1. #51
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    My company has AMKUS. We have a variety of spreading, cutting, and jacking tools and pumps from nearly new to antique (reserve-LUKAS with AMKUS label---It's the antique). We have been pleased with the performance, weight, balance, and ease of operation. Our rescue techs have had classes where use of multiple brands is required for completion and they like the AMKUS better. I suppose they are pre-biased because that's what we own. We did research and tests when we bought the first new stuff about 15 years ago so that infomation is no longer valid...There were only three major Americian brands then, Hurst, Homatro, & Amkus (At least that's all the ones worth looking at at the time that were marketed in our area). We have been pleased and they have worked well for us.
    Both then, and now, I have learned that numbers are not everything. Where on the arm or blade was the measurement taken, at what angle, how far open/closed, and from what angle are all marketing tricks that can be used to make a tool appear more powerful. Bottom line does it work for you and do the job you need/expect. Then there is the question of newer and more "powerful" equipment becoming available. And don't forget, for many of us, "can we afford to buy something new?"
    We are looking into what "super cutter" we can purchase that will work with our AMKUS pumps (pressure and oil) and what pump will best run some of the new more "powerful" cutters. The first and second generation cutters are not sufficient to cut some of the new harder metals being used in some cars and guide rail I-beams.
    Be Safe and Get The Job Done.
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    Lot of good points in this discussion. Especially the opionions based on "trying them all for yourself" and finding the tool that is best for your needs and budget. I have even heard the the all too true arguement of "you get what you pay for", spend a little less now and work on it more, or worse yet, not be able to work on it. Maybe even have to replace it in 5 years, vs. spend more, get a proven brand, and have it 20 years.
    I do hate to hear of folks mixing brands. A department with two different complete systems is one thing, that is a training issue only, making sure everyone is familiar with both. But add a brand A cutter into a brand B system is asking for trouble. Liability wise, NFPA issues, warranty issues, safety issues, the list goes on and on. Try to avoid it, most honest manufacturers will warn against it, not salesmen, but the actual tool manufacturer. Also, most companies make a big enough cutter/spreader, whatever you wish, that you can maintain a "system" and not have to add in another. If you, then maybe it is time to find another brand that is keeping up with the changing face of extrication.

    Just my three cents.

    Be safe

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    Hrt10,And even that train of thought is evolving and not just on a salesman's pitch.For example a Resqtec tool can be ordered FROM THE FACTORY set up with Holmatro's fittings,pressures,and compatible fluid.Others mfgs do this as well.So something that was virtually unheard of five or so years ago is both do-able and Ok with the tool builder.Just when you get used to the "rules"they change again. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 05-16-2006 at 09:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101
    Hrt10,And even that train of thought is evolving and not just on a salesman's pitch.For example a Resqtec tool can be ordered FROM THE FACTORY set up with Holmatro's fittings,pressures,and compatible fluid.Others mfgs do this as well.So something that was virtually unheard of five or so years ago is both do-able and Ok with the tool builder.Just ehen you get used to the "rules"they change again. T.C.
    Rescue101, the example that you cite may make it seem that you may be getting a tool that is set up with a competitor's couplings, etc. right FROM THE FACTORY. However, isn't Resqtec really a marketing organization, and the tools actually manufactured in Holland by ZUMRO? Is it really the case that this is OK with the tool builder?
    Last edited by paintmered; 05-15-2006 at 09:35 PM.

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    I was not trying to start a whole other subject. However, Holmatro is the one that first clued me on the not mixing brands, I then get the same story from Hurst/Centaur. This was after a salesman selling another high pressure tool stated his manufacturer would ship tools with any kind of coupling. I later found out directly from that Tool manufacturer that they indeed did put just about any kind of coupler a customer wanted on tools, but it was not for interoperability. The rep stated that while they would not tell you "not" to hook theirs into another system, that from a liabilitly stand point, he would not tell me it was ok either. The optional couplings were simply a way of pleasing the customer, a lot of people liked Holmatro's quick connect type, others liked the locking couplers, etc.
    Some will swear it is o.k. to mix systems, (mostly salesmen) I have yet to see it in writing from anyone, and I have asked the major brands, and few of the new players also.

