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bush truck/rapid response specs

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  • FyredUp
    replied
    My personal opinion. Based on MY personal experience over the years as a firefighter. Not as a salesman.

    This is another example of penny wise and dollar foolish logic.

    I understand cost issues, but the dollars they save up front will bite them in the back end. More maintenance issues with a too light chassis and gasoline powered engine. Hey just for giggles call your local Ford dealer and ask him what a tune up costs on that engine.

    We got rid of our gasoline brush truck 2 years ago for a diesel engined 5/4 ton GMC ex-military pick up and we will never go gasoline engine again.

    Ever wonder why you don't see gasoline engine fire trucks anymore? I don't.

    FyredUp

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  • firemanmikey
    replied
    I was talking to one of the rural board members, and he said they're going to go with the F550 V10 gas. His arguments were it would be about $10K less and save on weight. Then I said but the diesel has more bottom end power, which is what we'd need in a bush unit. So his response was we'll just make sure we get the right rear end in it. By doing that we might have a top speed of 90km/h (sorry for the metric :P)

    Just wanting some thoughts on this. Good or bad idea to go with the gas?

    Mike

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    BlitzfireSolo,

    Thanks for understanding my position. I think what tends to happen here on occasion people tend to lose credibility by being little more than a cheerleader for a specific product. I am trying hard to maintain the credibility I have by not doing that.

    The truck you posted a picture of is the HME Ahrens Fox RAT (Rapid Attack Truck). It is available on either commercial or custom chassis, with 2 or 4 wheel drive. The minimum chassis it is built on is the GMC 7500. We will not build it on the GMC 5500 or the F 550 for reasons I have mentioned in earlier posts. Depending on whether it is a commercial or a custom chassis the pumps can be either a Class A rated mid mount of between 500 and 1750 gpm, or a 500 to 1250 with pump and roll. Water tanks can be up to 500 gallons. Class A foam is available and CAFs is an option depending on chassis.

    I could go on and on about this rig but I think this gives a taste if you want more info let me know.

    FyredUp

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  • BlitzfireSolo
    replied
    Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
    Mike,
    Okay here we go. From what you have said this is NOT a brush truck. This is a cross between a brush truck and an initial attack / rescue truck. In my humble opinion you need to step up to a bigger chassis like the GMC 7500 or a Freightliner or an International. Why? Ability to carry the weight you want in water and equipment and personnel without overloading the chassis. And the ability to have a full size Class A rated fire pump of from 1000 gpm to 1500 gpm.
    .....
    Okay forgive me for a little sales pitch here but if you would like specific information on what my company has to offer please e-mail me and I would be happy to send you some information.
    Since I know FyredUp won't do this, but I can read what's on his mind, I will post a picture for him.



    GMC 7500, 1,000 GPM QPak, 500 gallon tank.

    FyredUp, I think that we all understand the position you are in, but I know that I, personally, wouldn't mind if you shared specifics of your company's products here on the forums. As long as you make it known that you sell for them (which you have), and you don't go spewing sales BS (which some here do, but you don't), I actually enjoy having people on these boards that are intimately familiar with a certain manufacturer's product line. This helps to keep our perspectives fresh and innovative.

    As NPFD said in another thread, if a builder really wants to build a certain product, they probably can. The RAT above is a perfect example - it's not some engineering marvel on HME's part - it's just a very nice package that they've put together as a standard offering - which is a very important thing to do.

    Leave a comment:


  • firemanmikey
    replied
    Well they decided to go with a F-550 with a skid unit. They also want to enclose the skid unit with cabinets and what not. That's where we're at so far.

    They didn't even look a the Chev 5500, don't ask me why. So we'll see how it goes.

    I'll keep ya posted. Thanks for all the info and suggestions.

    Mike

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    Mike,

    I look forward to hearing what was decided. I hope the info I gave you was useful.

    Good luck,

    FyredUp

    Leave a comment:


  • firemanmikey
    replied
    I'll let you know what was decided on as we have our meeting tomorrow morning.


    Mike

    Leave a comment:


  • Ledebuhr1
    replied
    FyredUp,

    Ford will always have diesels in the superdutys. they just came out with a all new diesel built by International. its a 6.4l with 650ftlbs. Yes their were some problems with the first two years of 6.0l engins, but thoes have been delt with. Ford has to much too loose to screw up the new diesel.

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    firemanmikey: FyredUp, could you give me a few things to take to the meeting tomorrow. Like for example, what works and what dosen't and what are some things that might be a good idea to have.

    I agree with you on the weight issue. This is our first crack at specing a brush rig. The final say is from the rural board members. They are calling it a brush truck, however; they want it to perform vehicle extrication as well. I think if we have 300 gal of water, jaws (etc), and a pump big enough to fight vehicle fires (what they want). I agree it's going to be getting too heavy. They keep mentioning a F-550. We have some Ford mechanics on the Dept and they said stay away from them. I've also heard other Depts say to stay away from them as well. One Dept said they blew up 2 motors on F-550 ambulances and blew up a bush truck motor.

    I'm kind of confused on what to suggest. I like the Chev 5500.

    Your thoughts,

    Mike
    Mike,

    Remember I am a salesman, but I will give you my honest opinion because I am a firefighter first. I also will give you my opinion from my view point and I will not attack any other fire truck manufacturer's product.

    I need to ask you a couple of questions but I will answer your questions based on my assumptions.

    First question: Transmission? Automatic or standard?

    Second question: Pump size? Would you like a full Class A rated fire pump of between 1000 and 1500?

