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  1. #41
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    Default 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?"


  2. #42
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponebutton2 View Post
    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.

  3. #43
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    Default Threads

    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?

  4. #44
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    Default Same valve

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    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.

    Had another class/drill this spring - had several departments that had already made improvements/changes to equipment from what they learned in the fall drill.

    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.

  5. #45
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    Default

    Good post

    Quote Originally Posted by ponebutton2 View Post
    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....
    Last edited by neiowa; 05-22-2009 at 02:08 AM.

  6. #46
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    Default

    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!

  7. #47
    Savage / Hyneman 08'
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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    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.
    We do not rise to the occasion. We fall back to our level of training.

  8. #48
    Forum Member Fyrtrks's Avatar
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    Default 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
    Fyrtrks

  9. #49
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    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.

  10. #50
    Forum Member Fyrtrks's Avatar
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    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.
    Fyrtrks

  11. #51
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    This is our version of a "Super Tanker". 6,000 gallons. We don't know what the pump is "rated" at, but we calculated it putting out 1,250 on day when we were playing around with it.

    Fortunately, there's only a few bridges that can't handle it. The bigger problem is it takes the entire back 40 to turn it around.

    Until we get some of the other departments into the tanker shuttle game, we're pulling it to a scene and laying LDH to it and pumping the water to the attack engine. As other tankers come in, they pump off into this truck, using it as a massive dump tank.

    And before it's thrown out there, yes, it's a little overweight. We haven't put it on the scale yet to see how much, but our calculations from dry weight on the scale to full put it pretty close to the GVW. Only certain people are authorized to drive it, all of which have CDL's and/or are accustomed to driving large apparatus.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  12. #52
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    I like the way you guys do bussiness..... and I see your Brush Truck from Unruh made it in Fire Apparatus Magazine... looks nice!

  13. #53
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    Default

    Most tankers here are in the 2500 gal - 3000 gal range, they are reasonable easy to move around. I have seen a few ones that are larger than 5000 gal, but they are getting to big for shuttle duties but are good if one tank worth of water is enough. Our own has 2100, it's the biggest we could put on the frame we had.

  14. #54
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    catch22,
    Who built that truck? was it built as a fire tanker? that truck is hauling almost 50k in water.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy2802 View Post
    I like the way you guys do bussiness..... and I see your Brush Truck from Unruh made it in Fire Apparatus Magazine... looks nice!
    I'm glad you said something! I hadn't seen that it was in there until I went to looking after reading your post. I'm surprised my wife hadn't thrown it away yet!

    Our pumper/tanker ended up making Rosenbauer's tanker brochure the year after it was built. I'll have to put the FAM picture beside the brochure in the ol' scrapbook.

  16. #56
    Forum Member Fyrtrks's Avatar
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    My guess is it's a retired Air Force refuling tanker truck. I sure hope they had it baffled. Here is a newer version. The photo was just too large to post.

    http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photo...-6699G-300.jpg
    Fyrtrks

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ledebuhr1 View Post
    catch22,
    Who built that truck? was it built as a fire tanker? that truck is hauling almost 50k in water.
    I don't know who exactly built it. It's actually a surplus truck through the FEPP program. It used to be an Air Force refueler, I believe designated as an R-11, which was put on either an OshKosh or a Volvo chassis (this one's an OshKosh). When we picked it up, it had less than 9K miles.

    We sunk less than $5K into it to paint it and adapt the intakes/discharges over to fire threads (OE is victaulic). We saved a lot of money by just giving it a good acid wash to knock off the oxidation on the paint and using implement paint.

    After we removed the hose and reels, the HUGE freaking fuel filter, and some other things, we dropped the dry weight down to around 26K. GVW is around 68-69K (I'd have to look at the papers to make sure).

    The big problems we've had with it is that the motor is a bit underpowered (Cummins 330 HP) and it takes a country mile to stop when it's full. Now when it's empty, the thing'll haul tail. But, with 6K gallons of water, we don't want even experiences OTR drivers going too fast. We actually don't even allow it to respond emergency and didn't bother to put sirens on it. There's a lightbar for when they're nearing or on scene, just to make it a bit more visible.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyrtrks View Post
    My guess is it's a retired Air Force refuling tanker truck. I sure hope they had it baffled. Here is a newer version. The photo was just too large to post.

    http://www.af.mil/shared/media/photo...-6699G-300.jpg
    Yes, it's baffled. That's one of the first things we looked at before we signed the dotted line.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ledebuhr1 View Post
    catch22,
    Who built that truck? was it built as a fire tanker? that truck is hauling almost 50k in water.
    Oshkosh R-11 built as refuelers for the Air Force in the late 80s/early 90s. AF is getting rid of all of them and a fair # in the DOD surplus system. Pump as built was a Hale 500gpm as I recall. Low powered as engine and gearing was designed for putting around nice flat air base. Cummins around 350hp and Allison trans.

    You can reduce weight some by tearing out the filters and water separators housed in the box behind the cab. Substantially overweight filled with water rather than jet fuel.

  20. #60
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    Default OVER GVW - Lawyers dream

    You wouldn't catch me behind the wheel of that truck. You say you are not sure of the gross weight but do know about what the GVW rating and dry weight is. Doing some quick calculations using your numbers I would guess that truck is about 7,000 pounds over the rated GVW.

    Weight of water 8.35 lbs. X 6,000 50,100
    Dry weight of truck 26,000
    TOTAL WEIGHT 76,100
    GVW of truck loaded -69,000
    AMOUNT OVER GVW 7,100

    If it was me I would be looking at the limits of the department's liability insurance first thing tomorrow. Your statement on it taking a country mile to stop it scares the hell out of me. What happens if someone stops short or pulls out in front of you? Experienced driver or not, that truck is a lawyers dream.

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