1. #1
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    Thumbs down automatic pump pressure governors

    What does everyone think? good or bad.

    I still like the hand throttle.

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    We are looking into this right now too. The primary reason is that I was looking for a pre-set high idle system as you find on most motorcoach buses. Which is basically flip a switch, and the motor automatically revs to the pre-set. The system we are looking at right now is the FRC ProS Pressure Governor, from Fire Research Corporation, www.fireresearch.com

    As TFDNICK says, if any one has any hands on experience/comments/considerations, please pass them on.

    Thanks.
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    our rig is outfitted with a class 1 system.

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    I think the easier they make things to use the harder it is for us to do our job. I like the old hand throttle.
    “Just when you think something is made to be Idiot Proof. They go a head and make a better Idiot”

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    When I started my investigation, I was only looking for a simpler way to set the high idle for the truck because we have found that some of the other drivers occasionally forget to set the throttle when they arrive on scene, and with all the lights 'burning brightly' etc, well that can be pretty hard on the electrical system.

    My intent was to make the task a simple one. According to the mechanic from where I got the FRC system says that the control box can be programmed to do "everything" or it can be programmed to do only the basics - pre-set the high idle. Also, with two different locations for the hand throttle, one in the cab and one on the pump panel, not everyone remembers to turn it down before moving the truck. I am also guilty of this also.......
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    We have one on my engine. I like it! The only problem that I have seen was if someone pushes the "preset" and holds it, it will clear the preset pressure.

    It works great when you have MA companies taht may run your pump.....all they have to push is preset. They still have a manual as a backup. It is also nice since not all our trucks are low pressure...some at 150psi and some at 100psi.

    Over all we love them and we will keep puttin them on the trucks.
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    We've got a Class 1 on our new engine - everything else is hand crank. The preset is nice, and you can still do it manually with the RPM mode rather than the pressure mode. Only thing I don't like is if you're pumping from the booster tank (1000 gal.) and then switch to a hydrant supply, the thing goes back down to idle. All we have to do is push the preset button again and it goes back up. I'm told this is normal. I don't want to go back to the old way again.
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    Thanks for the feed back guys. Keep it coming.

    If there are any Engineers out there, could you run out any deficiencies etc that you have run into, maintenance wise? Or any other tech problems.

    From my Mech source here, Victoria City uses these units in all their vehicles, municiple and fire, as does East Sooke, on their heavy rescue.

    We also had a 3rd hand account from one of our MA stations that they have it on one of their trucks and don't like it at all because of the "cut to idle" when the pump cavitates due to low water supply when draughting.

    This may be a telling factor for us, because all our water is draughted from either a pond or portable tanks. We are a "HYDRANT FREE ZONE"
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    We run Pro2 pressure governors and had one on our rig for about 7 years now. Here's my take on them:

    PROS
    Quick preset pressures.
    Automatic throttle adjustments as other lines are opened and closed.
    Easy manual adjustments up and down.

    CONS
    No dump valve
    Slow response to over pressured lines
    No manual overide in the event of electronics failure.
    Inability to adjust below idle pump output


    I'm sure there are plenty more but these are my top picks

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    We have them on our two newest apparatus (2002's). They are a tad slower in reacting to pressure changes and we have had to replace sensors twice at $250 a pop. I also dont like the drop to idle speed if you lose intake pressure.

    Dave

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    I believe you'll find that you can not purchase a true mechanically-linked throttle with the big-name fire service engines these days.

    Sure, it might *look* like a traditional mechanical hand throttle, but it's most likely an electronic control.

    Modern governors operate under strict voltage requirements... if you lose power for some reason, the engine will try to protect itself and shut-down, whereas the older ones would run until they could no longer do so.
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    I also dont like the drop to idle speed if you lose intake pressure.
    This sounds like a malfunction to me, have it checked out. I have always found when the intake supply was lost or dropped the engine races to try and make pressure. This sudden rise in RPM is an indicator to the MPO that he has a water loss.

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    I also dont like the drop to idle speed if you lose intake pressure
    It is not a malfunction, thats how ours works. If you have no intake pressure it really makes no sense for it to rev up. We counter the loss of the dump valve with an integral dump valve on the intake valve. Each rig we have has a separate high idle switch in the cab. That switch is disabled when any PTO or pump is engaged

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    As Resq14 says, newer trucks have electronically controlled throttles, that do look like the traditional hand crank type. I confirmed this with the mechanics, and with our manuels too. Certainly anything newer than a 1993 (which ours is) will likely be electronic.

    However, please continue the comments, they are very informative. Thanks guys.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    Artie,It's not a malfunction,it's a failsafe to keep from burning up a "dry"pump.As 14 and the others have pointed out all your newer apparatus(like 96-97)up are electronically controlled or otherwise known as "drive by wire".There is NO true mechanical link to the throttle,just one electric chip "talking"to another.We had one that kept taking "naps"on working incidents.It was sent to the local Cummins dealer who electronically upgraded the "confuser"(computer)and it hasn't bothered since. T.C.

