1. #1
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    Default How Do We Drive Fire Pumps and Where Are They?

    This post is to help those that “seem to be” struggling with the description, location, drive type and design of out fire pump used commonly here in the U.S. I will post 5 sections giving a schematic (and no I do not have AutoCAD, maybe it is etch a sketch (LOL) but, I am trying to simply define what the differences are for the average fireman. Each are reliable if designed and engineered correctly. Each have applications that could suit a departments needs based on their operations, apparatus design requirements, and truly, the mission of the vehicle. I am not professing to be an expert in pump applications by any means, but sharing the little I know about the way pumps are “commonly” used and installed in my area. I am not professing that one is “better” than another, but I, like everyone else have my preferences due to the operating environments found in my area. Use the apparatus and pump manufacturers to your benefit! They provide education FREE, use it during your proposal periods, prior to buying a truck and stay open minded. There is new technology, better technology, but you will need to steer wide of “tradition” to reap the benefits. I apologize ahead of time to any particular manufacturer or model I may leave out! Hopefully this post will help someone better understand our applications and type of installations we normally see and the trucks I have worked with. Feel free to add your comments and additions. Hope it atleast one of you!

    There will be the following format:

    A- Drive type
    B- Location of the pump
    C- Style of pump

    Summary of pump design, capacity, locations, controls, benefits and potential downsides to each. I will offer “opinions” in the review and the opinion is only mine and is only from my own personal experience.

    Additional info can be greatly beneficial in supporting the descriptions I have given, just spend some time reading!

    http://www.haleproducts.com/

    http://www.waterousco.com/

    http://www.wsdarley.com/

    http://www.rosenbauer.com

    http://www.rosenbaueramerica.com

    Some general information and description to start to hopefully limit confusion.

    Plumbing and Manifolds- While all pedestal pumps require intake and discharge manifolds, some midship designs use manifolds also for ease of plumbing remote discharges located in areas other than the side midship pump panel locations. The traditional manifolds of yesteryear were built of black iron and galvanized materials. The materials are very thick in design, to offset corrosion that occurs inside the pipe of tube. Steel piping has historically been “schedule 40” or averaged ¼” thickness. Today, with readily available stainless steel materials, the wall thickness and weights can be reduced with the total no-corrosive materials. With stainless steel, it seems as though most manufacturers are using “Schedule 10” materials, allowing for a much lighter and more reliable installation. Furthermore, some manufacturers utilize “flange mount” flanges that bolt directly to Hale, Akron, Elkhart and Waterous valves. This is an incredibly reliable way to eliminate leaks common to threaded materials in the plumbing system. With “flange” style plumbing, threading is virtually eliminated, provided great reliability and ease of rebuilding valves later in life of the unit. I strongly recommend stainless plumbing and manifolds.

    Volume and Size- When talking about pump sizes, we should always keep in mind that pump are rated from “draft”. There is many times a significant difference in what a pump can produce from other water sources such as a sufficient hydrant system or in a relay system with sufficient water being supplied. I personally know of “1250 gpm” pedestal pumps that pump 1800-2000 gpm via a hydrant system. A theory of: “If you can get it into the pump, it will put it out”! Output and capacity will also vary by the drive unit design. Split shaft drive gear boxes have more horsepower rating than pto’s on the average and can give you additional capacity. BUT, keep in mind, all have their manufacturers recommendations, so talk to the professionals.

    Gearbox- A “split drive shaft” gearbox means exactly that! It allows for the trucks main drivelines to be “split”. The main driveshaft from the transmission to the pump hooks to the gearbox. A second shaft connects from the gearbox to the rear axle, driving the rear wheels. When the pump is not engaged, the shafts spin straight through the gearbox powering the rear axle and wheels. When the pump engages or is shifted, the front shaft turns powering the fire pump and disengages the shaft to the rear axle. The drive gear off the top of the gearbox is many times referred to as a gearbox pto and is similar to a pto on the trucks transmission. The gearbox is many times called a “Split shaft gearbox pto”.

