After a search, I didn't find what I was looking for. I know the typical items about the ext. cab being longer and less manuverable, and the typical things(I have two in my driveway, however they do not run as brush trucks). What i'm looking for is personal experience from those of you with extended cab long bed brush trucks. What is your opinion on it? Does the ext cab limit it's manuverability TOO much? Do you curse it and wish for a regular cab? GVW and all other things aside, i'm looking at the manuverability stand point. Have you taken your ext cab long bed the same places the regular cabs can fit?
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Thread: Extended Cab Brush Trucks
01-05-2006, 11:20 PM #1
Extended Cab Brush TrucksService is the rent you pay for having space on earth.
01-06-2006, 12:03 PM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
Are you talking extended cab as in 4 door club cab, or the "extended cad" cab? If your looking at a club cab long box - dont! These trucks are meant to get into tight places and they just cant do it as easily as a regular cab. A neighbouring department has one and well the old one broke in half due to stress put on the frame going over a bump. We spin circles around the extended cab in tight areas with our small bush truck.-I have learned people will forget what you said,
-People will forget what you did,
-But people will never forget how you made them feel!
01-06-2006, 12:10 PM #3
It all depends on the truck, water tank, pump etc.. Will that extended cab cause unnecessary weight and cause you to get stuck? We have one with an extended cab but I have not seen it in a pretty long time so I cannot give you specifics. Has worked well so far. Possibly BC79er can fill you in on this.
I can tell you that having the extra space is great for holding more personnel but in turn that is not the primary function of a brush truck."Training doesn't make you a good fireman, fighting fire makes you a good fireman"
01-06-2006, 12:23 PM #4
I've had the extended cab in the past and won't go back. A brush truck for our area must have the tight turning radius and be able to go down the back roads that have sharp turns. Too often you find yourself doing a three point turns to get out of tight spots just as often a a pumper would. Also, even small hills can cause problems if the truck is too long.
I do not agree that the extended cab will not hold the weight though. If a truck "breaks in half", seems to me it may have been under spec'd for the desired load and application.IACOJ
01-06-2006, 02:42 PM #5
This particular Ext cab we're looking at is 4 door, but NOT crew cab, and long bed. I haven't had the chance to go measure the overall length yet. We are not concerned with the weight problem, just manuverability. The ext cab has a higher GVWR than the regular cab and a higher "cargo load capacity" for the bed-loading.Service is the rent you pay for having space on earth.
01-06-2006, 05:09 PM #6
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
- Cypress, TX
The one jmitchell mentioned is an F350 extended cab, 5.4L. We haven't had any problems turning or anything, but then again we don't really have trees and hills to deal with. TX is pretty flat where we're at.
Single axle is the way to go in the rear, the other beast someone put together was diesel and dually. Spit on the ground and it gets stuck b/c it's too heavy. We only use the back for equipment so it's not crammed around the bed.
Cypress Creek TX has a crew cab F350 that they run all over the place and haven't really gotten stuck that I've heard of.
01-06-2006, 07:51 PM #7
- Join Date
- Apr 2005
We have been debating wheather to buy a single rear wheel or dually. What kind of mud are you guys driving in to get thoes duallys stuck? With 4wd I would think they could go through almost anything.
A lot a departments I know of use a F450 or F550 with a flat bed and a skid unit as a grass truck. They can go through quite a bit. Around here there are guys that plow snow with duallys and dont even need 4wd.
01-06-2006, 08:01 PM #8
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
- Cypress, TX
Everything around here is clay based. Get it wet, and it sticks to everything. The few times the dually got anywhere near water the crud just caked up in between the rear wheels, and the front end was too heavy to do anything but get itself dug in deeper. Lots o' torque, no traction. It has a flat bed on it with tool boxes, so it's heavier than the average bear, hence the dually.
So with the newer one, single axle, skid unit and we took the advice of the local off-roading shop guys and put on real mud tires. And we added some leaf springs to keep the back end from sagging since it's a 1 ton and the 250gal of water weighs that much by itself. After all, not too much difference between F350 and F450 but price and a couple of springs.
01-07-2006, 12:18 AM #9
I say it depends. If your grass fire/field fire work is like here, all a rig has to deal with 99% of the time is flat prairie, corn fields, etc. A lot of departments around here have longer four door pickups with skids, and do fine. Here you've got acres to turn around in. It just depends on the the type of "brush" fire you'll be fighting.
01-07-2006, 03:44 AM #10Originally Posted by npfd801
We're the same way around here.. We haven't seen a hill in ages and tress are few and far between. It's very uncommon for us to go to a brush fire that we can't get our pumper to, and if we can't drive to it with the pumper we're walking to it. It'd be no problem for us to have a long truck (we would have gone 4 door with our rescue but didn't have room in the facility).
So you need to look hard at the area you cover to make your decision.
Do you have long stretches of narrow road with no areas to turn a large truck around? If you need to make a quick exit you need to be able to get a truck turned the right direction quickly.
Do you have backroads with tight corners? Like someone else said, you don't want to be making 3 point turns on every backroad corner.
Do you REALLY need the additional cab space? (I think that needs to be your first consideration). What will the additional space be used for? (Personally, depending the chassis, I think getting guys in the back of a club cab pickup is tough). Do you find yourself short of crew member space going to brush fires because of lack of room?Justin W
Volunteer Page Fire/Rescue & Ambulance - Page, ND
01-07-2006, 12:04 PM #11
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
- Penn Valley, Ca
Here in California most brush trucks are nearly as big as pumpers these days and we still manage to get them where they need to go. They collect a lot of scratches but their function is not to be pretty. One thing that has made them a lot easier to deal with lately is the turning angles of the front wheels available from manufacturers have been improved greatly. Also, everyone is not stuck on 4wd. Most of them are 2wd and it suits me just fine.
01-07-2006, 11:45 PM #12
- Join Date
- Oct 2000
- Gregory, SD
For us a shorter wheelbase and dual rear wheels are required. A short turning radius and steep approach and departure angles are important. We have steep hills, canyons, dry creeks, etc.. We have soft sand to the south and gumbo to the north. Duals are the only safe way to carry the weight and aid in stability on sidehills. Duals aren't good in mud but we don't fight many wildland fires if it's wet. We try to keep mud and snow tires on everything to help with traction.
We have a few firefighters that can get stuck on dry pavement but the good drivers have no trouble getting around.
01-11-2006, 12:45 PM #13Originally Posted by BirkenVogt
In looking at our next brush truck we will probably look a "medium" 4x4 chassis like international, GMC, freightliner and "super singles" vs duals - and the super single trade off is that if you have to use it on snowy roads, it's a little more squirrelly than dual rear wheels. Again, back to intended use.
another advantage of stepping up to a "medium truck" from a pickup is that you can get a crewcab/chassis that will turn inside a standard light duty pickup. Plus you get chassis/brakes/tranny that are meant for the load it will be seeing. But we never overload pickups, do we?
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