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  1. #1

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    Default Gas Vs. Diesel???

    Im from a small texas VFD and we are currently in the process of purchasing a brush truck to be put under a slide in pumper unit... i was wondering if anyone knew if fire apparatus is required to be a diesel or not? I dont believe this is the case, but one a member of a local EMS informed us that any emergency vehicle in the state of texas had was required to be diesel. due to the weight issue we are considering purchasing gasoline cab-chassis unit.

    any help would be greatly appreciated...


  2. #2
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Your EMS friend may be confusing the federal requirement that AMBULANCES be diesel.
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  3. #3
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    I've never heard of any requirement that emergency vehicles be diesel. With that said, our '08 quick attack (GMC 5500) has the 8 liter gas motor in it and it works fine. Also, the 3/4 brush rigs on my career department have the 6.2 (?) liter gas burners in them.

  4. #4
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    A phone call to your state fire marshal's office could probably get your question answered.

  5. #5
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    Our brush truck and one of our engines are gas. I don't know about any requlations requiring them to be gas or diesel, of course ours may be grandfathered in, being that they are a 1971 and 1959 respectively.

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    tell us about the 1959 engine. still in service?

  7. #7
    Forum Member MTKROUSH's Avatar
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    I doubt there is a requirement that all apparatus be diesel. There is a DOT regulation that states ambulances will be diesel. Most manufacturers use diesel because it's more efficient, generates less engine heat, and makes the same or more horsepower at lower RPM's.

    As far as homemade Brush rigs go. Purchase whatever will best haul the skid unit that you have. If it's gas...great. If diesel...just as good. Do what is best for your department
    To err is human, To forgive divine and at times I am as much of both as you will ever find

  8. #8
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    I've seen several new brush trucks recently delivered with gasoline engines. Our 2001 Ford F350 is a gas rig. In addition to cost and weight, another reason to go with gas is the ability to pipe the gasoline auxiliary pump straight to the apparatus fuel tank. If you go with a diesel apparatus, you'll either have to go with a separate tank (which at some point will not be refilled, been there-done that) or a diesel pump (another $3-5k).

    However, if you go do pipe the pump's fuel to the gas tank, be ready to install a check valve in the line or a low-pressure electric fuel pump. Modern gas tanks are sealed and after a few minutes worth of pumping, you'll actually be pulling a pretty good suction on the tank. Most auxiliary engines have vacuum-operated fuel pumps, which work fine when new, but as the engines age, there's not enough engine vacuum to pump fuel properly. We had that happen on our 2001 Ford. It would run fine for a few minutes, then spit and sputter and die. Opening the gas cap would create an audible hiss and the pump would then run again. We installed an electric fuel pump and the problem was solved.

  9. #9
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    ok good suggestions, but....
    the reason to go with diesel, is that in a fire producing lots of smoke, a gasoline engine can stall out easier than a diesel engine will do to lack of oxygen. but being a requirement, i dont think so.
    watch the training video "Attach from the Black" i believe it is put out by the texas forest service, it talks about trucks(gasoline) stalling out while trying to get out of harms way, firefighters ended up getting burned
    just my 2 cents...something to think about
    Puttin the wet stuff on the red stuff!

  10. #10
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    Diesels seems to have more low-end torque and hill climbing power. I much prefer Diesel brush rigs.

  11. #11
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    If you like seeing the fuel gauge move as your drive than get a gas engine. Otherwise get a diesel.
    "I don't wanna hear about it... I wanna see results!!!":-P

  12. #12
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    Diesel engines are now a $7,000-$9,000 option, but one thing I haven't seen brought up about diesel engines is life span and running time. You have to remember that diesels are not made to be turned on and off a lot. They need some good run time to them and as long as they are maintained properly they will (usually) out live a gasoline engine. My silverado gasser right now has 54,000 miles and it is NOTHING, but trouble. I wish I had bought a diesel.

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    While Diesel itself has climbed in price due to supply in demand, diesel will give you a longer service life and better torque performance. If only to minimize on where you are fueling your rig stick with Diesel!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctxffman View Post
    tell us about the 1959 engine. still in service?
    Yes it is, the dept has owned it since new and its always been ready to go. Lets see if FWDbuff picks up on this.

    Its a 1959 International FWD Farrar 750/750 4WD.

    It doesn't see as much action as it used to, and is generally a fill truck at our fire pond (rural dept, no hydrants) but when we have icy/snowy conditions it can be our primary attack engine. It also has a 300gpm pump mounted on the top that feeds off the main tank for pump and roll use for wildland fires.

    Since the thread is about engines, I believe it has a straight 6 gas engine; don't know much beyond that, except that its got a hood like a model T, lifts up on the sides, which I think is really cool.

    http://www.firenews.org/mass/WindsorE3.jpg
    Last edited by KB1OEV; 12-31-2008 at 07:22 AM.

  15. #15
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Thats a "short-hood" FWD.....It most likely has an International engine. It doesn't have a Waukesha, because they required the "stretched" hood, as seen in the pic below.

    Thats a nice looking FWD, how old is the pic?
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  16. #16
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    Those are both awesome trucks. Dont see many of them around anymore .We still have a few gas powered trucks a couple of 1 ton 4 WD's and two tankers built in the 80's I would love to switch the tankers over to diesel chassis.
    Last edited by ScottAvery; 12-31-2008 at 09:25 AM.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Spankmeister,Where's your PUC? T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 12-31-2008 at 10:12 AM.

  18. #18
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    It is at Minuiteman . doing a few add ons for us. we wanted to get through the holiday before we got it. they are going to letter it there as well. TELL YOUR CREW THEY DID A VERY GOOD JOB LAST WEEK. I THINK YOU THREW EVERYTHING YOU HAD AT IT.

  19. #19
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    They were pretty bummed out,especially the Frog.As I worked thru the post incident investigation I became aware of some "issues"not known to the first in crews.A miserable stubborn job that tried all our resources.It went out,stayed out and no one got hurt.In my mind,that makes it a good job. T.C.

  20. #20
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    EXACTLY!!. Tell froggie he did just fine.

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