1. #1
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    Default False transfer from road to pump

    During a training evolution, an engine was on a hydrant to supply a tower ladder. Pumper was in neutral w/ brake set and switched from Road to pump and placed back in drive. "OK to Pump" light was on. All other indicators showed unit was in pump. Front intake was then attached to hydrant, and front intake was opened. Supply line was charged to the tower. Try to activate Detroit Diesel governor, did not respond. Checked cab functions, tried again, ( in PSI mode). Pumper moved slightly, RPM increased, a violent shake and the pumper bagan to move. Drove over wheel chocks, pulled hydrant out of ground and drove down into a ditch. No injuries were noted.
    Has any one experienced a similar event of failure from road to pump transfer. If so, what were your findings? Please respond to the following e-mail address with any information you may have.

    Thanks,
    Lt. Crawford
    Prince William County Dept of Fire & Rescue
    jtcrawford@pwcgov.org

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    Angry

    Never seen one that was false and took off like you describe. Had em where they would not go into pump or back into road but not between without some real grinding indicator. Could we have some more specifics about type of unit, pump, pump mounting, air shift, electric shift etc. Also try to get help on the www.evta. forum.

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    I've seen problems with pump transfers over the years, but never to the point of doing this kind of damage. In any apparatus I've ever operated which uses a direct transfer of the transmission to run the pump (as opposed to a PTO), the one sure way to know you've successfully transfered from road to pump was to sit in the cab, foot on the brake, and watch the speedometer when you put the unit in drive. If it registers a road speed when the rig is clearly standing still, you're in pump. If not, the transfer failed somehow and you need to get back in neutral right away and start over.

    That's my safety tip for the day...if the speedometer and the pump shift lights are telling different stories, always believe the speedometer.

    As for the cause of your problem, it's hard to say...could be a bad pump shift, could be a transmission problem, could be that you didn't wait long enough for the transfer to take place, could probably be other things. When I've had this problem in the past, I always caught it right away (by watching the speedomoter) and simply backed the whole process up and started over, usually with success. I don't really know what else to say. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by bobsnyder; 06-09-2005 at 04:44 PM.

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    Holy smoke..........this incident has crossed my mind a few time while on the pump panel. Even though I've never heard it happen to anyone. Its usually at this time that I will go and recheck everything.....don't know why but it sure makes me feel better.
    I don't know about your pumper but mine has a couple of safeties that prevent this from happening....atleast thats what the wrench has told me.
    Do you know what kinda transmission transfer assembly you have on it? Midship transfer, rear mount, direct drive, pto????
    Its definetly a critical failure though........yea I know I didn't have to say that! ha.
    I guess the good thing is that it was at training and not on scene and that no one was hurt from it.

    I'm wow'ed by this though.......makes you think.

    Keep us informed on what the wrenchs find on it....you have our attention.

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    Happened to us on a 1982 Pierce engine. Went through a small parking lot and into a resident's garage. Don't know any of the specs as the truck is gone now. I can say the cab looked like a garbage truck cab, even had the little spy windows towards the bottom of the doors so you could see the curb. Same truck, when tilting the cab one day, hinge broke and the cab fell off. Don't miss it at all.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    This is more common on older units that dont have the allison world transmission. Because the trans requires an electrical signal from the pump when shifted to lock up into 4th gear or if it does not get this signal it can throw an error code. What year and type of truck is this? What type of fire pump and transmission. If it has a fire commander is sounds as if it is a newer unit. One thing that i have seen is if the engineer is a bit fast when shifting from road to pump and hitting the trans selector it can throw a false signal to the trans and not lock up. Only seen this a couple times in 18 yrs of wrenching. It also could be that the gears in the pump did not mesh into each other but i would think that once the trans turned it would slap in rather harsh. Some further info could help also check out the evta.info website. you can post your question there to a group of techs that work on a varity of equipment. good luck jeff

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    In a scenario like this, why doesn't the hose break before a hydrant?

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    Originally posted by Res343cue
    In a scenario like this, why doesn't the hose break before a hydrant?
    Believe it or not, I actually know of a couple of cases of nitwits trying to move apparatus without unhooking hose lines, and similar idiocy, and it almost always goes this way...the hose comes out undamaged or, at least, in one piece (whether it passes a subsequent hose test is another question) and either the hydrant or the pump connections (intakes or discharges) end up being displaced or snapped off. Some fire hose, apparently, is strong stuff.

