Thread: Brush trucks

  1. #1
    Wildfire Guest

    Red face Brush trucks

    Please tell me what kind of mini-attack vehicles, or brush trucks your department uses. What you like, what you don't. Also, what size tanks or pumps work the best. Thanks

  2. #2


    In Boston we use two new International 4900 Series/E-One BFUs with 500 g. tanks, 650 gpm pumps and pump& roll with class A foam injection systems. These units have large crew cabs as well, carry hose of several sizes and wildland fire tools.



  3. #3
    j crooke Guest


    in N.E. PA we are a rural dept covering 225 sq mi out of 2 stations. There is quite a bit of state game land in our territory & the rest is close-quarters SWI. Since we are in the heart of the "POCONOS'. We have many campgrounds and seasonal housing for summertime tourists.
    In the station I run out of we have a 1975 GMC pickup with a 250 gal tank & a 200(?) gpm pump, 100 ft of red booster line & 200 ft of 1" forestry line, 10 indian tanks, a chainsaw & several brush rakes. It's not very pretty but it gets the job done. We basically use it for quick knockdown & then mop up with with the tanks & rakes. I had never use the 1" forestry line before, but now i am a big fan, it's lighter & more flexible. I do think, however, the truck could use more water...

    Jeff Crooke
    marshalls creek fire/rescue

  4. #4
    Tom Lafleur Guest


    In SE Mass.we use brushbreakers.Usually Army surplus 4WD or 6WD which we armor to the teeth with steel plate and pipe.Add a pump and a tank,and we can go most anywhere around here.SWI did an article in Firehouse about them .
    Stay Safe

  5. #5
    Captain Hickman Guest


    In our department, we have two brush units. Both are 1 ton 4X4 Chevy trucks, one is a flat bed and the other a regular pickup. Both carry 200 to 250 gallons of water and 100 gpm aux. gas powered pumps. Both have reels, rakes, back pack pumps and blowers, and drip tourches. On all grass and brush fires they are backed up with Type 1 pumpers.

  6. #6
    *Chinaman* Guest


    Here is something different: In South Australia we use Ford F350s. With 1000 litres of water (I wouldn't know how many gallons that is....I think around 4500), foam injector, 650 gpm pump, 4WD, 5 crew (2 on back), generator, lighting kit, 1x Breathing set, chainsaw, extingusher. Have a look at it on our homepage:
    The unit is called BAL 14.

  7. #7
    *Chinaman* Guest


    I would just quickly like to add that my coversion from Litres to Gallons was a total screw up...I think 1000 litres is more like 210 Gallons. Sorry!

  8. #8
    Bigegg Guest



    In New South Wales(state of Australiain case you did not know)we use Toyota Landcrusiers as light fire trucks They hold about 1000 lites of water, with a pump that does about 250 Litres per minute and have a crew of 2.
    They have a Deisel 4.2 litre motor and are use to mop up and as a reconnaissance tool.
    They are not designed to tackel the head of a fire but are better and faster to use as a scout and a good platform to start contoll burns off.

    I will get back to you with some good sights with dertails and pictures of the NSW RFS trucks for you

    Stay safe



  9. #9
    cbp3 Guest


    Wildfire; I guess i can't allow this topic to pass without commenting on NJ. We have traditionally relied on a Dodge Power Wagon 350 series chassis, which we brush armor heavily. We usually carry between 250-300 gal of water, a pump rated from 50-100gpm, 150-200 ft of live reel, and varying amounts of loose hose. We are slowly moving to the F-350 diesel, (we believe the diesel is safer, and certainly provides more torque), and we are examining the F-450 Super Duty. As in all things there are trade-offs. We also maintain a number of mostly federal excess deuce-and-a-half and five tons that are commonly used as tender/attack trucks, with 800-1200 gal. they are capable of kicking some serious ash!
    With the interface problems we experience here, combined with the fuel loading and volatility especially in the pinelands, we need to hit hard and fast with direct attack, or we end up dealing with impressive control problems.
    Bob Winston wrote a very nice article in Firehouse several months ago about the Forest Fire Service. He included several good photos. Good luck, and let us know how your organization goes.

