1. #1
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    Default Pierce PUC 1500 GPM PTO pump

    We are in the process of spec'ing a rescue pumper. The Pierce PUC is being discussed as an option. With the increased compartment space and less bulky pump house, the wildcard in the whole deal is the pump. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of information out there concerning the performance, flow, maintenance, etc..

    Is there anybody who has had experience with this pump, whether it was good, bad, or indifferent? Does it consistently produce 1500 GPM, or do the conditions have to be just right to get that flow? Have there been any other general issues or anything else concernable? I'm aware that it's a PTO pump, and while PTO pumps have been around for a long time, isn't it true that they were generally used for lower GPM requirements (and were there reasons to keep the GPM lower?)?

    Being a regular reader of this forum, I am aware of the mixed bag of reactions that can happen anytime Pierce is in the title heading. Any shared knowledge or insights will be appreciated, but please refrain from the, "Pierce is the best, so whatever they make is just awesome and the best ." I'm aware that they make good apparatus, I just want to gain some insight on the pump, because we all know that there is more to apparatus than just the nameplate.

    Thanks in advance.

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    Default Puc

    I know the trend is downward, but we still pump alot of structure fires. We looked at a PUC at a trade show, and the UL panel gave me cuase for concern. At the 250 PSI test, the RPM's were 2000. Not that a modern diesel couldn't handle 2000 RPM, but prolonged pumping at that speed is noisy for the engineer (irritating but also interferes with radio comms) and fuel consumption could be an issue. I don't recall the GPM of this partucular pump.

    We just went from 2-stage to single stage pumps and initially I was concerned about this but they perform well (Waterous CSU).

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    **DISCLAIMER!!!** I am in NO WAY, making fun of Pierce!

    That being said, I have heard recently that pumps on a PUC are really only efficient at 1000 GPM or less, for two reasons. First is the PTO drive system, which is basically a hybrid concrete mixer pump/motor set up. Secondly, ever take a look at the steamer on a PUC? Anyone with a basic knowledge of hydraulics and physics knows that the two 90 degree elbows will limit the amount of water that can intake efficiently. Toss this out the window (to a certain extent) when on a hydrant with good pressure, but when you have to draft, you are going to be seriously limited.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default Puc

    There are several issues with the PUC style of pumper you might want to investigate before you decide to purchase one. Early on there are several reports of them failing pump tests the best numbers I have heard were pump output in the high 1240ís GPM. These tests were performed from draft, Pierce apparently used a pressurized water source (hydrant) for the pump tests and rating. Performing a pump test from a pressurized water source is allowable under NFPA guidelines however most pump people donít think that this is a good way to do a pump tests. It does not work the pump anywhere near as hard as drafting so deficiencies or mechanical problems donít show up.

    There are several rumors drifting around the industry that Pierce de-rated pumps, took back apparatus, settled with customers. Unfortunately their marketing machine and propaganda control know one will probably ever know the truth. Too bad really if more problems were dealt with head on and up front a lot of the bad feelings that are out there might not be.

    I do know that Pierce engineers and I would assume Darley engineers since they are the actual builder of the pump have been working to resolve the GPM issue. The overall GPM output has been attributed to a number of problems, intake size, and impeller size. Multiple draft lines have been used to overcome GPM issues which is allowable under NFPA guidelines. I think that the intake manifold has too many bends in it and throat into the single sided impeller is too short both of which would contribute to reduced output.

    Then there is the PTO drive at 1500 GPM that PTO unit must be operating at or close to 100% the problem here is that the service life of a PTO operating at capacity is about 100 hours. The life span grows exponentially as the load decreases so if most of your pumping operations are one and two handline fires this is probably not a big concern, but something you should be aware of.

    The interesting operation option here is for pump and roll, if you really have a need for it. I donít and have not given it a lot of thought. This is probably a pump configuration best specified for 1000 GPM.

    I have looked that the PUC style extensively and think that the use of space is not as great as what is hyped. What you pick up from the change in pump location you lose to compartment space. I think you can do better with other options out there. If youíre looking for a 1000 GPM unit Hale Q-pak can be done in a 24Ē pump panel.

    I also donít like the fact that a lot of what goes into the PUC is proprietary parts and systems. I donít think this is the best choice for your department in the long run. It can make service and repairs more difficult and costly over the life of the vehicle.

    If you have any questions fell free to contact me off list.

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    Default

    i have no technical data to give you besides whats on websites but i know there is an alternative out there now from Ferrara that offers pump ratings up to 2250 GPM. I have seen this at a show and was impressed with its layout. If we were in the market for a squad type engine that would definitely be at the top of the list.

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    Default "What he said"

    Quote Originally Posted by hookandcanman83 View Post
    i have no technical data to give you besides whats on websites but i know there is an alternative out there now from Ferrara that offers pump ratings up to 2250 GPM. I have seen this at a show and was impressed with its layout. If we were in the market for a squad type engine that would definitely be at the top of the list.
    I saw this Ferara truck at a show and it is quite impressive. All of the stuff that the other guy says or wants his truck to do in a nicer package. And apparently it works. The demo on display was (I think) a 2000 gpm, but I was told that the 2250 was definatley available. Also, the pump and roll can be purchased $$ as an option. Like SPEC CAPT said, our FD probably has no need for this. So why have it turning all of the time if not used.

