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Pumper/Tanker combination - Good or Bad?

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  • Pumper/Tanker combination - Good or Bad?

    Any departments do a study on the Pros and Cons to such a big truck.
    Looking at purchasing either 1 pumper/tanker or 2 seperate trucks.

    Any information/study work you have would be greatly appreciated.

    [email protected]

  • #2
    It all depends on a few things.
    Staffing, response area, Dept Sop's. In our area we use seperate trucks. Engines attack fires and set up water supply, Tankers move the water to us.We also have the men to operate them.

    Other area town's feel that you should just go with one truck.

    I guess it is all a matter of dept. opinions.


    • #3
      Having been there done that. Our department has had it both ways a truck that was primarily a tanker, but with just enough horsepower to let it work as a pumper in a real tight pinch. And we also have a truck that doubles as a pumper and a tanker.

      My preference is a pumper/tanker that way you always have a truck that can be a backup pump when need.

      That said you need to look at all your requirments. Water load, equipment load, distance to travel to a water supply, manpower, weight limits on your roads and bridges (you would be surprised at how many departments buy a large tanker and then find out that there are some roads/bridges they are not allowed upon)

      develop a needs plan, a resources plan and then choose the best option for your department.

      If you don't respond.....who will

      IACOJ EMS Bureau Member
      IACOJ Member


      • #4
        Pumper / Tankers can and do work. We have one with a 1000 gpm pump and a 1500 gallon tank. Our front line pumper is a 1250 with a 500 gallon tank. We are hydranted except for a couple of places in our village and the ability to shuttle water to those places and to have a tanker for our mutual aid partners is a real bonus.

        Having said that, it must be clearly understood by those making the decisions that if it is pumping it isn't hauling water and if it is hauling water it isn't pumping. I know that sounds elementary but if you sell it as being able to do 2 things some people will think it can do both at the same time.

        There is a department in our area that has nothing but pumper tankers for fire attack. The system works well for them because every rig can do either job.

        I have to ask this question though. With the following qualifiers. Assuming you have the manpower and the budget to allow the purchase of 2 rigs, why would you replace 2 rigs with one?

        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


        • #5
          Depends on a few things....

          First off, what are your response SOP's for a structure fire? And where will this unit fall in the run order? If it's to be replacing both a tanker AND a pumper you'll end up giving up one or the other in the long run. Also what are your Mutual Aid responsibilities? If you are called for a Mutual Aid tanker and send this unit will you also be giving up your front run engine?

          Another thing to consider is how are you planning to have it built? I've always considered that there are 2 ways to refer to these trucks. Either a Pumper/Tanker-a Class A pumper with a water tank big enough to qualify it as a tanker as well; or a Tanker/Pumper-a Tanker with a big enough pump to run a couple handlines in case either the Engine craps out on you or it gets to a fire before the engine does.
          Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

          Anything found in my posts is soley my opinion and not representative of any other individual or entity.

          You know that thing inside your helmet? Use it wisely and you'll be just fine.


          • #6
            Depends on how you operate, and how it fits into your area.

            My area is almost entirely Engine-Tanker based. *Every* station has "Attack" class ETs in the range of 1500gpm/1200gwt make the attack, and a handful of these can provide adequate shuttle flows for most residential fires (if you even need to shuttle!). "Supply" or "Big-Boy" class ETs in the range of 1500gpm/2500gwt are available from roughly every-other station. While they can make a hell of an attack, they're mostly used for shuttling on large fires.

            In our case, I don't think there's been any serious consideration to having our new "tanker" have less than a 1500gpm pump -- simply so it can act as our own relay pumper when we have a long laid line evolution going.

            If we went below 1000gpm on the pump, the truck would probably be shunned on many shuttles in our area since we're still a big "pump off" area, and even the departments that run dump tanks you probably have a 50/50 shot whether they're dumping or pumping.

            The truck will be pretty much stock -- just a big tank, a big pump, and a couple small compartments and a few handlines in case you come across a fire while out on driving training one day.

            (Editorial comment: Now...if we just bought a CAFS attack pumper instead and eliminated the need for a water tanker...)
            IACOJ Canine Officer


            • #7
              Our Pumper Tanker

              Its doesn't get much use because we have five other pumpers and only a small area without hydrants. Also not a lot of drivers for the truck. but we got a great deal on it because it was the first custom pumper/tanker peterbilt and S&S built together. it runs alot out of town on mutual aid more than we use it in our own town. it has everything a pumper would have on it with the exception of a bed of LDH and only two guys can ride on the truck
              Manitou Park Fire Company, Station 18


              • #8
                We use 2 tanker/pumpers #1 1000gpm pump/2000g tank #2 750gpm front mount pump/1250g tank, we also have a 3000gal tanker. The trucks can be working on the fire while a water shuttle is being set up. With over 6000gal of water it's enough, unless the house is fully involved.(IF we don't bring it with us it don't get sprayed)Our main concern is our trucks were built in the early 70s.
                Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!


