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What brand Hydralic generator

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  • What brand Hydralic generator

    What brand of hydralic generator do you have and why?

    We are looking at generator options for a new pumper and cant decide on gas, diesel or hydralic.


  • #2
    Our 2 new Engines were spec'd with 15KW Harrison hydraulic gensets. Quiet, easy to use and they are running with the flip of a switch. They also take about 1/3 of the space as a diesel generator

    Our older trucks are diesel, they are loud, at times are hard to start and require more maintenance.
    "The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men."
    -Henry David Thoreau

    Visit my dept. at www.TCFD.com


    • #3
      Choices, choices! Gas or diesel generators are stand-alone units that allow you to shut off the chassis engine. But honestly, how often do you do that? These units will make much more noise than a hydraulic generator. Hydraulic generators are practically silent. A gas unit will have to be refilled regularly while a diesel unit can run off of the chassis fuel tank. Pricewise, the gas unit is cheapest, diesel is next and hydraulic the most expensive, although depending on output they will be close to a diesel unit. As to output, the same goes, gas lowest, hydraulic highest. The answer will come when you decide how much output you really need. Also consider space requirements. A gas generator should be in a compartment to make refilling and oil changes easier. A diesel could possibly placed over the pump, but again consider maintenance. If you are using a top-mount pump, DO NOT do this. A hydraulic unit can be placed almost anywhere as long as you allow accessible space for the oil reservoir, usually over the pump. Caution: Remote starting is not an option with a compartment mounted generator.
      Talk to your sales rep. Manufacturers usually like to use a particular brand of hydraulic generator for many reasons, including price breaks. Look closely at warranties on these units because they do vary.
      Another option if you decide on a gas unit is to have the builder provide a slide-out tray, breaker panel and quick-connect plug and shop locally for the generator. A local provider may make a deal with you.Good luck!


      • #4
        The many flavors

        Also have your direct-drive PTO option (for very big generators usually), and smaller under-the-hood belt powered options like the Auragen and Raven.


        (made right up the road from us -- we've demo'd it a couple times and it's quite amazing... good, clean power, can run lights and smoke ejector... I was impressed.)

        Both of the above are really designed for smaller vehicles, but they are in the process of breaking into the larger chassis market I believe (at least Raven Tech is). I know Aurasystems has some government contracts too.

        On our new trucks, we have hydraulic generators. One is a Harrison and the other is an AMPS. We haven't had problems with either that I'm aware of. If you go the hydraulic route, make sure you specify a hot-shift PTO for the hydraulic pump so you can "light and roll" down the road. Only one of our trucks has this feature, and it is pretty handy. Both are able to start under a load. For what it's worth, Saulsbury had better luck with the Harry versus the AMPS in our rescue-pumper installation, and went with it. Not sure of the specifics. Our tower truck is an AMPS though.
        Last edited by Resq14; 10-30-2003, 11:40 AM.
        God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
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        • #5
          We currently run a 10k amps on rescue/engine with the pto capabilities so that we can hit the switch and there is light going into the scene. It runs 3 through the cab lights 1-2000 and 2-1500 plus 2-750's off the rear plus the fact it runs electric fans, 2 750 portable carry lights, electric sawz all, shop vacs and etc.

          The cost of the amps is much higher than other hydraulic generators that we are looking at for new engine, but the hydraulic system seem to work better for us than the deisel, or gas types.

          STILL STANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


          • #6
            We have a harrison hyd. gen. It has been very reliable so far.


            • #7
              I've been on trucks with AMPS, Harrison, and Onan and all 3 have performed without problems. Onan is less than the other two for the same kW, but that's because the Onan is a shaft driven PTO. I think that's what it's called anyway. It was $12K to put the 30kW Onan on our rescue vs $24 for the Harrison 20kW and $26 for the AMPS 20kW. We were trying to get the most juice for the bucks which is why we went Onan. But otherwise I'd recommend any of them based on performance alone.
              Brian P. Vickers
              Emergency Services Consulting
              Westlake VFD - Houston, TX
              Proud Member IACOJ - Redneck Division


              • #8
                We took delivery of a light rescue in July on a Ford F-550 4 x 4 with the 6.0L Powerstroke and five speed automatic.

                It has a 10K AMPS hydraulic generator. So far the only problem was caused by the wrong instructions from the vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle has the ambulance prep package with a Class 1 load manager.

                We found that after running the generator for 15-20 minutes with the vehicle parking brake set, we got voltage and cycle surges. Releasing the parking brake cured the problem.

                The vehicle manufacturer corrected the operating instructions. The two high idle systems (Class 1 and the pto were fighting each other).

                We have had no other problems.

                Stay Safe


                • #9
                  Do your own comparison

                  Listen to the reps, OEMs and other firefighters as their input is extreemly valuable. Then request literature from the generator manufacturers such as AMPS, Harrison, Onan, and Smart Power. Compare the different warranties, features, price, generator capabilities, etc. They all give the same amount of power, but they all have major differences in features, design, mounting requirements, and air flow requirements. Compare your findings with what the reps tell you and see what is best for you.