    Lastly, I really like the way the Ferara truck was built. The finished trucks were very nice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecCapt View Post
    These tests were performed from draft, Pierce apparently used a pressurized water source (hydrant) for the pump tests and rating.
    This may have been true for some of the early PUC's that were manufactured, but in recent times I know that pressurized water sources are not necessary for pump tests.

    Two recent deliveries in my area with PUC units were not tested using a pressurized source. The two wagons met pump spec with no issue at draft.

    There are several rumors drifting around the industry...
    And like with any manufacturer, rumors will always be floating around. It all depends on what you choose to believe....

    I'm not a Kool-Aid drinker, but from what the truck committee voiced to me, there was very little in terms of negative feedback about the PUC from Pierce before it was selected.

    I do know that Pierce engineers and I would assume Darley engineers since they are the actual builder of the pump have been working to resolve the GPM issue.
    I don't believe Darley has any hands in actually "building" the finished pumps. They merely are responsible for the casting process.

    I have looked that the PUC style extensively and think that the use of space is not as great as what is hyped. What you pick up from the change in pump location you lose to compartment space.
    The advantage of the PUC is that you can reduce the wheelbase without losing compartment space. You don't have to assign a whole compartment (or even half one) if you design your panel layout efficiently. With all of the valve offerings out there now, there's plenty of options available for reducing panel size. Electric valves with emergency mechanical overrides anyone?

    PS: Not a Kool-Aid drinker.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

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    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    Default

    We have several PUC's and they will easily draft 1500 gpm through the steamer ports. We can only get about 600 gpm through the front intake as that's where all 90deg's are in our plumbing.

    The PTO engagement is all electronic and we have had to use the overide (also electronic) to engage the pump.

    I would encourage you to get a hold of a demo unit and spend some time pumping it if you are thinking about buying one.


    Here's a link to the PUC operator's manual.

    https://www.pierceparts.com/index.ph...-0809_web_.pdf

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    If you need pump and roll maybe a PUC. Or get a brush truck.

    If you're looking for more compact arrangement also take a look at the E-One Synergy http://e-one.com/products.htm?lineID=1&typeID=15&id=83


    Ferrara? Whats impressive there? Poor dealer network as well in most of the country (service). You what cheap or inexpensive?

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    If you need pump and roll maybe a PUC. Or get a brush truck.

    If you're looking for more compact arrangement also take a look at the E-One Synergy http://e-one.com/products.htm?lineID=1&typeID=15&id=83


    Ferrara? Whats impressive there? Poor dealer network as well in most of the country (service). You what cheap or inexpensive?
    Who want's a fire truck that made of used beer can's and leak's water into the compartment's. And your right you want cheap or do you want the truck to last?

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    Our neighbors have PUC and it is working well for THEM. I withhold my judgement until the 5th or 6th pump test,we'll see how it holds up then. We run STRICTLY Hale pumps so no PUC for us.We tried a another brand of pump(2) over the years and had trouble(progressive failure)with them.Went back to Hale and never looked back. The Ferrara rig uses a Waterous or Hale pump so you can be pretty sure of dependable operation.There are several builders of apparatus similar to what you are looking for.I suggest you do your homework and look at ALL of them. T.C.

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    Default Please clarify.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy1213 View Post
    Who want's a fire truck that made of used beer can's and leak's water into the compartment's. And your right you want cheap or do you want the truck to last?
    The unit I saw was aluminum, just like the PUC and I suppose the Synergy? If you have an objection to that material I think most mfg's. still offer good old fashion galvaneal steel or stainless steel. Doesn't much matter since the most important part of the truck (the cab that carries your people) is usually made of aluminum. Not always... but usually.

    Oh and Darley advertises plastic truck bodys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy1213 View Post
    Who want's a fire truck that made of used beer can's and leak's water into the compartment's. And your right you want cheap or do you want the truck to last?
    Still getting your trucks down at Bubba's Blacksmithing? Steel tank, bent sheetmetal, and a booster reel was good enough in '49.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Still getting your trucks down at Bubba's Blacksmithing? Steel tank, bent sheetmetal, and a booster reel was good enough in '49.
    You got sumthin' AGAINST Bubba? He'll whup all over you azz,hehe.

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    Default Excess noise

    anyone get annoyed with the chatter of the pto while at an idle? Man that would drive me crazy not to mention the problems already mentioned!

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    Talking Aluminum

    All my used beer cans need to go somewhere! !

    BURP!

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    Thanks to all who have posted replies to my question. I was away for the weekend and wasn't able to keep tabs on the forum.

    We do not have a public water system, so if water is needed, we draft. The point that was brought up concerning the load capacity on the PTO is interesting and one that I had not thought about. The PTO chatter is something that we are aware of, but have been told that's how it's going to be. The whole PTO thing and use of it does seem to be concernable.

