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Battery Operated RTC Gear

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In GMC, all our 1st Appliances are being fitted with Clan Lukas battery operated RTC Cutters, Spreaders and Ram. This is to replace the ageing Weber Kit we have had for years. Having had a bit of a play with the kit, it appears to work very well. Of course we have spare batteries constantly on charge and Im hoping they last long enough on some more protracted RTCs. 

Does anyone else use battery operated RTC kit and if so have you encountered any issues above the norm? 

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Not seem them up close but we do have them on the channel tunnel STTS vehicles. Ive heard odd anecdotes such as that the power doesn't dwindle but instead the tips will freeze in whatever position they're in after a certain battery threshold. Tbh I don't know how true that is though.

It seems to make alot of sense though. Lithium Ion batteries are getting better all the time and electric motors can deliver 100% of their torque from the off. Saves faffing about with a big power pack and leads.

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Its a pity that it's not possible to plug them into 'mains' power (via a genny & transformer) for protracted incidents

The website is a bit vague on the type of battery. I assume its Li-Ion, so keeping batteries on charge, or rapidly discharging them carries risk.

We have very hi quality lithium (li-metal as opposed to li-ion) batteries where I work but get numerous overheating incidents. Not yet had a thermal runaway, but it was close about three weeks ago.

I can see the positives though. No hoses, no cables - must be an improvement all round

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Cheshire have just rolled these out on all appliances. I think they're awesome. In Humberside they only have them on the Rescue Support Units so I think it's amazing having them on all the pumps.

I haven't encountered any issues with them. No hoses to have to mess about with passing them over a car as they get twisted, potentially damaged, and just generally being in the way, and the battery life seems to be really good. Definitely enough for a typical RTC, plus we carry the spare batteries which are constantly docked in a charging unit. Which will come in handy for those protracted jobs. They're also really quiet as well so it cuts out all the shouting over the noisey generator.

Great if you can't get parked close up to the job as well and you need to carry the gear over :D

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Thats true in respect of the batteries, they just stop, no slow down or indication they are about to fail, they just die. 

Only time will tell how good they are I guess, but in terms of cutting etc, they are very good indeed.

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Everyone I've spoken to say it's top quality and easier to manage on a job.  Sure someone did say they could be plugged in at a protracted job but it was a while ago so not sure.

Warwickshire have a RTC pod which is full of this in various sizes and some of the power is has is unreal.

I think it's the way forward over hydraulic kit any day much safer to use.

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Our rtc guru who also is part of ukro marking team tested these a while ago at the   fsc , he raves about them, we have them on our high reach vehicles , they perform really well, but ensure you have a spare battery and fast chargers as they die pretty quickly as said.

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We have had them for a while now on the rescue pumps and it's about 50 / 50. Advantages as already mentioned and disadvantages battery just dies and they are heavier than normal hydraulic tools. We do have  a power lead adapter, but you have to be close to the appliance and the on board generator as we don't carry a portable one. 

I haven't used them in anger, only training and the weight is noticeable particularly if you're working above waist height. The other thing I didn't like was they're either on or off,  there's no fine movement like when you just crack open the valve on the hydraulic version, which can be a bit of a problem when you're trying to develop an opening using the shunt lines.

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RTC applications aside, only the other day I was part of a crew trying to force entry to a solid multi lock door a fair trek from the appliance, tried everything in the forced entry tool bag but a battery operated disk cutter would have made short work of it for sure. By the time we'd decided we wanted the 110v gear someone had taken most of a window and frame out, which isn't ideal for uncontrolled ventilation, cost of damage e.t.c. it'll be nice having some truly portable cutting gear for fire situations. 

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We've got old Clan Lucas on all Pumps, and newer (much better in my opinion) Holmatro gear on the RTs, still using hydraulic gear primarily but paired with one battery operated combi tool on each RT presumably for simultaneous working.  Having used all 3 I love the battery operated stuff.  

Perversely enough, all the gear at training school is brand new holmatro, you spend your initial & refresher courses learning how to use tools that aren't on the pumps...

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We have a battery genny from clan, on our rescue unit. It did let me down at a job, causing us to default to the petrol genny. The problem was the battery charging unit not doing what it says on the can.

Since then its worked well at jobs, but it did let us down.

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