1. #1
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    Default New Truck Options?

    We are in the process of developing specifications for a new engine/tanker.

    Tentatively, it will be a custom cab, 2,000 gallon water tank, dual-rear axle. Think of it as an attack(scene) truck with a bigger than average water tank for a rural department.

    In speaking with many vendors, we get a different answer from each of them for the following items:

    Brakes - All disc, disc in front and drum in the back, or drum all around?

    Rear Suspension - Air-ride, conventional leaf spring, or rubber block?

    Pump - Hale, Waterous, or Darley?

    Scene lighting - LED vs quartz/halogen?

    Brand of hydraulic generator - Onan, Harrison, or Smartpower etc?


    Please chime in and let us know your experience on any of the above items.

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    Based on my own opinions, I offer the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post

    Brakes - All disc, disc in front and drum in the back, or drum all around?Disc all the way around. Costs a little more, but the superior stopping power in conjunction with an engine brake can't be beat, especially if you are going to have 2K of water.

    Rear Suspension - Air-ride, conventional leaf spring, or rubber block? Don't know what your roads or budget is, but again you can't beat an air-ride suspension. If you have rough roads, you will quickly be cursing a rubber block suspension, especially with 2K of water.

    Pump - Hale, Waterous, or Darley? I have no experience with Darley pumps, I cannot comment on them. I consider Waterous pumps to be the "Mercedes benz" or "BMW's" of pumps. They are the best (IMO) but kind of like a Cat engine- WHEN/IF they break down the parts & labor will kill you. Hale is a good pump, comparable to a Ford or Chevy. If you have a tight budget, go for the Hale.

    Scene lighting - LED vs quartz/halogen? No experience with LED scene lights. I can say however, if you are going to get on-board lighting, get a single brow light- I was skeptical at first but have since found them to be great items to have.

    Brand of hydraulic generator - Onan, Harrison, or Smartpower etc? Onan by far has proven itself to be the leader in vehicular mounted/driven power generation. When Harrison's first came out they were about the loudest sumbitches on the planet, but their latest products are giving Onan a run for their money. I could go either or. No experience with Smartpower.
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    Default Specs

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    We are in the process of developing specifications for a new engine/tanker.

    Tentatively, it will be a custom cab, 2,000 gallon water tank, dual-rear axle. Think of it as an attack(scene) truck with a bigger than average water tank for a rural department.

    In speaking with many vendors, we get a different answer from each of them for the following items:

    Brakes - All disc, disc in front and drum in the back, or drum all around?

    If you have large hills, the front disc, rear drum is a better combination for parking brakes.

    Rear Suspension - Air-ride, conventional leaf spring, or rubber block?

    No way with a rubber block suspension on a truck that has a large difference between loaded and unloaded. Rubber block is usually for cranes that don't get unloaded.

    Pump - Hale, Waterous, or Darley?

    Hale, Waterous probably have more service centers.

    Scene lighting - LED vs quartz/halogen?
    LED

    Brand of hydraulic generator - Onan, Harrison, or Smartpower etc?
    I think those three are all good!


    Please chime in and let us know your experience on any of the above items.
    Good luck on your specs.
    Last edited by donethat; 04-08-2011 at 10:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    Brakes - All disc, disc in front and drum in the back, or drum all around?
    We've been using all-wheel disc brakes since 1990, and have had exceptional success with it. Now that you can get a 17" rotor on a non-IFS suspension, your braking power has increased that much more.

    Rear Suspension - Air-ride, conventional leaf spring, or rubber block?
    We switched to a Hendrickson rear in our tower ladders and tankers a couple of years ago, and we're getting a much better ride quality out of these than we had previously.

    Pump - Hale, Waterous, or Darley?
    Ford, Chevrolet, or Dodge? Although Darley pumps aren't nearly as popular here as they are overseas, they still appear to be quality pumps (the Pierce PUC pump is manufactured by Darley). As for the Waterous vs Hale arguement, they're both fine pumps. Many departments will stick with one brand over the other because of parts interchangability. Both of my departments have run Waterous for decades, and unless presented with a reason to switch, we'll stick with them.

    Scene lighting - LED vs quartz/halogen?
    LED's draw far, far less power and still give some excellent lighting options. FRC just introduced a 20,000 lumen LED brow light at FDIC, and they have a new surface mount 15,000 lumen LED side scene light with only 1.25" of protrusion. The Whelen Pioneer Plus is also an excellent option for LED floods.

    One advantage to the LED's is that they're 12V systems, and eliminate the need for a generator. Their light is a bit more "harsh" than the more yellowish tint of standard quartz lights, however.