    We have taken a look at the Ferrara, but that's basically it. We liked the fact that the MVP uses a Hale pump, and that it has a good bit of compartment space, but have not continued it any further.

    We are in the middle of a Pierce hotbed, so if any negative issues come out, they are usually swept under the rug, or treated as myths or legends . I really do not have a problem with their apparatus, but unlike some, I tend to be objective and do not think of them as the end all, be all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebill911 View Post
    anyone get annoyed with the chatter of the pto while at an idle? Man that would drive me crazy not to mention the problems already mentioned!
    It actually uses a REPTO rear engine power take off. This is very similar to the drive system used on concrete transit mixers. They have been around for years, and yes they do rattle & chatter a bit !

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    Default Find out in the morning

    Leaving tomorrow to pickup 2 rigs. Will let you know what we think. So far the demo units we played around with were excellent. Pulled good drafts, numerous hand-lines, deck gun and blitz fire lines with no issues. As far as the PTO rattle......we never heard anything. Like I said, tomorrow we go to Appleton to take delivery.

    On a side note. The PUC will be brand new to us. A lot of research went into our decision to purchase. We contacted Miami Dade, Norfolk and Sacramento. These departments have numerous PUC units in service and have only had the minor problems you would expect with a custom apparatus. As far as the PTO pump goes, their mechanics stated that no issues as of yet. This does not say that extended service will not bring out issues, it only states that as of when we ordered ours (12/08) there had been no major issues.

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    The PUC may be ideal for the south but us flat-landers use alot of salt and treatment chemicals during the winter months! A nearby department has a couple of PUCS and we recently looked at them for our next purchase. The units we looked at are less than a year old.

    The issues we found was that the location of the panel directly behind the front wheel is not ideal because the road grime, salt and rock chips have already taken their toll on the stainless steel shield, elbows and caps. From an ergonomic standpoint, personnel now have to bend down to make the connections, which could also pose a safety risk when operating out on the roadway.

    I have always been a top-mount type of guy, but I was open to looking at the PUC to gain compartment space and limit a longer wheelbase. But after I observed the above issues, I am not on board with this configuration.

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    Default Rearmount?

    The situation the OP posts says to me you should consider a remount pump. Small pump house, one master suction positioned to easily draft from dump tanks, ponds and dry hydrants. More compartment space in a shorter OAL. The PUC as with any midship pump forces you to work to position for draft, a rear or front mount suction allows a much easier connection to draft, and with the rear mount you get 100% capacity with no issue. All connections are easily made at safe operating heights and a side mount panel takes the operator away from charged lines/connections.

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    And a rear mount DOES NOT force you to position for draft EXACTLY HOW? I've run MM's most of my career.Most of our rigs have a 6"90 and an extra length of suction.Just never had a problem with the draft thing. Provided, of course, that the water source was actually reachable.We've had front mounts too,and they have their place.As far as the pump panels go,you can set a mm up so all your discharges are away from the D/O if that's the direction you want to take.I've been around rear mounts but I just don't like anything about them for OUR operations.Maybe we think about Total ops more than some but any of our rigs are interchangable on the fireground. Old habits die hard but we've always had good luck with a midship pump. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    And a rear mount DOES NOT force you to position for draft EXACTLY HOW?
    Any apparatus forces you to position it, no mystery here. But the RM offers a narrower profile at draft sites. Instead. of nosing your MM in and connecting 3 lengths and hoping the water's deep enough there, the RM can back in saving the length of the cab and bumper. Draft is to the side you say? The distance from the master suction eye to the side of the RM: 4'. Ran the engine down the long driveway? Set the dump tank right behind it to draft? Or bring the LDH right in the back. Dry Hydrant off the side? Hows that lining up for you? Pull past or back in, easy hook up. With the MM, you can jockey around to get just one length or put down two and fight to thread it on.

    Most draft sites I've see, everywhere, have limited access forcing the operator and the guide to coordinate a bit to make the system work quickly. How about dump tank ops? Generally require the tank to be next to the drafting MM pumper making a narrow road sketchy. With a RM place the tank in the back at a 45 and the tankers can pass it, and back up in using less road width, unless of course they have side dump capabilities in which case this is even easier! Sometimes there is a better mousetrap.

    I will concede I know far less about the mechanical aspects pump to pump so I cannot fault anyone for sticking to "what works". But operationally I see the RM as have some significant advantages over midship pumps.

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    And with the 90 I can put the Dump tank anywhere I want it.So much for your profile.Like a front mount I can see a few advantages to a RM.In fact,my Boss wants one.Me being me,I concede the following:He's seldom in town.2 I can get the MM to do anything I want it to.3We've been using them so long there is no "reverse" training,if you will.4,If it works WELL,has for over half a century,why Fook with it?Item last,I'm too old and stubborn to change my ways,so Midship it will be.Now how about that Turbodraft? TC.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 10-30-2009 at 09:37 AM.

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