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Exploring the Different Types of Lift Bags

By Conrad Coe 2 months ago No comments

There are many different types of flotation bags on the market today. They each have a specific function as well. Whether you need to bring something topside, or just keep it topside, there's a flotation bag made for the job you need to get done. But, just because each bag can be filled with air and help things float does not mean they are all equal. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In this post we'll take a look at some of the main types of flotation bags, their features and function and some scenarios that we've run into that may help you when deciding which would be best for you.


When you need to float an object close to the surface, use SUBSALVE’s “pillow” shaped Enclosed Flotation Bags. They can be used in any position, upright or flat, inside or outside of structures. The have 2-3 anchor points in most cases (the Shallow Water version of this bag comes with 5-9 anchor points) and a single pick point so they can be arranged in multiple configurations.

The Enclosed Flotation Bags are very versatile and are best suited for vessel salvage, auto recovery (although we do carry the Subsalve VRS-2000/4000 Vehicle Recovery System), pipeline and cable installation and emergency flotation. Next, let's look at some of the features of the EFB's.

In addition to having anchor and pick points, Enclosed Flotation Bags also have heavy nylon lifting harnesses built into the bag. The seams are RF welded providing a much stronger and longer lasting bond over conventional adhesive methods. The bags themselves are resistant to abrasion, UV rays and most petrochemicals. There are two NPT inflation and deflation ports on the front of the bag as well. One is a standard ¾” NPT port and the other is a ¾” stainless steel ball valve opening. And lastly, there are 4 pressure relief valves located at the corners of the EFB's that will release at 2.5psi above ambient pressure and will allow expanding air in the bag to vent if a free ascent should occur.


Totally-enclosed, cylindrical Salvage Pontoon bags are ideal for shallow water salvage, reducing the

draft of a vessel or raising an object closer to the surface. They are invaluable in cable

and pipeline operations and where long tows are planned. Salvage Pontoons have most of the same features of the Enclosed Flotation Bags; UV, abrasion resistance as well as being resistant to most petrochemicals, pressure relief valves and RF welded seems. Where they differ is in how you anchor the pontoon.

Depending on the size and weight pontoon bag you need they will have between 2-7 attachment points. In addition, instead of the “V” pattern of the replaceable, heavy-duty lift harness seen in the Enclosed Flotation Bags, the Salvage Pontoons uses a webbed lifting harness that is built into the body of the lift bag. And, even though it's built into the bag, it's still replaceable.

You should be aware that Salvage Pontoons have multiple attachment points. All attachment points

must be connected with the shackles provided, and the load evenly distributed. Large

pontoons may require a separate lifting beam to evenly distribute the load.


These bags were developed by Subsalve for the U.S. Navy when they needed a flotation device that would withstand particularly abusive conditions. The Professional Lift Bags have unprecedented strength, low elasticity and superior resistance to abrasion and chemical attack. The open-bottom, parachute shaped lift bags are Subsalves most versatile and easy to use bags. These bags are ideal for construction, heavy and light salvage and many more offshore tasks.

Professional Lift Bags have a plunger style, push button dump valve located at the top of the bag making it easy to control and vent the air. They also have a ¼” NPT inflation port, multiple nylon lift straps sewn directly to the bottom of the inverted water droplet shaped bag. Like the Salvage Pontoons, the Professional Lift Bags also have a replaceable heavy-duty nylon webbing lift harness fabricated into the skin of the bag, which bears the load and provides a safe working ratio of 6:1.


The Water Load Test Bags are constructed using the same material and technology as Subsalves Professional Lift Bags. They have an incredibly low handling weight making it easier to load test structures and make it possible to test in areas with insufficient access for conventional solid weights.

Unlike the other bags listed in this post, the Water Load Test Bags will have different size NPT port/discharge hoses depending on which PF-WLTB you use.

PF-WLTB-1000 – PF-WLTB-6000

1 1/4 in NPT port accepts a 1 1/4in discharge hose for fast deflation.

PF-WLTB-10000 – PF-WLTB-20000

2in NPT stainless steel flange accepts a 2in discharge hose for fast deflation.

PF-WLTB-40000 – PF-WLTB-70000

3in NPT stainless steel flange accepts a 3in discharge hose for fast deflation


4in NPT stainless steel flange accepts a 4in discharge hose for fast deflation

Water Load Test Bags below the PF-WLTB-4000 will come with multiple nylon lift straps sewn directly to the bottom of the lift bag with a working ratio of 6:1. Water Load Test Bags from PF-WLTB-4000 and above have the same replaceable heavy-duty nylon webbing harness found on the Professional Lift Bags.

