Diminishing clearance layout - VFIS
All of the layout dimensions on the drawing are for a vehicle of 96" width from outside of tire to outside of tire on the widest axle. Usually this means the rear duals. You must adjust the set-up for each vehicle that will cover the course. I usually measure all of the equipment and then try to pair them up if possible. This past week-end we had a brush and a smaller ambulance that were 87" and 88" wide with the rear duals, so the set-up for the diminishing clearance was 106" at the entrance and 90" at the exit. Most times when you are conducting a short class (16 hrs) the goal of the course is to improve the safety attitude of the students and instill a desire to improve driving skills. 3, 4, 5, or more times around a course doesn't do too much for the operators familiarity with the particular vehicle. In fact, the position of many experts in the field is that 40 or more hours of street and highway driving in the non-emergency mode are needed before a new driver begins to operate the 3rd or 4th due piece out of a station and then only under direct supervision of an experienced driver.
The reason for pairing is that with proper layout where there is no danger of crossing paths between two vehicles, it is possible to keep two trucks progressing at the same time. PA fire academy and VFIS both require a minimum of 3 passes around the course before the student can be given credit. This means that each turn for 20 students, if we allow 10 min. for getting seated, adjusting mirrors and equipment, driving the course and parking afterwards, it would take 10 hours. In addition there is calss items to cover on driving day like course layouit, roll call and any other issues pending from the previous classroom instruction. Adhereing to the 1 truck on the course requirement would limit the class to about 15 students, and is not a practical use of scarce resources.