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Front Mount Pumps

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  • Front Mount Pumps

    Front mount pumps were always popular until about 20 years ago. Although some departments still purchase rigs using them, the are a small minority.

    What brought about the decline of front mounts? Are midship mounted pumps just easier to use than bumper-pumpers?
    Cincinnati F.D. History Site
    Society for the Preservation & Appreciation of Antique Fire Apparatus in America
    Youngstown Fire Forums - 40,000+ photos of Apparatus, Fire Scenes, etc.

  • #2
    I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that there is no longer any manufacturer that builds engines with provisions for front crankshaft PTO's.
    Fiberglass forever!! (they won't let us have leather)

    Comment


    • #3
      I know that there's a Pacific NW apparatus manufacturer, H&W, that is still delivering apparatus with front mounted pumps, so you can still get them.

      Check out their website, click on the "photo album" link, then "commercial pumpers," and you'll see a bunch of them.

      www.hwev.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks!

        I appreciate the replies. Yes you do still see a front mount creep in on occasion, but they were pretty common before. Besides H & W there are other builders that turn them out such as CSI up in Michigan and Alexis in Illinois. Even Pierce and E-One pop one out on occasion.

        I just wondered why the number of them dropped so dramatically!

        Take care,

        Steve
        Cincinnati F.D. History Site
        Society for the Preservation & Appreciation of Antique Fire Apparatus in America
        Youngstown Fire Forums - 40,000+ photos of Apparatus, Fire Scenes, etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          Another manufacturer in Oregon beside H&W is Western States. They made almost all our rigs, and out of the 6 they made 5 are from mount pumps, and two of them are on Spartan chassis. And around here in Oregon its more common to see front mount than side mounts. And you rarely see top mounts.

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          • #6
            There are several reasons for the decline of front mount pumps. Front mounts are very prone to freezing. I have seen many different ways to keep the warm from heated covers to Water jackets. They help but still not great. The other was safety issues. Standing infront of a unit roaring it's engine in Nuetral was looking for trouble. Modern Front mounts built by E-One / Superior have the operators controls at the side. With the introduction of High Torque PTO's you no longer had to have a Front Mount for Pump and Roll. Long extensions up front for the pump mounts caused problems in some areas for hills and turns. Packings were often burned out and pumps siezed as they would not get disengaged on the way back to the hall. Wieght distrubution was also an issue as you need heavier springs, axels, steering assist to allow for all this weight up front. These are the reasons I have seen this in the market place.

            Yes they are out there and the front mounts being built today are safer and better than ever. Will they go away? Never. They have thier place just as a rear mount does.

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            • #7
              4x4 front mount
              Attached Files

              Comment


              • #8
                Front mount side panel
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nice rig!

                  Thanks for the information CAP22. Those sound like good reasons as to why there has been a decline. Your engine is quite impressive looking. Nice short wheelbase and a small body. Do you have a photo of the officers side so that I can see where the pump panel access is?

                  Take care,

                  Steve
                  Cincinnati F.D. History Site
                  Society for the Preservation & Appreciation of Antique Fire Apparatus in America
                  Youngstown Fire Forums - 40,000+ photos of Apparatus, Fire Scenes, etc.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Steve: Pump Panel is on Drivers side. Heres a better shot.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Passenger side view.
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Front mount Reel Truck.
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Reel truck from rear, 3000 ft of 5"
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Reel truck Front Mount Panel
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Cap22,
                              Thank you for the information. My department has a '64 Ford/American Fire Apparatus with a 500 GPM front mount pump. And it still passes the pump test with a 508 G.P.M. flow. The controls on it are hard to work though. Valves on the front, left side, and rear. But it has also embarrassed a 3 month old Seagrave on a draft site. Runs like a top and will still fight fire with the ones around here.
                              Another lifetime volunteer proud to serve my community.

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