1. #1
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    Question Rescue tools in front bumper

    My department is currently specing out a new rescue/pumper and we're trying to decide whether we want a tool, hydraulic reel, and electric reel in the front bumper. Does anyone have them and what is your feeling on them. A concern is that if the truck is involved in a head on, the tool and reels would be damaged. (as opposed to having the reel mounted on the top of a cabinet where it would be *more* protected)

    Comments?

    Stay safe.

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    matt n
    Some of the first factors that should be considered in laying out equipment in apparatus is frequency of use and weight. Availability of space and amount of equipment that a company tries to carry will have alot to do with how equipment is mounted. Sometimes companies have to realize that they cannot carry everything without some equipment being very difficult to access.

    Trying to factor in how to store equipment if the apparatus is involved in a major accident is extremely difficult. Equipment that appears to be secure in side compartments can be easily damaged if the rig is involved in an accident from the side. True,bumpers are more prone to minor accidents and to help protect your equipment you might want to install heavy rubber dock guards on the bumper. But accessibility to equipment should be one of the main concerns when compartmentalizing a apparatus.

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    My department considered putting tools in the front bumper vs two 200' attack lines when making a spec for our next rescue/engine. The decision was, the attack lines, because they will be used more. All of us think it would be nice to have a bumper setup with combo tool but the final decision came down to was that we needed more handlines (no crosslays, only bumper and hosebed lines).

    I wouldn't worry about damage too much, that is why we have insurance. If you feel you department can benefit from the bumper tools, get it.
    John

    "Never argue with an idiot, they pull you down to their level and beat you with experience"

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    I agree with BCJRP, spec the apparatus and compartments to maximize storage, versatility and usefullness not the "what ifs." If your rig is involved in a head on the damage is going to be severe we can all agree. The number one investment is you and your brothers & sisters in the rig. Its safe to say that if you don't put tools up there, you'll have a pre-connected "trash line" or the like or a LD intake or something. An accident of this magnitude will do MAJOR damage to the piping and hardware associated with hoselines and/or intakes on the front bumper also. I believe in specing for the most usefull, efficient and effective use of ALL tools and equipment down to the smallest fitting and adapter. You can carry your tools in the rear compartment right? What happens if your parked on a scene and you get rearended? The damage from an accident can affect everyone and every tool on the rig no matter location. Don't let the "what ifs" get in the way of good sound equipment and tool placement. But, if you do go with the tools up front on the bumper (Which I do recommend) make sure you pay attention to details. Make sure the reel and tools are carried in enclosed bumper compartments and that you have adequate flood lighting to the front of the rig. Putting tools up front and having that advantage is great. But if you can't see what your cutting in the middle of the night it does you no good. Also, to place a hydraulic reel and pre-connected tool up front is easy in terms of space. The tool centered and the reel offset to the left or right. Think about an air reel or even a 1-3/4" "trash line" for the other side of the bumper. You should have the space so maximize the possibilities of having everything you need for a "Jaws Call" in the same area of the rig. My volunteer department has just completed specing a rescue-pumper with a midmount tele-boom, CAFS, roof mounted TIC, etc. We have the front bumper area designed to accomodate the following: Hydraulic reel, Combi-tool, Discharge "tree" with (1) 2-1/2" and (2) 1-1/2" discharges, 200' of 1-3/4" hose and electrical reel with preconnected portable floodlight (In addition to 2 permanent mounted floodlights above the windshield).
    Last edited by STATION2; 08-01-2002 at 01:16 AM.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Station2, what brand you getting? Excellent advice! I'm working with a year old rescue pumper, we have the Amkus Ultimate system, ours can run 3 tools at once (some versions can run more), very fast. A few things we didn't consider when we spec'd our truck...

    Forward lighting is very important. With the "hood" up the head lights are blocked, so you need 2ndary lighting until the 120V is set up (or what ever you spec, HID looks like a nice alternative!) Also, don't forget good compartment lighting up there so you can see what you're digging out.

    Make sure you spec the compartment to be big enough to hold the tool(s) you want to put there and/or your biggest tool if undecided. We had a tough time getting the combi to fit and be able to close the lid. Spec exact dimentions!

    Make sure you can turn the tool on w/o running to 3 compartments. Our rig you have to turn the PTO on in the cab, engage the Amkus system in the pump operator's compartment, then throw the safety switch on the Amkus controller which is in the right rear along with our other 2 preconnects and the non connected tool. Kinda defeats the idea of a quick pull from the front. We are working to improve the switch situation, in the meanwhile we've gotten very good at doing it quick with a four man crew (min for interstate calls).

