I've been wondering about this one for a while now. Aside from multipurpose rigs (rescue engines/engine tankers, etc), why are apparatus getting larger? I understand that the options you chose will potentially affect the size of the apparatus. I understand that an extended front bumper adds length, I understand that a top mount pump panel adds 24+ inches. For the sake of this discussion we are talking about suppression engines.
Do you think the increase in size is related to safety requirements (such as enclosed cabs)? Do you think the increase is due to technology? What other theories do you have?
I think back to our 1972 Mack CF 1250 gpm pumper or consider our 1983 Sutphen 1500 gpm pumper. Both these apparatus are relatively short (< 30') and the Mack is double short (< 9' OAH). Then I think about our relatively newer apparatus, regardless of custom or commercial (obviously the custom is shorter) they are longer and taller, even with the same size tank and basic equipment. They just sit higher. I'm thinking about a 1,500 midship pump, 600 gallon tank, 30 gallon foam, (2) 200' 1 3/4" preconnects, generator and a hose bed capable of 1,500' 5" LDH and 1,000' 3". Any builder can build a short apparatus but usually you are giving something up to get the short length and low height. I'm not looking to debate builders but instead the industry.
What are your views?