Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 85
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Mid-West
    Posts
    21

    Lightbulb Home-Made "Shade Tree" Fire Engines

    I am trying to build a business case to prove there is evidence of home-made fire department built fire engines involved in accidents and roll-overs more often than professionally built apparatus.

    Does anyone know about any home-made fire engines that might be considered dangerous?

    Any that are made from old milk or fuel tankers?

    Any that are being used without proper safety systems or warning equipment?

    Any that are 25 years old or older?

    What's in your firehouse?

    Let me know and send photos!

    Thanks!


  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Are you refering to vehicle that are not NFPA compliant? Most of the departments in my neck of the woods wouldnt be considered "legal" by the standard. No reflective striping,seat belts,current warning lights, steps,non skid tape,ect...... I know we all should be up to the standard but trying to get local officials to upgrade equipment is tough when money is tight and they are not forced to comply. Our department has a 1972 ford 3000 gallon tanker that has a milk tank on it, not the safest thing in the world, but its all we have. Try stopping in the winter without a baffled tank. You just drive safe and its better to get there in one piece than not at all. Every time the NFPA revises their standard, All of are equipment just gets that much more outdated. Believe or not our equipment is alot better than most of our neighbors. What are you planning to do with the pictures? Would like to help in anyway I can for a good cause.

  3. #3
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    On the way to the station. Really. It's 12 kilometers away and there's traffic.
    Posts
    339

    Default Re: Home-Made "Shade Tree" Fire Engines

    Originally posted by AF3394
    I am trying to build a business case to prove there is evidence of home-made fire department built fire engines involved in accidents and roll-overs more often than professionally built apparatus.

    (...)

    Any that are made from old milk or fuel tankers?

    Any that are being used without proper safety systems or warning equipment?

    Any that are 25 years old or older?

    What's in your firehouse?
    In the "Photos of Interesting Apparatus" thread, I just posted my department's main lineup. Every truck was refurbished or built by our members, and certified as meeting all necessary standards.

    The only accident/incident I'm aware of that we've ever had involved someone driving into the back of us as he tried to chase us over a hill in a rural setting (and didn't know we'd stopped at the bottom of the hill beyond his sight).

    Our water tanker was built from a home oil tanker, which was cleaned out, re-plumbed, and re-baffled. It's a little on the heavy side, and takes quite a while to get up to highway speeds with its current powerplant, but it's reasonable to drive.

    Our rescue truck was written off by the city after it was driven into a car trap (a hole in the road big enough to block cars from going through, but spaced just right to let buses use the route, for those who don't know). After some front-end suspension work, bodywork on the cab, and frame straightening, it's perfectly roadworthy today.

    Our second-due pumper is based on a 1976 apparatus, but has been modified and upgraded where necessary. For example, the original round headlights on the front of the truck were rusting right out of the truck, so we replaced the whole assembly with new rectangular headlights and repaired sheetmetal/steel around the openings.

    I don't mean to offend anyone with this comment, but I respectfully think that just because a truck is home-made doesn't mean it's more prone to being in an accident or incident. I think it may be more likely that departments that are content with putting an unmodified milk tank (or fabricating their own tank from scratch) on a chassis of questionable heritage are more prone to incidents, but not because of the construction.. more because there's an underlying.. I don't know.. 'carelessness' about the whole thing?

    Those agencies like SmokeyDaBear's, don't get me wrong - if you make a decent effort out of it and are aware of its limits, that's perfect. Like our tanker - its weight is real close to its max spec. It does NOTHING fast, and everyone who operates it knows it.

    But if you get someone who bolts an old feed tank to the back of an old farm truck, throws a portable pump on and some lights, and thinks it's a fire truck, and drives it that way..

    That's when I think the "accidents" happen.

    --j.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Mid-West
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Refurbished and home-made are two different things.

    Remember - You are never too poor to be unsafe!

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Ocala, Florida
    Posts
    222

    Default

    Just because a vehicle is "home made" does not in itself make a vehicle unsafe. No vehicle is "unsafe" until you place a "HUMAN" behind the steering wheel. A vehicle will sit right where it's parked, and not damage anything or hurt anyone unitl a human gets behind the steering wheel and moves it.