    PTO- Power take offs are available in many sizes, ratios and ratings. These are typically mounted to the top and side of the actual truck transmission. These DO have limitations in horsepower output, hence limiting pumping capacities off the power take off. Some manufacturers have told me that they can drive bigger pumps than others. This seems to be based on their decision not to de-rate the power take off as recommended by the actual pto manufacturer for “continuous duty operation” verses “intermittent duty operation”. I would personally suggest that we want continuous duty operation for heavy usage and reliability. Pto’s have service life ratings. These need to rebuilt every so many operating hours and vary by model. Critical care needs to be taken in maintaining proper driveline angularity or vibrations can occur, reducing shaft and pto life.

    NO…..I do not know everything in the world about pumps! So feel free to add to my comments and information.

    Good Luck and good fishing!

    Fish

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    Default MidShip Split Shaft "Traditional" Cast Pump

    Split Drive Shaft Gear Box – Midship – Cast Class A Midship Design

    This is the “traditional” U.S. fire pump installation. The pump is a fairly significant chunk of iron and is heavy compared to pedestal style pumps. The pump is built with an “intake side” and a “discharge side” integral to the casting of the pump which is bulky. The BIG design requires a fairly significant size enclosure to be built around the pump packaging, that averages 40-50” in width (of wheelbase) for the side control panel style and an additional 20-24” for the top mount style controls. Average weight of the pump and drive unit is approximately 1200#. Fairly easily rebuilt, but is cumbersome and only a “portion” of the pump is removed when rebuilding. Unit is driven “typically” via a split shaft drive gearbox that is close coupled to the pump.

    Traditional “Fire Service” Name: Class A Midship Pump

    Control Panel Locations: Side mount, top mount, interior command cab enclosure

    Pump Drive Type: Split shaft gearbox

    Normal Pump Location: Middle of apparatus behind cab, rarely at rear of unit

    Type of Pump: Single and two stage “Cast Design” with integral manifold for suction and discharge sides of the pump.

    Maximum Pump Range: “normally” 1000 – 2250 gpm

    Average Pump Size: 1250 - 2000

    Pump Manufacturers: Hale, Waterous and Darley

    Benefits: Reliable, proven, chain or gear drive, less labor to install with no need to build manifolds, same as the “old” truck

    Potential Downsides: Physical size of pump, weight, “envelope” size required to enclose all plumbing components is fairly large, requires more time to rebuild, harder to service on the average when compared to pedestal style pumps, limited flexibility without increased volume of space between the axles.
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    Default Split Shaft Gearbox Pedestal Pump

    Split Shaft Gear Box Drive – Midship – Pedistal Pump

    Pedestal Pump – This style pump has been utilized for years and is not new. The availability of these pump in higher capacities today, has increased their popularity. These are pumps with NO built in manifolds for intake and discharge sides of the pump. This allows the manufacturer to provides manifolds specific to the truck design, reducing overall weight. Driving this pump via a gearbox, mirroring the traditional pump installation, as the drive components are virtually the same. The same (for ease and simplicity of defining) gearbox is used as on traditional cast pump, with the introduction of a drive shaft between the gearbox and the pedestal pump, in some applications. Most applications allow for “close coupling the pedestal pump and the gearbox, as shown in the photo of the Hale pump. The manifolds for routing water are through manufacturer built manifolds. The pump is much more compact and significantly lighter than the CAST midship design or bulky “Class A” or traditional pumps. The compact design allows for significantly smaller pump enclosures to be built around the pump packaging. Enclosures average 24-40” in width (of wheelbase) for the side control panel style and an additional 20-24” for the top mount style controls. Average weight of the pump and drive unit is approximately 470#. VERY easily rebuilt via dropping the entire pump unit out of the truck.

