1. #1
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    Default Need advise on specs

    It has fallen my lot to spec out hydraulic tools for our dept next year. We currently have no rescue tools, so this will be a big change for us.

    I have talked to several sales reps and don't believe everything they tell me. I have used TNT, Amkus and Hurst in real world situations and do not see a real difference.

    I am asking those with more hands on experience than me, what tools work better in the real world.

    Also, has anyone used the battery powered Holmatro portable unit.

    Thanks
    Lt Patrick Claunch
    Glen FD, Glen MS

  2. #2
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    One of the first things that come to mind is "How close is your next tool, and how big is it?"

    If you have a nearby department with "full size" tools (32" spreaders, big cutters), a smaller set of spreader/cutters or even an omni tool can be a big benefit to handle the 90% of extrication that is a simple door pop and roof removal.

    If I didn't have the luxury of a big set of tools nearby for helping out, I'd be much more interested in spending the money for a "big" tool, or even looking for a used tool set in good shape.

    The smaller tools are terrific 90% of the time -- but I have seen the odd call that needed the bigger spreads of our JL-32 spreaders, or at the very least went smoother 'cause we had the extra reach. Probably not surprisingly, most of the calls we needed the big tools were body recoveries -- but I have seen victims come out of cars it took every tool we had to get them out who lived.

    Being compatible with mutual aid companies is nice, but not a neccesity. Departments to our west and south use Hurst like we do, to our north and east use Holmatro. I've trained on and used Hurst and Holmatros on jobs, and I've used Lukas and others in drills -- they all push, pull, and cut.

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    Default

    I have used a Weber-Vario battery powered combitool and it does fine on most vehicles,
    popping doors and removing the roof although it can struggle with a thick c post.
    I much prefer the Lukas wth its petrol power unit but I've used them for years and as drkblram
    said you can get brand fixated. The battery powered combi is very quiet, great for casualty
    reassurance- kids stuck in bikes/gates etc. Mobile for offroad work or persons trapped in
    machinery inside a building but we use ours mainly for removing security grilles in high rise
    flats -no fumes indoors.
    If you are interested try several makes on evaluation to compare.

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    Any tool will do what it is designed to do when it is in the hands of a competent operator who understand the limitations of the tool.

    Ok, that being said, you have a lot of things to look at. Often, service is one of the biggest reasons a particular tool is chosed. If your tool needs a repair, which dealer representative is going to be able to keep you in-service while your tool is at the shop or on the bench? Many keep a demo set on hand to replace yours with while it is out of service.

    What brand is your neighboring departments using? It might be a good idea to try to keep with a brand name that those around you are familiar with. That way, everyone is on the same page during a mutual aid call.

    If brand names are not consistent, how about high pressure (10,000 psi) or low pressure (5,000 psi) tools? If everyone around you has low pressure tools, you might want to look at low pressure also.

    Since you are starting at ground zero, I prefer not to give my personal recommendation of a tool on a message board. If you would like my "opinion" on the brand of tool I would buy, feel free to drop me an e-mail at ran812@aol.com .

    Good luck!
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by MetalMedic
    Since you are starting at ground zero, I prefer not to give my personal recommendation of a tool on a message board. If you would like my "opinion" on the brand of tool I would buy, feel free to send me an e-mail at ran812@aol.com .

    Good luck!
    I'd rather not share my preference on here either.
    Last edited by Resq14; 12-04-2002 at 11:53 PM.

  6. #6
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    Originally posted by Resq14


    Subliminal messages, Richard?



    I'm lonley and want some e-mail perhaps?

    Actually, if I have learned one thing from posting here at the University of Extrication, it is that most people are very loyal to the hydraulic tools that they use. Be that based on fact, experience, sales tactics or superstition, the result of saying that one tool is better than another on this message board is multiple postings of people attaching each others tools, if not each other.

    Since I am not a salesman, I have nothing to gain by recommending one tool over another. Through my experience in the fire service, I have had the opportunity to use about every tool there is out there, so I have formed some opinions. The bottom line remains, as I have said, that any hydraulic rescue tool will perform its function when it is in the hands of a skilled operator who knows the limitations of that tool.

    So, with that said, I would be happy to discuss my feelings off-line with GlenFD (or anyone else who is interested) since he asked for such input. I am sure that those who have read my posts in the past are aware of how I feel about high pressure vs. low pressure... and many of those probably know what brand of tool I like best. But I see nothing to be gained by throwing out a recommendation of what I "like" when I am well aware that the other brand names are just as capable of doing what they are made to do. Heck, I had an extrication instructor one time that could run circles around a hydraulic tool using just hand tools.
    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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