# Thread: Small tankers or SUPER tankers???

1. wow, I had trouble following what westofd was typing, not because it was complex, but the spelling, punctuation, and grammar was horrible. I'm not an english professor, but you have to maintain a certain level of writing skills for a smooth conversation. Hint: a . (period) should not go at the end of a question, a ? (question mark) should. Follow me or do I have to back up?

2. Or you can REALLY screw with the #s and plug a vaccumn tanker into the equasion.That will put a dent in the 10" dump numbers.No question it's important to know what your tanker can do.Also your neighbors.We run big ones here 2500+.

3. Originally Posted by gilamonster

You can spec a larger tanker with more hp and gearing to match. The end result is that a 3000-4000 gallon truck can MATCH the speed of a smaller tanker.
Manuverability is the only factor where a smaller truck wins.
The MATH IS PRETTY FRIGGIN SIMPLE!

@ the same fill speed of 1000 gallons 2000 is full in 2min versus 3:30 for a 3500. 90 seconds is within the variable in all calculations.If it takes 1 min to dump 1000/ 2000 in 2min 3500 in 3.5 min. Another 90 seconds. 3 min load and dump for almost twice the water. IS 3 MINUTES FASTER THAN STARTING ALL OVER AND MAKING ANOTHER TRIP????

Lets say 20 min per trip. it will take just under 7 trips for you to catch the larger tanker.

The math aint that hard.

Stay Safe
Yep, for an extra three whole minutes, I can nearly double my water. Then factor in the extra time it takes to hook and unhook the hoses TWICE as much on the smaller tanker and the actual times are even closer, and once again, I'm getting nearly twice the water.

ISO is in a perfect world, one which has little to do with the way actual fireground tanker shuttle works. I've done the ISO test, pull forward 200', dump the water, then pull forward another 200' has nothing to do with real-world conditions where you're shuttling water a mile or more.

4. The one element that is most important when it comes to tankers is can you drive it on the roads and bridges in your territory. It makes no sense to have a 3500 gallon tanker IF you can't drive it across any number of bridges in your territory, OR if you can't get it into farm door yards.

To me, the next element is comfort in driving. In today's world most people don't drive big trucks and having a big tanker no one wants to drive or won't drive over 40 mph because they aren't comfortable makes its big payload less valuable.

The best advice about any type of apparatus is to know your area, know your personnel, know your needs, and then buy what works for you. It may be that neighboring departments have totally opposite needs and personnel and buy polar opposite tanker types.

5. Or they are still living in 1980, can't/won't modernize, are as hardheaded as some FF in the NE.

Our new 3000gal Frtliner is a pussycat to drive. Having the right rear suspension makes a huge difference in tanker performance. If still buying plain spring suspension you need to get a clue.

6. To answer some of your question. Are they hard headed or can't. Both. some area departments have a old time force at meetings, the 1 tanker i mentioned in earlier post, the chief and a few of the younger members wanted to update back of truck. It was to replace the 6" round dump with a 10"sq. newton dump on rear as well as installing 1 on each side. It also was to install 2 new fill valves on rear 3", they were to be located as low as possible on rear of truck. the older members at the meetings shot it down everytime they brought it to the floor. That was probably 6 years ago now. Its still that way today. There are other departments around that do not have funding available and have not been lucky enough to hit paydirt with the fire act grants.
And on the other side there is a department in county that has a nice looking tanker that is 6 or 7 years old now that has its tank fill at least 6 feet off ground on rear of truck. its a 5" valve with handwheel operating mechanism. It kills the fill site workers to drag the line over to and get it hooked, it takes time to hook and unhook.
As for the hardheaded in the ny area fire service, we all can be.
Thats why my statement of bigger is not always better comes into play. Stay Safe

7. 2500 Gallon Tank - not eliptical
500 - 750 gpm fire pump
Two door commercial chassis
Tandem Rear Axles with a little weight to spare
Enough compartment space for minimal engine equipment
30 ft hard suction
2500 Gallon porta tank
At least one preconnected atack line and 3/4" - 1" booster reel, short
Larg Dumps or Swivel Dump
Ground spray device for watering roads

Even with trained drivers and great suspension a heavy truck is a heavy truck and unless you drive them regularly - intimidated or not - it is a dangerous combination. So dont load up too much water and make it too big just so we have to make fewer trips to the watering hole. Risk is not worth the reward. And a minor but important point. If you want to be able to sell the truck in 10 - 20 years dont design a beast no one else will want.

