1. #1
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Angry Texas Death Match - Who's Tools are Better?

    This seems to be an endless question. If you want to stir up some heat on a forum, just ask the simple question "What tool do you recommend or which will work the best?" then stand back!

    I would like to have a Texas Death Match, finally once and for all find out which tool and equipment will out perform the other. Get this endless wagging dog to finally lay down so we can move on to more important topics.

    So perhaps we can get Firehouse-Ron Moore to pull it together. Invite all the good ole boys (rescue tool companies) to bring everything they have and let's get it down.

    We can lay out a set of objectives that each tool must meet, get the same quality vehicles or materials to cut or spread for each evolution. Each company will do the exact same enabling objective for each evolution or test. To keep things on an even keel, only the manufacturers representatives should be allowed to use the equipment.

    Let the rescue tool companies battle it out instead of the responders on the forums. I don't think the concept of forums was for one vendor to pit against the other or one die hard tool fan to take offense to anothers personal opinion.

    Personally, this only turns me off from that particular tool and the worst is that tool company may put out a darn good product.

    We all have our favorite tools, everyone, for one reason or another. But my reason for liking a particular tool is not going to be the same as someone else's.

    Just the same as the way we do a particular extrication. There are more ways to get the objective done, the end result should be it gets done in a timely manner and safely. All the tools on the market today will do the job, it's a matter of personal opinion for the most part.

    I Challenge the tool companies to the Texas Death Match, lets do it and get it on!

    Regards,
    Ron Shaw

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


    [This message has been edited by Ron Shaw (edited 12-02-2000).]

  2. #2
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Just a little update, I received an email today from Larry Anderson, Hurst supports the Texas Death Match and would like to participate. Any other tool manufacturers willing to participate in an open competition, lets get it on!

    Ron Shaw
    Extrication.Com
    rshaw@extrication.com


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

    [This message has been edited by Ron Shaw (edited 12-02-2000).]

  3. #3
    CollegeBuff
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hey Ron- I'm thinking Discovery Channel...

  4. #4
    7604
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    hey ron maybe we could set up a death match
    at the expo I just e-mailed you about

  5. #5
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I sent an email to Ron Moore with the same suggestion, I sent Harvey Eisner an email as well. Perhaps there may be a chance of this happening especially since the tool companies will already be there. If we get enough support I am sure Firehouse will look seriously into it. If not Extrication.Com will try to work things out.

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

  6. #6
    Carl Avery
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hey Ron,
    As you well know, this has been talked about before, I have even chatted with the some of the good folks at York County PA. Fire School about doing this or something similar. One thing I will say while I support the idea We will NEVER come up with a Definitive Answer, The Car Magazines and Consumer Reports do this all the time with cars, and you know what, people keep buy all the different makes. We could how ever come out with some very good objective information. One point too that we should cover is the Power cuves each tool has. I have seen charts of tests that one manufacturer had done of the different brands/models of tools (What forces at what width) Each "curve" I saw was different. This has a lot to do with the geometry of the Jaws and such. Why do I bring this up? I wish we as a whole could have access to this data. Some tools have "FLAT SPOTS" in some areas, If we as end users knew what they were we could try to avoid using our tool in a Less than optimal method. In other words match the strengths of our tools (no matter what make or model) to the Resuce Challenge we have at Hand. Just a thought I sure we can come up with more as we continue our discussion

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

  7. #7
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    Carl I had thoughts of a bench-strength test then let the manufacturers put together the best of their best to do actual evolutions:

    Single Door Removal (Combi Tool)
    Single Door Removal (Spreaders)
    Single Door Removal (Cutters)
    Side Take Down (Two Doors as a singel Unit)
    Roof Removal
    Roof Flap
    Jacking a Dash (Spreaders)
    Dash Roll (Ram or Spreaders)
    Modified Dash Roll (with spreaders)
    Third Door Conversion (Combi Tool)
    Cutting or pulling a Brake Pedal

    We could have a tool off with reciprocationg saws and Hand Tools as well.

