1. #1
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    Post Brush Truck/tanker combo

    My dept is thinking about building a brushtruck/ tanker combo. A military 5 ton 6X6 with a 1500 gallon tank. And put brush fire equipment on it and also have a dump tank and dump valve on it.
    The reason we are think of building a truck this way is we are a very small dept. 8 firefighters and a $3,500 annual budget. we have a pumper and a 2 1/2 ton 6X6 brush truck now. We need a tanker but can't afford to enlarge the fire house,and we don't always have 3 drivers. So we thought the best way to solve both problems is to build a brushtruck/tanker combo.
    My big question is....... does anyone have a 5 ton brush truck with 1500 gallons on it. How does it work. How does it handle off road. Does it get stuck easy. (do to the weight). And any other info you can provide would help out alot. Your opinion on the whole idea also.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Well I have never really been in a set up quite like that. I was on a small vol. dept. that used two chevy chasis one with 1250 the other with 1500. We had various tools on these and used them on natural cover fires. They were only two wheel drive and worked well if the ground was solid.
    We also have a 21/2 t military vehicle as a brush truck. It has 200 gal tank and numerous tool on it. Also bult very heavy lots of steele. This truck is really heavy. I would think you could do alright with whay you want to do. It will not be a real swamp buggy but with some common since it could be used effectivly. The current dept I am on had a love for military vehicles we also have a 5 t with tandom axle and 3500 g tank.
    But good luck with your truck.

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    What kind of terrain do you have to contend with? Like BFD847 said, it will not be a swamp buggy. Try to keep the center of gravity as low as possible. With 1500 gallons, your pump, equipment storage and a ride on area, I would start worrying about a high center of gravity. You might consider cutting it down to 1000 gallons. Preferably use a poly tank, they are worth it. We are about to build one up as an attack truck, but I have a couple of questions. What are your other trucks? What kind of tanker support can you call for using mutual aid. What is the length and width of the bed on your truck? Do you want to ride on the truck or walk while fighting fire. Ill send you a scetch of what we are building as soon as I can get it scanned. Stay safe and have fun.
    Gabriel
    FF/EMT
    Nevada, Missouri
    1*

  4. #4
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    1152
    Jeremy Culver
    IACOJ Bureau of EMS

    These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

    Help our fellow firefighters.
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    1152,
    Well first of all I agree w/Smoke. Make sure to have the center of gravity set correctly. If possible try to find an engineer that could help with the plans. Don't just go out and buy a tank and start welding. Make sure to plan it out. Also it sounds like you might be able to use some help with apparatus. Run by www.helpingourown.org. They might be albe to help you with a few things that you might need. I hope everything works out. And keep us posted on whether or not you get it done. I'd like to see it when you do. Good Luck

    code_blue81
    Jeremy Culver
    IACOJ Bureau of EMS

    These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

    Help our fellow firefighters.
    www.helpingourown.com
    "Firefighters Helping Firefighters"

  6. #6
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    Fire1152, My department operates a 5 ton 6X6 as a brush truck. It has a gasoline powered pump and has a 750 gallon water tank. It drives well and handles off road better than any other brush unit we have. However, with a 5 ton rating thats only 10.000 pound payload. Your water tank will need to be less than a 1000 gallons (you need to figure weight for crew, tools and a pump as well). 1500 gallons of water is to much for the truck and I guarentee your off road performance will drop drastically and become dangerous. The brakes and transmission will be over taxed as well. You do not need a unsafe vehicle to drive. Check the line of duty deaths, many listings are from firefighters crashing tenders/tankers. Please don't overload the truck your asking to get someone killed.

  7. #7
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    Take a look on this site, you may find some
    helpful information

    http://www.roscommonequipmentcenter.com/
    Buckle Up, Slow Down, Arrive Alive
    "Everybody Goes Home"

    IACOJ 2003

  8. #8
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    Listen to mtnfireguy. We've found Roscommon pretty helpful.

    We have three military 2 1/2 ton trucks. One is set up as a tanker with 1000 gallons, and the other two are set up as heavy brush trucks with 600 and 700 gallons, respectively. We haven't had any problems getting them stuck yet, but now that I say that, we'll probably bury it to the frame next week.