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    Resqtec is not the only company doing it.Others have,or are in the process of considering/or implementing it.As to the legalities/or internal politics,they vary company by company.In todays tight budgets some wish to upgrade their tools without buying an entire system.And the tool companies are beginning to see this.Am I a big fan of mixing equipment? No. With compatible fluids and pressures,will they give you good service? Yes. Is it right for your agency? Not a question I can answer.So like every other issue we bring up,I don't think there is a "carved in stone"answer.But I think you'll see more of it in the future.Just my opinion. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jake2415
    5000 PSI systems were great for our grandparents, do you have a dial up connection still?

    Simple question. Which would you rather have blow when its in your hand, a 10K line or a 5K line? I know which I'd pick.
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    Default Hardly deserves a dignifying response.

    Ok, this subject is getting weak.
    Come on, do you really think there would be much difference. This arguemant was over 20 years ago. Either way you went, severe damage would occur, you would not be able to tell which pressure had caused it.
    However, to answer your question, I guess since most 5000 psi systems use corrosive fluid, I would opt for 10,500 psi pressure mineral oil.

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    I'd go for the 10K mineral oil also vs. the 5K corrosive fluid.
    Let's talk tools, not what ifs!
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    5K "corrosive" fluid, you must be talking about Phoenix using the water/glycol mix??

    From: http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/chemi.../corrosiv.html

    Corrosives are materials that can attack and chemically destroy exposed body tissues. Corrosives can also damage or even destroy metal. They begin to cause damage as soon as they touch the skin, eyes, respiratory tract, digestive tract, or the metal. They might be hazardous in other ways too, depending on the particular corrosive material.

    Most corrosives are either acids or bases. Common acids include hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, chromic acid, acetic acid and hydrofluoric acid. Common bases are ammonium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide (caustic potash) and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda).

    Other chemicals can be corrosive too. Check the supplier labels on chemical product containers.

    It is wise to treat unknown materials as very hazardous until they are positively identified.

    Corrosive materials are present in almost every workplace. Acids, bases (which include caustics or alkalis), and other chemicals may be corrosive. Everyone who works with corrosives must be aware of their hazards and how to work safely with them.


    Certainly with all your knowledge of rescue tools, you would understand that the phosphate ester used in rescue tools is neither an acid or a base... it has a pH of 7.0.

    Check the MSDS for MCS2361: www.wfrfire.com/website/msds/mcs_2361.htm

    Does it hurt when you get in your eyes? So does hair shampoo, soda, beer, gasoline, and most other fluids that can get in your eye. Does it injure your skin when you touch it? No it does not.

    I'll talk tools anytime. Know the truth, not what a salesman tells you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    Simple question. Which would you rather have blow when its in your hand, a 10K line or a 5K line?
    That's really a silly question. Do you really think that your hand would be able to handle a 5k rupture? Would you rather get hit by a car going 65mph or a truck going 65mph? Does it really matter?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Isitjustme:
    Perhaps I have been misinformed or used the wrong chemical term. I have nerver been with a company that used the old Hurst 5000 lb systems. However, SEVERAL RESCUE INSTRUCTORS I have had over the years have cautioned that what they called "aircraft hydraulic fluid" used by Hurst (and others) was corrosive and very bad to get on your skin or in your eyes. Since these were instructors in which I had faith, I never questioned this fact or their use of the word corrosive. Most of these instructors were from Hurst companies so I presumed they knew what they were talking about. No SALESMAN had anything to do with my understanding of this fluid. I have gotten AMKUS mineral oil on me (and my gloves) without any discomfort or problem to my gear. My question then is..."Is the Hurst type fluid worse for me if I get it on my skin or in my eyes than mineral oil?" Please no BS from anyone...just a correct answer based on fact!
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    Is it worse than mineral oil? Yes. Is it something truly "dangerous"? No. If left on your hands for an extended time, you may develop a rash. It's really not a big deal, just wear gloves and/or wash your hands off later. I still have all my skin on my hands and have been using Hurst 5000psi system since early 1980's.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Ok, who in here has actually had Hurst oil in their eyes? Oh wait I have!! Fact: Phosphate Ester MELTED my contact lens in my eye!!! Fact: Phosphate Ester is very corrossive, look at any compartment that has housed Hurst tools for years, it eats up plastic decking, it even eats up the hoses that carry it (I've seen it). Oh and that lame argument that you would rather hold a bursting 5000 line over a 10,000 line? Please!! Put a 5000 tool side by side with a 10,000 tool and tell me the 5000 is better and safer!!

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    Cool

    Oh yeah wait... I have Hurst fluid in my eyes too... and your point is?? Melting the contact lens, was that a ANSI certified lens?? Took the paint off, why it certainly does... and very well I will add. You know what, Coke will take paint off, you drink that... bologna will take paint off, you eat that... egg will take paint off... you eat those too!!