    Traditional “Fire Service” Name: Midship Pedestal Pump

    Control Panel Locations: Side mount, top mount, interior command cab enclosure

    Pump Drive Type: Split shaft gearbox

    Normal Pump Location: Middle of apparatus behind cab

    Type of Pump: Single stage “Cast Pedestal Design” with manufacturer constructed manifolds specific to the truck design.

    Maximum Pump Range: 1250 – 4000 gpm. Note: The sizes over 1500 gpm require significantly more space with models such as the Waterous S-100 and Hale 8FG, as these pump use 8” intakes “normally” found in industrial application, but also used in structural fire fighting apparatus.

    Average Pump Size: 1250 – 1500 in structural and 2500-3500 industrial

    Pump Manufacturers: Hale, Waterous, Rosenbauer and Darley

    Benefits: Reliable, proven, great design flexibility, lighter in overall weight allowing for more equipment or payload, allows for shorter wheelbases with smaller pump “package” or enclosure sizes

    Potential Downsides: Models with a shaft between gearbox and pump have additional moving parts and u-joints but are of reliable design if engineered correctly, limited volume without going to larger 8” intake type units if more than 1500 gpm is desired. These base 1250-1500 pumps can produce higher volumes than their rated capacity if you can get water into them by using a supply source other than drafting through suction hose. Motto: Get it in, it will get it out! Reason: heavy duty gearboxes can withstand full horsepower of the engine.
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    Default PTO Drive Midship Pedistal Pump

    PTO Drive – Midship – Pedestal Pump

    Pedestal Pump – This style pump has been utilized for years and has been used on tankers and mini/midi pumpers very commonly. The availability of these pump in higher capacities today, has increased their popularity for “midship” pumper designs and high volumes on mini units. These are pumps with NO built in manifolds for intake and discharge sides of the pump. This allows the manufacturer to provides manifolds specific to the truck design, reducing overall weight. Driving this pump via a transmission mounted power take off, normally on the side or top of the transmission. This further reduces the weight of the truck with no weight of a “gearbox”. The manifolds for routing water are through manufacturer built manifolds. The pump is much more compact and significantly lighter than the CAST midship design or bulky “Class A” traditional pumps. The compact design allows for significantly smaller pump enclosures to be built around the pump packaging. Enclosures average 18-40” in width (of wheelbase) for the side control panel style and an additional 20-24” for the top mount style controls. Average weight of the pump and drive unit is approximately 320#. VERY easily rebuilt via dropping the entire pump unit out of the truck.

    Traditional “Fire Service” Name: Midship PTO Pump

    Control Panel Locations: Most commonly as a side mount configuration, but others can apply

    Pump Drive Type: Transmission PTO

    Normal Pump Location: Middle of apparatus behind cab

    Type of Pump: Single stage “Cast Pedestal Design” with manufacturer constructed manifolds specific to the truck design.

    Maximum Pump Range: 250-1250 gpm.

    Average Pump Size: 1000 – 1250 gpm, as price is not significantly higher for the bigger pump above 750 gpm (depends on builder), but additional discharges are required to get the “UL” rating.

    Pump Manufacturers: Hale, Waterous, Rosenbauer and Darley

    Benefits: Reliable, proven, great design flexibility, lighter in overall weight allowing for more equipment or payload, allows for shorter wheelbases with smaller pump “package” or enclosure sizes

    Potential Downsides: Additional moving parts and u-joints but are of reliable design if engineered correctly. Pto’s have rebuild lives as recommended by each manufacturer. PTO’s have horsepower limitations and volume can be limited.
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    Default Split Shaft Gear Box Rear Mt Pedestal Pump

