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Holmatro Edraulic Equipment


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London’s trucks are about to be fitted with Holmatro’s electric or ‘edraulic’ cutters and combi-tools.

Performance looks excellent in comparison to the standard hydraulic cutting and spreading gear.

As far as I know, a lot of brigades out there are already using them. Does anyone have any experience of using them? Any limitations? Problems experienced so far?

edit: yup; I thought this was the equipment section 😂

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We’ve got them on the run now, not had a chance to use in anger yet but both seem like good pieces of kit. 

I reckon the spreaders will be used for door entry more than anything 

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Got it in H&W, great bit of kit. Only problem is we’ve found that if the tool twists when cutting the battery housing can impact on the bodywork of the car

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We have Weber units on a few of our trucks. 

The cutters are not as strong as proper hydraulic ones. It may have been the make of car but they struggled a little bit for the inital cut. Once through work well though. 

The spreaders are ace though. Used them this morning on a van fire. Popped the bonnet off in seconds and opened up the back doors so the driver could get his tools out. Also great for gaining entry. 

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We’ve had them on the run around 3 weeks and used them in anger, on a car roof off, first tour on the truck. Much better imo, gets to work much faster and are quicker to open and close. 

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I’m not convinced by edraulic personally. They certainly have their place given their portability so I wouldn’t get rid of them entirely, but we have now got new holmatro hydraulic cutters and spreaders and are far superior. With regards to LFB - anything will be better than the hydraulic combi-tool. Absolutely woeful.  

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We also have the Weber edraulics on most of our WT pumps (anything that isnt a heavy rescue pump that still has the boron-cutting capable hydraulic Clan Lukas stuff). Theyre great and we get them to work over the conventional gear nine times out of ten.

The ram is very bulky and can be a squeeze to fit in. The three shoes it comes with aren't as good as the previous ones and rock about a bit. But theyre very versatile, far less noisy and so far seem very capable. I was unconvinced at first but now I think there something we should have had years ago.

For various reasons most of our on call pumps carry no hydraulic rescue gear apart from a recip saw. The talk is now of every on call lorry getting at an additional edraulic combi tool which I would fully endorse.

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Sorry to derail the thread but may i ask why that is OT? I think its shocking that a frontline appliance isnt fully kitted out to deal with an RTC! Even our BRVs have a weber combi tool

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It's been like it for years and it's not entirely clear why they were taken away.

I think it was with the adoption of phased approach to RTCs and the expectation was that on call pumps would stabilise the cas' and vehichle, start glass management and peeling an revealing, and that as you would always have a two pumps to a persons trapped then the on coming wholetime pump would have the cutting gear.

It was usually mentioned there was too much difficulty in on call (retained as it was back then) keeping up competencies on the equipment. Which makes no sense as trainees are still trained on cutting gear anyway. Wholetime JOs know this and expect whoever is to hand to be able to operate it.

Also, certain strategic on call pumps DO have rescue gear anyway (on top of other skills like Mod2 water). Every other Brigade in the country equips their retained with the tools without issue anyway.

So I don't really see what costs, in time or money, have been saved, if any. On the other hand, I don't think I've been to a single RTC where we've gone "Ok, we've literally done everything, best sit back until the WT arrive with the cutting gear". There's always something we can do, even if it means starting cuts with the recip saw.

It is what it is.🤷‍♂️

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OscarTango, just confirming is this Kent? I've no idea of the make up or geography of the Service, you may have wholetime stations close to RDS or on call ones, but this sounds madness to me.

All our appliances are equipped the same, with standard No 1 pumps carrying Lukas hydraulic equipment, No 1 rescue pumps Lukas edraulic and No 2 pumps carrying either a hand operated and / or battery combi tool. Many of RDS stations attend far more RTC's than some of the WT ones and are very proficient, despite the same training limitations you suggest. 

Going back to the original posters question, in general the main disadvantages I've found with the edraulic equipment is the weight, particularly the cutters and that there is no fine adjustment, it is either on or off. Not a problem for the cutters, but with a hydraulic spreader you could control it more by small movements on the deadman's switch. Having said that this was on the first generation of this type of equipment, the design may have moved on. At present we are conducting a number of trails across a few stations on different makes / models for a replacement program. Not sure how these are going or what we've decided to go with as yet.

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Thanks for the input, all. Good to read that it’s mostly positive.

@Keith we had a little play with it yesterday. It looks like they’ve refined the dead man’s switch as it seems much more sensitive. I see what you mean about the weight though- must be nearer to 25kg rather than 15kg. They’ve given us straps as well, but I can’t work out whether that’s a hazard or not.

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Reference the straps; I'm sure the policy states they are to be disconnected before use, mainly as they are a hazard if/when the tools rotate while cutting

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I had a play with the battery cutters when I was at Park Royal doing some FRU stuff a few weeks back; they’re much quieter, which is of benefit to any casualty, but it also means you’ve got to be even more careful what you’re saying whilst carrying out an extrication, as you don’t have the sound of 3 generators masking your voice...


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