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  1. #1
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    Default Building your own Water Tender??

    Probley opening up a BIG CAN OF WORMS on this post after what I read about the subject. I built my 2nd Tender a 2,500 Gal Type II Tender after I built a 1,200 Gal Type I one befor. Just did not feel it carried enought water for what they wanted on the fires in Region 6. If built right they are a safe truck and yes you also need to drive one right. I noticed reading in the reports on accidents there were way more deaths in small Type 6 Engines then in Tenders on the wildland fires. I know there is a lot more Engines but concidering all the talk of rolling one I found out of 8 deaths between 1910-1996 one was a privet contractor and the rest were agency or VFD Tenders. If I have my numbers right there were over 47 deaths on the smaller Engines in the same period. Lot more Fire Fighters have died because of other reasons also!! Here is a link to my Photo Site on the one I built. So I guess I am going to get the flack now but I feel it is a well built built Tender and since I drive it I stake my life on it to. 3 years of driving tenders off road I have not never had a problem with one I have built. Looking forward to using the new one in 2006 Fire Season. Mark

    http://imageevent.com/willy/1993freightliner


  2. #2
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    Default Picture of the NFPA Baffles

    The Baffles are 3/16" steel not 10 ga and built to NFPA Standards. In fact the whole tank is made of 3/16" steel along with over 48 interior gussets. Rosenburg Site is where I got a lot of information on building the Tank. I wanted a low center of gravity tank so it is 3 1/2 ft tall, 12 ft long and 8 ft wide. Fully loaded it is about 5,000+ lbs under GVWR and the truck is designed to haul 85,000 lbs Comb GVWR. The load is well ballanced on the axles. 2,000 lbs under on the front and 3,000 lbs under on the rear. Mark

    http://photos.imageevent.com/willy/1...20PAINTED4.JPG

  3. #3
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    Default tanker

    You do what you have to do. If it is built to rigid standards of both NFPA and meets DOT there should not be a problem. Just keep it well maintained.For us larger departments with a sizable budget we will always buy them built by a reputable manufacturer(at least we hope they are reputable) and spend the bucks.Good luck and keep it safe.

  4. #4
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    Default It meets DOT Standards

    Quote Originally Posted by lvwrench
    You do what you have to do. If it is built to rigid standards of both NFPA and meets DOT there should not be a problem. Just keep it well maintained.For us larger departments with a sizable budget we will always buy them built by a reputable manufacturer(at least we hope they are reputable) and spend the bucks.Good luck and keep it safe.
    I allways get excellent ratings from DOT and the USFS inspections that inspect all the Privet Contractor Tenders. One thing about being a Privet Contractor we have to have a CDL Class B licence minium rating including a Tanker Endorsment befor we can drive it along with being drug tested. I also drive a School Bus so I have a Passenger and School Bus Endorsement besides the Tanker Endorsement. Up keep of my Tender is Number #1 to me. By building my own truck I know it is new pertaining to the tank, equipment and sub frame. The truck has been maitained very well and less than 70,000 miles on the engine. It does not compaire to a Regular Fire Departments Tanker but you would not want to take them on the roads I drive on. It is designed for Wildland Fire Fighting only. Mark

  5. #5
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    Default

    what happened to the pictures. It says that the folder doesn't exist.

  6. #6
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    Default No real comments developed?

    Quote Originally Posted by PENNDEL
    what happened to the pictures. It says that the folder doesn't exist.
    Sorry I closed the photo file due to no constructive comments good or bad? 90 veiws & 2 comments I figured this is not what this forum realy was interested in discusing. Must be that most of the guys here are Structure Fire Fighters not Wildland. Mark

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber BVFD1983's Avatar
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    Default

    I'd guess that most everyone just wanted to see the pictures, not comment on them.
    FTM - PTB

  8. #8
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    Default Pictures viewed here

    Quote Originally Posted by BVFD1983
    I'd guess that most everyone just wanted to see the pictures, not comment on them.
    Here is the link to them again. I was hoping there were other guys who built there own equipment here that could give some pointers or did the same thing and could post some information of there own. Hard to find people who have built or are interested in building one. Mark
    http://imageevent.com/willy/typeiitender2500gallon

  9. #9
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    Default

    How much did you have in time and materials?

  10. #10
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    Default Project Costs

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainS
    How much did you have in time and materials?
    The Truck was only $10,000.00 but after the new tires, new clutch, water pump, servicing it I have around $12,000.00 total. Building the Tank, fittings, electronics, lights & wireing around $17,000.00 total so far. So total costs to date minius some hoses and nozzles is around $29,000.00 and no paid labor figured into it, doing it myself. I did 99% of the work but had the metal cut to size. Having built one befor I learned a few things on assembley to make it easier and faster to build. I have around 7 weeks work into it avering 8 hour days. There is over 275 ft of welds (45 lbs of wire) in the tank alone and that part just about burnt me out! Hard part of welding was being inside the chambers. I did most of the welding on the baffles befor I put the sides on. Squaring and leveling the metal takes a while and you have to skip around to keep it from distorting. I used the Rosenburge formulas to ballance the tank and loads on the axles. You have to know the weights of the steel, parts, water, axle distances, truck weight bare frame ect to do this. After I calculated the place the tank had to go I crossed my fingers and it came with in a few hundred pounds of being what my paper work showed! If you move the tank 12 inches one way or the other it will over load a axle or put it right to the limints of it. So your calculations better be right on the first time. I did a lot of research on bolt holding strenghts, tie down requirements ect to come up with the bolts/system needed to hold it on. It has a 5 to 1 saftey margin on the tank full of water. The baffles are allmost twice as thick as needed but that helps going off road with 1/2 full tank loads slaming against them. The truck was inspected by several certified welders later and they gave there blessing on my designs and work. I spent a long time laying it out on paper first to make a material list. There is 4,800 lbs of steel in the total tank assembley. Mark