    Okay here we go. From what you have said this is NOT a brush truck. This is a cross between a brush truck and an initial attack / rescue truck. In my humble opinion you need to step up to a bigger chassis like the GMC 7500 or a Freightliner or an International. Why? Ability to carry the weight you want in water and equipment and personnel without overloading the chassis. And the ability to have a full size Class A rated fire pump of from 1000 gpm to 1500 gpm.

    Here is a big one for you to consider. With the GMC 5500 there is no way to get an automatic transmission and and have a throttle set-up for running the pump that does not void the factory warranty. I am not sure if that applies to the F 550 or not, but I do know that with either one you are limited to a PTO pump of 500 gpm or less with an automatic transmission. In order to get a bigger or Class A rated fire pump you need to get a standard transmission.

    I have heard through the grapevine that when Ford runs out of the International diesel engines it has been putting in the F 550 they will not be putting diesels in them anymore. Apparently there has been finger pointing in both directions over who is responsible for some of these engines failing prematurely. So if you want a diesel F 550 you need to act quickly.

    Okay forgive me for a little sales pitch here but if you would like specific information on what my company has to offer please e-mail me and I would be happy to send you some information.

    If I can be of further help please feel free to contact me, I am glad to help one firefighter to another.

    Good luck with this. Buying a fire truck can be a wonderful experience if you get it right, or it can be a 20 year reminder of what you did wrong.

    FyredUp

    Leave a comment:


  • firemanmikey
    replied
    FyredUp, could you give me a few things to take to the meeting tomorrow. Like for example, what works and what dosen't and what are some things that might be a good idea to have.

    I agree with you on the weight issue. This is our first crack at specing a brush rig. The final say is from the rural board members. They are calling it a brush truck, however; they want it to perform vehicle extrication as well. I think if we have 300 gal of water, jaws (etc), and a pump big enough to fight vehicle fires (what they want). I agree it's going to be getting too heavy. They keep mentioning a F-550. We have some Ford mechanics on the Dept and they said stay away from them. I've also heard other Depts say to stay away from them as well. One Dept said they blew up 2 motors on F-550 ambulances and blew up a bush truck motor.

    I'm kind of confused on what to suggest. I like the Chev 5500.


    Your thoughts,

    Mike

    Leave a comment:


  • npfd801
    replied
    I agree with everything you said. Mini rigs have a place - we have a manpower unit on an F-350 with a cascade that is ideal - simple, cheap, and essentially disposable. When it gets replaced, it won't cost much to replace, and it takes wear off the big rigs when running to nosebleeds and hangnails.

    We sold the larger chassis unit to our board over a mini pumper by dividing up the life expectancy. We'll get fifteen years from the IH, ten from an F-550 (and we have two F-550 rescues that are overloaded, they'll be lucky to make 10 years). Put fifteen years into the cost of the bigger chassis unit, and ten into the cost of a mini pumper, and the cost per year was interesting, especially considering the added capability of the larger unit.

    There's a couple of smaller units running around on the smallest of IH and Freightliner chassis. Someone was thinking there...

    Leave a comment:


  • FyredUp
    replied
    npfd801...

    Okay from one salesman to another? Sorry couldn't resist that.

    I have a hard time understanding why so many FD's say they need a small manueverable rig then buy a 550 or 5500 and try to equip it to do what a full sized pumper will do. I know you have seen this too. A "mini" pumper with 3 or 4 preconnects, a deck gun, 1000 feet of 5 inch, hydraulic rescue tools, 4 or more scba and spare cylinders, ladders, hard suction, and more. A neighboring FD to me has one of these 550's with a 4 door cab and high side compartments and it was overloaded before they started to equip it. They had it resprung and added helpers. It is almost level now. But tell me...how will it stop? It can hardly turn sharp enough to get out of it's own way.

    If you buy a GMC 5500 there is no way to get an automatic transmission to run the pump and not VOID GMC's warranty by having to jury rig the throttle set-up.

    There are several manufacturers that build chasis that are not tremendously bigger than a 5500 that have far more capabilities than that chassis. i won;t insult your intelligence here by listing them. Honestly though, the penny wise and dollar foolish decision to go with a 550 or a 5500 and then try and put as much equipment on them as many do is a diservice many builders pay to the fire service.

    FyredUp

    Leave a comment:


  • npfd801
    replied
    Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
    Okay let me throw my opinion in here on this topic.

    1) Most people when designing a rapid response / brush truck make a HUGE mistake and try to put too much equipment and capability on too small a chassis.

    2) Smaller rigs like the Ford F550 and the GMC 5500 are not designed to carry the weight or set up to run pumps of any real size. Let me calrify the pump point...without a manual transmission.

    3) There are chassis choices that are still reasonable but offer far better value in the long run.

    Want more clarification of my opinions? I would be happy to elaborate.

    FyredUp
    I'd like to hear your thoughts. We went away from the mini pumper concept and ended up with an urban interface type rig, after realizing we'd end up giving up too much of what we wanted to do on an F series chassis.

    Leave a comment:


  • Catch22
    replied
    Originally posted by Weruj1 View Post
    who is running that triple axle Gunfighter thingy >? HOLY CRAP !!! :eek
    That is huge! I want one.

    You think it needs that third axle to be able to handle the trailer? Not that I'm used to seeing a pumper/tanker pull a trailer, but if it works for them it's an interesting concept.

    Leave a comment:


  • bjlffire
    replied
    What does that Chaparrel rig cost, looks like A good truck.

    Leave a comment:

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