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  1. #1
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    Default 1 1/2" booster reels

    Does anyone out there have any experience, good or bad, with 1 1/2" booster reel? We are contemplating putting one or two of these on a new engine. Our idea is that they would seem to be ideal for car and brush fires with flows in the area of 100 to 125 GPM.

    Also, I seem to remember seeing Neidner booster hose that was relatively lightweight, but I have been unable to find a website for Neidner. Does anyone have any info on them also?


  2. #2
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    We used to have one on a brush truck. It didn't have electric rewind. It was the hard booster hose. It was not manoverable and it was very hard to rewind. I wouldn't recommend using with the traditional hard booster hose. It may do fine with the newer neinder hose and such and electric rewind.

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    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    You can put regular flat hose on the reel and get 1 3/4 on it, you just have to pull the whole reel before charging the line, but of course if you just put a cross lay in you'd use less space. We have one truck with two reels of 200' 1 3/4 followed by 200' 2 1/2, you pull until you have enough hose, the engineer disconnects the hose from the reel and hooks it to a discharge. Makes reloading a snap, although, as I mentioned, it eats up a lot of space.

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    We have booster reels on our second engine and our mini pumper. We have the traditional hard red rubber hose on them. They are nice. It all depends what you plan on doing with them. Its a bit more convient for like dumpster fires and leaf fires and little stuff like that. They got a good enough flow on them so I like them. Its a lot easier to push that rewind button at 3 am than to roll up 100 feet of hose. It takes just a minute to get them off, you don't have to pull off the complete line before you charge it so the question you should be asking yourself is is it usable and sufficible in your area? I mean if you don't have many fires that you would be using it on then don't get it but if you get a lot of those grass fires and car fires and so on, than it is definately worth it, plus tey really don;t take up too much space, so I think its nice to have. So I would reccommend that you go with it. Anohter plus is that you have to pull off just what you need not 35 extra feet of something you don't need.
    Firefighter/EMT Mitch Cowen
    Hose Co. 1 1st Lieutenant
    Randolph Fire Co. Inc

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    We have the Niedner Reeltex hose on our service truck and I really like it. http://www.niedner.com/

    Reeltex is a lightweight, rigid fire hose.

    We've also used standard structural 1.5" and 1.75" hose on "booster" reels since 1976. Keep it charged to about 50psi when reeling it in (watch the pressure, as you reel in the hose the volume decreases slightly and the pressure goes up, too much pressure = overwork the electric motor = thermal breaker pops). You need good valves/swivel fittings/nozzles so the water doesn't leak out and leave you with a flat hose. It's also wise to lock the reel once enough hose is out, otherwise you'll be pulling more off before reeling it back on. 1.75" is a little too big, with our 1.5" we will have water on any fire with 150' of the truck sooner than anyone with dry 1.5" hose will have it stretched and charged. Not unusual to have water flowing at the doorway while more hose is still being pulled off the reel by a youngbuck.

    The Niedner Reeltex will have higher friction loss if you run plain water, but you don't have to worry about having a leak-proof system since the hose won't collapse. Ours is on a CAFS truck and I blow the line out after use to keep it light and it makes more consistent CAF that way. Friction isn't a concern with CAFS.

    Right now we run 1.5" Reeltex, when it's time for replacement I want to experiment with 1" and see if that would be a good replacement -- on paper it seems like it would match the flow of our CAFS unit while giving us an extra 100' or more for reach at small brush fires.

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    Forum Member XCAPT1's Avatar
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    My engine companys had the hard 1 1/2 hose on a reel. We had nothing but problems with it. The worst problem was it would not wind up all the way unless it was packed perfect. We have since went to 100 feet of 1 3/4 flat hose. It has worked very well for car fires and dumpsters. When it was new we had only 2 problems with this setup. First the pump operator charging the line on the reel (X2). It crushed the reel. The second problem was it was pulled for a structure fire and came up real short (Jr Person). The real attack line passed it at the front door 30 seconds later. Both of these problems have been addressed and the line has worked great ever since.

