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    Default Appalachian Brush Truck

    Our small Appalachian VFD is thinking about upgrading to a new Brushtruck. We are in Cherokee County, NC, about 45 miles west of the Great Smokies. Needless to say, our terrain can get steep, narrow and twisty. Not to mention all the retirees building here on top of mountains that locals never lived on. This results in forest fires endangering a lot of expensive homes, which is a new phenomenom.

    What do the forum member recommend in building a relatively inexpensive brushtruck that can navigate steep, narrow curvy roads? 90 percent of our calls are first responder, and most of the rest are brush and/or true forest fires to assist US and NC Forrestry service. Please educate me. I've been reading no duallys, and to go big as we can affordm, but I'd hate to drive one of those tall F-550's into the forest overhand and gravel/logging roads we sometimes (usually) end up on. 4x4 is a given. we currently have an old (1980?) GMC diesel military style carryall (C10) with a 200 gallon tank and Briggs and Stratton powered pump. We operate on Tax base of under 30,000 a year. we are a very small rural mountain vfd.

    We have a true first responder truck, and this truck would probably be used as a backup first responder vehicle.

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    You get more response in the wildland or apparatus forums.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unaka2418 View Post
    Our small Appalachian VFD is thinking about upgrading to a new Brushtruck. We are in Cherokee County, NC, about 45 miles west of the Great Smokies. Needless to say, our terrain can get steep, narrow and twisty. Not to mention all the retirees building here on top of mountains that locals never lived on. This results in forest fires endangering a lot of expensive homes, which is a new phenomenom.

    What do the forum member recommend in building a relatively inexpensive brushtruck that can navigate steep, narrow curvy roads? 90 percent of our calls are first responder, and most of the rest are brush and/or true forest fires to assist US and NC Forrestry service. Please educate me. I've been reading no duallys, and to go big as we can affordm, but I'd hate to drive one of those tall F-550's into the forest overhand and gravel/logging roads we sometimes (usually) end up on. 4x4 is a given. we currently have an old (1980?) GMC diesel military style carryall (C10) with a 200 gallon tank and Briggs and Stratton powered pump. We operate on Tax base of under 30,000 a year. we are a very small rural mountain vfd.

    We have a true first responder truck, and this truck would probably be used as a backup first responder vehicle.
    Sounds like a textbook case to apply for an apparatus grant from the feds, and get approval!!!!
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    To reiterate what NEIOWA said, you'll probably get more response by posting in the apparatus or wildland threads. At the same time, a lot of guys have bought various brush/quick-attack trucks in the grants forum.

    A good place to start is to figure out exactly what you need based on your jurisdiction and what kind of fires you're going to deal with. If your roads are wide enough for a dually, then get a dually. If they're narrow, get a single-axle. If you're going down logging roads, look at a good, rigid flatbed rather than a stock bed that's going to get beat up. Figure out how much water and equipment you're going to carry, and you'll quickly figure out what size of truck you're going to need (3/4-ton, 1-ton or larger).

    If you sit down and plan out the aspects of what it's going to do, what it needs to carry, how rigid/tough it needs to be, etc., you should have a pretty good picture of the truck itself. Just make sure it's going to do the job you need it to do and try to avoid the "while we're at it, why don't we add XXXXX to it" kind of thing that tends to add on a bunch of stuff, weight, and size that you won't use.

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    Take a look at the Navistar International MXT-MV chassis. Although I think they terminated production, but I'm not certain.

    It's a pickup-truck sized unit aimed at the military. GVWR start at 14,000 lbs, and max out at 19,000. It uses Michelin 365/80R20 XZL tires, which when converted to inch measurements would be 43" tall x 14.5" wide.

    A non-armored version with an extended "wedge" type bumper & remote control bumper turret would really add to your arsenal. It offers and Allison 2000 series automatic, and a 6 liter 300 HP/600 lb-ft diesel.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_MXT-MV



    Last edited by txgp17; 01-30-2009 at 06:04 PM.
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    Nice truck, but I'm betting it's a little too pricey for a department running running on 30K a year.