8. ## Neiowa - any pics of your new rig

[QUOTE=neiowa;1063934]Or they are still living in 1980, can't/won't modernize, are as hardheaded as some FF in the NE.

Our new 3000gal Frtliner is a pussycat to drive. Having the right rear suspension makes a huge difference in tanker performance. If still buying plain spring suspension you need to get a clue.[/QUOT

Sounds like you got your new truck in - any pics to share?

9. Originally Posted by westofd1
To answer some of your question. Are they hard headed or can't. Both. some area departments have a old time force at meetings, the 1 tanker i mentioned in earlier post, the chief and a few of the younger members wanted to update back of truck. It was to replace the 6" round dump with a 10"sq. newton dump on rear as well as installing 1 on each side. It also was to install 2 new fill valves on rear 3", they were to be located as low as possible on rear of truck. the older members at the meetings shot it down everytime they brought it to the floor. That was probably 6 years ago now. Its still that way today. There are other departments around that do not have funding available and have not been lucky enough to hit paydirt with the fire act grants.
And on the other side there is a department in county that has a nice looking tanker that is 6 or 7 years old now that has its tank fill at least 6 feet off ground on rear of truck. its a 5" valve with handwheel operating mechanism. It kills the fill site workers to drag the line over to and get it hooked, it takes time to hook and unhook.
As for the hardheaded in the ny area fire service, we all can be.
Thats why my statement of bigger is not always better comes into play. Stay Safe
Our pumper tanker has the same issue with the 5" refill be mounted higher than I would have liked it. We are working on an appliance that will let us rapidly drain the water off the supply line without shutting down the hydrant.

10. Another item i forgot earlier. Check with the manufacturer about what psi tank can be filled at. The tanker i mentioned in above post could only be filled at 50 psi as per tank manufacturer. Our new tanker is labeled at 175 psi max. When its full water does fly.

11. We are being told to only fill our tanker at 50 psi, especially when it is close to being full. It doesn't have anything to do with the plumbing. It is a poly tank with a poly door on top. They say that too many times popping the door on top with too high of pressure will break the door off of its hinges, and it is a major pain to have it repaired. Just passing on what I have been told. Stay safe.

Kelly

12. Originally Posted by imafireman
We are being told to only fill our tanker at 50 psi, especially when it is close to being full. It doesn't have anything to do with the plumbing. It is a poly tank with a poly door on top. They say that too many times popping the door on top with too high of pressure will break the door off of its hinges, and it is a major pain to have it repaired. Just passing on what I have been told. Stay safe.

Kelly
it sounds like they didn't install a big enough vent/overflow pipe in your tank. The fact that it's a poly tank shouldn't make it fill slower. With a 4 " direct fill ours will fill at 125 psi in 2 1/2 minutes off of 4 inch LDH.

13. Originally Posted by mitchkrat
Our pumper tanker has the same issue with the 5" refill be mounted higher than I would have liked it. We are working on an appliance that will let us rapidly drain the water off the supply line without shutting down the hydrant.
Are you afraid of getting your legs wet?

We have a valve with a drain on our direct-tank fill. We'll just hit the drain and bleed off the pressure, then uncouple the 5". It drops some water, but with the angle of the valve, it drops off rather easily. Of course, the guys doing the filling wear their bunker pants and boots so they don't get soaked.

14. Originally Posted by Catch22
Are you afraid of getting your legs wet?

We have a valve with a drain on our direct-tank fill. We'll just hit the drain and bleed off the pressure, then uncouple the 5". It drops some water, but with the angle of the valve, it drops off rather easily. Of course, the guys doing the filling wear their bunker pants and boots so they don't get soaked.
It gets to be a real pain when the temp is below freezing. You get wet and freeze or the ground gets wet and splippery.