    Brand of hydraulic generator - Onan, Harrison, or Smartpower etc?
    All good brands. We've had excellent luck with our Harrison units and plan on sticking with those.

    Many of these things are going to be based on your need and budget. If you don't have a need for a generator for anything but scene lighting, perhaps you can go all LED scene lights and save yourself $20,000 on a generator. Other things, such as your pump choice, would have quite an impact on the price of the unit.

    I know many others will chime in on this thread, let us know what other questions you have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    We are in the process of developing specifications for a new engine/tanker.

    Tentatively, it will be a custom cab, 2,000 gallon water tank, dual-rear axle. Think of it as an attack(scene) truck with a bigger than average water tank for a rural department.

    In speaking with many vendors, we get a different answer from each of them for the following items:

    Brakes - All disc, disc in front and drum in the back, or drum all around?



    Rear Suspension - Air-ride, conventional leaf spring, or rubber block?

    Pump - Hale, Waterous, or Darley?

    Scene lighting - LED vs quartz/halogen?

    Brand of hydraulic generator - Onan, Harrison, or Smartpower etc?


    Please chime in and let us know your experience on any of the above items.
    Brakes - I do not think that you are able to get disc's all around at the weight level. The disc in front, drum in back is just fine for performance. Maintenance may be another issue.

    Rear Suspension - Air ride from Ridewell or Firemax is pretty good.

    Pump - Waterous and Hale are good pumps... slight differences regarding gear teeth shapes, and how they supply water to the various discharges.

    Scene Lighting - LED is great, but is pricey. Quartz lights are OK, and have their place depending on what you are doing.

    Hydraulic Generator - I would use Smartpower... they have awesome customer service if you have issues.

    Here is a great example of a large tanker working as an engine:

    Dagsboro Fire Department Delaware
    (1) Custom Pumper/Tanker
    Sutphen East is proud to announce the delivery of Dagsboro, DE Pumper / Tanker. This unit features a Sutphen Tandem axle custom chassis with 500HP ISM Cummins, 15” raised roof and seating for 6. The Apparatus also has a HALE 2000 GPM QTWO pump, Foam Pro 2001 system, 3 speed lays, front and rear suctions and deck gun. The generator is a Smart Power 15KW. The tank holds 2500 gallons of water and 30 gallons of Foam. Aluminum extruded body, ROM roll up doors and Zico ladder rack complete this vehicle. This apparatus was sold by Emergency Equipment Sales of NJ.
    Last edited by 93Cobra; 04-08-2011 at 04:49 PM.

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    most trucks have the option of 50, 55, 60, 63, 65, 75, 77, 85, 90, 95, 100, 102, 105, 125, and i think of a 127 feet aerial device. this is of course dependent on the mfg of the TRUCK.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

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    I would strongly suggest for what you are building MIV valves on the intakes and a primer selector valve to choose what intake you want to prime up to the MIV. It does add cost but you will have less issues with priming at rural situations.

    We did it on our last engine and it works much better than our older rigs. You are pumping away on tank water or another supply and prime the intake you want up to the outside of the MIV and then open it up and you never miss a beat.

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    Stuart, I have to tell you my department does not operate a Pumper Tanker such as your dept is looking to acquire, but on the whole I agree with much of what has been said above, see my specific comments below and I'll try not to be repetitive of above replies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    We are in the process of developing specifications for a new engine/tanker.

    Tentatively, it will be a custom cab, 2,000 gallon water tank, dual-rear axle. Think of it as an attack(scene) truck with a bigger than average water tank for a rural department.

    In speaking with many vendors, we get a different answer from each of them for the following items:

    Brakes - All disc, disc in front and drum in the back, or drum all around?

    Rear Suspension - Air-ride, conventional leaf spring, or rubber block?

    Pump - Hale, Waterous, or Darley?
    My station has three (3) pumping apparatus, the three represent one of each. Our Darley is a 1996 and is older than the others (just to put that up front). However, the Darley continues to require more service for the pump and the discharge valves than the other two. For our department our Waterous has been a joy and has required nothing more than routine maintenance. But I agree, the parts for the Waterious do cost more, but our pump tech loves the Waterous as he finds the design lends itself less labor time for him, when getting into the pump body and such.


