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  • air lift bag purchasing advice

    We are looking at purchasing our first set of air lift bags, intead of waiting for neighboring agencies. I am looking for advice on what features to look for, not a specific brand. We will only be getting a 2 bag system to begin with. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Things I would look for: Warranty,service after the sale,are the bags repairable,nearest dealer and do they have "loaners"if one of your bags gets damaged. Regardless of what you choose in the end,you may want to look at the ResqTek bags which can be interconnected as a system. T.C.

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    • #3
      What are you looking to do with them in the world of extrication?
      If you are looking to stabiliaze or lift a car to free a person why not look at RES-Q-JACKS? They do both. We have them and they work wonderfully. If you are looking fo rother things explain it and I will try to help.

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      • #4
        First of all we are most likely going to get a rescue 42 truck kit soon. As for the need for the air lift bags it would primarily vehicle lifting including large trucks. Also though we have a new manufacturing plant in our area that uses extremly large steel beams. The weight and size vary by project but I've seen seen 3" x 8' x 100' slabs of steel in there. We are just preparing for a future possibility of a rescue in there, and we have always wanted some for vehicle rescue. Again I'm most concerned with important features, and questions for the sales guy.
        Thanks

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        • #5
          one thing I would ask is if the bags have a shelf life. Some or most bags do. the RES-Q-JACKS can help you in the lift in conjunction with the bags on bigger objects. The suggestion by the guy for you to look into the RES-Q-JACKS may have a nice point.

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          • #6
            The Res-Q-Jack to assist a 74 ton bag in lifting a 74ton object... interesting to see the end result... I would prefer the pictures!

            This posting is beginning to look like a Res-Q-Jack ad!

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            • #7
              "do the bags have a shelf life?" ALL bags have a life cycle(shelf life).A key question is are the bags repairable? Most aren't.While ResQjacks are a valuable tool there are limits to what I would try with them.A combination of struts,bags and cribbing would be my ideal weapons of choice.And in some instances there might be a better way;T**Tr**k you fill in the blanks,T.C.

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              • #8
                And in some instances there might be a better way;T**Tr**k you fill in the blanks,T.C.

                The Trick
                http://www.midsouthrescue.org
                Is it time to change our training yet ?

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                • #9
                  Ellwood,

                  I think warranty, reliability (you have to research this), support from the dealer (including training) and replacement/loaner policies are the most important. Most bags today are excellent.

                  A few "Lift Bag FYI" things to think about that I include in my classes:

                  Stabilization: Manufacturers used to say that Lift Bags (we used to say "Airbags" until airbags started coming out of steering wheels) could be used to stabilize. It's not a good idea to use a balloon to hold weight over your head. Too many things can go wrong: leaks, fittings popping off, pushing the wrong button, etc. Stabilization needs to be bomb-proof! Everyone learns the axiom "lift an inch, crib an inch". If the lift bag was a piece of cribbing, why would you have to crib up behind it?

                  Water: We used to have a tough time using bags under water (vehicle in a canal, diver ops, etc). Once you put air in them they (duh...) float away. We had a call where a diver vacuuming gravel from the bottom of a river sucked all the gravel from under a boulder, which rolled and pinned the diver. It was impossible to control the bags underwater with air in them. We plumbed an air fitting to a ball valve. Now we can use a hard line or other fire hose to pressurize the bags with water using the pump pressure gauge as your regulator! It works great for fill pressure, the bags don't float anymore, and it gives us a great back-up pressure supply if air isn't available or the lift bag controller craps out. After use, just drain them and then cycle air through until the inside is dry. We ran this past our lift bag manufacturer, and they said it was a great idea as long as we got the bags dry.

                  Brake systems: We have air chucks plumbed into the pneumatic brake systems on all of our rigs. It gives us another source of air for the bags as well as an easy supply of air for refilling deflated tires.

                  Just some food for thought...

                  Tim
                  www.rescue42.com

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                  • #10
                    Obviously those trying to say Res-Q-Jacks are a substitute for high pressure lifting bags have no real world rescue experience and need to put down the trade magazines every once in a while...lifting vehicle with struts used to stabilize is dangerous, impractical and not realistic...buy some airbags brother- use your head and not marketing ploys aimed at inexperienced rescue workers

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                    • #11
                      Ellwood- Talk to some dealers in your area, they will come out and do demos. There is so much to be offered in airbags. I just got back from a class and had the chance to use a range of bags, and what I have found is the controls make a huge difference in the ease to use of the bags. Take a look at all around most bags on the market are high quality now, TNT, Paratech's maxiforce all make excellent bags.

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                      • #12
                        True to a point. ResQjacks are designed and fully capable of doing limited lifting on cars and light trucks.During a recent exercise we actually lifted an old Roadway single axle road tractor with them.Not what I'd recommend for heavy lifts,but certainly a handy tool. As Tim says:Lift(bags)yes,stabilize NO.And lift in stages cribbing/anchoring as you go.And Lee,Yes it is ONE of the "tricks",Hehe T.C.

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