15. Originally Posted by FyredUp
It gets to be a real pain when the temp is below freezing. You get wet and freeze or the ground gets wet and splippery.
I can understand that. Fortunately, we haven't really had to deal with it. The couple of times we have, the guys spread sawdust on the little bit of ice we had to get traction and it worked out fine.

Truth be known, it's not often we run a real shuttle. Usually we can get our 1,000 gallon engine, 2,500 gallon pumper/tanker and 6,000 tanker and have enough to do the job. On occasion, we'll call in a couple more 2,500 gallon tankers.

We're trying to get things a bit more efficient and run "real" shuttles, but getting the other departments around here to accept anything but nurse tankers is a feat in itself.

Plus, I just gotta give mitchkrat some grief. He's got a sister to our pumper/tanker.

16. ## Tanker/Tender

I have served as Water Supply Officer in a rural mutual aid coalition for about twenty years. During that time we have experimented with tankers ranging from 1000gal to 3000gal. Size does matter in a relay operation - same size. If you intersperse larger and smaller tankers it just seems to mess up the orderly flow that we have learned to depend on. We have found 1500gal to 2000gal to be the ideal size in our area of northern Minnesota.

Single axle mid-range commercial trucks with diesel engines and automatic transmissions with locking rear axles have worked well for us. This size vehicle has adequate braking and steering for our conditions which can be quite demanding - hilly, narrow and twisty roads with no shoulders. Vehicles need to be nimble and easily manageable on all surfaces. Larger vehicles have proven more difficult to turn around and manage on our roads and drives.

We fill at about 800 to 1000gpm using 5"LDH located at a standardized location on rear right with Storz about 30" to 36" off the ground. We tried top fills but had some problems with people falling off icy walkways when trying to open and close fill doors. We tried just leaving them open but created another problem when water spillage froze on roadways.

We are now using a section of 3" hose coupled 2 1/2" both ends and adapted to 5" Storz as the hookup end in tanker filling. We use one jumbo wye to control filling and another in the same line to back drain hose between tankers. We also have one other jumbo wye located near the water supply pumper which can shut down the whole operation if necessary and it can also divert a small water flow to allow us to keep our lines running in subzero temps. This is an important feature since we cannot afford to have pumps, lines, fittings, etc freeze up. We also keep a bucket with antifreeze and water mix near the fill end of the hose to store the fill adapter in between fills - helps keep adapters clean and ice free.

Side dumps are great but many tankers still only dump off the rear. A swivel chute or dump direction adapter can help with this if you can predict which
direction you will need to dump each time. We have not been able to do this so backing in still seems to be the norm. Both of these methods lose a bit of dumping time due to various reasons but it's probably worth it versus backing in.

One of our most important discoveries was that 2100gal drop tanks work best for us since they are relatively easy for two persons to deploy and do not take up a whole roadway which can be an important consideration if you have snow banks on both sides. I have often thought an 8' wide drop tank would make sense. If your fleet uses 2100gal drop tanks you will have a 3500gal tanker standing by to unload last part of load. This could slow down the whole parade. Something to think about. Of course multiple drop tanks would also help with this problem but they take up more road space, take more time to set up, etc - it's all about trade offs.

I guess the real messages here are:
1. Standardize vehicle and tank size depending on your own local road and bridge conditions.
2. Standardize that size for everyone in your mutual aid group.
3. Standardize fill size and location.
4. Standardize discharge position[s] and location[s].
5. Standardize drop tank size for everyone.
6. Standardize rear suction location and size on pumpers.
7. Use a diamond layout pattern for drop tanks when possible.

Oh, did I forget to say "standardize everything?"

17. Originally Posted by ponebutton2
I have served as Water Supply Officer in a rural mutual aid coalition for about twenty years. During that time we have experimented with tankers ranging from 1000gal to 3000gal. Size does matter in a relay operation - same size. If you intersperse larger and smaller tankers it just seems to mess up the orderly flow that we have learned to depend on. We have found 1500gal to 2000gal to be the ideal size in our area of northern Minnesota.

Single axle mid-range commercial trucks with diesel engines and automatic transmissions with locking rear axles have worked well for us. This size vehicle has adequate braking and steering for our conditions which can be quite demanding - hilly, narrow and twisty roads with no shoulders. Vehicles need to be nimble and easily manageable on all surfaces. Larger vehicles have proven more difficult to turn around and manage on our roads and drives.

