How do you like the friction force prop?
I have looked at it and thought about trying to get my dept to purchase one but was wondering about costs, durability and versatility.
What are some pros/cons your fd has found with it?
We like it a lot. We just finished a set of night drills where forcing entry on the prop was one of the required elements and it added another dimension to the training instead of the nozzleman just opening the tower door and entering.
Cost - approximately $7,000 delivered. Around $500 will be shippping cost - the prop is HEAVY.
Durability - as long as you don't use sledgehammers on the doors and keep up the required minor maintenance, the prop lasts fine. Repeated sledgehammer techniques can split the spot welds on the reinforcing plates on the doors.
Versatility - you need a paved area to set it up. The prop is wheeled and the wheels can be retracted to set the prop up for training, but the wheels don't roll well on dirt or gravel. The prop is shipped on a pallet, so a forklift is mandatory to unload it from the truck.
The only other con is that the prop is two half doors, hinged in the middle. When you combine forcible entry training with hose or search drills, you need to set the prop up near the door the firefighters actually enter. You can't really use the Friction Force prop as an entry door - it is designed for stand-alone forcible entry training.
We like ours a lot. It is around a year old, and gets frequent use.
Sounds like it's a good product and probably worth the money. I'll definitely look into it more.