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  1. #1
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    Question Front vs. Side Intake

    We are buying a new pumper and are strongly considering cutting the front intake. We want to take everything in through the officers side pump panel. We would use a 25 and 50 section of 5" to do so. We figure we will be much more flexible in our positioning (hydrant front, rear or side) up to 75' away. We also expect better flow avoiding the reducded diameter and bends of the front intake. We run a totally hydranted area so we pick up hydrants a lot, although we layout probably 40% of the time. We also would save six grand dumping the front intake. Adding a rear intake is not an option. So question is, especially to those who pick hydrants up with side intakes, what do you think. We could do both but would need really good reasons to have it set up for both considering the saving of the side. We have used front intakes up to now and I know they are most common and peole hate change but the side really seems like it would give us a lot more flexibility with where we position. Thanks


  2. #2
    Banned
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    Post

    You could always go rear pump and get a rear suction for free.

  3. #3
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    Post

    Just received a new Pierce with no front suction. Had the same idea using two side intakes and a rear intake. Have two side trays built in each having twenty feet of six inch. It works well

  4. #4
    Forum Member colfireman's Avatar
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    Talking

    Here is my 2 cents worth.not knowing your area or streets i can only comment on what i think.We run 2 engines,one with the transverse pump panel and one with a rear pump.Our area is also fully hydranted.None of our trucks have a front intake.Our 1st due is the rear pump with the main intake at the rear and a second on the Officers side.2nd due has a valve on the officers side with steamer connection also on the drivers side.In all my years i don't recall ever wishing we had a front intake.Also in this day and age 6 grand could buy quite a bit of "extras" as well.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Post

    Our spankin' new pumper will have our first front suction. Our reasoning was we use porta-tanks fairly often and we can set the tank in front of the truck and not have to use up both traffic lanes on narrow country roads. We'll see how it works out.
    _________DILLIGAF

  6. #6
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    College Park
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    4

    Exclamation

    Thanks for the posts so far. All comments appreciated. Rear pump is not an option for us. Anybody have problems with the side. I know one guy said they have never wished for a front. Any help is appreciated. Thanks

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    May 2000
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    DFW area of Texas
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    Post

    No problems with the sides. Firetrucks all over the world been using them for years. And to be honest I can't recall the last time I seen one in this part of Texas. Never wished I had one. Just be sure to get full size intake valves like a BlackMax or Jaffery.

    Also, you may consider instead of taking everything in the officers side to taking it in the curb side. Your LDH won't be laying out in the middle of the street so apparatus can get by if needed.

    And what could you get for $6K - put it towards CAFS maybe?

    I hear a front suction cuts your turning radius down too.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  8. #8
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Mongo,Am I missing something here?I thought the officer's side was the curb side.I know Y'all do things bigger & better in Texas but Ya put your officer out the door into traffic?We stopped that s**t long ago up here in the Northeast.VBG T.C. <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0"> <img src="wink.gif" border="0">

  9. #9
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    DFW area of Texas
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    Rescue 101

    You're not missing anything, under normal sitautions it is the curb side, but sometimes for whatever reason it isn't. That's why I say to just use the curb side intake.

    And as far as sticking the officers butt into traffic, speaking as the officer, the State of Texas has stepped in to prevent that. They don't allow traffic in the same block as an operating fire apparatus. It's one of my favorite laws and the one I use to stir up the cops when they get an attitude about the apparatus blocking one lane of traffic or when an idiot trys to run down me or one of my crew.

    Texas Transportation Code ß 545.407. Following or Obstructing Fire Apparatus or Ambulance

    (a) An operator, unless on official business, may not follow closer than 500 feet a fire apparatus responding to a fire alarm or drive into or park the vehicle in the block where the fire apparatus has stopped to answer a fire alarm.

    (b) An operator may not:

    (1) follow closer than 500 feet an ambulance that is flashing red lights unless the operator is on official business; or

    (2) drive or park the vehicle where an ambulance has been summoned for an emergency call in a manner intended to interfere with the arrival or departure of the ambulance.


