1. #1
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    Default What brand Hydralic generator

    What brand of hydralic generator do you have and why?

    We are looking at generator options for a new pumper and cant decide on gas, diesel or hydralic.

    Thanks

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    Default

    Our 2 new Engines were spec'd with 15KW Harrison hydraulic gensets. Quiet, easy to use and they are running with the flip of a switch. They also take about 1/3 of the space as a diesel generator

    Our older trucks are diesel, they are loud, at times are hard to start and require more maintenance.
    "The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men."
    -Henry David Thoreau

    Visit my dept. at www.TCFD.com

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    Choices, choices! Gas or diesel generators are stand-alone units that allow you to shut off the chassis engine. But honestly, how often do you do that? These units will make much more noise than a hydraulic generator. Hydraulic generators are practically silent. A gas unit will have to be refilled regularly while a diesel unit can run off of the chassis fuel tank. Pricewise, the gas unit is cheapest, diesel is next and hydraulic the most expensive, although depending on output they will be close to a diesel unit. As to output, the same goes, gas lowest, hydraulic highest. The answer will come when you decide how much output you really need. Also consider space requirements. A gas generator should be in a compartment to make refilling and oil changes easier. A diesel could possibly placed over the pump, but again consider maintenance. If you are using a top-mount pump, DO NOT do this. A hydraulic unit can be placed almost anywhere as long as you allow accessible space for the oil reservoir, usually over the pump. Caution: Remote starting is not an option with a compartment mounted generator.
    Talk to your sales rep. Manufacturers usually like to use a particular brand of hydraulic generator for many reasons, including price breaks. Look closely at warranties on these units because they do vary.
    Another option if you decide on a gas unit is to have the builder provide a slide-out tray, breaker panel and quick-connect plug and shop locally for the generator. A local provider may make a deal with you.Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Default The many flavors

    Also have your direct-drive PTO option (for very big generators usually), and smaller under-the-hood belt powered options like the Auragen and Raven.

    http://www.aurasystems.com/

    http://www.raventechpower.com/
    (made right up the road from us -- we've demo'd it a couple times and it's quite amazing... good, clean power, can run lights and smoke ejector... I was impressed.)

    Both of the above are really designed for smaller vehicles, but they are in the process of breaking into the larger chassis market I believe (at least Raven Tech is). I know Aurasystems has some government contracts too.

    On our new trucks, we have hydraulic generators. One is a Harrison and the other is an AMPS. We haven't had problems with either that I'm aware of. If you go the hydraulic route, make sure you specify a hot-shift PTO for the hydraulic pump so you can "light and roll" down the road. Only one of our trucks has this feature, and it is pretty handy. Both are able to start under a load. For what it's worth, Saulsbury had better luck with the Harry versus the AMPS in our rescue-pumper installation, and went with it. Not sure of the specifics. Our tower truck is an AMPS though.
    Last edited by Resq14; 10-30-2003 at 11:40 AM.
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    Default

    We currently run a 10k amps on rescue/engine with the pto capabilities so that we can hit the switch and there is light going into the scene. It runs 3 through the cab lights 1-2000 and 2-1500 plus 2-750's off the rear plus the fact it runs electric fans, 2 750 portable carry lights, electric sawz all, shop vacs and etc.

    The cost of the amps is much higher than other hydraulic generators that we are looking at for new engine, but the hydraulic system seem to work better for us than the deisel, or gas types.

    STILL STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Default

    We have a harrison hyd. gen. It has been very reliable so far.

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    Default

    I've been on trucks with AMPS, Harrison, and Onan and all 3 have performed without problems. Onan is less than the other two for the same kW, but that's because the Onan is a shaft driven PTO. I think that's what it's called anyway. It was $12K to put the 30kW Onan on our rescue vs $24 for the Harrison 20kW and $26 for the AMPS 20kW. We were trying to get the most juice for the bucks which is why we went Onan. But otherwise I'd recommend any of them based on performance alone.

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    Default

    We took delivery of a light rescue in July on a Ford F-550 4 x 4 with the 6.0L Powerstroke and five speed automatic.

    It has a 10K AMPS hydraulic generator. So far the only problem was caused by the wrong instructions from the vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle has the ambulance prep package with a Class 1 load manager.

