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Thread: Open Cab Truck usage

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    Default Open Cab Truck usage

    We have a 1988 pumper with an open seating area in the back of the cab. Our Board of Aldermen have decided to postpone replacing this apparatus until the 2016-2017 budget year. Are there any departments that have a similar apparatus that are placing any restrictions on the use or operation of their apparatus? Thank you.


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    Quote Originally Posted by WBfiremedic View Post
    We have a 1988 pumper with an open seating area in the back of the cab. Our Board of Aldermen have decided to postpone replacing this apparatus until the 2016-2017 budget year. Are there any departments that have a similar apparatus that are placing any restrictions on the use or operation of their apparatus? Thank you.
    We had a 1976 Engine that back in the day you could ride the back step. At one point we just said effective immediately you will not ride the back step anymore. End of discussion.

    We are in the business of determining "acceptable" risks vs. reward. If the Alderman can't find the money to replace it, then make it a two person piece. Now politicians are not likely to tell you that you have to do something like ride the jump seats. Especially when there is an increase in liability to you, the department and them once you have made that clear. You now have what would normally be an "acceptable risk" by the Officer and driver riding in the cab of a 1988 Engine. Assuming it is in good mechanical condition and would pass State Inspection criteria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefDog View Post
    We are in the business of determining "acceptable" risks vs. reward. If the Alderman can't find the money to replace it, then make it a two person piece.
    This. I have visited a few departments that have made their canopy-rigs 2-person only, citing the danger to the personnel that would potentially be riding in the back.
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    Our current first due Engine is a 1991 Ford with a canopy cab. Currently we still respond with a crew of 5 on that truck (2 up front, 3 in the back under the canopy). When our new engine arrives this Fall I believe the plan is to remove the canopy and seat belts and make it a 2 person crew rig.

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    Now this may sound like a stupid question, and probably is, but what is wrong with riding under the canopy, with your seatbelt on?

    We upgraded to our 1986 E-One with a canopy 9 years ago, and we plan on keeping it as our primary engine for another 10-15 years. Is there something that bad (realizing that the truck goes to an incident about 30 times a year) that we should remove those 3 seated positions?

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    In the event of a roll-over accident, the canopy cab will offer very little protection for the members, even if they're wearing their belts. Furthermore, if they happen to not have their belts on (lets not kid ourselves, we all know it happens), they're far more likely to be ejected in the event on an crash.

    This is one of the primary reasons for NFPA 1901 Annex D addresses canopy cabs.
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    I figured that is what it had to be. We have it as policy that the driver does not release the air brakes until people in the jump seats count off as buckled. The person in the officer seat then also checks and then tells the driver to go. We take the seat belt madate seriously as about half the departments in our county have rolled a truck. Our fire body is 10" higher than the cab and with the design of the canopy, the tallest person has over 12" clearance above their helmet (yes I know about wearing helmets too).

    For us, we determined the canopy with seat belts to be a safer alternative than having everyone POV. We also went that route because the truck was what we could afford and was barely used as the department had a station full of customs with one commercial cab. So they never took the engine we purchased. It came with 1300 hours on it and 16 years old.. This in a department that ran over 500 fires a year.

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    Hunt - Sounds like your truck is designed really well for a canopy, I'm also going to guess that its make of all steel? Much safer than ours. On our truck the canopy is the tallest part of the truck, it is made out of fiberglass with no ROPS built in.

    At the time it was ordered it was the way a lot of people were doing it, Our truck was the last one Toyne built with a canopy cab. We just feel that with safety being such a huge part of every thing we do anymore, the best thing for us to do is to get rid of the canopy and make it a 2 person truck.

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    I am just shaking my head here. All of a sudden the canopy cab is a death trap? Really? Of course it isn't as safe as a four door fully enclosed cab. But in and of itself it is not so dangerous as to need to be immediately removed from service if the rig is still in working order.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I am just shaking my head here. All of a sudden the canopy cab is a death trap? Really? Of course it isn't as safe as a four door fully enclosed cab. But in and of itself it is not so dangerous as to need to be immediately removed from service if the rig is still in working order.
    Unless I missed it no one said they were going to remove a truck from service all together, just stop using the canopy cab. That's what we're doing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I am just shaking my head here. All of a sudden the canopy cab is a death trap? Really? Of course it isn't as safe as a four door fully enclosed cab. But in and of itself it is not so dangerous as to need to be immediately removed from service if the rig is still in working order.
    Not a single post here said that.
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    Okay, true, not remove from service entirely. But properly dressed and belted fire fighters are truly only threatened if the rig rolls over. I have been a firefighter for 35 years and the only apparatus rollover within 100 miles of me was entirely the fault of the driver operating the rig after an FD picnic.

