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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone ever tried a wheeled porta tank?

    For those of you in rural areas doing tanker shuttle ops. Anyone ever constructed/tried a wheeled porta tank?

    Assume: steel or alum frame/hard side tank, wheeled on each end with air bag suspension. Tow to fire scene, locate as per your practice with "normal" porta tank/tanks, open air suspension line and drop the tank/frame/trailer on the deck. Dump water from shuttle tankers as per normal practice. Perhaps tank is 3'x8.5'x20'(approx 3600gal). Assume empty wt of 10000lb. You want it longer/larger, say a 45' tank at 8100gal go for it. In our case we would tow behind our Cl6 wildland/brush truck. Perhaps Storz connection on the tank for suction line.

    Pro.
    1. No manhandling/assembly/inflating etc (or attendant injures from) of folding/collaps. tanks.
    2. No diversion of limited manpower to folding set up during the critical initial minutes on scene.
    3. No need for turbo drafts or hose connections between multiple/series of porta tanks.
    4. Done with ops, dog tired; drain tank, hookup trailer to towing vehicle, air up suspension, go home.
    Con
    1. Driver must know something about driving. Must know dept SOP because when he stops the rig and unhooks you're not going to manhandle the tank around.
    2.


  2. #2
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    Kinda sounds like our tanker when we assist the neighboring dept

    Sounds like a winner of a idea.

    Like I said we usually end up with someones tanker setting there to nurse the other trucks. We are getting much better at setting up the portable tank but I am afraid that will also go by the wayside with all the hydrants we are getting installed in our rural areas.

    Have you tried this yet or just in the thought process. Sounds like it would work.
    Les Hartford
    Assistant Chief
    LMR Fire Dept.

    The views posted here are strickly my own and not of any of the groups I am affiliated with.

    IACOJ Member

  3. #3
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    Default

    Have not done, thinking thru "what might work" to solve problems with manpower shortage and to meet ISO fire flow req. Putting together a jumbo tanker project so need big porta tank (or go to a nurse system which is not used around here).

    Looking for input poking holes in the concept.

  4. #4
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    sounds like a good idea, just make sure it gets set up in the right place. If you are really serious about doing a tanker shuttle for your iso rating, take a serious look at the Firovac vacuum tanker. They will give you some really good flow rates with a minimum of manpower. www.firovac.com . Also consider contacting skip starling at isochanger.com, he has experience in iso tanker shuttles and has an excellent track record.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Cons , gonna tie up some one to drive the tow vehicle that could be riding the engine for inital attack or driving a tanker.
    Space , gonna tie up a truck bay, manuverability -- dont like pulling or backing a trailer in bad weather , gonna tie up two people setting it up if you have to back it in - (gotta have a spotter) You can enlist lookieloos to set up a folding tank but I would hesitate to have one spot my trailer. A lot of times we will set our folda tank up just off the hard surface and keep our tanker on the road, will the trailer damage lawns or septic tanks ? Unless you unhook the tow vehicle you will be limited to three sides access for drafting and/or dumping. All those come to mind off the top of my head.

  6. #6
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    May not be a problem in your area, but:
    1. Long (1 mile plus) 2 track driveways
    2. Limited flat space for vehicles, but just enough for a fold a tank. (we can fit the folder under trees we would have to cut down for a trailer.)
    3. Long, narrow roads to navigate.
    4. Sharp bends in those narrow roads
    5. Limited depth to the trailer, as it has to be lower than the discharge chute. This could limit ground clearence, or make for a very wide trailer that would not fit down our 2 track roads.
    6. Steep hills with sharp tops could make it difficult to tow.
    7. MUD - can you get the trailer out?