    Hope all had a Happy and SAFE Thanksgiving Day.

  6. #6
    Dispatch Dweller Jay911's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    On the way to the station. Really. It's 12 kilometers away and there's traffic.
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Thanks, that's exactly the point I was trying to make.

    --j.

  7. #7
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    A homemade or refurbished vehicle can be just as safe as any new apparatus if done properly. Just taking an oil tanker and putting water in it is obviously NOT "done properly". If you make the proper modifications, it will work just as well as anything new.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    32

    Default

    What is the differance between apparatus built in the 60's and 70's that have not been upgraded to current NFPA standards? What was once state of the art has been downgraded to unfit and dangerous. What are departments supposed to do with out of date equipment? The amount of trucks that our out there being used on a daily basis is great. Until somebody starts making the powers that be upgrade equipment till its safe, nothing will ever change. Who is going to inforce this? I became a fireman to help people. I know the risks everyday, I also know the most valuable asset we have is our people. I get frustrated when you tell the powers that be that changes need to be made. If somebody has an idea on fixing the problem lets hear it in detail, or figure out a plan we can all take part in to fix it together.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    At the Helm
    Posts
    1,174

    Default

    IMHO I think the only place you'll find "home made" resulting in higher accident rates are in oil trucks converted to water tankers. Some FD's will take an old fuel delivery truck, put a dump chute on the back and paint the cab red without considering the ramifications of the weight difference between water and oil.

    On a typical 2800gal tank, changing from fuel to water will add over 2 tons to the truck, increasing the truck's weight to nearly 15% above its design. This will reduce the effectiveness of the brakes and since oil tanks sit high on the frame this will increase the center of gravity.

    To do the conversion properly you must reduce the capacity of the tank. In the case of the 2800gal tank you'd need to reduce its capacity to about 2250gal. You can do this by welding in air filled voids (near the top of the tank, not the bottom) or place large chunks of foam in the tank (again at the top).

    Since milk is a lot closer to the weight of water there is less overweight problems with this design, but the unbaffeled tank will present serious stability issues if the tank is not pressed right up to the top.

    Some rural FD's also have the unfortunate habbit of training new drivers on tankers before they are allowed to drive an engine. The belief is that the new drivers need to learn how to drive a heavy rig before getting behind the wheel of the "real" fire trucks and/or being trained as pump operators. This misguided attempt to "protect" the engine results in young, under experienced, hyper excited firefighters driving solo with the most dangerous vehicle in the fleet to their first fire call as operators.
    ______________________________ __________________
    If you are new to posting please CLICK HERE for an essential lesson
    ______________________________ __________________
    A bad day in the boat is better than a good day in the office. And in my case the office is a boat!

    IACOJ Fire Boat 1

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    850

    Default

    Between 1948 and 1993, every firefighting apparatus that my department
    had was built in house. As to being unsafe, knock on wood but no accidents other than the occational gomer backing into a partially closed overhead door. In 1999 we fabricated a "new" 3200 gallon tanker. Any tanker of it's size, factory, refurb shop or department built is going to need an attentive driver. And yes, there are some things that probably be better on a factory truck, such as lower gearing. In 2000 myself and about 10 others swapped engines in a 1979 Ford 800 front mount pumper/tanker, removing a grenaded gas 429 V8/5 Speed/2 Speed and replacing it with a Diesel/6 speed/single speed rear axle. The tech that does our pump checks thought it was a factory setup, it's that clean. The only thing that didn't work after the conversion is the speedometer, and we have paced it at 55 mph top speed, top gear, flat roadway. The Diesal was a huge improvement, and its operational redline is as high as the gas V8 it replaced. Our steepest hills sometimes require a downshift from 6th to 4th, but compared to the hassle of the 2 speed rear it had it's a big improvement. It's front mount pump put out 10% more than rated flow, and this is a pump that has been used for about 22 years with only drive clutch replacement. Stick a nozzle on the front mount pump, drive in creeper gear, and you have a 1500 gallon grass buggy that has a footprint not much larger than some some of todays oversized crew cab trucks. Early on in my tenure, we needed a grass truck, and a local municipality sold us a truck siezed in a drug rad for $10. The most unsafe this truck has been was when it was driven home. The police had stipped the seat out, so one of our guys drove it to the station about 20 miles sitting on a 5 gallon bucket. We now have a 18 hp/200 gallon stainless skid mount unit, and from outward looks you would be hard pressed to discern this truck from a factory unit.