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    Originally posted by Res343cue
    why doesn't the hose break
    Hose is increadibly strong. Consider this:

    100 feet of 5 inch hose has a surface area of (100ft*12in/ft)*(5in*pi)=18,840sqin
    Apply 200psi to that hose and you get (18,840sqin*200psi)= 3,768,000lbs of pressure.
    Yes, over 3 million pounds of force applied to each section of your LDH hose.

    The force of elongation when charged to 200psi is surface area (pi*r^2)of the ends of the hose times pressure, 2((5in/2)^2*pi)*200psi=7,850lbs

    So just to pass annual hose testing, it has to be able to withstand nearly 4 tons of stretch before you add a safety factor.

    That's why we always wear our helmets when testing hose
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    Hi,

    Same happened here in Montreal Canada resulting in a LODD. Engine stated to move, engineer tried to run and jump in to stop it and got stuck between the vehicule and an electric post...

    Regards,

    Sly

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    I'm a LT on a ALF (american lajunk) which has a real problem going into pump. You have to stop and set the brake and then wait a couple of seconds then shift to pump and wait another couple sec and then shift to to drive. You have to make sure the transmission says the transmission is in 4th gear and that the OK to pump lights are on. Then you have to check to make sure the pump panel OK to pump lights are also on. Then everything should work OK with the operative word being "should". ALF says we are shifting too fast and the problem is not theirs but ours. This does seem to have corrected the problem so they may be right. Who knows.

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    On a standard centrifugal pump that runs off of the truck's transmission, whenever you pull the little lever or do whatever you do to put it into gear, you should hear what sounds like the air releasing. There should then be a clicking noise. That's usually when the pump is in gear. I always listen for that, despite what the light says.
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    One of the best things I have found to go by is the speedometer. With the allison, you flip the switch, wait for the green light, put it in drive. If the speedo doesnt instantly go up to 15 or so MPH, she's not in gear. It's not absolutely the best way, but it's a start.

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    Very Interesting !!!! We had the same thing happen a couple of months ago during training. Here's the scoop:
    Truck: Intn'l with 350 Cummins and World Transmission, Yr.2000
    Pump: Hale 1250 Single Stage
    We were doing dry hydrant evolutions when it was noticed that the truck did not go into pump. After looking over things we found the following things existed:
    1. Truck was indeed not in pump
    2. Truck was in "a" road gear which was "not" indicated on the shift console. It was lit up but the gear wasn't indicated.
    3. Transmission temp guage read extremely high
    4. Transfer would not work either way. road-to-pump or pump-to-road
    5. Transmission would not manually change the gears. No reverse.
    We had to dig the wheelchock out of the road before we could drive the truck home. It drove and shifted fine but, the shift indicator did not indicate what gear it was in. The truck would still not go into reverse! The temp. guage also dropped a bit.
    We pulled the truck into the bay nose-first (in case it needed towing) and shut it down. We then checked the transmission for a hot smell and for burnt oil smell. None! Tranny oil looked great.
    Truck restarted fine and everything returned to normal.
    Here is what we were told by our factory truck repair center.
    Evidently, if you don't shift the pump transfer all the way to pump before putting the transmission into pump gear, it can confuse the computer in the tranny. An operator-in-training did just this at our dry hydrant training. He only shifted the pump transfer as far as the neutral position and did not wait for 2nd green light to come on indicating that the truck was in pump. He noticed that the green light was not lit on the pump panel. He DID NOT know that the truck was still in a road gear!!!
    Fortunately, we looked things over carefully and our truck didn't "drive away" possibly killing someone! As I did mention though, we did have to dig the wheel chock out of the dirt road because the truck was constantly trying to "drive"
    I'm not a big fan of all the "helpful" new electronic stuff on newer trucks. In the past, a gear was a gear and you KNEW when it was in.
    So, be careful with these automatic transmissions and I'd love to know more info if anyone has any. This is really DANGEROUS.

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    I'm sorry I cannot recall the make of truck and pump for this one, but I do know the truck was quite new. It was purchased in late 2003 if I remember correctly. I was at a pump training exercise with a neighboring department. The asst chief was demonstrating the new computer-controlled pump panel while hooked to a hydrant. I asked what would happen if for some reason the engine died- would the computer reset automatically? He killed the engine, then restarted. The pump panel showed pump in gear. As he throttled up from the pump panel, the truck proceeded to drive forward under power. Fortunately, a firefighter was nearby and was able to get into the cab to stop the runaway truck. All I can figure is that the power loss allowed the transfer to shift back into road gear, while the pump panel still showed the transfer in pump mode.

    Again, sorry to be vague. I have told the chief of the neighboring department about this thread, so perhaps he can add more. Someone is going to be injured or killed if this problem continues.

