Thread: Custom Built Super Brush Trucks
03-27-2001, 12:32 AM #1stone35Firehouse.com Guest
Custom Built Super Brush Trucks
Our department recently aquired a military 2.5 ton tractor, removed the hitch, built a custom platform in place of the hitch, attached a 500 gallon tank, added a high power water pump, plenty of hose, lots of rakes and shovels, threw in a chain saw, and we had a Super Brush Truck. Since it was a military tractor it had the optional 6-wheel drive, which comes in very handy. We also opted for the PTO-driven winch on the front for good measure. The entire truck was sanded and painted a glossy white to match the rest of our fleet.
What has your department custom built to combat those inevitable brush fires?
Watch out for spot fires!
[This message has been edited by stone35 (edited 03-27-2001).]
03-29-2001, 11:30 PM #2LtStickFirehouse.com Guest
We too have 2.5 ton army surplus truck. We got ours from Forestry. It has 2, 600 gallon tanks a 3 inch trash pump chain saw rakes shovels and indian tanks. We keep a some small hoses on it for hand lines. Our previous unit was a 5 ton. We called it "The Thing" it had a 1,100 gallon tank a 3 inch honda trash pump several lines including a front discharge with a front extended bumper a booster reel a rear discharge. Both units had beds so we placed the tanks in the beds. We pushed a few trees over with the five ton. It was mighty impressive. The 5 ton went back to forestry because, they didn't have parts for it and they sent it to a nother district.
03-30-2001, 07:50 PM #3d308Firehouse.com Guest
We have build 3 a 1967 model F-850 with 2000 gallons of water and a 500 $ 300 gpm pump the Second was a 1981 Internationl Paystar 5000 6x6 with 4000 gallons of water the third is a 2.5 ton military with 2000 gallons of water and a 300 pump along with modifications to the other 4 trucks that we use for all fires we respond to.
04-02-2001, 03:14 AM #4AC6Firehouse.com Guest
We are located in a rural area and our district covers approximately 1300 miles of canyons, farmground and sandhills. Our department has 3 "brush" trucks although we call them "grass rigs". We have in the last 3 years reworked all of them. 2 of them used to be 69 and 70 vintage Ford F-750s with 331 gas V-8's and 5speed trannys with 2 speed axles. We upgraded them to a 98 Ford and a 2000 Sterling both are running Cummins Turbos with Allison World automatic trannys. Our third truck is a 2 1/2 ton 6X6 70's vintage. It replaced a 50's vintage 6X6 and like the others it runs on diesel. The trucks are all set up basically the same 800-1000 gallon tanks, 250 gpm pumps, Class A foam proportioners, quick fills, rakes, shovels, drag forks, 25 gallons class A foam, booster reel, and a small compliment of 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 hose. We have set the trucks up with front platforms and have 2 1" lines plumbed to the front. We have also installed 10" dump valves on all 3 so that they can be used in water shuttles. The Ford and Sterling trucks both have float pumps mounted and the Ford also carries a 1500 gallon dump tank. One of the best things we have done on the rigs is to install lights. We have installed flood lights at the rear that can be used for operations around the pump and where we have installed switches at the back and in the cab they double as back up lights. In the front we installed a pair of Hella lights that have two 55 watt bulbs in each light. They are really nice at night when you are trying to pick your way through the hills, they also do a good job of illuminating the ditches when on the road. (deer can be a problem in this area)
All of the work was done locally and a good share of it was done by members so that we could get exactly what we wanted without costing an arm and a leg.
I know that fighting fire from the front is not "acceptable" but we have found it to be the most effective way of fighting grass fires. In 1999 we were called for mutual aid on a fire that consumed 70,000 acres in less than 24 hours and left one firefighter dead and last Sept. we mutual aided on another series of fires that burned nearly 100,000 acres in a 24 hour period. The trick is to find what works then do it.
04-03-2001, 05:29 PM #5nomad1085Firehouse.com Guest
Well, our brush truck seems to be the exact opposite of all of these. It is a 1950's model Dodge Power Wagon, you know with the huge fenders and old styling. This truck is unstoppable in the woods, despite it's age. The best thing is it's size. If you can walk down a trail with you arms out stretched, it will fit there. It has a PTO driven winch on the front, a 250 gallon tank pre-mixed with Class A Foam, about 10 indian packs, a booster reel, 2 floating trash pumps, chain saws, rakes, shovels, etc. It takes some skill to drive but it will go ANYWHERE! I think the front and rear axels have lockers, but I'm not sure. THe truck is old, but great!
04-06-2001, 04:45 PM #6simpleguy_68Firehouse.com Guest
I was going to post a topic asking if anyone had an old 2 1/2-ton military truck used as a brush truck and if they did, how much water they carried? We just received one from the Texas Forestry Service and are in the process of converting it and are trying to decide how big a tank to put on it. It most likely will be a 500 gallon unit, since we do have problems with very wet ground at times, but it seems like such a waste of the truck's payload capacity not to go larger. We just lost our brush truck to fire and are awaiting the return of bids for the replacement. The replacement will be a 1-ton Ford 4x4 w/ 250 gallons.