    Lastly, this sounds silly, but make sure you spec a water proof hinge on the bumper, we didn't, so the tools get wet when you drive in the rain. This can be a real problem with tools what have iron on them, especially in areas with salt use on the roads.

    We did not spec a preconnect in the bumper, but we now keep 200' of trash line ready to pull, just hook to the pump panel and charge it. We also have a few hand tools, like glass punches, seatbelt cutter, spanner, ground marking paint, chains, and scene tape in the bumper. We originally had more tools (irons, sledge, bolt cutters) but they were taking a beating from the water leaks and we wanted a trash line so we moved them to a tool compartment.

    All of our tools are on 100' reels and we carry three sets of 100' extensions if that's not enough, along with a Honda 5HP portable pump if we can't get within 150'.

    Placement of your "Q" siren (of course, you are specing one, right?) will affect usable space, as will any bumper lights, your electric siren speakers, preconnect plumbing, etc., so plan wisely.

    As to accidents, Station2 is right, you can't plan for that. The front bumper on our truck is much more stout than the rear or sides are. I doubt there would be a much safer place to put things, besides the truck will be out of service anyway if you get hit that hard.

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    Fire304 we are going to get another E-One. They have worked out well for us on the 3 we currently have. Actually if everything works out it will have an E-One chassis and 55' boom with the body by Saulsbury (You can't beat there attention to detail and compartment options). You bring up a great point I forgot to mention also. Make sure to minimize switching and walking around to get the tools going. It defeats the purpose and benefit of tools on the front of the rig. Think about a PTO generator system. The Chauffeur sets the brake, engages the generator and the tool(s) and floodlighting are live. The tool(s) on the bumper can have individual switches in the bumper compartment for on and off as needed. In our case, we also have the simplified pump panel. You engage the pump and all discharges are live. The "tree" with the 1 2-1/2" and 2 1-1/2" discharges on the front bumper in charged. When a line is needed there is no need to walk around and tell the chauffeur to charge it. They simply open the gate for their chosen line. Same applies to fires. All pur crosslays are really static loads of NON-preconnected hose. All of our discharges will have these "trees" on them. 1 on the front bumper, 2 officers side pump panel, 2 chauffeurs side pump panel, 2 to the rear of the rig. The nozzleman leads out and his backup/control man breaks the needed length, attaches it and charges it when the nozzleman is set. Just some thoughts.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Sta 2,I was gonna tell ya but 304 beat me to it.Yarmouth,Me. engine is set up as 304 described.They're the only ones I know of in the immediate vicinity using a bumper tool,but it's such a neat set-up I'm sure a lot will follow.I wouldn't worry too much about accidents,if you have one that bends the front that badly the piece won't be responding anyway.If you get with 304 they can probably get you some digital pics,it's a nice set up.T.C.

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    Originally posted by STATION2
    Make sure to minimize switching and walking around to get the tools going. It defeats the purpose and benefit of tools on the front of the rig.
    We are in the process of relocating the on-off switches into the cab an placing a three-way switch on the "wand" controler with its mate under the "hood" so the person pulling the preconnect front tool can flip his own power on until a safety officer takes control with the wand. Oh, it's a Saulbury-E-One rig. One point, we told Sauls the exact model number of the tool we wanted under the hood, they made it about 1 inch too shallow to fit, so give them exact dimensions you want. Ironically, it worked out for the best, as we now have relocated the tool to the right side of the bumper and put 100' of trash line (soon to be plumbed "live") where we were going to put the tool.


    Think about a PTO generator system.
    Harrison gen and Amkus Ultimate system on the same PTO. Specify shift on the fly PTO's, we didn't so you have to set the parking brake before the generator comes on (it's nice to light up the sides when looking for an address and rolling down the street). See my post in Rescue Pumpers for pic's (it's an older thread you may have to go looking for it).

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    Arrow Our Fault not theirs

    Actually 304 the tool not fitting was our fault. We never planned on including a front bumper option until we saw Fitchburg Wisconsin's "big green monster" rescue truck at Saulsbury, which included a hardcore front bumper. To this day I love that truck.
    Fitchburg Squad 1


    So, we simply pointed--while drooling--saying, "we want THAT!"

