1. #1
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    Default Hydraulic Tools: The Best?

    Just looking for some experiences and opinions of those who have used hydraulic tools (I.E. Hurst, Holmatro, Genesis, etc.)

    We're currently looking to replace some tools and we currently have a Kinman tool and run only combi tools. We're looking to replacing these with your different spreader's/cutter's mini cutters etc. as separate tools and not the combi tool. Any thoughts on any of the above. We're a little torn because right now we have all 12V systems taking one cord and a hydraulic box where ever you need it. The obvious downfalls of this is you're limited due to the fact that you're teathered to your truck. But there has never been a situation where we've gotten "screwed" because of this. It's looking like we're almost going to for sure have to go with a generator that comes off the trucks to go with these tools. Hurst seems to be the high dollar fancy tools, holmatro didn't really impress me that much, and I really like the Genesis demo that we played around with. Thoughts and opinions on the tools greatly appreciated =D.

    PS. We also just spec'd a new engine with a 10kw Hydraulic Generator on it.

    BFD
    Engine Co. 611/Medic 610

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    My department just bought new tools this past summer. We looked all the names mentioned here and we also looked at Amkus and TNT. We bought TNT because of the warrenty and the sure ability to do the job. Do not get caught up in the marketing they all put out there. Do your homework. Make a list of what you want the tools to do and how you will do it. Then who ever mets the most obectives the most should be the winner. That is how we did our's and TNT could met everything we wanted.

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    First let me start by saying that I'm by NO stretch of the imagination an "expert" in the area of HRT's. That being said I will offer you my honest opinion. We use Hurst tools and have had no problems with them. But I think trying to select the "best " tool is going to be a matter of opinion and financial resources on your part. Proponents of each system will offer you reasons why that system is the "best" but in the end the decision will have to rest with you and your staff to decide what works best for you. Budgetary constraints may make the decision for you. Any system that you go with should provide you with a noticeable improvement over the 12v system you currently use ( depending on the situation) but again, I'm no expert with the 12v systems either. By "generator" i'm assuming you're referring to a gas powered hydraulic power plant. and based on the size of the electrical generator you selected for your apparatus I'd say that you should probably rule out an electric powered (truck mounted) power plant depending on the other electrical components you'll be operating at the same time. Hope this helps
    Last edited by falcon325; 12-13-2007 at 11:15 AM.

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    First off I don't think there is any bad hydraulic tools on the market. I've used several diffrent brands and they all did the job they where designed to do. The big difference is in the placement of the controls, weight, etc. The best thing to do is demo as may sets as you can, after the sales person goes home have a critique about what you liked, what you did not like. I would also recommend the formation of a committee to do this, take the information and make an informed presentation to the company.

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    Highly recomend looking at the Genesis system. The weight, control, hand safety, and rarely broken blades. The brute 16 is awesome. I used to be against combi tools. Now the Brute is my favorite of choice.

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    Thumbs up

    You stated that you were not impressed with Holmatro Rescue Tools which I feel is a big mistake. The Holmatro tools I am over impressed with. Their S.C.R.T. (self contained rescue tools) do a great job when you can't hook up with hosing. With their core technology the pressure line and return line are in same hose. The pumps are dual so you lose no power when you hook and unhook hot. This jaw of life was recommended to our dept from thief river falls dept and we are glad they recommended it. Their tools are all NFPA 1936 certified and have passed the test repeatly on performance and reliability. You can pull up Holmatro-usa.com or I suggest depending on your location Jefferson Fire and Safety 1-800-697-3473 for a dept demonstration that will blow away the competition. The Holmatro costs a little more but is well worth the investment. Be safe..SLFD

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    First off, your budget will be the BIG deciding factor.
    Second, look at your district. What types of mvas would you be looking at? If it's just minor stuff, any of these would do.
    Third, fluid is a BIG deal too. I've noticed that Hurst's Phosphate Esther fluid doesn't freeze up and gum up like some of the others. I'm not bashing any of these other brands.
    Fourth, look at what brand of tools your neighboring departments run. There may come a day when you are both on a major mva and your pump goes out. Then you have to tie into theirs. If the fluids aren't compatible, then you are looking at big money to have the systems flushed and decontaminated. Phoenix and Hurst CAN interchange AS LONG AS the Phoenix tools are converted to run Phosphate Esther.
    Fifth, ask your local sales reps for each of the brands that interest your department for a demo. (FDIC is a great place to see this.) You can see for yourselves what each brand and tool is capable of doing.

