Our department is considering replacing our 30 year old grass rig with a new pickup truck that will serve as a grass rig, mini-pumper, and rescue rig. We're stuck on two important issues, make and size of truck, and 2-man vs 4-man cab. We're in a rural agricultural area of west central Indiana and are trying to satisfy both the city dwellers and our country cousins who support our department. Any suggestions?
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Thread: New Mini-Pumper/Grass Rig/Rescue
08-04-2000, 03:38 AM #1jeo995Firehouse.com Guest
New Mini-Pumper/Grass Rig/Rescue
08-05-2000, 05:04 AM #2MetalMedicFirehouse.com Guest
Any suggestions you ask?? DON'T DO IT!!!! We have a truck that was meant to be exactly what you describe. 1-ton chassis, 4WD, 250GPM PTO, 300 gallon poly tank, 2(3)man cab, cribbing, hydraulic tools. What we ended up with is a truck that is overloaded, to heavy for a grass rig and doesn't have any room for firefighting equipment. Has 1" preconnects and no SCBAs.
I think I'd keep the 30 year old grass rig for now and buy a REAL crash truck... replace the brush buggy later.
Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.
08-06-2000, 04:39 PM #3LooperFirehouse.com Guest
We are in the process of completing a similar truck. F-550 crew cab (5 man), 3 SCBA seats, 400 GPM PTO driven pump, 290 gal H20, 30 gal Foam, 6K generator, lights, 3 ladders, hard suction hose, two 1 3/4" attack lines, booster reel, cribbing & a rescue tool. We don't do much off road stuff, so we went with 2 wheel drive instead of 4. And believe it or not, it will be under GVW.
If you want to go a little bigger, check out Pierce or E-One. They both make off road pumpers that are nice.
08-29-2000, 03:49 AM #4PhonixFirehouse.com Guest
We don't have a grass/crash truck combo on our department and I am glad. There are several in the surrounding area though and everyone I talked to that has one hates them for the same reason as mentioned in the other reply: If you put enough equipment on them to be a decent crash truck it becomes too overloaded to fight brush fires (I.E. get's stuck). If you make it light enough to be a decent grass rig you won't have all the stuff you need for rescue unit.
08-29-2000, 11:34 AM #5391HDFirehouse.com Guest
I agree with everyone else, that doubling the duty of this type of unit just does not work in practicality.
If you think about it, how much property value is actually destroyed in a given years time by grass fires in your area? In my area of the country, a good portion of the total amount of runs are for grass fires, but the amount of dollar loss from them are negligible. If something of value is threatened, it can usually be accessed by the larger units, making a small grass unit more of a convenience, rather than a necessity.
Today's focus of the fire service is shifting towards rescue, particularily EMS, so a unit designed with that in mind, in my opinion, would be of most benefit for your customers.
08-30-2000, 12:33 PM #6Badge174Firehouse.com Guest
Looks like the responses above are against combining the units, so here is another option you may want to explore. You may be able to get some help in replacing the grass / brush rig.
Check with the Indiana State Forestry Department, in conjunction with the USDA, they may be able to help. They should have access to surplus CUCCVs.
In the late 70’s and early 80’s the DoD bought Chevy Pickups and Blazers. They have automatics and diesel engines and 4 WD. The CUCCV concept was to have parts available through local NAPA Dealer.
I have even heard that several HUMVEEs have been acquired through this program.
Our department was the recipient of a pickup through the PA Dept of Environment Resources.
A few trips to the local salvage yard and it was de-miled with normal people seats – padded dash – painted – lighted etc. We mounted a skid unit and have had good success with it, in service for 4 years now.
Going this way you could possibly afford to get both units.
12-23-2000, 03:03 PM #7Steve HagyFirehouse.com Guest
12-23-2000, 08:37 PM #8dfwscottyFirehouse.com Guest
Our Rescue/mini-pumper is a 4-door F550 built by Attack One. It has a seperate pump engine, 200 gallon water tank and 5 gallon foam tank. It carries 4 SCBA on slide out racks in the front transverse compartment along with backboard. We carry a Hurst tool with 2 lines with spreaders, cutters and rams. It is not 4 wheel drive but if you are going towards brush capabilty go with 4 wheel drive. As previously stated it is heavy but the engine in it has plenty of torque and get up and go. I think it weighs in at around 15,000#. If you look at the www.AttackOne.com page, ours is the yellow 4 door on the page with the trucks if it is still up there. We also just purchased 2 more similar trucks with skid mount CAFs unit. We did dedicate one large compartment to bunker gear so we wouldn't have to carry it in our laps.
12-25-2000, 07:41 PM #9OrenTaz69Firehouse.com Guest
im form central indiana and i can tell you from the experience of the departments down here to do 1 of 2 things replace yuour grass rig with a simmilar newer model and also buy a mini pumper or contact the indiana division of forestry and tell them your needs they have helped a few departments in this area by giving them equipment which they dont pay for but must make available to them at anytime for large fires on state land
01-04-2001, 10:43 PM #10ffengFirehouse.com Guest
I have to agree with some of the posts - be careful on this one. From my experience, what you are looking for can't be done. For a grass rig, the best I've used are single axle 4x4 P/Us with a slide-in unit. You could go with a used P/U and keep this unit lean on the $$. Regarding the rescue/mini-pumper, I think the dept really has to ask what do they expect of this rig. If it is more rescue than pumper, than an F-550 range chassis with a small PTO pump/tank probably is pretty decent option. The other side though is what does mini-pumper mean to your department? If the expectation is leaning toward having some structural response role (which I've seen), then I think you have to take a step on the chassis to give yourself the pump/tank + rescue equipment space you would need. Sticking with Ford for a second, you could move up to the F650 or F750 (I think both are available in 4 doors if that's what you want). To me, a medium-duty commercial midi-pumper/rescue isn't a bad idea and maybe gives you more versatility with a moderate increase in cost.
01-17-2001, 11:54 PM #11scrappieFirehouse.com Guest
My dept. is in the same position. We have a 20 year old dodge one ton converted into a brush/rescue/ems truck. It carries a 300gal. tank, along with a mountain of other gear and is so over loaded our response time is very low to some portions of our districts. Take the other replys and don't try to combine too much into one p/u or you'll end up wanting bigger the day you get it like we did.. The very least it sounds like you would want is a F550 HD. We are currently looking at these units and are pleased with their high GVRW's and many options.
01-18-2001, 09:35 AM #12F02Firehouse.com Guest
If your going off road keep it light and with high flotation tiresI'm sure you know what an Indiana cornfield or set aside field can be like in the spring.Is your old rig good enough to keep around just for field fires?
01-20-2001, 09:54 AM #13FireOneFirehouse.com Guest
Our department tried the combination rescue, brush, quick response rig and got exactly what we paid for. A truck that was to heavy to go off road. Each time the truck went on a grass/brush fire we had to call for a wrecker.
We removed the skid unit and placed it in a good used P/U. A light bar, siren, radio, lettering and now we have a brush truck. It can go just about anywhere and being used, it really doesn't matter if it gets scratched. Lets see the chief have that kind of attitude with a new combo rig.
We have been on a lot of brush fires with departments with these large overloaded and expensive combo rigs. While they look pretty, that's about it. When it comes down to driving into the brush, mud, etc. they can't or won't go.
Do your self a favor, keep the 30 year old rig or purchase one just like it for a dedicated grass/brush truck.
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