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  1. #1
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    Question What horse power?

    We are in the process of getting a new Pumper/tanker it just has to go to the town meeting for a vote. The town will give us $200,000 whiich includes financing (so that leaves us with about $178,000.
    I will give you the basics of what we are looking at and if yo could tell me which horse power to go with, we do have some hills but we are not extreamly hilly.
    Frieghtliner chassis, four door cab seating for 5, 1250 gpm top mount pump panel, 2500 gal. tank, high side on one side, automatic trans.
    I am no engine person but due to the cost I feel that the 350 hp engine will be enough power, the Chief on the other hand wants a 425 hp.

    Does anybody have any suggestions?

    Thank you,
    AC Grant
    Hudson Vol. Fire Dept.
    Bill Grant
    Asst. Chief
    HVFD


  2. #2
    Senior Member apatrol's Avatar
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    Default

    at the minimum 425....350 would be way way underpowered

  3. #3
    Forum Member Fyrtrks's Avatar
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    Default Horsepower and other things

    AC 51,
    I am in apparatus sales but by no means am I a cahssis man. I reccomend the following course of action. These will all add up I asure you.

    1 Go to the local DPW and ask what the precentage of the steepest grade in the county or your area is. The traffic engineer should be able to tell you.

    2 Make a decision on what is important speed or "startability". These may vary depending upon your response area and it's traffic paterns.

    3 Go to several local heavy truck dealers they all should be able to plug this into thier computers and give you fairly good and acurate numbers on speeds, required HP, gear ratios (manual tranny) and rear end ratios.

    I would also consider a very good auxillary brake system.

    Horsepower dosen't mean squat if you are only doing 45 MPH and have to go 15 miles to the other end of the district. I also would not want a truck that could do 90 MPH if my district was only a few square miles. I would also say that you have to live with the truck if you spec it to do 55 for better startability, the only guy who is not going to like you is the Delivery Engineer.(This comming from the voice of experience) On my parting note do not for get that the new engines can come with a VSS vehicle speed sensor it makes climbing hills wonderful.

    Thanks
    Fyrtrks

  4. #4
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    AC 51
    Your specification should require a horsepower curve chart be supplied with the apparatus builders' bid proposal. Also remember that the transmission gear ratio set up is as important as your engine horsepower for your road requirements. Once you have done that your department will not be wasting money on unnecessary oversizing.

  5. #5
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    All great things to consider also plug into those considerations what horse power does the 1250 pump take to get it's pump rating, If things have not changed since I last put specs together for a pumper be aware that horse power ratings are based on the engine before any items are put on the motor. they rate the engine horse power even before the fan is put on so be sure to consider things like the fan a/c comp , air compressor and anything else that gets added that can draw down the horse power. also give yourself some extra power to reach pump rating even as the truck gets older and is harder to get a good pump test. Good luck specs are fun and complicated as you are well aware of I am sure
    Condor

  6. #6
    Forum Member colfireman's Avatar
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    I would have to agree with the other replies you have received.Go with the 425 hp motor.you will find in the long run you won't be disappointed.Remember that you can always add little things to the truck after it has been built and in the station.YOU CAN'T change the engine quite as easily.BTW we just finished our new rescue truck spec and tender process.(1 year to complete)In approx 8 months we will have a Sparton/Saulsbury rescue.

  7. #7
    MFD
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    Default Cat or Mack power

