Thread: New Truck Tips

  1. #1
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    Default New Truck Tips

    Today the Chief is bringing in our new KME truck. In general, is there anything we should be looking at?
    Please, no flames. The Chief made a solo decision on this. I just want to know if they have any particular quirks or weaknesses. What's done is done, I want to know how to live with it and get the most out of it.

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    Looking from the bottom up, all trucks have the same basic components, subject to the same possible problems. Regardless of who built it, if you've got someone that knows what they're doing under a truck, check all brake lines, hydraulic lines, bolts, nuts, suspension parts, frame rails, body components, etc, etc.

    In other words, keep checking the truck over and over for signs of fluids/greases leaking, cracks, loose bolts and nuts. And especially keep your ears out for odds noises.

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    Sit down with all the manuals/pamplets that come with the vehicle and review them. Make up "cheat sheets" on the operation of the vehicle to use in training with copies in the vehicle for reference.

    You might also make up some "Warning" or "Caution" signs to place on the vehicle until everyone is familiar with the operation. For example our Freightliner/Pierce engine with a Cummins turbo diesel has a caution on letting the vehicle idle for five minutes before shutting it down to allow the oil cooled turbo to cool. Failure to do so shortens the life of the bearings in the turbo resulting in failure and an expensive repair bill.

    Stay Safe

    IACOJ

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    Slueth congrat on the new truck. I have been in the same situation with the chief making the decision on what truck he wants. I would try and get a copy of the spec sheet that the unit was built around. Also get a copy of NFPA1901 as that is the basic build requirments to conform to. Check step heights and if the hosebed is tall make sure that there is a step within the nfpa limits. Ours had a 21" space between the hosebed and step. NFPA says 18" is the max we made them install another step.

    As far as idling the cummins 5 min to cool down the turbo this is for ALL turbo charged diesel engines. Does not matter if it is a ford chevy dodge or a fire truck. Again good luck and let us know what you find.

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    Read everything that comes with it. Don't just check things once but I would say until you're comfortable with everything to do with it. You probably spent big bucks on it. Right? Make sure all specs are met. And learn the vehicle. Train, train, train on it. And good luck!

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    I got to see the new truck last night. The Chief Engineer got really hot when I started a pool on how many months before he would let someone else drive it to a fire! (I figure 6 months after it is fully equipped before anyone even gets near it, at least a year before anyone but him or the chief takes it to a fire!)

    I'm going to be low profile at the Station, I'm not even going to ask questions about it for at least 3 months. Nice truck, I'm just not sure it's the right truck for us - it's too big to get to a lot of folks homes.

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    Too big to get to many homes? Are you sure about this, or is driving a larger truck just something that most of the members aren't as familiar with? I know with driver training, people get much better at maneuvering trucks into places they need to be (places you don't THINK it will go!). If the size really DOES create major issue for getting to lots of places, what can you do about this? Realize that your department will have this piece for 20 years if something major doesn't happen to it, so it won't go away. Can the town trim trees or make modifications to beef up the roads for better access? People (taxpayers) often listen when you speak about how this important piece of apparatus can't get to their houses when they're burning or there is some other kind of dire emergency. Best of luck with it!
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

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    We cover a very rural area, with large juniper trees. This truck is 11+ feet tall, and many of the treetops have grown together. We carry a chain saw, to cut down trees to get in. Many of the people we serve live miles off the hardtop, on what is called two-track, literally just two tracks in the forest. In many places, the juniper is so thick, it is hard to walk through.

    Add the fact that the Chief Engineer threatens bodily harm to anyone who puts a scratch (aka "Arizona pinstriping") on our current trucks, and things don't look good.

    I have no intention of explaning to people that their house went from a room & contents to fully involved because we had to cut down their trees to get the truck in without a scratch. So, I'll be taking the older, smaller truck with CAFS vs. the new, big truck without CAFS.

    We currently use a truck based on a Ford crew cab pickup, and even that gets pinstriped from time to time.

    Ah, the joy of rural fire fighting.

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    Houston pin-striping is caused by mirrors on cars whose drivers can't get closer than 3 feet to the curb.

    If you have that many places with just wheel ruts, something tells me that you're going to flip a truck. Why you ask? if the rut is only 1 vehicle tire wide, and more than 3-4" deep, then the engine's tire front tires won't fit in the rut to give a stable platform, let alone the duallies in the back.

    Sounds like y'all just bought a trophy: looks good but won't do much more than sit there. So many people poo-poo truck committees, but at least stuff like this doesn't happen.

  10. #10
    Sta22BeaverCoPA
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    Congrats on the new truck. My department owns three KME units, engine, 100' ladder and rescue all delivered within the last year. We have hit a few trees with our units, even trimmed some huge branches off a pine tree, found a 6 foot limb hanging off the ladder rack on arrival at the call. Minor scratches, trucks are holding up great. Problems, sure Detroit diesel problem, hale problem and the sensor for the roll up doors. Other than that, smooth sailing. Rescue responded to 29 entrapment calls last year.

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    Sleuth, If you can get access to a digital camera, here area few ideas.
    1. Once you get the truck loaded with equipment, take pictures of how how all the equipment should be put back after being used. This is also helpful when teaching new members where equipment is kept on the truck.
    2. With the pictures of compartment, it will also give you a comparison of what items are in each compartment and what is missing when doing your truck checks.
    3. Take pictures of any areas that relate back to service/maintence. You can use computer software to edit your pictures with captions. This will allow you to label items in the engine compartment. Smae things apply if the truck has a generatorr, cascade system, etc.

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    Taskforce, that is a good idea! Thanks. It's going to take us months to equip this truck - the Chief is a mechanic, and he found switches mis wired, the "pony" engine for pump and roll was not set up correctly, and some parts & levers were not even connected. Oh Joy!

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    Originally posted by Sleuth
    Taskforce, that is a good idea! Thanks. It's going to take us months to equip this truck - the Chief is a mechanic, and he found switches mis wired, the "pony" engine for pump and roll was not set up correctly, and some parts & levers were not even connected. Oh Joy!
    I hate to say it, but it doesn't surprise me. Good luck with your truck, and I hope you have better luck than we did. Watch the alternators...... we've had 8 on our 2003 KME since July 2003........ Keep an eye on emergency lighting. We had problems with our LEDs. All of them have been replaced at least once, most of them 2-3 times.... All I can say is good luck........

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