    Roof Removal
    Roof Flap
    Single Door Removal
    Side Take Down (both doors)
    Third Door Conversion
    Longest Run Cut (verticle roof)

    The final event could be mixed rescue tool timed event, no cutting hydraulic tools, only hand, air or electric reciprocationg saws. These can be conbined with the best two winning teams.

    No cutting steering wheel columns, lifts or pulls.

    Then the over all winner will be selected by points. So in the end, it's tool against tool, and team against team. Any unsafe procedures will deduct points or seconds off the score.

    You can still get the stats you need from the bench test and then we can see who the best practical evolution team is. If it goes well perhaps it can be a yearly event. Move over NASCAR!

    Your thoughts?



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

  8. #8
    Zmag
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    You forgot one catagory. What tool system is the easiest, fastest, and most secure stabilazation system from the compartment to the street. Add that one and you can count me in.
    Zmag
    PS: and most bang for the buck

  9. #9
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hi Mike,

    No reason to leave anyone out, you have a rescue tool use for extricaiton, we should be able to find a catagory.

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

  10. #10
    RSQLT43
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Hey Ron, I know a dealer for TNT that said he would be glad to participate in a show down like this.

    Im sure Cepco tools would show up also.

  11. #11
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    FINALLY!!! A real head-to-head look at what is out there. Good discussion going on here. I would also like to see a bench test prior to actual evolutions. I also feel that each manufacturer should have some input so that someone from the competition doesn't get an unfair advantage for a particular evolution.

    I like the list of all the potential evolutions Mr. Shaw lists, but I think we need to keep the K.I.S.S. principles in mind here. If we do alot of different things, I think it would be harder to compare apples to apples (would also take a lot of near identical vehicles). I would suggest one particular evolution for each tool (spreader, cutter and ram).

    An effort should be made to send invitations to all companies to participate. We certainly don't want anyone to be left out of this one. You also need to have some independent judges with some knowledge of the mechanics of these tools to go over them before and after the event. As some of you probably know, there are companies out there that will exceed their tool specifications for demo purposes to put on a good show. This does not give a fair representation of what the actual capabilites are of that tool.



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


    [This message has been edited by MetalMedic (edited 12-04-2000).]

  12. #12
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    Sarg (Rich),

    More good suggestions coming in from Rich. I would hate to think that a tool company would jack pressures up for something like this. However, if you feel this is a problem, the power units can easily be put on a gauge prior to the match by judges.

    What is your thought about attending responders taking a written survey at the end of the match to give to the tool makers there ideas or suggestions to improvements that they would like to see in a future tool?

    Ron



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

  13. #13
    SCCARESCUE
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Ron,
    Great idea! However, I disagree with one concept: The test needs to be more scientific. I think that manufacturer reps need to set up their tools, but an unbiased team needs to put them thru their pace. That same team needs to test each tool. This would help to eliminate a "human factor". Some reps may have developed certain demo techniques that would actually enhance their tools performance. These techniques may not be available to all who purchase the equipment, so it could be concieved as an advantage. With an unbiased team, and that team doing all the tests, I think you would go a very long ways towards eliminating the human factor.

    And while we are talking about a more scientific approach, maybe a more basic approach to the tests themslves. Maybe use springs, tensionometers, etc to measure the actual strength of each tool - test all the same way with the same equipment. Not as fun or spectacular as cutting cars, but certainly more scientific. I think that is what the fire rescue service needs - good solid data all based upon the same exact tests.
    I think that cutting cars would open up the tests for criticism based upon certain failures of certain cars, different spread and crush points from tool to tool, etc. Basically do the same thing UL does, or consumer reports does. Determine and distribute the REAL facts! I think alot of people would really like that info!


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

  14. #14
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Originally posted by Ron Shaw:
    Sarg (Rich),

    More good suggestions coming in from Rich. I would hate to think that a tool company would jack pressures up for something like this. However, if you feel this is a problem, the power units can easily be put on a gauge prior to the match by judges.

