1. #1
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    Default Need Help! 4 Door vrs. 2 Door Cab.

    Our small volunteer dept. is spec'ing out a new pumper. Need some help persuading the rest of the committee on the benefits of a 4 door cab versus a 2 door cab.

  2. #2
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    First of all a two man cab is a good option if you have only one or two guys show up at the station. Now lets start with safety first. Fire fighters who have to drive their POV's to the scene do not always follow the traffic laws, so by having only a two man cab you force them to go POV. Once on scene you have to wait for them to get dressed and dawn SCBA, Catch Hydrants, Pull hose, and we all know that this is time consuming. Having a 4dr allows those firefighters to get dressed in the station and pack up en-route. You can make a plan if you are all in the same truck. I could go on forever, but I am sure you could expand on this. Stay Safe.

  3. #3
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    I think i can help you out considering our small vol. department just replaced one of our pumpers with a 4 dr. K/W pierce. Our other pumper is an '86 Mack pierce with 2 dr.'s and four open seats in the back. After we started using the K/W we are now looking foward to selling/replacing the Mack. The four dr.'s are EXTREAMLY more comfortable and the crew in the back is not exposed to good ol' mother nature. I think your committee needs to go and look at other departments that have the 4 dr.'s and compare them with the 2 dr.'s and i'm sure the will see for them selfs. By the way what kind of truck are they looking at getting?

  4. #4
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    Freightliner Business Class FL-112 with a Central States body. Top mount pump panel, wheelbase 257". Our present pumper is a 1990 GMC, wheelbase 207". The longer Freightliner will turn shorter than the GMC.

  5. #5
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    Definitely go with the 4 door cab. We have a 1990 Intl 4 door and a 2001 Intl 2 door. When the newer truck was ordered the reasoning was that we rarely had more than 2 in the cab when the engine rolled. What was being ignored is the number of times you need to warm up people, shuttle people around, carry a crew from one place to another, etc. A 4 door cab has room even if you don't need it today. A 2 door cab can never be expanded for those times when you do need it. Good luck with your decision. Think long term!!

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up

    We too have small department. And when it comes to ordering a truck everyone has an opinion (that goes for me too). I would urge you to go with a four door cab. You need to show the others in your Dept. the data. We started with a Maxium Custom in 1975 and replaced it with a smaller International with an ADD-ON from Central States (don't go there; a $4,200 piece of sh**). You need to have room for firefighters. When it comes right down to it I don't think ANY Attack Engine should be manufactured with only 2 door. You must look at the future and I don't know of 1 person that can tell you what your dept. will be responsible for in 20 years or how they will do it. I'm not sure what the extra cost for 4 doors opposed to 2 is off the top of my head. But take this added cost and divided by the years of service to your community and then ask the only question that needs asking. How much house/barn/store do you have to save each year to pay for that EXTRA COST. How many people do you have to rescue and of these how many lives do you have to save to pay for this EXTRA? I can tell you the chances of you rescuing a victim by arriving fully dressed on the 1st engine increases exponetially. The time you waste packing up infront of a burning home is time you can never recover! These are the only reasons needed:

    1. TIME (savings)!!!
    2. Added Cost per service year (it's too small to count)

    And of coarse Safety; it's much safer and Our safety comes First!!!

    We are a lucky department that leaves with a minimum of 3 on the truck. An Engineer and 2 in the back packing up. Unless we have an officer then that seat is filled last. I preach day in and day out for the Engine to wait on the apron 1 extra minute. You gain 2 minutes (of the IMPORTANT FIRST FIVE) at a fire just waiting that extra 60 second. Everything goes much smoother if you allow your guys to talk things over on the way to a fire and allow everyone the same comfort level and the same STARTING POINT. It just works!!!

    Just so you know more about my depart. for comparison:

    20 members & 6 officer (all volunteer)
    two Attack Engines seating for 6 each
    three 2000 gallon tankers (hydrant district only covers 20% of our area.
    Heavy Rescue covering 22 miles (times 2) of Interstate 89 in VT
    Rescue 2 (Mobile Cascade System) / 6 Divers

    Running 350 calls a year. Annual Operating Budget of 50,000 with additional Capital Expenses of $50,000 a year.

    Please convice your Department and community that 4 drs is the only way to go. It makes your department so much better!!! And if manuverability is the only question then have everyone dig deep and buy a custom. A straight forward; no frills custom is what you need and will fall in love with. it's like night and day between our International and our Sentry II.

    Make the dealers do the work. Ask them what they'd like to see you run. If they built you a truck what type would they put in your station. Don't help them intally. Then go from there. Our dealers came down 18.4% from the original price. Don't forget about this when getting your community's best bang for it's buck.

    Thanks for listening.
    GB

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up four door cabs Commerical Cab

    My careear department operates six FL 112's five pumpers 1000gal tk. 1500gpm.370hp(should be mim.400hp)Allison 5sp & a Foam pumper 1500gpm 1000gal.tk. The FL cabs are all crash tested which is nice.The only problem we have had with our cabs were the seat materials, door locks & hinges.ALF/FL replaced all doors & repainted them at no cost to us except down time, they were also our FL80's. We have about 15 FL80's & 112's total in the fleet. We just went back to custom cabs this year, with an order of eight pumpers (ALF) My volunteer co. operates a FL120 on our Heavy Rescue,it has served us well. If you are a bussy little volunteer company, spend the extra money and buy a custom 4 door cab, built for the fire service,( just make sure you get enough HP) because none of the commerical cabs built today with all the plastic can hold up to the interior design & materials used.Check your forward facing SCBA for secure mounting so as not to pull out in a crash from the mounts used.You see all sorts of mounting brackets to secure them in.some good some questionable. Good Luck
    JB

  8. #8
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    Our department is a small volunteer department.If we are lucky enought to ever order another new truck,we would go with a 2 door truck.Why,we have 4 trucks at our station we roll 1 pumper and 2 tankers on a working structure fire.In the day time we are already short on drivers so we sure couldn't fill 2 more seats.All of our personnel carry their bunker gear.If they respond directly to the fire most of the time they are ahead of the trucks.The difference in price would buy a lot of needed equipment.Our folks are spread all over our rural farming community.EONE makes a nice truck for departments like us,nothing fancy but a firefighting machine.Now if we could ever afford their brush truck.

  9. #9
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    We're going to go with the 4 door cab. It was not an easy decision to make. we think the benefits will outweigh any disadvantages.

  10. #10
    iceman4442
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default

    Our "small" department purchased a Pierce Saber in '98, and paid the extra for the custom 4 door 6 man cab.

    Had one particular "loud" person in town telling anyone who would listen and some who wouldn't how the city shouldn't pay that much for a truck that it didn't need. Our chief did his homework and had a lot of information on the advantages for operations and safety with the big cab, so the commission went with it.

    Here's the fun part:

    Two days after the truck was put into service (about six days after delivery) we had a house explode one block from the station due to a propane leak. That house was toast, but it lit three exposures, one of which belonged to the "loud person." We rolled up in our new unnecessary engine, five of us bailed out with full turnout and SCBA on, advanced the first two attack lines, and put out all three exposures in less than three minutes, or roughly the time it would have taken us to pack up out of our old 2 door truck. Saved all three houses with minimal damage, including his.

    To give the "loud person" credit, he actually wrote a letter to the local weekly paper and thanked us and kind of apologized for cracking on us over the new truck.

    Big cabs are good.


    Stay safe.

  11. #11

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    Lightbulb What I believe

