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When to refuel the engines

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  • When to refuel the engines

    Ok, discussion was taking place, on the 300 bench, in the station, even over breakfast.

    At what point should we put fuel in the engines?

    Would the same rules apply to the ladder, or rescue?

    Should we fill up, then back the equipment in, and fill with a 5 gallon can so we don't have fumes from a partially full fuel tank?

    Should we drain the tanks after parking, so there is nothing flammable in the tanks? Just fuel them up with those fancy cans they use in Nascar?

    Will the same rules apply to diesel as well as gas?

    Can they be parked safely with only a quarter of a tank of gas?

  • #2
    Ancient history from about 1972, but perhaps still valid. Engines only. Policy then was to be able to respond anywhere within the city and be able to pump at capacity for 3 hours? The math worked out keeping the gas tank on the old Seagrave V12 gasoline engines at least three quarters full. If memory serves, all the engines had one 50 gallon fuel tank.

    The newer 'LaFrance Detroits could be run down as far as one half tank. Back then each House had its own underground gas or diesel tank with a standard looking gas station pump. Easy to refuel as needed. The gen sets on the Ladder Trucks were kept full if possible. Hope this helps. I think this is correct. Been a long time ago. HB of CJ (old coot)

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    • #3
      It goes without saying that the fuel tanks should be drained after every run, especially in warmer climates. When a call is received, the driver can simply put a few gallons in while the men are getting dressed. This will be fine, since most calls are EMS anyway and the ambulance crew will get there first and just wave us off prior to us even getting off the rig.
      Career Fire Captain
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      • #4
        Our SOP's state 3/4 tank. If we are on the average fire, we are a long ways from a fuel pump. I can remember a couple fires where we had to refuel at the scene even with this rule.

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        • #5
          We go with 3/4 in most circumstances.

          Our fuel dock is 7 miles away. Occasionally if we run a bunch of calls that don't take us near the fuel dock the needle will drift below 3/4 (especially at oh-dark-thirty), but someone will generally top them off the next day.
          Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

          Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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          • #6
            Anything over a 1/4 tank just adds extra weight to the vehicle. 1/4 tank gives you enough to get there and do 1/2 hour pumping. By that time the refueling truck can get there and give you what you need.
            "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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            • #7
              3/4 of a tank is our rule. All rigs carry a credit card and get fuel at whatever is convenient.

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              • #8
                Everywhere I have worked the policy has been fill it at 3/4 tank.

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                • #9
                  Our policy at POC FD#1 is to keep the tanks full. Obviously if you drove around the block you didn't refill. But if we went on a run or did pump training we refilled the tank. It is entirely within the realm of possibility to have a mutual aid run that could exceed 50 miles. A full tank is a must under those circumstances.
                  Crazy, but that's how it goes
                  Millions of people living as foes
                  Maybe it's not too late
                  To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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                  • #10
                    Technical answer from NFPA 1901 2009 edition:

                    12.3.4.1 The fuel capacity shall allow the engine to drive the pump for 2-1/2
                    hours at rated pump capacity at 150 psi (1000 kPa) net pump pressure and at
                    the suction conditions specified in this standard or to operate at 60 percent of
                    gross engine horsepower for 2-1/2 hours, whichever is greater.

                    Most truck are built with a "standard" size tank unless they are equipped with an unusual engine/pump combination and that manufacturer should have determined how big a tank was necessary. They could give you information on GPH fuel requirements. Don't forget to include the fuel requirements to run engine connected generators and/or pumps and axillary engines connected to the vehicle fuel system.

                    My experience: 3/4 tank has been a good rule of thumb. Leaving the tank at 1/4 and filling when you go out would be like leaving your SCBA's empty and filling when it got smokey. ALL tools and equipment should be in a ready-to-use condition for the job expected when put away.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MelvilleFD View Post
                      Technical answer from NFPA 1901 2009 edition:

                      12.3.4.1 The fuel capacity shall allow the engine to drive the pump for 2-1/2
                      hours at rated pump capacity at 150 psi (1000 kPa) net pump pressure and at
                      the suction conditions specified in this standard or to operate at 60 percent of
                      gross engine horsepower for 2-1/2 hours, whichever is greater.

                      Most truck are built with a "standard" size tank unless they are equipped with an unusual engine/pump combination and that manufacturer should have determined how big a tank was necessary. They could give you information on GPH fuel requirements. Don't forget to include the fuel requirements to run engine connected generators and/or pumps and axillary engines connected to the vehicle fuel system.

                      My experience: 3/4 tank has been a good rule of thumb. Leaving the tank at 1/4 and filling when you go out would be like leaving your SCBA's empty and filling when it got smokey. ALL tools and equipment should be in a ready-to-use condition for the job expected when put away.
                      Interesting info...Common sense should rule.
                      Crazy, but that's how it goes
                      Millions of people living as foes
                      Maybe it's not too late
                      To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

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                      • #12
                        I say 1/4 tank of fuel max (safer and lighter)and also drain the booster tank if its a medical call.
                        Last edited by slackjawedyokel; 03-20-2015, 10:51 PM.
                        ?

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                        • #13
                          sheesh::: it's only the first day of spring & the squirrels are coming out of the trees.
                          Can't wait for april 1st.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
                            I say 1/4 tank of fuel max (safer and lighter)and also drain the booster tank if its a medical call.
                            Ya know, they were having problem in California with overweight fire trucks. Some of them very nearly did have to drain the booster tank before driving back to the station. Weight didn't matter enroute to an emergency...
                            Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                            Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tree68 View Post
                              Ya know, they were having problem in California with overweight fire trucks. Some of them very nearly did have to drain the booster tank before driving back to the station. Weight didn't matter enroute to an emergency...
                              dang -- with the drought that they are having , I am surprised guv moonbeam didn't press charges for wasting water.
                              ?

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