Hopefully you now have enough knowledge about some of the different lift bags we offer. We know this can be a lot of information and we certainly provide a lot of options for lift bags, so, if you're still in doubt as to which lift bag is the right fit for your needs, give us a call at 1-866-952-8665! We're always happy to help and we love talking about this stuff!

Power Source Showdown

By Conrad Coe 3 months ago No comments

Every power tool offers different advantages. Three common types of power tools are pneumatic which are powered by compressed air, hydraulic which are powered by a fluid or oil , and electric tools, which use a plug or battery. Each type of power tool comes with its pros and cons. Choosing which tool is best for you should depend on what your specific needs are.


Of course, the most important thing to consider when choosing between different power tools is whether it has what it takes to get the job done. If you need to cut through steel or machine-tighten a bolt, you will need a certain amount of torque. Choosing a tool for its convenience or cost really won’t do any good if it isn’t strong enough to get the job done.

  • Pneumatics are strong. The amount of power they offer can be adjusted up or down by allowing the air compressor to deliver more or less power. This has made them the popular tool of choice in places like machine shops and auto shops. More importantly, pneumatics are also often the only choice when there are combustible or explosive atmospheres present.
  • Electrics are catching up. It used to be that air tools were the clear winner in this category every time. This was especially true for cordless electric tools which couldn’t offer the same juice. Things are changing. With new technologies in battery and tool design, electric tools are coming to rival air tools in power.
  • Hydraulics can smoothly lift and move heavy loads because the fluid or oil is not compressible, compared to air which can become jerky and spongy as the air pressure fluctuates with cylinder movement or load changes. This is also why hydraulic tools often deliver more power and torque. In general, a much larger pneumatic cylinder is needed to obtain the same force that a hydraulic ram can produce.


Spending too much on a tool is an obvious waste of your company’s dollars. Spending too little could mean not getting exactly what you need. Tools pay for themselves in the work they do for you. When considering cost, find the balance between what you are spending and what you are getting with the type of power tool you choose.

  • Pneumatics have larger upfront costs, lower back end costs. Air tools themselves are usually less expensive than their electric counterparts. They also tend to last longer. However, you cannot run an air tool without an air compressor, and those can be very expensive. Air compressors are an expensive and unavoidable up-front cost for pneumatic tools.

  • Electrics require less investment. The nice thing about electric tools—corded or cordless—is that they have their own power supply worked in, so you don’t need to invest in a power source. An electric tool will always be a little more expensive than an air tool that performs the same task.

  • Hydraulics have the largest upfront cost. The tools themselves can often be costly and the oil must be provided by and routed back to a reservoir, or power pack, which can cost a few thousand dollars in most cases. What you get for your money however is a powerful system with a lot of durability.


So, how do you know if you're picking the right tool with the right power source? It all depends on the job you need to get done. While there may be overlap in the applications for these three power sources, each has its own characteristics that make it more suitable to different tasks.

  • Pneumatic tools can be a better option for people who have to worry about contaminating their work environment. There's no risk of a seal breaking and hydraulic fluid leaking out. Also, because the flow rate of air through a compressor is greater than hydraulic, pneumatic tools will generally have a higher operating speed. The drawback is because it is a compressible gas, it may not offer the torque under load you need to get the job done. Impact wrenches and reciprocating saws are two examples of tools that excel under pneumatic power.

  • Electric tools typically have the lowest torque and punch of the three types, but in no way does that rule them out of tough jobs. Corded electric tools will, for the most part, provide you with more torque than cordless but lower maneuverability and must be used near a power source, while cordless electric tools will provide maximum mobility but you'll sacrifice torque over time. And, just because there's electricity involved, that doesn't mean they can't be used for wet/dry applications. The Husqvarna K3000W, Makita PW5001C and even underwater tools like the Nemo line of drills, drivers and grinders are testament to the versatility of electric powered tools.

  • Hydraulic tools offer the largest amount of torque than the other two because the fluid used is not compressible. Hydraulic systems also have a lower energy cost over time. With pneumatic power, a large amount of energy is lost in the form of heat when the gas gets compressed. This isn't the case with hydraulics, allowing more of the energy to go where you need it. While they are typically more costly when purchasing, they are often more robust and made of higher grade cast metals. Hydraulic tools are better suited to high impact, high torque applications. The Cs Unitec Hammer Drills, Stanley BR87 Underwater Breaker or the Stanley CS06 Underwater Chainsaw show the strength and many uses for hydraulic power.