    We considered using a five-ton as a heavy brush truck, but went with the 2 1/2 tons because they're shorter (a five-ton would barely fit in the station). Several departments around here run five-ton tankers, but no brush trucks that I've seen.

    If I'm not mistaken, the 2 1/2 ton and five ton payload ratings on miliary 6 x 6 are not the max that they can carry. I'm pretty sure that the payload ratings are the max that they can carry on a 40% grade (that will need a little research), so 1500 gallons should be fine on a five-ton.

    I understand your situation and wanting to do the most you can with as little as possible. I would caution you, however, on using a five-ton with a 1500 gallon tank as a brush truck. I just see it getting buried a lot.

    One more item and I'll quit rambling: driving those military 6x6's is a workout. That's why we put air-assisted power steering on ours! The kit costs about $800, but it's worth, especially if you're going off-road.

    Good luck and if you have any questions, email me through my profile.

  9. #9
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    i'd have to agree with 443 that's not enough truck for the size of tank you guys want. if water weighs at 11 lbs per gallon times 1500 gallons my calculations come out to 16500 lbs(that's without,pump(which sounds like your gonna put one on),equiptment and men on the truck. when the truck only rated for 10000 lbs it's kinda of a safety issue. I speak from experience of a overloaded brush truck.Our Chevy 3/4 ton 4x4 brush truck has 300 gallon tank and a good size pump on in it and some equiptment on it. we had to put oversize mudder tires on it so it wouldn't squat so much(plus it does better in field fires). Now if you can find a(if they make them) 10 ton 6x6 that would work i think for 1500 gallon tank with pump.good luck with the new truck

  10. #10
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    Our military brush tanker has a 98,500 pound GVW and weighs 40,000 loaded. It carries 2500 gallons, will climb a 67& slope, go 30 mpg over 18 inch concrete walls, through almost anything as speed.

  11. #11
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    what is the pump and tank size and details of your pumper, also the 2 1/2 ton ?
    I know the area you are in is very hilly and treacherous so i would have to say for a brush truck, you would want to stay with something lighter and more agile. The tanker is needed for structural responses and could also work on brush fires but from a solid road. if the tank on the 2 1/2 ton isnt huge it could be a very effective brush truck, with less chance of getting stuck or rolled over .
    If nothing else build the tanker, house it in the station, and either put the 2 1/2 ton brush truck outside ,empty, or put it in someones shop or barn that is heated.
    we use our old main truck as a brush truck.
    it is a 1974 ford f-700 with a homemade 1000 gal tank and a 70 gpm pto pump, it is the only truck we usually take off road and then only if it is very solid ground. we have two 1 inch redline reels with 200 feet of line on each one, if we need more reach we uncouple the other redline and make a single 400 foot line. we have stuck this truck before but we have always been able to pump the rest of the water off of it and then drive it out under its own power.
    we have also used our 1965 ford pumper a few times as a brush truck, it has a 500 pump and a 500 tank so it isnt as heavy and works good except in the most muddy of conditions.
    As far as Helping Our Own, you know that we are basically shut down right now for lack of funds. I thought i had your dept a great pumper but a small dept in North Carolina responded first and is going to get it. I hope i can get one of the possible return trucks to your dept soon or find you another one to replace your old pumper.
    Most of the equipment and gear we have waiting on us is pretty much all structural stuff. I hope we can get enough depts here needing gear to get together enough funds to cover the shipping costs so we can get a big load or two to Arkansas soon.
    It is a shame that all that gear is just sitting up there in the northeast part of the country and we havent got enough funds to go get it all. there is an estimated 3 to 4 million dollars worth of gear that has been donated.
    Also, are you guys planning on putting some sort of a pump on the 5 ton ? if so which type, portable, pto ???
    Thanks ,Tyler
    www.fire-ems.net/firedept/view/WeinerAR

