Thread: generators

  1. #1
    tmr91 Guest

    Post generators

    I'm looking for information on generators. Trying to get feed back on AMPS hydralic or HOTSHOT (?) PTO style. I would need enough power for a 4 head light tower, 4 flood lights and 3 hanney electrical reels. Does any one have a web address for AMPS or HOT SHOT? Thanks

  2. #2
    fireferret Guest


    We have an AMPS hydraulic generator on one of our trucks and it works really well. Be carefull, though, because some manufacturers said they couldn't set it up to run while driving down the road (allows you to use quartz lights to look for houses, etc. -- works better than 12V scene lights ... oh, and for christmas lights too) while others said they could. That is much of the advantage of a hydraulic generator. The other advantage of the AMPS over a PTO generator is that you can also use it in conjunction with a fire pump (PTO generator are set up to operate at one engine speed, hydraulics can run at any engine speed.) PTO generators (Onan, Winco, etc.), however, have higher kW ratings than hydraulics do and are cheaper (better for rescues - less space and higher kW than a diesel)
    I believe the HOTSHOT is a type of PTO - not a generator - made by Chelsea. Our AMPS uses a Muncie PTO.

  3. #3
    NUMBY Guest


    We Have a new Ferarra/Spartan Pumper with an AMPS hydraulic generator. We have had a bunch of problems. The truck is 3 months old and has had 3 different units on it now. The first day we took delivery of the truck the generator had some line blow and it leaked all the fluid out. It got fixed and it happened again. Ferarra sent a technician down to look at it and he installed another new generator. Well last week we were out on a fire with it running about 4 hours when it blew again. Yesterday a tech from AMPS came down to completely redo the installation. We are hoping it is ok now. He found a problem with the way it had been installed at the factory. Other than that it appears to be a nice idea. It is nice to be able to turn it on just driving down the street. Ill keep ya posted with any further problems.

    [This message has been edited by NUMBY (edited January 06, 2000).]

  4. #4
    JBROWNL8 Guest


    TMR91 - In the city that I work for, we recieved a new Lance 2000 pumper with the AMPS(ADVANCED MODULAR POWER SYSTEMS)10Kw system. The system works like a charm, haven't had any problems. You can activate the system driving down the road at any RPM from the cab. The system starts right when you turn the motor on. Its constantly running. Its ready to go when you get to your scene. All we do is hit a swtich and power is there.

    It happens that the factory where they are made is located in the city where I work. The sytems is a very simple one. I did a walk through of the plant and actually see the system from start to finish. The PTO sends hydraulic fluid to the unit and turns the generator shaft, that also turns the cooling fan near the radiator. The radiator cools the hydraulic fluid. Its a closed sytem. The size of the unit varies with the size that you get. The tech that I talk to said that they make 6kw all the way up to 20 kw. They where working on a system to try and get one on a Ford F-550. They where just waiting on Ford.

    I believe they got there start in the oil field industry. In the City of Houston, they are recieving a big order of new apparatus all with AMPS. They have about 12 Tech's around the country.

    Ok, enough of the rambling. No I am not a salesman for them.

    I dont know much about HOTSHOT much less never heard of them.
    But in my opinion, AMPS is a great system.

    There phone # is 281-240-2555. Uknown if they have a 800-#.


    13013 Jess Pirtle
    Sugar Land, Texas

  5. #5
    jboczek Guest


    I've never seen the generators like the ones Illinois Power uses on their service trucks. They are actually powered by an electric motor, 12v. yet. The one I saw was mounted under the passenger's seat inside the cab. The guy I talked to said he's used them for a while now and had absolutly no problems with them. I could find out the manufacturer and specs if you'd like.

  6. #6
    rbf Guest


    Our engine has an AMPS generator with a Hot Shift Chelsea Model 276 PTO. We have had no problems with it. I would suggest that while you are ordering the generator, go ahead and have it capable of charging your 12 volt system also. If you have an alternator failure, or if the alternator can't keep up in a situation, you have an additional charge for you vehicle batteries. One word of caution. Check your PTO owner's manual about engaging the PTO while driving with a high engine rpm. There could be a possiblity of shearing something inside the PTO itself.

  7. #7
    Ricky Bodin Guest


    We have two AMPS generators. We have had problems with both generators. One was a design flaw and the other was with the way the apparatus manufacturer installed the generator which eventually caused the generator to fail. On the other hand AMPS completely replaced both generators under warranty and replaced both generators with ones of larger capacity. You can't beat that!
    The generators really are great pieces of equipment.

  8. #8
    ScottN7ZTI Guest


    On our rescue truck, we use a redyline (At I think that is what it is, coming from memory), anyway, it is basacally a heavy duty 12-V motor, that drives the generator, anytime the truck is running, the generator is running, we use to power our 120V scene lights, and pllug-ine in almost every compartment, plus numerous plugs on the outside of the box. We have not had any problems with the sustem, the one thing that we like about it is that we do not have to worry about getting it started, as soon we plug anything into it, there is power thier. And with it's small size, and it's quietness, it can by places just aboutwhere on the truck.