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    The "best" tools in untrained hands are junk. Well trained people can make ANY brand tool work well.
    "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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    Default Hurst For Us

    My department uses Hurst. We have 13 stations and all engines are equipped with Hurst Tools. Especially since the addition of the Streamline connectors. Switching tools is a breeze. You never dump the pressure to change a tool. The streamline system is a one time investment. Damage or blow a hose........buy a new hose and place your connector on your new hose. The male ends for the tools are $175 each and the female end for supply hoses are $205 each. I'm unsure if the CORE system meets NFPA standards since the pressure and return hoses must be visually inspected for damage on a routine basis, according to NFPA standard. By virtue of the pressure hose being inside the return hose, how can the pressure hose be inspected? Also the cost of a twin line Hurst 30 foot hose is $458.00. What is the cost of the CORE hose if damaged/destroyed?

    This is in no way a negative comment toward Holmatro or any other tool company. You and your department must judge and evaluate for yourself what tools are the best for your department. Be fair and impartial. When you contact the tool companies, do not schedule two vendors at the same time. I have been a part of this scenario and the tool operators forget which tool they used and what its' strong points and weak points were. Especialy when using "Spreader A" to break open a door on the driver side and "Spreader B" on the passenger side.

    Schedule your vendors at least 2-3 hours apart. This way you can evaluate, score the tools, rest, and prepare for the next vendor. AND...also use the same people in the evaluation. Keep in mind that these individuals are going to become tired and weak after ripping and tearing apart 3-4 cars in every aspect. After using hydraulic tools for 5-6 hours, a pound of feathers will feel heavy. Consider tool evaluations over several days. This way your evaluators have time to rest and recover between vendors.

    One final thing that my department did during our evaluation was to request that each vendor supply a certified pressure guage. This way we knew that vendors weren't turning the operating pressure up to make their tools out perform the other tools.

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    Default Look Closely

    One further thing to add. When you read the manufacturers warranty, pay close attention to the section of "normal wear and tear". Ask your vendor to explain what it means and also, get it in writing. Also, what is misuse and abuse. This is usually decided by the tool company while repairing a tool. There is no such thing as a Lifetime Warranty. Thus the addition of the word "Limited" At some point during the life of the tool, something is going to fail or break and it will not be covered under the warranty. However, if anyone can find a tool company that will provive a warranty that is truley Unconditional............. for the life of the tool....................BAR NO EXCEPTION!!!!!!!!!!!!............................. .......
    Then Buy It!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by alcatrazlt; 01-16-2008 at 11:05 PM.

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    TNT does have a lifetime warranty. The Department Homeland Security did a study comparing all brands of HRT'S and TNT was rated number one over all.

    https://saver.fema.gov/actions/docum...submit&id=3218

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    If all you've had is a Kinman or combi's to use,ANY of the top 5 will be a big step up.At the time of it's inception the Kinman was a nice tool for an agency with moderate runs.They have been eclipsed by the development and improvements in technology over the last 5 or 6 years.My advice:Try several in head to head demos. We've been Holmatro since 1982 with no issues.Recently we tested the ResQtek EWO system and we were favorably impressed with the changes that have been made to that line.Happy shopping,T.C.

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    Default

    This may be a little off topic but oh well.
    How many tools that are 20 years and older do you see on first or second out trucks? When you do see them, what brand are they? You will usually find them to be HURST.

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    See above.Over 20 years and NOT Hurst.T.C.

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    We upgraded to a TNT 4 years ago. We previously had a 12V PowerHawk. We brought TNT, Amkus, PowerHawk and Hurst to a junkyard and tried them all out. the TNT was the hands down favorite for ease of use, weight, type of fluid and plain ability. We have never had a problem with the fluid freezing up. I assume you heat your station in the winter so the fluid should be room temp when you leave for a call. It would have to be REALLY COLD for it to freeze up on you at an MVA.

    As stated by many others, make sure that you try them out before you buy. that does not mean just turning it on in the station and opening and closing the spreaders and cutters. Get some cars and start cutting!!

    Good Luck.

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    Default Read your warranty with THICK GLASSES ON!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [/B]First of all.............

    Baja320....... Don't bring your JV game to my Varsity Field!

    Put your mouth piece in, and sit your butt on the bench, and see how the BIG BOYS play the game!