  12. #12
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    This might sound crazy but i think this work for a small underfunded dept like them.
    Put a decent pump(like 500 gpm on it) and then build a tanker trailer to pull behind it(now i don't know you guy's station size if it will fit. But that way it will take some weight off the truck. best of all when you have small fires you don't have to hitch up the trailer. Just the there's a couple things bad about trailers(they can be tricky on snow and ice(if you guys have that),if the other guys are not used to backing trailers they could get anger cause the trailer going the opposite way of the rig. Plus with this idea if you like a field fire or machinery fire(like tractor or combine your probably not gonna need 1500 gallons of water) so if you put like 750 on that leave the 750 or 1000 gallon trailer at the station you'd have enough water. If you go to most Fabrication shops (atleast around here) and tell them how many gallon tank you need and how much the axles gotta weigh and stuff like they they'll make it for you.They usually cut you a discount if it's for F.D. use. we're personally lucky in our dept to have a guy that works as Fabricator. He made our gear rack,foldable chair racks, and i think he's working on folding table racks now. It's just a idea think about it.

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    We have a over loaded top heavy 2.5 ton it has 2000 gallons. We got bad info they said it would hold 3000. Now here is what I now know 2.5 ton has a GVW of 23000 the 5 ton has a gvw of 70000. The 2.5 ton we have even being over loaded will go places that the 4x4 pick-up will not. The truck that you have mentioned will work you could even put a 3000 gallon tank on that if you had too.

    Hope the info helps
    D308

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    Hey woody----eleven pounds per gallon?????? God gave you two ears and only one mouth, so try listening twice as much as you spout off.
    Ok-back to the question--there are proably 50 military rigs within a two hour drive of your area. Get off the net and go look, go down to Greenbriar and ask some questions.
    But my question is, with a $3500.oo budget, why take on another expense? It should take your full budget to properly take care of your men and equipment.

  15. #15
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    i did listen and if you know what a gallon of water weighs which is 11 lbs. you take 11 lbs time 1500 which will give you 16,500 lbs (that's without equiptment and pump)there's no way in hell a 5 ton truck can handle that. Sure you could do it for about a year but something gonna give. when you SEVERELY overload a truck like that it's gonna blow or break something. I'd rather see a truck built to heavy than too light.
    It's to big of a risk to ride in if you ask me.
    might work for some guys but there's a reason it says 5 TON TRUCK.

  16. #16
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    8.3 lbs per gallon there woody--

  17. #17
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    Question

    Does heavy water put out more fire than ordinary weight water?

  18. #18
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    8.34 pounds, does the water tank weigh anything. Yeah he was right 11 pounds per gallon is right on.

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    O.k. people go to this pageclark truck equipment and see that a 5 ton millitary truck has a gvw of 70,000lbs. that is heavier than a International Paystar 5000 6x6 that we have that has 4000 gallons of water plus equipment and people and pump that is no where near over loaded. I know because we got the ticket from the certified scales to prove it is correct. As far as go off road, this truck will go any place you can go in a 4x4 pick-up just like the 2.5 ton that we have with 2000 gallons of water, and it does not have any more break down than the other trucks.

    Once again Hope the info helps
    D308

    [ 12-30-2001: Message edited by: d308 ]


  20. #20
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    Hey gah74, heavy water does put out more fire. But its not the stuff we put in our trucks. It is usually red and sticky, moving about 150 mph and dropped about 200 ft off the deck.

    Now, if I use light water, do I have to use twice as much for half the fire load?

  21. #21
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    I'll have to back Maplewood up here. A number of years back we were building a brush truck, we contacted the SC Forestry Commssion about how big a tank we could put on the chassis we recieved from them. Their advice was to count each gallon of water at 11 lbs to take in account the added weight of the tank. So, 8.3 lbs per gallon is correct...but since noone has come up with a way to keep water in a liquid state inside a fire truck without a tank, 11 lbs per gallon is a good rule of thumb.

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    perhaps in the east things are different, however 1500 gallons seems excessive for a brush response where perhaps the primary goal should be to cut line. Save your money and invest in wildland gear and training.

  23. #23
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    i think 1500 gallons is a bit to much water for a grass fire. i'd rather see them get like a 1000 gallon(which is still on the high side for a grass truck) and get all the guys wildfire gear.

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