Hydraulic tools The availability of powerful rescue tools allows rescuers greater options when planning extrications Greatly reduce time taken during ‘space creation’.
Hydraulic tools A reservoir containing hydraulic fluid A means of pressurising the fluid High pressure tubing A means of relieving the pressure. All hydraulic tool systems consist of the following main components;
Hydraulic tools Hand operated Powered. 2 main types;
Hand operated Requires the operator to manually operate a pump by means of a lever or handle ‘EPCO’, ‘BLACKHAWK’ and ‘TANGYE’ are examples of the type available.
Hydraulic powered tools These systems utilise a power unit, usually petrol or diesel driven to pressurise the system Power units can be single or two stage, the latter offering speedy off load operation with slower more controlled under load operation.
Hydraulic powered tools Dedicated cutters Spreaders Combi tools Rams Pedal cutters. Common tools of this type are;
Dedicated cutters It is important to remember that the shearing action of the cutters imparts energy to the item being cut At the moment when the cutter completes the cut pieces can separate with great force.
Dedicated cutters When using cutters the following basic rules should be followed to ensure safety; Always use appropriate PPE Always provide ‘hard and soft’ protection Be alert for the tool shifting Work ‘outside’ the tool.
Spreaders Spreaders often weigh 30Kg or more and usually require a team of two operators One to place and operate the tool and an assistant to help support the weight of the tool.
Spreaders Can be supplied with accessories such as chains, hooks and securing pins to allow pulling operations to take place utilising the power of the tool.
Spreaders Securing pins if not of the lockable type should always be inserted from the bottom side of the arms Chains should always be attached to hooks so that the free end is accessible on the top of the arms,to ensure a balanced pull.
Spreaders When using spreaders the following should be adopted to maintain safety and efficiency; Adopt a balanced body position Place hands only on the tool handles and operating lever Be aware tool can kick back under load.
Work ‘outside’ the tool The tool arms are not designed to spread or crush, only use the tips When using tool accessories, ensure hooks have the open side facing out or away from the arms.
Combination tools Primarily designed to be used as a rapid intervention tool Capable of cutting, spreading, pulling and crushing Due to this versatility, in widespread use throughout the brigade.
Combination tools Perform less well than dedicated equipment, this is balanced by the tools versatility However as dedicated equipment arrives on the incident ground it should be got to work as soon as possible.
Combination tools The safety procedures and general operating procedures for combi tools are the same as for task related dedicated equipment.
Powered rams Can be used to lift, spread, pull or assist with stabilisation Light enough to be operated by one member of the crew Two types, single or double piston.
Powered rams No circumstance exists where rams would provide the sole means of stabilisation or of lifting a load They will always be used in conjunction with chocks and blocks.
Powered rams Rams have the least structural integrity when fully extended Heavy loading can stress the ram to the point of being damaged Avoid allowing the ram to extend over a round object as this can deflect the ram and cause the tool to fail.
Hydraulic powered tools After use; Clean tool Examine for wear / damage Check ram pistons for dirt and scoring Top up fuel levels Ensure couplings are clean and caps replaced.