                • #9

                  Read your NFPA Standards for motor fire apparatus, then decide if you want to operate a vehicle that meets ALL the standards for a Class A pumper AND a mobile water supply apparatus at the same time. The Tanker shown above from NJ is a beautiful job, but it is a tanker,(you guys on the left coast have to realize that a tender is the car behind a steam locomotive) Not a pumper/tanker since there is no supply line, ladders etc. as required on a pumper. Personally, I like the concept, in particular where staffing is tight, but buy the RIGHT vehicle for the job....... Stay Safe....
                  Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                  In memory of
                  Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                  Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                  IACOJ Budget Analyst

                  I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



                  • #10

                    who else thought of Woody when they saw this thread?


                    • #11
                      There isn't any reason you could not make a combination pumper with a big water tank that couldn't do anything you desire. As long as your bridges and any especially tight turns allow for such a rig. Define those first and you'll know.

                      Add CAFS and you'll have an even better rig. 1500 to 1750 water tanks can be achieved with a single rear axle if desired. One of our neighbors runs a 5000 gallon tank on a custom cab rig that is not tractor trailer.

                      Nothing says you can't buy a rig that is different from how everyone else operates. People, water, pump and hose, pretty much does the job world wide.

                      If staffing is short it makes good sense to make sure the one rig out the door has lots of water, hose and equipment to do whatever is needed. In other words the first out is always the right rig to take.

                      Odds are the big water tank will address any structure that is saveable and/or the exposures, the rest of the fires the outcome is determined anyway.

                      You won't pay anymore for a 2250 pump as you would a 1250 so go big. A big hose bed will offer incredible advantages, and rarely does a relay offer much in a long lay flow wise.

                      Your SOPS can be real simple take the first out rig on everything, beats the concept of, "what rig you want out fo the station now chief?" Solves the response order too. No reason a pumper tanker can't be the do everything on Mutual aid either. Odds are you have some fire trucks now, you can always leave them in town while your crew is out of town on their best rig.

                      A tanker pumper won't give you any engine points for ISO. I bet the average guy will figure out without any real training that the new swiss army knife rig can only do one thing at a time, it can't pump and shuttle at the same time. And I vbet you'll never see anyone try to do both. So why buy two specialized rigs versus a combo rig? To control what goes out in what order, to make sure the wrong rig doesn't roll, etc.

                      I bet you could spec two combo rigs for close to what one of each would cost. Specialized apparatus aren't doing the fire service much good. Most brush trucks can't help at a structure fire. Ladder trucks can't squirt water when first in or protect structures at a wildland fire, they just get parked. Tanker pumpers can lay hose, tankers can't pump water or fight fires. Foam trucks are just that, rescues can't fight fires, lay hose, haul water. Whereas a comb rig can be setup to do it all.

                      You get what you design.


                      • #12

                        Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
                        In memory of
                        Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
                        Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

                        IACOJ Budget Analyst

                        I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



                        • #13
                          It depends...

                          I've seen some pumper-tankers that are well-spec'ed and well-used and others that are just roving, chrome-trimmed, light-shows that are niether well-spec'ed nor well-used. We'll stick to my personal experience, to avoid slamming anyone...

                          We run two tanker-pumpers, one is a 1981 GMC/3D 2250 gal/1250 gpm and the other is a 2000 Freightliner/3D 3500 gal/1000 gpm. The 2000 has one crosslay, to be used in a "pinch", while the 1981 has no preconnects. Basically, these are both supply pieces, ragardless of where they are used. In non-hydranted areas, we use them as tankers. In hydranted areas, we use them to pick up supply lines, hit hydrants and supply engines, freeing up engine companies and all their tools and equipment to work the fire scene itself. Basically, we substitute a 1-man, self-contained supply pumper/backup water supply that has no other purpose in a hydranted area for an attack rig that would be tied up at a hydrant in the absence of the tanker-pumper.

                          As for the few companies in my area that have pumper-tankers that are (supposedly) set up for attack and tanker operations, I've yet to be impressed. In my opinion, they end up being neither a good tanker nor a good attack piece, although they look real snazzy come parade season.


                          • #14
                            Grit- that great and until you mentioned it I did not but that sum beeach is farckin HUGE !!!!!! And Woody would be proud .......you lamsot wonder if he didnt move to NJ ? I wonder how he is........FIRE1839- all I can say is that IS a pumper tanker !
                            IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
                            Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
                            ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
                            RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
                            LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
                            I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
                            "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
                            http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115


                            • #15
                              Here is our "pumper/tanker". I am not sure if it even meets the criteria to be called that, it seems more to me to be a pumper with a 1000 gallon tank that just happens to be capable of jet-dumping.

                              It has 2 crosslays, front 1 1/2 "trashline" and a full hose bed of 3 inch supply line and attack lines. 1500 GPM pump, deck gun, and the full ISO complement of equipment.

                              It is first out for MVA's and vehicle fires, second out for structures. Our custom cab Boardman is first out for structures, and we have 2 dedicated tankers as well. The thinking is that this truck carries more water so it is best to be first out for vehicle fires, since our stretch of I-40 and many of our roads are not hydranted. The front line works great on small vehicle fires and for washing the roadway after MVA's. On a structure fire, having it arrive second gives the IC the choice of having a second attack pumper or water supply at his disposal depending on situation. If hydrants are available he can use it as a pumper, if not it can be water supply or a pumper depending on what the tanker situation is.

                              All in all, its a pretty good truck for us and works very well for what we use it for.


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