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    Originally posted by MaximI
    He only shifted the pump transfer as far as the neutral position and did not wait for 2nd green light to come on indicating that the truck was in pump.
    Just for clarification, there is no "neutral" in a Hale air-shift transfer case, you are either in road or in pump (unlike a 4WD transfer case). The intermeadiate position on the air shifter just releases the hold-in air pressure on the shift piston, it does not move the shifter until you complete the stroke of the shifter. So your operator never put the truck in pump, at least physically (how the computer detects pump is a different matter).

    The high tranny temp is to be expected, as the engine was turning, but the torque converter was stalled since the rear wheels were locked by the brakes and the chocks. This causes all the horsepower from the engine to covert to heat in the fluid coupling of the torque converter. In the past I've used this (in gear, brake set, at idle)to heat up a tranny at idle to properly check the fluid levels. Luckily, most fire apparatus have much larger tranny coolers than road trucks and prevented you from frying your oil.

    An alert operator should notice this condition from a number of visual clues. Besides the lack of pump pressure and the speedo reading zero, the truck will "torque" up (twist to one side) as you increase the throttle, it will sound labored, and the RPM will not increase as would be expected if you were in pump. You might hear a low moan from the brakes as the truck begins to creep forward.

    In fact, I could use this as an argument against the use of chocks. If you have chocks down and throttle up enough overpower the brakes and then climb over the chocks, the truck will suddenly take off at a pretty good clip. Without chocks, the truck will start to creep forward slowly as the throttle is increased, giving the operator enough notice to throttle down before it moves quickly away.
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    Originally posted by vfddoc
    He killed the engine, then restarted. The pump panel showed pump in gear. As he throttled up from the pump panel, the truck proceeded to drive forward under power.
    Something seriously wrong with this truck or the operator screwed up. The truck should not be able to start, the neutral safty switch should not have allowed the engine to start w/o puting the tranny back into neutral (possible if it was a standard, but then it would have stalled instantly when the clutch was let off). Unless the unit was a PTO pump-in-gear truck, the pump shifter is air powered and not connected to electrical power in any way. In fact there are only 3 items on new pumpers that are direct controled and not processed through the computer, that being the steering wheel, the brakes, and the transfer case shifter, the last being an NFPA requirments as I recall.

    I would suspect that the operator got into the cab and had to put the tranny in neutral to restart and must have also put the transfer case back into road. I speak from experience, from having repeatedly shut down trucks that were in gear then forgetting to put them back into neutral prior to trying to start them. You can shut it down and restart as often as you like, the pump will stay in gear and the computer will be fine, you just have to be in neutral to start the engine.
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue
    In a scenario like this, why doesn't the hose break before a hydrant?
    Good Hose!

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    Been there done that FairHaven, VT approx 2001 live burn the handlines got ripped out of the hands of FF inside, I beleive the apparatus in question is like a 93/94 E One, can't remeber for sure what they actually figured out what happened.

    never stand between 2 apparatus

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    Good Morning,

    I have been an operator for 13 years and never had an incident such as this, however I have heard a lot of stories.

    Something has to be said for operator error and regular truck maintenance. If the brakes are set, and in working order, the truck should never roll away. It will however if the brakes are not adjusted correctly.

    There was another instance where a truck jumped out of pump gear while drafting and ended up in a river... trucks fault? operator error?

    Computer problems with truck... maybe... I chalk most cases up to operator error.

    My 2 cents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebuzz
    If the brakes are set, and in working order, the truck should never roll away.
    I have to respectfully disagree. Parking brakes are held with a spring which generates the equivalent of roughly 30-40psi of air, and only on the rear axle(s). By compairison your road brakes use 95-120psi on all axles.

    Park brakes should hold the truck on any incline you're likely to see on the road, and they should hold the truck in gear fwd/rev up to 1000-1200rpm, but almost all will eventually start slipping somewhere above that point.
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    everything is getting to computerized,

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    Quote Originally Posted by adammowry
    All other indicators showed unit was in pump.
    What were the indicators? Did the speedo raise up? Did the pump actually engage and start building discharge pressure?

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    We had the same problem on a 1997 FL80 commercial (freightliner) cab w/ a Waterous pump. Truck was a Superior built by E-One in Red Deer AB, CAN. This truck has a PTO air shift. Everything appeared to be fine, got out of the truck and began to throttle up the truck and the truck started to slowly roll. I immedeately shut the truck down and started over. That was the only time we've ever had a problem.

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    Mikey, a quick question:

    You say "Airshift PTO" do you mean PTO or Transfer case?
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