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  1. #1

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    Default Request for discussion of mini pumper trailer tender concept.

    I would like to hear a discussion of the pros/cons of having a mini pumper pulling a water tender trailer. The trailer would serve as a portable tank at the fire site while the mini pumper would fill other tankers from a remote site.

    Thanks


  2. #2
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwwright View Post
    I would like to hear a discussion of the pros/cons of having a mini pumper pulling a water tender trailer. The trailer would serve as a portable tank at the fire site while the mini pumper would fill other tankers from a remote site.

    Thanks
    Towing trailers takes special skills on an emergency apparatus, transporting water/liquid takes special skills. Add them together and without a skilled operator you can get into trouble.
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    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    How much water are you thinking about putting in this trailer? It could add up weight wise really quick and you could be overloaded. Be carefull.

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    Intresting idea, but from a practical standpoint I see problems.
    Number one is weight, even using say a Ford F550 chassie once your add a tank, pump, cabintery tools, hose, etc. Most if not all the GVW will be used up, now a trailer with even 500 gallons will add and additonal 2 tons of weight to an already stressed suspension.
    Even with electric brakes on the trailer braking will be a factor in an unbaffled tank.
    Drivers will have to be able to back a trailer and if you position it in the wrong spot at the scene its going to be hard to move.
    Towing a trailer in inclement weather is no fun.

  5. #5
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    I'm assuming you're talking about using the tank trailer as a nurse tank? If that's the case, you'r slowing your dump times as compared to a conventional dump tank. To dump, tankers are going to have to pump off their load into the trailer.

    As mentioned, you'd have to contend with the fact that you are pulling the trailer and the fact that the trailer is a tanker. You're also going to have to take into consideration the tongue weight of the trailer on your chassis, braking capabilities, etc.

    If you had a heavier "mini-pumper" like on a mid-size chassis, you might be able to pull it off. If I were going to do it, I'd make sure I had a truck with air brakes and an air brake system on the trailer to help stop it. I'd also make sure everyone was very well trained and capable of driving the rig.

    All-in-all though, I think I'd stick with dump tanks and tankers. It's cheaper, quicker, and easier.

  6. #6
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    Not the worst idea in the world if you have a truck of sufficient size to handle the load. Cl5/6 with air brakes would be about right.

    Your truck have a rear suction hook directly to a drain in your trailer tank. 3" = 300gpm, 4"=600gpm.

    If you want to test idea on the cheap, get a 400gal "water buffalo" from DOD surplus thru your state forester (FEPP program). Frequently/easily available. Your only cost would be for pickup. Very nice 2wheel trailers rated at 1.5t load, air over hydraulic brakes (so you could convert to electric or inertia brakes if you don't have air). Get SS tank version and could easily add some baffles (these don't come baffled for tank cleaning reasons). All have a large manhole on top for access or tank fill. CG is a bit higher than might be desirable as tanks are cylidrical.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber redbaron's Avatar
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    I think it's a great idea, I've proposed this myself many years ago. When using the correct equipment it is 100% safe. I would pull it with a Pumper/Tanker with plenty of Horsepower. The trailer would be 5,000 gallon with a large sump and 2,000 gallons of water tightly baffeled in the bottom of the tank for maximum roadability. A pump could be installed on the trailer so the unit could be self sustaining and placed out of the way. This rig complete would be much smaller than most pumpers. Dumping water is great if you have one fire at a time and plenty of room but you certainly increase your options with this type of equipment.

    This is also a good place to address driving concerns. This large, intimidating looking piece of equipment, in the hands of a decent operator, is much safer than a maxed out piece of equipment hurtling at you with two axles and a set of hot brakes. This five axle rig is also very manuverable and with the load adjusted for Fire Department use should handle quite nicely.

    dwwright, welcome to the outside of the box!
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    A nearby department has the largest tanker in the lower penisula. Its a 7200gal tractor trailer. It has s 500gpm pump mounted under the belly of the tank. Its not small enough to take down driveways. It parks along the road, then runs a 5" to the pumpers on scene. it is basically a portabal hydrant.

  9. #9

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    Default Request for discussion of mini pumper trailer tender concept.

    Thanks to all for comments. I find it valuable to get as many ideas as possible before I arrive at my conclusion.

    I had been considering the mini pumper to only carry the pump and hose.

    The trailer could be a 5th wheel keeping the center or gravity as low as possible, while still allowing the tankers to dump.

    I'm still working on the idea and need to put a drawing together with some weight calculations. I was hoping someone else had done the detail work.

    Thanks again. All good ideas worthy of consideration.