    I have posted a link to your so called......... TNT LIFETIME WARRANTY.

    So sit it down, and suck some Gatorade; Junior!! AND, by the way ...READ!!!!!!

    http://tntrescue.com/warranty.htm

    Please note that the first words are "LIMITED". This means that
    there are exceptions!

    While you so heavily proclaim the "lifetime warranty" of TNT rescue tools.

    I would like for you........................"IN YOUR OWN WORDS.".........to me...alcatrazlt.....................upon this web site !!!!!!!!!!![/[/U]U]" describe the meaning of the word....."deterioration" as stated, in point number one, under the heading of; and I quote", "The following are specific "excemptions to the warranty."

    I would also like you to focus your eyes on the excemptions to the warranty, especially point number one.

    The wording of, and I quote,"any unreasonable use or neglect, "on", mishandling or failure of maintenance."

    Please look at the wording of point number three.........Parts NOT manufactured by TNT. I would assume this is...................."O" rings, seals, bearings, hoses, springs; which are covered for three years........BUT NOT LIFETIME!!!!!

    It is at this point, would introduce the word....HONDA. (Pronounced HONNN-Dahhhhhhh) This is the motor portion which drives the hydraulic pump. We will refer to this priorty piece later.

    Which by the way............the most common failure of hydraulic rescue tools are: Hose failure, "O" ring failures, seal failure, and engine failure. I'm not sure...............BUT these are not listed under the warranty.

    OH...OOHHH...Wait Baja320...the warranty.......as....I read it.......DOES NOT COVER THE HONDA MOTOR (Pro
    nounced HONNN-Dahhhhhhh) ON YOUR TNT POWER UNIT! SO............PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG!!!!!!!

    BUT I'M NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [B]IF THE MOTOR..... BLOWS APART ON YOUR POWER UNIT WHICH IS 12 YEARS OLD,( PROVIDED THEY LAST THAT LONG);
    DURING AN EXTRICATION; AND PARTS FLY ACROSS THE ROADWAY; AND,.... YOU PICK THEM UP, CRATE THEM UP...... AND SEND THEM TO YOUR TOOL MANUFACTURER: ( TNT), ARE THEY GOING TO REPLACE THEM FOR YOU.

    Yeah.......let me know how that works out for you....!!!!!!( as I wet my pants laughing)


    PLEASE TELL ME THAT TNT WILL COVER AND REPLACE THE PARTS AND/OR THE MOTOR........BECAUSE "ALL PRODUCTS HAVE A LIFETIME WARRANTY" ...................................I DOUBT NOT BAJA320!!!!!

    SO PLEASE..... DO NOT BORE ME WITH YOUR SO CALLED "LIFETIME WARRANTY" THAT IS NOT WORTH THE PAPER IT IS WRITTEN ON.


    While you have provided a web link to the "Best HRT system" I would like to remind you that this, .................AGAIN,..............is based on personal opinion.

    If you wanted to buy a Full Size Pick-up Truck, and,......... this "REVIEW TEAM,........ from Texas A&M University"",.................. looked at, ..................... and reviewed,.............. and tested.............. the Nissan Titan,....................... the Toyota Tundra,................. the Ford F150, and............ the Chevy Silverado............ and the Dodge Ram 1500............., would buy their recommended vehicle!


    PLLLLEEEEAAASSSEEE!!!!!!!!

    I may have been born at night.............BUT I WASN'T BORN LAST NIGHT!!!!

    Again it's all about personal likes and dislikes!

    And................................. by the way.........HURST,"JAWS OF LIFE" Rescue Tools", has saved more than 500,000 lives WORLDWIDE, since their inception in the year 1974................................


    What has TNT done since their inception in the year....................
    1974,1975,1976,1977,1978,1979........


    OH....WAIT...THEY WERE NOT EVEN
    INVENTED THEN. MY BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    You Either KNUTT IT UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
    OR YOU SHUT IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    In the words of Ricky Bobby..(fromTalladega Nights)..........................
    "If you're Not First...................You're Last!!!!!!!!!!!"


    REMEMBER THIS BAJA320..............


    Hurst was invented for one reason..... AND ONE REASON ONLY.............

    TO SAVE PEOPLES' LIVES;

    EVERYONE ELSE WAS INVENTED.................................

    TO COMPETE AGAINST HURST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Answer my question about your tool warranty....or just read Baja320!

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    Default

    Wow did someone from TNT run off with your BOYFRIEND?

