1. #1
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    Default Rapid Response trucks

    I'm curious to hear some opinions on rapid response/brush/BRAT/whatever else you wanna call them trucks. We're in the market now and we want something versitile and I'd like to hear some opinions on what you guys like, what manufacturers, and even if we're trying to get too much out of one truck.

    Like I say, we're wanting something versitile. We have in our minds something that can move a little water, like a 500 gpm pump (skid or PTO we're still up in the air), but also some compartment space for some loose fire equipment, tarps, etc, as well as EMS equipment (it'll run on all of our EMS calls) and possibly even our extrication equipment.

    We're looking into replacing the booster reel that's so common with 1" forestry single-jacket line for weight purposes. Obviously it's not something we're going to take into the woods and tear up, and the thought is forestry line will be lighter and easier to maneuver, plus we can wye off of a larger hose for longer lays.

    Got some ideas/thoughts?

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    We have a unit just as your describing...
    It has a 380 gal tank with a hale 1000gpm pump that has the standard pump panel of 2 x 2.5 disch each side, 5 inch steamer each side, and a single 2.5 intake both sides. Also has 2 preconnects for 2 1.5 attack lines, a front 1.5 trash line, a 2.5 blitz line off the rear, and a direct tank fill. It carries a typical set of adapters, a multi-purpose rescue tool and pump, spill kit, 4 airpacks with extra bottles, 1000 ft 4 inch supply line, 1 10 ft pike, 1 6 ft pike, 1 24 ft ladder, 1 14 ft ladder, 2 10 ft 5 inch sections hard suction, chainsaw, fire extinguishers, ems supplies (including monitors), water rescue equipment, full compliment of brush "line clearing" tools, standard engine tools, and seating for 5 full grown men. Needless to say this truck will go first on any call and is fully capable of starting to mitigate any incident, giving the larger trucks time to respond with more caution. The only problem we've had was that it was speced on a F-550 chassis and is at its limits, a c-5500 would have done a little better but thats hindsight. If you have any furthur quesions email me.
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    I'd recommend a CAFS, especially on a smaller truck.
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    I agree with Resq14, try to get CAFS, we don't have a truck like you are describing but the big things i notice with trucks like this is they appear to be way overloaded. In the end set the truck up for what you want it to do and what you need it for. Good luck and keep us informed.

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    That idea was in consideration on our unit but was shot down for a few reasons. First was the transmission, which has had a few issues already in pump to road transfer. Getting a pto style compressor was a hard option to spec, and given that we were asking the 6.0 powerjoke to push 1000gpm was stress enough for the tranny. The second was cost, way too much for our operation, and deemed not necessary by the higher powers based upon the fact that we had 4000 gal. on the way and 380 will hold a fire through initial search until the "big guns" arrived. the nail in the coffin was "old schoolism" being that "we've fought fire this way for xx years so why do we need that now" mentality. A straight foam system was considered as well but ran into cost issues and "old schoolism" as well. Although we almost got it for free due to production delays (the contract stated that the maker had x days to deliver or y amount of price had to be refunded, what the maker did was through on "perks" such as an arrow stick, improved lighting, ect). Then again, if we went with a GM product (not saying GM is the end all be all choice here, but it raises my ire that no others were considered) we would have had the allison, which has multiple pto's, which gives you a pump, air compressor, hydraulic compressor, pto generator, (enter other pto option needed here). This chassis has already proven to be a decent piece for the road department already (would be awesome if spec'ed right). All I can say is that what we have works, it does what it supposed to, a few issues here and there, but still, hasn't failed catastrophically.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resq14 View Post
    I'd recommend a CAFS, especially on a smaller truck.
    We're looking really hard at this option, it's just going to be a cost issue and whether we can get it in for our money.

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    Default Our rig

    what my department has is a 96 GM 1 ton with a flat bed. on this is mounted a 350 gallon poly skid unit with booster reel. Its powered by a honda engine but not sure of the gpm rating. it also has 2 side long utility boxes. powerplant is a 350 engine coupled to an auto transmission. even has a/c for rehab. it transports up to 3 personnel.
    This is our first response/quick attack & is always first out. it's set up with (1) 1.5" preconnect and carries all of our medical as well as some brush gear. since we put this truck together, 4 other departments in the county have made their own versions.

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    How about bumper mounted turrets with controls in-cab, and spray nozzles mounted on the bumper? That's another couple of options we're looking at. It's going to be a long, long time before we're able to do something like this again (custom build a brand new rig), so any opinion would be great.

    I'm also curious about guys who have 4-door chassis. Does it limit where you can get into at all? We're looking at the GMC 5500 chassis, which has a tighter turning radius than the F-550's from what I understand, but I don't know if the extra length will make much of an impact on turning radius.

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    with a 4 door chassis you will loose some turning radius...but the question is with a 4 door medium duty chassis would your turning radius be equal to or less than that of a full out engine. The best place to look for information regarding this would be any large wildfire association, organization, or government entity because they run a lot of medium duty brush trucks (I see a lot of internationals in the brush) and see what they have to say...with that said internation may be another one to look at with there 4 wheel drive set-ups. I believe pierce uses them for there larger wildland trucks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    We're looking really hard at this option, it's just going to be a cost issue and whether we can get it in for our money.

    Another viable option is a air tank "powered" (cold CAFS) system. A couple 5000-6000psi cascade tanks will provide a considerable amount of foam. Tanks are obviously heavy but not particularily expensive.

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