Thread: Jumbo tanker

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    Question Jumbo tanker

    Anyone have personal experince with jumbo rural water tankers (say starting @ 6000+ gal)?

    Issue, if you don't know, is that typical rural house fire requires 500gpm+ for 2hr to meet ISO standards (60000gal) thats a LOT of trips and manpower with puny little 1500gal rigs. Modern logistics planners solve similar problems with big equipment and/or automation.

    Discuss use as nurse tanker or dump to ground drop tanks (jumbo or multiple?)? Pump on board (act as a relay pumper for self?)?

    Photos/discussion/references of what works well/or not?

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    We have discussed this at our department. The problem is one of access. We have lots of dirt/mud roads, narrow areas, and limited access to the fire ground. Our consensus is that several 2,000 gal tenders in a relay would be a better method for us than one extra large tender that could not get to the scene, and if stuck could block the only road.
    Your results may differ.

    Paved roads? They actually pave roads in some areas? What a concept!

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    Little personal experience, and not likely anytime soon.

    The one super tanker in our area was 5,000 gallons on a tractor-trailer. Partly due to lack of CDL-A drivers, it was replaced with a 3,000 gallon straight tanker that either CDL-B or "2Q" (our State's fire apparatus license) could drive.

    Similiar to Sleuth but on the other side of the coin, we have paved roads -- and also bridges. And one of the most restrictive bridge laws in the state that make 3,000 gallons about as big as you could easily get a permit for. A tandem chassis is restricted, depending on length, to 54,000 to 60,000# before needing a state permit. 4,000 gallons never mind 5 or 6 thousand just aren't going to make the cut unless you agree to a very restricted permit avoiding many "standard" bridges on both state & local roads. An overweight permit in my state by the way is made for your specific truck (weight, distance between axles) and the routes you want to travel with it (so the State Transportation engineers can check their records on every bridge state & local on that route).

    But where you can, 4,000+ must be sweet!

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    If directions to your fire include the phrase: "turn off the paved road", you might be a redneck fire department.

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    Originally posted by Sleuth
    We have discussed this at our department. The problem is one of access. We have lots of dirt/mud roads, narrow areas, and limited access to the fire ground. Our consensus is that several 2,000 gal tenders in a relay would be a better method for us than one extra large tender that could not get to the scene, and if stuck could block the only road.
    Your results may differ.

    Paved roads? They actually pave roads in some areas? What a concept!
    We've got wide gravel/rock roads here.

    You're a prime candidate for military surplus 5T 6x6 fleet w/tanks.

    So how far is typical shuttle run? Sufficient truck/drivers to move 30000gal per hour (@ ISO 35mph, -10% water loss)?

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    Originally posted by BC79er
    If directions to your fire include the phrase: "turn off the paved road", you might be a redneck fire department.
    I prefer "the real world".

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    HEY! We have a dirt (gravel) road from the station to the state hiway! There are few paved roads in our district, let alone our much larger response area!

    We're not rednecks! We are mountian men! (We are at 6,000 feet).

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    Ain't nothin wrong with being a redneck. Get called it all the time. Wear it with pride boys, wear it with pride.

    Besides, even with having one shared border with the City of Houston, we still gotta turn off the paved road in the western half of the district. I almost busted out laughing the one night because I said exactly that phrase in giving directions to a car fire. Heard about it all week.

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    That 6000+ gal tanker is going to take a while to refill, so it might not be the best answer for your ISO tanker shuttle.

    On the other hand, it might be just what you need to buy some time until your mutual aid tankers get that shuttle going.

    Think and plan this one really carefully before you commit. The more you know about your fill sites, mutual aid response, etc. the better off you'll be.
    ullrichk
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    That 6000+ gal tanker is going to take a while to refill, so it might not be the best answer for your ISO tanker shuttle.

    If you're running all jumbos, fill time won't matter.

    If you're mixing sizes, fill time can haunt you from the "accordion" affect of bunching up then stretching the supply lines!

    Even out here, on high flow shuttles the small Engine-Tanks of 1500 gallons and less will get pulled out of the shuttles as the big Engine-Tanks of 2000-3000 gallons take over. That just keeps everything running smoothly. If you really need the water from the small guys, they setup their own fill/dump site as a secondary shuttle. (Of course, from a practical standpoint, the small guys can supply enough for a typical house fire in our area for 2 or 3 miles out from water supply. If you can make ISO, you have the capability to put out a lot of fire. But the inverse is not true -- if you can't make ISO ideals it doesn't mean you can't flow adequate water. 500gpm for 2 hours for a 1000 sq. ft. ranch house? ISO says that's what they want. I suspect a much smaller supply will put out even a fully involved ranch house!)

