Our Dept. is getting ready to spec out a new pumper. Our only experience with roll-ups is the ladder compartment on our Pierce ladders, and they stink. Many of our members claim to have heard of these type doors jamming and causing maintenance problems, but have no specific knowledge. I would appreciate your thoughts on their advantages and disadvantages.
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Thread: Roll-up doors, yes or no?
02-01-2001, 09:47 AM #1gunnyvFirehouse.com Guest
Roll-up doors, yes or no?
02-01-2001, 10:00 AM #2JoeMZ191Firehouse.com Guest
Roll up doors are the way to go BUT they do require periodic maintenance. As long as they are adjusted and lubricated regularly, you shouldn't have any trouble.
02-01-2001, 10:03 AM #3MPreb362Firehouse.com Guest
Cold climate area's that use a lot of road salt and crap on the roads. hum, not for me. I think that's just asking for problems. Maybe in the south. thats just my opinion. stay safe and good luck.
02-01-2001, 10:18 AM #4firetruckerFirehouse.com Guest
I prefer the roll up myself. We have two engines, one with swinging doors on it and one with roll-ups. The swinging doors seem to always be in the way. For example we carry a larger size fan in one of the compartments, it requires two people to carry it, well it's pretty hard for one of the people to get in there to get the thing out because the door is in the way. There is also a double door on one side and the handle to open one side is on the outside but to open the other side you have to reach around inside and use the handle there, that one sucks. Just my opinion but I think it would be easier to maintain the roll ups than deal with the annoying doors in the way at a scene....
02-01-2001, 10:31 AM #5FFTrainerFirehouse.com Guest
I vote for roll-ups. We have them (in a cold climate with LOTS of road salt) and they are fine. Just hose them off when you get back and your fine.
They are much easier in tight spots. If you cover any highway areas, they are a lot easier since you don't have swing out doors open with cars going by. We all know what flashing lights on the side of the road do to our driver humans, might as well keep your profile as reduced as possible by using roll-ups.
02-01-2001, 11:04 AM #6mike021Firehouse.com Guest
We just finished specing our new Pierce Lance engine. The only roll up door on the entire truck is on the back bumper. We decided to not go with the roll up doors since we own a Pierce now, their quality of doors on the apparatus are far superior to any door I've ever seen on other trucks. We looked into the roll up doors and saw they were scratched, dirty, stained, lettering that was on them were peeling, and had alot of bubbles. We felt that the open close one's were better compared to the roll ups. just our opinion. Get what suit's your response area. Later
02-01-2001, 12:42 PM #7BOB SAULFirehouse.com Guest
I am sorry to here that your department decided against the roll-ups. We have 2 engines and a truck with roll ups and love them. Our rescue has conventional swing-out doors and we hate them. Have been using them since around 1991 and have had no problems. They make life on the fireground easier. We open all the doors at an incident and it makes it much easier for members, especially mutual aid units, to locate equipment. The doors are painted and yes they do scratch.
If a slat on the door becomes damaged we are able to replace it. We also have plenty of road salt and if you keep them clean and lubricated you should have no problems.
02-01-2001, 12:47 PM #8EUittsFirehouse.com Guest
Our newest pumper has roll-up doors on every compartment; so far we haven't had any problems with moisture, salt/sand, road grime, etc. causing the doors not to work properly. Yes you do have to lubricate them periodically and wash them down after being out in the weather, but that should be done regardless of what type of doors are on the apparatus. Some departments have experienced problems with loose equipment falling against the doors and causing the doors to jamb, but in the interest of safety equipment should be secured in the compartment anyway. We haven't seen any problems with the lettering and striping peeling on the doors (ours are unpainted, if you have the funds go for the painted doors!)and I don't think they get any more scratched, discolored, etc. than the ordinary painted doors on our other engine. The only drawback that I can possibly think of is that there is a small loss of space at the top of the compartment where the door rolls up, but I think this is a small price to pay for the advantages they do have (such as easier access to the compartment for equipment and keeping doors out of traffic as others have mentioned). I would certainly recommend roll-ups on any new piece of apparatus.
02-01-2001, 01:08 PM #9Lewiston2CaptFirehouse.com Guest
We too have gone with the roll up doors on all compartments on our newest rescue engine. We have the hinged doors on our older engine and have found that the roll up doors are much easier to work around for all of the reasons mentioned above. We havent had any problems with the doors jamming, but we were warned to keep equipment away from the doors to prevent this. And as far as the weather/them scratching we operate in the cold/salt/snow and havent had any problems yet. Just wash 'em down when you get back. If scratching is a concern dont paint the doors, the aluminum slats will not show any scratches you may get in the doors.
Best of luck on your decision.
Shawn M. Cecula
Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2
02-01-2001, 02:26 PM #10SBLGFirehouse.com Guest
We have both and are happy with the roll ups. We have found you need to keep things mounted if possible. Would not paint them unless you keep ypur trucks very clean. They shure help with access to the compartments
02-01-2001, 04:36 PM #11RhinofireFirehouse.com Guest
One note, if you do want to paint you rollup doors have them painted with powder coat paint. This finish is much more durable than a convential paint. You will not have any problems with bubbling and flaking.