    Ladys and Gentalmen-
    Having a 2 door cab makes the truck smaller by 2-4 feet
    (Which is good if you need a small truck and/or small roads)
    A four door is good if you have big roads and a large Department and carrys more.
    But if you have a small Department 2 doors will make it look better, if 2 guys show "Oh our truck can only carry 2, lets fly"
    And with a small truck you could save space for inbetween gear racks/ other trucks. When I belonged to my old FD there was about less then a foot inbetween the trucks and the racks we had to stay there and move in our lockers if there where other members need to get there gear or what I did was grabed my gear and went in the front of the Firehouse and got changed so there was less time for "gear-up" plus I had all the room I need. I am such a fast responder w/ gear I could do it in prob. 15-20 sec's no kidding, just my bunker pants,all straped in all I needed was the rest of my gear ( most of the time I just put it in the cab where I sit) (in the officer seat for the most part) I know I got way off the subject! *laughts* Just depends on your needs, think of space, and now many Dept. members you have. Be Safe.
    Dan
    9-11-01
    "Let's Not Forget Our Fallen Heroes"
    -P.C.F.A. Class of 2001
    Firefighter 1
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    Dan M. B.
    NJ State Firefighter 1
    Passaic County Fire Acadamy
    Class of 2001
    "Let's Not Forget Our Fallen Heroes"
    9-11-01

  12. #12
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    Default

    For those that think they can get away with a 2 door cab, ask what your department will be like in 5, 10, or even 20 years from now. Remember that the pumper you buy now will probably be in service for the next 20 years. We bought a new pumper a little over a year ago and had the same debate in our department. Some of the old timers wanted a two door because that's the way it's always been. Fortunately we wound up going for the 4 door. We went with a Pierce with an International chassis. Since we've had the new pumper, it usually leave the station with three people on board and at times up to five. At the rate my town is growing, and with possibility of adding paid staff, the 4 door was well worth the investment.

  13. #13
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    I'll just add my two cents worth on this. I am a member of a volunteer dept which has approx 20-25 active members. In 1998 we purchased a Metal Fab pumper on a four door International chassis. We decided to go with a 5 person cab over a two person one due to some of the reasons people have already given, it allows a full crew to get packed up and make an initial plan, it eliminates 1-3 POVs, and it makes things easier to have a first due engine with everything on it. We've had it almost 4 years now and it has been a great truck, minus a few minor problems.
    We are purchasing a new tanker next year and will be getting a two door cab because our philosophy is that a tanker is used to haul water so there is no sense to have a four door cab on it, which would reduce the tank size.
    I would make the decision based on
    • how many calls do you run
    • how many people show up in time to make the first due unit
    • is size a factor
    • and many other things that have already been listed by others
    Well, good luck with the new truck.
    Stay Safe

    Ryan Dennett
    FF/EMT-I

    -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*
    "Some ask why. I answer: I know where I am going when I die, and so I do not fear it. Some people need more time to figure it out. I am that extension. My life for yours."
    Marc 'SkipJack270'

  14. #14
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    Go with the 4 dr cab. I say this for these reasons.
    1: Never plan your seating for the normal day to day operations. We had all 2 dr cabs until 87 and when we had meetings, drills or just hanging out that the firehouse and received a call, we either had people hanging on the back step ( I know!!!! not safe so don't go there!!!) or had a lot of POV's at the scene. You need to have enough seats!!!!!!!
    2: Safety considerations, seated firefighters are safer firefighters and are ready to go to work as soon as they arrive. Our rigs have a min. of 5 seats but most have 6. 2 engines, 105ft ladder tower, and a heavy rescue,( the new rescue will seat 6 it seat 5 now). Also you have seatbelts too.
    3: As for the cost differance, does your state have any funding program that supplies local fire departments for "Saftey related items"????? Here in Pennsylvania we do and it WILL pay fot the costs of the added seating area and the seats themselves. We have done it on the last 4 trucks we bought.

  15. #15
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    Default 4 door cab

    I know you already went ahead with the 4 door cab (good choice) but people still need to know the avantages of a crew cab. Here in Australia as you know we have a lot of wildfires up until 2 years ago we used single cab appliances only. Not only were they cheaper but only one manafacturer offered a twin cab cab/chassis and we had no custom chassis available.In 1998 we had a tragedy in Victoria that cost 5 crew their lives due to a flashover.The reason these guys died was the fact they only had a single cab appliance.The guys tried to seek refuge on the firefighting deck but that offered no protection.Since that day in my state of South Austrlia we no longer buy anything but a twin cab. Even if you only have 2 people on the truck it offers more protection combined with fire curtains so in my opinion there is no choice but a twin cab.And like one letter said you do keep your truck for a long time and a lot can change in that time so think ahead.

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