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  1. #21
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefengineer11 View Post
    I recall from my days of running Rt. 22A from Fairhaven to Vergennes, Vt. and from there up 7 into Burlington that North Pole snow is quite gritty compared to ours. It was actually a pleasure to drive on - it also filled potholes.

    Even so, we only use drop chains. Everything we have has good mud and snow tread tires. Both ambulances and the older engine have Positraction rears. The Special Service has a manually locked rear. The newer engine has Automatic Traction Control. I will say this about ATC. You have to practice with it to become skilled in its use. It took me quite a bit of time to digest and understand what it was doing and how to react to it.
    Sam,Hacked power and shuffling brakes,what's to understand? Push switch,mash gas and let it shuffle,Hehe T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 05-31-2011 at 12:06 PM.


  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    Sam,Hacked power and shuffling brakes,what's to understand? Push switch,mash gas and let it shuffle,Hehe T.C.
    I'm older and slower to grasp this high tech stuff!

  3. #23
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    Hello All,

    I am located in Northern NJ. We do get wet snow, dry snow and ice storms. Some storms are only an inch and some are 20 inches. That being said, my department has been using On-Spots since 1998. We have them on all 5 pieces of apparatus. What we have found is that they do work GREAT in snow depths up to approximately 4 inches. After that traction drops off especially if it is a very wet snow.

    So, our SOG's are we install full wrap chains when the depth is greater than 4 inches of snow. And remove them once the roadway in front of the station is cleared to black top. I made a very simple "drive onto board" that makes installing full wraps pretty simple and SAFE. We are a combination department and the on duty staff usually handles the installation and removal of the chains. And we do operate both On-spots and full wraps together in the deep, heavy snows that we sometime get.

    We had a snow storm in 1998 that convinced us that On-Spots were not the "DO ALL" traction devices. We had 2 Engines got stuck in the snow requiring them to be pulled out. Since then we started the policy mentioned above. We have found through our experiences that the On-Spots do work great in snow less than 4 inches and the dryer the snow the better.

    Never have gotten stuck with the full wrap chains on.

    Hope this helps,

    Chief Lou
    "GotFoam?"

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoaddoggAK View Post
    IIRC, 4 wheel drive will add about $40k to the price of your rig. I may be wrong, but that's what sticks in my mind from my plant tour while we were at precon for our new engine.

    Sutphen will take your chassis and add 2 feet or so between the axles, then cut them and brace the two sections overlapping, on top of one another. It got sent out to a 3rd party upfitter for the 4x4 system and then sent back to be completed. I got a nosebleed just looking up into the cab. It is definitely up there.

    This was the rig I got a chance to take a look at.

    http://sutphen.com/imageuploads/rece...-photo-360.jpg
    Did your department go with a 2wd or 4wd apparatus, with all the heavy lake affect snow in your area ?

  5. #25
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    Default All Wheel Drive Engine

    One of the fire departments here in North Jersey, purchased this Pierce 4wd engine about 2 years ago, they have many steep hills in there area,it's a great looking fire apparatus!
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  6. #26
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    .......we don't need no stinking chains..........
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    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodbridgeFFII View Post
    Did your department go with a 2wd or 4wd apparatus, with all the heavy lake affect snow in your area ?
    Our new rig is just a regular 2wd rig. I honestly don't think there is a single full size 4x4 apparatus in the county. This new one was actually our first truck to even get OnSpots in at least 20 years. And we don't carry chains. We haven't really had the need for them, but we are fairly spoiled (relatively speaking)with our municipal road crews. PennDot has 37 plows in the country and my township has appx. 12 plow and salt trucks out as soon as it starts to accumulate.

  8. #28
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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    We have On-Spot chains on our engine and tanker. We also have hard chains for both. When we purchased the engine, we bought a set of chains for it. We later retro-fit the unit with On-Spot chains. When we bough thte tanker, we ordered it with the On-Spot chains and got a set of hard chains.

    Our SOP's for the use of the On-Spots follow manufacturer's recommendations (5-15 mph and do not put down unless you are moving) and we also allow for the hard chains. Our SOP's state that if the hard chains are on, you do not use the On-Spot as our rep told us that they may get tangled and ripped off.

    Even with the winters as bad as they have been lately, we haven't had the hard chains on in 2 years for the engine and never on the tanker. There have been, however, at least 2 incidents that I remember where the hard chains got us to where On-Spots couldn't have. One was a little off road to get to a pond, and another was a steep driveway covered in ice. I also remember driving the old engine once where I had to back into a driveway and have the hard chains brought to me because the Insta-Chains on the old engine wouldn't give enough traction.

  9. #29
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    Default "Chains"

    The automatic ice chains are to be used in ice conditions or packed snow. Deep snow could be a problem if snow builds up between the chain wheel and the tire.

    I've found that (and I know for a fact) the Insta-Chain works in reverse. Insta-Chain uses a square chain link which allows it to work the same in either direction. You can replace individual chain links if needed. Other manufactures you have to change the entire chain wheel.

    OnSpot is a good product also and very dependable. But there is a reason they have a left and right chain (colored red and blue). OnSpot has a twisted chain? Thus, allowing it to work better in forward, but not so good in reverse.

    I believe if you took a bit from each of the automatic tire chain manufactures you could put together a pretty good product? The dependability of OnSpot, the square chain links of Insta-Chain and the multiple chain links from Rudd.

  10. #30
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    We run 3 diffeerent systems depending upon winter conditions. Tanker normally is not chained until the overnight temps get below zero with significant snow & ice on rural roads. Then dual chains are applied (never singles) to allow for travel on the empty leg after water has been slopped on the roadway. The reserve engine gets a set of singles and gets moved to second due out of the main station. Attack engine is 4 wheel drive with lock-up differential on rear. Both remaining engines have insta-chains for use when we have ice storms. Rescue is also 4 wheel drive with locking differential. No chains of any type on the aerial. We have been stuck but usually after everything is over and the water is freezing in a driveway or remote location. Automatics are the pits when stuck because the torque gets applied as soon as the transmission is shifted. Sometimes you can get things moving by hitting drive for 1/2 second and then back to nutral and repeat until you start to roll. I much prefer standard transmissions in winter conditions.

  11. #31
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    Our dept. is about 50/50 Insta-Chain and OnSpot. We first retro-fitted all front line apparatus with chains about 12-15 years ago, and liked them enough to equip all our apparatus with them a year later. Now they are written into specs of all apparatus.

    Like anything, they require a little PM. We do ours in October in preparation for winter use. If you change tires, it's important to check the chain wheel contact for proper operation.

    The thing that finally pushed us to go with auto chains was the failure of a conventional chain set that beat up a fender well and fender crown on a brand new pumper.

    If you are trying to decide between 4WD and chains, consider your location, terrain, and snowfall. 4WD will have a higher cost of operation: fuel use, increased maintenance and repair costs. And your "vertically challenged" firefighters will ask for a step ladder to get equipment on/off the truck.

    All newer apparatus with Allison automatic transmission should be programmed to disengage tire chains at speeds of 35 mph; no explanation needed.

    C6
    Last edited by Command6; 06-02-2011 at 11:06 AM.

  12. #32
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Years back we had chains to put on when road conditions warranted it. They were a pain in the butt, but worked.

    We ordered an engine in 95 and had On-Spots included with it. Was real nice not having to put the chains on and they worked well.

    Last engine we ordered, just in 2010, we did not get the On-Spots. We have only used them about 5 times in all the years so we didn't see the need for it.

    I still believe the On-Spots are a great system, just didn't have the need for it here.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  13. #33
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    Post No Snow ??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Years back we had chains to put on when road conditions warranted it. They were a pain in the butt, but worked.

    We ordered an engine in 95 and had On-Spots included with it. Was real nice not having to put the chains on and they worked well.

    Last engine we ordered, just in 2010, we did not get the On-Spots. We have only used them about 5 times in all the years so we didn't see the need for it.

    I still believe the On-Spots are a great system, just didn't have the need for it here.
    Hey Bones42, did you forget about the last big 32" snowfall that hit Wall Twp & I think, Neptune this past winter. They were digging out streets for a week in that area !

  14. #34
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoodbridgeFFII View Post
    Hey Bones42, did you forget about the last big 32" snowfall that hit Wall Twp & I think, Neptune this past winter. They were digging out streets for a week in that area !
    Nope. Was here for it, well most of it. I did get stuck on the train coming home from Devils game during the storm.

    Day after the storm we ran a F.A.S.T. call to Brick, had no issues getting there, getting to cover a call for them while they were busy, and getting back. At 32", OnSpots won't help. That was another storm that showed chains just weren't needed, we were able to get everywhere we needed with no slipping issues.

    by the way....that storm sucked.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  15. #35
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    Post On Spots

    My dept has On Spot Brand chains on our Engine, Ladder, Heavy Rescue and 2,000 gal Tender/Tanker. They have proven to be very effective. We learned to remove the chains in the spring due to they will wear as they sometimes would drag.

  16. #36
    Forum Member RyanK63's Avatar
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    We have On Spots on our engine and tanker. They work great with all the snow in NEPA. The only "problem" we have ever had with them in salt build up which is easily cleaned out and regreased.

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