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    Default Re: automatic pump pressure governors

    Originally posted by TFDNICK
    I still like the hand throttle.
    Whoa dude, what is a little personal, isnt?

    Just kidding...I remember back in the early 90s that
    a Seagrave engine, Waterous pump, had a Barber-Coleman
    pressure govenor and it shut down the instant second
    it found some air in the pump. This is an old story
    and I dont know if they still even make them anymore.

    -Bou

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    Here is the problem we have been having with ours. I will try to make this make sence.

    When we pull up to a fire and pull a cross lay we pull the tank to pump, recert (tank fill), and the cross lay valve is opened. When we switch the governor to pressure and preset the truck will pump fine for a while then all of a sudden the truck will start to throttle up uncontrollably and not shut down? we tried while pumping from the tank to close the tank valve and the engine will not shut down. I thought the governor should sence the lack of a water supply and shut down? My understanding of this gizmo was it would sence the loss in water and shut down and not try to increase the throttle to make up for the loss.

    It is true the the hand crank throttle is no longer with use. There is no longer a physical linkage between the pump and the engine. Pre- 1990ish if your throttle at the pump panel broke you might have be able to get in the cab and put your foot on the gas pedal. Those days are gone.

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    Originally posted by TFDNICK
    we tried while pumping from the tank to close the tank valve and the engine will not shut down. I thought the governor should sence the lack of a water supply and shut down? My understanding of this gizmo was it would sence the loss in water and shut down and not try to increase the throttle to make up for the loss.
    This characteristic was partially responsible for the death of an Army firefighter a few years back. Some automatic governors use an air pressure system (in this case it did), which is balanced against the water pressure coming in, when the pump goes dry the governor revs up since there is no pressure against it. In the fatality it involved a crash truck capable of pump and roll, the truck was accidently left in drive so when the governor increased RPM it actually powered the truck over the chock block and overcame the air brakes striking the firefighter and captain who were operating a handline, the firefighter died, the captain was injured, the engineer was also injured falling from the top mount pump panel, the truck continued for several hundred feet until hitting an obstacle (tree's I believe).

    I don't know how common this style of governor is but I'd think it is worth checking yours out to see what happens when the pump runs dry, I don't know why a pressure switch wouldn't be incorperated to kill the pump when pressure drops below 20 psi or so like some wildland pumps do.

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    If you leave your tank fill open all the way open, you are going to add engine rpm's because this is basically another discharge... and you have to be careful putting a lot of PSI through a standard tank fill, especially with older tanks.

    I'd just crack it if you are concerned about keeping some water moving prior to flowing a line.

    As far as reaction time to detect cavitation, it is not instantaneous. Once the engine races for a bit, it will shut down. I want to say it's like 10 seconds, but I don't have the information in front of me. This might vary with manufacturer or it might be a standard... not sure.

    I have noticed that during this 10 second period, it can sometimes be difficult to get the governor to "listen" to operator input to throttle down or idle.

    Regardless, I'm a fan.
    Last edited by Resq14; 06-28-2004 at 04:33 PM.
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    The Army fire apparatus was an Amertek 2500L, and had nothing to do with the pressure govenors of the type being discussed. This is a mechanical problem caused by an unreliable company, pencil pushing desk jockeys desinging fire apparatus and the typical military practice of buying the cheapest product.

    As far as the actual pressure govenors, my old base specs them on all new apparatus, and they have performed flawlessly. Being an old phart, I was very skeptical when they arrived, and figured after a few months, something would break. They didn't. After working with the pressure govenors, I wouldn't want to go back.

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    we got the ol fashioned crank em up .........I dont know how about the electrinc ones..........
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    Try contacting these folks and asking how they like theirs:

    Rattlesnake FPD
    Official Site http://www.rattlesnakefirerescue.org
    http://www.geocities.com/rattlesfpd/
    (Be sure to read the "If we did it again" page)

    Annaville VFD
    Official Site - http://www.annavillevfd.com/
    http://www.geocities.com/annavillefd/
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
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    FF/Paramedic
    Instructor

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    I think it's all a matter of getting used to the systems. There were some issues at first with the PGs, but for the most part, they've been worked out.

    The old-timers long for the return to the vernier throttle, even if they were fooled into thinking the electronic versions were the same thing.

    Another group that couldn't pump two preconnected lines with a vernier throttle (direct linkage or electronic), a pump chart, and a pressure guide, old or new, now have no problem pumping multiple lines with a PG and pressure guide.
    www.gvfd.org

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    Originally posted by E229Lt


    This sounds like a malfunction to me, have it checked out. I have always found when the intake supply was lost or dropped the engine races to try and make pressure. This sudden rise in RPM is an indicator to the MPO that he has a water loss.
    That's what we thought at first. But no, its designed that way to prevent damage to the pump. I dont like it. I would rather burn up a pump than a firefighter, But that's just me...

    Dave

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    My department just purchased two new E-Ones with this feature. Takes a litle getting used to but it works out great. Especially since we are only 2-0 staffed. Set the pressure and go.

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