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  1. #1
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    Default Booster tank size

    How would you determine what size booster tank for a pumper ? We've had this discussion at our firehouse a few times,and it seems we just agree to disagree on it. We currently have a 750 tank with 1500GPM pump,and running out of water has never been an issue since we have a hydrant district with 95% coverage. Some guys want a 1,000 gallons,and I have mentioned maybe we should stay with the 750 or maybe go with a 500 to achieve a lower hose bed height,and smaller truck. I know some say it's always better to have the extra water and not need it,rather then need it and not have it,but I'm thinking why spec a larger truck to carry that much water if it's really not needed. I'm just looking for some info to through out there during our next conversation.


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    I'd go with the 1,000. Better to have extra water!

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    If you ever plan on selling the truck you'll get substantially higher price with a larger tank (at least 1000gal)l. And at 1500gal it will be much much more marketable (and at a higher price). Rural FD (primary used truck market) have no interest in tiny tanks. MINIMUM of 1000gal to find anyone interested.

  4. #4
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    If bigger is better than why not 1500, or 2000 gal. Or hell lets just go 3000 gal.
    Build the vehicle to handle 95 - 99 percent of your calls, not the 1 - 5 percent when you may acutally find the other 250 - 500 gallons needed. That is what water tenders and hose are for. Its amazing, when you give a fire department that has allways had 1000 gallon pumpers a pumper with 500 gallons to drive around they just love it. Shorter length, less weight, more storage. That extra weight requires more HP in your motor, stronger axles, more expensive tires, a beefier transmition, on and on. All that adds up to a lot more money.

    My vote is to stick with 750 gal max, consider 500 gal.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we are all hydranted .......minus the expressway and turnpike........when we looked at getting our engine we were concerned that due to all the things we wantedthe rig to do and to keep the heigth down we went to 500 gallons and added a 2002 Foam PRo. Now, this is our firist go round with a foam system and we get our share of car fires and we wondered if screwed ourselves by not having enough water .........well we trained with the Foam System and we put out 7 car fires on 1 tank of water. and 5 gallons of foam. So for us 500 is way ok. (until this rig we had 750 gallon tanks)
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  6. #6
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    With regard to hosebed height, your body style and tank shape will play a major role.

    Consider an "L" tank. This will put more water forward and higher with a lower hosebed.....but.....

    If you have full depth full height compartments, the tank will take up more room-height wise

    If you have full depth lower with shallow upper compartments, the tank will be lower, thereforem so will your hosebed.

    you can do tanks of 600 gallons, 700 gallons, 800 gallons. 500 and 750 are "standard" but you can prettymuch pick your size.

    If we did it again, I would have gone 600.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    MG what did you put on your KME ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

  8. #8
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    Default big booster tank

    When our department bought a new engine 5 or so years ago we went with a 750 gallon tank and a 1,500 gpm pump and it seemed to not be enough for a lot of our rural fires we were running out before tankers could supply enough water. We cover 100 square miles and most is rural and our next department is 10 to 15 min away. So when we bought out latest engine in 2008 we jumped to a 2500 gallon tank and an 1,800 gpm pump the tank is in the shape of a T so we can have some of the hose right at rear bumper height. I can only recall one time since we got that new engine that we have ran out of water and that was just a couple of weeks ago at a large barn fire. Like our slogan says "Big Fire Needs Big Water". Hope that helps

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    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    Most of my engines/pumpers are 500g tanks, with anything from 1,250gpm pumps to 1,500. Their areas are also 100% hydrant.

    With the annexation of two towns that still operate under/with a rural area, with board committees, we have to have 2 engines/pumpers each that have to have 1,000g tanks on them.

    So I would think that you would be fine with 500 or 750 gallon tanks on the pumpers. If you do alot of rural mutual aid work (more than 75% of your calls), then you could have a reason for going up to 1,000 gallons or more.

    FM1
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    Quote Originally Posted by EastKyFF
    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1 View Post
    MG what did you put on your KME ?
    500

    got room leftover, im fairly certain 600 would have fit just fine

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MG3610 View Post
    500

    got room leftover, im fairly certain 600 would have fit just fine
    This sums up what I'd consider: find out what other features you just have to have and let the water tank fall where it may. If you want a low hosebed and short truck length, you may end up with a smaller tank. If longer is OK or full depth compartments are not required, the space saved can go into the tank. I'd set a minimum of XXX gwt and request as much as will fit within an OAL, OAH and other factors you feel are requisite.

