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Thread: Pumper/Tankers

  1. #1
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    Question Pumper/Tankers

    What is the benefit of a pumper/tanker? How do you usually use it? Do you use conventional tankers and drop tanks to feed the pumper/tanker at scene while flowing water, or do you use the unit as a tanker shuttling water? How about grass fires, after you shoot off your tank water, do you have to drive back to a hydrant in town to fill? To me, it seems like an awful expensive, heavy truck to be running as a water shuttle.


  2. #2
    Forum Member RAMFIRE42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireman606 View Post
    What is the benefit of a pumper/tanker? How do you usually use it? Do you use conventional tankers and drop tanks to feed the pumper/tanker at scene while flowing water, or do you use the unit as a tanker shuttling water? How about grass fires, after you shoot off your tank water, do you have to drive back to a hydrant in town to fill? To me, it seems like an awful expensive, heavy truck to be running as a water shuttle.
    Ok so here is why we have one. Very rural mountianous community with only one or two water source's. It is our thoughts that with only a few guys we can take 2500 gallons of water with us to a fire and hopefuly get a good knock down before mutial aid shows up 20-25 minutes from the alarm. Now when we do mutial aid to other departments, Pumper-Tanker goes out with a full engine crew. Upon arrival crew reports to IC for orders. Drivers stays with the vehicle to run tanker shuttles with the truck as needed. Our new ALF Pumper-Tanker will cost almost 1/2 of what everyone else is paying for a new pumper.
    Last edited by RAMFIRE42; 02-23-2007 at 06:28 PM.

  3. #3
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    My Vol Department currently runs with a 1250 GPM pumper with 1000 water first due. Our Second due is a 1000 GPM pump with 1800 water followed by a 2000 gallon tanker. Since we cover a large rural area we have a lot of long driveways. The engine can lay in and the pumper-tanker can set up to for supply. If it is not needed for supply it can drop its porta tank and water at the scene and go to draft to refill tankers or operate as a tanker.
    Due to our current daytime manpower shortage we are setting up auto-aide with the surrounding larger departments. Our goal is to have all pumper-tankers; this way if we get a crew out and arrive first we can set up for attack. If auto-aide arrives first and starts attack we will drop off our manpower (if we have any) and operate as a tanker. We have a department near us that operates 3 stations. They have all pump-tankers, so the first arriving starts attack and the rest of the trucks operate as tankers.
    Our 2000 gal tanker will be replaced this year by a pumper-tanker. It is being built by Seagrave-Canada. It is on an International 7400 chassis. Will have a 1250GPM pump and carry 1800 water, side dumps, rear dump, hydraulic porta-tank holder, roll up doors, deck gun. We are waiting for them to get the body on the chassis and we will be headed to Ottawa for an inspection trip. I think the total cost was around $230,000.00 us dollars.

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    We use ours for the multi-purpose angle. First due is a 1500gpm/1000 gallon engine followed up by our 1,750gpm/2500 gallon pumper/tanker. Most fires we fight can be snuffed out by the 3500 gallons we can get on scene. If not, it's going to be a long day/night. At the same time, it provides us with our second engine company that ISO requires. We've got a back-up engine, but it's 30+ years old and has its issues.

    At the same time, we can provide more diverse mutual aid response. Some in our area still use the nursing strategy, so we've got 2500 gallons to do that. We can also tandem pump LDH and have plenty of water to refill most lays. We can also use it to run a fill sight and fill multiple tankers, pulling the tank-to-pump valve if we should have hooked up the other suction hose. It's also got a dump tank and rear 10" dump, along with a 4" rear tank fill, if we do a shuttle.

    Also, if for some reason our first due engine goes down, we've got an equivalent back-up. The pumper/tanker can roll (and has several times now) as first due. Thankfully, we got it about the time we (I probably should say "I") blew the engine on the first due. We were able to run several fires and mutual aid responses with plenty of pump and water.

    There are definite benefits, but you have to look at your department and how you operate. I know several departments that a pumper/tanker would be a waste of money (ours was a grant, so we got the most bang for our buck). They could spend 30-40% less and have more water, since they have the engines to back them. Since we're engine-challenged, it made sense to us.