    Corrosive... eats metal... damn those plastic tools anyway... Oh yeah, it doesn't eat the hoses that carry it, the crap that you got on the hoses and were too damn lazy to clean off "ate" the hose....

    Lame arguement maybe on which tool to have in your hand... I will still rather have the 5000psi tool. A little heavier maybe, but I can handle it.

    Safer... no question! Less operating pressure, electrically non conductive, Kevlar reinforced hose, fluid that will not support combustion.

    Will they do the same jobs as a 10000psi... NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!!! and they will do it safer and with less wear and tear on the equipment.

    Next?

    Oh I forgot one thing, Jake... which tool you sellin??

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    Quote Originally Posted by BB3939
    I'd go for the 10K mineral oil also vs. the 5K corrosive fluid.
    Let's talk tools, not what ifs!
    Do you really belive that when your 10K mineral oil slices through you like a laser its going to matter thats its not a corrosive?

    And I thought I was talking tools. The question was Amkus v Hurst. We use Hurst do to the added safety of the lower operating presures.

    BTW, we use non-corrosive fluid in our Hurst systems.
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    Just because a tool operates at 5000 psi does not mean its safer. What makes it safe is the safey factor of the tool and hoses. NFPA requires a 2:1 safety so it does not matter. In addition, if you look at the MSDS sheet for phosphate esther and mineral oil, they are similar. As for the non-electrical issue, the dirt and containiments on the hose will conduct electricity.

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    And just because a tool operates at 10,000 psi does not make it "better".

    Dave1983: are you using something other than Phosphate Ester fluid in your Hurst system??
    Last edited by MEAN15; 05-19-2006 at 04:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MEAN15
    Dave1983: are you using something other than Phosphate Ester fluid in your Hurst system??

    Not sure, I was just told we switched to non-corrosive fluid last year when Hurst came and did the PM on all the equipment. I dont know the name/type.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rescuemaster
    Just because a tool operates at 5000 psi does not mean its safer.
    Perhaps, but the "damage" will be less with a 5000psi system.
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    Boy, this one is getting old..

    Sorry to everyone who has been misled, but tissue damage will be NO different between 5000 psi and 10,500 psi. You are no SAFER with one or the other. That is hype the salesmen QUIT using 10 years ago, when most firefighters became educated on the subject.

    However, the damage to your back may be less when using lighter weight 10,500psi tools. Yes, that's what I use. Have used both, we evaluated, and changed. It is due to the laws of hydraulics, more pressure, smaller pistons and cylinders, lighter tools.
    And as far as wear and tear on equipment, there are 20 plus year old sets of 10,500 psi tools everywhere, and they still work fine.
    We need to get off calling it High vs. low pressure, it is all very high pressure.

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    We seem to have gotton off the subject of which of the two tools mentioned (or of the many tools now available) does a great job. I started looking at this thread because I wanted to know what was new and who had good documented experience with a tool or tools. (Not salesman hype.) As far as 5000 vs 10500, I am as safety conscious as the next guy but I want to know what does the best job under normal operating conditions and safety measures. There is less chance we will get hurt with an attack line pressureized to 35 pounds than 100 pounds, but I doubt anyone wants to use a 35 pound line for attack. (Not exactly a parallell, but you get the idea.) It's good that we are proud of what we are using and if it gets the job done then that's good. I am interested in securing information about how Hurst, Amkus, Homatro, Genesis, Lukas, etc., etc. work and what cutters will cut some of the more hardened metals we are likely to encounter in highway and other rescue situations. I hope everyone is interested in safety reguardless of pressure.
    BB

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    Quote Originally Posted by hrtrescue10
    However, the damage to your back may be less when using lighter weight 10,500psi tools. Yes, that's what I use. Have used both, we evaluated, and changed. It is due to the laws of hydraulics, more pressure, smaller pistons and cylinders, lighter tools.
    If you have evaluated both, then I hope you made a note of how differently the tools behave when you are operating them. Both the "Hi pressure" 10K+psi and the "Low pressure" 5Kpsi tools will accomplish the tasks you put them to, as long as the operator is competent and understands the strength and weaknesses of the particular tool that they are using. But, I think it is a dangerous practice to think that "all tools work alike" regardless of the operating pressure, fluid selection or brand name.
    Richard Nester
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    Good link, gives some insight into the tools.

    http://wjz.com/video?cid=7

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