    Keep it simple.

    Your terrain will probably not allow for much more than the basics. probably a small tank like the 200 gallons you already have. Minimum compartment space. Maybe a dually but probably not more than a one-ton.

    Again, keep it very simple.

    This is a lot like the guy that recently asked about a mini-pumper on another thread. By the time folks listed what would be "nice" to have on the truck, he was almost looking at a full-sized engine.

    The worst thing you can do, as I'm sure you know is to overload an off-road vehicle. It's unsafe. It will handle like crap and will never do the job it sounds like you want it to do.

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    Take a look at the vehicles of the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS)

    An M1008 CUCV would be a beast. Basically it's a 1986'ish GM K-30 series truck, with a Dana 60 front axle and a GM 10" ringer gear rear axle.

    The Mount Horeb (WI) Fire Dept found a 1990 Amertek from DRMS and had it redone to fit their needs.

    Last edited by txgp17; 01-31-2009 at 12:52 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by txgp17 View Post
    Take a look at the vehicles of the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS)

    An M1008 CUCV would be a beast. Basically it's a 1986'ish GM K-30 series truck, with a Dana 60 front axle and a GM 10" ringer gear rear axle.

    The found Mount Horeb (WI) Fire Dept found a 1990 Amertek from DRMS and had it redone to fit their needs.

    I know the Chief at Mount Horeb well. They call him "Fire Truck Chuck" because his trucks look like a magnet went through an auto parts store with all the lights, bells, and whistles he puts on them. They don't really have a cash problem there.

    Great department, great looking trucks, huge response area, well trained and a good bunch of guys and gals.
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    Here's another older Amertek ARFF truck that would provide you with an awesome chassis.
    http://www.fentonfire.com/other_vehi...ng.php?lid=793

    Personally I think they're asking a little too much.
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    I know Chief Himsel well and am fairly well acquainted with the FDMH. I know that they did NOT get this rig for free. I am relatively certain it was bought through a broker and not acquired through a government program. They also put a good chunk of money into redoing it after they got it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I am relatively certain it was bought through a broker and not acquired through a government program.
    If you're right, then Firehouse magazine got it wrong. The truck was written about in an apparatus article, with a photo, and specifically stated that the chassis was acquired through DRMS.
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    This is a new type 3 brush truck that has room for ALS medic equipment
    Manufacturer-Westmark

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    Quote Originally Posted by txgp17 View Post
    If you're right, then Firehouse magazine got it wrong. The truck was written about in an apparatus article, with a photo, and specifically stated that the chassis was acquired through DRMS.
    My understanding was that it was purchased from the government at a surplus auction in Milwaukee. Maybe we are all wrong, now after reading your posts I'm not even sure.

    They put several thousands of dollars into the truck to replumb the pump, refurbish the drive trains, new interior, and new paint. They actually spent more than they wanted to but once they got into it, they found more crap that should have been replaced. Now it's like a brand new truck.....And of course all the bells and lights too!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bharer75 View Post
    This is a new type 3 brush truck that has room for ALS medic equipment
    Manufacturer-Westmark
    Damn- Beat me to it. West Mark has some really nice brush trucks. I would atleast look at their website for some ideas. www.west-mark.com

    Good luck, Bou

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    UN.....

    How much do you have available to spend?

    I think once we find that out we'll be able to drive the discussion in a more specific direction .......

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    Heavy duty 4x4 (no pick up body) and a skid mounted brush unit.

    No frills, if you get as many brush runs as you say, don't spend a lot of money on bells/whistles and gold leaf.

    Don't know this company, but scroll down to the new brush truck.

    http://www.gretnafd.org/

    EDIT: After reading their webpage closer, note they had this refurb done at the local vocational school welding shop.

    Seems like the way to go if budget is a concern (and it should be for every department).
    Last edited by ChiefKN; 02-02-2009 at 12:05 PM.
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    [QUOTE=txgp17;1030091]Take a look at the vehicles of the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service (DRMS)

    If you were to want on of the AMTEK trucks they have been regularily available thru DOD surplus. DOD has been dumping them. See your forester as loan (FEPP program) or with title (FFP).

