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  1. #1
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    Default Pumper Tanker guys, question.

    My vollie dept just got a grant for a pumper tanker. Just looking for some input from the guys who are running them.

    It is a rural department, so size and turning radius is an issue. Were not worried quite as much about length as we are height. Lots of low hanging branches and powerlines in some parts of the district.

    Ive seen them built with 2000 gallons on a single axle. How does that single axle handle the weight.?

    Also, you guys running tandem axles, how much difference is there in turning radius, if any compared to single axle?

    From what i have seen, seems like the more water you put on, the less compartment space you end up with.

    Any input appreciated, Thanks!


  2. #2
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    We have a Fouts 3000 gallon on a tandem. Turning radius is very, very good. I'd go with a tandem, simply because it gives you a extra set of tires and brakes.

    PLUS, that 2000 gallons on a single-axle is a straight tanker. By the time you put on ladders, hose, SCBA, tools, PPV, tools, etc. to make it a true pumper-tanker, you'll be overloaded. Better to go with tandems and drop the gallonage down to 2000-2500.

  3. #3
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    Dont forget CAFS. With 2000gal+ and cafs you can knock down a LOT of fire with out the need of additional trucks.

  4. #4
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    What did the grant say? That will tell you how many gal and pump size. You work around that window and try to get it done for the $ available. If you didn't write the grant someone knows what is in the grant. And likely (hopefully) did the appropriate research. Sounds like you're coming into the middle of a project already under way. Don't screw it up.

    If it's a FG tanker pumper it by def. is over 750gpm (749gpm or less and it's a tanker) so will have a pump house. Too short an enclosure and can't fit the CAFS equipment in.

    We purchased a 3000gal CAFS pumper tanker on 2007 FG. Demo tanker to which we added CAFS system. 36" Class1 module with Hale QFLo. Would not want anything shorter. All has worked out quite well.

    Turning radius is cramp angle and WB. WB for a 2000gal single rear may be longer than a 3000gal tandem. Cramp angle on a commerical cab is whatever IH or Frtliner sets it at.

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    In my mind there are two kinds of pumper tankers:

    Pumpers with large tanks...or...Tankers with large pumps...

  6. #6
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    Make sure you know what was in the grant or your just wasting your time. If its an option I would go with a 2500gal tank with a large 2000gpm pump. At least 30' of hard suction and maybe some turbo-drafts. Tandem rear axles for sure. If you equip it properly a pumper tanker can do wonders for your ISO rating! Just make sure you find out what you need to maximize the points you will get for ISO and then work that into the parameters of the grant. Take a look at the rear mount pumper tanker under the deliveries page of rosenbaueramerica.com. It was for the Northwest Fire Protection District. Its a way of shortening your wheelbase and keeping a decent size pump enclosure.

  7. #7
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Turbodraft? I'd rather have a Vac truck. T.C.

  8. #8
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    Smile Tank

    Go poly box tank stay away from elliptical. We have an elliptical and the storage is no so good. Another thing to consider is how close is your Mutuial aid and how big is your district. you may want to go with 3000 gal. and a 1500 pump. But their right what dose the grant say!! You may have to go with what they say. Good luck.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ledebuhr1 View Post
    Dont forget CAFS. With 2000gal+ and cafs you can knock down a LOT of fire with out the need of additional trucks.
    I agree with the CAFS suggestion. I personally don't like the idea of a pumper-tanker, because, IMHO, it is either too long to be an effective tanker or doesn't have enough compartment space (especially by the time you put a rear dump valve on it and a drop tank) or GPM to be an effective pumper.

    Now, if you're simply going with a pumper with an extra-large tank, that's another beast entirely. We've often discussed our next pumper being a tandem axle with 2000-2500 gallons and a 1500GPM CAFS. That's enough knockdown to handle 99% of the calls we respond to.

  10. #10
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    I havnt been able to get my hands on what the grant specifies yet.

    We are wanting to go with a 2000 gal. on a single axle. I have heard good and bad about that.

    Any input??

  11. #11
    Forum Member EngineCO38's Avatar
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    We currently run one Pumper Tanker, its a 1998 Freightliner FL112/ E-One. It has a 1500 GPM Hale pump and an 1800 gallon poly tank on a single axle. This truck has worked wonders for us, its very compact, has a big pump and enough extra water to make a big difference once it gets on scene.

    Running as the second truck out, it works with our two 1000 Gal. pumpers to bring us 3800 gallons of water to fight with. 99% of the time that has been more than enough to keep initial fire attack operations going until mutual aid tankers arrive and send us their water. We're lucky in that our neighboring town has two 2000 gallon dedicated tankers coming to us on a 2nd alarm, and they always get there quick.

    It works for us, and is tight enough to fit on our narrow and windey back dirt roads. Here's a picture to kinda give you an idea of what I'm talking about.

    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the input! A few people seemed to be concerned with the braking ability of one axle over 2. Do you have any problems with that with your truck?