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    We have used Hannay hose reels and rawhide hard hose on all our appliances for as long as I can remember. We use it for just about all jobs like House fires ,car fires, grass fires, wild fires etc and have been very happy with it. If we need more length we just add flat canvas line on the end of it and we keep going. We find that its much easier to use this line than any other due to its weight and ease of movement.The only problem was that someone had the bright idea of installing the reels under the tray on one of our appliances and it has been known to unravel and drag on the road! If you do get it install on top.
    These are my personal views and not those of my service.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dunj
    We have used Hannay hose reels and rawhide hard hose ... We use it for just about all jobs like House fires ,car fires,
    "Conventional wisdom" here in the US is that booster hose does not flow enough to do structural attack with. 40 years ago 1" booster was the first line in the door at about 40gpm, 20 years ago we went through the door with a 100gpm 1 1/2". Today we use 1 3/4" which will get you up to 200gpm if you push it hard, and that's the minimum. Some FD's use 2" as attack line. Booster reels with "hard stuff" on it is limited to trash and brush work by most FD's today.

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    Fire304 I didn't mean that we exclusivly use the hose reel for everything but you really need to understand the equipment and conditions we work under in Australia.Depending on the ferocity of the structure we may use a 38mm line but the majority of the houses over here are brick so they often aren't fully involved. We initially enter with the hose reel line and find that we have the fire controlled in a matter of minutes. Also we don't have the ability to store pre-connected lines on our appliances due to the design of the lockers which we have no input on the design (thats another long story)so when seconds count you go straight in with the hose reel and contain the fire. If help is needed we will go in with a 38mm line like I said earlier. In a perfect world we would have pre-connected 38mm line but when you run on a budget like we do you get what you are given and do what you can! If you would like to see what we put up with go tohttp://www.fire-brigade.asn.au and you will see what the majority of us are using to fight house fires!
    Last edited by dunj; 07-28-2002 at 12:42 AM.
    These are my personal views and not those of my service.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info dunj.

    I imagine there is quite a large area for your station to cover? Many of our older trucks (60's) are set up simular to how you describe your rig (although with bigger pumps), usually two booster reels and the rest of the hose is not preconnected. Attack crew would pull the booster while the engineer hooked up bigger lines. Is 38mm the biggest hand line you normally use? I saw some trucks in your web site spec'd with 64mm. Our standard attack line is 1 3/4" (45mm) with some departments using 2" (51mm) (rough conversions to metric). 2 1/2 (64mm) is the largest we use for handlines, and we mostly use 4" (101mm) or 5" (127mm) for supply lines. If I understand you correctly, most building in your area don't burn, you deal with room and contents fires mostly. Up here we have numerous types of construction, but in the North East we have the "dreaded" ballon frame buildings which are almost designed to burn. Wood interior on wood frames with wood exterior, and lots of void spaces in the walls running from the foundation to the attic.

    Looking at the apparatus on that link you posted, looks like a lot of heavy duty truck body rigs. We use stuff simular to that for wildland fires. I did see a lot of foam systems and even noticed some CAFS rigs, wonderful stuff. Looks like you keep you booster reels under the rear of the truck, interesting, here reels tend to be located up high and in the middle of the truck. Nice to see how they do it elsewhere. Check out http://www.wildlandfire.com/pics/eng/engines.htm many of their trucks are simular to your rigs.
    Last edited by Fire304; 07-28-2002 at 10:03 PM.

  11. #11
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    304,A little advice from yer ol' friend T.C.You know about the ***-u-me equasion?When dealing with our friends from down under never assume when they speak of the hard rubber reel line that it's our 1" line 'cause it isn't!That Lutan and Kiwi sucked me into the void one night and spit out the bone.A lot of Euro Depts use a heavier version of our booster line capable of substantially heavier flows.So be Very careful to read the WHOLE thread before one of those backward lil' bandits rearranges your thought process.Hehe T.C.

