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Looking for some input on the likes, dislikes, advantages and disadvantages of the systems on the market. In the past month I have had the sales pitch on a number of systems and I am looking to you all who like me are using them and not selling them for input. Any info is good info. Thanks Brothers and stay safe.

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We currently use the Rescue 42's. They are light, sturdy, easy to use, and don't take up too much space. I've used them on many occasions, and have not had a problem with them yet. You can save a little money by going to a hardware store and getting ratchet straps. We don't have the mechanical device that lets you extend extend them under a load, but I think it's available. We carry 2 on each truck company, and that seems to be sufficient for most of the situations we come across. If we need more we can call additional trucks, or our HR.
Patrick
Rescue 42's are the ones I'm leaning to. I used them at Hurst school up in Wisconsin and really like them. Thanks for the info and stay safe.

Eric
We currently use Para tech Struts and I think they are great! They are very sturdy and allow for multiple applications because of the size of them. They also offer two different extensions a short and long which allows you to have flexibility on the scene depending on the vehicles position. Also the para techs can be used for other applications such as trench or structural collapse. We also discussed in a recent vehicle extrication class how the structural collapse setup can be used in conjunction with a long 6x6 to setup floor support for a trailer floor if it is compromised during a motor vehicle crash. As Patrick said you can save some money but going to the hardware store and buying ratchet straps. I have also used the z-mag setup and they work pretty well but limit you to the length of the wood you are using. Our rescue currently carries the Para techs, Z-mags, and High lift Jacks.
At my department we have both the Rescue 42's on 2 of our rescue engines and a complete set of Paratech struts for building collapse, trench rescue & vehicle stabilization on our squad.

Here are some pros and cons to each that we have found. The 42's seem to set up a bit quicker; we keep the base plates and heads attached to save some time. The Paratech set up is a touch slower, just because you have to "put together" the struts and extensions vs. just sliding them out. Although training here is the key, somebody who is well versed in the Paratech system can set them up equally as fast. Both systems offer the same options (chain kits, a-frame heads etc.).

One thing that is nice with the Paratech struts is how they lock with the spin down collar. If you have to lift a vehicle when they are in place, you can just adjust the collar, where with the 42’s you have to remove the pins. By removing the pins you will run the chance of loosing stabilization as you adjust the pins.

So what it really boils down to is crush strength and what you are using them for. The Paratech struts has a crush strength up to 80,000 lbs (it will go down the longer you extend the strut) where as the 42’s have a crush strength of approx. 8,000-9,000 lbs. (using 2 pins, and also that will go down as the length increases). In essence this really is not a factor, since when you are “stabilizing” a vehicle you are not in theory supporting the entire load. Although it may be something to consider if you have to stabilize a large vehicle, train or other heavy load.

So if you plan on using the system just for automobile stabilization the 42’s are great, but if you will be using them for other applications (trench, building collapse, etc.) I would go with the Paratech system.
Matt you are correct training is key. We did a demonstration at our local H.S. for prom and I was givien two guys who were brand new to the use of the paratechs and it took us a longer time to setup the struts then it takes when I work with the other guys who are experienced with them and this goes back to not only those personal but it is seen whenever we hold a drill and members who show up once and a while or are away at school and only use them a handful of times.
When of the biggest things I see with the Paratechs is people not knowing what size to grab. I tell them if you have a car on its side you need at least a 36" strut and least 36" of extension. A car that is on its roof you can get by with shorter struts. During training I have seen people grab 24" struts and 36" extension, and it never works. Either your angle is off, or you run out of strut.

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