    If I was ordering the truck I'd ordering the truck I don't know if they offer this motor in a fire engine(cause we never have the money for new engines) look into the Mack(that E-7 motor) 425 or 427 if not you can't go wrong with a big Cat. you gotta remember 2500 gallons with tank weighs is about 14 tons. Then you add in the chassis's weight, the pump's weight, the weight of the tools/equiptment on that truck( it would suprise me if your at 20-25 ton) I'd run ATLEAST a 400 HP. we have an older Pirsh(early 70s) with a Detroit 270 or 280 HP(I know back then it was probably a monster)(1500 gpm,500 tank and 5 man open cab, if we got that full of guys,full of water and head into a hill you have to downshift and your doing 45 at the most. That's another thing to concider if your going Automatic(which you probably are) you lose some HP just going into the transmission. I don't know the percentage in semis/fire engines but in cars usually you lose 10-15% HP by going Automatic.
    It wasn't that long ago I was flipping through Firehouse's recent deliver someone took delivery of (I think ) a Heavy Rescue with a 500 HP Detroit .Personally I think that's kind of a overkill.(the reason I say that is 90-95% of the time your heaviest truck(if your a Rural F.D.will hills) is on your tanker and your heaviest truck is the one that needs power.I'd still think a engine with a good size tank(like 750 or 1000 gallon) would outweigh a heavy rescue.Only thing made it a little heavy was a big cab(8 or 10 man cab) Your probably saying if they got the hills they might need it. But your telling me a truck with usually the heaviest thing on heavy rescues are usually either jaws or generators needs a 500 HP motor. I bet you could do 80 up that hill ,fully loaded with men and gear and not phase it.a dept near us took delivery about 2-3 years ago of there new engine International 6 man cab I think thats a 1250 or 1500 gpm with 750 tank but it's a DT466 motor(which is a 300 HP International motor)They got some good hills in there district(It's not mountain like district but it will let you know it's there) I told them order the motor a little bit oversize(not nessary 500 HP but I could see them getting atleast 375 HP) now the funny thing is the old truck(which has a 325 or 350 HP)(I honestly think the reason why they got that DT466 motor was cause they we're "running out of money" and they didn't wanna wait and do a fund raiser or ask for more cash so they got that dinky motor ) anyhow the old truck usually they let leave first because the old truck can get through the hills faster so it doesn't get stuck behind the new truck. But whoever idea it was to order a new truck with a 300 HP engine that was silly. We call it the "little engine that could" cause you go into a hill with it and you say " I think I can I think I can I think I can"

  8. #8
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    The one thing I have been told and tend to beleave is

    " There is no replacement for displacement"

  9. #9
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    My rule of thumb is ADD 25% more engine for driving an auto. trans.Basically a Allison is a big hyd. pump driving a big hyd. motor.With 2500 on plus equipment plus hose,plus plus plus I think you will be much happier with the 425.The problem a lot of folks have is they don't understand that a "HEAVY" spec truck will save you money over it's lifetime.The big engines don't work as hard,save fuel and last longer.Big brakes run cooler and stop better.Heavy suspension components don't break as often.My observations are based on thirty years of diversified experience in the heavy transportation trade from driver to mechanic,truck speccer,and now heavy vehicle towing and recovery.I know what breaks and what breaks it.Adequate driver training is a must for a vehicle in the class you are considering.If I can be of any further help,E-mail me.T.C.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber gefd901's Avatar
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    Talk with the apparatus manufacturers you are interested in working with. Tell them what your local conditions are, what type of apparatus you are interested in, and what you expect it to do. Then see what their engineering department recommends. No reputable manufacturer will willingly sell you an underpowered apparatus.
    Transmission and rear end ratios have a lot to do with performance too not just horsepower alone. My personal thinking is that 350HP would be way underpowered on a rig this size. To carry that much water you are going to have to have a tandem rear axle and somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 # GVW.
    Another problem you may have is $$$$$$. I don't think you are going to build it for $178,000.

  11. #11
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    there is a big chunk of money differance between a 425hp and a 350hp among other things I think you will find you have to go to a differant traney if using an automatic.

    if you have to stay at a 350 for budget reasons all is not lost. Pay special attention to the gearing. and you can get done what you want to do. Like one other responder said. Tell your vender what kind of gades you have and what speed you want to run and have them give power reports based on this. With a couple of differant gear rear ends. All the horsepower in the world is no good if the rear is not right.

    Besides horsepower is not the only part of the equation. You need torqe.

    torqe gets you rolling (without that it will take forever to get moving)

    horsepower keeps you moving

  12. #12
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    I agree, $178,000 is not going to get ths project done.

    The real question is not horsepower. My pickup has 440 horses but only 300 ft pounds of torque. The issue is foot pounds of torque. I can think of 10 engines with 350 horsepower but 400 to 1600 foot pounds of torque.

    A 250 hp motor will run a 1250 pump amd a 325 will run a 1750. So horsepower is plenty for most pumps.

