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  • Building a rescue/support

    I am located in South Sarolina and was wondering how I could go about getting some sample specs on a custom cab support/rescue unit non-walk-in. Any ideas?

  • #2
    If you don't have a specific builder in mind, I would recommend doing some research over the internet, through other departments that you are close to that may have a fairly new rescue, or however and find out who you might be interested in. Then, contact those manufacturers and ask for standard specs on their vehicles. Most, if not all, will be more than helpful.

    Michael Warnick
    Last edited by SWFD94; 08-04-2003, 10:27 AM.


    • #3
      Your best bet is to figure out what calls the truck is going to need to be equipped to respond to (wrecks, hazmat, fire support, technical rescues, etc) and figure out how much storage space you'll need. Then add on other equipment such as cascade, pump/tank, tool reels, etc, and then send that off to some manufacturers and see what you get back. Before you do that, look at all of their Recent Deliveries on their web sites and see if there's anything that looks close to what you want. There may not be one exactly like what you want, but usually piecing a few together will do it. If there's any nearby, go look at them. Nothing beats in person. If not, see if you can call some people from the department and ask some questions of those that spec'd it.

      We just took delivery of something that seems to be close to what you want. Here's what we sent out as a minimum spec:

      6 man (5 SCBA seat) custom cab with 16" raised roof
      400+ HP Detroit with Allison tranny and electronic tranny retarder
      Independent Front Suspension
      18' rescue body with roll up doors, roof top storage
      Driver's side awning
      250gpm PTO pump
      250 gallon tank
      1-3/4" preconnect in bumper
      1" booster reel
      4 preconnected hydraulic tool reels: 3 in rescue body, 1 in bumper
      Bumper compartment to hold preconnected handline and preconnected combie tool
      30kW Onan PTO generator
      6000W Light Tower
      2-120V Electric reels
      4-bottle/6000psi Cascade system with 2 bottle fill station
      1-300' Air Reel
      7 position headset intercom (David Clark, Sigtronics, etc)
      Various scene lighting and emergency lighting line items, so won't get too deep here. I can send the full document if you want.

      Anywho, we sent that out to manufacturers. I intro'd the document by saying this was a request to get pricing for a FireACT Grant Application. All but two local reps said good luck, call us back when you have the money. I call that poor customer service myself. Two others were more than happy to spend some time throwing the trucks together and getting me a price. One really couldn't meet the spec, but he still worked with us to give us something close in case we changed some specifics.

      When our application was approved, I got calls from everyone that had told me to go pound sand until we got the money. I told them that the spec and bid process was already done, and we had the truck we wanted already on paper and weren't going to waste any more time doing the work I already had completed and which they had told me they weren't going to participate in. (No real bid process because we have a co-op purchasing entity we go through that does the bidding for us. Really shortens the process.) Foudn out through the grapevine that one of the reps that told me to go away got a new one ripped by his boss for not helping the first time I called. Anyway, here's the picture of what we ended up with. I can send more pics if you want. Or take a wander to Dallas, TX for the IAFC Convention. It will be on display there. Although that might be a little far to go from "Sarolina"

      If you want more pics/details email me at [email protected]

      Happy hunting and spec'ing.

      Attached Files
      Brian P. Vickers
      Emergency Services Consulting
      Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
      Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division


      • #4
        Sample Specs????

        Many regional sales representativs and/or factory sales reps are more than happy to send you a plethora of materials- Sample factory specs, actual copies of customer specs, and information brochures. Just give them a call or send emails through factory websites. Also look through magazines, such as Fire Apparatus Journal, or Fire Apparatus......You can also contact neighboring departments that have recently made apparatus purchases- ask them for copies of their specs.

        If you have never spec'd out a truck before, it can be a very time-consuming, tricky, frustrating experience. Take into consideration things like:
        -What do we want this vehicle to do?
        -How long do we want it to last?
        -Where will the community be in 10 years? Do we need to consider future expansion?
        -Station limitations? Low doors? Floor weight restrictions?
        -Geography of your area; hills? flatlands?

        So many considerations....I URGE you to contact a department with experience if you have never done this.....Send me an email if you want, I'd me more than happy to help you.

        BTW, we run a 1995 Freightliner FL-70 chassis with an 18' box built by Rescue 1, a division of PL Custom Body, in Manasquan NJ. It has a small area right behind the cab, built into the box for 3 seats with SCBA.....It also has a 20KW PTO driven gen set, a Wil-Burt night scan light tower, and a 5 bottle 6000PSI fill station with an OSHA/NFPA approved blast enclosure. We carry ALS and BLS responder equipment on board, 5 SCBA (1 in the officer seat, 1 in the driver compt for the driver, 3 for the FF's in the box.) electric fans, portable lights, PPV fans, an assortment of saws (1 circular, 2 chainsaws) truck company equipment (flatheads, halligans, mauls, lockbreakers, hooks, etc etc etc) backboards, stokes basket, rehab equip- coolers, drink mix, towels, blankets.....Command post schtuff, foam and class D extinguishers.....Only one thing that should have been done when the truck was built- The engine ("C" series Cummins) should have had an exhaust break installed. The engine isnt big enough for a Jake Break....But it sure could use some sort of auxiliary breaking device. This was due to an inexperienced committee.
        "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."