    Fitchburg uses Hurst tools, and has a Hurst combi in the front bumper. Yes we mentionned we had Amkus tools ("Wellll, we have one of those Amkus combination tool type things..."), but we did not provide measurements nor did we provide the tool to mount. A Hurst Maverick tool would fit quite nicely though.

    Moral of the story: do what so many departments do these days - send your equipment to the manufacturer so they have it in hand for custom installation and mounting.

    Fitchburg had the truck nearly completely outfitted at Saulsbury. It guarantees everything will fit where it is supposed to, plus the truck arrives ready to fight. After all, isn't this one of the major selling points of doing business with a quality custom apparatus manufacturer like Saulsbury? I think it is. Sidenote: Fitchburg carries their preconnected combi-tool and reel in the front bumper, as well as an electric reel with a junction box, extension cords, sawzall, and portable floodlight.)

    Just didn't want Saulsbury gettin bad press

    About the switches and controller... I agree with in-cab retrofit of the Amkus Ultimate switches for the hydragen and tools. As far as defeating the point of the pendant controller though... not a fan. There is a reason why we went with that system: to have someone on that pendant watching, or at least aware of what is going on. Does it take a little bit of time to get the pendant out? Yes. But the front bumper is not completely about saving time... it's more of an organizational thing whereby you are set up to hit hard if you need to. It takes a whole 10 seconds to get the pendant out. I just hate to sacrifice one of the biggest benefits of the system by trying to "out think" what the Amkus engineers have already thought-out pretty darn well. Staffing is an issue, but we've never had a real problem that I have seen with using the pendant.

    In reality though 304, those switches we want to move can always be left on... there isn't a real need to turn them on or off. I'd rather we just left them where the are, or hide them better so people don't turn them off unless they have a reason to. The hydragen can start under a load, so I'd leave our lights and outlets on also. Circuit breakers aren't designed to be used as everyday switches to begin with. So this would mean you engage the PTO, then pick your tool on the pendant. Sounds reasonable to me.

    For clarification, the Harrison Hydragen is actually running off an Ultimate System discharge. Thus we haven't piggybacked PTO's. This is another reason why this Amkus system is so nice. It can run hydraulic generators, hydraulic winches, hydraulic dewatering pumps... all along with hydraulic rescue tools. It saves PTO's in the long run.

    Ladders... there was some talk about them in another forum. Yes, where the ladders are stored are not conducive to rapid and safe laddering. However, the goal for this truck was to have full-height, full-depth compartmentation all around the body: true rescue compartments. This was accomplished. The ladders are currently stored below the hosebed but above the water tank. Through-the-tank storage could have been done, but it would have interfered with the rear compartment. However I think that might've been an acceptable option, and certainly would've been much lower. A ladder rack is also something to consider, even though I'm not really a fan. I prefer having the ladders low and ready to deploy if at all possible.
    Fire304's pic of our Ladder Compartment

    Things on my "A" list that didn't make the cut at the final meeting (mostly due to money, partly due to tradition):
    - light tower (in addition to fixed body lighting)
    - 20kw hydragen to have more flexibility in powering future purchases (like the light tower i didn't get!)
    - front-facing halogen lights mounted on cab
    - hot-shift PTO for Amkus system/generator
    - preconnected line in bumper
    - ladder to dunnage/coffins (instead of little steps)
    - traffic advisor
    - tool mounting/installation by Saulsbury
    - extended cab to recess scba seats and store EMS gear.
    - 12V backup scene lighting... was cut to save money (? not that much $$$)
    - rear mount pump, top mount pump, or something radical like
    no pump panel at all.

    STATION2 - I'm a big fan of point-of-use valves and a simplified, maybe even nonexistent, pump panel. Especially with CAFS, automatic nozzles, digital governors, etc... these days it's unlikely you need to be adjusting your pressure like in days gone by. Next truck maybe...
    Last edited by Resq14; 08-05-2002 at 12:32 PM.

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    This is what we put on our new engine/rescues that are being built to solve the forward lighting problem. They are 12V HID MagnaFires by Havis Shields. The beauty of these is they only draw 6 amps!!! and are brighter than you can even imagine.


    "The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men."
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    Default yes!

    TC - saw these for the first time at the New England Chief's show. I was impressed.

    I think they would work out SWELL on our truck too. Here's another pic.



    Looks good to me.

    Only questions/concerns I have are:

    1. Fire304 mentionned the durability of quartz halogen lighting filaments. Are metal halide lights as durable in the vibration-prone world of firefighting?