    What is your thought about attending responders taking a written survey at the end of the match to give to the tool makers there ideas or suggestions to improvements that they would like to see in a future tool?

    Ron


    It is so wierd being called "Sarg" on this forum....

    I think a survey by those in attendence would certainly be in order. Many eyes will see many different things. I am sure the manufacturers would welcome all comments.

    I agree to some extent with Dan's comments as well. The only problem being, how do you find an "unbiased" group of users to test the tools? I have used many, but I have a couple I prefer over others and probably would find less fault in them than those I have had bad experiences with.

    The scientific tests he suggests are what I had in mind by a "bench test". We need to measure forces, opening and closing speeds (with and without a load), weights, balance, etc. I would also suspect there would be some way to have identical mock-ups made of door assemblies and such if there was enough publicity involved to find sponsorship. Something to look into.

    Keep us posted!!


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

  15. #15
    fireman_387
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Try NFPA 1936, Standards on powered rescue tools.

  16. #16
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    "Fireman_387 wrote: Try NFPA 1936, Standards on powered rescue tools.

    I will try to research the standards unless you have a copy of them. One problem I see with researching the NFPA standards is the jumping around to all the volumes to collect the whole picture on subject matter you need.

    I receive an email from Holmatro, they have sent me a copy of the testing of tools done in England a couple years ago. According to Holmatro, at the time, their tools were the over winner. We could use the European test criteria for our bench test format as well as anyother information the other readers can come up with for what they believe to be the best challenge for the tools.

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

  17. #17
    Fireboy422
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    The tool is only as good as the imagination of the user. No matter how you set up a "showdown" you could never take the human element out of it. The single best extrication tool is the imagination of the rescuer

  18. #18
    fireman_387
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Fireboy... Words of wisdom, and in your very first post... You response on the human element is right on track.

  19. #19
    MetalMedic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Talking

    Originally posted by Fireboy422:
    The tool is only as good as the imagination of the user. No matter how you set up a "showdown" you could never take the human element out of it. The single best extrication tool is the imagination of the rescuer

    Yep.. you do make a good point there. Now we can have a completely new argument to make..

    "I can take a car apart faster with a Phoenix tool than you can with a "Brand X" tool!"

    It has been interesting to see the "my tool is better than your tool" arguments on this forum. But Fireboy is completely correct in his post, any tool in the right hands will be faster than any other tool in the wrong hands. If you have been around the fire service for a while, you probably know of someone who will do circles around your hydraulic tools using only saws, chains and come-a-longs.

    Let's not miss the forest for looking at the trees. I would still like to see a true and fair head-to-head between hydraulic tool companies. But never forget that YOU need to competent with whatever tool you have in order to do that job at hand.




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

  20. #20
    Carl Avery
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    A lot of good points brought up by all and rest assured the "Declared Winner" would put it in all their adds, reffer back to Ron's post where Holmatro informed them about winning in Europe, I also have a report from Europe on a test done on the POWER HAWK and how well it did (of course I got this from my Friends at POWER HAWK) I can honestly say that I felt it was relativly unbiased, as it pointed out positives and negatives. But Over all it was good and guess what Power Hawk used as an advertising tool in certain settings, Not that much different from what you may find in your Local Car Dealership. Bottom line it is all about marketing. Let me add my congratualations to FIREBOY, his observations are ON THE MONEY. the most important part on any tool is the "OPERATING NUT". Now having said all that I do think the TEST is an appropiate action. But lets get base line information on all the tools in as many situations as possible. Just Like different cars different tools have Plusses and Minusess But if we can help ourselves KNOW how our tools perform maybe the "OPERATING NUTZ" can get the most out of them and that is the ULTIMATE CONTEST!

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

  21. #21
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Everyone has been bringing out good posts on this topic and as some of you realize that the tool may perform differently in one hand than the other.

