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Brush Trucks!!!

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  • Brush Trucks!!!

    The wildland fire season here in Montana is winding down (I think, I have been wrong before ) and it is time to get to work on rehad of our brush trucks, our winter hobbie.

    But even better yet...


    We pretty much have our basic design perfect for our fire district, be we are always looking for new ideas and fetures that we can use to improve our brush trucks another notch. So, what I am looking for ideas, opinions, discriptions, experinces, and pictures of your brush trucks from all over the world! Show me what youve got, and tell me how good and why it works. I know that a brush trucks success all depends on what is is designed for and its evnvironment. A eastern Us brush truck may not work well in the the West, and visa versa. But, I still want to hear about all of the disign features you have tried, why, and how succesful they are.

    Everybody is encouraged to post their favorite brush truck features and ideas. Nothing is too off the wall or to radical for us to try, hell, we love that stuff.

    Also, if you like:

    - Descride you ideal brush truck (for you home district or where ever). Chassie, pumping unit, features, color, stereo system...

    - What would you build with say 45,000 dollars, volunteer labor, and lots of neat tools?

    Thanks and have fun!
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

  • #2
    This is what you can do with about $4,500 and a deuce chassis...

    Silver City OK 302

    Silver City OK 301

    Silver City OK 301 under construction
    Asst. Chief Bill

    International Order of the Fraternal Brotherhood of the Club

    Somewhere in or near north central Creek County, Oklahoma


    • #3
      That's a really great website and a gutsy fire department.
      "When you are safe at home, you wish you were having an adventure-when you're having an adventure, you wish you were safe at home"

      --Thornton Wilder


      • #4
        Not terribly practical for the mountains I wouldn't think, but you asked for brush trucks...

        Straight from Houston, Texas!

        Booster 32
        Booster 68
        Booster 93

        How could I forget my current department!

        Not quite as stylish...

        Brush 439
        Last edited by Kobersteen; 09-25-2003, 08:15 PM.
        Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

        "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark


        • #5
          Dream Machine?

          Don't have a photo because it's not built yet. BUT, here's the specs.... New Ford F450 or 550, Diesel, Automatic, 4X4, 4Dr Cab, Aluminum flatbed, 250/300 gal. tank, pump of 250gpm @ 150psi, Aluminum diamondplate side boxes, Reese hitch on each side and rear with 10,000# winch mounted on hitch plate, so a winch can be set up on any of 4 sides, 20,000# winch on front. 2.5K generator and a couple of lights, 800 ft of liteweight 2" hose for supply line, 3 or 4 1" lines preconnected, Class A foam/gel system, The usual assortment of tools. Now, if the damned grant money ever gets here...... 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.



          • #6
            We also build our own in Western South Dakota.

            We built mostly type 6 engines. (1 to 1 1/2 ton chassis 4 x 4).

            One thing that we like is to run your discharge from the pump into a manifold. All other discharge side lines run off the manifold. The advantage is that all your discharge valves are in one place instead of scattered around the truck. It makes it easy to operate.

            Any good welder should be able to build a manifold. We normally use 2" or larger thick wall square tubing. We weld caps on both ends, and then cut and thread one end for the discharge line from the pump. We then cut and thread one one side for lines to mounted appliances such as booster reel, recirculating/tank fill (1" line) and spray bars. We use electric valves on the spray bars so they can be controlled from the cab. The valves are available from any farm/ranch business that handles weed spraying equipment. Just be sure you get valves that are in the off position when the power is off. We cut and thread the other side of the mainfold for 1" and 1.5" lines. All ports have 1/4 turn valves on them.

            We also plumb our injection foam system into the manifold so that you get foam from all discharges. The downside is that it is easy to get foam back into the tank if you forget to turn off the recirculating valve.

            Stay Safe


            • #7
              Are we talking Type 6 engine here...like say, on a Ford F350/450 chassis, OR are we talking duece and a half stuff?

              Our agency, New Jersey Forest Fire, builds all of our engines and tenders.