    Split Shaft Gear Box Drive – Rear Mount – Pedestal Pump

    Pedestal Pump – This style pump has been utilized for years and IS NOT new. 1000’s of these are in service worldwide and are new in fairly high demand in the U.S. The availability of these pump in higher capacities today, has increased their popularity. Popularity more so comes from the potential size reduction of the pump package, opening up considerable space for body compartments, shorter wheelbases and more water on the same length vehicle. These are pumps with NO built in manifolds for intake and discharge sides of the pump. This allows the manufacturer to provides manifolds specific to the truck design, reducing overall weight. Driving this pump via a gearbox, mirroring the traditional pump installation, as the drive components are virtually the same. The same (for ease and simplicity of defining) gearbox is used as on traditional cast pump, with the introduction of a drive shaft between the gearbox and the rear mounted pedestal pump. The manifolds for routing water are through manufacturer built manifolds. The pump is much more compact and significantly lighter than the CAST midship design or bulky “Class A” or traditional pumps. The compact design allows for significantly smaller pump enclosures to be built around the pump packaging. Average weight of the pump and drive unit is approximately 470#. VERY easily rebuilt via dropping the entire pump unit out of the truck.

    Traditional “Fire Service” Name: Rear Mount Split Shaft Drive Pump

    Control Panel Locations: Left rear, right rear and center rear

    Pump Drive Type: Split shaft gearbox

    Normal Pump Location: Rear of chassis frame rails

    Type of Pump: Single stage “Cast Pedestal Design” with manufacturer constructed manifolds specific to the truck design.

    Maximum Pump Range: 1250 – 3500 gpm. Note: The sizes over 1500 gpm require significantly more space with models such as the Waterous S-100 and Hale 8FG, as these pump use 8” intakes “normally” found in industrial application, but also used in structural fire fighting apparatus.

    Average Pump Size: 1250 – 1500 in structural and 2500-3500 industrial

    Pump Manufacturers: Hale, Waterous, Rosenbauer and Darley

    Benefits: Reliable, proven, great design flexibility, extremely lighter in overall weight allowing for more equipment or payload, allows for shorter wheelbases, more compartment space or more water on the same length vehicle, excellent visibility of intakes and discharges from the operators position.

    Potential Downsides: Additional moving parts and u-joints but are of reliable design if engineered correctly, limited volume without going to larger 8” intake type units if more than 1500 gpm is desired. These base 1250-1500 pumps can produce higher volumes than their rated capacity if you can get water into them by using a supply source other than drafting thru suction hose. Motto: Get it in, it will get it out! Reason: heavy duty gearboxes can withstand full horsepower of the engine. Gearbox drive is VERY reliable.
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    Default Tranmission PTO Rear MT Pedistal Pump

    Transmission PTO Drive – Rear Mount – Pedestal Pump

    Pedestal Pump – This style pump has been utilized for years and has been used on tankers and mini/midi pumpers very commonly in the midship location. The availability of these pumps in higher capacities today, has increased their popularity for “rear mount” pumper designs. Popularity more so comes from the potential size reduction of the pump package, opening up considerable space for body compartments, shorter wheelbases and more water on the same length vehicle. These are pumps with NO built in manifolds for intake and discharge sides of the pump. This allows the manufacturer to provides manifolds specific to the truck design, reducing overall weight. Driving this pump via a transmission mounted power take off, normally on the side or top of the transmission. The biggest draw back to this installation is rating to only 1250 gpm and also additional service parts due to distance from pto to the pump. This “long run” of shafts requires multiple shafts and carrier bearings, which increase potential u-joint and shaft failure. This design can also “max out” available horsepower from the power take off, which is fine, so long the department is not looking for rating higher than 1250 gpm. Remember, shafts, u-joints and gears wear over time. This design further reduces the weight of the truck with no weight of a “gearbox”. The manifolds for routing water are through manufacturer built manifolds. Average weight of the pump and drive unit is approximately 320#. VERY easily rebuilt via dropping the entire pump unit out of the truck.

    Traditional “Fire Service” Name: Rear Mount PTO Drive Pump

    Control Panel Locations: Left rear, right rear and center rear

    Pump Drive Type: Transmission PTO

    Normal Pump Location: Rear of chassis frame rails

    Type of Pump: Single stage “Cast Pedestal Design” with manufacturer constructed manifolds specific to the truck design.

