Officer of team ordered separate power plant unit carried to work area so tasks could be completed.

    What's your plan for dealing with an unexpected event such as this? You're at the end of your 100' hose line cutting or spreading something. The hose breaks, and no one is at the rescue to immediately shut it off.

    Do you make it the apparatus operator's responsibility to standby their unit?

    Do you even carry spare fluid to replenish your reservoir on-scene?

    [ 07-03-2001: Message edited by: rmoore ]
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

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    • #3
      Good questions Ron. We keep the Chauffer stationed at the apparatus to handle any unforseen needs during the extrication. He can help less experienced people with less familiar tools, as well as deal with whatever emergency arises. One of the advantages of having a minimum of 14 people responding to any entrapment run.

      How we deal with these emergencies is through training. We try to train a minimum of once a month, and make sure we use more than just hydraulic tools when we do. There are so many different ways to approach any entanglement (as most are well aware), it only makes sense to know as many techniques as you can.

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      • #4
        Dear ffguy,many times the hydraulic lines are overlooked when doing a daily or weekly inspection.for what we put the hyd. lines through we should inspect them as often as possible.also the couplings on the ends of your hoses should be upgraded to the newer connections if they arent by now.i agree with Ron on stationing a FF by the unit to make sure power is flowing at all times.it isnt the case always to have a FF standing by all the time if resourses are stretched kind of thin which can be the case in most incidences. good luck mike m

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        • #5
          We have 50 foot hoses, so we are generally close enough to see such a leak. As for what to do, as long as we don't lose over 50%of the reservoir capacity, we can simply add water to it and keep on working. That is one of the advantages of glycol based fluid over others. Just add water if you are low. Once we're back at the station, dump out an amount of fluid equal to about the amount of water you added. Replace that with glycol and we're back in service.
          Richard Nester
          Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

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          • #6
            This happened at the reels, it wasn't an obvious leak, and wasn't figured out until later in the incident when they wondered where the fluid came from.

            I would think if you use water to refill your system you ought to plan on flushing the entire system when you get back, not just leave watered down fluid in the reservoir.

            I think this incident underscores the need for more than hydraulic tools at trainings, and having many different techniques. Also identifies the need for plenty of people responding to extrication incidents.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ffguy083:
              <STRONG>
              I would think if you use water to refill your system you ought to plan on flushing the entire system when you get back, not just leave watered down fluid in the reservoir.
              </STRONG>
              Nope... no need for all that... that is the beauty of ethly glycol over other fluids. It is a water soluable base. As long as you use clean water to top of the reservoir (we would probably use tap water that is in our water extinguishers), you just dump out the same amount of fluid and replace it with pure glycol when you get back to the station. The resulting solution will be within the operational limits for the brand of tools we have.

              Of course, if you feel like replacing the entire reservoir, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We will likely have rheels on our next rescue truck, so we will have to look into methods to ensure the integrity of the connections concealed inside the rolled hose.
              Richard Nester
              Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

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              • #8
                Ron,We don't use a truck mounted reel system,but there is sufficent enough extra fluid on board the rig to refill the unit 1.5 times plus or minus.The only other thing I could add is don't get so dependant on your hyd.that you don't have a plan B.If we are on a job where it will be lengthy or extensive extrication we'll call in another town.Never fails that when you need your tools the most something will screw up or fail.Be ready.T.C.

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