        • #5
          Just a quick note on exhaust brakes: they don't work worth a damn. We had the same problem with our 300HP Cat in a KME pumper that couldn't handle a Jake. Put in the exhaust brake and all it does is make people wonder where the air is leaking from. I almost think it makes it take longer to stop with it on than off. Jakes work well, but I'm personally partial to tranny retarders. I don't think there's a HP minimum on them but I'm not sure. Never had to worry about it because everything always had more than 400HP. I've driven tandem aerials with both Jake and retarder, and the truck felt more under control with the retarder than the Jake. But before you pick either one, go drive something that has each one in it for yourself.
          Brian P. Vickers
          Emergency Services Consulting
          Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
          Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division


          • #6
            Exhaust brakes/Driveline Retarders

            BC79er....Sounds to me like another classic KME Cluster F*ck! KME has always had problems installing Caterpillar engines in their chassis- I have yet to see one that hasn't had numerous problems. Are you sure about the HP rating being 300? If thats the case, that sounds like a 3376 or possibly a 3208 Cat- both of which are entirely too large for an exhaust retarder. It could be maybe that someone goofed and spec'd an exhaust retarder when in fact a Jake or Blue Ox should have been installed? I have driven a Pierce with a 40 Series Detroit, and it worked beautifully, along with a "C" series Cummins installed in a Haz Mat vehicle....again, a beautiful installation!

            I have also driven a tandem screw ladder truck with a Telma Retarder. That also worked beautifully! There are two disadvantages to (not just Telma....) electromechanical driveline retarders......They consume MASSIVE amounts of power, creating the need for a large capacity electrical system. They also create HUGE amounts of heat.

            Both have advantages and disadvantages. Nothing, however, in my mind will replace a properly working and maintained Engine Retarder, such as a Jake Brake. You just cant get them on "C" series Cummins or lower, 40 Series Detroits or lower, and as far as Cat, I can't remember the smaller engines where they are necessary.

            BTW, we are spec'ing our new pumper with a C-12 Cat and a Jake. Will probably wind up with a 60 Series Detroit, though.

            "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."


            • #7
              Re: Exhaust brakes/Driveline Retarders

              Originally posted by FWDbuff
              It could be maybe that someone goofed and spec'd an exhaust retarder when in fact a Jake or Blue Ox should have been installed?


              Nothing, however, in my mind will replace a properly working and maintained Engine Retarder, such as a Jake Brake.
              Just trying to clarify... did you mean transmission retarder on the top line? Or is there a difference between an exhaust retarder and an engine retarder? I thought they were the same thing...
              God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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              • #8
                You can't currently put a true Jake on the small Cat which is what the 300 is(either 3116 or 3126)it is exhaust brake only.3208 is old technology which to the best of my knowledge hasn't been available for a number of years now,it was replaced by the 3116/3126 Cat.Putting a real Jake on these motors is about as effective as a Jake on a two stroke Detroit,yeah it works a little but not like a big block DD,Cummins or Cat.Putting a thelma on a FL70 would have a similar effect as hooking the Queen Mary 2 to a Yugo,unless you got the small one it's overkill.Plus the 70 couldn't support it electrically.Now if they could only engineer that bad boy to MAKE power.T.C.


                • #9
                  Try this site. We just ordered 6 new Rescues. They're a specialty builder with an excellent reputation for designing and building exactly what you want and need.

                  Last edited by FireCapt1951retired; 09-01-2003, 07:46 PM.


                  • #10
                    the 3126 is the cat engine that freightliner uses in their business class vehicles the 3116 is what GM is using in their medium duty trucks and is considered by most to be a throw away engine however you can get what is called a PacBrake which is simply a butterfly valve mounted after the turbo to create exhaust back pressure to slow the engine. this coupled with the allison auto which is designed to know when to downshift to help stop can make an awesome difference the volunteer dept that i belong to has an '02 FL80 and we could not be happier with this setup i am also a mechanic at the local freightliner dealership and that seems to be a very common setup and i have heard many compliments about it


                    • #11

                      Check Apparatus showcase March 2001 Somerset, NJ 23' Marion rescue Call Marion Body Works ask for Rod Riska he coud set you up with some specs


                      • #12
                        If I was specing a heavy rescue the first question I would ask is the money better spent putting the money the rig would cost totally into the loose equipment that actually performs the rescue and spread it over my entire fleet. Would a sets of jaws on reels, double air bottles, light mast, air chisel, sawzall, cord reels, generators, gas detectors, thermal imagers, air bags, a huge selection of tools, rope, water rescue gear, etc on every rig in the department for the exact same mony be better for the community than one rig with the works? It is the tools not the rig that will save lives. I bet in many cases you’d be better off.

                        I'd check the motivation for the rig as well is it keeping up with the jone's or really a despirate need?

                        Wouldn't a ton of rigs equipped for all hazard rescue be better than one big tool box that will be out of service or committed else where?

                        Is there just a chance that the other pumpers and ladders with new abilities through enhanced equipment always get their faster than on mamoth rig out of one station?

                        Justone opinion to consider and discuss.


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