                  I agree that you should only use a hot shift PTO. There are too many benefits to Hot shift vs. Constant mesh. For instance, what if you part a hose for some reason. The constant truck is shut down, the hot shift truck gets to go home.

                  The Onan referred by BC79r was a PTO driven generator. This type of system is very inexpensive, but it is a stationary application only.
                  The reason is the shaft is driven straight off of the PTO and the generator has to be at a constant speed. Hydraulics have a pump that automatically adjusts for engine rpm changes. The PTO Generator does not have this type of control. It will vary with engine speed, so you have to shift to high idle and leave it there. This type of generator is great for Heavy Rescue trucks. Not so good for a ladder, pumper or engine.

                  If you have any questions concerning differences between hydraulic and gas / diesel, call me at 281-240-2555 or e-mail me at
                  [email protected]

                  Stay safe.
                  Scott Dixon
                  Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS


                  • #10
                    We have several Smart Powers in F-550 chassis and Sutphen quints. No problems.


                    • #11

                      We are using an Amps 15kw PTO generator on our 2002 Pierce Dash. I must say that it has worked to perfection. No problems. When we were designing the unit, it was first between the Amps and Harrison, with the Amps coming out on top. It definately was the right choice.


                      • #12
                        Amps Generators

                        We have a 15KW amps on our 2001 rescue/pumper. Has been out of service completely, 4 times in these two years. This generator was intslled by the manufacturer per the desired specificastions of amps.

                        Each time amps comes up with a new excuse. Most of the dealers I have talked to recently are putting Onan in as they have experienced far less problems.

                        Currenlty I am aware of 6 amps generators in our area, all on different make vehicles that are experiencing problems, most of them on a repeated basis.

                        Our manufacturer is going to remove the amps generator completely and replace it with an Onan at their expense, because the warranty costs on repeated repairs to the amps is killing them.


                        • #13
                          Please contact me

                          I am sorry to hear that your experience with our product is negative.
                          You say the generators are installed as per AMPS instructions. Could you please contact me. I would like to go over the details specifically with you. This problem deserves immediate attention, and I would appreciate the opportunity to investigate the problem personally. Doesn't it seem a bit strange that 4 generators would crap out on the same truck? I am not pointing the finger here, but 4 generators don't just fail for no reason. We couldn't stay in business if that were the case. Something is causing this to happen.
                          Consider this, in the remote possibility that there is an outside influence causing this, like an air-flow blockage or overload, do you really think that throwing parts at it is the best solution, or would you rather know for sure what is really causing the problem so it can be dealt with properly?
                          Please contact me at
                          [email protected]
                          Scott Dixon
                          Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS


                          • #14
                            Reply to BrucePFFD74

                            I looked into your fire department's history. As you stated this is the 4th time this generator has been out of service. I am sorry to hear that the OEM is installing a different brand, but before I wish you well, I would like to clear up some pretty broad statements you made. Please let me elaborate on the reasons this unit has been down.

                            1st time - A bolt came loose on the end bell and caused a hose to leak. I will take the hit on that one, someone didn't tighten a bolt down well enough. AMPS made no excuses and covered the repair under warranty.

                            2nd time - A motorized soft start was installed because the truck's engine was having a hard time turning the constant mesh PTO during cold weather start-up. This is the report directly from the service manager of your OEM. This had nothing to do with the generator, performance, or lack thereof. This was in the truck. (my reason for wanting to investigate, instead of just throwing parts at it)But we found the problem and fixed it, and since then you haven't had that problem again, according to your OEM.

                            3rd time - The unit was misused. Specifically, it was overloaded. Someone tried to get more juice than the unit had in it, and accidentally let the smoke out. Once you let the smoke out, you can't put it back in. We have documented proof of this failure, and this is a clear case of misuse. (throwing parts at it would only result in another failure)
                            But, we found the problem, and fixed it (not just the generator, but the source of the problem too. Since this is public, I won't elaborate on the acutal source of the problem)

                            4th time - We don't know the reason for this failure because we are not getting a chance to look at it.

                            I am truly sorry about the loose bolt, but the other 2 out of 3 problems were not actual problems with the generators performance. One wasn't even the generator itself. We just made it easier for the engine to turn the PTO.

                            I hope you have great success with the other generator they are installing for you. If it is installed correctly, and used properly, I'm sure you will have good luck with it.

                            Thanks for your interest in this thread.
                            Scott Dixon<br />Director of Sales & Marketing<br />AMPS


                            • #15
                              Wow, a rep & comapny that care enough to follow-up on things... a rare breed these days indeed!

                              God Bless America!Remember all have given some, but some have given all.
                              Google Is Your Friend™Helpful forum tip - a "must see" if you're new here
                              Click this to search FH Forums!


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