Thread: High Pressure

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    Question High Pressure

    Our department was given a fed grant and I have been given the task of purchasing new extrication tools, we have chose to upgrade from the 5000 PSI hurst tools we have had since 1982. the companies we have chose to look at are Holmatro, HurstCentaur, and Amkus. I would like to find out the pros and cons of theses tools that people have used and departments that carry them any service and operating problems, anything and everything would be helpful thanks ts

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    Not a very specific remark on my part, but just a reminder that when soliciting opinions on equipment for every good that a person has to say about ABC Brand, another person can come right back with the complete opposite opinion.

    My experience has been to bring in demo units of all the systems you are considering. Let the FF's who will be using the tools on a regular basis use them on some junked cars. Rotate through them all and see what suits your membership the best. Just because everybody loves ABC company, your FF's may not and they may prefer XYZ Company and the bottom line is purchase what makes the daily users happy, not what seems like the big name, etc.

    FYI, we went through this about 18 ro 20 months ago, and we chose TNT for our system. We had a tight race with Hurst, but one of the tie breaking factors was that a neighboring / mutual aid dept. also has TNT so we would be comfortable with each other's equipment and larger scale incidents

    Hope this helps a little bit..........

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    Is there some reason why you are abandoning a low pressure/hi volume tool system in favor of a high pressure/low volume system?
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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    Default purchase of a new tool

    I agree with FFtrainer. That is exactly what we did and found this to be the best way to evaluate the didderent tools. We made up a survey sheet with all the critical features on it, asked all reps to come to a demonstration where all FF could use each tool and rate each tool on the different features as far as good bad or otherwise. We then took the survey and compiled all remarks leaving one tool which was prefered by the FF. The final info needed which sealed the brand for us was low bid. This happened to be the same tool which won the popularity survey. Amkus is the tool we have had for 2 years now, have preformed flawlessly in several extrications. We have added rams and a speedway cutter since. PM in our area is excellent and we have had no problems with any portion of the system and would highly recommend it.

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    Following what they are saying about your neighboring FD's:

    We use Amkus. At least one of our neighboring FD's uses Lukus. Both are interchangeable with each other.

    We have had Amkus for longer than I can remember and Lukus before that. I've used Amkus, Lukus, Holmatro, and Hurst. I favor Amkus but you have to see which ones you like best because everyone is going to favor a different brand. Get demos of all of the brands you want to look at.
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    Thumbs up re high pressure

    i agree with all of you and i have made out all spec. list on them. i am more or less just taking a survey or to see who has changed and why or who likes what better and why. as for low or high pressure we what to change to high for easier connections, non toxic fluids, and greater cutting and spreading forces, true the new cars are being made of nothing but they are keeping the driver safer by making some componets stronger. thank and bring on more input. TS
    Last edited by shaggyff; 01-11-2003 at 07:19 PM.

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    Default May want to consider the dealer

    The number one priority with choosing a set of extrication tools is the tools themselves. When we purchased our set we cut up a car with the ones we got and a couple others brands. However if you cannot make up your mind between brands, look how well the dealers will be able to support you. That's another reason why we choose the set we did. The dealer we bought ours from was about 45 minutes away while the next closest one was 2 hours and 30 minutes away, he didn't have as many major cities to service, and he had a replacement set of jaws he carried with him while the other one didn't.
    Last edited by firemonEMT; 01-11-2003 at 10:43 PM.

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    Default Have it both ways!

    Hey Metal, you can have your cake and eat it too! Amkus Ultimate Rescue system is a high pressure, high volume system. I believe there is at least one other such system on the market now. We got one with our new rescue pumper. I can make 4 cuts to every one using a HP/LV system, and it allows multiple tools to work at the same time. I've seen 3 tools working a car over with no loss of pressure or speed. The only problem with these systems is that it requires a PTO for the hyd pump, if there are not enough PTO's on you truck you may have to jury rig a double PTO or go without. We also carry a portable pump incase we can't reach the scene with the hoses on the reels.

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    Default Re: re high pressure

    Originally posted by shaggyff
    as for low or high pressure we what to change to high for easier connections, non toxic fluids, and greater cutting and spreading forces,
    Easier connections? Last time I checked, all hydraulic connections were about the same. Pull back, insert, release and twist to lock... of course there are those who will argue that you will have more problems with leaking connection on a high pressure tool. Personally, I have not experienced this.

    Non-toxic fluids? The tools my department has uses ethyl glycol for it's fluid. It taste awful, but you can drink the stuff and it won't harm you. Another nice thing about it is that, in an emergency, you can mix it with water should you have something fail in the field and need more fluid.

    Greater cutting and spreading forces? Volume = force ---- 'nuf said.

