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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2001
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    Virginia Beach
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    6

    Lightbulb Air/Light truck in the works, ideas wanted

    Ok folks. We're in the planing phase for a new air/light truck. Has anyone out there got one in the last few years? If so any ideas would sure help.
    We are replacing a unit that over 15 years old with many many add-ons since the, including a new chasis in 1992. We don't want to be going back every year adding something new on that we didn't think of in the first place.
    Our minimum requirements are that it have a cascade system that can fill lots of 4500 psi bottles, an air compressor, and a generator that can run lots of lights and a light tower.
    So.....
    Who built yours?
    What kind of cascade do you have, number of storage bottles, what type of fill station?
    What kind of air compressor? Diesel, electric, or PTO?
    What kind of generator? Pros and cons of PTO?

    We currently have an International truck, and personally I would like something smaller but I don't think it's going to happen with everything that needs to go on it. Anyone know the price diffrence between that and a custom if we need to go that route?

    And if you have a copy of some specs I would really like to get a copy.

    Thanks for any ideas you can give me.


  2. #2
    Member
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    Oct 2001
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    87

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    my company is recieving a new air truck within a month or 2 some good ideas that i saw put into the plan were :


    walk in box with the cascade system in it, so its comfortable refilling bottles in any weather

    the outside compartments that hold the bottles with 5" PVC tubing, and on the inside of the box there is a plexi-glass sliding window so the operator of the cascade system never has to leave the seat on the inside to fill used bottles

    oh yea locks on the cabinet doors so other companies will find it more difficult to swap out low or empty bottles with new ones instead of refilling them themselves

    the plans were to have a generator with a light tower
    and jump seats with packs in them but dept politics along with the tightening of the village budget had to sideline them

    let me know how everything works out
    " truck till the casket drops "

    www.lynbrookfd.org

    My views and opinions do not represent the views and standards of the Department or Company that I belong to.

  3. #3
    Forum Member FFWALT's Avatar
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    Jul 2000
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    Nebraska
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    357

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    Make sure you look at the starting power of any electric motors, etc that would initially put a large draw on the generator and allow for that. Make sure your generator is big enough for the current load, plus what you would like to have "eventually, as well as the "add-ons" that come along. We run a hydralic generator on our rescue (20 or 25Kw) which is mounted between the rails which allows for lots of storage space. Since the hydralic pump is always running you can simply engage the switch and start the generator as you roll in. With your generator and compressor power supply, if you go with individual motors make sure they use the same fuel supply as the truck. That way they can draw off the main tank. Only one tank to fill, you don't run out of fuel on scene and you're not keeping more fuel cans on your truck.
    Train like you want to fight.
    www.kvfd.net

  4. #4
    Member
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    Nov 2001
    Location
    Pennsylvania
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    40

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    We run lighting and air calls with our rescue. As posted before, be sure to get a generator large enough for youm needs. We run with a 35 kw pto generator mounted in the frame rails. A light tower is also becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. There is a huge difference between what a light tower illuminates as compared to traditional fixed scene lighting on a rig.

    With the cascade system, we use a Sierra air booster which really helps to stretch your on board cascade cylinders. The booster can take as little as 1000 psi and boost it to 4500 psi. The power is supplied from the on board generator. Currently, our system uses 8 6000 psi cylinders for the cascade system. Three of these cilinders are dedicated to the Sierra booster while the other five cylinders are used for filling smaller cylinders or operating supplied breathing air lines. All eight cylinders are controlled at the same panel so the could be used together if the situation should arise.

    Hope this helps. Good Luck with your new rig.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2001
    Location
    Virginia Beach
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    Thanks for the responses. In doing more research it looks like SVI has built some trucks that are in line with what we're after. Anybody have any experience with them? How has the truck held up for you? This things going to have to last at least 10 years of daily use.

    Also, the air booster mentioned is a new one for me (and I thought I knew everything already), who makes it? I haven't seen it on any manufactuer web sites (Like Bauer). Is it used in place of a compressor or in addition to one?

  6. #6
    Forum Member
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    Jan 1999
    Location
    North East Wi. USA
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    A very good source of information on all types of air systems as well as pros and cons to different options and componants is the HIGH PRESSURE BREATING AIR HANDBOOK this book is available from Sub-Aquatics- Reynoldsburg Ohio 1-800-937-2479.
    As others have said keep in mind the electrical load of a compressor motor and the size of the genset needed to start it.

    SBLG

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    3,120

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    Here's one:

    http://www.americanairworks.com/hask-fire.html

    6000psi bottles are very expensive, but IMHO worth the cost in time savings to refill bottles. But boosters are an option to stretch 4500psi cascades, or even 6000psi cascades under heavy use.

  8. #8
    Member
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    Jun 2000
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    Ponderosa VFD, Houston,TX
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    We have a cascade system on our heavy rescue (Pierce). It is a six bottle 6000psi sytem with a booster pump (Sierra). It will fill around 75-100 SBCA bottles, depending on how empty they are. We refill the system from the compressor (Baur) at one of our stations. We have yet to empty the cascade system at a fire, and if we did, there are several more trucks in the area with similar systems on them.

    The cascade system had a two bottle fill station, along with a 200' reel line for remote filling, air tools, air bags, ect. The system is mounted in two compartments on the dirver's side of the truck. The truck only carries 6 spare SCBA bottles (for the 6 airpacks in the seats), since all of our engines/truck carry 5-7 spares each.

    Our rescue truck also serves as a light/power supply. It has a 45kw PTO driven generator. 9000w light tower, 3 x 1500w mounted scene lights, 2 x 750w tripod lights, as well as 2 x 200' cord reels and numerous portable lights.

    The Houston fire department uses 3 dedicated air trucks, which have compressors mounted on them. They are sent to strucure fires at the request of the incident commander.

    The big down side to having a compressor on the truck, is apparatus placement. You have to make sure that your "intake" air is relatively clean, or you'll kill your filters pretty quick.

    We also have a three bottle 4500psi cascade system (w/ booster) at one of our other stations. The crew there uses it if they only need to fill a few bottles at a time -- after a car fire, or a mutual aid fire where there wasn't a cascade. This system can fill about 25 bottles before the booster has to start working too hard. We use the rescue to refill it periodically.

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