  10. #10
    AFFF Guest


    I'm in South Central Pa. and down here we use what seems to be the standard from what you folks are talking. They are 200 gallons with about 250gpm pump or so. The truck that I run with is that and we carry two leaf blowers, four chain saws, 200' of 1" ldh style hose, 150' of 11/2" preconnect, 1000' of 5/8" mopp up hose in bags, 4 council rakes, 2 pulaskies, 2 brush hooks, 2 mules, 2 flat head axes, 100' of 11/2" and 1" hose as well as 25' of 21/2" hose, we also have a 1000 watt invertor with 2 300 watt telescopic quartz lites. This on a 1986 GMC 2500 pick up truck. We also have a Chevy Suburban that we carry extra rakes, and pulaskies, and a few other extras. A few of the other departments are using bigger rigs. One uses a military 6X6 another has a 1979 Ford F-700 4X4 with 1000 gallons and 750 gpm pump. This unit goes anywhere you want it to for its size.

    Point to Ponder if it is old does really mean that is not fuctionible?

  11. #11
    e33 Guest


    Another Jerseyan here to share. In this part of central Jersey, most of the brush units are pick-up sized units. Either utility body or flat bed or skid mounts in p/u truck beds. Not too many breakers around here. There is a good number of Mini-pumper style units used as brush trucks..they are generally gold leaf and chrome clad and do not function well in the hostile fire environment.

  12. #12
    Phil Daniels Guest


    Here in Colorado, we are transistioning from a light, Type 6 (1-ton) mini-pumper to a Type 3 (CDF Model 14). These are based on an All Wheel Drive Navistar Chassis with a 500 gallon tank and a 500 gpm pump. The reason for the change is that the smaller 1-ton didn't have the tank capacity or the ability to provide significant structure protection in the interface. So far we have used this vehicle on wildland, structure, vehicle and have handled each incident without backup. Granted, the incidents were relatively small, but the extra 250 gallons has made a big difference.

  13. #13


    Chief Daniels:

    I've made a half-dozen trips to Colorado over the last few years and have seen many of these smaller type 6 rigs. I often thought that these rigs carried too little water for the big jobs that can and do occur in Colorado. Glad to read that the larger type 3 vehicles are now being purchased. We have two such rigs in the Boston FD to protect the city's 4,000 acres of W/UI. The fire departments in the areas of Golden, Evergreen, Foothills, etc. either have or are purchasing larger interface fire rigs as are other FDs in Colorado. Good choices.

    Look up, down and around, LCES to be safer!



  14. #14
    Snyde Guest


    In Minnesota, we have received some federal excess property called the "Gamma Goat". This six wheel drive vehicle is light and works well for wildfire suppression. It is near impossible to get stuck and goes through almost anything.

    We carry 200 gal. of water with a 100 foot reel line. Most of the firefighting is done within eight feet of the "Goat" as it will get very close to the fire.

  15. #15
    Nathan Guest


    Further on the small tankers used in Australia.
    Especially in the grassland areas of the state of NSW, the Landcruiser 'striker' tankers are used in co-ordination with a 'mother' tanker (carrying +3,000 litres). The strikers hit the flanks of the grassfire (and they're perfect for that role because of their size and speed), and when they're empty, return to the mother tanker to refill. The operation is co-ordinated so there is always only one striker requiring refilling at a time, and the mother tanker never runs out of water(touch wood!!). This system is very effective against fast fires such as grass fires.
    I think the Landcruisers actually carry less than 1000L - closer to 700L. I'll find out the exact amount.
    Another small tanker used down under is based on a Mitsubishi Canter 4x4 chassis or an Isuzu NPS 4x4 chassis. They can carry from 3 to 5 crew, about 1,400 litres of water (plus drums of foam), small ladder etc etc. Very effective again at fast fires, or for areas with tight trails and steep terrain. Also used for car accident response and small rubbish calls.