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    Our first out piece has a 500 gal tank. We have two engines that respond after that with 1,000 Gal tanks.

  13. #13
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    Default Tank size

    Agree with FireMech1:
    If coverage area is city/urban, 500 - 750 gal tank is fine. If mostly rural, 1,000 gal minimum to 1,250 - 1,500 gal better.
    If you are ok with 500 gal. suggest you look at rectangular tank with full depth/full height rescue style compartments. We run Para-medic engine companies with a lot of rescue/medical equipment and this combination works out well. Hose bed height Ok and have a hyd. ladder rack. Not the least expensive, but best utilization of space for us.

  14. #14
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    Default Tank size

    Honestly it depends on what kind of truck you want to go with. The GMC chassis such as the 4500 are no longer being built. The Ford F-750 are not going to be available until a little after May of this year. So you are going to have to buy a truck that's not as small as those. 750 gallons is good, but the one time that you need that little extra your not going to have it. So to be safe I would go with the 1000 gallons.

  15. #15
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    I would say 750Gal would be fine from my experince. We have no hydrants and our engine has a 750Gal tank with 25 gal of foam with a 1750pump. We have a 1500gal tanker with a 1050 pump. We have found with this set up we can do a knock down on most any fire other than holy f@#k fires, most car fires we do with the engine alone and foam. All of our city/core trucks run 500 gal tanks with no issues.

  16. #16
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    From what you described stay with a 500 gallon booster and incorporate an onboard foam system. Use a foam that can triple as a wetting agent, and class A\B. I like Fire Aid 2000 but I am sure there are others. The foam makes your water several times (2-3times) more effective. If you do not make many fires the cost would be negligable over the life of the pumper. This would allow you to have much more compartment space, and mentioned in previous posts.

  17. #17
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    A 1000gal and CAFS makes that water go a LONG ways. You can knock down most of your fires on tank water and still have water left over. Is there much of a cost difference between a 750 and 1000gal tank?

  18. #18
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    Ok I hope I dont **** anyone off but here it goes... 750gal is all you need, I have worked both paid city and rural voli since 1988. Training, training, training... If you use over 1000gal on attack what have you saved? 4 walls to me is not a save, if its that far gone I wish we could let it burn. Just ask the home owner that has to pay $$$ to remove the burned left overs. I have never needed more than 1 engine for a car fire, now the semi's were different! Now that I have the blood boiling, it depends on your staffing and SOP's. If you run out of water often, get a 2000gal pumper/tanker. If you never run out of water, stick with what you run today.

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    I really don't think anyone can say for sure "all you need is..." I'd consider your staffing or consistent turnout and how long you think it takes for the first due engine to secure a water supply. This is the amount you "need". Sure many fire attacks are successful with less than a tank of water and many still require a sustained water supply. This depends on how aggressive your FD is. I would want o be sure that my guys had the supply on hand to protect those who are searching without a line above the fire. We cannot count on the fire always going out with 750 gal. We might dump that on the exposure early on while also keeping a fire in check.

    Again, I wouldn't restrict my size to any number unless you have size issues from OAL, OAH and weight. See what else effects the size of your apparatus and fit the tank in whatever space you have left. More will rarely be worse, but less can easily be worse. That being said, all of our engine have 750 gal. We considered going down to 600 as a min. as we're confident in our ability to secure a water supply in most cases before we'll run out of tank water. But that's with the first due units being career staffed and in a mostly hydranted area.

  20. #20
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Question

    What kind of roads, streets, terrain are you running into?
    How about bridges? Any weight limit?
    You know water weight 8.333 pound per gallon. Do the math.

    The truck has to be able to carry this load.

    The engine, transmission, rear end, chassis, has to be able to carry and operate with the water on board.

    What are the states laws regarding to weight allowance in your area?

    What is the available static water supply sources? Does your town, city or burg have hydrants? Are they plentiful? Ample water supply and pressure?



    Plus being larger isn't always the better.
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