    Scene lighting - LED vs quartz/halogen?
    We use both. We're very please with the LED lighting from the Whelen Pioneer Plus and I expect the new LED lights from FRC will also be very impressive. I don't know everything about the new FRC product, but have been reading everything I can about it. One advantace of the Whelen Dual Pioneer Plus (14" head) is you can do a combination of Spot and Flood for area/task lighting, an option we love.
    Our philosophy is we combine both 12VDC (LED) lighting and 125/220VAC (Quarts/Halogen) lighting as they both have pluses, the LED lights come on with full brightness from the start, work if the generator fails and don't transmit UV spectrum so the little flying insects aren't drawn to them. Yet sometimes the super bright LED light just doesn't seem to penetrate as far into the scene as compared to the Halogen lights


    Brand of hydraulic generator - Onan, Harrison, or Smartpower etc?
    We have two Onans and are very happy, but I have zero experience with Harrison or Smartpower. But always plan to have a larger generator than you expect to need, if your truck is going to last more than 10 years you have plan for the future.


    Please chime in and let us know your experience on any of the above items.
    I hope this all helps!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefDog View Post
    I would strongly suggest for what you are building MIV valves on the intakes and a primer selector valve to choose what intake you want to prime up to the MIV. It does add cost but you will have less issues with priming at rural situations.

    We did it on our last engine and it works much better than our older rigs. You are pumping away on tank water or another supply and prime the intake you want up to the outside of the MIV and then open it up and you never miss a beat.
    yes, on some drafting units they have installed priming systems on the outsides of the miv's. this allows priming from the drop tanks while using the pump to nurse to the attack engine. in my opinion you can essentially get the same benefit by using the low-profile strainers with 1.5" connection for jet siphoning.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedcbk1 View Post
    most trucks have the option of 50, 55, 60, 63, 65, 75, 77, 85, 90, 95, 100, 102, 105, 125, and i think of a 127 feet aerial device. this is of course dependent on the mfg of the TRUCK.
    ??? Hmmmm, I think you went the same route I was going to go with this, only I was going to be more of a smart ***. I could be wrong though, haha.

    Stuart, good luck on the specs, I have never really dealt with tankers much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 93Cobra View Post
    Brakes - I do not think that you are able to get disc's all around at the wight level. The disc in front, drum in back is just fine for performance. Maintenance may be another issue.

    Rear Suspension - Air ride from Ridewell or Firemax is pretty good.

    Pump - Waterous and Hale are good pumps... slight differences regarding gear teeth shapes, and how they supply water to the various discharges.

    Scene Lighting - LED is great, but is pricey. Quartz lights are OK, and have their place depending on what you are doing.

    Hydraulic Generator - I would use Smartpower... they have awesome customer service if you have issues.

    Here is a great example of a large tanker working as an engine:

    Dagsboro Fire Department Delaware
    (1) Custom Pumper/Tanker
    Sutphen East is proud to announce the delivery of Dagsboro, DE Pumper / Tanker. This unit features a Sutphen Tandem axle custom chassis with 500HP ISM Cummins, 15” raised roof and seating for 6. The Apparatus also has a HALE 2000 GPM QTWO pump, Foam Pro 2001 system, 3 speed lays, front and rear suctions and deck gun. The generator is a Smart Power 15KW. The tank holds 2500 gallons of water and 30 gallons of Foam. Aluminum extruded body, ROM roll up doors and Zico ladder rack complete this vehicle. This apparatus was sold by Emergency Equipment Sales of NJ.
    WOW!!!! I like the headlights on that gal!!!!!

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    Akron Brass just released a new LED Scene Light too. I bet it will likely be less expensive compared to the FRC and Whelen products.

    http://www.akronbrass.com/uploadedFi..._SceneStar.pdf

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    Took delivery about 6 weeks ago of this Pumper/Tanker, 1500gpm w/2500 gallon tank. Truck is equipped with disc brakes all the way around.

    *(2) 1000watt FRC lights on all four sides
    *10kw Harrison Hydraulic Generator
    *Dual Racks (1) Ladder and 10' Hard Suction (1) 3000 tank and 10' Hard Suction
    *(2) Coffin storage with 15' suction
    *Waterous 1500gpm single stage pump
    *Leafs on the rear
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by todd3603; 04-08-2011 at 03:32 PM.

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    Sorry. Dual post. See below
    Last edited by Command6; 04-09-2011 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Dual posting

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
    We are in the process of developing specifications for a new engine/tanker.

    Tentatively, it will be a custom cab, 2,000 gallon water tank, dual-rear axle. Think of it as an attack(scene) truck with a bigger than average water tank for a rural department.

    In speaking with many vendors, we get a different answer from each of them for the following items:

    Brakes - All disc, disc in front and drum in the back, or drum all around?