  12. #12
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    Thanks 101,

    I find it very interesting to compare fire trucks abroad with ours, how many places get away with so much smaller rigs, of course they also tend to be more progressive and less "stuck" on tradition. I went to listen to an "expert" about how American cities can reduce urban traffic congestion, he was spouting the virtues of the European model of discuraging car traffic while promoting bike and pedestrian routes. He talked about narrowing down 4 lane city through-routes to 2 lane "meadering" roads (read road blocks you have to swerve to avoid) to keep speeds down, and giving the other lanes up to bikes and such. To prove his point he showed slides of these streets in Amsterdam and other forward thinking cities of the old world. When I asked him what provisions he made towards the size of American emergency apparatus he gave me a blank stare. When I pointed out that our fire trucks were much larger than most of our european brothers he said he had never considered it. Humph I said.

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    Hmm, cut all the travel lanes down by 1/2. That in theory means the other 1/2 of the car traffic is supposed to convert to bike and walking shoes. It is a brilliant theory and would greatly reduce pollution and noise, except this is America. How many people does he REALLY think are going to give up their SUV's and cars and just decide to pedal to work. HA! I guess it is the thought that counts.

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    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    Yeah Nomad, that was another hole in his theory, but all we had to do to make it happen was build on the new "village in a city" theme, lots of little centers of commerce and services so its a short commute to where you work. Let's see him try to redesign NYC, or even Woonsocket,RI!

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    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    You could do NYC by bike.Woonsocket,now that would be a trip!Hehe T.C.

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    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    Back to the original ?-1 1/2" booster line. We put them on 2 engines 3 yrs ago. The drum of the reel was too small and made it difficult to pull. We also made the mistake of using hard rubber hose on the first 50', thinking it would be easier to drag through the mud. The rest was the Reeltex. The problems soured alot of guys, and they didn't use them.

    When we specced our new rig, the biggest discussion was whether we should keep the 1 1/2" or go back to 1". We decided to try again, thinking we solved the original problems. We did, and now the older rigs have been retrofitted with a new drum and a new length of hose.

    Our original reason for going with the larger hose was to help meet SOGs requiring a minimum of 1 1/2" at extrications and car fires.

  17. #17
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    Fire 304 I forgot to mention that we use 64mm line as our supply lines because thats the biggest hose available and our hydrant system doesn't really allow us to use much bigger. Also the funny man T.C is wrong about the hose reel line we use, it is 1" rubber and unless America is backward we should be alright because we buy our line from the good old U.S of A! and putting the reels under the body is the dumbest idea because when 4*4ing people often crush the hose reels, on the trucks we build ourselves we put them up top like you do but the ones we get supplied are put underneath go figure?!
    Also the house fires we get do get fully involved but the structure will still survive so you are right when you say it is the contents that burns.
    Another thing you have to remember is that we don't have the population to collect tax from so we have lower budgets,also we had a very bad fire in 1983 and the inquest found that most of our trucks were unfit for firefighting so we had to do a rapid replacement program. It was decided to give everyone a basic truck that was new and reliable instead of a few getting the best you could buy which was happening in the past. Another problem was that we used to be funded buy each council area but were still one service .It was fine if your council was big and had plenty of money but the rural areas were way behind.Now we get funding direct from the government so the rural areas get better funding but they have a lot of catching up to do.
    A major problem that will soon present itself is that in the 80's we were buying 90+ appuratus a year of the type I mentioned earlier and due to the departments 20 year retirement policy a lot of those trucks need replacing ! We also have the dillema of areas devoloping and needing state of the art appuratus like you guys do so we have a huge problem and no easy way to fix it!

    So if anyone else has any questions or funny little stories about the nature of Aussies feel free to post them !
    Last edited by dunj; 08-09-2002 at 09:56 PM.
    These are my personal views and not those of my service.

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