02-01-2001, 07:25 PM #12GillFirehouse.com Guest
Almost all of our rigs have roll up doors. I'm going to have to vote against them. They do stick after a while, and some are hard to shut. Personally, I've never had that problem with hinged doors. But do what works best for your department.
I LOVE THIS JOB!
02-01-2001, 10:08 PM #13LFD2203Firehouse.com Guest
if you go with roll ups, spend the money to get good ones. we have a couple of pumpers with "low bid" roll up doors that have repeatedly jammed, broken, you name it. door open alarms always going off. went to high quality doors on other pumpers, and have done much better. you get what you pay for.
02-02-2001, 10:16 AM #14airpackFirehouse.com Guest
We have roll ups on our front line engine and swing outs on our back up. We love the roll ups. The swing outs, like mentioned before are always in the way. The only problem we have had is equipment sliding over and jamming the door so be sure to secure all eqip. in compartment. We have never had any problems w/ sand, salt, or roadgrime just keep your apparatus clean.
02-02-2001, 10:32 AM #15HAMMER14Firehouse.com Guest
Both types of doors are good for there own reasons.
They do get the actual door out of your way in respect to access to the compartment. OK, that's about the only good thing about roll up doors.
The jam. We have a brand new engine at work, we've had it for about 6 months. When it's not at the shop (E-One) The outside of the doors are already being scratched from something. This is happening on almost all of the new engines, about 12 of them. They also eat up a lot of space in the top of the compartment. The ladders are about 10" higher than they should be due to this. They had to put hydraulic lowering brackets on so short people (no offense to anyone) could get the ladders off. Some of the doors are already getting hard to open, yes we rinse the doors off in bad weather, so that's not the problem, I think there just junk. If something does fall against the inside of the door there is the possibility of the door jamming.
Great place to mount small equipment. We spece'd our new Heavy Rescue to be able to hold 150 lbs ON each door. Now there is nowhere near that amount of weight on the doors, but there is a lot of stuff on them. They also DO NOT eat up compartment space. We have hinged doors on everything, never had one jam yet. We have rollers on the edge of the doors for the cord reels. This helps get the cords away from the side of the apparatus. If you mount the compartment lights on the doors, the lights are actually useful. I have seen a lot of apparatus were the compartment lights are on the inside of the compartments and are useless because they have equipment in front of them. I have not seen any doors get scratched from just opening them, like some of the roll-ups. If you have high side compartments, you can hinge them from the top so they swing up. This takes them out of the way, unless you are really tall, and they are also nice for those people who don't like to get wet when it rains, Some of those drivers.
Yes they do stick out. They can make the vehicle wider when they are open, but if you mount a warning light on them, the ones that open to the rear, it will help provide extra warning lights to the rear. Some time it is a pain to get large equipment out of the compartments, but all of ours are hinged so that they can open some past perpendicular to the apparatus. This gives you the extra space needed to get in there.
My personal preference is hinged doors, Leave the roll up ones for the beer trucks.
Still haven't figured it out LFD2203.
[This message has been edited by HAMMER14 (edited 02-02-2001).]
02-02-2001, 04:30 PM #16mongofire_99Firehouse.com Guest
Rollups are the way to go for us.
We have yet to rip a rollup off a rig because it was left open before leaving the station and nobody in the cab saw the big yellow light going round and round (in one case the light failed).
They haven't flown open rounding a corner scattering equipment from one end of the block to the other. (Once it wasn't even the drivers fault, the latch just gave it up.)
Yeah, I know that these are mostly operator/officer errors but they've been reduced by the purchase and retrofit of rollups.
The only problem is sometimes (rarely) the magnet doesn't set right and you get the door open light, but a quick tap with a spanner frees it up.
And you lose the some of the top of the compartment which has already been pointed out.
Other than that, no jams or other problems for us.
02-02-2001, 05:22 PM #17SBrooksFirehouse.com Guest
If you do spec panel doors, don't go with the slam latch style, go with the quarter turn pin locks.
03-09-2001, 06:06 PM #18MFFJoeFirehouse.com Guest
I agree with MongoFire. Our new trucks purchased since '96 have been all roll-up (1 engine; 2 rescue co's). No problems with any of them to date.
03-09-2001, 07:38 PM #19Engine 33Firehouse.com Guest
Arcadia Truck 105, Sierra Madre Engine 41 have roll up doors, They work pretty well, Especially in the stations which is very tight quarters, I think it's a good idea, Being that none of our rigs have roll up doors, But I say go for it
03-09-2001, 09:09 PM #20alexff67Firehouse.com Guest
Our latest truck has rollup doors and they work well even in the winter, we have not had any freezing problems and we are located in western NY, where we see our share of snow.
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