Our mutual aid group has started an extrication/rescue unit. We currently have 2 sets of extrication tools that were purchased used a few years ago. With all the new metals in vehicles now, we're looking to purchase new tools in the near future.
Any recommendations and why?
Anything will be appreciated
this really depends on what your department what your department wants to spend. We just taught an extrication class this weekend. Our old single stage 6000psi hurst performed fine. Slow, but fine. Our new 10500 two stage Lancier did good and cut fast. As far as power, TNT offers the most. Weight wise with power, I would say holmotro. They offer a wide selection of extrication gear, spreaders, combi tools, single and dual rams, cutters. I used a set at the Katy rescue school, and was pretty impressed.
For my oppinion i work at 1 department and we uses genesis and we don't like the tool. It was the low bid and that was what they went with. The other 2 department that i work for use Amkus and so far every body likes them. I also am an amkus service technician and if i had the choice there is only 2 brand of tools i would go 4. (Amkus or halmatro).
TNT is the best available. We use both TNT and Hurst, I perfer TNT. The Hurst is very dependable and strong, but very heavy. Our Departments Hurst tools are over 20 years old and work great; our TNT tools are less than 1 year old super light and strong. Never get combo tools because you loose something in the process. If you don't have a ram you can use the spreaders and leave them in place while useing the cutters, if you only have a combo you are limited in ability.
My department has Amkus, but I've used Genesis and Halmatro.. I'd go with Amkus over all other's. Our department's tools are 16 yrs old and haven't had any problems with them. We just replace the cutter blades this year.
quality tools are important, each have their pros and cons and it will be up to your company to decide what is right for you. I have experience with Hurst, TNT, and holmatro. They all move metal effectivly. The more important issue your Rescue co. needs to address is getting the proper extrication training. You may be able to operate the tool, but can you really use it effectivly. That all comes back to training.
Over many years and many friends(and classes)I've used about every rescue tool ever made including the Kinman tool.I have my favorites but I find most techs tend to recommend the tool they're most familiar with.That being said,I CAN tell you they all beat a hacksaw and a porto-power when they're working right. I have taken a liking to the ResQTek EWO line.The Combi-FX6 is a good all around tool.Probably does 60% of the pin jobs we have.Beyond that heavy iron is required. Always a good idea to see what your neighbors have,product familiarity between agencies is NEVER a bad thing.
After 24 years in the business, I have seen alot of tools. Buy far the new Homatro Cutters and spreaders get my vote and trust me i have cut alot of vehicles apart.Jeremy is right homatro is the way to go for most depts.
Who sells/services hydraulic rescue tools in your area?
What manufacturers can they service?
What manufacturers do they sell?
What is turn-around time for typical repairs/service (I snapped a hydraulic fitting off, or annual service of equipment, ect.) vs. down time of your primary tools?
What have your guys used/trained with?
What kind of extrications do you typically respond on?
Do you have the money to get the big boy toys or are you still going to rely on the neighbors for that stuff?
Once you have answered these questions, go ahead and look at what others have to say. Like Lutan1 said, a lot of it is personal preference, others may have technical reasons for their likes/dislikes.
I personally have used Amkus, Genesis, and Hurst. I would never spend a dime on Amkus after breaking 2 different sets of spreaders in two different classes under normal use (not doing anything outlandish). I am not a fan of Hurst simply based on how heavy they are vs. tip pressure. I have used Genesis in many applications (training, actual call response, and product demos) and if I have the choice I go with them. I have never had a tool failure outside of the (in my eyes) slight design flaw where the hydraulic lines are tapped right in to the end of the handle and an inexperienced FF will almost certainly place a tool in a way where the fitting will get broke when rotational forces push it in to the ground. Of course this is a training issue, but some things just keep happening no matter how much you train. Thank god we have a Genesis dealer/authorized service center in our county so I can make a 20 minute drive and usually have this repaired in the time it takes to go down the road and eat some chicken wings.
I have heard a lot of good things about Holmatro so I would not rule them out for you if they woudl work well where you are, but we have no local dealer so I would not want to go that route here for logistical reasons.
We are currently looking to upgrade our extrication equipment also, Here is the things I would look at first make sure the tool is capable of cutting the exotic metals then I would try to get as many manufactures as you can come in and demo their equipment.