    We found that after running the generator for 15-20 minutes with the vehicle parking brake set, we got voltage and cycle surges. Releasing the parking brake cured the problem.

    The vehicle manufacturer corrected the operating instructions. The two high idle systems (Class 1 and the pto were fighting each other).

    We have had no other problems.

    Stay Safe
    IACOJ

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    Default Do your own comparison

    Listen to the reps, OEMs and other firefighters as their input is extreemly valuable. Then request literature from the generator manufacturers such as AMPS, Harrison, Onan, and Smart Power. Compare the different warranties, features, price, generator capabilities, etc. They all give the same amount of power, but they all have major differences in features, design, mounting requirements, and air flow requirements. Compare your findings with what the reps tell you and see what is best for you.

    I agree that you should only use a hot shift PTO. There are too many benefits to Hot shift vs. Constant mesh. For instance, what if you part a hose for some reason. The constant truck is shut down, the hot shift truck gets to go home.

    The Onan referred by BC79r was a PTO driven generator. This type of system is very inexpensive, but it is a stationary application only.
    The reason is the shaft is driven straight off of the PTO and the generator has to be at a constant speed. Hydraulics have a pump that automatically adjusts for engine rpm changes. The PTO Generator does not have this type of control. It will vary with engine speed, so you have to shift to high idle and leave it there. This type of generator is great for Heavy Rescue trucks. Not so good for a ladder, pumper or engine.

    If you have any questions concerning differences between hydraulic and gas / diesel, call me at 281-240-2555 or e-mail me at
    marketing@a-m-p-s.com

    Stay safe.
    Scott Dixon
    Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS

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    Default

    We have several Smart Powers in F-550 chassis and Sutphen quints. No problems.

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    Thumbs up Amps

    We are using an Amps 15kw PTO generator on our 2002 Pierce Dash. I must say that it has worked to perfection. No problems. When we were designing the unit, it was first between the Amps and Harrison, with the Amps coming out on top. It definately was the right choice.

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    Thumbs down Amps Generators

    We have a 15KW amps on our 2001 rescue/pumper. Has been out of service completely, 4 times in these two years. This generator was intslled by the manufacturer per the desired specificastions of amps.

    Each time amps comes up with a new excuse. Most of the dealers I have talked to recently are putting Onan in as they have experienced far less problems.

    Currenlty I am aware of 6 amps generators in our area, all on different make vehicles that are experiencing problems, most of them on a repeated basis.

    Our manufacturer is going to remove the amps generator completely and replace it with an Onan at their expense, because the warranty costs on repeated repairs to the amps is killing them.

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    Unhappy Please contact me

    I am sorry to hear that your experience with our product is negative.
    You say the generators are installed as per AMPS instructions. Could you please contact me. I would like to go over the details specifically with you. This problem deserves immediate attention, and I would appreciate the opportunity to investigate the problem personally. Doesn't it seem a bit strange that 4 generators would crap out on the same truck? I am not pointing the finger here, but 4 generators don't just fail for no reason. We couldn't stay in business if that were the case. Something is causing this to happen.
    Consider this, in the remote possibility that there is an outside influence causing this, like an air-flow blockage or overload, do you really think that throwing parts at it is the best solution, or would you rather know for sure what is really causing the problem so it can be dealt with properly?
    Please contact me at
    marketing@a-m-p-s.com
    281-240-2555
    Scott Dixon
    Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS

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    Default Reply to BrucePFFD74

    BrucePFFD74
    I looked into your fire department's history. As you stated this is the 4th time this generator has been out of service. I am sorry to hear that the OEM is installing a different brand, but before I wish you well, I would like to clear up some pretty broad statements you made. Please let me elaborate on the reasons this unit has been down.

    1st time - A bolt came loose on the end bell and caused a hose to leak. I will take the hit on that one, someone didn't tighten a bolt down well enough. AMPS made no excuses and covered the repair under warranty.

    2nd time - A motorized soft start was installed because the truck's engine was having a hard time turning the constant mesh PTO during cold weather start-up. This is the report directly from the service manager of your OEM. This had nothing to do with the generator, performance, or lack thereof. This was in the truck. (my reason for wanting to investigate, instead of just throwing parts at it)But we found the problem and fixed it, and since then you haven't had that problem again, according to your OEM.