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber redbaron's Avatar
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    Default Just a couple thoughts

    True, many times a tandem is shorter wheelbase than a single axle but remember that the shorter the wheelbase on a tandem the quicker you chew up the rear tires and that problem never goes away. I would venture a guess that a single axle equipped with a big block and a jake brake running through a transmission retarder can get you stopped as quick as a tandem especially if the tandem decides to start hopping.
    METZ AERIALS: "SO EASY A CAVEMAN CAN USE THEM"

  14. #14
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Also a SHORT Tandem doesn't turn worth a damn on slop or sand. Goes straight well though. T.C.

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    I'll start by echoing what others have said- you need to find out what the grant was for. Whether it was applied for within the pumper category or the tanker category makes a big difference.

    Also, what kind of body you're looking for is going to make a big difference. If you're looking at a tanker with minimum compartments, no hosebed, and a big pump, you might be able to pull off a 2,000 gallon tank on a single-axle. If you're going with a full-blown pumper-style body, you're probably going to be looking at a tandem.

    We're running a 2,500 gallon pumper-tanker on a KW chassis that we got on a 2005 AFG grant. It has a full pumper-style body, big hose bed, and a 1,750 top-mount pump. We have some winding roads and it seems to handle it well. Some of the really tight corners where you have to turn greater than 90-degrees require taking a second stab at it at times, but it's no huge deal for us.

    My top recommendations would be to get the largest pump you can with the motor you spec. Also, look at increasing your tank-to-pump and tank-fill lines, especially the tank-to-pump. We've blitz attacked several times with our and have been able to flow a lot more than the 500 gpm the standard size allows. If I remember right, our is a 4" line, and a 2 1/2" tank fill. A large direct-tank fill is a good option as well.

    The only thing I wish we'd done on ours was to put side dumps. They were a bit out of our price range when we were done putting everything we thought was a higher priority, but hindsight is showing it would have been worth the effort to at least try to talk our board at the time into putting in the extra money to get them.

  16. #16
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    Here is our 1800gal elliptical tanker... not much storage space, but handles OK. Main use for this truck is just as a tanker, so we really didn't need the pump. The truck drives alright - even for being a 1992.


    I saw this pumper tanker the other day and really liked it though. I would not have done the top mount pump panel though. This is 2500 gall and 2000 gpm Hale pump...

  17. #17
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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    Our 2006 grant was for a 2,000 gallon, 1500 gpm Rosenbauer on an IH chassis. 4 crosslays @200' 1 3/4", 1400' of 5" LDH, 600' of 3", 250' dead lay of 2 1/2", 2,200 gallon protable pond, 24' ladder, 14' roof ladder, 30' of suction, portable pump with 20' of suction, 400' of hose rolls in compartments, 4 air packs, hand tools, appliances, chimney chains, adapters, spair bottles, side, and rear dumps with in cab contols. It is set up so that it can attack, tank, set up water supply, or nurse.

    4 of our mutual aide companies have single axle trucks with at least 1800 gallons. None will ever purchase another again. Tandem gives you better handling, less contact pressure (important on our dirt roads), heavier chassis (longer life of the truck), and gives you more compartment space through longer length. Our tuck is 3' longer than our engine, but it has a 10" shorter turning radius.

    We designed our truck to handle the same amount of equipment as our engine. This way if it is the middle of the day, you have a fully functional attack engine with 2,000 gallons to hit the fire. Otherwise you have a 2,000 gallon nurse tank with back up tools and the capability of becoming the RIT engine.

    We were limited to 9'4" because of our doors, other wise we would have another 500 gallons of water.

  18. #18
    Forum Member RAMFIRE42's Avatar
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    Here is our 2008 ALF. With the correct amount of training, our guys can put this in the same places as a single axle tanker. The unit is 37' long with a 1250 GPM, 2500 GWT. We are located on the 2nd largest mountain in Pa. Our responces are either uphill or downhill. Not much flat land here. The extra axle helps alot with breaking.
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  19. #19
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    Here are some pumper/tankers... I took these pics at the TriState Fireman's meet in Brooklyn, Connecticut you may want to contact the FD's to find out what their specs are...

    These FD's are in Connecticut... they call their pumper-tankers "Engine Tanks"

    Attawaugan FD


    Mortlake FD


    Moosup FD
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 05-21-2010 at 05:25 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMFIRE42 View Post
    Here is our 2008 ALF. With the correct amount of training, our guys can put this in the same places as a single axle tanker. The unit is 37' long with a 1250 GPM, 2500 GWT. We are located on the 2nd largest mountain in Pa. Our responces are either uphill or downhill. Not much flat land here. The extra axle helps alot with breaking.
    We have a 2500 gallon E-One tanker/pumper on a Typhoon chassis. It is 37' as well, and we can put it in places that our 27' single axle commercial cabs can't go. We have definitely found that bigger does not necessarily mean less maneuverability.
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