    Don't rush your decision. It sounds to me like you have had a very good sales pitch thrown at you. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples on a level playing field. You are making a major investment, so be extra sure you are making the right decision.
    Last edited by MetalMedic; 01-12-2003 at 07:50 PM.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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    At my current station we had the choice of whatever brand of tool we wanted. Traditionally we had always used Hurst but we found the Holmatro a clear favorite for its control system, manouverability, lightness and speed. I have to disagree with Metalmedic on one point, Pressure is force per unit area rather than a direct relationship and most tool manufacturers try to balance out the 5000 and 10,000 psi systems to give about the same cutting and spreading forces. Nevertheless it is important to compare apples with apples. Are two spreaders rated to the same force? Don't forget the leaverage effect of longer/shorter arms. No use having a lighter tool if it doesn't have the muscle to do the job so read specifications carefully and finally arrange side by side direct comparisons of different tools. Don't be afraid to ask competing dealers questions like "I have been told that brand X is better than yours because ... " and bounce their response back off the brand X guy. Be careful with peoples feelings doing this because most people really do feel their tools are best but it is a great way to learn about the issues involved. Other considerations also need to be factored in and may yet swing the balance for you. A tool rated marginally superior in your own tests would be a poor choice if servicing and maintenance mean you will be without it for long periods of time and compatibility with nearby units makes things easier at incidents requiring mutual aid. As much as possible involve your own crews in evaluations and if there are cost or other restrictions be upfront about them. Don't promise what you can't deliver and you will do well whatever brand you pick.
    Jim Maclean. IACOJ NZ branch

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    Default Re: Have it both ways!

    Originally posted by Fire304
    The only problem with these systems is that it requires a PTO for the hyd pump, if there are not enough PTO's on you truck you may have to jury rig a double PTO or go without.
    It's more likely that you're going to benefit from this because the system can run hydraulic generators, winches, water pumps, tools, etc.... thereby saving PTO's in the long run. I know Berwyn Heights, MD's Rescue 14 has such a setup (I think it's 5 tools and a hydraulic winch).

    For clarification, volume does not equal force. Volume equals speed. Pressure equals force. All low pressure tools will do the job. All high pressure tools will do the job. But some will do the job faster than others.
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    Default Re: Re: Have it both ways!

    Originally posted by Resq14

    For clarification, volume does not equal force. Volume equals speed. Pressure equals force. All low pressure tools will do the job. All high pressure tools will do the job. But some will do the job faster than others.
    Ok, let's begin this with my standard disclaimer.... Any tool in the hands of a competent operator will do the job that it was designed to do. Low pressure or high pressure, it does not matter as long as the operator understands the strong points and limitations of the particular tool that they have in their hands.

    Now, since I am not a physics major, I do not have formulas and drawings to illustrate the concept. But if you look at a high pressure tool, you will see that it has a small hydraulic cylinder. This is because it uses less hydraulic fluid and relies on the added pressure that the pump makes to generate force.

    A low pressure tools has a larger hydraulic cylinder since it uses a greater volume of fluid with a more constant pressure to generate force. This is where you need to look at them apples to apples comparissions.

    When a high pressure tool encounters resistance, the pump must work harder to generate enough force to overcome the resistance. On the other hand, when a low pressure tool encounters resistance, it is already doing work because of the volume of fluid it is being supplied. Therefore, the low pressure tool's pump does not need to work harder to make pressure since that is insignificant. When a low pressure pump does work harder is when it is asked to fill a very large cylinder (such as in a large ram). When this occurs, the pump will cycle in a second stage pump to increase volume.

    With this in mind, be very careful to observe how the two types of tool behave in a head-to-head comparison. Time them opening and closeing with AND with equal resistance. Also, as was pointed out, do not beleive everything you read from their specification sheets. For instance, the force readings vary greatly on a spreader from the tip points compared to the back portion of the tips. The same holds true with where on a cutter you are taking force measurements.

    My point is, high pressure is fine and many people are alive today because of rescues performed with high pressure tools. But at the same time, don't discount the low pressure tools which have been around here in the USA longer and probably have more saves to their credit. The bigger questions of service and compatability are better gauges to determine what tool you should seriously consider putting your grant money into.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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    Default Re: Re: Have it both ways!

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Resq14
    [B]

    It's more likely that you're going to benefit from this because the system can run hydraulic generators, winches, water pumps, tools, etc.... thereby saving PTO's in the long run. I know Berwyn Heights, MD's Rescue 14 has such a setup (I think it's 5 tools and a hydraulic winch).

    That is a good point to remember. I believe that the Amkus Ultimate system has six total connections. As far as BHVFD's set up, that was for the Seagrave which is gone now(thanks for the plug). We have used Amkus for some time and swear by it. Every dept. has their preference though, so check all the tools out there to see what suits you. We use and abuse the Amkus tools, and have rarely had any problems with them. We run a lot of wrecks on the many major roads in our area and they perform very well.
    THE ABOVE REFLECTS MY OPINIONS AND IN NO WAY REFLECTS THOSE OF MY DEPARTMENT.

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    Shaggy,
    I agree with the brothers that mention getting a demo session. Not just for the speeds or pressures, but above all, weight of the tools. Depending on your staffing on the rig at any one time, lightweight wins, if you have enough swinging tools on the rig go for the heavy weights. We used Hurst, then amkus, and have stuck with Amkus. Downfall to Amkus atleast we have found, the protable unit greatly decreases your cutting ability, but that can be found true of most portable/gas powered generators.
    Good luck.

