1. #1
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    Default Pre-connected Hydraulic tools?

    I would like some feedback on the pros and cons of pre-connected hydraulic tools "JAWS" on rescue trucks. We are looking at putting them on our new rescue. Any first hand real world knowledge would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all.

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    pre connecting is a great timesaver. we have 2 hydraulic units on are rescue, 1 is connected to a combination tool. The other unit is left open for any other tools (ie.-rams, o-cutter or another spreader)having manifolds pre-connected also offers some versatility.

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    Our rescue truck does not have preconnected tools, but our two new engines that have some rescue capability do. On them we carry a Maverick combo tool, o-cutter, and ram. The o-cutter and combo tool are preconnected, and if you want to use the ram, you are just a few seconds away from disconnecting one of the other tools and connecting them to the ram. Definitely a time saver, haven't really had them long enough to find any disadvantage to them.

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    One very big advantage of preconnected hydraulic tools isn't the tools at all, but the pump. You can usually mount a much higher volume pump which then in turn allows you to operate more tools at the same time. Make sure you put long enough hoses on to make up for a preconnect systems draw back- portability.
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    Ia agree with SPFDRum, there are great advantages especially in the pump area. On our new Rescue/Tele-Squrt we have 2 reels on the front bumper with one pre-connected to a Holmatro spreader and the other pre-connected to a Homatro cutter. In addition we also will carry 2 rams in the front bumper. We carry the spreaders and cutter pre-connected because 99% of the time you have to cut/spread doors and the like before you can use the rams. After you clear the way and make the relief cuts, you can swap over to the rams for the dash push/roll. We opted for a diesel power plant that sits up top and out of the way. It has pre-piped lines to the front bumpers were we have individual shutoffs for the tools. This way when you need to swap tools you can shut off the line at the front bumper instead of at the unit up top. The advantage with the diesel power plant is that it runs off the apparatus fuel tank so there is never a "low fuel" issue. Also it is more powerfull than the gas units we currently use. We were concerned about line problems between the power plant and the front bumper when the lines are turned off at the front bumper. The lines between there and the pump will still be charged and we were concerned about damaging the pump. With the chosen pump it has a recirculating line that will prevent pump damage with our set up of tools. All in all its very nice. Just some thoughts.

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    Plus the long term care & maintenance of your tools!

    Preconnected = Keeps dust & grit out.

    Grit at 5,000 or 10,000 psi just can't be good for your hydraulics, especially tools we may be using for 20, 30 years or more.

    Even with dust caps, then you're uncapping on the street, with the wind blowing sand around...

    (We go mainly pre-connected. Still using the '76 Jaws, and converted our '80 O-cutter to a Maverick, re-using the original cylinder. Not used everyday, but not lightly used either!)

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    I have seen a lot of trucks use pre-connected lines. It works for MOST departments.

    However, you must remember. If you can ALWAYS use a 100' reel to get to all situations, then it is fine to have the on board simo pump. But if you may have a situation where the permanent mounted pump and reels can not reach the situation, they it is a very good idea to carry a gas powered unit. It can be in addition to the on-board unit.

    I think a 220 volt unit is just as good, if you plan on the amount of power consumption you will need in addition to the 110/220 volt scene lighting you will require on scene. If this is on a rescue truck, you may be able to get a large enough generator where this is not an issue.

    I also know Westerbeke makes a Diesel generator with an XRT option which creates the hydraulic pressure independent of the 110/220 volt system.

    There are PTO systems on the market, but be prepared to spend the money.

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    on the same lines of ff43065, we run a total of 3 units. 110v, 220v, 4cycle gas. our 220 unit is removable and we have a 220v capable cord preconnected to our generator. works great

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    We run an Amkus Ultimate PTO pump and three preconnected tools, a combi, a cutter, and a spreader. We have another cutter and a set of rams not connected.

    I have to agree with SPFDRum, the big pump is a huge plus, the Ultimate system is 4 times faster than almost any other pump on the market (so fast we had to relearn how to work, we blow doors off in 15-20 seconds no-BS!) The big pump more than keeps up with all three tools working at the same time.

    Also not having to fuss with connecting lines, getting the cold blooded gas engine to fire up. God bless you if you still use the 2 stroke hyd pump, but even the Honda doesn't like to start when its -10 out.

    We do carry 400' of hose (in 100' bags) and a simo-pump in case the wreck is "over the embankment" and our 100' precconects cant reach (we'd try to extend them first before resorting to the simo).
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  10. #10
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    If you go with a fixed system, I'd definetly try to carry a portable pump as well. Most manufacturers have "personal power units." Holmatro has a couple that are pretty damn tiny.

    There are many instances where this could come in handy. For us, I can see ours being used with a car off I-95 into the trees, or down by a stream/river/ocean like 304 said. It's also another power plant if you want to run more tools than your prepiped system can handle simultaneously. Lastly, it's also a backup if the prepiped system goes bad.

    Our extra hose is more like three bags of 30-ish feet each. The current little Amkus pump we have (single tool) works for us as a backup.

    The rescue truck we had before our current rescue pumper had a single electric HRT pump connected to a prepiped reel. It worked. We also carried a small gas HRT pump/dual simo unit. Anyone from Putney, Vermont around here? I'd love to see some pics of her in service today... loved that truck.

    One thing to remember, typically the longer the hose, the longer it takes for the pump to build pressure. That's been the experience in this area (several departments) at least.
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    Absolutely go with the mounted pump capable of operating enough tools to do two rescues at the same time and be sure to have a portable pump as well for those reaches beyond the pre-connect legnth.

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    Pre-connect is a great time saver but in our situation we get a number of accidents that vehicles are too far from the road. We needed versatility. We have a preconnected reel on the Squad however it's powered by a portable pump in the compartment. The pump can be removed and taken to a remote location. We can take the pump and hoses we carry to any location. This is alos an advantage or our TRT in the event a collaps should occur. It has also been used for industrial accidents. When we have a roadside accident the reel is fast and east to pull. The only desadvatage is the gasoline powered pump unit. We selected Honda motors and have had not had any problems for over 5 years. Preventive maintenance is there but it's minimal It has been a very versitiel set up that works great.

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