  9. #9
    fireferret Guest


    The concept of the hyraulic generator is not new or original to AMPS. Several manufacturers make them (AMPS, Harrison, Hartigen ...) Basically, they use a variable displacement hyraulic motor (maintains a fixed flow rate at any engine speed) to drive a fixed displacement hyraulic motor that drives a generator. There is, therefore, inefficiency built into it that PTO generators do not have (basically adding a whole step between the engine and the generator), but it does allow it to run at almost any speed (your manufacturer should have the limits from AMPS.)

    The Readyline type system is basically an inverter (the opposite of an alternator) in that it takes DC and converters it to AC. The only problem is that you are drawing power from your 12V system and therefore must spec a larger alternator to compensate for this. If you have a rescue truck with a lot of stuff running off the 12V system (warning lights, etc.) and you want to run a lot of quartz lights or a light tower of the inverter, you may have to go to a huge alternator to provide enough 12V power.

  10. #10
    cra539 Guest


    The airport cfr unit i worked on back in the 80's had 12volt to 120vac generators on the crash trucks. these were in fact 12 volt motors (very similar to starter motors)that spun 120 volt ac generators. They worked but drained the 12v batteries on the trucks fast when the engine remained at idle. They powered the 500 watt scene lights only. The generators were mounted under the crew seats and got really hot. they did the job, but I wouldn't want one now.

  11. #11
    NUMBY Guest

    Thumbs up

    Just thought id get back to you and let you know that since my last post our AMPS generator has been replaced and we have not had a problem since. The problem was that when the truck manufacturer installed it, they installed the pump upside down and it was leaking fluid through some hole that was designed to be an overflow on the top of the pump. The AMPS technician identified the problem and completely installed a whole new unit. We have not had any more problems and have been very satisfied.

    [This message has been edited by NUMBY (edited January 31, 2000).]

  12. #12
    Stuart Cobb Guest


    AMPS web site is

    Does anyone have an AMPS generator mounted under the body on the frame rails? They say you can do it but I wonder how all the dirt and water will affect things over time.

  13. #13
    ricky Guest


    That's where ours is.

  14. #14
    NUMBY Guest


    Just thought id fill everyone in on our continuing problems. AMPS generator number 4 failed last week. After running at a fire scene for about an hour it started leaking fluid and it shut down AGAIN. This is starting to look like a bad idea to us, or maybe our new truck us just cursed. An AMPS tech came to check the problem again and once again he pretty much installed all new components. They did give us a free upgrade from 8kw to 10kw for our troubles. It is getting old that it keeps breaking, but on the other hand, every time it happens the AMPS people are understanding and fix it for free under warranty.

    Anything left in the forums is my opinion and does not reflect my department or any organization i belong to.

  15. #15
    tmr91 Guest


    Thanks for all of the great information. Sorry I haven't replied back in a while. Keep it safe and stay low.

  16. #16
    Andrew R. Duval Guest


    Has anyone experianced problems with a diesel generator? We are looking to mount a permanent generator and run it of of the trucks fuel tank on our new Engine.

  17. #17
    NUMBY Guest


    I have no personal experience with a deisel generator, but several departments around have them and i have not heard anything bad about them. If we continue to have problems with the AMPS i think we might switch to a deisel.

    Anything left in the forums is my opinion and does not reflect my department or any organization i belong to.

  18. #18
    firenurse Guest

    Thumbs down

    We have a hydraulic generator on our engine and it has been one pain in the neck. Not being able to control the speed on it, sometimes it works and sometimes it dosent. The guys who pushed for the thing in the first place now agree that we should have done with a deisel generator.

    Just for flavor, our city bought 3 engines a few years back. Ours has the hydraulic generator, the paid statin went with deisel, and the other vol. station went with an inverter.

    [This message has been edited by firenurse (edited March 29, 2000).]

  19. #19
    tmr91 Guest


    I thought I'd open this topic one more time. With the AMPS genertors, how do they work? Can they be running while driving down the road? do you have to engage the pump or a pto to work? Can you throw a switch and have instant power.I'm just looking for the basic's. Thanks again for all the helpful information in the past.

  20. #20
    Stuart Cobb Guest


    You need to engage the PTO at some point, but with the Chelsea Hot Shift you can do that cruising down the road. If your light switches are on, then you have instant power.

    AMPS will send you a installation manual which explains a lot.

  21. #21
    NUMBY Guest


    Our AMPS generator pump is constantly running, all you have to do to get power is turn on the swith at the switch panel in the cab. This can be done while the truck is driving. We leave the breakers on at the breaker panel, so as soon as we swith it on, all the quartz lights come on.

    Anything left in the forums is my opinion and does not reflect my department or any organization i belong to.

  22. #22
    FireGuyNeil Guest



  23. #23
    Capt. Zada Guest


    AMPS makes a fine system. I think that most of the problems could be eliminated if the fire truck builders were better trained in the installation process.

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