  11. #11
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    Default

    Sounds like you did your homework on the construction and placement of the tank. As long as you're not overloading the chasis (with special attention given to the braking system) and keeping an eye on your verticle center of gravity it sounds a lot better than some rent-a-wrecks I've seen out there. Curious, your tanker/tender related LODD's sounds a lot low. Are you just counting wildland responses?

  12. #12
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    Default Just Wildland use

    Quote Originally Posted by TARFU262
    Sounds like you did your homework on the construction and placement of the tank. As long as you're not overloading the chasis (with special attention given to the braking system) and keeping an eye on your verticle center of gravity it sounds a lot better than some rent-a-wrecks I've seen out there. Curious, your tanker/tender related LODD's sounds a lot low. Are you just counting wildland responses?
    I only respond to wildland fires with it. I paid for my first tender in one season. I sold that one to build this one so it is paid for also. Yes you depend on getting called out by the USFS, DNR or BIA I also respond with the VFD I work for on wildland fires, that is all we do and it we only fight fires during the summer months. It was a slow year for most guys last year I only went out for 9 days that is why I built the larger one. They are now using the Type IIs a lot more. If I had this tender last year I probley would have had 40+ days on the fires with it at over $1,000.00 a day is not bad for a 3-4 month season. I could do other work with it but I haven't pushed for finding it. I am going to try to get out on some Logging burns and maybe some prescribed fires. Some years are much better then others. A lot of tenders did not even go out last year in this area. Mark

  13. #13
    Forum Member Monrovia1's Avatar
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    Default

    The LACoFD did that they built two water tenders, The vehicles were built by members of LACoFD's maintence shops

    http://www.emergencyrigs.net/viewpho...D=45&Size=med_

    http://www.emergencyrigs.net/viewpho...=299&Size=med_

  14. #14
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    Default Clean Rigs

    Quote Originally Posted by Monrovia1
    The LACoFD did that they built two water tenders, The vehicles were built by members of LACoFD's maintence shops

    http://www.emergencyrigs.net/viewpho...D=45&Size=med_

    http://www.emergencyrigs.net/viewpho...=299&Size=med_
    What was put on the back of them? Is that the pump system or hose storage ect? Seems the rear ground approch could not handle much of a incline but I am sure they are not taken off road if they are in LA, Calif. Mark H.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Firefighter807's Avatar
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    Default

    Content deleted by author.
    Last edited by Firefighter807; 07-08-2009 at 07:17 PM.

  16. #16
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    Thumbs up Truck

    I like the idea of the low tank and cameras. Looks good. JMHO

  17. #17
    Forum Member Res343cue's Avatar
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    Don't mind 807...

    He's just upset because he couldn't get Pierce a contract for this apparatus
    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.

  18. #18
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Default

    If you're going to worry about "liability" EVERY time you go out the door,do us all a favor;Retire and hang up your gear now. There is ALWAYS something you can get bagged with.And it's not necessarily your tanker just because it's "shop" built. Your arguement is flawed.And as long as the vehicle passes the insurance company inspection you'll have no problems insuring it.Our vehicles are inspected by BOTH the Insurance company and the State.They ALL pass and yes,our tanker is shop built. T.C.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber mohican's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighter807
    You can't be serious...

    Who is your liability insurance company? Make sure you keeprenewing your policy. In the event a firefighter or an innocent kid gets killed by that "thing" you may to have the policy handy.

    I think the only person lacking more brains than the builder are the people who climb behind the wheel of that thing and take it public roads!

    Look folks... this is how firefighters get killed!
    welll, maybe he's a retired engineer from pierce?

  20. #20
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    Default

    Looks great to me. The only thing I would change is using a conventional cab truck. That is just my personal preference. I hate crawling in and out of c/o. They are definitely cheaper. We have looked at them for grain trucks but have decided to stay with the conventional. I like the low center of gravity tank design. I would probably make the tank Stainless for longevity. Of course 3/16" mild steel will last a long time. I would love to have that in our station. We don't have a tender. The thought of sending trucks back to get water is a waste in my opinion. The key to driving a truck this big is experience and common sense. The person driving the tender needs to realize that driving a safe speed which is approximately 55mph max is going to get you there just as quick. We have some 5 ton 6x6 that run about 55-60mph. Guys complain about the speed, but if you do a test it is only a matter of a minute or so in response time. If you are rolled over in the ditch you don't gain anything. I also like the 13speed. I have one in my truck. When I first bought it I was intimidated, but love it now. It shifts very smooth. Lots of gear choices. Simple but useable. To the guys that never fight wildland fires whether they be forest fires or fires out here in the plains states these trucks look crude. Not enough chrome. Chrome doesn't put out fire. Water does, and alot of it. Just because an engineer designs a fire truck does not mean that it is safer than this truck. This chassis was designed to carry a heavy load. The baffling in the tank is more than adequate. 2500 gallons on a truck like this would be a walk in the park.

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