We fill at about 800 to 1000gpm using 5"LDH located at a standardized location on rear right with Storz about 30" to 36" off the ground. We tried top fills but had some problems with people falling off icy walkways when trying to open and close fill doors. We tried just leaving them open but created another problem when water spillage froze on roadways.

We are now using a section of 3" hose coupled 2 1/2" both ends and adapted to 5" Storz as the hookup end in tanker filling. We use one jumbo wye to control filling and another in the same line to back drain hose between tankers. We also have one other jumbo wye located near the water supply pumper which can shut down the whole operation if necessary and it can also divert a small water flow to allow us to keep our lines running in subzero temps. This is an important feature since we cannot afford to have pumps, lines, fittings, etc freeze up. We also keep a bucket with antifreeze and water mix near the fill end of the hose to store the fill adapter in between fills - helps keep adapters clean and ice free.

Side dumps are great but many tankers still only dump off the rear. A swivel chute or dump direction adapter can help with this if you can predict which
direction you will need to dump each time. We have not been able to do this so backing in still seems to be the norm. Both of these methods lose a bit of dumping time due to various reasons but it's probably worth it versus backing in.

One of our most important discoveries was that 2100gal drop tanks work best for us since they are relatively easy for two persons to deploy and do not take up a whole roadway which can be an important consideration if you have snow banks on both sides. I have often thought an 8' wide drop tank would make sense. If your fleet uses 2100gal drop tanks you will have a 3500gal tanker standing by to unload last part of load. This could slow down the whole parade. Something to think about. Of course multiple drop tanks would also help with this problem but they take up more road space, take more time to set up, etc - it's all about trade offs.

I guess the real messages here are:
1. Standardize vehicle and tank size depending on your own local road and bridge conditions.
2. Standardize that size for everyone in your mutual aid group.
3. Standardize fill size and location.
4. Standardize discharge position[s] and location[s].
5. Standardize drop tank size for everyone.
6. Standardize rear suction location and size on pumpers.
7. Use a diamond layout pattern for drop tanks when possible.

Oh, did I forget to say "standardize everything?"
I had to laugh when I read this post. Not because the information isn't great and valuable. But because of a little story I am going to tell.

We had a massive fire at a recycling plant in a neighboring fire departments territory. We had 14 tankers hauling water from 3 different counties and my volly FD had an engine at the fire and had a tanker hauling water. We were designated as one of the 3 fill sites. Our brush rig went to the closest hydrant(It was about a 7 mile run to us) we dressed the hydrant with 2 gate valves and connected 2 - 3inch lines. The first tanker in we had to adapt up to 4 inch storz, the second to agricultural cam locks, third to 5 inch storz, fourth back to the 2 1/2 inch threads on our 3 inch hose...To say the least it was a night mare. We got to where we recognized the tanker coming in and would have the right adapter inplace when they stopped, but what a hastle.

Next county fire association I brought up looking into a standard tanker fill connection. I said I don't care whether it is 4 inch storz, or 5 inch storz, or cam locks, or even threaded 2 1/2...just something standard for all county tankers. It got quiet, I mean REAL QUIET. It was like how quiet it gets in a western just before the shooting starts. NO ONE SAID A WORD. So it went no where. If we had a big fire again today it would be the same mess.

As a result of that day we added a set of 2 1/2 inch cam locks to our list of adapters for our tanker. We already had one fill set uop for 2 1/2 inch threaded and the other with a 5 inch storz with a 5 to 4 inch storz adapter attached to it. Waste of money, but it is what it is.

Well, we went through some of that as well and would still be fighting the problem if we hadn't been able to fund adapters through a local grant - tie cash to just about anything and you will have followers. We simply set the parameters and said if you want some of the grant cash you need to follow them. We performed a telephone inventory of just about everyone within 100 miles and found that we really needed a few items to provide universal access. So we bought those items and everyone went home happy and able to fit into their neighboring systems.