We hope this post helps you to not only understand some of the differences between these three power sources, but also helped you in determining which power source would fit best for your job. Of course, if you have any questions or need help in anyway you can always reach out to us at 1-866-952-8665 or chat directly with us by clicking the link in the bottom right of our website.

Understanding the new OSHA Silica Dust Standard

By Conrad Coe 5 months ago No comments

As you may know, OSHA has released a new rule about silica dust. Here at Rental Tools Online, we've gone through this rule to help you understand what this may mean for your work.


This first thing to understand is where you might encounter silica dust on the job site.

Crystalline silica is generally found in concrete, brick and stone products, as well as man made stone and other masonry materials. This means the rule covers a pretty large group of trades from roadwork, decorative concrete, counter top installation and more. Due to health issues related to silica dust, OSHA has reduced the Permissible Exposure Level, or PEL, for silica dust to 50 micro grams per square meter in an 8 hour time weighted average.

So, what does all this mean? The 8 hour time weighted average part is a bit too complicated to get into here, but, what can be said simply is the new standard is basically 1/5th of what was previously allowed for construction.


OSHA is issuing two standards. One for construction and the other for general industry and maritime. In this post we'll be focusing on the construction standard.

The rule provides two options for construction.

Option 1 is in short to control the dust with your own measures, then measure the amount of silica dust that workers are exposed to. If it's at or above the action level of 25 micro grams per square meter over an 8 hour time weighted average, you must find better ways to protect workers from crystalline silica dust exposure. Measuring PEL can be complicated. It involves placing special monitoring devices on workers and then sending the monitors off to a laboratory for testing and/or providing medical testing for workers on a regular basis.

So basically, you have to say “I have my own way to control the dust” then take the time and expense to test your idea

Option 2 is to simply follow the dust control methods found in Table 1 of the new rules construction standards.

If your idea to control PEL works, you're set! If not, you have to start all over again until you get it right. That's why following Table 1 may be the better option.


Table 1 shows dust control methods for many common job site operations. According to OSHA's fact sheet, employers who follow table 1 correctly are not required to measure employees exposure to silica and are not subject to the PEL.

For tools like stationary masonry saws, hand saws and rig mounted core saws or drills, table 1 requires the use of a tool equipped with an Integrated Water Delivery System that continuously feed water to the blade or bit. This is almost always followed up with the instruction to operate and maintain the tool in accordance with manufacturers instructions to minimize dust emissions.

Other tasks have different requirements and options. Things like cutting fiber cement board, tuck pointing, dowel drilling concrete and using handheld and stand mounted drills must use a commercially available dust route and a dust collector. There are other tools listed that have the option of using either IWDS or dust collection. Along with the requirement to use a dust collector in many of the operations, table 1 also places requirements on the dust collector itself. The following statement appears in the table almost everywhere a dust collector is called for:

“(the) Dust collector must provide the air flow recommended by the tool manufacturer, or greater, and have a filter with 99% or greater efficiency and a filter-cleaning mechanism.”

To more clearly define what that statement means, let's look at the text preceding table 1 to gain some insight.

Let's first take a look at what is written about filter efficiency. It shows us that OSHA had originally considered requiring HEPA filters which provide a filter efficiency of 99.97% at 0.3 microns because they believed they offered better protection from silica dust. However, they found two problems.

One, too many HEPA filters clog quickly, making the level of filtration irrelevant. And, two, there were more filters that were close to HEPA available so that the standard could be more easily implemented.

The dust collection systems we offer at Rental Tools Online use HEPA filters as we feel they provide the best protection for our customers. In addition they also feature an Electromagnetic Pulse Filter Cleaning System (EPFCS) that vibrates both filters to remove dust and prevents them from becoming clogged.

The rule went into effect on June 23rd, 2016 and construction businesses must be compliant by June 23rd 2017. Hopefully this post as given you a better sense of what you may need to do to keep yourself in compliance.

Rental Tools Online Acquires a Cable Tracker (CT-1) from JW Fishers to offer for Rent!

By Admin 8 months ago No comments

Recently we got our Cable Tracker back from rent and it is ready for another project. Rental prices for this have recently been lowered to increase it's availability to our customers.