Thread: "Medum" Tankers

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    Default "Medum" Tankers

    I've searched the forums and it seems like the debate is always about small tankers (-2,000 Gallons) and large tankers (+3500 Gallons).
    What are your thoughts about "Medium Tankers" in the 2500-3000 Gallon Range.
    Also what size pump? I think for a tanker a 750-1000 GPM should do the job.
    Last edited by FireRescue61; 09-09-2009 at 06:12 PM.

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    FireRescue61,

    There are a lot of variables when you are looking at a tanker. Do you have weight restrictions in your area such as bridges or on your license. How about overall size of the tanker regarding length and height. Of course with tankers you always want to keep the lowest center of gravity possible. Are you doing a pure tanker (tender) or are you looking at a tanker/pumper combination? Are you replacing a current tanker or supplementing the ones you currently have available? These are a couple of major questions you need to answer when looking for a tanker.
    I am not a big fan of combination vehicles (rescue/engine, tanker/pumper) because you most likely cannot do either job as well as you should be able to due to lack of space, etc. With that said I understand that when you can only afford one vehicle you have to do what you can and compromises have to be made. There are also departments out there who run these types of vehicles with great success. A classic example of what works for one may not work for another.
    When looking at tankers you also have to determine the gpm that the tanker will be able to deliver. How many minutes of fill time plus the round trip drive time added to the dump time. This is divided into the tanker capacity which gives you the gpm the tanker can deliver. If you have a 2,000 gallon tanker that takes 4 minutes to fill, 5 minutes to drive 2 miles, 3 minutes to dump and 5 minutes to return it looks like this. 2,000/(4+5+3+5) or 2,000 gallons/17 minutes which provides 117 gpm to your operation. These figures were for discussion only but you understand the concept. You cannot really affect the drive time due to safety and the laws of physics. You can affect the fill and dump times through practice and ingenuity. If you are looking at a new tanker you can affect the size of the tanker and options that will speed fill and unload times. If you used a 3,000 gallon tanker will the same times you would get 3,000/17=176 gpm.
    What kind of flow do you need to be able to flow for your first due? Will one or two 1 3/4" lines do the job or are you looking at multiple hand lines or monitors?

    The pump question is similar. Do you need a pump or are you only shuttling water? Do you plan to attack off of this apparatus or just supply other apparatus? Those are both topics my department has discussed more than once. I do know that using a 500 gpm pump allows you to relay to engines or fill grass rigs without problem compared to a smaller (250 gpm) pump. This again is something that your department has to discuss based on how you operate.

    Our department has a 1,650 gallon and 2,000 gallon conventional tankers and a 3,500 gallon vacuum tanker. The 2,000 gallon is nice for chasing grass rigs but the 3,500 gallon delivers some serious water. Each has their place. If I was the one specifying a new tanker for our department it would be a 3,500 vacuum with a 500 gpm pto pump with (1) 200' 1 3/4" preconnect crosslay, (1) 3" bed capable of 300' cross laid and (1) 50' 3" preconnect. The 50' piece comes in very handy for relay pumping, the additional 3" would be for the longer lay and the 1 3/4" is just in case that truck is the first one on scene and needs to spray some water to knock the fire down.

    Sorry that I took the long way around to answer your question but you made the mistake of asking for my thoughts.

    Let me know if you have any questions.
    Walt.
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    www.kvfd.net

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    Sorry, Not replacing anything. Just brainstorming.

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    And there ya have it. Good post Walt.

    My dept runs a 3500 gal tanker. It's actualy a dual tank with 3200 of water and 300 of foam. It has a 1500 gpm pump with the ability to flow foam from every discharge. 1-200ft 1 1/2" preconnect, 1-200 ft 2 1/2" and 1-100' 1 1/2" "trash line" in officers side board. We carry a few sections of 3" and 5" for filling and off loading, we have the ability to onload/off load foam via a little 12v pump. We carry an adapter for just about every thread size in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh metro area) and have the ability to use it for pottable water.
    Alot of people say it seems like alot but for the area we are in and Allegheny county, it works. In our first due, there are 2 major limited accses highways that we cover, both with no water supply, so should booster tank water fro man engine not be enough, we got more. The foam comes in quite handy as well. ****es off the State troopers when you cover the turn pike with foam, but they get over it.
    Also, Allegheny county as a whole has an ancient infrastructure with some areas still utilizing waterlines that are over 100 yrs old, so water main breaks are frequent. So be it for fire or drinking water, we can handle it. And the adapters.....for waht ever reason, SW PA has never gone to NST thread on our 2 1/2 and 3" hose, on top of that, our 3" hose has 2 1/2" couplings. It's nothing to go on a mutual aid call to find that the FD your helping has a different thread size, so no matter where it's called we (hopefully) have an adapter.
    THe pottable watter only required a special valve that comes straight off the tank and has no brass in it. Other than that, when we go to make it it takes about 2 1/2 hours. Gotta empty half the tank, add 13 gallons of bleach, take it for a short spin around the block then let it sit for an hour, drain the tank, then fill it back up and have it tested. It passes and wal-ah you have drinking water.
    Bottom line, we did our homework and designed the rig to fill a void(s) in service.

    http://www.mvfd5.com/tanker5.php
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    Question Pottable Water

    Rooftoptrucky:
    Thanks for clarifying the pottable water thing with the bleach and the testing. I was wondering if I would want to drink water out of a tank with an adjacent foam tank and potential foam system leakage back into the tank during foam use. You answered my concerns.

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    Connections always seem to be a problem. RoofTopTrucky, I can understand your pain. Like most 3" ours also has the 2 1/2" threads. Of course some mutual aid departments have 1 1/2", 2 1/2", 4", various Storz sizes or cam locks. That's just in the "normal" category.
    Our department got 2 1/2" to 3" Storz adapters for our water supply. The tankers run with the adapters in place. We have a hydrant bag with two ball valves, the adapters, hydrant and spanner wrenches. Throw out the bag and a couple pieces of 3" and you are good to go. We use the ball valves on the hydrant to cut time off of opening and closing the hydrant and the Storz are of course quarter turn so we can try to minimize make and break time. The 3" hose gains you some over the 2 1/2" on flow but it all counts in water supply. Our vacuum tanker has a valve for the hydrant steamer tap so we can fill with
    5" LDH but it's faster to fill off of an open water source. Vacuum tankers have their place but that's probably a different discussion.
    The adapters weren't a lot of money, we had the 3" and the most money was tied up in ball valves but the investment pays off. We did an ISO water supply for practice and with our three tankers off of three different hydrants we were supplying about 500 gpm. Of course practice along with trial and error makes a big difference.
    I know that this post was intended for a discussion on size of tanker but figuring out how to move water faster is an interesting challenge that can help your tanker perform better.
    Train like you want to fight.
    www.kvfd.net

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    I forgot to say "Tenders" for all you folks out west that think tankers have wings.

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    Thanks everyone for all your great info.

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