    Take a breath, I wasn't knocking anyone elses tool, especially yours because I am sure your tool is the best.

    I have worked with the people at TNT they will fix what they make if it doesn't work. TNT makes over 90% of the parts that come on their systems.

    Of course they don't have a lifetime warranty on the Honda part............who the hell would.

    I have run most tools out there in my 25+ years in the fire service (including yours) and I can tell you TNT is faster, stronger, better balanced and the new stuff is lighter than the others. Their pump is superior and stays in the first stage longer and that is where you get your power and speed.

    I have no vested interest in TNT, the man wanted opinions and I gave mine from expierience and facts and backed up by DHS impartial study.

    Where was TNT years ago??? Making pumps and components for the other guys, That's where they got their expierience. They improved on what they learned.

    Yeah, your right why change? How's your bucket brigade or horse drawn wagon working out for you?

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    And oh, wouldn't a lifetime warranty of any kind be better that a one year limited warranty?

    Take your time on that one.

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    To express an opinion close to others here, test everything on the market. When the manufacturer/dealer brings his tools, test them out. By testing them, I don't mean to pop a door off and cut a pillar.....test them out. Lets face it, their not yours, if you break them, ....well, their not yours lol

    more often then not I see many departments not take tool/equipment purchases seriously. They pop a few doors, remove a roof
    any tool will do that. Put the tools to the test, lets face it, your going to have them a long time.

    a suggestion I may have to help is, set up some difficult cutting scenarios, using the same material/car. Do cutting times and progress with each tool.

    do the same with vehicles. Use the same model for each test with the spreaders.

    Let's face it, my personal opinion means diddly to you folks down there. It would be the same debate as what soft drink is better...coke or Pepsi
    in the end its your personal/departments opinion.

    good luck my friend





    on a side note, how one chooses to communicate with another, is a good judge of character. We are supposed to be professionals. Don't think for one minute that outside people do not view these postings and draw their own conclusion. One must personally realize that this is going to be a "hot" topic. Their is allot of brand loyalty, which is fine, but there's no reason to communicate to one another on a below par basis.

    there comes a time, especially when it comes to tool brand, that you must respect each others tool decision and agree to disagree

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    Default I would liketo apologize

    I would liketo take a moment and apologize to all who view this web site and especially Baja320 for may ranting and raving that I posted the other day. I have always considered my self a professional and respectful of other peoples' opinion. By my post I was far from that. I will attemp to be more professional and much more respectful in the furture.

    In closing, I would like to offer a final thought. Buying hydraulic tools are like buying a car. You gotta test drive them to find out which is best for you.

    God Bless all.

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    And for the uninitiated,that would be Cap'n and COKE.After the tool trials, of course.Baja,if you like TNT's balance try the ResQtek "green"line sometime.A very nicely balanced tool. T.C.

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    Hey Alc I just figured somebody pee'd in your corn flakes, stay safe bro.

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    Default Best tools

    Hands down-Genesis. These tools are unbelievable. We have several sets, our TERC team uses them with amazing results (Top 3 finishers annually). We would never consider any other tools at this time. Extremely happy. Visit their website - it is very well produced and informative. Good luck

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    Default Pro-Genesis

    We are a major metropolitan department and have several sets of Genesis Rescue tools. They are fantastic. The guys on our heavy rescue co. rave about them. Our TERC extrication team said they wouldnt use anything else (and they do very well at the events). They cut all that new car stuff. Awesome tools. They've got my 100% blessing

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    Angry Easy with this comment

    Quote Originally Posted by baja320 View Post
    TNT does have a lifetime warranty. The Department Homeland Security did a study comparing all brands of HRT'S and TNT was rated number one over all.

    https://saver.fema.gov/actions/docum...submit&id=3218
    This comment could not be more inaccurate. The DHS does not rate the quality and reliability of rescue tools. This evaluation has NO bearing on the "best tool" on the market. To have this link on hand would definately indicate your tie to the manufacturer. And if you knew who was on this DHS "panel of rescue tool experts" you'd vomit all over your fancy extrication gloves....trust me, I know who they are. Research that if you get some downtime. We use one brand of tools city-wide, and they're great. I wont promote them here, because this post is a giant circle jerk for mfg reps...good luck to you though, all I can say is do your homework- evaluate, look at NFPA ratings on the cutters and make sure your local rep can take care of your training/service needs. Thats what counts the most in my opinion.

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