1. #1
    HIangleLT
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Top mount panel or side mount panel

    Which is better Operators?

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    FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES
    '99 National Champs #1

  2. #2
    Member

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Location
    Roswell, GA, USA
    Posts
    58

    Post

    TOP MOUNT ALL THE WAY! I've pumped too many fires not being able to actually see the fire from the side-mount panel. Hard to keep track of lines that way.

    One potential problem: in northern climates, there could be an ice problem on your deck. If a ground accessible panel is needed, mount the panel at the rear of the engine as European departments do. It works for them, and I've seen it starting to appear on American apparatus.

  3. #3
    tmr91
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Top mounts are the way to go. They get the engineer out off traffic, easier to keep tract of lines coming of the truck. Also being some what elevated, you get a better picture of whats going ( 2nd set of eyes for I.C.) Being in Michigan, we do have a icing problem sometimes, just take your time getting on and off the truck.

  4. #4
    Truckie from Missouri
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    I'm voting for side mount panels. I totally understand and agree with the points made for top mounts, however, I prefer side mounts and here's why:

    I like being able to rest my leg against the incoming supply line. You get a "feel" for when you are losing water pressure, before the gages show. I know, I know, we're not supposed to let it go that low, but in area with low pressure to begin with, or on long relay ops, it's a handy thing to know.

    For the arguments about not seeing, my solution is to put sliding ramps under the running boards, similar to those found on aerials.

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    Kenny

    ***DISCLAIMER***
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  5. #5
    Odie
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I have a mixed opinion. The combination department I am with has a top mount, and I like it for the obvious reasons: seeing the fire and associated hose lines; out of traffic, etc. However, I am also a volunteer with a suburban/rural department where we use side mounts.

    There are several reasons. 1) We don't always have a lot of manpower, so the pump operator would be constantly up-and-down for various reasons, which could create a potentially hazardous slip-and/or-fall situation. 2) Our apparatus have large tanks and a long wheelbase already, and the top mount would make it even longer.

    My suggestion is go with what is best for your department's method of operation.

  6. #6
    TASK FORCE 5
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    HiAngleLt;
    In my department we have 14 engines with side panels and one with a top mount, as you can guess the lean is toward the side panel.
    Not knowing how you operate on a daily basis I will only reply as my department does.
    Sometimes the pump panel is on the fire side of the operation and this can be good or bad. I have been both, when you have to use a booster line to keep yourself cool this is not good. I prefer away from the fire side as it takes all my concentration with the gages, rpms, flow rates, intake pressures and monitoring the radio from my and other crews. We do not have to do any IC work as divisions take care of that. Pumping to ladder trucks it does not much matter as you can see the ladder trucks most of the time. (unless around the corner)If your comm is good with your operation (which is a must) it seems to us it does not matter. One engineer just mentioned that he was almost hit by a flaming gas can that exploded out of the building and while on top pumping he had nowhere to run or hide under..just a thought!! use what works best for you and how you operate daily. its like what you were raised on milk or honey.

    stay safe

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    TASK FORCE 5
    "THE MIDTOWN MADDOGS"

  7. #7
    swunder1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    I have to lean toward the side mount. I test a number of trucks in florida. Some of the old some of them just off the assembly line. The risk of injury with a top mount panel is much higher than the side mount. Good vechicle placement with a side mount and your out of traffic. But no matter how good your placement with a top, you must get up and down to connect lines remove kinks ect. Every trip up and down is a chance to send yourself for a ride off the step..

  8. #8
    ffdoneng62
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I have used both midship pumps and front-mount pumps and I like them both in certain circumstances. I have never used a top-mount pump one of my station in town has a top mount and they like it. Personally I would go midship cause that's what we have.

    Don
    BE SAFE OUT THERE

  9. #9
    ffdoneng62
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I have used both midship pumps and front-mount pumps and I like them both in certain circumstances. I have never used a top-mount pump one of my station in town has a top mount and they like it. Personally I would go midship cause that's what we have.

    Don
    BE SAFE OUT THERE

    [This message has been edited by ffdoneng62 (edited March 06, 2000).]

  10. #10
    oldrepeater
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Personally I like top mounts, but that is only cause I am short and I get a better view from up top.
    What I don't like though is these newer top mounts coming out with enclosed panels. Another hall near my ours got one and at least in my opinion I felt cut off from the outside. It may be well an cozy for the operator, but to me being able to "feel" the enviroment around you helps in anticipating the fire scene needs. Or maybe I am just getting old :-).

  11. #11
    davey K
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We discussed top mount verses side mount when specing our new unit. Being in a rural setting and not having hydrants one other item not mentioned we considered was: with a drop tank operation and front suction the operator can not see the water level in the drop tank without getting off the rig.

    davey K

  12. #12
    FireMedic38
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    My department has 5 engines. The two newest are top mount. I can honestly say that every engineer in our department prefers top over side mount.
    1. Gets you off the road and out of traffic
    2. We are in a cold climate. The engineer has to watch for ice on the diamond plate, however it can get much worse standing beside the engine in the ice.
    3. Better view of the fire which is not necessary but can be helpful if there is a problem with a lin or it is moved.
    4. No one takes equipment off your engine without you knowing it.
    5. We often use drafting operations and have can see the porta-tank on either side of the engine or in the front.
    6. The deck gun can be operated by the pump operator, while others pull a line
    7. Makes it really easy to load the speedlays. We carry 2, 200' 1.75" and 1, 200' 2.5" preconnect lines. Located under the pump panel.

    The only disadvantage is that it adds about 18" to the length of the engine. We opted to delete the transverse compartment we had on our other engines which saved some of that.

    If you go with top mount, make sure your engine doesn't vent to the back of the cab or you are going to cook if you are on the panel. A department near here made that mistake.

    Good Luck

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