    To each his own, but my #1 POC FD ran an open canopy engine until December of last year and we never had any safety issues because of the cab configuration. It seems a little silly to me to run a rig like that with only 2 people on board.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I have been a firefighter for 35 years and the only apparatus rollover within 100 miles of me was entirely the fault of the driver operating the rig after an FD picnic.
    Contrast that to our friend from Pennsylvania:

    Quote Originally Posted by HuntPA View Post
    We take the seat belt madate seriously as about half the departments in our county have rolled a truck.
    I don't make the point to start a thread about training or driving standards, just to illustrate that apparatus rollovers are truly a threat to our personnel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    It seems a little silly to me to run a rig like that with only 2 people on board.
    The truck I am referring to, while considered an engine, will be used as a tanker when our new truck arrives so we don't really feel the need for it to haul 5 people.

    I'm certainly not saying that will work for everyone. HuntPA explained how their truck was set up and their safety precautions in an earlier post and, in my personal opinion, there is no problem with that truck and I don't think it really compromises safety all that much. Our truck is very different than that so we're doing what we think is going to be the safest for our FF's.

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    And, as I stated previously, to each his own. If you have enough capacity to carry the required amount of firefighters on other rigs then all is good.

    My personal experience with fire apparatus roll overs is just what I said. I have a question for those saying they have had a lot of rollovers in their area. How many involved tenders running hot? Because to me, after the first load is dumped, the argument to continue to run tenders hot is hard to defend, especially over winding, hilly, country roads where high speeds are dangerous in a car. In other words, if the road allows for a safe speed of 40 miles an hour running red lights and sirens only increases the pressure to run faster. To me it would be smarter, and safer, to run cold, at the maximum safe speed, up to the posted limit. Only using the red lights and siren as you approach intersections, or heavy traffic areas. But I know that would make us all pussies and ruin the fun of running hot...
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    We've got a 1987 FMC with a Spartan Open Cab. We run the crap out the old girl just like we have done since we bought her. She'll still run circles around the "New" rigs and I like the "Deluxe " pump panel. If you use some common sense when ridding her you should not have any problems
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF715MRFD View Post
    Our current first due Engine is a 1991 Ford with a canopy cab. Currently we still respond with a crew of 5 on that truck (2 up front, 3 in the back under the canopy). When our new engine arrives this Fall I believe the plan is to remove the canopy and seat belts and make it a 2 person crew rig.
    If this is "acceptable risk" for your department then it is. Nothing says you have to do what some other department calls acceptable. Many things can factor into your department's decision process including number of runs, training, Insurance coverage etc.....

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    I may be wrong - but I dont buy the canopy will crush argument -I believe our old CF Mack would hold up better than oyr 4 door FL freightliner. Now a Custom cab - different thing all together.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefDog View Post
    If this is "acceptable risk" for your department then it is. Nothing says you have to do what some other department calls acceptable. Many things can factor into your department's decision process including number of runs, training, Insurance coverage etc.....
    That is very well put. I am a firm believer in the "To each his own" theory, what works for some won't work for others.

    Quote Originally Posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
    I may be wrong - but I dont buy the canopy will crush argument -I believe our old CF Mack would hold up better than oyr 4 door FL freightliner. Now a Custom cab - different thing all together.
    I know the canopy on our truck will crush. Like I stated in an earlier post, it is the tallest part of the truck and it is made completely out of fiberglass. Just for kicks today a couple of us sat in the back to see exactly how our heights came out, without helmets on our heads were 4 inches above the roof of the cab. Now this is a commercial cab truck I'm referring to. I totally agree that custom cabs are a completely different animal.

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    This is our engine before the hose bed was extended (welded on by a certified welder). Here are some of the neighboring units that are similar.
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