1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    salt lake city, ut, usa

    Default "Telma" system on Pierce Apparatus

    A "Sister" Department has begun purchasing new Pierce apparatus with a "telma"(sp?) braking system. They claim it works exceptionally well, and stops the apparatus faster, without increased wear on the brakes. Is anyone familiar with this system? If so, was the extremely costly vs cost savings?
    Doug Morgan

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    MalahatTwo7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.


    We recently (July 2001) purchased a 1993 FL70 pumper from Abbottsford Fire Department. The truck also carries the Telma brake system, which is tied into the drive line through some sort of magnetic system, so there are very few moving parts.

    Yes, on dry roads and pavement, the system works extremely well. It will stop the truck (which carries 500gal of water, plus all the extra gear that most any truck would carry)in less than two lengths. When we specked out the truck we were cautioned by Abbottsford that while the system does work very well, it could also be a danger in that on wet or icy roads because it does make a short braking distance, it can cause the rear of the truck to break away, giving cause for a potential spin.

    The system is a two part device that will work as a totally independant brake system or it can be linked into the main braking system (air) and it will aid in the braking process. We have tried the Telma under most road conditions including rain, but a slow speeds only (for the rain) and are very happy with it. Our district is located at the top of a long hill (elevation 900 feet) on both sides so good braking is a requirement.

    Overall the system works really great and we are very happy with it. And yes because there are very few moving parts due to the magnetics, it saves on wear and tear on the main brake linings which is really great in a small station like ours.

    As for the cost of having it installed as part of the original purchase, I have no information on that part, but am sure that it will be a pretty shinny penny to have installed. The savings from reduced wear and tear, well that is to be determined yet as we have had the truck less than a year and all brakes etc were replaced as part of our purchase deal. Hope this clears some of the smoke for you, Firemandougie.
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  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Halligan84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999
    Blackwood NJ, USA


    We run 3 of them on 1994 and 1996 Spartan chassis. No problems whatsoever, they stop the truck on a dime (we combine them with 4 wheel disc and ABS). Regarding the sliding and slipping, that is true of any auxiliary braking system. We solved that problem by tying the Telma into the Anti Lock Braking system. If the ABS senses wheel lock up it shuts off the Telma instantly. Ours are wired so that as you take your foot off the accelerator Stages 1 and 2 activate, as the brake pedal is depressed stages 3 and 4 activate. To date none of these rigs have required any brake work. At time of purchase I think they added somehwere around $7000 to the price of the truck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2001


    We have a 2000 ALF Pumper/Tanker and with a Telma system also.
    It makes a tremendous difference in stopping, we have 1400 gals
    of water on board.

    It is a magnetic system that is directly on the drive line. I got
    to see it while they were building the truck.

    I would highly recommend it on a new build, Unkown as to if they
    can be retrofitted though.

  5. #5
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Salt lake city

    Default telma on slcfd rigs

    Fireman dougie, Yes we have been purchasing telma equiped pierces. But only after we got them on our seagraves. The seagraves we have do not give us the option to switch on or off the telma retarder. The pierces however do. We were also cautioned About wet and slippery road conditions but to my knowlede no one has had any problems. One way to keep the telma from engaging while coming down from Lds hospital is to start in a lower gear and put slight pressure on the accelerator. This pressure sends the computer the message that I am about to accellerate an disengages the telma automaticly. you can alternatly release the accelerator to engage the telma. I have no idea about costs and such, but I do know that I like the telma equiped rigs better than our exhaust and transmission retarder equiped rigs

  6. #6
    Baker FF/PM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Keene, Texas


    At my volunteer department we have a 1996 Pierce Saber with Telma, works great. I would highly recommend it be purchased as we have never had brake repair/replacement done yet. We have a neighboring department with a 1995 Pierce International without any braking system and they have already replaced their brakes a few times. My paid job we have a 1999 Pierce Dash engine and 2000 Pierce Dash quint that both have "Jake Brakes" and they work well but not as well as the Telma because you are still using a lot of braking power from the wheel brakes.

    They are cool to listen to as you drive down that quiet residential block at 2 am and the "Jake Brake" kicks in. You almost forget about the Telma until you look over and notice the stage lights.
    I would...but no!

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    SCOOBY14B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001

    Default TELMA

    The telma is about a 7-9K option on apparatus.

    It is a four stage unit. It's stages are determined by brake pedal pressure. On our trucks the first stage comes on when you let off the gas pedal, 2nd with 3 psi brake pressure, 3rd @ 5 psi, 4th @ 8 psi.

    The main drawbacks are the amp draw with these and heat buildup. Each stage requires 50 amps which means at full power it requires 200 amps. You couple this with the usual light and siren draw and then throw a Q which requires 100 AMPS to start...you have a serious draw. We no longer spec with "real" Q's. We have a few Whelen electronic Q's, but several Federal elec Q's.

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