1. #1
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    Default four-door conversions

    I was looking at Smeal's website today and saw that a department in Colorado got a wildland pumper on an Oshkosh MPT chassis. While this unit was a two-door cab, we were wondering how difficult it would be to build a four-door conversion. Also, would this be cost effective given the availability of similar chassis from International and Freightliner? Oshkosh just builds a rugged truck.

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    I know that Central States builds these four door conversions all the time. The only thing is that these only work on top mount bodies because the doors exit to the pump panel.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default Don't Do It!!!

    Guys,

    We have one of these Central States conversions and we HATE IT!

    1. It is very tough to get in and out of the rig (especially with a pack on)!
    2. It's like riding in a coffin (you can't see anything & and you feel every little crack in the road)!
    3. We've had more structural problems with this design than you could ever imagine. We joke that one of these days we're going to go on scene and be missing half of the truck's cab.
    4. Don't ever get crosslays built under this conversion. I'd like to kill who ever recommend this design. IT'S THE WORST DESIGN KNOWN TO MAN.

    Do yourself a favor if you want four doors buy them from the chassis factory. Use your head and save yourself a headache.http://www.satfd.com/Apparatus/E2(7).htm
    Last edited by 640SATFD; 02-18-2004 at 10:44 AM.
    GB

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    I would have to agree with 640SATFD, If you can go with a 4 door from the factory. By the sounds of it you would really like to have the 2 door Oshkosh so it is going to be a tough decsision to make.

    We were having the same problem. We wanted a Sterling but with 4 doors. We had originally looked at this conversion from Central States and the Sterling came out with a 4 door so our problem was solved for us.

    I personally did not like the conversion for the exact same reasons that were stated. I did not like everyone riding backwards and didn't like the hoselay situation.

  5. #5
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    That truck has a longer wheelbase than many ladders. You couldn't turn that truck around in a 40 yard field.

    EXCELLENT example of not thinking before specing!!!

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    We run two rear door Spartan chassis twin engines, and while they're built very well, I'd be willing to bet we will never go for a rear door cab again. At the time, the department got a heck of a deal on the two engines, so I can understand the rationale that got us into them. We have four across SCBA seating in the rear, and it is a son-of-a-gun to get packed-up, dressed, etc. while en route, even with only two in the back. Tough getting out the shorter doors while packed up as well...

    All in all, the engine has been very reliable, but certainly isn't the least bit ergonomically friendly...

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    The only OEM mfg. I know of making the 4door cabs are IH, Sterling, & Freightliner. There is a aftermarket company in TX making 4 door Peterbuilts. As far as the large crew compartment like in the above photo I would only consider Custom Fire Apparatus out of Osceola, WI. They make some very nice trucks.

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    Kenworth sells them.

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    talk about tight cabs, we have 2 1993 Sutphens with the engine in the rear of the cab, with a rear facing jump seat on each side. with rear facing doors. Most of the larger guys can't dress because of the small cramp space. I open the windows to stick arms out to put on coat. No room to stretch out, you sit upright and erect. But they were cheap. We took care of that problem with our new Quantum. We have 3 forward seats.

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    Cabs aren't supposed to be to dress enroute. It is an NFPA violation as well as a VERY dangerous practice. Does it still happen? Yes. Will it keep happening? Yes. While I am riding seat? Nope.

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    The people looking for a cab with more room to get dressed in en route to scene should realize that if they are un restrained, that also gives them more room to become a faster projectile in the event of an emergency stop, ect.

    Even slow guys like me can get bunkered and in the trucks. We don't allow our guys and gals to put their bunkers on en route. SCBA's are a different story. You just sit into your SCBA seat, and start strapping on. That's the whole point of an SCBA seat.

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    Ok ! You got me. Shame on me. My turn to wash hose.

    99.9% of the time coat is on before climbing in. Provided your not busy when the tones sound and not the last one to the truck. Even putting the airpack on can be a struggle.

    In our Quantum, dressing inroute is a DANGEROUS practice. One quick stop and you'll meet the windshield personally. But in the Sutphen, you won't fly but about 6 inches.

    Dirty hose awaits me.

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    I would just save all the trouble of a conversion and go with a regular 4dr truck . They are both about the same length anyway .

    Plus if the wheelbase is a big issue you can get the regular 4dr with a side mount where i think you might need a top mount or at least some space for the rear facing doors with the conversion.


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    Arrow Kenworth

    The Kenworth T-300 4 door conversions that are being sold by Pierce are being constructed by Pierce. We saw one of the cab extensions under construction during a factory tour at Bradenton in January.

    The couple of Kenworth/Pierce pumpers that I have seen in service were extrememly well liked by the firefighters I spoke with.

    You can view photos of several of the Pierce conversion at: Youngstown Fire Message Board: Kenworth-Pierce Apparatus

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    One thing to be concerned about with regards to the 2-door conversion to four is the amount of body work required, including body filler and such. While I'm somewhat attracted by the looks of the Petes and KWs, I think I'd be very inclined to stick with something factory. Anyone know what that does to the cab's warranty? ***NOTE - I am not slamming Pierce. I like Pierce. I like fire trucks. This is not a flame on Pierce.***

    Not my photo, credit goes to Mr. Jeff Webster, of Yahoo firepics fame.

    --Joel
    Pierce/KW

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    We just picked up an older (I wanna say 1990 but could be newer than that) E-1 on a GM chassis that has a 4 door conversion. It's not in service yet but I've had a couple of minutes to look it over. The only difference between what y'all are talking about and ours is ours is it has a side mount panel and the doors go to the side. IT DOES NOT LOOK COMFORTABLE. Who ever said something about a coffin is on the right track.

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