1. #1
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    Default Wave of the future or fad of the day?

    I was reading about these new light/air/hydraulic trailers in this months Firehouse. Do you think that they are going to last or are they a trend like slime lime?

    I think they may be just the ticket to some small departments problems as far as replaceing old worn trucks.
    But they do have some dis-advantages.
    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wave of the future or fad of the day?

    While they might be just right for some departments low call volume department, I have a hard time believing most will want to have to tow basic things like electricity and hydraulic tools on emergency responses.

    Sounds like a great idea to supplement disaster cache or something like that. But I'd rather have the stuff on a truck -- even if it's just a pickup truck -- and not have a trailer bouncing behind me every day (or worrying about whether it's hooked up or not).
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    If anyone is looking for more info-- you can find it on page 77 of the October 2003 firehouse magazine, or you can go to http://www.fosterrescue.com

    I think it is an excellent idea. Saw it at ICHIEFS in Dallas.

    It is a great idea for many departments. Most every department needs a rescue capability - but not all departments have the budget to buy a $450,000.00 rescue truck with all the bells and whistles.

    They use stuff like this in the construction industry all the time. Generator trailers with light masts, Compressor trailers with reels of air hose.

    WHy re-invent the wheel? Why not take a technology that works - off the shelf- and make it work for the fire service.
    Marc

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    Legislation out here in my part of aussie land prevent any vehicle towing any trailer from driving in emergency conditions (lights and bells)..... so for us, it's really a moot point.

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    Originally posted by FFMcDonald
    Most every department needs a rescue capability - but not all departments have the budget to buy a $450,000.00 rescue truck with all the bells and whistles.
    You can construct one heck of a rescue for a tiny fraction of $450,000. Where on earth did you get that number? I hope that if you're paying $500,000 for a rescue... it hold a ton of people and comes with a tank, pump and most of the equipment already stocked.

    As far as a trailer goes, I don't want to run code while hauling a trailer. Seems dangerous to me... or, certainly, more hazardous that having a small utility truck already equipped with whatever you would carry on the trailer.

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    I agree for the most part that it may be a nice backup for disasters or such but as a primary responce vehicle it just doesn't work.
    Going hot with a trailer is a bad practice.
    You can build a rescue truck for a relativly low price by using a smaller truck with a utility body or even a panel truck.

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    I see a lot of concern for "running hot" and pulling a trailer. Let's sit and look out a window at our roads for a while. How many vehicles are going past driven by Mom and Dad, Joe Construction, etc. and are pulling trailers at highway speeds? Are we doing anything worse when "running hot"? Aren't we driving the speed limit? looking for hazards? trained drivers? These trailer setups are built for this. I'm not suggesting pulling it behind a full size pumper/truck, but it's a lot cheaper to get something like a pickup truck and this trailer.

    Aren't there any dive rescue teams that pull a boat on a trailer? I know mine has for years with no problems.
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    Uh - I have to agree with Bones here.

    Have you folks driven on a highway lately??

    What is the GVWR for a Tractor-TRAILER = 80,000lbs

    That's 40 tons - of course that includes the prime mover (tractor) in the figure -- but I know that I have been passed at 75 MPH while on the highway by a tractor trailer.

    If you guys are so worried about how these trailers 'handle' I am not sure I would want to see you driving code.

    A fire truck carrying 1000gal of water (water weighs 8.3 lbs per gallon) is carrying 8300 lbs -- or 4.15 TONS of 'fluid' mass.
    Tell me you have never felt the 'surge' of water in your engine while driving and braking??

    And you guys are worried about a trailer?
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    Trailers have their place, but for something as relatively routine as everyday extrication?

    We run a haz-mat trailer and a tech rescue trailer, but both of those are seldom deployed (haz-mat 3-4 times a year...tech rescue probably that many times a decade)

    And do I really want myself, or most of our members, who don't tow trailers regularly during the winter, driving those in a snowstorm? Icing conditions? IMHO, those conditions the equipment gets yanked from the trailers and put in pickups.

    It's a lot easier to learn & build experience operating a pickup or large truck with chains on alone, then to learn that plus how to work a manual brake controller to keep the trailer from kicking out on slick roads.

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    When someone is pulling a trailer on the expressway they are going in a straight line. How many runs involve us turning off of the apron then just driving straight?
    For the size of the trailer you could put everything in a 1 ton vehicle.
    Also have you been cut off or had to swerve in traffic while responding to a call? Try it with a trailer. Do you ever back up? take someone who doesn't drive trailers on a regular basis and have him back that thing. With the wheel base so small it would be a bear to back it up.
    It may have its place but not in a municipal FD. To be effective it would have to be hooked up all the time, why tie up a tow vehicle with that. Hell the stuff would fit in a 1 ton van use that instead.

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    Do you ever back up? take someone who doesn't drive trailers on a regular basis and have him back that thing. With the wheel base so small it would be a bear to back it up.
    Nothing that a competent training program can't handle.
    Ugh -- Guys -- TILLERED Fire Apparatus are trailers with a steered rear axle.

    All the problems that you mention are all things that are easily overcome through training.

    People shouldn't be driving anything that they are unfamilair with-- especially fire apparatus while enroute to a fire. That is not the time for on the job training.
    Marc

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    All the problems that you mention are all things that are easily overcome through training.

    There's people solutions and engineering solutions.

    Why spend training time to learn to drive a trailer that a 1-ton pickup, van, or suburban you buy at a State Surplus auction for $2000 will handle?

    Why buy a trailer for average FD activities like extrication?

    Years ago many a rural fire department, like mine, started off with a chemical extinguisher trailer they towed.

    There's a reason they upgraded as soon as they could afford to: trucks are easier & more convient than trailers.

    Neat idea, just definitely not for everyday (or week or month as it may be) tools like Jaws-of-Life & lighting plants.

  13. #13
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    Smile It's The Thought Behind The Idea......

    I think that the inventor wanted to do something to help those who could not afford a heavier vehicle. I'll be the first to admit that I'm spoiled though, I prefer a large Heavy Rescue that has ALL the toys in one box. Stay Safe....
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    All the problems that you mention are all things that are easily overcome through training.
    For most topics I would agree. I work in the 4th largest industrial park in Illinois. Do you know how many times I have seen semi trucks try three, four times to back into a dock? That is with a long trailer. That short little rescue trailer would be very hard to deal with on the scene of an emergency. I have a semi license and am one of the trailer drivers for my department. Some days it feels like you can't back the trailers, on the first try, to save your life. Something needed in an emergency shouldn't be placed in that position.
    Dedicate a pick up truck to put that stuff in and leave the trailer for some specialty equipment that you use once a year.

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