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  1. #1
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    Question Peterbilt Engine

    My department has ordered a model 335 Peterbilt engine with a Cummins ISC 315 HP motor. It will have a 4 man full response crew cab. They plan to carry 1000 gallons of water with the typical other engine loads. We are a small volunteer department, running about 350 calls per year. I am new to this department and wasn't on the apparatus committee so I did not have a say in this truck. I do not believe that this truck will be sufficient because it is a medium duty truck. We already have one similar from 91 that is under powered but on a bigger chassis.

    Just wondering what everyones take is on this? They won't listen to my opinion.


  2. #2
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    32,we're missing some details here.What transmission and what rear gear ratio? Also are you mountains,hills or "flat"ground? An ISC will haul 1000 with little problem but I don't personally favor any of the "mouse"(9 liter)motors for fire service use.Many communities run them with great success.We run a similar call rate but with a lot "heavier"iron.We won't spec anything under an 11 liter engine and put heavy spec axles and trannies behind that.But we also keep 'em for upwards of 25 yrs.I think you may be pleasantly surprised how well that truck will perform.And sounds like you're locked into it anyway,T.C.

  3. #3
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    Smile power

    I agree with rescue 101 that I prefer the big iron engines, usually 12 liter or bigger. Go to the different web sites like Detroit Diesel where you can find Detroit and Mercedes engines, IH, Cummins and Cat sites. You can get horsepower and torque ratios for the various engine sizes.

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    We are all flat ground for the most part with an occasional hill. I'm not sure what tranny they specd. or rear end ratio. I should find that out once and see what our rear end and tranny is on the older truck. Yes I believe we are locked into this truck but I think I am wrong in that it hasn't been ordered just specs sent out. I'm not sure if they specd. a specific tranny or rear end or what options are with that chassis. Any suggestions? I'm all for some heavier iron too. Thats why i'm here to see if my opinion is justified and something to talk about. Why make a smaller engine work harder? Isn't the 315 the biggest motor you can pur in that chassis?

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    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    I'll disagree on this one. We have a '97 Spartan engine, 325 horse I think (that range anyway) with a Cummins, most certainly the "mouse" motor due to the way we're allowed to purchase items. It does fine with 1000 gallons of water.

    As long as you aren't climbing mountains, I think you'll find it to be adequate. Will it be a race car? Nope. Our '97 gets up and goes just fine though. Especially for the call volume you run, it isn't like you'll be beating the snot out of it running thousands of calls a year.

    I would love to be putting 400+ horse motors in our rigs, but we simply can't spend the extra money. For you to come out of the Pete 335 with anything more than a 330 horse motor, you're looking at a large price increase, different chassis, etc.

    We also drove a demo Pete 4-door with an Alexis body on it, and it drove, accelerated, etc. very well. Our concern with the Pete was not power but with length (turning radius was rough for some of our area) and we we able to get into a Spartan chassis with our trustees' blessing, as long as we justifed why.

    The longevity issue is there, I'm sure, but we've got two 1991 Spartan slugs with very low power motors, I'd bet well under 275 horse lugging 1000 gallons of water. Both are mechanically sound, and any issues we've had with the engines have been minimal, and only cropping up as these units near the end of the service life.

    Yes I'm conservative, but can't afford not to be. That extra $50,000 (just a guess) to jump up to a bigger chassis just got spent over the last three years buying bew bunkers for every non-probie member of my department.

    I think 330 horse if the max you can go in that Pete. Someone here will know for sure.

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    Post Good Point

    I hadn't really considered the cost factor yet. I guess I was just looking for the ability of this 335 to do the job without being overtaxed. If it is borderline the obviously the cost would not be worth it. Also with some of the idiots they let drive these trucks, the smaller slower one will be just fine. Its just hard to say when the 2 aren't sitting next to each other and you can test drive them both. Hence the reason I am here. Still wondering though what tranny and rear end options we have and what anyone here would recomend to optimize this truck. I'm not sure if any of these office guys consider this stuff or just let someone tell them what they need.

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    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    Can you say who the body builder is? Depending on who it is, I would trust them or not...

    We actually down-rated the state-bid IH chassis we just bought from a suspension and axle standpoint on the apparatus manufacturer engineer's advice, as the unit we would have received would have been waaaaaay too oversprung for the weight we're putting on the chassis. We had an older Ford C walk-in rescue that was sprung for a much heavier load than it ever carried, it beat the ever-loving sh*t out of anyone that rode in the back.