    I keep it copied on a card in my inside coat pocket the event I need to cite chapter and verse to the cop. Of course I always try to reason with them first.
    It's only my opinion. I do not speak for any group or organization I belong to or associate with or people I know - especially my employer. If you like it, we can share it, you don't have to give me credit. If you don't, we are allowed to disagree too (but be ready to be challenged, you may be on to something I'm not). That's what makes America great!

  10. #10
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    Wink

    Have never had a vehicle with a front suction for the same reason you listed (cost). The side intakes have always worked.

  11. #11
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    Post

    Some guys will always complain just because it's different. We bought our first pumpers without front suction about 2 yrs ago. A bunch of people complained at the time, after a couple of fires nobody did. We carry 50 ft of 4' in trays on the panels, with intakes on both sides. We just ordered another pumper, spec committee asked for input, nobody even suggested bringing back the front suction.

  12. #12
    Member
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    Oct 1999
    Location
    South Central Pennsylvania
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    47

    Cool

    There are alot of misconceptions or false truths about front/rear intakes. Here are some things I have seen or done or that I know to be be facts to help clear things up. Most people think that front suctions greatly reduce your flow. That may have been so with the apparatus built before 1990. Most back then only used 4" or 4 1/2" ID piping and 90 degree bends. Almost all front suctions installed on new apparatus now have 5" ID piping. Most try to use 30 or 45 degree bends instead of 90 degree bends in the piping. 5" piping is the largest that can be used to allow enough clearence for steering/suspension and all that chassis stuff. (most LDH used is 5" huh) Any apparatus built today should pump 1000gpm through the front suction as long as the lift is under 10'. I have pumped over 1400gpm throught front suction piped with 5" and with a swivel. This was drafting out of a folding tank and the tanker shuttle couldn't keep up once I went over 1200gpms. Most apparatus builders offer the swivel front suctions. They are great for hydrant operations but they do reduce your total max. flow when drafting. The nice feature is that they can move to compensate for the hose moving when it is charged thus reducing most of the kinking that may occur. This was the worst problem with the straight piped front intakes operating from hydrants. Also when operating from a pressure source the pressure helps compensate for most of the loss in the piping. Another problem from older apparatus was the older type valves used in the front suction piping. Some even had no valves at all. <br />Rear intakes on the other hand are much better that front intake because they have even less bends. They can also be piped with 6" ID piping and make a straight shot from the pump compartment and the rear. They do require some bends to make the connection to the pump. This usually depends on the pump make and the builder. 6K isn't many beans when talking about the cost of a new 300K pumper unless you budget is super tight. Think about all the times you will use the item and then weigh the costs.<br />Based on my experience here is what I would buy. if I ran a totally hydrant area and used both 3" and 5" supply line I would want a a front intake with a South Park Co. 6" swivel connected to 5" piping. This would be connected to a 15' section of 6" LDH and would be used for nosing into hydrants to make connection. In addition I would want a rear intake (minimum of 5") with an electric valve and air bleeded. (Would be 6" if I drafted with this unit). This would be for recieving the first incoming LDH line. Keeps the hose away from the operator and out of the rest of the street. I have seen some apparatus that have this piped as both a suction and a LDH discharge but if you can afford it I recommend seperate ones. I also recommend that all the intakes have incorperated intake valves. This includes both side and the front and rear. The cost of these valves isn't much different when compaired to the high quality piston intake valves. There are alot of ways to compensate for the piping through the body on rear suctions but each manufacture has different preferences. Remember that if you have flow requirements for any intakes or discharges then make sure you put that requirement into your specs. and require that it be met. Hope that this information can help. Take care and be safe. FGN. <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

  13. #13
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    Post

    Did you ever think about a top mounted pump panel?<br />The station I run with has two and they are great! The engineer doesn't have to worry about tripping over charged hoselines. We use side mounts also never did a front mount though and most of our area has hydrants. JUst my 2 cents worth

  14. #14
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    UP TO MY NECK AND SINKING FAST
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    Post