    Everything I've read about these AMTEK indicate that are that they are in contention as the biggiest POS that the military has purchased in many years. There is a reason DOD is getting rid of these long before the normal end of their useful life. Do some detailed research. Send cash $ for one? That'd be intelligent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I know Chief Himsel well and am fairly well acquainted with the FDMH. I know that they did NOT get this rig for free. I am relatively certain it was bought through a broker and not acquired through a government program. They also put a good chunk of money into redoing it after they got it.
    Follow up.....

    Firehouse magazine, January 2009 issue showing Boston Fire in defensive operations on the cover, page 65.

    The article states that Chief Himsel contacted the DRMS, and that resulted in them getting the truck chassis. It does not state that they got the truck through DRMS, but it does mention DRMS by name.
    The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

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    What is the Forestry dept using?????? Try to get what they have or get couple of mules and put a couple of Indian tanks on them and trudged up them thar hills.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Captain ...

    Good idea. Take a look at what other departments are using for their brush trucks.

    Talk to them. See what they like and don't like about them.

    From what you described, simple sounds best. Dual wheeled one-ton with a flat bed body. 200-259 gallons at most. maybe a cabinet or two.

    It sounds like your budget won't support an expensive piece. That's why I asked about your budget.

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    Default Where we are headed

    After last nights monthly meeting, we are going for FEMA grant and an E-one F550 300 gal flatbed dually with the diesel engine, 4x4.

    I have been looking around, and if we can't get a grant, looks like we could build an equivalent truck with a cab-chassis f-450 and a slide in unit for about 60 grand.

    We are going to work hard on the grant as we get called out on a lot of local wildfires....Western NC is burn central around here these days.

    Thanks for the replies...as a new poster, I didn't realize I posted thread in the wrong place.

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    Unaka2418 -

    My VFD works the foothills of the Blue Ridge so I know what kind of terrain you're talking about.

    We bought a used F-250HD chassis from a local dealer and simply threw in a skid unit & a couple of tool boxes.

    The Skid unit came from Vest Sales & Service in Check, VA and has done everything we have asked of it.

    The only 2 things I would change on our current unit is:

    1) To have removed the pick-up bed and put on a flat bed w/ utility boxes for better tool & equipment storage.

    2) Added in the capability for foam (maybe even a Mini CAFS system) to stretch the available water supply.

    We recently added a utility trailer with a 450cc 4WD ATV equipped a 30 Gal Agra Sprayer to get us into the REALLY tight places and to help patrol fire lines.

    ================================================== ========

    If I were in your shoes and looking to buy a totally new rig today (and had the budget to back it) - I'd give these folks a call.

    http://firematic.com/brat.htm

    The original BRAT would be a good choice for most of your work. If you wanted to get into every possible nook & crannie - take a look at the Rally BRAT (notice the size change in chassis options - the smaller & tighter the places you want to go - the smaller your chassis is going to have to be).

    If your budget isn't that big, then - as ChiefKN pointed out in the Gretna Rig - don't discount the local High school & Community College Vo-Tech shops for building you something simple & effective.

    Look around at other departments, and on the web to get ideas of things you like & don't like and go from there.

    Good Luck with the project.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
    Stephen
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    Instructor

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    Cool Bme.....

    Check out Boise Mobile Equipment..... We just ordered 2 Brush Engines from them and we love them. They look great, inexpensive and the Customer Service was top notch.

    I'm looking for pics, but check their website and look for the 2 Units that were just delivered.
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  24. #24
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    Talking Dang.........

    This thread is like the Fire that survived the Winter, 10 feet underground, then came back in the Spring.........

    Anyone know what the result of this discussion ended up to be??.........
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwoods View Post
    This thread is like the Fire that survived the Winter, 10 feet underground, then came back in the Spring.........

    Anyone know what the result of this discussion ended up to be??.........
    Nope

    Do hope though they go with super singles instead of a dually

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