    Sometimes those pencil pushers do know what they're talking about.

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    Post Key word "Sometimes"

    The truck will by manufactured most likely by CustomFire in Osceola, WI.
    They've been good to us in the past so I expect no problems. I just want to make sure that the guys ordering the truck know what they're doing.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    801/32,Depending on whether or not Pete will "fire service"the ISC you can tweak the figures given a bit.Go to the Cummins site for the latest info,they've "uprated"the ISC but I don't know what the current max is 'cause we don't/won't use this engine.NOTHING wrong with it except we operate in the southwest mountains of Maine and almost everything is UPHILL.The engine norm around here is 350+,4-500 preferred.But I work around a bunch of 330-335 petes or KW equivalent hauling fuel and bottles gas and they do a decent job.My second dept has an ISC and while it doesn't pull like our ISM's it does a respectable job.On flat ground it should be fine.801,I understand your reasoning.The reason I don't care for "mouse"motors is merely this: These motors started out life as 2-250 hp "parcel"delivery motors(others uses as well),then for "Fire"service use they started "juicing"them up and making changes to the basic unit to get 100 or so more hp out of them.Anytime you do this you scarifice SOME reliability.Maybe not today,or tomorrow but somewhere down the road.Were you to see both engines apart on a bench (the ISM or ISX vs the ISC or ISL)the difference in components is readily apparent.And the Fire service is notoriously easy on equipment,right? Uh huh,get in,start truck,place in drive and see if the fuel pedal REALLY does reach all the way to the radiator.Probably isn't that way in your dept but it fits a few here.That's why I prefer the 11 liter and up powerplants.I save money using them over the life of our vehicles as we currently use them(about 25 years).T.C.

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    MembersZone Subscriber npfd801's Avatar
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    I'm certainly not faulting your reasoning, and I don't think any of your arguments are wrong. I guess I meant to indicate that while we are more or less stuck with the lower end Cummins, we've never had a catastrophic failure of any kind in any of the Cummins motors we have. Heck, the Cat 3208 in our Ford C is only now starting have some minor failures, and its a 1986.

    Trust me...if we had hills, were pulling 2500 gallons around with us, or had loads of budget to play with, there would be some big lumps under our cabs...

    We also have the "luxury" of having a 15 year front line rotation and then a 5 year reserve, so as long as we make it that far, we're good.

    This is how a forum should be...nice banter, point and counter point. Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Default

    We just got the same truck only 3000gal tanker plenty of power, trust them.

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    Default Torque

    Make sure you get over 1000 foot lbs of torque from the engine. That is what gets you up and down.
    Cat C9 is nice at 1050 ft lbs @1200 rpms.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Unfortunately,a C9 is still a 9 liter motor which falls into the same category as the ISC/ISL even though it's a Cat.Enough for flat ground but without gears,lacking on the long pull. Not a motor(engine) I'd spec and certainly not for a 3000 gal load.But I'm not speccing your rigs(but you might like it if I was). T.C.

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    Default Engine/Transmission

    The transmission is tied to the horsepower and torque of the engine. The under nine liter motors all take the EVS3000P (MD3060/3066) or R transmission while the larger motors >1250 ft/lb torque engines take the EVS4000 (HD 4060/4066).

    When ever making a purchase around the motor rememeber the transmission component as it relates to price. The Cummins ISL 400hp/1250 ft/lb with the Allison EVS 3000 satisfies the testorone need for horsepower while giving maximum torque (more important than horsepower in truck driving performance) for the the transmission at a value price in pumper/rescue/ and small stick applications. Unless you're consistantly pulling >7% grades, the bigger motors are a waste in this application. Ask for a transmission SCANN before you buy so you can get a real idea how the apparatus will perform in your area. Contact your city engineer to determine the length of the greatest grade and ask for that percentage in the SCANN.

    As for Peterbilt, I'll take a fire truck cab/chassis over a log truck all day!

    Be safe!

