1. #1
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    Question Front Mount Pumps

    Front mount pumps were always popular until about 20 years ago. Although some departments still purchase rigs using them, the are a small minority.

    What brought about the decline of front mounts? Are midship mounted pumps just easier to use than bumper-pumpers?

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    I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that there is no longer any manufacturer that builds engines with provisions for front crankshaft PTO's.
    Fiberglass forever!! (they won't let us have leather)

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    I know that there's a Pacific NW apparatus manufacturer, H&W, that is still delivering apparatus with front mounted pumps, so you can still get them.

    Check out their website, click on the "photo album" link, then "commercial pumpers," and you'll see a bunch of them.

    www.hwev.com

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    Arrow Thanks!

    I appreciate the replies. Yes you do still see a front mount creep in on occasion, but they were pretty common before. Besides H & W there are other builders that turn them out such as CSI up in Michigan and Alexis in Illinois. Even Pierce and E-One pop one out on occasion.

    I just wondered why the number of them dropped so dramatically!

    Take care,

    Steve

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    Another manufacturer in Oregon beside H&W is Western States. They made almost all our rigs, and out of the 6 they made 5 are from mount pumps, and two of them are on Spartan chassis. And around here in Oregon its more common to see front mount than side mounts. And you rarely see top mounts.

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    There are several reasons for the decline of front mount pumps. Front mounts are very prone to freezing. I have seen many different ways to keep the warm from heated covers to Water jackets. They help but still not great. The other was safety issues. Standing infront of a unit roaring it's engine in Nuetral was looking for trouble. Modern Front mounts built by E-One / Superior have the operators controls at the side. With the introduction of High Torque PTO's you no longer had to have a Front Mount for Pump and Roll. Long extensions up front for the pump mounts caused problems in some areas for hills and turns. Packings were often burned out and pumps siezed as they would not get disengaged on the way back to the hall. Wieght distrubution was also an issue as you need heavier springs, axels, steering assist to allow for all this weight up front. These are the reasons I have seen this in the market place.

    Yes they are out there and the front mounts being built today are safer and better than ever. Will they go away? Never. They have thier place just as a rear mount does.

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    4x4 front mount
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    Front mount side panel
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    Thumbs up Nice rig!

    Thanks for the information CAP22. Those sound like good reasons as to why there has been a decline. Your engine is quite impressive looking. Nice short wheelbase and a small body. Do you have a photo of the officers side so that I can see where the pump panel access is?

    Take care,

    Steve

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    Steve: Pump Panel is on Drivers side. Heres a better shot.
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    Passenger side view.
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    Front mount Reel Truck.
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    Reel truck from rear, 3000 ft of 5"
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    Reel truck Front Mount Panel
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    Cap22,
    Thank you for the information. My department has a '64 Ford/American Fire Apparatus with a 500 GPM front mount pump. And it still passes the pump test with a 508 G.P.M. flow. The controls on it are hard to work though. Valves on the front, left side, and rear. But it has also embarrassed a 3 month old Seagrave on a draft site. Runs like a top and will still fight fire with the ones around here.
    Another lifetime volunteer proud to serve my community.

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    Thanks for those pictures! I missed the pump panel with the lid down! That reel rig is quite intereting also. I'd love to see a rig like that in person.

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    We run 2 bumper pumpers. A 1971 Ford HD pick-up truck with a 500GPM Barton American pump. And a 1992 GMC Monroe truck with a 1000 gpm Hale pump.

    Both Inernational and Freightliner build trucks that front mounts can be put on. As well as Dodge with the cummins engine in their pick-ups.

    Simple to run. Easy to maintain. And being in Wisconsin we have never frozen one.

    Take care and stay safe,

    FyredUp

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    Anyone have the recent thread that had a new front mount (photo/info)? All or in part made by Smeal as I recall. I don't recall the subject of the thread where this was posted and search did not help.

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    CAP22 touched on one reason for the decline, freezing issues, is one of them.
    Another is, that it is located to where it can be damaged beyond repair, if it ever hit something.

    The main reason, is to change the center of gravity, back to the middle of the rig, instead of in front of it. This makes the rig more stable on a fast run going straight, and going around corners. It also saves weight on the front suspension, and gives you better steering and stability.

    With the mid-mount pumps, you also get the advantage of having heaters installed to keep the pumps warm during below freezing temps.

    One last thing, the truck looks better without a front pump. (to some)

    FM1

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFPug163 View Post
    I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that there is no longer any manufacturer that builds engines with provisions for front crankshaft PTO's.
    No so. I don't know of a manufacturer that doesn't offer a front engine PTO option on at least one of their chassis.

    It's the simplest and most reliable setup. I love the front mounts.
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    Must be a rural Illinois thing, but there are quite a few floating around out there, and some quite new at that. I know the folks that I work for sold one prior to my getting hired, and I just sold one not too long ago on an IH that has yet to be built. The opinions from what I've heard are that IH is the easiest to put a front mount on, but we all know about opinions.

    4-Guys can do front mounts, and this one is on a Ford:

    http://www.4guysfire.com/welcomelakearchive.asp

    or how about an IH?

    http://www.4guysfire.com/brookfieldarchive.asp

    Toyne (plug, plug) can also do them, see attached photo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by txgp17 View Post
    No so. I don't know of a manufacturer that doesn't offer a front engine PTO option on at least one of their chassis.

    It's the simplest and most reliable setup. I love the front mounts.
    Agreed. Front PTOs are used extensively with garbage trucks, snow plows, and more.

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    Found another Toyne, this one on a Pete. If you're worried about your pump freezing, enclose it like this and put a big heater in there. Our rear mount stays cozy and warm in the winter with a small pump heater.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREMECH1 View Post
    CAP22 touched on one reason for the decline, freezing issues, is one of them.
    Another is, that it is located to where it can be damaged beyond repair, if it ever hit something.

    The main reason, is to change the center of gravity, back to the middle of the rig, instead of in front of it. This makes the rig more stable on a fast run going straight, and going around corners. It also saves weight on the front suspension, and gives you better steering and stability.

    With the mid-mount pumps, you also get the advantage of having heaters installed to keep the pumps warm during below freezing temps.

    One last thing, the truck looks better without a front pump. (to some)

    FM1
    Okay, let me address some of what you said above.

    Freezing: I am in Wisconsin we run and have run various front mount pumps for years and NEVER, let me repeat that, NEVER froze a pump. We drained them and covered them and even in the coldest winter never froze one. The had heater lines that kept them warm. Further on the freezing issue there are builders that build heated pump houses for front mounts that keep it warm in a similar manner to mid mount heated pump compartments.

    Damage beyond repair: If you have a front suction you can cause similar damage to a midmount pump with a severe enough front impact.

    I can't argue the center of gravity or the long front because that is simply the way it is.

    Look: Subjective and beauty is in the eye of the beholder now isn't it?

    We haven't bought a front mount since 1992 but the one we have works great and the guys love it because everything is right there making it simple to run.

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    Npfd801,

    How much air flow do you get through the radiator with a housing tha big?

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