    Dennis

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    MembersZone Subscriber redbaron's Avatar
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    Even on a bad day its gotta make you feel good to see that bad boy "pool" up. Definite case where bigger is better, you can park it a quarter mile away and it still works.
    Aerial guys please read this!
    METZ AERIALS: "SO EASY A CAVEMAN CAN USE THEM"

  11. #11
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    Perhaps you missed the part about the mini pump? You can put 2000 behind it if you want,I'm not going to.A colossal waste of time and energy in my opinion and I'm pretty liberal.You need water? Deliver it in 3500 gallon "cans"and plenty of 'em.Works for us. T.C.

  12. #12
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    Default Reminds me of the old army jeeps with trailers

    I remember years ago small towns getting army surplus jeeps with front mount 500 gpm and pulled a 2 wheel trailer with a small tank.

    I was on a department years ago that looked at this concept - all we had was a pickup as a grass rig and our county only had 1 tanker, so their was times we only had 250 gallons for a while. We looked at a tandom axel trailer with a 1000 gallon tank - would have extended our water x 4 - but still we would have only been cooling foundations. County finally poneyed up and started buying used engines and building tankers out of the used county dump trucks (once a dump truck was to worn out to haul rock/push snow, it was ready to be a fire truck).

  13. #13

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    Thanks for all of the excellent discussion ideas. I find it helpful to receive ideas from as many experienced individuals as possible before I make any concrete decisions.

    I originally was thinking about a 4x4 truck containing only a pump and hose. The trailer could be a 5th wheel with the tank low enough that tankers could dump.

    I need to get a design on paper with specifications to see if it would work. I was really hoping that someone else had done the detail work.

    Thanks again for discussing this with me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchkrat View Post
    County finally poneyed up and started buying used engines and building tankers out of the used county dump trucks (once a dump truck was to worn out to haul rock/push snow, it was ready to be a fire truck).
    How many gallons would one of those wood stave tanks hold?

  15. #15
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    Default Milk Tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    How many gallons would one of those wood stave tanks hold?
    At one point - they were using SS Milk Truck Tanks(2000~3000 galons). No baffles = lots of fun to handle.

    They are now using NFPA approved tanks - but I think they are still using the well used chassis.

    To quote Larry Davis - a old truck + a tank + a red light doesn't equal a tanker.

  16. #16
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwwright View Post
    The trailer could be a 5th wheel with the tank low enough that tankers could dump.
    5th wheel would eat up a lot of storage space on the pickup, and in order to lower the CG, you'd need a "low boy" type 5th wheel, which would make it very long (in order to still have the gooseneck hitch).

    You'd be better off with a pintle hitch, trailer would be smaller, it would be easy to keep the CG low, and more "deck" space on the truck for compartments or hose.

    That said, I think it's a terrible idea. I shutter at the thought of some 21 year old going code-3 to his first "working" fire with 3 tons of trailer bouncing down the road behind him.

    While I think this one's a streach, there is also the possibility of causing an accident, as the general public is not used to seeing EV's towing and might start pulling out as soon as the truck passes but before the trailer does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchkrat View Post
    At one point - they were using SS Milk Truck Tanks(2000~3000 galons). No baffles = lots of fun to handle.

    They are now using NFPA approved tanks - but I think they are still using the well used chassis.

    To quote Larry Davis - a old truck + a tank + a red light doesn't equal a tanker.


    a old truck + a tank + a red light = TENDER as far as I know no part of this equation will take to the air, you may be able to get some of that red retardant in it though.

    safety never takes a holiday

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchkrat View Post
    At one point - they were using SS Milk Truck Tanks(2000~3000 galons). No baffles = lots of fun to handle.

    They are now using NFPA approved tanks - but I think they are still using the well used chassis.

    To quote Larry Davis - a old truck + a tank + a red light doesn't equal a tanker.
    That's our current tanker 2600gal SS milk truck body on a F8000 SRA manual trans chassis (previously a delivery crane mount). Self selecting limited pool of drivers. Soon to be retired thanks to DHS fire grant for a 3500gal twin screw pumper tanker. 1st new truck ever.

  19. #19
    Forum Member TFMBob's Avatar
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    Wink Tanker/Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by DennisTheMenace View Post
    Towing trailers takes special skills on an emergency apparatus, transporting water/liquid takes special skills. Add them together and without a skilled operator you can get into trouble.
    Well stated Dennis...it's bad enough to have operators "who sometimes THINK they can drive anything"...cause it has an "automatic trans." Tankers of any size and configuration will and do present problems, especially for the INexperienced...and this is [usually] the last piece out of the box.

    To drive a "trailer-tanker," it should be a requirement that the operator be licensed with a Class-A CDL...and TANK endorcement.
    "we learn from history...that we do not learn from history"

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