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Thread: Top Mount Pumps

  1. #21
    Forum Member axemanst3's Avatar
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    could have used them today... a total of 15 companies just spent 14 hours on the scene of a huge brush fire in our second due. I was there from about 1pm until 3pm when i had to go to work and after my 8 hour shift i had the great idea to call and see how their men were holding up... of course this landed me a spot driving our tanker until 03:07 hrs!


  2. #22
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    One thing that I have noticed over the years is that most people get a preference to one pump style or another by what they started on. When you become familiar with one style or another itís sometimes difficult to change.

    Although I ďgrew upĒ on an old front mount, we now have two enclosed top mounts. The front mount and side mount are similar insomuch that as an operator you can get a much better feel of how the pump is reacting by listening and putting your hand on the hoses. Of course this depends if the intake and discharge hoses are on ďyour sideĒ on a side mount. If not then as an operator I find that Iím running blind. Even with the feel issue with the pump, I certainly donít miss having to dance around the spaghetti. With a top mount Iíve just learned to listen to the pump closer. When it makes certain noises I simply look at the appropriate gauge and make the adjustments as necessary. Even if I find myself climbing up and down much more, I find that the added visibility (50% of the time) is worth it.

    Probably the biggest reason we chose the heated enclosed top mount pump is that it gets BITTERLY COLD here. I sure donít miss freezing my ***** off standing on the ground. Iím not particularly well versed in how cold it gets in eastern Maryland; however I would imagine when it does the humidity cuts right through you.

    There is a little known (at least in the USA), long established fire truck manufacturer in Winnipeg Canada called Fort Garry Fire Trucks (ISO 9001) that builds many styles of apparatus from salt water grade aluminum that may fit your needs. Their fit and finish is excellent and are truly one of the manufacturers that will custom build and not merely add options. As far as cold weather service is concerned, they have built a fleet of trucks for Nunavet in the Arctic. Before you ask, no I do not work for Fort Garry.

    Like someone previously said, itís a Ford, Chevy, Dodge thing. Personally I like the top mount.

    Stay Safe
    Firefighter1962

  3. #23
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    I spent the first 10 years on a side mount, love it, no issues, but our new rig is rear mount, and I mean rear, as in the panel is on the back end of the truck, (see pic) not the side rear, and after some adjustment I don't mind them, as for the top mount, yeah, its a good idea, but we avoid them simply due to length issues, small stations, etc. I am sure they have there place.
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  4. #24
    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    I am raising this from the dead....


    Does anyone know if is there a significant cost difference between top mount and side mount??
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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  5. #25
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    Jason if I recall .........there was not that big of difference........that was in 2008 when we spec'ed our 09 KME..........it just added length due to WB .......I am sure someone will come in here and give you some more current data.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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  6. #26
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    Same here with ferrera. It was negligible.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  7. #27
    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    Unless you want to get fancy (enclosed pump panel), they're pretty close.

    I like having a view of the fireground. That limited manpower thing might mean I'm running the incident while I'm running the pump - it's happened around here before.

    If our engine is the fill site rig it gives a better view of the overall operation and gives us the ability to have "parking spaces" available without a lot of hand signals, etc.

    Being above the drop tank helps keep track of that operation, too.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  8. #28
    Forum Member FFWALT's Avatar
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    When I started pumping trucks we primarily had side mounts and of course that is a "real" fire truck to me. I also like being able to "lean" into the LDH when moving a lot of water because you get that extra input that you are out pumping your water supply before everything starts to react on the panel and beyond.
    With that said, I am a fan of top mount pump panels for the primary reason of safety. Apparatus positioning can mitigate the operator being in traffic but sometimes you just can't avoid it. The other big advantage is being able to see the scene. Again, positioning can mitigate this somewhat but not always. With the top mount you can see that the guys are ready for water before they call for it, once things settle down and water is flowing the pump operator can then assist with being the extra set of eyes on the fire ground, almost as an additional safety officer.
    Downside of course is the 24-30" it can add to the length of the apparatus. Upside is that you can get at least 2, if not three, speed lays under the pump panel which I think are pretty easy to reload by using the cut outs that allow you to feed hose. We also have an engine with a flip up lid that has two cross lays side by side.
    One our last two engines (E33 2 years in service, E31 under construction) we spec'd electronic MIV valves on the intakes with a bleeder valve located on the pump panel. We eliminated the external MIV which helped us in two ways. First, once the LDH is connected the operator has control of bleeding the line and opening it without having to lean over the side or coordinate with someone on the ground. Second, when we draft the Storz hard suction hooks right up and again the operator has full control. We also utilize jet assist low level strainers to ease the transition.
    We also utilized some of the "dead" space on the side of the pump module by having a cord reel installed on each side. Saved us compartment space and made the cords easily assessable.
    I have seen pictures of a Sutphen and I believe a Pierce that had a Top Side Mount pump panel. Those are the two I remember off the top of my head but I'm sure anyone could do it. The pump panel is located on the side of the truck in the traditional side mount position but is elevated and laid out similar to a top mount pump panel. I consider it to be the best of both worlds in a way but I have never used one.

    Good luck,
    Walt
    Last edited by FFWALT; 07-17-2011 at 05:53 PM.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    FyredUp,

    ...but more importantly it adds length to the wheelbase making driving the apparatus more difficult to drive than similarly configured side mount pumps.
    Glad you emphasized this. An additional 12-24 inches in wheelbase can significantly reduce the turning radius: Probably not an issue in a rural setting, but a potential problem in an urban environment.

    C6
    Last edited by Command6; 07-17-2011 at 07:09 PM.

  10. #30
    Forum Member HuntPA's Avatar
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    Front mount

    Save the wheel base, you have 3 side visibility, out of traffic, easy to operate.

  11. #31
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    Post Topmounts

    The ONLY "Engine" my dept has is a topmount (we also have a quint). We do not have many fires but being in Minnesnowta it does offer it's advantages with the operator being out of the elements on fire scenes and vehicle crashes. Especially since the the pump operator isn't doing strenuous activity. I think all the "pros/cons" here are very good points. I guess it comes down to what suits your dept the best!!! Good luck with your purchase and be safe everyone!!!

  12. #32
    Forum Member axemanst3's Avatar
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    Wow... I haven't logged onto here in almost two years. Here I am just looking through some old posts, and I stumble on this one which is four years old. My good buddy Jason must have been thinking along the same lines as me! just about a week earlier I guess.


    Well, a lot has changed in the last couple of years. I made Deputy Chief last year, the youngest one in the history of the department (by age not service time.) We did indeed get a rescue pumper. After many many hours of specs and traveling, we found that there was no way that the department could afford a new rig.

    about six months ago we found ourselves in Gaffney South Carolina looking at a used rescue engine.


    ARE YOU READY FOR THIS..... ITS AN ALF!


    I know guys, don't pass out. It is a 2003 ALF with a rescue body and an 8-man enclosed cab. I will start a new thread on it maybe later this week so you guys can check it out.

    I missed all of my brothers here and am glad to be back.
    JOHN 15:13

    ISAIAH 43:2



    1st Asst. Chief Ray Johns

    FF/NREMT-B

    Marion Volunteer Fire Department

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