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  • Storing apparatus outdoors

    OK, here's one for debate. A neighboring department just purchased a new rescue truck, from what I understand in the neighborhood of $300-$350K. The problem: it won't fit in their old station and the new station is not done. Now, they could send it to another station in the same town but that apparantly is not an option (politics). In the meantime, they have it sitting next to their station, in a temporary vehicle tent (canvas top, no sides).

    Now the weather is getting colder (it's in the Northeast U.S., highs in the 40's, lows at night in the 20's) and the vehicle is still sitting outside. It doesn't to my knowledge have a water tank or pump but it still has a diesel engine and has hydraulic tools on it.

    My question: wouldn't you think that the cold weather would be bad for the truck? Are they asking for trouble or am I just imagining things? I'm not a mechanic or anything but I thought cold and diesel spelled trouble.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Possible that it has an engine block heater and is plugged into the building to keep it warm?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    • #3
      From what I was told, there is no heater block and they are debating running an extension chord for the charging system. That's it.

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      • #4
        I would think it would be a better idea to house it somewhere else, but it most likely would not hurt it at all to be outside.
        Get busy livin, or get busy dyin. - Shawshank Redemption
        IACOJ

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        • #5
          Just wondering, does it have any medical equipment on it?

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          • #6
            I don't know for sure. If it does, it's probably just a jump kit with basic supplies.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LtSuperG
              My question: wouldn't you think that the cold weather would be bad for the truck? Are they asking for trouble or am I just imagining things? I'm not a mechanic or anything but I thought cold and diesel spelled trouble.

              Any thoughts?
              From a purely truck perspective (as in motor carrier fleet), that's not a problem. Trucks get parked outside overnight regularly. Depending on how long this situation is going to continue, they might want to consider installing an in block heater, just to make starting easier. Most of them are not frightfully expensive. For fire apparatus purposes, I'd kind of want to shy away from the ones that go in a heater hose line. Other considerations though are what will weather do to the finish, what about cans, etc.

              We were faced with a similar situation in the early 90s. We had gotten two 45' van trailers from the carrier that I'm now retired from. We parked them about 10 or 12 feet apart, ran salvage covers over the tops and sides and secured them, then parked our engine in between. We put a couple of those oil filled electric radiators under the pump case. Between it all, we managed. Now if you get up in Rescue101's turf, that might not be enough. But we're here in warm and balmy southeastern Pennsylvania, so we got away with it.

              Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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              • #8
                If the unit is outside on a really cold night and a call comes in, just don't expect to start it up and charge off down the street right away. The four cycle engines are pretty cantankerous when first started when really cold and need some warm up time. The two cycle Detroit engines are a lot more forgiving under cold start conditions IMHO.
                I spent four winters in Minnesota and block heaters were SOP.

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                • #9
                  The only thing I would be concerned with is physical security of the vehicle and its contents. I only know of a handful of places that put locks on thier doors, and have keeys for the ignition.
                  A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by donethat
                    If the unit is outside on a really cold night and a call comes in, just don't expect to start it up and charge off down the street right away. The four cycle engines are pretty cantankerous when first started when really cold and need some warm up time. The two cycle Detroit engines are a lot more forgiving under cold start conditions IMHO.
                    I spent four winters in Minnesota and block heaters were SOP.

                    I dont think they are making 2 cycle Detroits anymore. I do love the sound of a 671 at full song
                    Forrest Gregg
                    Chief
                    Holtville/Slapout
                    Fire & Rescue Inc.
                    District 10 Director
                    AAVFD
                    IAFC
                    www.holtvilleslapoutfd.org

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                    • #11
                      This dept. wouldn't happen to be in northern Connecticut, would it....?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HSFDChief600
                        I dont think they are making 2 cycle Detroits anymore. I do love the sound of a 671 at full song
                        Someone here surely knows. I think Detroit still has two cycle engines available for at least marine and off-highway applications.
                        "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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                        • #13
                          Outside with block heater no problems with starting on very cold days.

                          But better solution is go thru your state forester and get a DOD/Army surplus medium maintenance tent. Only cost is transport from surplus depot. Included insulated blanket liner. 20' wide, 16'high overhead rollup doors. Can heat economically. Add on to in 8" increments as long as required. No need to store outside unsecure.

                          I have one set up outside my warehouse we store equipment in. Nice piece of kit that DOD is getting rid of/replacing with new tent. Winter photo attached to this thread.

                          http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=68734
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Still outdoors!

                            Well, it's now the 19th of January and the local fire company still has there new $300K+ rescue truck, sitting outside, no heat block or anything. It snowed a little bit yesterday and it's been cold this week at night (about 19 degrees) the other night.

                            I still can't see how that can be good for the truck but whatever. I can't fight city hall (or a board of fire commissioners.)

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                            • #15
                              I can't believe they'd put out & or leave a vehicle of that kind of value outside.

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