1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post electric vs hydraulic tools

    Our department is preparing to buy new tools. Some of our Captains are interested in electicaly powered jaws. I am interesred in feedback from those of you who use these tools regularly and what do you consider the advantage or disadvantage of electric or of hydraulic.

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest



    I will say it very simply, hydraulic, its the only way to go. With electric, I feel you need to worry about a lot of things, with the hydraulic, you dont.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I started to begin this reply in a different form, not knowing which electric tool you are referencing. I will see if I can give this a better shot. I am unaware of exactly as you put it what "simply..." really means. Lets do a little pro and con type check off. The tool I am refering to is the Curtiss Wright Power Hawk.

    _____________________Electric________ Hydraulic
    No tool setup reqired_______X
    one person operation _______X
    requires no fuel _________X
    Has no leaky hydraulic _____X
    Can be used in a oxygen_____X
    deficient environment
    Can be used in a confined____X
    Takes very minimal storage ____X
    space on apparatus
    Power readily available________X
    Doesn't require a spark plug_____X (tell me who hasn't had an on scene failure here)
    ... And the list just keeps going

    OHHH, forgot to add something to the list... It is UL compliant to the NFPA 1936 (the whole system, not just particular model numbers). The UL test has several criterias for torque or "force" in doing a task and the
    Power Hawk met or exceeded the figures. I had a hydraulic company spokesman That shall remain Nameless, That told me they were revamping their tool, and after a little prodding he owned up to the fact that it was the only way to meet the UL test. That ought to make one wonder, they claim they have the "better" tool but have to redesign their tool to pass a test that a "BATTERY" operated tool passed without modifications

    Now, all in all WHO has to worry??

    [This message has been edited by fireman_387 (edited 05-18-2001).]

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    To be short and to the point we have two electrically powered jaws. We are looking into replacing both. If you want more information drop me an E-mail.
    David Gerrer
    Ft. Lewis Fire & Emergency Services

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    I like hydraulic, but then again that's all I ever used. It's been working well for 25 years so I figure why change?
    I did try a PowerHawk once but I didn't like it as much.
    I have used Hurst many, many times and have yet to see it fail. In fact we have some that have been in service since the 70's.
    If they last that long, they must be pretty good.

  6. #6
    Carl Avery
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello All, OK those of you that know me will be saying another vote for the power-hawk! Well I am not, I again tell you it has a lot to do with the end user whether you are talking Hurst, Holmatro, Amkus, Lukas, Genesis, Champion or what ever rescue tool. they all have "Power Curves" that are as dependant on Tool (Hinge point Geometry, ETC.) Design as the are on High preasure or Low presure hydraulics. Now having said that each tool has a place it can perform a certain technique better than the other tool. I still up hold the tools such as the Power Hawk have certain advantages. they also have certain disadvantages too, all the tools do. So, as I have said time and again, the most important component of any rescue system is the operating nut (the Guy or Gal on the controls)It is too bad these tools are so expensive, I have a Friend in the rescue tool business - Mike Schmidt aka ZMAG, he is in the other end of the business, inexpensive tools, He usually will let a Department play with his tool for a month and then they can decide if they want to buy it. www.zmagrescue.com This gives the end users some real time to evaluate the tool. OK back to the Heavy Rescue tools (notice I avoided the term hydraulic) Since each tool has different characteristics the best way to pick the "right one" is to use it for a month, get comfortable or maybe uncompfortable with it! I guarentee an end user that knows their tool and is comfortable with it will out perform the "other guy" with the "best tool' every time. User Knowledge and comfort with a tools operation and operating characteristics are the keys to how successful any tool is. SO now I say to you get as many of your team out there and play with the top runners as much as you can, Remember the same technique may not work as well on every tool. Hopefully your salesperson will know how to play to the strengths of the tools you are buying, Listen to them as guides not gods though. Then See how your Rank and File operators like each one. That should constitute about 50% of your vote, 35% should be based on sales and SERVICE. All the tools Break, there for the guys that will show up at Zero Dark:Thirty with a replacement tool earn some points. Lastly 15% goes to training, Does the salesman back up his tool with good training?? Training that is uptodate and Lets you gain the knowledge how to maximixe that tools individuals strengths and how to avoid the weaknesses (though no sales person will ever tell you there tool has any weaknesses. Put all this together and then decide.

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

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