04-09-2001, 01:52 AM #7AC6Firehouse.com Guest
Simpleguy, we are currently carrying 1000 gallons on our 2 1/2 ton 6X6. This is the second one that we have had this tank on. The first was a 1954 and the current one is of 1977 vintage. Living in the sandhills of Nebraska we have sand and hills to contend with and get around good with it. Can't say if it would be too much for your wet ground. One thing that you will need to do if you go with a 1000 gallon tank is that you will need to rework the rear springs. We had to add extra leaves to both of ours.
hope this helps.
04-19-2001, 11:49 PM #8LtStickFirehouse.com Guest
This isn't a custom Super brush truck but, I heard recently that the Forestry Department in my area has a Hemet they use as a brush tanker. I have yet to see talk to anyone that I know from Forestry to confirm the story yet but, if its true that's got to be an impressive unit. Those thing are animals. They could make their own path through the woods and wouldn't have to worry about a fire plow making a road for you.
As I said I haven't talked to any one from Forestry yet but, if I do I'll work on getting info on it and pictures as well.
04-20-2001, 09:33 AM #9chief4102Firehouse.com Guest
We have a 2.5 ton surplus 6x6 truck that has a 1200 gal. tank and a 600 gpm pump, 2 live 1" reel lines of 200 ft. each. The vehicle was supplied through the DNR. Along with this we have a 5/4 ton 4x4 Dodge pickup 1977 vintage. This unit (also supplied through the DNR)has a 200 gal tank and a 160 gpm pump, 1 reel line (1") and hand tools. It also carries back pack pump cans, etc. We have both grass and forest land to protect and this combination works well for us.
05-17-2001, 07:09 PM #10MTUnimogFirehouse.com Guest
Thought I'd post as I'm setting up a Type V wildlands skid unit for my Mercedes Unimog. For all you folks building on the 6x6's definitely check out the Roscommon Equipment Center web site - they have LOTS of really import design info.
The USFS spec calls for 300 ft of 1" booster - can anyone recommend a vendor or manufacturer they like - or ones to stay away from.
05-21-2001, 04:43 PM #11KS.KE,EMT/FIRE/RESCFirehouse.com Guest
I've been to fort Polk down in LA. and they have an old ammo carrier that they have converted to a multi purpose brush truck that has remote nossles and the ability to make cuts for fire breaks talk about sweet, but us back here have to settle to one ton trucks with forestry skid units in back premixed class A foam in a 300 gal poly w/ 175 gal./min waterous pumps, I'd still like to have that setup that the gov. boys had though
05-29-2001, 10:27 AM #12WillBFirehouse.com Guest
We have two small brush trucks, both are chevies.
One is a 79 4wd 454 1 ton with a utility body. Holds 200 gallons, carries indian tanks, chainsaws, rakes etc, has a 12000 lb warn winch, plus it's our first truck out on all calls but structure fires.
The other is a former ARMY and DNR truck. It's a one ton 6.2 liter 4wd pickup. Has 5.13 gears with lockers front and back, tops out at about 60 mph but it will go anywhere (literally!) Has a 200 gallon tank, indian tanks etc, plus 2 chainsaws, work lights, generator and trash pump
05-31-2001, 05:31 AM #13fire1152Firehouse.com Guest
Simpleguy_68 In reference to your question on how many gallons to put on your 21/2 6X6 I would NOT go over 750 gallons if you have to deal with wet conditions. My dept has a 21/2 ton 6X6 I help build with a 1000 gallon tank. On dry grass its AWESOME but on wet ground its to heavy and you well bury it. Believe me I have done it twice. We have problems with grass fires where the grass is dry but the hay field is a sponge full of water. We have found that lower the air pressure in the tires at the scene helps give us better traction. Hope this helps.
06-03-2001, 09:47 PM #14paulpFirehouse.com Guest
If you want to see something inovative and heavy duty
Check out the ADI fireking based on an APC.
ADI - Australian Defence Industries
[ 06-28-2001: Message edited by: Wombat ]
[ 06-28-2001: Message edited by: Wombat ]
06-04-2001, 01:50 AM #15mikercpFirehouse.com Guest
06-06-2001, 08:03 AM #16bambam29Firehouse.com Guest
At my Dept we use an '83 GMC 1 Ton 4x4 Mini pumper with a 12,000 warn winch. It has a 250 gal tank w/ 400 gpm pump w/ pump and roll and works well behind the forestry dozer. It is equiped w/ chain saws, rakes, shovels, pulaski, indian tanks and a hannay booster reel w/200' of reel tex hose. We use this truck for it's small size because most of our brush fires involve wooded area's as well as wet fields were the weight of extra water wood sink us for sure. This is also used for water supply with 20' of 3" hard sleeve. We can get to most draft sites others would only dream of. We use this truck to death and it only asks for more.
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