    2. Metal Halide lights are High Intensity Discharge lights that require an ignitor, and hence the warm-up period of 30-ish seconds. Isn't it true that repeated on-off wears out the ignitor? I don't know how many cycles they're good for... it may be veyr high. But I can't find any information on it.

    3. How expensive are the bulbs, in the off-chance they need to be replaced?
    Last edited by Resq14; 08-05-2002 at 12:03 PM.

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    Default hah

    Looking at the above picture reminded me that I left out one thing from my "A" list:

    a Roto-Ray!


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    Just a side note. The picture Resq14 posted is exactly what I speak of in terms of above the windshield floodlighting. Believe it or not, E-One did their first one with that set-up about 1-1/2 years ago on a neighboring departments 75' RM Quint, Missouri City Fire & Rescue Services Quint Co. 103. It is, I believe, now a standard option. Everyone who gets them on an E-One can thank MCFRS for covering the SPQ's, engineering and R & D fees. Ha Ha.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    One observation, that Fed Q on the bumper of RESQ14's roto-ray picture will make a big shadow on the left side of the truck, these trucks don't throw much light to the side, and due to the tight turning radius it can be a little scarey driving on a very dark night, you simply can not see to the sides inside of your turning radius. We went with an in-bumper Q which cut into our tool space but gave better lighting to the sides.

    RESQ14, CaptN was under the impression that we had given an exact modl number. Maybe the handle height of our combi may have changed from the one we have to the newer generation?

    The through tank ladders would have ment no stokes basket in the rear compartments, I like where they are, best compromise.

    You also have a good point about the pendant wand and safety.

    Also, Kudos on the observation that circuit breakers are not switches. Eventually you weaken the spring and they will no longer work correctly, usually refusing to turn on, occationally not wanting to spring to off. A master switch panel should be put in with the C/B's behind the panel (swing away face). I have been leaving the scene lights on, and the Capt agrees, but they keep getting switched off, so no lights on arrival. Same with the Amkus/Harrison switches, usually leave the Harry on and Amkus off since I'm almost always in need of power, less often need tools, and if I do need 'em I'm heading to that compartment anyway to get my chocks then charge the pump.

    I'd get rid of the PTO switch and put two switches in the cab, either of which will engage the PTO, one for the Gen, the other for Tools, then get rid of the ones in the compartment completely. That PTO switch is got to be the ugliest thing on the whole truck.

    CaptN tells me we're considering plumbing up the trash line and using a discharge valve right there so you can't charge the line with the hood closed.

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    Hehe,probably a good idea before you get "cobra hood"T.C.

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    Default Saftey Zone

    We watched a video on fire trucks getting struck from the rear on highways. They talked about a saftey zone on a highway to protect the firefighters working up front. It seems to me that this would be a great idea becuase if you have lets say a jaws up front then you have no need for a firefighters to go out of the safety zone and get out the jaws drag them the length of the truck plus the distance to the car. And if unfortantly a car hit the back/side of the truck the truck would take the crash not a firefighter on the side ofthat truck and I think they look cool.

    Just my thoughts
    dfdex1

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    Originally posted by Rescue 101
    Hehe,probably a good idea before you get "cobra hood"T.C.
    I've seen what a charged line can do when still in a crosslay, I don't even want to imagine how difficult it would be to get it out from under that hood, it's in there reel tight and since only half the hood opens, well, like I said, I don't want to think about it

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    We have two 200 foot 1 3/4" lines off the front, a 200 foot cord reel with floodlight attached, two 200 foot hydraulic reels, one with a combo tool and one with a cutter. Plus a deck gun or two. Works well. Two front facing 2000 watt flood lights and 12 volt look down lights illuminate the bumper areas. Changeover valves for the hydraulic tools on the bumper. And a switch labeled Jaws in the cab to turn on the tools.

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    Here's the much delayed photos of our rescue pumper's front bumper.

    In the bumper from right to left is the hyd tool hose reel with 100' of hose, a 100' 1 3/4" trash line w/fog nozzle (not currently plumbed) and our Amkus combitool. There is storage under the tool with chains and other assoc. items.

    On the lid from right to left is a marker paint wand, a windsheild saw, hood release tool (at top almost out of sight), hack saw, 2 different sized wire cutters, linesman pliers, 6 way screw driver, adj wrench, and a pair of TFT Res-Q Wrenches.

