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Thread: Beverage Truck

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    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    Default Beverage Truck

    Search did not reveal anything... But i'm looking for an article that was published in one of the fire/rescue magazines as to why beverage trucks should not be used for rescues. I cannot remember which one. If somebody could tell me which one, and which issue I would appreciate it. Another dept in our county is looking at getting a used beverage truck who has just gotten into the rescue business, and we're trying to help them along. Can anybody recall the reasons why beverage trucks don't make good rescues?


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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    You can't carry much equipment with all the beer...

    Oh, you mean a former beverage truck...sorry....

    This article wasn't written by someone in the fire apparatus industry, by any chance?

    I would think that as long as you don't exceed the GVWR of the truck, and the load was properly distributed and secured, you could safely put as much equipment as you need....

    Check out these guys, Hackney and Sons

    http://www.hackneyandsons.com/

    ...they make a lot of the beverage trucks that you see on the road, and they also build custom rescues on the same basic design....I don't much see the difference, myself....
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    I've seen a few beverage trucks used for rescues, they seem adequate. One to the east of us is a trailer, packed to the gills with shores, tech rescue stuff, etc. The group added a new 4-door tractor to pull it, and I'll bet they got that setup for a song compared to what some of these folks are paying for their mega rescues for the technical incidents that happen pretty rarely in most places.

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    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Just be careful with the amount of weight the vehicle can carry, what the capacity of the braking systems is, etc. You can always upgrade things on a truck, it's just a tad harder to do if you wreck it first. Have a full inspection done of the rig- cosmetic, structural, and mechanical.

    IMHO, there is nothing wrong with them doing this. A beverage truck is no different then a rescue, other then the use. There are a few commercial cab / Hackney body'd rescues here in Vermont, and guess what? The bodies are near identical to that of a "beverage truck". Except that these ones don't hold your beer and soda pop.

    Pay attention to how you mount equipment. Maybe you need to hire a welder / fabricator to custom build mounts and trays inside of the vehicle, so that equipment can be properly mounted, instead of just strapped in place.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
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    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    I remember that article as well, but like you I can't remember which magazine it was in. I do remember that the author pointed out that (1) by the time the beverage companies get rid of a truck, its usually pretty well worn and (2) the electrical system isn't strong enough and probably isn't NFPA compliant.

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    I would expect a beverage body to be built way better than any "fire body" vehicle, the fire body builders make something to sit around most of the time and rack up a few hundred thou at the very most in its lifetime, the beverage makers on the other hand build something to be competitive in price, and to last many years going up and down the road 6 days a week all day long with dozens of stops and the driver opening and slamming each door dozens of times because he is in a big hurry all the time, I think it is more abuse than any fire vehicle will ever see. In pounds per cubic foot of space the beverages are probably heavier than any rescue equipment you can load into it too. If you buy it from the Coca-Cola co. it will already be red too

    Birken

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    IT WAS IN THE FIRE APPARATUS MAGAZINE, THE BIG NEWSPAPER TYPE PUBLICATION. THE BEST I CAN REMEMBER IT WAS SOMETIME MID TO LATE LAST YEAR. IT WAS A VERY INFORMATIVE ARTICLE ON WHAT WEAKNESSES TO LOOK FOR IN A BEVERAGE BODY.

    WWW.FIREMAGAZINE.COM IS THEIR WEBSITE, MAYBE YOU CAN CONTACT THEM AND GET A COPY OF A BACK ISSUE.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvencius
    I remember that article as well, but like you I can't remember which magazine it was in. I do remember that the author pointed out that (1) by the time the beverage companies get rid of a truck, its usually pretty well worn and (2) the electrical system isn't strong enough and probably isn't NFPA compliant.
    Good point....economically they're probably going to put the truck out to pasture when it gets too expensive to keep fixing it....which probably isn't what you want.....

    So far as the electrical system goes, yeah, you may need to upgrade to handle the additional load of emergency lighting, radio, battery chargers, and whatever other electrical equipment you may end up adding.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc
    Good point....economically they're probably going to put the truck out to pasture when it gets too expensive to keep fixing it....which probably isn't what you want.....

    So far as the electrical system goes, yeah, you may need to upgrade to handle the additional load of emergency lighting, radio, battery chargers, and whatever other electrical equipment you may end up adding.
    But on the other hand...