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    Most of the tankers in this area are pumper tankers (tender) anyway we usually drop the port-a-tank and use it like a conventional tanker. We have also used it as the tank in a nursing operation.
    The attack engine is at the fire, and the tanker is close feeding the attack engine. Then other engines ot tankers pump into us to keep the tender full.
    It works OK for us.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    I think the big problem with some of the pumper/tankers is people make them to big,put a 4-6 person cab on them and try to do way to much for what it's designed for. We have 2, 2000 gal tankers. The trucks are not to long and are easy to get around in. But this all depends on your departments needs. What might work for us might not work for you. Another thing to think about is your roads as well.And we use drop tanks at our fires usually a minimum of 3 tanks are on the ground with 1 of them being a reserve tank in case something happens.And we also operate from dry hydrants to fill tankers when we run our water shuttle. Good Luck.

  7. #7
    Forum Member rschultzjr's Avatar
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    Default Pumper/Tanker

    Our pumper/tanker is a 2 Door Freighliner with a 1250GPM and 2000 gallons of water. We also carry 3 preconnected 1 3/4" hand lines, 300ft of 2.5" and 600' of 5"LDH. It also carries a 14' roof ladder, 24' and a 35' extension ladders, assortment of hand tools, a generator with flood lights, 4 SCBA's, PPV and Exhaust fans, multiple adapters. It has three dumps on it (drivers, officers, and rear) and a 3000 gallon dump tank.

    We primarily use this apparatus for a tender (tanker), but we also use this apparatus as a second out engine if we arrive on scene and find we need more engines, as a back-up engine if our primary engine is out of service, it responds 3rd out on Wildland fires as water supply and if the need arises to protect exposures.

    When my department spec'ed out this piece of apparatus, they figured why spend that kind of money on a truck that does nothing but haul water. It should be capable of doing multiple things. Granted what works for us might not work well for everyone.

    Hope this information is some use to you and anyone that may read this thread.

    Buckle Up!
    Stay Safe!
    Lets do our best to bring everyone home!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpierce View Post
    .... It is being built by Seagrave-Canada. It is on an International 7400 chassis. ....
    What do you have for an engine/tranmission combo? Too much or not enough power?
    Last edited by neiowa; 07-31-2007 at 12:03 PM.

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    Our pumper/tanker runs first due to most of our area. If it's the first engine in, it acts as an engine. The 2000 gallons will give it a good amount of water to make a stop. If it arrives 2nd, it will supply the first engine. I have not seen it used to shuttle water on a house fire in our first due.

    Benefits in addition to having more water is that it requires fewer drivers than a separate engine and tanker. This is especially important during the day when staffing can be an issue. We run an engine, truck and ambulance to all area or commercial boxes, so having enough drivers and crew can be an issue. As far as the cost, the pumper/tanker cost less than a separate engine and tanker.

    On mutual aid calls, it will act as a traditional tanker most of the time.

  10. #10
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    Ours we use primarily as an engine. In the rural area, and sometimes in town (if it's a bigger structure) we'll roll in first out. Most of the time the 2,500 gallons is enough, especially when we've got the extra 1,000 on our other engine.

    If we see it's going to be a bigger fire outside of town and we need to shuttle, we'll alter our strategy and shift it into shuttle gear. We'll put some water off the pumper/tanker while the other truck sets up, if it's not right behind, then dump some water and run.

    I think it gives a lot more flexibility to adjust to what you have going on.

  11. #11
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    We have a 3 level system for tankers in our unhydranted areas. First, here is info on our tanker.

    4 man custom cab (Old Pierce Dash), 3500 Tank, 1250 GPM Pump, 2- 2000 gallon Fold-a-Tanks. 10" dumps on sides and rear. 5" Storz direct tank fill in rear.

    On structure fires without hydrants we operate in this way:

    1) Room and content fire. Tanker (tender) feeds engine through rural hitch (5 inch clappered siamese). Our engines all carry 1000 gallons by the way.

    2) A little bigger than R&C. Tanker feeds engine through rural hitch and mutual aid tanker is connected in other side of hitch. As soon as one is emptied the other starts pumping off and other tanker goes to fill.

    3) The Big One. Tanker sets up Fold-a-Tanks (Always 2 tanks used in tandem) with engine drafting. Tanker operates as conventional tanker.

    This set-up seems to work really well for us. It frees up manpower on your typical room & content fire to fight the fire. If neccessary, you can easily move to the next level. The only times we have had problems is when we have smaller MA tankers (1800-2000 tank and 500 GPM Pump) involved in levels 1 and 2.

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