1. #1
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    Default Big or Small Tanker

    We are spec-ing new tankers and I was just looking for input into the opinions about tankers. Is the feeling a big water >3000 gallons better or a small <3000 gallons better. Different philosophies just looking for ideas

  2. #2
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    I would have to say that it depends on alot of different circumstances. My vollie dept. is currently specing out new chassis to mount our 1600gal. tank on. Currently we use it on a 1979 Ford former grain truck. The idea of purchasing a whole new tanker upwards of 2500gal came up but was shot down. The main arguement was that the weight of the truck would be over the limit on many of the rural roads in the district. I personally don't believe that line but they do have some of a point. Now i agree that having more water on scene is a good thing. But you also have to look at the driving ability of your FFs. Also you might consider what your mutual aid depts. run. It makes water shuttle operations easier if the tankers involved are close to the same size.
    Jeremy Culver
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    Smile

    Having a large tender in the middle of a shuttle with a lot of small tenders sometimes screws up either the dump or the fill site. We have tried to keep all our tenders in the same approximate size. Some of that has to do with access, speed and weight of the vehicle. When the big rigs get in to the fire, they are certainly valuable for their capacity, but they also tend to slow down the shuttle, especially as the fire flow required slows down.

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    We have a 3000 gal tanker and in the tanker evolutions we've had, with the avarage tanker size being 3000 gal and six tankers operating, it works out fine. Average dump time is less 1 to 1 1/2 minutes (10 inch dump). Average fill time with a the 5 inch direct tank fill is around 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

    On one job we've had, we ran 6 tankers with 2 fill sites, dumping into 3 protable ponds tied together with siphen-jets. We lost water once for approx 20 seconds during the 45 minute shuttle and that was it. The average water flow was 1250-1500 GPM.

    I would recommend you get side dump along with the rear to dump easier with multiple pond setups and I'd recommend a set of controls in the cab. Our setup is just that. The driver can drive up to the pond, extand any of the three chute and dump any of the three valve from inside the cab. There's also a water gauge next to the controls to indicate how much water is left.

  5. #5
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    My dept. has a 3800 gallon vacuum tanker on a peterbuilt, 18 speed chassis. It is really really really really heavey. I was just certified driving it, and i have driven heavey trucks, but this one is probably the heaviest. The problem is, no one wants to drive it. It doesnt fit in some places we need it to do, it is slow getting there, you can not turn this thing around on a four lane road. Everybody is just waiting for the day we can order a new smaller, more user friendly tanker. We are looking at going with a commercial chassis, with about 2000 gal. And eventually, when the budget allows, getting another one to fill in the 1800 gallon gap. The turn around time on a smaller tanker from the water point to the scene is nice.
    I guess my best advice would be much like the previous posts. It all depends on your needs as a department, and the capabilities of your dept. drivers.

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    What's your department like?
    1. How do you fight fires. What's your "style"
    2. How much water do you need on scene?
    3. HOw big are your other tankers?
    4. Do you get mutual aid?
    5. What's the unload/load times?
    6. Are your drivers comfortable with that much water?
    7. How easy can a 3000g truck get around your area?

    I think you should look at these questions and the other ones mentioned in this thread. Bigger isn't always better. I would think of it as how many gpm can the tanker ultimately provide to you. All things considered. Response time, dump time, tank size etc. Good luck!

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    Default Very Interesting Reading

    I was recently introduced to these people and it is highly educational to look at the theory. While it could be called theory, statistically it makes a ton of sense. Never having been exposed to this before, I was very ewnlightened after reading the finite details. Read all sections for a better understanding.

    I believe these guys took an older idea that has been used for some time, but have found a way to do it better and make it look pretty decent at the same time. It is quite incredible what they can do and the performance speaks for itself.

    AND NO....I do not sell these things!

    Stay safe and good fishing....

    Fish
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    Default Darn I hate that!

    I forgot to paste the links!

    Here they are!

    Two short things....LOL!

    Stay safe and good fishing!

    FISH

    http://www.southern-fire.com/wm-challenge.html

    www.southern-fire.com
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    Default Wait One Minute! Drafting at 108' without turbo draft!

    If I had not seen it with my own eyes.....I would need to be committed to the nearest mental hospitol to believe you can draft with or without a fire pump at 108' (YES, THAT IS FEET!)...and fill 3500 gallons in 4.45 minutes.........at 108'!!!!

    http://www.southern-fire.com/long.suction.hose.html

    Stay safe and good fishing!