    So to be completely fair, don't you think that the tool maker should be able to use his own representative(s) during the bench test and the "Head to Head" as it has been called? If you don't your going to have to set a criteria just for the users to be fair to the tool makers. I would have to disagree with putting the tool in the hands of a Holmatro fan when it came to testing a Hurst tool. This would then be a bias situation and could be protested by every tool maker that did not come out on top.

    If the tool rep doesn't have a good day, they will have to live with it until the next match, if there is one.

    I am sure those of us that use a tool all the time can work circles around those that can't find the time work the tools on a regular basis. If it is the tricks of the trade your worried about, you have to realize that no two people may do a procedure the same way each and every time. There are more than one way to tie a bowline knot, however as long as the end result is the same, you have to except the knot as being a bowline. This is a commonly seen in Fire Fighter I & II certification exams. If the instructor that trained you showed you a different way than was developed by IFSTA or other training organization, wouldn't you be upset if the examiner failed you because you didn't tie a particular know the text book way you were taught. It's the end result, and if you want to limit this, you set guidelines, you don't take the tool away from someone that works with it all the time.

    For those of us that may not know a particular trick of the trade, where else better to learn from those that sell the tools. If you practice enough and try things out, you to can be an expert yourself and come up with tricks of the trade.

    As I have said before the bench testing will put tool against tool. The acutal practical match will put "Tool & Operator" together against the other team.

    My original intent was not really to find out which tool was better than the other. It was to stop the constant bickering on brand name tools. All of the tools on the market today should do the job. We each have our own particular favorite tool, all of us. My intent it was to see the tool companies competing together and stop fighting against ourselves. I have gone to other sites and forums from other countries, I don't see the same bickering as I do over here.

    This is what is very difficult when putting a development team together, I have an idea, you have an idea and so do other members on the team. If the team leader doesn't pull things together, everyone goes off in their on their own agenda. Estabish a goal and run with it...

    What is it we really want to see here? Do you want to know what the force limitations are at the very end of the tips of the spreaders or at the middle of the spreader tips? Do you want to know if a cutter can cut through micro alloys, HSLAS and boron steel currently used in the modern car? These are the things that I want to know, actual forces and what the tools can and can't do. Or is it important to you, I have seen a door taking what seemed to be light years to pop, when one simple cut on the sheet metal will do the trick. Why cut a side impact bar when you can cut around it if you have problems. See what your tool can and can't do will help you a the scene of a crash.

    If your favorite tool does not come out on top does not mean you have to buy something else, learn from what it can't do and develop a practice that it will allow you to do. That's why it is important to do a bench test and a practical with the tool reps in my opinion.

    Thare are some training materials suggesting that some tools can and can't do this or that because of modern construction of the new vehicles. Ok, lets see if this is true or is it a hipe to get you to turn in your older equipment that has been working well for years and will keep on ticking for many more.

    For those of you that have been taking new technology training, I am sure that you know what I am referring to. Now come up with some material that you will find in the modern vehicle that you think the tools will have a difficult time with. Isn't this what you really want to know? For most of us knowing that a tool can cut 27,000 lbs at the center or 60,000 lbs at the notch means nothing. Why because you don't know what the required cutting force for the material you are trying to cut is. What is the required cutting force for weld flange on a 2001 Volvo? How much will it take to cut through that side impact beam? I have a side impact bar that is suppose to create problems with the modern day cutter, yet it was only held on by inexpensive pop rivets in the door. It can also be cut very easily with a reciprocating saw. There are alternatives to everything, but you won't learn until you try and know your limitations of the tools you use. Thats what this is really all about.

    A tool can be designed so that can cut 60,000 lbs, but if there is a design flaw in the blade that causes the tool to side load on some of these newer materials what good is 60,000 lbs of cutting force.

    Most cutter do not cut through the metal as you would think, they fracture the harder metals. Next time you cut a piece of hard metal look at the ends and you will see what I am referring to. Most tool manufacturers will say that their tool can cut through pins and hinges, lets see it. Lets look at the blades to see if there is any damage when were done.

    I have no problem with a representative of the tool manufacturer doing test on their equipment. I encourage it, how are the rest of us supose to learn?

