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  1. #1
    TarHEEL Man
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up The TarHEEL Ram Stabilizer

    Has anybody heard of or seen The TarHEEL
    Ram Stabilizer used? If so what were your
    thoughts?


  2. #2
    Carl Avery
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    While some say clamping the Rocker pannel is an acceptable method to secure a ram. I got to say it is not my idea of what is the best. I am a contiued supporter of the Rocker pannel device Like the Rescue42 O'connell Rescue Plate. I know there are other opinions out there but this is mine, lets here from the rest of you. Oh yeah How many different Jobs can this tool do? and what is its cost? Is it cost effective?

    ------------------
    Carl D. Avery

  3. #3
    Lewiston2Capt
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We use a home made device in my company that is a 1 foot long 6" I-beam with 1/2" bar stock welded in three locations, the I beam sits on the rocker panel and the ram catches the 1/2" bar stock. Works well. We call it a ram block.



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

  4. #4
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Carl,

    I think you know my opinion, however others may not. Originally, I like many thought it was an expensive one purpose tool. However, after using it for just one week, I would consider putting it in a budget if I were buying rescue equipment. You also have to remember that this is a hydraulic rescue tool, I don't know of any in-expesive hydraulic tools in our industry.

    The makers of the TarHeel sent me a tool to evaluate. Recently I had a 4 day advanced extrication program. The students in the program used the tool and then I let them evaluate it. I have to say the students all liked it, I was equally impressed with the proformance as well. We didn't have a lot of time to spend on playing with new equipment, a simple quick explaination from the TarHeel directions and that was it.

    The students were a little leary about pumping the pressure up to 7,000 PSI at first, but other than that it is a simple operation.

    Will you have to use it everytime, no, as with any buttress. However when it is needed, I can see that it will do the job. Does it do what I expect it to do, yes. Does the product justify the the expense, in my own opinion, yes. Will I personally use a home made rocker panel shoe again, not while I have the TarHeel. Less liability on my part while conducting a training program, I do believe that this is the safest way to push off the rocker panel. I have not used all the differnet makes of rams yet, I was told by the manufacturer that it will work on any brand name ram. To date, I have used it with both the Res Q Tek and Hurst rams.

    To be quite honest, I am surprised the rescue tool companies haven't tried to make their own version or purchase the patent for this one, it's a good product. Far better than some of the other options available at this time.

    While I may not use all of the depictions that were sent to me for my review, as with any other rescue tool, for rolling a dash it was excellent.

    As far as the price, it's not cheap, but it is no toy either. I was equally impressed with it's construction, truely a very ruggid tool and should stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

    The advantage is that you don't need multiple size rams, which may offset the cost of the tool. It releases very quickly and can be slid along the rocker channel/panel to accommodate the size of the ram or adjust it as you bottom out in reach.

    There is a hydraulic hand pump similar to that of which the hydraulic rescue tool companies use. The responder sets the tool in place, pumps it to 7,000 psi (gauge on pump) and it doesn't move. As with any pushing, you need to put cribbing under the TarHeel to prvent bottoming out.

    I have been teaching cutting the the upper third of the rocker panel to use the panel its self as a make shift buttress if required. The hazard to this is there may be fuel lines or even a wiring harness below this point. This will avoid cutting into these hazards.

    I have both used and made rocker panel shoes or what ever we want to call them. The major problem is that these devises sometimes roll or slide out of the way and can cause the rams to kick out. While the homebuilt product can save money, there is always a liablity issue associated with something homemade. You have to ask yourself, does your department want to assume the liability of a homebuilt tool.

    There is one rescue tool manufacturer that stand behind using their LARGE SPREADERS, to clamp or pinch the rocker panel. Using the TarHeel is by far better than anyone using a set of spreaders to do the so called pinch. I feel that you are subjecting the spreard arms to forces that can damage the tool. One set of 32+ inch arms and the tool more than pays for its self.

    One thing that I did suggest to Ed Cutrell (TarHeel)is that the company make a relief device simular to which Holmatro uses to remove the pressure from their hydraulic pressure line. If the hydraulic line is disconnected while the tool is in place, you will not be able to reconnect the hose without first backing off the pressure. There is 7,000 psi exerted on pressure plates the tool will not move until the pressure is backed off. Having a pressure relief device/dump valve would then allow you to disconnet the line and leave the tool in place. Lines would be out of the way with a reduced trip hazard.

    Overall, I give it a thumbs up, but as with any tool, you should try it out for yourself. I believe Ron Moore will be evaluating the TarHeal Tool as well, so look for a post from him.

    The tool is distributed and manufactured by Ed Cutrell through Virginia-Maryland Rescue Systems, Inc. URL: http://www.thetarheel.com

    Specs:

    Operating Pressure: 7000 PSI
    Opening: 6 Inches
    Pressure Plates: 5x8 (top and bottom)
    Ht: 22.5x8.25 Inches
    WT: 27 LBS
    Inserts: Replacable Stainless Steel
    Body: Anodized Aircraft Aluminum
    Warrenty: One Year

    Ron Shaw http://www.extrication.com


    [This message has been edited by Ron Shaw (edited 11-17-2000).]

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