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Galvaneal, aluminium, or?

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  • #16
    Alternative Option

    No one has mentioned it yet but another option is Polprene. Our newest engine has this type of body and we are pleased with it thus far. We are located in Western PA. and receive moderate snowfall each winter and PennDOT piles on the road salt.

    Polybilt
    http://www.polybilt.com/

    Engine 29-2 Specifications
    http://www.bruinvfd.com/

    PolyBilt Body In Progress
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116108
    Last edited by ejfeicht; 12-30-2010, 01:31 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by LVFD301
      Located in southern Missouri. Right on the state line with Arkansas. Maybe subjected to liquid melt from DOT a couple of times a year. Maybe.

      A few years ago we were warned about aluminium on the twisting nature of our dirt roads, causing the body to flex and possibly crack.

      Stainless may be a cost issue, I am not sure yet.
      If cost wasn't an issue, and it really may not be that bad, I would recommend stainless steel.

      My son-in-laws VFD has 2 tankers, a brush, and two pumpers all with aluminum bodies. His area is 75% dirt roads, and not all that flat and straight. Outside of the mismatch of the metal fasteners and the body, they have held up pretty good. So if S/S is out, then an aluminum body will work just fine. Just make sure you get at least a 10yr warranty on the body against cracks, corrosion, and fatigue.

      If you can, stay away from galvanneal. All it is, is steel coated with 90% zinc and 10% iron. No matter how they prep and paint it, it will rust and corrode. It's cheap for a reason.

      Hope that helps you some.

      FM1
      I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

      Originally posted by EastKyFF
      "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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      • #18
        All of this has.

        The only issue about galvanealing I have, is I own towers that some of them were built in 195X. They still are ready to pass engineering as if they were new, due to the galvanized steel that was used. No rust, no corrosion at all.

        Parts of one tower that was galvanized now direct water in a river in Julesberg CO.

        But, it is a thicker steel than a truck body.

        Thanks all. I guess aluminium or SS.

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        • #19
          Im just shooting in the dark , but Im guessing enviromental regs have changed the galveneal process - otherwise , in the more moderate climates and lower call volume depts. I wouldnt have a problem with it and would suggest taking some of the savings and investing in a good quality hot water pressure washer for the rare trips on the salty roads.
          ?

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          • #20
            It is never simply a choice between construction materials. It is always a choice among use, environment, construction methods AND materials. Having worked with Mack apparatus from the 1930’s to the 1990’s and with manufacturers from Mack Macungie, to Snorkel, to Young, to Saulsbury, to 4-Guys, to New Lexington; I can confidently say that the use of Galvaneel depends upon the methods and design of both panels and subframes, and most particularly the treatment of those components in the manufacturing process.

            Any place where mud and salt can congregate will cause problems with steel and aluminum. Every open channel, weld, and crack will work to suck the salt and mud into the opening. This results in long-term contact of moisture and the resultant electrolysis between any dis-similar metal (including weld metal) will corrode the material. CF Macks were horror stories where the sub-frame was welded to the compartment walls. Barely 10 years of service before rust through occurred. The Young was constructed of 10 gauge sheet with ¼” diamonette rub rails that never did rust through even after 30 + years. Saulsbury took extra ordinary care to protect the inside of tubular sub frames and we had no problems with a heavy rescue that went 25 years with no trouble between the subframe and the compartments.

            Changes in steel from the 1940’s to the present are very significant as is the type of salt being used today. Rock salt, calcium chloride, is much less corrosive than Potassium Chloride liquid being used today. Copper wiring exposed to this material can completely consume a # 16 gauge wire in as little as a week. Steel in our 1948 Mack lasted until the mid 1980’s before any cosmetic repairs were necessary. This ran as a reserve until 1994 when it was retired (46 years) and still had no rust through on running boards or tailboard.

            In addition to other comments on here about power washing (underneath) upon return, please consider radiant heat in the apparatus floor and circulating fans in the ceiling as aids to increase apparatus life. Keep it as dry as possible so the electrolysis can't occur.

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