    Fish
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    It is true that vacuum tankers can self fill through long hose lays. I witnessed a tanker shuttle this past weekend in which 5 Firovac tankers were involved. At one point the tankers were self filling through 136' of suction hose in 4-5 minutes (clock started 200' out in each direction. These 8 trucks ((3) 2000 gals, (1) 1800 gal. and (1) 2850 gallon) were providing over 800 gpm per minute through the 136' of hose. When filling from a buried storage tank the five trucks were providing a little over 1000 gpm in a 2 mile shuttle (1 mile each way) using iso's formula. If you are going to consider buying a vacuum tanker you really should go with Firovac. Firovac was the first manufacturer of Vacuum fire apparatus and have been building them for nearly 20 years. There are over 115 Firovac units in service today across the country. Mark this down that if you buy the southern-fire watermaster unit, you will regret it. They do not support the tank correctly and their tanks are made of only 1/4" aluminum. The same tank that they are using on their tanker is experiencing cracking and failure in as little as 3 years in the industrial world. That is why watermaster will only build on an airbag suspension. Air bag suspensions were never designed to be 100% loaded setting in a station and this style of suspension can make for an ill handling truck. Firovac, on the other hand, has over 18 times the support under their tank as compared to watermaster. Firovac uses a trussed cradle to support their tank. Face it any structure is only as strong as its foundation. Firovac has been building aluminum tanks since the mid 90's and have never had a problem due to the grade of material, 3/8" thickness and the support structure. Firovac can and prefers to build on a spring type suspension. Firovac also polycoats the inside of their tanks. This poly coat protects steel and aluminum tanks from corrosion. Water master has an uncoated aluminum tank which will corrode when exposed to highly acidic water or chlorinated water. Why do you think that the major manufacturers quit building aluminum tnaks and wnet to poly tanks in the 1980's?
    A few other +'s of firovac that watermaster can not provide, they will custom build to meet your needs, you can get a UL rated fire pump from them, double power fold down porta tank bracket, enclosed hose storage, it is easy to clean and it is a better looking unit. You can check firovac out at www.firovac.com.

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    Default Re: Wait One Minute!

    You can draft at 108'
    With no lift... if you could muster enough hard tubes, a regular fire pump could probably do it too.

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    Default Re: Re: Wait One Minute!

    Originally posted by jpsmith2


    With no lift... if you could muster enough hard tubes, a regular fire pump could probably do it too.
    You will burn a normal 12v primer pump up trying to evacuate the air from such a long lay. Even if you did get it you would have to pump at or near capacity in order to sustain the flow and not loose prime.

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    Default check your bridge weights/capacities

    I'm going to assume this is for mainly rural use

    How are your roads and bridges?

    2500-3000 gallons is a nice size on a tandem, if you have enough engine, tranny, and brakes. Smaller is often not enough, and larger is cumbersome, especially for people without large truck experience.

    A pump of at least 500gpm is nice, too.

    Also - driving tanker is a different mentality than driving the engine, rescue, or ambulance. With the tanker, the mindset is get it there safely. Don't put the hot rodders behind the wheel. After all, this is not the first truckout, typically.

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    Your best bet is to see what your neighbors are doing. On one side of us, we have 2 mutual aid towns that run large tankers (3000+). On the other side is a town that runs 2 2000g vaccum tankers. The large tankers work well together, and in a nurse tanker type of setup. The two vaccum tankers work equally as well, but when you mix the two you can have a problem.

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    Well designed and implemented "big" tankers (2,500 minimum) will always out-perform their smaller counterparts.

    Vacuum tankers are definitely an option to look into.

    Wait One Minute! Drafting at 108' without turbo draft!
    But nothing can replace a TurboDraft. Here's a shot from a simple 1-2 person, 630gpm drill we did last week:




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    Our tender (that is the Western US term, not tanker, a tanker flys, and tender drives) situation is messed up right now, mostly from budget reasons.

    We have a 4500 gallon tender and a 1200 gallon tender. This system does not realy work that well. Most of the guys have a tough time driving the big brute, and IMO it is dangerous. The 1200 gallon tender can get to some difficult off road places, but it is to small.

    Our new theory is 2 2500 gallon tenders on F750 chassis. This should be GVW legal with poly tanks, pumps and pumpkins drop tanks. We would go with auto transmissions.

    This would be roughly the same water capacity, with more easy of use.

    I want to see a quick fill option on top of the tanks. A trap door where you would drive under the spout of a pre filled 2000+ gallon tanke, open a valve, and have the water trigger the trap door quickly filling the tender. I would like to see the tenders strategicly placed around our coverage area so that water shuttles are quick and easy.

    If budget will allow for this... That remains to be seen.
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