    We also took our bucket truck of it's chassis and remounted it to a 67 international 1800 that was the departments front line pumper for many years. We retained the front mount pump, so we can use it to draft with or to fight fire if we have a watersupply for it. The bucket was outfitted with a remote control nozzle setup that can accomodate a 2-1/2" fog hog nozzle.

    Proud of our Home Growns? Hell yes. I'm proud of our Factory built 93 and 94 E-ones also. In many ways, the the 79 ford home built pumper tanker outperforms the 94 E-One factory pumper tanker.

    We have been blessed with a talented group of mechnics and fabricators, but many departments have similar talent. To dismiss homebuilts as unsafe or unworthy in general is erroneous

  11. #11
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    60

    Thumbs up Pictures!

    PFD:
    Have you got a website or some pictures you can post of your rigs? They sound quit inovative and well worth a picture. Rigs like these are a lot more impressive showing than just writting a check.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    47

    Default

    Kudos to cfd3501. Your department evidently has a lot of pride to do what you do. My former department has tried to build a couple of trucks but nothing ever gets finished. We have money donated to build these trucks but some of our instant experts keeps real progress from happening.
    Our neighboring department received a state grant and bought a 4x4 Navistar International chassis. They took an old 30 yr old truck and stripped it. they used some of the parts along with new and fabricated parts and built a beautiful wildland engine. It is the best looking shop built truck I have ever seen. This truck was built and put into service in a 6 wks time period with members doing all the work. I see so much unity and pride in this truck. I just wish that the pride, unity, and quality would rub off to other departments. Their trucks total cost was $83000.00. What a bargain

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber jonesy0924's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Brandon, FL
    Posts
    57

    Default

    My department has many units that were built by the people in the department...no extra accidents that I can recall....check out the website for pics...Seffner-Mango Volunteer Fire Department
    Jonesy
    Fail to plan. Plan to fail.

    FL EMT-B
    FL State Firefighter
    Pro Board Firefighter
    Career Firefighter
    Local 2103


  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    850

    Default

    3511
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    850

    Default

    3521
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    850

    Default

    3525
    the compartment in front of the rear wheel has a single stage 500gpm Darley that we had removed from a defunct front mount pumper, which we use to draft with

    this is a 3300 gallon tanker

    We purchased the chassis used, and had to do some chassis mods
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  17. #17
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    850

    Default

    3545
    We bought this from a local municipality for $10 as a drug raid confiscation. (and put a lot more into it)
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    850

    Default

    3546
    1971 jeep cj5
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    850

    Default

    AF3394 - why are you trying to build a case against "shade tree's"

    Want a new or factory apparatus but higher ups say no?

    Hmmm, I sense an agenda here.

    As mentioned by others, If constructed properly and operated within the window of common sense, the homebuilts are safe.

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Mid-West
    Posts
    21

    Default Agenda???

    "If constructed properly and operated within the window of common sense, the homebuilts are safe."

    Yeah... and Colonel Klink never lost a prisoner.

    How many mechanical engineers do you have on your department who will sign their lives away when building a home made tanker or brush unit? I say not many.

    There is an agenda.

    1. Firefighters should not be subjected to using equipment that is unsafe for the sake of the "we can't afford it" syndrome. You can't afford safety? Stay in the barn!
    2. Unsafe, non-engineered built, under or overpowered, and non-NFPA compliant vehicles do not belong on the road with lights and sirens in the "on" position.
    3. Who is ultimately responsible? (Clue - sounds like THE DRIVER!)
    4. Last time I checked, I didn't want to lose my livihood, house, and posessions for the sake of a tightwad politician!

    Look at it from the safety perspective. The view is scary from this end.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts