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Brush Trucks- Dually v. SRW

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  • Brush Trucks- Dually v. SRW

    Hey all-

    I have seen on here before when I was researching a pumper (of which you guys did a great job helping me with) that there was a discussion of Dually brush trucks V. SRW. We currently have a dually and are considering changing to a srw. does anyone have and do's or don't's about this? Our truck now is an 04' f-550 and its to heavy in most cases. To long in alot of cases, and to wide in some cases. Its manoverability is crappy. Please help me with any imput! Thanks! Pics would be helpful also.

  • #2
    We currently operate a 2005 Chevy 3500 SRW with custom flatbed. Carries around 300 gallons of water pumped by a small honda pump (Not sure on capacity). It also has a generator on board and some scene lighting. Around here, where our "brush" fires are usually cornfields and waterways, the single wheel performs a lot better than the duallys.

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    • #3
      The last 2 brush trucks we have had were single rear wheels. Very good off-road but squirrelly while responding on the hardpan, especially with tank sizes over 150-200 gallons. Same story with 2 previous single rear wheel brush trucks on previous departments.

      Current brush truck at both my full-time gig and volunteer gig are both duals and both Ford F-450s. Better payload capability and much more stable on the hardpan while responding. Not nearly as good off-road.

      Basically 6 of one half dozen off another.

      If I was looking for a pure brush truck with a priority on off-road performance and simply the stock pick-up bed, water tank of less than 150 gallons, lightweight skid and limited tool load, I would go single axle.

      If looking for a multi-purpose "brush truck" with bigger tank, any kind of a work box and heavier tool and/or hose load and you could accept limited off-road abilities, I would go with a dually.
      Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-24-2010, 08:21 AM.
      Train to fight the fires you fight.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the input guys, this really helps alot.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wvfd322 View Post
          Thanks for the input guys, this really helps alot.
          Try a search. This was discussed not long ago here with a LOT of good discussion. Our "Brush"truck is a X military 5 ton Mack,so it hardly fits as a comparison. Yes,it has duals on the back. T.C.

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          • #6
            Super Singles

            I know a couple of manufacturers have come out with a super single for the 550, we currently run 3 1 tons with singles on the back. With 250 gallons they are not as stable as a dually on the pavement but we run circles around the dually's once we are in the pastures that are soft.

            Most departments in our area are moving away from the 250 gallon trucks and going with 550's with 500 gallons, the pastures are so big you spend to much time refilling the 250's.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mitchkrat View Post
              I know a couple of manufacturers have come out with a super single for the 550, we currently run 3 1 tons with singles on the back. With 250 gallons they are not as stable as a dually on the pavement but we run circles around the dually's once we are in the pastures that are soft.

              Most departments in our area are moving away from the 250 gallon trucks and going with 550's with 500 gallons, the pastures are so big you spend to much time refilling the 250's.
              We still work a lot in the woods, so for us the smaller trucks are still the best choice, though we have used a neighboring department military 2 1/2 ton with a 600 gallon tank on a couple of occasions.
              Train to fight the fires you fight.

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              • #8
                500gal on a F550? Maybe on a paved road. That's about 200gal to much for gravel/dirt trail by my estimation. The Ford/Dodge/Chevy are light duty units.

                Our wildland is a 5t IH 1854 4x4 with 600gal. DRW. Works great in corn/hay field fires.

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                • #9
                  I would suggest a single rear wheel with a smaller tank and a Mad Dog high pressure pump. This is the setup we have and it works amazingly well. We used to run the typical booster line setup and the tank of water only lasted a couple minutes. This high pressure, low flow Mad Dog system puts out plenty of gpm for brush fires, but the tank lasts much longer. It also has class a foam with just the twist of a valve. Several fire departments in this area have switched to these units with great results. Here is a video of one, and the companies info is listed in the description. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-853E9-uS_U

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                  • #10
                    Here's what I would like to have setting in the station

                    http://www.blanchatmfg.com/trucks/de....php?truck=463

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                    • #11
                      Mitchrat ...

                      The type you posted a link to is very common in east Texas and southern OKlahoma, where brush fires are quite frequent and do pose a significant threat to property much of the year.

                      In our area, where brush fires still outnuber structure fires 25-1 but tend to burn slower and more predicably than in east Texas or Oklahoma, most departments still go the low-cost route and simply slip a pre-maunfactured skid, usually 200-300 gallons into the bed of a pickup truck or a utility body, generally purchased used or surplus. Some departments will spend a little more and purchase a new chassis for a skid mount, which is how our brush truck is configured. There are a few departments (with money) that have gone out and purchased a "custom" brush truck such as in the link. This is still the exception but they becoming a little more popular here now that many departments in our area have become quite well off due to the recent spike in natural gas drilling and production.

                      Do they each do the job? Do the bells and whistles come into play 95% of the time? probably not.

                      IMO it's simply a matter of how much off-road capability you want vs. carrying capacity and flexability for other roles, such as EMS response or general service/support.
                      Last edited by LaFireEducator; 11-24-2010, 02:47 PM.
                      Train to fight the fires you fight.

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                      • #12
                        These guys can also help you convert your dually to a single rear wheel:

                        http://www.ricksontruckwheels.com/drw-to-srw.php

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                        • #13
                          Good Link

                          Littlejoe - thanks for the link, always need more options.

                          We are in the Flint Hills with vast open pastures - 6 foot tall Bluestem grass. Their are still lots of ex-military 6x6's out here but depts are starting to replace with commercial 6x6's because of the cost of parts and restrictions that the FEP program puts on the trucks.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wvfd322 View Post
                            Hey all-

                            I have seen on here before when I was researching a pumper (of which you guys did a great job helping me with) that there was a discussion of Dually brush trucks V. SRW. We currently have a dually and are considering changing to a srw. does anyone have and do's or don't's about this? Our truck now is an 04' f-550 and its to heavy in most cases. To long in alot of cases, and to wide in some cases. Its manoverability is crappy. Please help me with any imput! Thanks! Pics would be helpful also.
                            I've got this one figured out. Get one lighter, shorter, and narrower with better maneuverability.

                            Your welcome.
                            RK
                            cell #901-494-9437

                            Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                            "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


                            Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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                            • #15
                              Here's another link for single-rear wheeled trucks.

                              http://www.1stattack.com/brush-fire-...ss-fire-trucks

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