    3rd time - The unit was misused. Specifically, it was overloaded. Someone tried to get more juice than the unit had in it, and accidentally let the smoke out. Once you let the smoke out, you can't put it back in. We have documented proof of this failure, and this is a clear case of misuse. (throwing parts at it would only result in another failure)
    But, we found the problem, and fixed it (not just the generator, but the source of the problem too. Since this is public, I won't elaborate on the acutal source of the problem)

    4th time - We don't know the reason for this failure because we are not getting a chance to look at it.

    I am truly sorry about the loose bolt, but the other 2 out of 3 problems were not actual problems with the generators performance. One wasn't even the generator itself. We just made it easier for the engine to turn the PTO.

    I hope you have great success with the other generator they are installing for you. If it is installed correctly, and used properly, I'm sure you will have good luck with it.

    Thanks for your interest in this thread.
    Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS

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    Wow, a rep & comapny that care enough to follow-up on things... a rare breed these days indeed!

    God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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    "WOW" I am extremely glad to see a company stand behind it's products and when there is a problem they take care of it. You do
    not see that too much anymore. Usually everyone wants to blame each other. Congratulations scottdixon and the rest of you at AMPS. This makes me even more elated that we went with AMPS. A very sound product.

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    Default

    Stand behind their product?

    Call any major manufacturer and see how many of them dropped AMPS because it was NEVER AMPS problem, always the OEM.

    I think E-One, Pierce, and a number of others switched to Onan and Harrison and do not even offer AMPS. That should tell you something.

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    Default Thank you

    Thank you for the nice comments. I am glad to hear that this type of interaction is looked upon favorably. I can see where some might view vendor interaction on public forums as a type of sales pitch. This is not my intention. I just wanted to find out what really caused the problem and deal with it. I am sorry if that is seen by some as finger pointing, or not standing behind our product.

    Generators don't just fail for no reason. There is always a reason, no matter what brand. AMPS has failures. So do all of the other generator makers, or else they wouldn't have warranties or service departments. No matter what brand, if you don't find out what the problem is, how can you truly solve it? Throw parts at it and hope for the best?

    As I stated, the first failure at the fire department mentioned earlier was our fault. AMPS covered it under warranty. Standard AMPS warranty is 7 years / 1000 hours or 3 years unlimited hours, whichever is best for the fire department. This is public knowledge. We cover parts, labor, and shipping.

    This instance completely invalidates the statement made that we don't stand behind our product. When it is a generator failure, we cover it. Period. All we ask in return is that when something else causes a failure, that party covers it. That's fair, right? If we break it, we fix it. If you break it, you fix it.

    Other times, it is installed incorrectly, and no we don't cover that under warranty. Some other companies might, and that's great if they do.

    Even still, there are other times when a system is misused. They are overloaded. Others take tarps and block the air intake or exhaust. One guy got had a flag sucked into the system and shredded, another drove it off into high water. It is a piece of mechanical equipment. If it is misused, not maintained, or pushed beyond it's designed limits, it will break.

    There are different opinions everywhere. Some like Pierce, some like E-One, some like AMPS and some don't. That's business. We are going to keep on selling generators. What's more, AMPS products now have protective circuits that prevent dammage from overload and overheat, or high speed engagment of the sytem. They compensate for thermal changes as well as RPM changes. We've engineered a product that is not as prone to dammage caused by installation or end user error.

    For those that use the product, thank you. For those that don't, I hope you will give us a try someday.

    For those who read this, this reply was in no way meant to be interpreted a sales pitch or promotion of AMPS products. All of my replies are true, based on documented facts, sincere, and in the interest of directly replying to someone who has made a posting in a public forum that had a negative experience or comment to make about the company or product that I represent. I appreciate and do not intend to misuse forum. I watch this forum and occasionally post replies to subjects relevant to my product or company.
    Thank you.
    Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS

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    Default

    ff43065, be nice. LOL. I wonder why you disllike them? LOL. Anyway, as for the basic options, they go like this when we recently speced a tele-squrt:

    1) PTO Driven (Hot Shift)
    2) Diesel
    3) Gasoline

    We went with the hot shift PTO option. Our last generator purchase was an AMPS. We went with it because of their reputation and there close location to our department. The generator has performed wonderfully with one minor exception and all we had to do was drive the Ladder Tower (E-One in case you didn't know ff43065, LOL) over to their shop and it was fixed damn near on the spot. As for OEM's and what they use now, who knows. I know E-One and Pierce aren't big fans of AMPS right now. Who cares. There are people who won't buy Chevrolet admin vehicles because they get better pricing on Ford admin vehicles. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the Chevrolet vehicles, it just comes down to price plain and simple. Aside from the "You get what you pay" theory, also consider that OEM's are gonna push, if allowed, what they have the biggest profit margin on. Don't kid yourself about that. If the OEM can buy a generator for $3000 or $6000 and sell either one for $7000, which one are they gonna push if not told differently? The cheapest one that meets spec is the answer. The story with E-One was that the problems being experienced where installation issues, not specific to the AMPS units themselves. Maybe Scott can elaborate on if they ever, or still do, have an AMPS technician at E-One to oversee installations. That was one of the quality control features I heard that was being done. Just some thoughts.

    Stay low and move it in.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Default On site technician

    AMPS offered to put a technician in Florida, but to date the offer has not been accepted.
    Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS

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    Default

    I'd look at either the Harrision (I believe the original maker of the hydraulic generator) or Onan. We use both of these models and with great succcess. For a pumper they are ideal and location of the hydraulic tank and cooling is important. The PTO style ONAN/LIMA is good for a Hazmat or Rescue or Air & Light but won't work well on a pumper application.

    Don't overspec the size either. Determine your output requirements and a + factor and you'll have a great added feature to your engine.

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    Question A-M-P-S

    SCOTT, rotor end shaft bearing to small w/ no way to lube it. Locked up bearing resulting in a bent rotor causing a very poor uneven output 60HZ then 45hz then 60hz etc. They are not perfect (A-M-P-S)
    BUT I WILL SAY,YOU ALL STAND BY YOUR UNIT AND FIX IT FOR FREE..

  23. #23
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    Default

    We recently put a 2003 Pierce Enforcer Pumper in service, with an AMPS 6kw Hyd. Generator on board. A big reason was the AMPS Rep(Scott D.) was extremely helpful. Not having a Hydraulic Generator in the past(Cough,Cough...Diesel) I told Scott what we intended to support with the unit. He could have very easily put us in an overpowered 10 or 15kw unit, but stated that a 6kw would easily handle what we had intended to throw at it and then some. I wouldn't expect anything different from the service side of it.

    Bottom Line - Make a good product, support your product, and stand behind your product.

    As far as Pierce not dealing with Amps, Maybe, Don't know for sure. I spec'd out an AMPS Generator and Pierce never tried to sway me to another brand.

    Jason Young
    WFC#3

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    Default Pierce and AMPS

    Once again, thank you for the nice mention. I am glad to have helped in your specification process.

    I would like to address an issue that keeps popping up on this forum.
    I don't know why people think that Pierce doesn't use AMPS anymore.
    I get Pierce orders weekly.
    That rumor needs to be squashed here. Pierce uses AMPS. Pierce also uses ONAN, Harrison, Smart Power, Westerbeke, Honda, etc. Pierce does not dictate to it's customers what they can and cannot have.

    Now, there are some dealers out there that have their preferences on equipment because of various reasons. Some dealers that like to use this brand or that brands for whatever reason. That's great. We all have our good customers. And yes, there are even some that will try to sway your decisions on certain pieces of equipment,(can believe it?). Some of that has to do with experience they have with a certain product, but don't kid yourself, alot of that also has to do with money. They look at what equipment is least expensive in order to make their bids more attractive. That's good business, and in most cases AMPS is more expensive. AMPS products also come standard equipped with some nice features that other brands don't even offer as options.

    Bottom line, Pierce uses AMPS.

    Thanks again for nice mention. I'm honored to be a part of this industry, and your input is greatly appreciated.

    Scott Dixon
    281-240-2555
    marketing@a-m-p-s.com
    Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS

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    Default More details

    firedawg14

    Please contact me privately. I would like a few more details on your failure, if you don't mind.
    Thanks,
    Ph. 281-240-2555
    marketing@a-m-p-s.com
    Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS

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