    Disc Especially with the 2k water. I'm sure your adding a Jake brake as well, just checking.

    Rear Suspension - Air-ride, conventional leaf spring, or rubber block?

    Air Ride. Much less long-term fatigue on chassis. As personal preference, I like Ray-Dan on tandems and Hendrickson on singles

    Pump - Hale, Waterous, or Darley?

    A coin toss between Hale and Waterous. IMO, Waterous has better internal design with chain drive, and Hale's accessory components are better (relief valve, changeover valves, MIV's, ect.)

    Scene lighting - LED vs quartz/halogen?

    LED if you budget can stand it. You should be able to get by with a smaller generator, so that will offset costs. Our department will switch to LED, but waiting for price to drop more.

    Brand of hydraulic generator - Onan, Harrison, or Smartpower etc?

    We spec Onan. They have a service center 25 miles away, although we've never called them for a repair. That is the reason we've stayed with them.

    I suggest figuring out you max watt/amp draw, and upsize generator to next larger size. If you add stuff later, you're covered. Think you won't ever max out your capacity, think again.


    Please chime in and let us know your experience on any of the above items.
    Good luck with your project.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedcbk1 View Post
    yes, on some drafting units they have installed priming systems on the outsides of the miv's. this allows priming from the drop tanks while using the pump to nurse to the attack engine. in my opinion you can essentially get the same benefit by using the low-profile strainers with 1.5" connection for jet siphoning.
    Yes a low profile will work as you suggest. It also takes on board water to make it work, not always available. You also do not have the ability to change or add and intake when you are drafting from other than a drop tank.

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    Since time is not on my side I'll just throw something in about the suspension. Knowing Connecticut pretty well (I came from thar) I know its roads can be crappy, to put it mildly. Very similar to our roads up here in Vermont. An air ride suspension will make SUCH a difference in your ride quality.

    At my place of work all of our new trucks (Both single rear and tandem axel rigs) are being equiped with the Hendrixson air ride suspension systems. Going from a truck with springs in the back, to one with air ride is like night and day. The load isn't tossed and bumped around nearly as much, and it saves the frame and body from being beaten on constantly.

    For fire apparatus, I'm sure they would have the same effect. I wish our tanker had an air ride suspension, it would make my spine hurt less once I get back to the station.
    Opinions expressed by myself here are just that, mine. And not that of ANY organization or service I am affiliated with.

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    Stuart:

    Since a lot of people have already commented on your specific questions, I would just offer this word of advice:

    We bought our first "attack" engine-tanker ten years ago, and our second one four years ago. It was fantastic rolling up on the first piece with 2,000-2,500 gallons of water, with another 2,000-2,500 gallons coming in second-due. It was very convenient, and brought a lot of confidence with it.

    About two years ago, we finally realized that these beasts just couldn't go enough places as a primary attack engine. Sure, there are places that they work just fine, but we have a ton of narrow driveways where the big rigs either need to stay on the road, or it takes a lot longer to maneuver them into place (in several cases causing damage to the vehicle, as well). I cannot imagine how the department with that Sutphen pumper-tanker pictured above manages to get into tight spaces.

    We've now switched back to running our 1993 1,000 gallon engine out first, with the stipulation that the second engine must follow within four minutes (thereby sustaining a 250gpm fire flow). The pumper-tankers make very versatile 2nd or 3rd/4th due pieces, and can also stand in for our 1,000 gallon piece when it's out for repair.

    If you're looking for a primary, first-out piece and really want more than 1,000 gallons, I would strongly consider something like this 1,500 gallon piece, albeit with the caveat that your hosebed height will shoot up.

    If 2,000 gallons is really your goal, I would strive for something like this, aiming to minimize all dimensions (rear overhang, front overhang, cab length/pump house/forward compartment dimension). They manage with a 6" bumper, a SMFD cab, a 44" pump house, and 31" front and rear compartment lengths. It should also be noted that they have ladders, suction hose, and dump tank on the outside, so as to provide the most compact rig possible (internal ladders & suction or full-height+full-depth compartments take so much real estate). In this case, I would opt to drop 500 gallons from the tank size (down to 2,000) in order to lower the hosebed floor. Note: I would contact this department first and ask how it rides. Our 192" wheelbase turns like a miracle but gives a ride from hell. Although the Chepachet rig has a 187.5" WB, it may ride a lot better because it has so little weight overhanging the rear axle (and the front axle).
    Last edited by BlitzfireSolo; 04-17-2011 at 05:17 PM.

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