    Not how the hood blocks the headlights, be sure to install suplimental lighting up higher.
    Last edited by Fire304; 12-12-2005 at 11:21 PM.

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    Cool lol

    The tool mounts came out well I think.

    But why is there a hand holding up the cover? Ohhhhh, that's right, I remember now. By trying to make things "better," I seem to have prevented the cover from fully opening now! I never said I was an engineer...

    haha

    304, obviously my attempt at a "waterproof piano hinge" didn't work out too well. We used a piece of 2.5" and installed it between the piano hinge and the cover. Apparently this material is too thick to allow full range of motion for the cover to open and close.

    As it was, the piano hinge leaked like a sieve. The best solution would have been to hinge the cover all the way at the back, and then just run a strip of weatherstripping around the base. That really isn't an option now though.

    We need a tough material that is thinner. I was thinking neoprene. Or maybe vinyl coated nylon? I tried a garage door seal... would never hold up to the cycles of open/close, or abuse from the troops.

    So instead of a leaky hinge, we now have a huge gap around the edges of the cover, where water could just POUR in!. Nice, eh?

    (We will be removing the hose shortly to be back at the 'status quo'... atleast it will open and close)

    In the mean time, anyone have any thoughts on how to weatherproof such a setup? Or has anyone ever heard of a waterproof piano hinge?
    Last edited by Resq14; 08-31-2002 at 09:14 PM.

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    Hello there. The department i am from is awaiting a custom rescue from Saulsbury as well. We elected to go with the HRT in the back of the truck. Lighting is supplied with 4 1500watt floodlights (2 per side) and 2 1500 watt mounted at the rear on tripods. These can also be plugged in on the 250' reels or at the front in the bumper (Receptacles there). Power plant is an Onan 35,000 PTO generator.Overall concern was to keep the truck as short as possible.I believe overall length is 30 feet 4 inches with a 170" wheelbase.Chassis just left the Kansas City show enroute to Preble so we can't wait till it's arrival in December. (Great Christmas present) Oh and of course ,the Fire Bell and Q2B are packaged with it.

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    Default Re: lol

    Originally posted by Resq14
    In the mean time, anyone have any thoughts on how to weatherproof such a setup? Or has anyone ever heard of a waterproof piano hinge?
    Depends on how the hinge is placed.
    If it's "hidden" with the pin side out then you could just place a seal & support plate under it.

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    Talking wow

    I'm impressed!

    That is how the hinge is configured... the pin is exposed on the top.

    If you can imagine... we placed our seal between the red and the white... so that it went up and over the exposed pin, then back under. This, as evident by the door now having some movement issues, isn't really the best solution.

    In your pic, I'm not quite sure how that support would be fixed to the non-moving side. And what would the seal be made out of? Automotive weather stripping?

    Hehe, I guess we could always just call Saulsbury and ask their advice, but it's much more fun trying to come up with a solution. Hopefully we won't do any permament damage in the process...

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    I see hinges subject to a wet enviroment all the time on boats. The secret is that you cannot make the hinge water proof. I don't think I've ever seen that approach taken. Rather, the hinge has some sort of drain device under it, a gutter if you will, that collects the water and sends it out through a drain over the side. Your hinge could be fixed with a 1/2" angle iron (made of aluminum) with an extra tab that would allow for it to be screwed in place. Imangine a piece of metal that looks like a question mark w/o the period on its back. The "base" of the mark is where the screw holes are and the hook is the water chanel which drains to either end of the hood. Trick is finding that material. In boats its usually fiberglass moulding.

    I don't think opening at the rear would work as well as you might think. The hood would have to be hinged the full width of the hood +10% away from the grill so you could open it and it would stay open w/o a prop rod or gas cylinders, that would reduce the size of the space you have to work with.

    The only material I can think of that's strong and thin is mylar or vinyl coated nylon (rain coat mat'l), maybe dacron sail cloth, but even these would need replacement on a regular basis.

    Yes, the tools came out great, they are much better there than in that roll they used to be in. I am looking forward to seeing how useful they will be in future calls.

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    Another option, put the water proof material under the hinge, leave a generous amount of slack in it to make the "gutter" which would drain to either side (rather than onto the tools). If you get the slack just right it would all but disapear when the hood was opened. A problem with my hard gutter is that it would further intrude into the space of the opening by about an inch, and would be subject to damage from the tools going in and out. As long as some provisions were made for drainage at the ends you'd keep most of the water away from the tools.
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