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    Pascals Law - Force = Surface area X pressure.

    All tools are high pressure in the fluid industry, some are just higher than others. ( 5000 psi or 10500 psi )

    The size of the pistons have nothing to due with volume. Higher pressure tools have smaller pistons or a smaller surface area because they operate at higher pressures. Volume only effects speed. Since higher pressure tools have smaller pistons or less surface area, they are lighter. For example, if we had a lower pressure spreader that theoretically had the exact same spreading force as a higher pressure spreader, the higher pressure speader would need a smaller piston and it be lighter.

    Lower pressure tools operate the same as high pressure tools. When a lower pressure tool meets resistence, the pump switches from a high volume, low pressure mode to a low volume, higher pressure mode, just like higher pressure tools. The same thing happens to higher pressure tools. If you have Hurst or Phoenix or any other lower pressure tool, when the tools meets resistance, your volume decreases and the pressure increase.

    As stated above, increase volume will only increase have fast that increase in pressure gets to the tool.

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    Originally posted by rescuemaster
    Pascals Law - Force = Surface area X pressure.

    Like I said, I am not a physics major, so I do not know the "laws" that apply. However, if what you write is correct, since the low pressure tool has a larger piston in the cylinder, that means there is more surface area for the fluid to develop force against.

    As for your description of a low pressure tools switching to high pressure under load, I beg to differ. I am a certified repair technicial for Phoenix Tools so I am well aware that there is no "high pressure" stage in their pumps. However, there is a high volume stage.

    I don't want this to become a high vs. low pressure tool battle here. Again, the bottom line is that you need to purchase whatever tools will best serve your needs. Just be aware that there are a lot of "smoke and mirrors" out there in this business. Every hydraulic tool manufacturer out there will put their best foot forward in literature and during demonstrations (it is not uncommon for some sales people to "tweak" their demo unit to perform above their design specification). The challenge is to objectively evaluate what you are being told and what you are seeing.
    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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    Thumbs up

    I agree with Rescuemaster!

    I find it hard to believe that Phoenix does not have a 2 stage pump system. I will believe it though if the certified repair tech tells me that.

    I do find it interesting that one could drink the Ethyl Glycol mixture with no ill effects except for it tasting awful. Isn't anti-freeze Ethlyne Glycol... and doesn't it kill you or at least kill your kidneys? So much for the medical training.

    Anyway.... right on Rescuemaster

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    Any time we talk about this here, there are always posts that seem to imply one pressure is better than another. I didn't think I went there.

    It's simple physics that if you have 2 similar tools and pumps operating at the same pressure, and one flows fluid faster than the other while under comparable loads, the tool with the higher-volume flow will be faster.

    Our system is always full-flow at 10k psi. No secondary stages. So if we compared our 32" Amkus spreader running on our system to another one running on a portable dual-simo (even with short hoses), under similar loads, ours will always be much faster... sometimes 4:1.

    I've found it let's you do things in a more controlled fashion because you're not waiting 15+ seconds for pressure to build, then release in a sudden "pop." We can feather controls in tight quarters while working around patients with instant tool movement, rather than unexpected movements.
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    Originally posted by kromer1
    I agree with Rescuemaster!

    I find it hard to believe that Phoenix does not have a 2 stage pump system. I will believe it though if the certified repair tech tells me that.

    I do find it interesting that one could drink the Ethyl Glycol mixture with no ill effects except for it tasting awful. Isn't anti-freeze Ethlyne Glycol... and doesn't it kill you or at least kill your kidneys? So much for the medical training.

    Anyway.... right on Rescuemaster
    Who said Phoenix does not have a 2-stage pump?? Just like a fire pump, you need dual stage to develop VOLUME. I have only seen the second stage "cycle" when using the 60 inch ram since it requires so much more fluid. Otherwise, the motor idles away and the tool opens and closes in 25 seconds with or without a load.

    As for drinking ethyl glycol... I have not poured myself a long tall one to drink, but I have tasted it and my kidneys are OK. How much phosphate ester or mineral oil can one consume?

    This is starting to get out of hand I am afraid. I have worked with high pressure and I have worked with low pressure. In reading all of these posts, I have seen sales people from both camps using identical arguments in both directions. I looks like several of us have the same song books with different covers on them.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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    Exclamation Toxi Antifreeze

    Just for clarification...

    Ethylene Glycol is very toxic and tastes sweet. Usually bright green, may be orange.

    Propylene Glycol is "Low Toxic" antifreeze which is coming with some newer cars, it is still toxic due to some of the additives, just not as bad as Ethlene is. Can be orange, pink, blue, or green.

    The only truly nontoxic antifreeze is the pink "RV" antifreeze used for potable water plumbing in boats, camps, and RV's which is also propylene glycol, but is does not have some of the stablizers which are added to low tox engine antifreeze. May be pink, or in some brands purple.

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