Thread: The Ultimate Fire Truck
11-05-2000, 01:59 AM #1spotthedalmationFirehouse.com Guest
The Ultimate Fire Truck
Maybe you all could help me out a little here on an engineering project for school. I'd like to know what the ultimate fire truck would be. What equipment would be needed for a hard-hitting first out piece of apparatus? What would it look like or do differently? Feel free to answer the converse -- what do you dislike about your current truck?
Those who dare not to follow their dreams fail to live.
11-05-2000, 08:00 PM #2Mic13Firehouse.com Guest
There's no such thing as "The Ultimate Firetruck" because there are different trucks for different operations, different coverages needed in different jurisdictions, and no way to fit everything on to one chassis. Even if it could be done, could you imagine how much money it would cost?!? And then, how perturbed the citizenry would be when you're all-in-one apparatus was down during the town's worst fire?
11-05-2000, 08:10 PM #3spotthedalmationFirehouse.com Guest
Mic13 -- What's missing from your apparatus? And forget $$$,$$$. Don't let your dreams be limited by something you don't have short term.
11-08-2000, 09:44 PM #4Mic13Firehouse.com Guest
There's a fine line between "Dreamer" and "Realist".
I've been to your website, and see that your multiple questions on multiple forums here at Firehouse.com are geared around product research for your fledgling company.
In that vein, here's some free advice (worth every cent! ) for your company about it's products:
1. Be flexible. (One thing you should be very aware of, especially the more you read, get around to different depts., and check this website, is that practically every dept. does things differently/has different ideas about what they want/need.
2. Keep things relatively inexpensive. (Whether we like it or not, at least a large minority of your customers will be looking for low-bid, no matter what specs are there.)
3. Pick components based on two criteria ONLY: A) ability to do the job, and B) reliability. (Things that you have no control over the manufacture of, such as: engines, transmissions and pumps, should be picked on the basis of quality/reliability. - I'd rather have something that is a little less powerful than I want, but works EVERY time!)
3A. Combining #1, #2 & #3 above, I would think you college engineers could come up with a modular construction system that would be flexible, inexpensive, and reliable, over a few beers in the dorm room this weekend!
4. Warranty and Factory Service/Reps - Before you ever build and sell your first apparatus, have a plan and training program in place for factory-trained technicians who will be sent out to fix problems on that first truck ASAP.
5. Pick your dealers carefully, according to their customer service. (You've picked components according to reliability, and your service/guarantee had better be chosen according to the same criteria.)
6. Capitalization. IMO, the above ideas, and more, go a long way towards building a quality fire truck. Unfortunately, for a company starting out such as yours, they are also, generally, very expensive. In addition, realize that you are attempting to break into a many multi-million dollar industry which is being more and more dominated by the "big boys." I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens with your company and it's development.
7. Research. I'm not sure what level you are at on your research, but taking a stab at it from the questions you are posting on the different boards here, I'd say you are still formulating ideas/figuring out what is out there. I think some or all of you starting this company should take some Fire Science college courses, subscribe to Fire Engineering and Firehouse at least, and, best of all, get through a fire training academy to get certified as a FireFighter I (at least, best of all would be to get hired on a fire dept., go through it's academy, and get a year or two's experience). Then you will have knowledge, experience, and you will know what's out there a lot better.
Finally, I would give you the following last piece of advice (free again, so do what you want with it): Don't beat around the bush on the boards here (or wherever you're doing your research). There are a wide range of people here, from Buffs, Explorers/Jrs, Volunteers, Career FFs, to Chiefs, Shop Foremen, etc. Make your background and the motivation for your questions obvious and genuine, and I think you'll get a better response. People respond to that. Good luck and best wishes.
11-08-2000, 10:14 PM #5spotthedalmationFirehouse.com Guest
Thanks for the advice. I'll definately take it to my presentation tomorrow.
Truth of the matter is that this is currently a project for a college course. It's also the whole reason why I chose engineering -- It's something I want to do. I've been involved in the fire service for four years now. I know this doesn't make me an expert, but I hope you all can give me some credit for what I've done and am trying to do. After watching the way our dept. purchased the last truck -- I was sure it can be done a better way.
Like I said, this is still a project for a college course. I'm presenting the business plan tomorrow. Beyond that, I'm unsure what will happen. I see so many things that I'd like to do. Modular design is definately a priority here. I do have some ideas I want to implement, and I think I can bring quality up and costs down. If you're really interrested, let me know. I'd be happy to discuss this with you.
Beyond the grade in the class, I am presenting the business to User Technology Associates in March as part of a college entrepreneurship contest. I'd really like to become a tennant at Rose-Hulman Ventures, a business incubator at my college.
I'm always open to suggestions on how to make things "happier" for you all. I've got a new web page just about ready to roll out with the page representative of the plan and the changes made to "get off the ground."
If you know anyone with gobs of money so I can make this happen, I wouldn't mind knowing that either. I'll give you the $$ figures on request.
Like I said earlier, this is going to be a project until Thanksgiving -- Then I work on making the project into reality -- then I'll be sure to annotate everything as "The Big Red Truck Company."
Thank you for your help and advice. I hope to one day sell your department a BRT.
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Class of 2003 -- Mechanical Engineering/ECON
Those who dare not to follow their dreams fail to live.
[This message has been edited by spotthedalmation (edited November 08, 2000).]
11-09-2000, 11:54 AM #6FireRebelFirehouse.com Guest
I have no real advice to you, but good luck with your presentation, I find alot of your posts quite informative. Keep up the good work...
11-09-2000, 06:38 PM #7Capt. LaFranceFirehouse.com Guest
Paul Shapiro addressed this subject 2-3 years ago in his column. Might be worth looking at.(Found it-April 97 issue of Fire Rescue Magazine). Hope it helps.
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