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    Our last fire was a 1 1/2 story ranger style home. Fully envolved, self venting out 3 sides... real nice rolling flames out the front window, well above the roof line.

    Knocked it down with less then the 800 on board gallons on our Engine. Cleaned it up with the 3000 gallons that the tender left. The engine was able to switch over well before its onboard ran out. We also have a mutial aid 1500 gallon tanker attend. We got them rolling right away because it looked like it was going to be a tough fight.

    As we said above, our tanker/tender is 3000 gallons. Our "main" mutial aid department (the one we call the most) also packs a 3000 gallon monster. Right now we are in the process of plumbing outs with a 500+ gpm pump, all 4 inch pipes and drafting ports. We have various water points around our district (yes, some of them down dirt roads), but our goal at any fire is to have less then 10-15 turn around times for tankers. IE, meaning that we want a tanker load every 10-15 minutes. Between ours, and Mill Bay (mutial aid department) we can move a hell-of-a-lot of water. Factor in a hand full of 1500 gallon units that other departments can send, that is even more water.

    So far, we have not had to to the "super" shuttle run, with one, or two units being enough.

    Our new engine only has 500 gallons on board (vs 1000 by our old truck), but we are aware of the on board water shortfall. It all basically comes down to water management, and becing able to conserve water, and use it where it is needed the most.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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    Hi,

    In Northwest Iowa, we were having troubes moving water too. Now we have 5 - 5000 gallon tankers spread throughout Woodbury County. They were R9 refuelers on the airbase that were no longer used. Some got them and didn't do too much. Others got them and dropped 10 to 20 grand in them. It's probably one of our most used trucks.

    I do have pictures on our website of them. Go to www.DanburyFire.com and look in several different places. First look under apparatus, then look under news and go to the MACK story. Also there are some pictures of them in use under Fire Pictures.

    Any questions just reply here and I will answer the best I can.

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    Todd

    I cruised thru your web site earlier. Nice job.

    Looks like your area has a good handle on water planning if you can call in 25000gal+ on wheels. Not as well set in our area. We have the largest tanker around and it is only 2600gal.

    I have a passing familiarity with the AF 5000gal tankers (as in passing while walking up the ramp into a AF bird). I've been working the heck out of the DOD surplus system to upgrade our department. The AF 5000gal fuel trucks were a likely way to go but my 19 years was Army (active/reserve/guard) so what I know is Army equipment. Don't trust AF maintenance of ground equipment either. And I want to go bigger and with all wheel drive.

    Got a plan, now working the details and looking for input on what others have done.

    And yes, may or may not need that 60000gal that is the ISO standard. But if you don't have it, you don't get the ISO points/score for the customers you serve and they don't get the insurance rate or life/property preservation benefits.

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    Default Issues

    Drivers, Access & Bridges....biggest downfall of large tankers (tractor trailer)

    We had three (5000 gallon), we are now down to one and looking at sending it to the surplus yard.

    We have numerous 2000 gallon tankers and they work well in our area.

    Trying to maintain an adequate number of "qualified" drivers was an issue. Access to some of our area was almost impossible with a tractor trailer unit and crappy bridges were an issue.

    One other point for those converting former fuel tankers, you either need to reduce the capacity or reinforce the tanker. Fuel is lighter that water and some converted fuel tankers have came apart hauling water.
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    mtnfireguy

    You make a good point about reinforcing.....About everyone of these tanker has cracked on the seems. So they have been somewhat reinforced.

    We also have a smaller 1500 gallon tanker and we are looking at a couple more drop tanks. Also for ISO, I have been told to get as many water usage aggreements as you can(lakes, ponds, dry hydrants, access ramps)and so on. I have a sample form is you would like one.

    You may never use them, but at least you can if you need to.

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    Jet A weighs 6.84lbs/gallon.
    Water weighs 8.34lbs/gallon.

    So at 1.5lbs/gallon difference, those 5,000 gallon tankers are carrying 7,500 lbs more in weight when they haul water.

    Now that you refreshed my memory, Massachussets Forest Fire Control does have one of those trucks. Talking with the driver, they run it empty and fill it up near the scene before going into the fire ground.

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    <b>So how far is typical shuttle run? Sufficient truck/drivers to move 30000gal per hour (@ ISO 35mph, -10% water loss)?</b>

    Typical would be up to your response area. Go measure and map the distance to fill sites and from your stations. Use the formula square footage get the square root and multiply by 18 to determine ISO fire flow rate. That will tell you what is needed. Once you know the needed fire flow, distances to water and distance from the fire station you can calculate the best solution to address ISO.

    Say your longes shuttle is 5 miles to a detached home with 100 foot between homes. You need 500 gp.

    If you have several commercial buildings 1 mile from water needing 2000 gpm.

    And some buildings needing 1500 gpm 2.5 miles from water.

    ISO will look for the largest buildings and by thier rules have to count all buildings requiring flow over 3500 gpm, there aren't any other rules that a fair distribution of large buildings.

    So look downtown, and out to the left, north, south and right.

    So lets say it looks like this:
    Center of town 1/2 mile to a fill site need 2000 gpm
    North 2 miles 500 gpm homes
    South 1 mile 2000 gpm
    east 2.5 miles 1500 gpm
    west 500 gpm 1 mile.

    That is a total of 6500 gpm.

    First off focus on the largest fire flows it will make the most difference in your grading percentage wise.

    If you are within a mile of a water point use hose. 5 inch line at a mile will flow 642 gpm with one firefighter and one truck. Two rigs 1284 etc. So lets say you have enough hose for the 2000 gpm fire flows at a mile you'll score 642. At 1/2 mile on the 2000 gpm flow you will score 1839 gpm.

    If you can't do any of the rest you'll get 38% water credit out of 35 points or 13 points.

    As far as tankers go, you'd need per ISO's formula with a fill rate of 1000 gpm and a dump rate of 1000 gpm, you'd need four 1500 or 2000 gallon tankers to do the job of one hose, one pumper and driver. OR, OR 3 2500's or 3000's 4000's, OR TWO 6000's.

    Here is how much water you will need on wheels to buy time for the rest of tankers to get there and sustain the ISO minimums.
    Distance to next responding station
    1.5 2 3 5 7.5 10 12.5 15
    Miles Miles Miles Miles Miles Miles Miles Miles

    1,981 1,981 2,229 3,351 2,773 4,177 5,580 7,809



    If you want to sustain the following flows to pass the ISO test you'd need the following water on wheels:
    1.5 to 5 7.5 10
    Miles Miles Miles

    500 gpm 2,047 4,552 6,819
    750 gpm 3,442 10,831 13,638
    1000 gpm 6,142 16,247 20,457
    1250 gpm 8,189 21,662 27,276
    1500 gpm 10,236 27,078 34,095
    1750 gpm 12,284 32,494 40,914
    2000 gpm 14,331 37,909 47,734
    2500 gpm 18,426 48,741 61,372
    3000 gpm 22,521 59,572
    3500 gpm 26,616 70,403

    You won't find any fire department with a ISO Class 5 or better using 1500 gallon tankers, they don't exist.

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    Lightbulb

    You might want to check out this VFD. They realy gave this problem a lot of thought. They have attained an ISO Class 5 rating without any hydrants and only 2 paved roads. They have no lakes/ponds, rivers/streams, or "city water".

    http://www.geocities.com/Baja/Trails/7873/
    Look under the link "Photo Story" for pics/details/reasoning

    They employ such ideas as:
    -36,000 - 60,000 gallon cisterns w/ 1000gpm pumps
    -1 person operatable suction and dump ports on each side of the apparatus
    -All 3 apparatus are set-up to operate as an Engine or Tanker as needed

    David B.
    The contents of this message are my personal views only.

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    While appreciating the desire of for US dept's to improve their ISO rating, I feel the rating system is indeed flawed in requiring 60,000 gal over 2 hrs. Here in Australia we have no similar ISO standards, state and local governments determined the resource level of fire stations on a risk assessment basis. Part of my vollie stations area does not have mains water and so is not hydranted. We have found however that about 30,000 liters (or approx 7,750 gal) is adequate for almost all structure fires including totally involved 2 level residences. Usually we use a lot less, recently we extinguished a totally involved medium size two level house with about 20,000 liters (about 5500 gal), and we also have had fires confined to one or two rooms only, requiring way less than 500 gal to extinguish. We generally have two 900 gal tank rural 4x4 engines and a 500 gal tank pumper as initial response to a structural fire. If water supply is likely to be a problem we respond a further two or more 900 gal tank engines, who if necessary after offloading their water will run a shuttle from a hydrant or relay punp from a farm dam or pond.