    If you like trailers, why not tow another tender body to the scene? Then, you start with basically a fully loaded tank. Our local cinder pit has a tender that tows a tender for a total of 4,000 gal. The operator has offered us the use of this rig if we need it. Your shuttle could be used to refill the tender-trailer.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Originally posted by slackjawedyokel
    Cons , gonna tie up some one to drive the tow vehicle that could be riding the engine for inital attack or driving a tanker.We run commercial 2dr trucks so everyone that goes is a driver, copilot or POV, not an issue.
    Space , gonna tie up a truck bayyep, biggest single issue function has a price perhaps, manuverability -- dont like pulling or backing a trailer in bad weather , gonna tie up two people setting it up if you have to back it in - (gotta have a spotter)Then need to learn to drive (or be a copilot). You can enlist lookieloos to set up a folding tank but I would hesitate to have one spot my trailer. A lot of times we will set our folda tank up just off the hard surface and keep our tanker on the road, will the trailer damage lawns If big enough fire to need porta tank I have no interest in lawn damageor septic tanksLike the pumper? ? Unless you unhook the tow vehicle [i]of course, 10 seconds[/i[you will be limited to three sides access for drafting and/or dumping. All those come to mind off the top of my head.

  8. #8
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    A COUPLE OF QUICK THOUGHTS. ONE 10,000POUNDS TANK WEIGHT IS OVER BOARD. 10K WOULD BE THE WEIGHT OF A GASOLINE TANKER. IF YOU ARE GOING TO GO THAT BIG YOU CAN BUY A STAINLESS MILK TANKER AND RUN IT TO THE SCENE EMPTY.(NO BAFFLES) USE IT AS AN ELEVATED WATER TANK. DRAIN IT WHEN YOUR DONE. I ASSUME WITH YOUR HOME BEING IOWA, THAT HILLS ARE NOT A PROBLEM. THE LARGE WEIGHT WOULD BE TOO MUCH FOR A SMALL BRUSH TRUCK ON HILLS.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Here's my two cents worth...

    You'd want a open tank, like you mention, since that would allow you to use the dumps on the tankers. I don't think an enclosed tank on a trailer would give you nearly as much turn around efficiency since you'd have to pump the water into it. Then you're looking at hooking up hoses, putting pumps into gear, and being limited to your pump off capability.

    I see two problems. One, an empty tank on a trailer is going to be managable for most any suspension, but put 3000 gal of water in, and you're looking at 12 tons. I would wonder if the air suspension rig to lower everything to the ground would add so much complexity to the everything that it would be simpler to just get the Fold-a-Tank down. Plus, whatever you tow it with will have to have air available to blow the suspension back up. Well, I guess that could be a use of the old steel air bottles you have lying around.

    Secondly, if I read your idea correctly, you propose to have a 4 wheeled trailer with the wheels in the corners. What we'd think of as a "farm" trailer. I've never tried towing one, but I know I'd need a whole new set of skills for backing, since they don't act like a regular trailer that has only one pivot point. Unless it's something you're going to use a lot, I'd be worried about towing such a trailer.

    I wonder if one could build a "removable" drop tank, put it on a simple utility trailer, then just pull it off the back of the trailer when on scene. Of course, that may not be much faster then simply using the folding tank we already have... but I think a single person could probably get it set up pretty quick. And if it's at least semi rigid, you could pre-plumb suction connections, like you say. I'd say that would be worth looking at. It utilizes the KISS principle, easier to tow, no pesky air lines to freeze up.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Sounds interesting. If you towed it with you pumper you could have a semi-perminant hard suction and fill hose from the truck to the trailer. As pointed out, this trailer will be very heavy full and as a result will need to be very carefully built. You could even set it up so you did not need to deflate the suspension, the weight of the water would push it down if it had a light suspension (which would also make it impossible to tow with water still in it). Consideration for laying hose would need to be made, and you'd want your run assignment to make the most of this set up. For instance:

    1st in pumper lays LDH to the scene from the road, 2nd in pumper pulls trailer and stops on the road where the 1st began lay. 1st due tanker (equipped with side chutes) dumps into the tank as soon as the pumper stops moving (which would prevent further movement so you better be good at spotting the truck). The operator of 2nd pumper (with trailer) connects the LDH from the attack truck and begins to feed it with his tank water, hopefull by that time the tank is full so the pumper pulls a draft and is good.
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