    Our '95 model E-ONE has side intakes. Our primary means of water supply is tanker shuttle. I think that if you suttle water then the front may be a good idea it is difficult to watch the port-a-tanks and avoid the hose and draft at the same time. When hooking up to a hydrant I belive that it does give us more flexibility. The pump panel is on the drivers side on our rig. If you run the hydrant in on the officers side where we run the preconnects off if possible most of the time you will make the operators job some easier. One other thing we have learned with the side mount panel is to nose of back in so the operator can see the fire building. If you do go with the side intakes I would recomend looking at the top mount design I know I wish we could trade the side panel in for the top it sure would make parking and operating the unit much easier.

    Hope the info helps<br />D308

    [ 12-15-2001: Message edited by: d308 ]</p>

  15. #15
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
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    Post

    Well it looks like I'm going to be the only one to stick up for front intakes. We have them on both our pumpers, 1 top-mount and 1 side mount panels, and we won't buy anything else in the future. It's great for both hydrants (in town) and porta-pond drafting when out of town on mutual aid.

    We also have a rear intake on our new truck and it worked great in keeping the 5" out of the street on it's first major fire.

    I've been driving trucks for 26 of my 27 years in the fire service and I haven't noticed any difference in the turning radius. I can put either of the trucks into any alley we have in town.

    This is just another one of those vanilla vs chocolate debates. Good luck in your decision.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

  16. #16
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    Robbins Hose Fire Co. #1 , Dover , DE
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    Hey Moose,<br />We did what you are proposing in 1997. We got rid of the front intake for the first time. No regrets. We also have a mostly hydrant area, and don't draft very often. We now have a piston intake valve on each side of the pump, and a 5" hose storage tray below each valve. Works fine. I was just working on another engine that has a front suction, and it is a hassle to work on with the front suction piping in the way. I have not missed the front suction even one time since this rig was new. Good luck.

  17. #17
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    What can't a long side suction hose do better than a front or rear suction for a lot less cost?

    A rear mount pump is the lowest cost pump and offers side and rear suctions at no additional cost. If it is a pedestal mount you can pay as much as 20K less for the pump and maintenance will be a lot easier.

    ""We now have a piston intake valve on each side of the pump,"""

    So do you charge the hose with the piston intake closed?

    Aren't piston intakes more of a flow restriction than a front suction?

    Why would anyone hook a 175 to 200 psi cast alloy valve to a 600 psi test pump?

    Just curious.

  18. #18
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    Aren't piston intakes more of a flow restriction than a front suction?

    In most cases yes. They generally have a 4" waterway with a bend in it and we slap them on a pump that has a 5" or 6" intake.

    Jaffery and the Akron BlackMax are supposed to relieve us of these problems with their bigger waterways.

    Why would anyone hook a 175 to 200 psi cast alloy valve to a 600 psi test pump?

    For the same reason we do most of the dumb stuff we do - because we've always done it that way.

  19. #19
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    annapolis md
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    Thumbs up

    my company runs in a semi hydrated area. all our engines have front intake. we also have side. my question is your area all rual semi or all suburban. that could make a big differance in your choice. i would go with the side and front intake. <img src="tongue.gif" border="0">

    [ 12-17-2001: Message edited by: cape19 ]</p>

  20. #20
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    Indianapolis, IN
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    Post

    I am a fan of front intakes, we use ours all the time. It seems to work well in several operations , such as hitting sprinkler systems, we just lay our supply line (5") from the system and nose in to the hydrant. It keeps the hydrant supply out of the way and the pump operator can control their intake without having to get off their top mount pump panel. It also works well when drafting during a tanker operation. If you have engine on the road you can position it with the porta tank in front of the engine to keep the road open. I use the front suction when ever possible just to keep my supply line out of the way during operations. As you know there are several different ways to fight fire and these seem to work well for us. I look at the front suction as another tool in our tool box on wheels and if we can afford it and it doesn't hinder us in our operations, maintenance or our ability to properly train and be effective with it then I'm usually for it. Thanks for reading my 2 cents. Be safe.

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