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    Is not really relevant if ISO is flawed or not. The set of ISO standards has been worked over decades and they are the STANDARDS. Same as in industry the ISO9000 standards (or in the Army standard to put on a protective (gas) mask is 9 seconds). Can ignore the standard but it may cost you (or your customers).

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    Originally posted by DavidB2
    You might want to check out this VFD. They realy gave this problem a lot of thought. They have attained an ISO Class 5 rating without any hydrants and only 2 paved roads. They have no lakes/ponds, rivers/streams, or "city water".

    http://www.geocities.com/Baja/Trails/7873/
    Look under the link "Photo Story" for pics/details/reasoning


    David B.
    I emailed Rattlesnake some time back looking for cistern plans and response was they did not have any??? Someone had SOME kind of plan. Maybe a good thread.

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    Does ISO have a fomula to convert plain water to CAFS flows?

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    <b>Does ISO have a fomula to convert plain water to CAFS flows?</b>

    Sure it counts as foam, a foam eductor or a foam nozzle. So it is worth about 12 of the 640 points (Less than 0.00006) of a point on the 100 point test) that makes up the 11 points in the schedule for pumpers.

    In Texas it can coun as 1.5 points of the 100 point test.

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    Lightbulb Tender Sizes

    While the original thread is old, maybe your still monitoring. We operate from paved roads to long dirt driveways. Depending on your department type (Volunteer/Paid), do you really want folks trying to negotiate a 6k Tender? At over 48k, that's a lot of truck. If your like many departments, that rig doesn't roll all the time, hence lack of continued training do drive!

    Point of interest maybe, our Chief has done an excellent job at finding old gas tanks, from 8k-15k, we have them placed stragegically around our district to give us ample time to get the mutual aid up and running. We cover 180 Sq miles in Rural Southern Oregon, we have have a major river running through our district, but it doesn't help if you can't get to it, or get water from it "FAST".

    The tanks were easy to install, above or inground. Some basic plumbing parts from the hardware store. You're ready to go!!

    Rob

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    Actually I established 6000gal as the START point for a jumbo tanker as there MANY 5000gal straight truck tankers being constructed. So anything larger than 5000-8000 is likely to be a semi. In Michigan with their multiaxle trucks, one could construct a 8000-9000 gal straight truck. Properly constructed rig, what does it matter if truck is 3500gal or 8000gal, other than a poorly/untrained driver being intimidated which is a personal problem.

    What possibly be more important than training your drivers to operate their truck? AND NOT like a race car! The best fireman in the world is of no use if he does not get to the fireground. You do not have to be a brain surgeon to get a CDL (if one is even needed in your state for a fireman). A speed of 35-45mph is quite sufficient in running a tanker truck. In any case ISO will only credit you for 35mph in calculating your tanker capacity. Drive safe and arrive alive.

    Why use jumbo tankers? 1. Big rigs are more efficient for any logistics opertion/business (if usable within environmental constraint). 2. Any and ALL personnel dedicated to moving your water do NOT count towards manning requirements in figuring your ISO score. 3. Given these constraints you still have to move a LOT of water to meet ISO requiremens. 4. If you operate multiple trucks in order to meet water requirement, you are going to waste $ on multiple bills for insurance, maintenance, and operatings. One big truck is less expensive to operate than 2 or 3 small ones.

    ISO gives credit for foam equipment when rating your pumper truck. No calculation of credit for ability to apply foam as an alternative to bulk water. This may of may not make sense but end result is that in the water supply portion of ISO rating, (40%) of overall score, no credit for making foam only for applying water to the fire. See http://www.isomitigation.com/fire1.html for info.

    I'm not trying to sell anyone on jumbo tankers, an already working a planned course of action that I think will solve our porblems. I'm looking for dept that are already using or have used jumbo tankers for a discussion of results.
    Last edited by neiowa; 04-22-2003 at 12:43 PM.

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