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  1. #1
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    Default Name 3 things easiest to overlook when spec'ing engine

    We are new to this process of ordering a new engine, and likely going to be doing so in the very near future. My apparatus book discussed elsewhere on this site is on the way. We are doing a lot of looking on the net.

    BUT, help me name 3 things easiest to overlook when spec'ing an engine that will make you say, "dang, wish I had thought of that" before the apparatus was delivered.
    Thanks


  2. #2
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    Don't skimp on horse power.

  3. #3
    Let's talk fire trucks! BoxAlarm187's Avatar
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    Hines,

    First, congratulations on the chance to order a new engine. I know it's been a long time coming for you all.

    Second, to be honest, your question is very vague...it's hard for me to give a good answer. Are you looking for things like, "Damn, another 100 horsepower would be great" or "I wish we'd put a generator on it," or "How did we forget mounting brackets?" I've got stuff that fits all of those categories -- no matter how many rigs you spec (about 30 for me so far), you'll always have a "D'oh!" moment.
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  4. #4
    Forum Member EngineCO38's Avatar
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    The damn deck gun (Not really an issue...but we forgot ), axle GVWR's, horsepower and compartment AND cab space. Keep all in mind, they are sometimes easily forgotten. Or the dealer tries to push them under the carpet as being not all too important.
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

  5. #5
    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Plenty of USEABLE intakes and discharges.
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  6. #6
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    Design what is best for your community and design for functionality not just for looks ! Define what the intended purpose of the apparatus is and then assure that it fulfills the intended mission from an operational, cost and safety standpoint. Continiously communicate with the manufacturer you select during the build process including factory visits.
    Last edited by ejfeicht; 12-06-2010 at 09:28 PM.

  7. #7
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    Watch dimenisions. Its very easy to look at the rig on a blueprint and say it lloks good. When it arrives, it's like Oh Sh**t, I didn't realize the hose bed (or shelf, or throttle, or......) was so high!

  8. #8
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    1. Compartment space designed around your equipment and not the other way around. Think ahead of time, where do you want to store it, how often will it be used, how accessible is it, how heavy is it, how big & bulky is it.......

    2. Future equipment: Will you be buying anything in the future that will have to go on board this rig? Did you design space for it without having to move existing equipment when the new stuff comes in?????

    3. A space for the driver's gear: Did you remember to leave space in a compartment for the driver's bunker gear??? ( and on the floor of the crew space where it gets in the way of the crew does not count.....)

    4. A space for a cooler for drinks in the summer

    5. With less and less leg room plaguing officer's seating areas, you might consider moving the air horn and siren switches to the officer's dash board so that their feet do not hit the floor pedals
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  9. #9
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    I think, as I reflect on the various trucks I've helped design...

    Does it have to do all things? Boil it down, what do you need this apparatus to do?

    I'm concerned about how big we are making fire engines. They are enormous and designed to take into account every type of response. At some point, that size will be a hindrance.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  10. #10
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    Everything that has been said is spot on. I will add this you can never ever have to much scene lighting. You will always miss something. Is there anyone in your area that has experience in specing a truck and knows your department and operations that can give you input on your specs? Make sure and read many times the contract and the final spec, things can get lost. Look at the final drawings until your almost cross-eyed(not the pretty stuff but the important things i.e. pump panel lay out). Don't assume anything if you want something on the truck make sure it is the specs. Congratulation on your new truck and good luck!

    A little foot note. Several years ago a department in our area ordered a new engine and failed to noticed that the truck was about three foot longer than their station. New engine looked good backed in the station with a tarp hanging over the front of it for about two months while the front of the station was lengthened for the new engine to be inside the station.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    5. With less and less leg room plaguing officer's seating areas, you might consider moving the air horn and siren switches to the officer's dash board so that their feet do not hit the floor pedals
    Nothing like hitting the Q in the station while trying to get the seatbelt on! Especially when you don't realize it is you.

    I would reiterate the point, make sure the rig will actually fit in the station.

  12. #12
    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Talking

    Since you will be building a replacement for Barney, Start with a trip to the engine bay with a big note pad and tape measure.
    Get dimensions of the height , length and width of the bay it will need to fit in, also door width & height.

    Look at all the equipment you carry now and wish you had space for on new truck.
    Make a list of all the additional equipment you would like to add in the near future

    What do you really like or dislike about Barney. [besides the fact he's really old ]

    Figure out whether you will plan to build on a commercial or custom chassis.
    [even a basement model custom is 30% + higher than a commercial chassis]

    Figure out how big a pump, CAFS or not, and how much water you need to have onboard.
    This will give you the requirement for chassis gvw , engine horsepower and transmission ,& rear axel requirements.

    Some folks that have nothing more than a 1% elevation change in their entire paved road district feel the need for 500 + HP engines because they can. Not that they really need it.

    Get enough HP to get safely up and down the hills in your district, make sure you include engine braking.