    What are your suggestions for material that needs to be cut that will be found in the modern vehicle during extrication? Perhaps we can get a donation from the auto makers of the exact material you are requesting.

    What we need to do is come up with suggestions for the bench testing as well as the practical. I suggested several ideas for a practical, what are yours?



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

  22. #22
    LP310
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Ron . . . It seems to me that the "Texas Deathmatch" would be a great idea . . . IF there were some way to compare "apples to apples" . . . however, with extrication tools as they are, TOOLS . . . trying to compare what they do seems a fruitless effort. Sure, you can put them through al of the bench mark tests that you'd like, but let's face it . . . ALL tools have their strong points and their weak points. Personally, as a Paramedic and Volunteer Firefighter, I prefer using a tool that is going to: (1)be safe and easy for me to use in ALL situations (2) get the patient out as quickly and safely as possible. I have used both hydraulic and electric tools in vehicle extrication classes, on the road at accident scenes, and on the dirt track in racing vehicles. There are certain things that I like about certain tools, but one tool that I have recently gotten to experiment with the Powerhawk by Curtiss Wright. My department uses both the electric tool and the Amkus hydraulic tool. Not until about a month had we "gotten" to use the electric tool at an accident scene on the road, even though we had used it at the dirt track on 2 separate occasions. We were called to a vehicle accident involving a cattle truck and a 1 ton pick up . . .head on at 70mph . . . both drivers were killed instantly, but there were approximately 35 head of cattle that were extricated from a burning trailer with the electric tool . . . granted the tool was not IN the fire nor am I trying to send that message, but given the environment, I wouldn't have gotten the hydraulic tool off the truck (over 150 gallons of diesel were either spilled or burning). Sure there are things that I like about both tools so, in short, the idea is GREAT in concept . . . BUT understand that all of us have our preferences when performing the duty at hand . . . but these things are TOOLS . . . limited in part by their manufacture, but MORE by the restrictions of the environment and user. There is NO way to fairly illustrate or evaluate the TRUE performance indicators in extrication tools . . . the best thing to do is find a tool that is right for the needs of YOU and your department . . . tools are what WE make of them and no ONE tool is right for everyone! Thanks

  23. #23
    Carl Avery
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    I think the Idea of a death match may not be the way to go. I was talking with a friend of mine in the business the other day and with the advent of NFPA 1939 (think I got that right- the rescue tool standard) The Bench testing is pretty much already done. Each Company has to provide standardized test result upon request (to comply). So that mostly solves the bench test part. I do think there is a need for realistic Real World Evaluations though. As most posts here seem to point out, there are Plusses & Minusses to all the tools on the market. Maybe if we could get them out and Evaluate them, much like the Car magazines do to cars,maybe we could learn a thing or two. A Tool Evaluation where Severl different Experienced operators get a chance to put a tool through it paces. And then report on what they find, Reporting it all. It would still be a Buyers Final Decision, but maybe with this test idea, the BUYERS can go in with eyes wide open and they can decide if they agree with the "PROs" or not.
    Well there is my spin on the idea, as you all Know I am always open for debate, so lets hear your spins?

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

  24. #24
    Ron Shaw
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    With the suggestions coming in that we should do bench tests that follow the NFPA 1936 recommendations, I did a little research at the station going through the Standard.

    These are not what most of have in mind as a bench test. They are more like extreme endurance tests and you need a week just to get a tool through them maybe more according to the rules of third party testing.

    Holmatro sent me a copy of the UK tests conducted a couple of years ago, these seem to be more in line with what you thought of.

    I have talked to the many of the manufacturers representatives, as a whole are not in favor for doing an NFPA test for this match. This would be too time consuming, costly and for the most part has or is currently being conducted by most. I would have agree.

    So as far as that part, the bench testing following the NFPA 1936 is a mute issue. However, all the manufacturers that I have spoken with are still willing to do a match off with their competitors.

    I have a lead for new vehicles to be used on the actual match. This has prompted serious interest with the manufactures.

    Ron

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

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