    Maximum Pump Range: 750 – 1250 gpm.

    Average Pump Size: 1000 - 1250 gpm

    Pump Manufacturers: Hale, Waterous, Rosenbauer and Darley

    Benefits: Reliable, proven, great design flexibility, extremely lighter in overall weight allowing for more equipment or payload, allows for shorter wheelbases, more compartment space or more water on the same length vehicle, excellent visibility of intakes and discharges from the operators position.

    Potential Downsides: Additional moving parts and u-joints but are of reliable design if engineered correctly, limited volume due to pto rating of 1250 gpm. These base pumps can produce higher volumes than their rated capacity if you can get water into them by using a supply source other than drafting thru suction hose, but the pto will be your limiting factor.
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    Default THE END!

    PPPPPhhhhhhhhheww..........that was long!

    Is everyone asleep now? Hope it helps atleast one person out there in firehouse land!

    Stay safe and good fishing!

    Fish

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    Default pump drives

    firefish thanks for the hard work. I will tell you that the new phoenix pumpers with the rear mount pto driven 1250 pumps will put out as max flow from draft 1995 gpm. Phx is testing all of them before going into service. Just thought you would like to know. thanks again for the history. Jeff

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    Default Actual Vs. Rated Flow

    FireTrkFixer,

    WOW! 1995 gpm.....in Phoenix....From draft!

    The hard thing people have in understanding the difference between "rated flow" verses "actual flow". The difference can be be incredible! I have seen the same 1250 pump with a gearbox drive producing flows well in excess of 2000 gpm and it is not hard to do from a sufficient water source, so the numbers you state in Phoenix are interesting. Typically restriction in that scenario from draft is the intake size and the utilization of one 6" tube.

    Its always funny seeing some of my people wanting to use bigger and bigger valves on trucks when in reality a pump can exceed its full rated capacity thru a single 3" discharge! Here we are with a 2.5" discharge that is "rated" at 250 gpm, yet "actual" flows can be 4 to 6 times that amount! Hmmmmm, how much water can we get into that pump? LOL!

    Thanks for the info and good fishing.

    Fish

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    Default

    Bump thread

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    Default

    Why did you bump these threads? Would you like to discuss rear mounts? Give us a hint .

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    Default

    Roger that. And a good/useful discussion.

    DHS $ pending and looking to rear mount pumper tanker.

    Just rcvd Rosenbauer response to RFP. They ignored 1500gpm spec in favor of their Rosenbauer 1250 PTO driven rear mount (see discussion above). They can't do a squirrel-tail???

    OBTW what is the benefit of their house - "three-stage pump. The pressure side shall be capable of developing 100 GPM at 600psi simultaneously while pumping the rated volume specified above." Big who cares about 100 GPM at 600psi from me. Perhaps I need re-education.

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    Default

    As far as the pump goes, what did you ask for in your RFP? Did you specify single stage rear mount rated at 1500 GPM?
    There should be no reason why a Hale, Waterous or Darley pedestal style pump cannot be used ILO the Rosenbauer pump. The advantage of the Rosenbauer pump is that it allows volume mode and high pressure mode at the same time. It's like two pumps in one. It does have it's applications. The concept and pump for that matter are european technology and that's how they do business over the pond, high pressure/low volume.
    We have two Rosenbauer built ( General Division ) rear mount pumpers so I have a little knowledge on the subject if you have more questions.

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    Default

    Yes spec was 1500gpm single stage rear mount.

    Response was for a Central which apparently the Chevy vs the General/Buick of the Rosenbauer family.

    Either of you units tanker/pumpers?

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    Default

    Ours are pumpers. 1500 GPM Waterous S-100 with 750 gallon water and 30/30 foam cells.

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    Default Can you fit a rear-sump with rear mount pump

    I don't know if I have ever seen a rear mount pump with a rear dump - any out there? But since we got side dumps, don't know if we will ever use the rear dump again.

    After having a top mount engine, I would buy a rear mount engine any day.

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