    Any manufuacturer can run an engine scan based upon the weight of the vehicle, a selection of engines and rear ends and imput any grades. From that they can tell you how fast the rig will be how long it will take to accelerate in seconds etc. You can have stability and performance. Just not at $178,000. Maybe you need to add a few years to the lease.

  13. #13
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    Thumbs down

    With the setup you're talking about, you're going to have a minimum GVW in the 50,000's. The 350 h.p. will be a dog, you'll end up hating it for various reasons, and you'll wish you'd sprung for the 425. Trust me on this, I've driven big, old, underpowered apparatus. When you're climbing that "little" hill at 5 or 10 m.p.h. and someone's screaming "entrapment", you'll wish you'd passed up the 425 for the 60-series, 500 h.p. Detroit.

  14. #14
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    We have a 2,000 gallon engine tank on a International 2674 chassis with a 350 HP Cummins engine. It runs ok on the flats, but is an absolute dog climbing the hills. The truck weighs in at 53,000 lbs.

    Get the biggest engine you can!!


    See Engine Tank 113 if you're interested.

  15. #15
    MFD
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    Default this is an idea

    the first thing we gotta address(in my own opinion) is the budget issue. If he can't "pony up" more money for the bigger motor then they gotta do with the motor they can afford. Here's my suggestion okay usually Detroit,Cat(all your major diesel companies) have like 4-5 classes of motors(like the Detroit 60 series) anyhow if it's greater than 350 get the biggest motor offered in the little class. for example Cat has a class of motors called the "C10" it's from 305-370 HP. Go with the 370 HP.the reason I say go with the big one "in the smaller class" it will cost more to go up to the next class vs getting the big one of the smaller class. it just depends on what's more important to your department. speed/power or the truck/accessories(no offense but I hope you keeping your old Axes,pike poles, halligan bars and stuff like that cause that will save you a little bit of money on the new truck they you'll just have to get holders) both the truck and the motor important but personally I had to choose I'd get more motor cause you can add more pike poles and holders on later its harder to do a motor swap or a turbo kit.

  16. #16
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    I know I am slow to understand things, but did you say the town is giving you 200k and that leaves you with 178k? I am missing the boat here. If you have a total of 378k heck I'll spec you one with gold discharges. Is the town financing the first 200k and letting you finance the 178k?
    Even with that amount of money you can still have the chassis you need with the large motor. If the town is financing 200k then why should the department not be able to finance some of the cost as well. I know all about the costs involved with the large chassis and all. But don't cut yourselves short. The town does not spec tankers for a living. The fire departments do. Get your bids with the spec you want and the lowest price OR the highest QUALITY for a REASONABLE price then present that to the town. The other thing that politicians like to see is how much money you will be saving them because then when it comes time for the next purchase you have a good base to stand on to say we saved THE TOWN this amount of money to used over here for this or that. Buying a firetruck is nothing easy. Its takes a lot of number crunching to get the right piece in the door on a tight budget. You could also look into the lease/ purchase plan. They work pretty well for some departments that have limited funding or even Municiple Government.
    I say go with the larger motor for two reasons: 1. Longer life of the motor. 2. Going up and down hills and shuttling water.
    The larger the motor the less work it needs to do to accomplish its job, so to speak. A smaller motor will sound like a federal Q wound out compared to a larger one at higher RPMs. And we all know what happens to the wound out motor over time. It will not last.
    Hope this helps some. Good luck.
    Matt

  17. #17
    MFD
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    Default Rural F.D. funding problem