    From there then you have to decide on how much compartment space, hosebed capacity, ladder storage etc you need.
    Do you want bent or extruded , steel or aluminum roll up or pan doors,
    how many pre-connects, light tower & genset.
    Remember that all of these additional items raise the cost significantly, making it very easy to go way past the grant funding levels.

    Talk to some of the other area departments near you to see what they have purchased and from who in recent years. Are they happy with the before and after service received from the dealer? Finding a dealer you can trust is important.

    There are many builders that have a "program line" of pre-engineered trucks that may very well meet your needs and help contain costs. There are many very nice functional trucks in the $275-$300K range and lots of pretty parade trucks in the $450-$550k range.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Tim1118's Avatar
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    1. Dimensions.
    2. Not enough generator/pump capacity/horsepower/scene lighting/discharges.
    3. Hose capacity

    Go over your current rigs, and make sure you write down everything you like about, and everything on that rig... and I mean EVERYTHING. Then, after that's done, write down what you would change, and what you want to add.
    TruckCommittee.com

  14. #14
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    look at ALOT or other rigs the same size and type you are going to spec..........of ya here is a good one ..........or two 1> TAKE YOUR TIME 2> be THROUGH...everyone else is on the money.
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  15. #15
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    First, water tank size vs. hosebed capacity vs. rear axle capacity. Second, brakes, brakes, brakes (everyone worries about horsepower, what about stopping power). Third, is the truck designed & constructed to be easy to use, aka firemen friendly.

  16. #16
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    Two examples of what not to do from departments near me.

    The first is a department who ordered a ladder truck which was just a bit too tall to fit under a bridge that they have to go under to get to just about half the town (or drive 15 minutes extra to get around).

    The second is a department who got a new engine and found out that the radio on the pump panel had been installed in such a location that when the tank to pump valve was opened, the cover over the radio could not be opened. Not that you would ever need to use both of those at once or anything.

    So make sure your truck will fit under bridges and down some of the more narrow streets in your town, and make sure that the pump panel is designed so it doesn't get in its own way.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Axles, Brakes, and frame. Too light an X limits payload and affects long life,stability and control. Put the biggest brakes on that you can,it's your LAST line of defense before you bend down and kiss your *** goodbye. T.C.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcwops View Post
    Nothing like hitting the Q in the station while trying to get the seatbelt on! Especially when you don't realize it is you.

    I would reiterate the point, make sure the rig will actually fit in the station.
    Oh, god yes... Even worse when you do this: on scene at a flooded basement call, step the airhorn switch, AND both chiefs are standing right in front of the quint you're sitting in, AND your first clue that it's YOU making all that racket, is when the driver turns to you and says " you can take your foot off that airhorn any time now..." Yup, that's the way for a new liutenant to make a good impression!

    As for the original question;

    While you're taking measurements of your truck bay, don't forget to measure the slope of the driveway, and crown of the road out front. It's never a good thing when a sloped ramp causes the end of the truck to rise up and hit the top of the doorframe. This has happened with trucks that were actually short enough to fit, it's just that nobody thought about the sloped ramp in front of that door!

    Other than that, my biggies are hosebeds and/or pre-connects that are 8'+ in the air. Short wheelbase and OAL + a big tank= the only way they can build is up! Those tiny folding steps don't cut it- spec a ladder and/or a deep rear step. I guarantee that 2.5" rear line will never get used if your members have to risk their necks just to get it off the truck.

    Ladders and suction hose. If you plan on using them, make them accessable! Ladder racks and through the tank/behind the highside storage not only give you more storage space, but put these tools in a much easier to get to place. ( and keep them away from road debris, slush, salt etc)

    Watch your weight!!! With all the stuff we put on these trucks, it's easy to overload the GVWR. The posters above were right- think about what you are and will carry before you design the truck. Make sure you design a truck that can carry the weight AND has enough braking power to stop that weight.

    If they offer the service, you might want to think about letting the manuf or dealer mount the equipment- with your input as to where, of course. They know best where and where NOT to drill holes, run screws, or tap in to wiring. Nothing like running a screw through the side of your brand new poly tank, or into a fuel line!

  19. #19
    Forum Member FIREMECH1's Avatar
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    1. Horsepower, and secondary braking.

    2. Pump size vs tank size vs water source vs hosebed height.

    3. Chassis and GVWR and brakes.

    4. Dimensions and compartment space.

    Like someone else said, look at what you have now, and at what you would want differently.

    FM1
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    "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post

    3. A space for the driver's gear: Did you remember to leave space in a compartment for the driver's bunker gear??? ( and on the floor of the crew space where it gets in the way of the crew does not count.....)
    This is the one that plagues us the most with our latest purchase. In an all out effort to make the truck operationally efficient for numerous assignments, we never considered a space for the driver who isn't geared up to put his TO's. This is a frequent occurrence for our people with the engine rolling on EMS assists.

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