  15. #15
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    And as has been discussed at great length in this forum a "Fire truck cab"is NOT always the best choice for ALL agencies.In MANY volunteer/call depts,they are blessed to get the rig out the door with two people in it let alone 6.For these depts,a "Fire truck cab"is a waste of space and money.I've got both,and my conventionals will go places the Custom won't even think of going.So a lot depends on your area and tactics.You generally won't do much "off roading"in a Custom(Yes,I know there are a few and 4x4 too) whereas a conventional works quite well in this application.Rural roads can fall into this category.So that Pete may VERY WELL be the best truck for the job.And for what it's worth our ISM380 is coupled to a 3060 so while the basic theory on the 3000/4000 is correct the new software allows you a little leeway.And no,it wasn't my choice to use the smaller tranny.Engineer what you need(present and projected future)to sevrve your agencies unique needs.Remember that there is NO one truck does all Firetruck even though sometimes we come close. T.C.

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    Rescue101 thank your for your input. You have given me some good points to consider. People think that specing the right truck is easy (myself included), but there is obviously so much more to it. I probably would like it if you were specing our truck. As for the guys on our committee, I think 2 of them have specd. more than one truck for this department and at that I think thaey have been around for 4. So there isn't much experience there. I would love to sit in on one that was done right and see all the details that were missed.

    Porche911 I am not sure what you mean by SCANN. Is it some type of simulator program? Also, lets not turn this into a custom vs. commercial thread. We all know that there are plenty of those. I myself do not have much experience with the customs, but I know we like our petes and they have served us well.

  17. #17
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Wfire,I can help you there a little too.When you decide on a chassis bring that Mfgs rep in to meet with you.Let me relate the experience as we did it with Spartan.I basically knew what I wanted for minimums in capacity,engine, axles,etc. We brought in our Spartan rep and told him we wanted to move 45,000# at 65mph top end.He got a topo of our response area,found the hardest grade and enters the information into his laptop.With the Engine and load figures the "program'(similar to scann) will give you the missing specs;IE rear end ratio,so the finished rig will perform to your specs.Plus he figured in some niceities(AM/FM CD)a seating change,frt axle change,and a couple other items.The process was pleasant and the rig performs as specced.Now I'm sure Pete will have a similar program.A suggestion;try to find someone with a rig similar to what you want nearby and weigh it.This will give you a gross wt starting point which helps figure everything you need to put in/under the truck.Then get your rep in to help the committee finalize the chassis.Then you get to the big funesigning the body. Good luck. T.C.

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    A SCANN is an Allison program that predicts the performance of a truck based on engine/transmission configuations and GVWR of a truck. It can be used for a custom or commercial (although VERY departments request it on a commercial) truck. Don't be afraid to request one.

    My comment about the "log truck" can be held the same for all "beer trucks". A custom fire truck regardless of OEM is designed to meet the rigors of firefighters. This includes durability (15-20 year life span), room inside the cab for the crew and accomodations for fire specific gear (radio mounting, switching...). I have yet meet a firefighter when $$ was NOT a consideration would choose a commercial over a custom.

    Just my perspective.


    Be Safe!

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    I would tend to agree with that assessment with one exception. If money was no object I would pick nothing but a Pete 379 with ~600 HP, 18 speed and independent air suspension to be a water tender. It is not really too far off from what we run for water tenders around here now.

    Birken

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    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Birken,Why an 18? For our ops it would be a 9 or preferably a 4060.Porche,a well specced commercial will easily last 15-25 years(at least in a rural setting)and we've got FF's that PREFER them over the custom because of the versatility and their performance in slush/heavy snow. Because of the way the weight transfer comes our conventionals will go faster,further,and turn better in sloppy going than our custom.They will also go better "offroad" due to clearance issues. So while a custom MAY be better in an urban setting,it may NOT be the best choice in a rural setting.Again,many factors such as geography,run volume,dept policies and tactics all figure into this decision.Personally,I like a mix.My tankers(tenders) and "satellite"stations to have at least one conventional.Central(downtown) could be all customs.The outskirts have roads that our custom is NOT a good match for.So we "lay in" with a commercial and go to work.The custom works the "farm"(tank).If the customs were the end all,you wouldn't see apparatus mfgs building on commercial chassis.I'd guess that across the US,commercials still outnumber customs at least 2 to 1. And I'm seeing plenty of reports of custom cabs cracking WELL before the 15-20 year threshhold.My conclusion? Most new apparatus,custom or commercial is nowhere near as reliable as the stuff we were using 10-15 years ago.Faster? Yes. More comfortable? Very much so. As reliable? Not even close.I just got rid of two old Internationals that were still passing pump test at 30 yrs old and as long as you could lug enough gasoline would do it for weeks.Not so with electrons,they do what they want when they want. T.C.

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