    I don't wanna sound negitive toward my department but most of you guys atleast have towns/ or cities where if you need a new truck you can get it.(which I agree with if your trucks are "shot") The Department I'm on. we do have a town but it's super small(I think total district size is 2000-2500 population) all of our trucks are 25-30 years old. we only have one diesel(3 gas hogs). I know we probably don't have near the runs like you guy but if we have a emergency I'd like to jump in a truck and not PRAY that it will work. . I'm dead serious at the last major fire we had(it was called in as a chimney fire but we went in and the walls near the chimney was fully involved) the butterfly valve on our "main pumper" was sticking bad(its things like this that frustrating at a fire scene). I know your saying talking to your board or council about purchasing a truck(that's another problem) we don't have one. we "contract" with them to cover townships areas.If you go to them and say our trucks are "shot" we need a new one or 2 they'll say we don't have to pay for it cause it isn't in our contract.(which is true) Then your saying well just lease or take a loan. Well we got a guy on the department that's over money he'd rather step in front of a speeding train than take out a loan for a new truck.NOW THE GOOD NEWS. after putting up our pumper(which is a P.O.S. its a gas )and our tanker(which is in okay shape but it's a gas and has NO POWER going into hills)we're gonna sell those two and dump the majority of what we have saved up(what we estimated with the what we hope to get out of the 2 trucks and what we got saved is 110-120 grand(We'll have money for operating expenenses cause another township's money is coming in soon. What we're hopeing to find a nice (slightly used) Demo model from some company. that's a pumper/tanker or a pumper with a hell of a tank on it(2000 gallon). Thats another "roadblock we're facing" we've looked on online for fairly new but used(maybe 4-5 years old) trucks but not many tankers have pumps on them and if they do there like 500 or 1000 gpm and chief wants atleast a 1250 GPM. then to make it worst he'd like to have a 5 or 6 man cab(which i understand if your combining 2 trucks cause otherwise either everyone gonna be tight in the cab or there gonna have to drive their own trucks to the scene) We we're just wondering how much a new one (pumper/tanker) would run us if we bought it new(now remember) this is like a 6 or 8 man enclosed cab(i forget which)(this wasn't in writing this is what a Smeal salesmen was figuring in his head) 2000 gallon tank and 1500 GPM pump I think a 400 HP cat with Allison Auto(so it wasn't like a huge motor) I think they wanted around 250 grand.(that's before you started to work them down but I know it was high)(but that shop they gave us that price is kinda of unique cause usually the price they give you is "put into service price" cause once you pick up that truck it's ready to go into service it already has new Axes,new pike poles(usually they don't put more expensive equiptment on unless you ask for it ) new SCBAs,new jaws of life(ram,hydro. gen.,spreaders), new hose(with nozzles) basically if you get in that truck and you get paged out on the way returning back to station(and you got your gear) your ready to roll.Usually when we sell our trucks(depending on if we like the hoses,Axes,halligans and stuff like that is if we keep it)(if there in crappy or in crappy shape(I know it's not nice)we sell the truck "in service ready"usually that's what we do cause we run our trucks until they are ROYALLY SHOT(i'm talking motor is ready to go or something major)

  18. #18
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Well I'm gonna disagree with MFD here.Don't go with a "pumped up"little motor.A C10 Cat is a 10 liter motor.Try a 8.3 liter Cummins at say 330 hp loaded at your local truck dealer,then take the same load out on a N14 at 330hp,tell me which handles the load better.Kinda like comparing a 283 Chev with a 454 Stroker,there is no comparison.Get at least a 11 liter motor,preferably a 14 liter.DD's are OK but they won't pull the same as a equivalent Cat.You DD lovers don't need to try to flame me,I have driven every type of diesel motor there is from 2 stroke Detroits to drive by wire Cummins.I personally love Cummins but
    Cat outpulls everything hands down.T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 03-04-2002 at 09:54 AM.

  19. #19
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    Arrow

    You're concerned with horsepower. You're concerned with $$$$$$, and who isn't these days. OK, it's time to talk to a salesman. <b>That's his job</B>. Tell him you've got so much budget, and don't be truthful, just generalize. Tell him what you want this vehicle to do. He's probably local, so he knows you're area. There's a computer program out there in truck sales land that will do all the work for him. He can tell you what is best for the load you are carrying. Let this guy tell you what you need. Then if the budget permits go a little more.
    I spent 5 yrs in the truck biz, specing trucks and selling parts for them. My thought is that this little pumper/tanker, even geared to 55 is gonna be a dog with the little school bus engine. they are gonna sell you what you want, but don't just settle because of budget.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-RTB

    Stay low, keep pushing in, and stay safe.

  20. #20
    Forum Member 1835Wayne's Avatar
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    Talking Go with the 425

    You gotta' go for the four and a quarter CAT!!
    Trust me on this, if geared right(very important)a 425hp CAT can pull 80,000 pds at 100mph!! Don't ask how I know, I just do(we had us a convoy!!).
    I.A.C.O.J. Charter Member
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