    You can always add in a shore line pretty cheap, and have radio chargers, powered off that while at the station, and then have a dedicated power line to a compartment that runs off a generator. Yes, there are some downfalls, but you can always work around them. With LEDs, and an electric siren, you won't be looking at that large of a load on the power source. Add in a "Q", and you'll be asking for it, you can pretty much guarentee that.

    If they do a complete mechanical and structural inspection of the truck before they purchase it, they should know what's wrong with it, and what will need to be fixed, and how far down the road. Unexpected things do come up, but if they don't make a spur of the moment, "Lets buy it now!" type of decision, they should be able to find a truck in good condition.
    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleMan
    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

    I A C O J
    FTM-PTB


    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Res343cue
    But on the other hand...

    You can always add in a shore line pretty cheap, and have radio chargers, powered off that while at the station, and then have a dedicated power line to a compartment that runs off a generator. Yes, there are some downfalls, but you can always work around them. With LEDs, and an electric siren, you won't be looking at that large of a load on the power source. Add in a "Q", and you'll be asking for it, you can pretty much guarentee that.

    .
    I agree...it probably wouldn't take a great deal of money to set it up like you want it....basically all you're looking for is a great big toolbox, and it already meets that description After that you can be as simple or as fancy as you want to be (although, if they're looking for a used beverage truck to convert, I'd imagine they're leaning toward "keep it simple".....)
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    Thank you rofd1247, i shall begin the search through our library of Fire Apparatus.

    This is the truck they are looking at: http://www.buckstrucks.com/usedtruck...unit=5684#0101

    I have heard that Mickey bodies are junk. Another thing that crossed my mind is the shelving issue. Most beverage trucks i see don't have shelves. They stack drinks from the bottom. The walls have to support no vertical weight, side to side weight, if any. I don't know the structure design of the walls, but they might not be able to support heavy duty shelving and loaded shelves, unless highly re-enforced.

    They quoted $26,000 or so for that truck, with an "emergency lighting package" for another $6,000. Just my opinion but I think they can find a used EVI or other truck for a bit more and get more for their money, but they don't seem to think so.
    Last edited by HFRH28; 08-25-2005 at 07:28 PM.

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    We used a former beer truck for 10+ yrs as a rescue truck. It was a gift to the dept. Maybe they felt we had bought enough beer over the years to pay for it. It worked well, we built an office in the back with radios, cell phones etc. Cascade system, etc. Then the US Government was kind enough to give us a ton of $$$$ to buy a new one. Rescue/Hazmat, not a beer truck.

    http://www.americanlafrance.com/inte...=21&nd=4&x=351

    Like the others said, like any used vehicle, check it over well. Crawl under it ,over it , in it, drive it, and then just stare at it. and think, "will this work"?

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    Thumbs up

    Nice truck. Can you give me some details of the truck? We are looking to spec a similar type of unit. We would like to have a communications area along with PTO generator and a Q. Your truck is almost exactly what we want.

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    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueflame
    Nice truck. Can you give me some details of the truck? We are looking to spec a similar type of unit. We would like to have a communications area along with PTO generator and a Q. Your truck is almost exactly what we want.
    I posted everything i know about the truck, my department is not looking at the truck, it's a neighboring department. We already have an E-Won't rescue.
    I still have not found the article, but i'm still in search of it. Only other thing i found out about the truck is that the dept wanted a PTO generator, with light tower(s). They told them no PTO options, no light tower options, other than the external bolt on, manual control lights. They did say they would put a diesel generator in for some $15K or so.

    I think they could spend their money better, but it's their money.

    Good luck in your search for a truck blueflame.

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    There is one department around here that had a former beverage truck donated to them for free from one of the local bottlers and they in turn put about $50K into it by rechassising it, repainting it, upgrading warning lights and electrical system and doing some custom fabrication to the compartments.

    To look at it, you honestly can't tell it was a pepsi truck unless you look along the side of it very closely in just the right light, you can see the big pepsi logo underneath. But nonetheless, it is still a sharp truck. I would imagine the same rig from a fire apparatus manufacturer would run $200-225K.

    I wish I had a picture....

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    I'm sorry, I have driven plenty of internationals in plenty of applications, but I would have never guessed the DT 466 engine is only 190 hp? Can that really be right?

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    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    To my knowledge of that year, the bottom of the line DT466 is 210 horse, and still is 210 today.

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    Check out Goodwill Fire Company of Pottstown PA. They have a "former" beverage truck they use for trench and heavy rescue. Real nice layout and it's amazing how much equipment they can fit it.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
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