  16. #16
    RKenny BFDNY Guest


    We are using a Hummer Fire Attacker Unit. It serves as a primary grass/brush truck , with responses to other non-emergency incidents, such as power lines down, flooded streets, etc. It has a 250GPM pump, 200 Gal. Water, 100 Gal. Class A Foam, a 12,000lb. winch, 2 SCBA's in the cab, tire pressure controls from the cab, and a top access loading area for patients in the wildland interface. Its not a bad piece of apparatus, our design was a little weak, too creative is a better way to put it. Other than that, a decent truck.

  17. #17
    cbp3 Guest


    To R Kenny; I just HAVE to ask if the foam capability of your Hummer is correct? Since class A foams are typically mixed at a rate of .5% or less, you state you carry enough to treat 20,000 gal of water. At a typical $9- $11 per gal, you'd need $10,000 to fill it, and at water's 8 lb./gal, you've included over 750 lb. of weight!
    I see it was 12:30 a.m. when you responded...maybe you had a typo? If not, would you explain the idea behind the mass quantity of foam you carry?
    Thanks, just being curious, CB

  18. #18
    AFFF Guest


    I'm not trying to be picky here but if you are going to bust on someone it might be a good idea to make sure your figures are right. I come of with $1100.00 using your $11.00 per gallon. He stated that they have only 100 gallons of class A. As far as wieght it should not be a problem having 200 gallons of water and 100 gallons of class A. I am not sure what the wieght of Class A per gallon. 200 gallons of water is around 1600 pounds. I am not trying to be perfect because looking at my spelling I am not perfect but I just hate seeing something blown out of proportion that does not have to be. I am not here to make poeple made just trying to keep piece where ever possible. Now if my figures are wrong please show and tell me and I will correct the problem. Thanks

    stay safe

  19. #19
    cbp3 Guest


    Please accept my apologies if I came off looking like I was attempting to make anyone look bad, or inadvertently angered anyone. Upon re-reading my last post, I see I may have sounded that way. That wasn't my point. Actually, if the unit indeed does carry 100 gal of foam, I am curious as to the rationale, that's all. I'm always trying to learn methods and tactics, and when the day arrives that I know everything, that's the day I need to be retired. (Also probably need a remedial math class, eh?)
    Our education as firefighters should never end, it's not a destination, but a journey.
    Again, I'm sorry if I offended anyone.

  20. #20
    Jmorgan Guest


    Here in NW Arkansas, my rural volunteer dept.
    has 2 stations and part of a national forest to protect. We had a 1970s "mini-pumper" that was custom built by the dept in the early 80s, but it had to be retired. We now have a chevy pickup with a skid that has 150 to 200 gallons. It has a reel with about 100 feet of red booster, council rakes, shovels, leaf blowers, chainsaws and pressurized water cans. I want bladder bags,and mclouds.
    If anyone needs a red card holder; I want to fight some fire! hehe

  21. #21
    *Chinaman* Guest


    This is a reply/question/disbelief at the Fire Service that uses the Hummer: How much did you pay for this unit??? If any of you have seen my topics in other araes, you will have noticed that we are undergoing some funding changes in the Vol. Fire Service in South Australia. We never had much money to spend and we will probably never have the money to spemnd it on a Hummer.
    Just for your information: The Austrian company that builds fire-engines "ROSENBAUER" has a beautiful Hummer Unit on offer. You are talking about precision workmenship and quality meterials here. If there is anyone who wants further information on this unit, I have the information. They can practically build anything to suit your needs on any chassis you want Ford, TATA, Benz, VW etc.
    I am not a salesman for Rosenbauer (I am Austrian though) but when it comes to firefighting gear and trucks they beat the rest in innovation. Contact me via email if you want further info:
    Alternatively, Rosenbauer can be found at:

  22. #22
    SOML Guest


    Small dept in Eastern LI,NY
    Ford f-250 extended cab 4x4,200 gal fiberglass tank with a gas pump >100gpm, 150' of 1/2 in boosterline on a reel,100' of 1 3/4 (for those heavy fires or the car in the middle of the woods),10' 1 3/4 for truck protection (just in case).The truck also carries a chain saw, 4 indian cans, 6'hook, irons, shovels, brush rakes and a tow chain.

  23. #23
    DED1645 Guest


    The brush unit operated by the department is a "89" Chevy 3500 Four door dually. It has a fuel-injected 454. Both rears have Detroit lockers.(basically make it all wheel drive.) It has a 250 gallon tank w/ a 250 gpm pump. It has a Briggs' 25 hp motor. It is capable of drafting. It has a 300' 3/4 inch brush reel. It also has a 100' 1 1/2 preconnect. A 10' 1 inch section of line for the engineer to protect the apparatus from an operation deck. It also has 2 other places for 3/4 inch collapsible brush line to be attached. The piece was constucted by the same company that make forestry service vehicles for NJ, so the apparatus is fully caged from bumper to bumper, including the Street Hawk light bar. The vehicle was bought second hand from a private owner, so the vehicle has am/fm/cass. 6 speaker stereo, A/C, 2 front bucket seat, the 2 rear seats were replaced w/ 2 pack seats w/ 2 Scott 4.5's. It by far rides like any fire apparatus you have ever riden in! The windows are still tinted also. The color was black. Now don't let this bug you from thinking that it changes the capibility of the apparatus and it is the power-wagon from hell, but it is now lime-green. I basically descibed the vehicle, but it also has the variety of equipement needed also. Multiple brooms and shovels. 2 Timberwolf chainsaws. 3 collapsible indian tanks.(made of a nylon shell w/ rubber bladders, they wear like a school backpack.)
    We also carry a multi-portapower. The apparatus is also equiped w/ a PTO 10 ton military winch.

    David DeCant
    Originally Mantua,NJ
    Presently Lindenwold,NJ(I'm not a member of any of this District's dept's.)

    [This message has been edited by DED1645 (edited November 04, 1999).]

  24. #24


    My department has put into service this year 2 4900 series navistar 4x4 crew cab with master body fire packages. It has a 500gpm hydrostatic driven pump, 690 gallons of water, a Hale FoamPro foam injection system with a 20 gallon foam tank. The hose complement includes 1 200' 1 3/4 structure attack line, 2 200' 1 1/2 wildland crosslays, 500' 3' supply line, 5 progressive hose lay packs, 500' 1 1/2" rolled wajax wildland hose,500' 1" rolled wajax wildland hose, and 18' 4" hard suction line. We also carry 3 surviveaire sigma scba with 3 spare bottles.These units are also set up like our Structure Engines with Intermediate Life Support equipment, including defibrillator, IV's, and Intubation capabilites. Along with all this we carry the usually equipment, chainsaw, shovels, axes, pulaskis, combi tools, ect., ect., ect. We have 7 of the smaller 4800 series, but the larger engines provide a greater firefighting capability and we will be buying more of these in the future.


    [This message has been edited by NYTINARMOR (edited November 15, 1999).]

  25. #25
    cbp3 Guest


    A quick question for Nytinarmor: Could you give me an idea of the cost of both the trucks, (the old and the new) that you use?
    We rely on a much smaller unit, and get excellent service from them, however the utility of a larger unit is in demand here in NJ. The problem is, as always, funding. We are beginning to research the conversion of the F-450, and even the F-550 for a large capacity brush truck or tow vehicle. I'm always interested in looking at alternatives. Thanks in advance for your time.

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