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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Somewhere in Illinois

    Default Medium duty 4x4 chassis

    Quick question for all of you folks that use these type of units, how are they when taken off the beaten path? I'm specifically asking about the wildland-type units built on International medium duty 4x4 chassis (7300 and 7400) series. Does anyone else build a 4x4 medium-duty 4-door chassis direct from the manufacturer?

    We're considering a unit that could best be described as an urban-interface unit with 4x4, 4-door cab, 750 to 1000gpm PTO pump and a 500 gallon tank. The uses would range from EMS response, MVA duty (with spreaders, cutters, etc. until our squad could get on scene), light grass fire duty and so forth. Basically everything but full-tilt structural firefighting, which is covered nicely by another unit. However, it is becoming increasingly overloaded and needs some of the burden lifted...

    Mini-pumpers have been considered, but we've just purchased two rescues on 4x4 F-550 chassis and we're not convinced that we could equip a mini as we desire and not exceed the chassis ratings. A neighboring dept. runs minis on the same chassis, and they always appear overloaded with a nice squat to the rear.

    Any comments, advice or otherwise would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Forum Member RxFire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999


    An alternative to International is the Freighliner FL-70. We have two in our wildland BLM type 4 fleet - one is a 8 speed, the other has an Allison push button.

    The larger truck is a '99 chassis, '03 body, a 6-pack cab, carries ~975gal of water, and 20gal foam. Overall gvw is ~ 33,000lbs. It has the Cat 3126 motor (7.2 L) with the with the Allison transmission. We haven't had any problems with the motor, but the chassis has it quirks... most folks we've talked to say the biggest problem is the door latch/lock mechanism need constant attention... it's true. But overall, it's a good truck... does well off-road. If you go with this, beware... the air ride cab requires more clearance between the cab and box than we realized when we spec'd out the engine. Also, the cabs sit high on the frame, so headlights may have to be mounted in the bumper.

    This isn't our 3 person cab, but it's the same basic thing - http://www.wildlandfire.com/pics/eng6/blmelko.jpg

    Hope this helps
    Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1998


    International and Freightliner are the best "factory" built all wheel drive units. The Fords, GM, etc are tough units but are conversions that sit higher.

    It sounds like you should look at the wildland units built by Pierce, KME, Boise Mobile Equipment and others for some ideas. They all build the configuration you are looking at.

    Good luck


  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber ramseycl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Next to the big ditch


    This summer I was on a FWS engine in Idaho they just received an International 7300. It was a nice truck, but it was a prototype (sp) and it had its problems. We had it the shop several times with transfercase problems, they finally replaced the whole thing. We also had to put a new started in it and the air conditioning did not work. Also the truck had a Pierce box, 600 gallon tank. The compartments were not sealed and in a very short time they filled with dust, we had to use expanding foam to seal them off.
    By the end of the summer it was a great truck, it just had a long break in period.

  5. #5
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Birdsboro, PA


    If you're not in a hurry GM will have a factory 4X for the 2005 model year. Should be able to start ordering them in late summer '04.

    Right now if you want one it has to go to Monroe Truck Equipment for a $17,000 conversion. (Ouch!) Our dealership has actually been telling customers to wait rather than spend that kind of money.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Parma, Idaho


    We operate a 1997 International 4800 4x4. The box was built by Boise Mobile Equipment. It has a rescue style body with 500 gallons of water and 40 class A foam. The pump is a rear-mounted 300 gpm darley driven by an independant diesel engine for pump and roll, it has a booster reel, two 1 1/2" and one 2 1/2" discharges. This truck carries full extrication equipment and a cascade system. It off roads well and we are generally quite pleased with it. We respond it to all auto-accidents and vehicle fires first due, and is also our second out brush rig.

    The only problems we have had with the truck are BME problems, mostly wiring.

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