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    Question Pump Location opions?

    What do you think is the most convenient all purpose pump location on the truck,for safety of the engineer and engineer visibility and pump maintenance? I am of the old school and like front mounts.

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    Good way to get killed on the highway and never know what hit you (literally). I am a top mount fan myself. Gets the engineer out of the road, gives pretty much a 360* view of the entire scene, lets you operate the pump, scene lights and deck gun all from one location and gives access to either side of the truck without walking around.

    The only arguments I have heard against top mounts was added OAL, having to get up and down from the crosswalk and not being able to hold a leg against your supply line to feel for pressure. But then again, that's what we have guages for.
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    We have had front, side, and top mount pumps. I personally liked the front mount pump. It is easy to run, easy to see what is going on, easy to set up drafting, and easy to set up with limited manpower. I believe that the top mount gives the best overall visibility and safety once the unit is set up and running. If the operator is the one making connections etc., I would rather have the front. But once you are going, you can't beat the top mount in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Good way to get killed on the highway and never know what hit you (literally). I am a top mount fan myself. Gets the engineer out of the road, gives pretty much a 360* view of the entire scene, lets you operate the pump, scene lights and deck gun all from one location and gives access to either side of the truck without walking around.

    The only arguments I have heard against top mounts was added OAL, having to get up and down from the crosswalk and not being able to hold a leg against your supply line to feel for pressure. But then again, that's what we have guages for.
    How do you figure a front mount pump is a good way to get killed and never see what hit you? Appaatus positioning is everything and if you position the truck at an angle with the pump towards the curb, or ditch, you are not out in traffic. Or at least not anymore out in traffic than with a side mount pump.

    As for top mount pumps, I can take them or leave them. But here in Wisconsin where you have winter and ice and cold, climbing up and down can be down right hazardous. It doesn't take more than a few trips for that surface to be wet and then ice covered.

    My greatest pet peave about top mounts is people always talk about how much more of the fire scene you can see fom the top mount position. Well, I don't want the pump operator watching the scene, I don't want them acting as a quasi-safety officer, or second set of eyes for the IC. I want them being a pump operator and paying attention to the gauges, the status of the engine, and checking the intake hose for mushiness. If they can do it safely, I haven't got an issue with operating the generator and raising lights or the light tower.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    How do you figure a front mount pump is a good way to get killed and never see what hit you? Appaatus positioning is everything and if you position the truck at an angle with the pump towards the curb, or ditch, you are not out in traffic. Or at least not anymore out in traffic than with a side mount pump.

    As for top mount pumps, I can take them or leave them. But here in Wisconsin where you have winter and ice and cold, climbing up and down can be down right hazardous. It doesn't take more than a few trips for that surface to be wet and then ice covered.

    My greatest pet peave about top mounts is people always talk about how much more of the fire scene you can see fom the top mount position. Well, I don't want the pump operator watching the scene, I don't want them acting as a quasi-safety officer, or second set of eyes for the IC. I want them being a pump operator and paying attention to the gauges, the status of the engine, and checking the intake hose for mushiness. If they can do it safely, I haven't got an issue with operating the generator and raising lights or the light tower.
    I understand what you're saying, and completely agree when manpower allows. However in some situations the pump operator may also be the IC, so the extra field of vision is useful. Refer to my above post already about the whole feeling the supply line thing.
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    I prefer a side mount pump. We have one of each and for me the side mount is a lot better. I don't like having to go up and down all the time on our top mount and I like being next to the suction and right on the ground with our side mount.

    I agree exactly with what Fyred said about top mounts. It seems that I'm one of the few on our Department that like the side mount as the new engine we are working will have a top mount panel, not even considering a side mount.

    I did see a used truck listed somewhere that had what they called a "Top-Sider" pump panel. It was quite interesting, but I'm pretty sure it was a custom made panel, at least I've never seen or heard of it anywhere else.

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    I like the side mount for a lot of the same reasons fyredup mentioned. The pump operator should need to "see the scene", he should be running the pump and he doesn't need to be looking around to do it. Staying on the ground is very nice in freezing weather. Unless you're in horrible shape, it shouldn't take any longer for you to hustle around the engine to do whats needed. I wouldn't discount feeling the pressure of the lines, it'll give you much quicker and noticeable feedback then the gauges. Knowing how the line feels will also clue you into what the issue is, if there is a water problem.

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    Once again, while I don't disagree that the man running the pump should do just that when manpower allows, the fact that it keeps coming up begs me to wonder if anyone else here has ever drove the engine, pullled their own line, set the pump and pressure and then gone and faught fire.

    It happens DAILY folks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Once again, while I don't disagree that the man running the pump should do just that when manpower allows, the fact that it keeps coming up begs me to wonder if anyone else here has ever drove the engine, pullled their own line, set the pump and pressure and then gone and faught fire.

    It happens DAILY folks.
    Nope, never done that. Even on 2 small rural FDs. We always leave a guy with the pump. Initially he may help stretch that first line to the door, and act as the IC, but he will be at the pump panel once water is flowing and the line goes interior.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Once again, while I don't disagree that the man running the pump should do just that when manpower allows, the fact that it keeps coming up begs me to wonder if anyone else here has ever drove the engine, pullled their own line, set the pump and pressure and then gone and faught fire.

    It happens DAILY folks.
    You just provided an argument for a side panel. A side mount is easier on a driver if he has other tasks because he doesn't have to keep climbing up and down from a top mount.
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    I've got 3 "adopted" top mounts, and hate all 3. 2 of them (Pierces) have the crosslays right under the pump panel, and the third (E-One) has it where it belongs, above the pump housing. This one is a bit easier to get to the pump and work on it. The 2 Pierces, just plain sucks to have to do anything on them. The side panels are a joke for access, as well as from underneath. On all 3, there is no getting to the pump from above, and not enough room to get between the pump and hose/crosslay bed. All the linkages for discharges and intake valves are ridiculous. Just a giant PITA.

    Side mounts... All day long. I have 4 access points, bottom, left, right, and front. As well, room to get inside and on top of the pump. Linkages are straight lined, and usually out of the way, or easy to remove or move out of the way. If you want a happy mechanic, get a side mount.

    As for the FD, there are too many FF's IOD with the top mount, especially during the winter. As has been said, the operator needs to focus on the rig and pump, and not the scene. As for rig placement, and safety, it really isn't an issue. Either at a bldg fire or highway MVA, the area is usually secured by LEO by the time they get there and start working.

    I won't say top mounts don't have their place, they just don't work for us.

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    I found a picture of that "Top-Sider" panel that I mentioned. Its something a little different.

    http://www.adirondackfire.com/2005%2...0R-P%201/7.jpg

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    we had top mounts and went back to the side mount with our latest rig a 2009 KME, and was shocked our people didnt have a stroke. I like the top mounts myself but can go with either. The pic above is a Sutphen and I wonder how this set up works ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weruj1 View Post
    we had top mounts and went back to the side mount with our latest rig a 2009 KME, and was shocked our people didnt have a stroke. I like the top mounts myself but can go with either. The pic above is a Sutphen and I wonder how this set up works ?
    I'm not quite sure how it works either, haven't been able to find any info on it. Looks like all electronically controlled valves though.

    I know one thing, if I was the engineer on that truck I'd climb up to that thing and stay there, that thing is up there a little way.

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    It's actually called a Command-View. Interesting concept, and I have been up on one when we did research on our last rig. If you want to get you operator up off the ground but keep it shorter than a top mount, it may be something to consider.

    The one that I saw had all electric valves, but I was told that some could be made manual depending on the layout. In the end, we stayed with a top mount, as we were able to get the same wheel base as our current engines, so it was a mute point.

    Just like everything else, some people like them, others don't.

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    Precision makes a ton of those top-side-mounts, and Pierce has an option for something similar on the PUC.

    I've grown up on side-mounts, and have only used a top-mount when instructing at a department that has one. I do like the view from the top mount, but hated the idea I had to climb up and down every time that I needed to get something. I'll stick with a side-mount.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Once again, while I don't disagree that the man running the pump should do just that when manpower allows, the fact that it keeps coming up begs me to wonder if anyone else here has ever drove the engine, pullled their own line, set the pump and pressure and then gone and faught fire.

    It happens DAILY folks.
    While I have never done this, I have gotten water, set pressure, and grabbed a hook and gone and broken windows ahead of the line, and/or thrown ground ladders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF715MRFD View Post
    I found a picture of that "Top-Sider" panel that I mentioned. Its something a little different.

    http://www.adirondackfire.com/2005 Sutphen R-P 1/7.jpg
    A dept near me has a HME with this setup. When I talked to them about it when I was down there taking my driver/operator class they really didn't like it to much.

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    Side Mount.

    Down here (LA) just about everybody runs with topmounts. I don't like them ... I simply feel too isolated from what is happening. Sure the view is great, but I would much prefer to have my feet on the ground.
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    The front mount allows for more storage on the apparatus body. The front mount makes maintenance a lot easier then a mid ship pump. Front mount pumps have a advantage that upgrades to pump are fairly simple. The front pump is simpler to train people on then a midship pump,topmount.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperFire123 View Post
    The front mount allows for more storage on the apparatus body.
    A standard mid-ship pump, whether top-mount or side-mount, rarely has an effect on the storage space of the body. The exceptions would be intakes or discharges run thought the compartments to get to the rear of the apparatus.

    The front mount makes maintenance a lot easier then a mid ship pump.
    I'd agree with this for the most part, although some manufacturers are getting a lot more creative with the pump access panels.

    Front mount pumps have a advantage that upgrades to pump are fairly simple.
    Pump upgrades? Like what?

    The front pump is simpler to train people on then a midship pump,topmount.
    I disagree. This is an instructor and/or student issue, not a pump location issue.

    One thing to keep in mind is that when you're looking at front mounts, 9 times out of 10, you're also going to be forced into a commercial cab. There are many of us that aren't willing to sacrifice the room, safety, and design of a custom cab just to have a front mount pump.
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    Mostly everyone around here runs commercial cab trucks since its all we can afford, but nobody runs front mounts anymore. There was one department the ran front mounts, but got away from them because they always froze up in the winter.

    How about rear mount controls? I've never even seen one in person, but I think that they would be good for situations where drafting is required since you have rear suction .

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    My department had a front mount, and has a side mount, top mount cross over, and a rear mount. They all have their advantages.

    But I prefer the top mount cross over style. It keeps the pump operator away from intakes and discharges and allows a pump operator the capability to see many things going on around the fire scene and allows the pump operator quick access to either side of the apparatus. I will agree that in the winter months it can become slightly slippery though, but standing on wet slippery possibly uneven ground is not good either.

    My only concern with a top mount side mount style is all the ones i have seen have a small step to get up to the pump panel and if you pull the crosslays out on the side of the pump panel and the pump operator has to get up or down from the pump panel he/she needs to negotiate the hoses. Maybe I am wrong on that but thats how it looks to me.

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    Both our engines have officer's side panels. One is a rear engine, rear mount pump and the other is a midship pump.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTRider245 View Post
    Once again, while I don't disagree that the man running the pump should do just that when manpower allows, the fact that it keeps coming up begs me to wonder if anyone else here has ever drove the engine, pullled their own line, set the pump and pressure and then gone and faught fire.

    It happens DAILY folks.
    Yes, been there done that. Fortunately our minimum on duty staffing has increased 50% over the past 10 years - 4 FFs to 6 FFs (2 FFs may not seem like a lot, but at this level, they make a huge difference in our initial operations). I rarely need to be operating my own attack line these days, however I typically still have other fireground tasks to handle beyond that as the pump operator - throwing a ladder, venting windows, running tools, stretching additional lines for use when the off-duty personnel arrive. Once our callback personnel start arriving, those additional tasks are scaled back and can return to just handling the pump stuff.

    IMO, operating in this type of situation, a top-mount is not a good option. For us, it's also not a viable option because we can't afford the extra length/cost it creates. My pumper is 28' OAL, 165" WB and that's pretty much the upper limit for getting where I need to in my city.

    As for the original question, I don't think it's possible to reach any sort of consensus on what the best, overall "all purpose" pump location would be. Too many differences in all of our staffing, working conditions, tactical needs, etc. to find a "one size fits all" position.

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