Thread: Port-A-Tanks

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    Default Port-A-Tanks

    Looking for pro's/con's on the self-supporting round port-a-tanks. We presently use a square folding one that is stored on our pumper, which is being replaced within the next two months. The new truck nor our tanker truck will accommodate our folding tank. I know that the self-supporting ones take up less room and could be placed in a compartment until we can get a new tanker. (And that won't be soon)
    Thanks

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    My service has a number of 3000litre polypropolene round collapseable tanks. Although they are not carried on front line apparatus at all times, they do collapse and fold down to a very manageable size where they could be carried strapped down a hose bed or stuffed into a large locker. As they are self supporting, they take less time to assemble and can therefore be filled quicker. Ours also have an outlet valve on the base so once you are finished with them then can be drained easily
    United Kingdom branch, IACOJ.

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    We have both. Our collapsible tank uses an inflatable ring around the top. I thought it was great until we bought a folding tank. I prefer the folding tank because it is quicker and easier to deploy. There are a couple of mistakes that seemed to always happen when we used the collapsible tank. The first was not spreading the tank completely out before filling. With wrinkles in the bottom, the capacity is reduced. The second was the inflatable ring would tend to turn inside out allowing water to spill over the top edge. Donít get me wrong, when properly set up, they do work well. It just takes a little more patience and practice.

    Stay safe.

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    My main gripe with the collapsible tank was that the sides are not vertical, but lean in towards the tank. When you're trying to pull the hard suction and strainer out (or anything else ), you have to lean over farther and at the same time you cannot lean on the tank much to facilitate the same, else you risk falling in or spilling water when you push the side down.

    They are not so great for cold climates, if they freeze up the ice can damage it if it is not uniformly and correctly set up in the first place, or it can freeze to the ground like a tongue on a flag pole.

    However, they are great for placement on uneven ground surfaces, as the top is (sort of) self-leveling.

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    RLFD thanks for your reply. Have you experienced any problems with them rolling on uneven ground? This seems to be the biggest concern from those I have spoke to. As for the freezing issue, that could be a problem in this part of the country.
    Tks

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    I have only used them a couple of times.... we don't have any but some of our neighboring departments do. I am not aware of them rolling over on uneven ground, but I am sure it could be done if you tried hard enough! Can't say so with loads of experience, but my guess is that on normal sloped driveways and roads you should be OK.

    Perhaps some others with more useful experience can help out here... my limited advice and experience with them is not quite enough to be all that helpful....

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    We have been using our 1500 imp gallon softside since 1987. It has a floating collar rather than inflatable. The only real issue is ensuring that the bottom is "stretched" completely because of the mentioned loss of cpacity. This loss can be significant.

    We have never had it try to roll away, but I suppose it could. Then again, a frame type could collapse too if you set it on a steep slope. Ours has 2-2 1/2 outlets at the bottom for draughting/draining, and we put gate valves on them after setup but before filling, so they can be utilized at any time. Try to position them to the lowest side for max usage of water and drainage. When draughting from the top, we use a tripod stand to keep the hard suction from collapsing the wall. Also are building a "Low-level" strainer so it will draw down further. We are pleased with it.

    We had a storage bag built for it (about 24" deepx 30" widex 72" long. It can be loaded in the tanker compt. for mutual aid calls, but is usually carried on the pumper. Strapped down with 2 seatbelts from wrecked cars. Easy to undo and deploy. This way it can be set up at the scene and is ready when the tanker arrives. We will be purchasing a second one when the new pumper arrives in '06.

    Ours also has D rings that you can tie it down with. We use those "dog screws" intended to screw into the ground and tie the dog to. It is more likely to slide on icy surfaces than to roll away on slopes.

    Getting the first 100 or so gallons in is the only tricky part, but we just lift the one edge of the collar and fire away. As for frezzing down, can't say that it's ever been a problem. I would venture to say that frame types would freeze down just as readily. And we do operate in some extreme temps.

    Hope this helps.
    This is of course only my humble opinion, but then again, its likely the only one that matters.

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    Originally posted by DFCSmash
    I would venture to say that frame types would freeze down just as readily.
    I guess I have to agree.... behind the frame, a frame drop tank is not all that different from a round collapsible. I withdraw my freezing-to-the-ground concern.

    Have not seen this style tank with a low side outlet other than for draining... being able to draw to a pump that way would be superior, and takes away most of my other complaints.

    Thanks DFC, and I am sure emsrbell thanks you, too.

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    A litttle plug on soft tanks from the prairies!! Yes they do roll - quite well in the proper conditions. One of our neighboring departments has a collapsable tank and they dont like it - never have. Because we live in close proximity to the mountains we are blessed with chinooks (high winds usually around 80kmph - 100kmph). If the tank is left unattended it could tend to blow away - and if its on a slope - could roll away. They are too flexible for our climate. Our tank is a 2500 gallon frame tank and as mentioned above you can tie your hose to it, lean on it, basically do what ever you want to it. The soft ones just sit - ergonomically suck, cant tie anything to them, etc.

    Next time we have a grass fire I will try to click a pic of a "wild prairie porta tank" on the loose.
    Dave





    Originally posted by emsrbell
    RLFD thanks for your reply. Have you experienced any problems with them rolling on uneven ground? This seems to be the biggest concern from those I have spoke to. As for the freezing issue, that could be a problem in this part of the country.
    Tks

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    Interesting Dave404. Haven't experienced this or heard about locally. Couldn't one just run a rope from the D-rings on the tank to the tow hook(s) on the pumper? Assuming you couldn't get the dog screws through the permafrost? Ours is a Firetak, and has 2 rows of D-rings, one about 8" off the ground, the second about halfway up the wall.

    We have set it up on minor slopes, but certainly not on anything major. I would think that a frame type set up on heavily sloped ground would want to collapse the frame as well. Not to mention the lost capacity due to level water. We usually try to set up on the flattest ground we can but .... you know.
    This is of course only my humble opinion, but then again, its likely the only one that matters.

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    The tanks these departments are using, I havent seen any way to tie them down, they just sit (and roll...depending). Our frame tank goes on the levelest ground we can find, never had a problem with collapsing. If an inflatable is set up on a slope doesnt it lose capacity as well?? As for winter operations - water+cold= frozen, and it doesnt matter what tank!

  13. #13
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    I have three things to say about the round, soft, collapsible tanks. Useless, Useless, and Useless. To each his own, of course, but I've used both types, and I prefer the rigid frame, totally. Most other posters have covered all the fine points, so I won't rehash them, but I have NEVER seen a rigid frame tank that did not work as it was supposed to, I have seen collapsible tanks roll on three occasions. In one instance, the collapsible was yanked out of the way and replaced with a rigid frame that did the job with no problem. On the same slope. As to the carrying of the rigid frame tank on the apparatus, think outside the box. A welder with some experience should be able to zap together a rack, made of angle iron, that would hold the tank almost anywhere. (How about above the hose bed?) Saw a rack that was hinged, so it could be tilted up, and out of the way, when racking hose. Normal riding position is flat, above the hosebed.
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