Back in 1991 my FD bought a new Intl 2000gal tanker for about \$92000 while a neighbor bought two 1800gal Intl tankers for about \$96000. Ours was a bit flashier and had 4x4, while the neighbors were basic and functional 2x4. So basically they had 3600gals rolling when we had only 2000gal on the road for about the same money. The importance of this became apparent when our tanker went into the shop or was otherwise unavailable. Sometimes multiple slightly smaller might make some sense. Cost/Benefit deal isn't it?

Agreed, you still need to find drivers, but staffing is another thread isn't it?

19. ## Same valve

Originally Posted by Catch22
I can understand that. Fortunately, we haven't really had to deal with it. The couple of times we have, the guys spread sawdust on the little bit of ice we had to get traction and it worked out fine.

Truth be known, it's not often we run a real shuttle. Usually we can get our 1,000 gallon engine, 2,500 gallon pumper/tanker and 6,000 tanker and have enough to do the job. On occasion, we'll call in a couple more 2,500 gallon tankers.

We're trying to get things a bit more efficient and run "real" shuttles, but getting the other departments around here to accept anything but nurse tankers is a feat in itself.

Plus, I just gotta give mitchkrat some grief. He's got a sister to our pumper/tanker.
We have the same setup - and yep I get my feet wet!

We have a design for the appliance I want to make to drain the hose - just trying to get the local aircraft machine shop to make me a prototype out of aluminum.

Ran into the same problems here with getting some of the neighbors to try a water shuttle - finally convinced the county fire chiefs association last fall to let me teach a class and then conduct a drill. It was amazing - had a lot of converts!

A week later, had a house fire/propane explosion in the neighbors district and they set and ran a shuttle for the 1st time.

We do have quite a mix of tankers in our county, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500 and 5000 gallons - makes setting up multiple dump tanks a must.

20. Good post

Originally Posted by ponebutton2
I have served as Water Supply Officer in a rural mutual aid coalition for about twenty years.....

AH Stock has a new swivel dump that will go on the end of their existing dumps (behind the valve). Run you around \$1300 with extension chute for the end.

One of our most important discoveries was that 2100gal drop tanks work best for us since they are relatively easy for two persons to deploy and do not take up a whole roadway which can be an important consideration if you have snow banks on both sides. I have often thought an 8' wide drop tank would make sense. If your fleet uses 2100gal drop tanks you will have a 3500gal tanker standing by to unload last part of load. This could slow down the whole parade. Something to think about. Of course multiple drop tanks would also help with this problem but they take up more road space, take more time to set up, etc - it's all about trade offs...

Oh, did I forget to say "standardize everything?"
Foldatank will make you a custom size at same price as std tank for a given capacity. So for 2100gal go to 10' wide x 12'7" long tank (std would be 11'3" square). Or maybe its 8' x 15'10". In my area a 10' wide tank behind the pumper leaves drive by space. You can't fix stupid so if the crew places the tank with wrong orientation....

21. Aurora, Oregon fire an dual 4200g tenders a few months ago when i was a resident volly there. Talk about one huge tender. It even had its own masterstream!

22. Originally Posted by neiowa
Good post

Foldatank will make you a custom size at same price as std tank for a given capacity. So for 2100gal go to 10' wide x 12'7" long tank (std would be 11'3" square). Or maybe its 8' x 15'10". In my area a 10' wide tank behind the pumper leaves drive by space. You can't fix stupid so if the crew places the tank with wrong orientation....

Size does matter, no doubt about it

We have a 2500gal drop tank on our 2500gal pumper/tanker, and another 2500gal drop tank on the 4000gal tanker. If we had a 4000gal drop tank we would not have room to put it on many calls. If placed on the road, it would not allow any room to drive past.

23. ## You want a Super Tanker?

So you want a super tanker. Here is one I delivered a few months back. 5000gwt 2000 gpm with a deck gun. Check out the Peterbilt in this thread.http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=107637

24. frytrks,
Does that department have trouble getting drivers for a truck that big? Something like that wouldnt be for shuttling water, but rather being a portable fire hydrant.

25. It was an almost direct replacement. The tank size didn't decrease from the old unit, the pump size did increase. They have another tanker that isn't as big. As far as drivers most of the guys in the department do drive big trucks so they are used to it.

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