              Do you plan to meet NFPA 1906, Standard for Wildland Fire Apparatus?

              Visit Wildland fire's photo pages to get some ideas of units around the country.

              Wildland Engines

              For some NJFFS photos:NJ Wildland Engines

              Good Luck!
              Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
              Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

              *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
              On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


              • #8
                And no discussion about brush trucks, especially home-builts, is complete without mentioning (all genuflect now...) Roscommon:

                IACOJ Canine Officer


                • #9
                  Dal....that is a great site for them to browse! Guidelines, specs, compliance...

                  You da man!
                  Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
                  Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

                  *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
                  On the web at www.section2wildfire.com


                  • #10
                    Thanks for all of the stuff! Very nice, alsways fun to look at other people creations.

                    I like the links, good job.

                    I am not sure if we are going to try to be 1906 or not. We are more concerned with passing Montana DNRC/BLM/USFS inspection. I wouldnt know if that is similar to NFPA 1906, but it is pretty specific in its requirments.

                    OK, I will post my ideal 45 grand brush truck.

                    First, just some info on our Vol District.

                    - 740 square miles of Eastern Montana rolling hills and prairie (lots of brush) with some stands of timber and a National Forest 30 miles south.

                    - 28 volunteers, all cross trained in wildland and structural FF.

                    - Small budget considering the magnitude of calls we get. Some years the numbers dont seem that high, but the duration of some of the wildland incidents can be of great concern. Wildland fires eat up a ton of budget resoureces. To do it safe and do it good it takes a lot of investment. That can be said for fire service in general or course, but our biggest burden is wildfire.

                    - 2 men per wildland unit when we roll out, this is so that we can field 14 units for a wildfire. We have a lot of pump and roll prairie fires. Stopping these fast (VERY fast, literaly faster then you can run, sometimes faster then you can drive) moving fires is all about sound tactics and the brush truck you are useing. Not all brush trucks are equal when it comes to pump and roll in our terrain. Its amazing how much prarie fire a swarm of well built brush trucks can handle.

                    So, with that in mind, this is what IMO would be the ultimate brush truck for our district (this is of course a matter of debate localy, but they will have to listen to logic, right? )

                    - Ford F550 Chassie, (IIRC 17,000 GVW) powerstroke diesel, auto, air, tilt, power windows, window pillar gauges, red, used but well inspected for wear and tear, single wheele conversion (like this beauty)


                    Actualy, the truck would end up looking very much like that with some minor details differences (by the way, if anybody can identiry where that truck is from, who owns it, or who built it I would GREATLY appreciate it!).

                    - Agressive off road tires, 30+ inches minimum. Clearance and by god they are just damn cool looking.

                    - Rear mounted 1" booster reel, 200 feet. Rear mount 3/4 inch mop hose reel, 300+ feet.

                    - 500 gallon poly tank (GVW permiting, and be smaller, but 500 would be great). 10 gallons of foam (we can easily resupply if more is needed)

                    - Diesel pump motor (either Vangaurd or Kubota) feeding off of truck tank, pump of low to mid GPM, standard wildfire fare.

                    - Front mounted Grafire Wildland monitor with foam capabilities mounted on a tubeing bumper custom built to protet it.

                    - OK standard flatbed with bolt on tool boxes of various types. Fancy utility boxes are great, but they are expensive, and they make repaires more difficult. It is nice to be able to just bolt a new tool box on in place of a damaged one, a frequent occurnce when in Baja mode.

                    - Some general equipment (not all inclusive) 2 pulaskies, 2 shovels, 2 combies, 1 Mcloud, 1 fire broom, 2 swatters, 1 structural axe, 1 haligan, 1 shorter pike/interchangeable head pole, 150 feet of 1.5 preconnect with good nozzle, 600-800 feet of asorted 1 and 1.5 inch hose, lots of adapters and such, all of the other small details.

                    - LED light bars, or better yet, many and varied small LED lights, behind the grill, on the bed, on the roof, on the bumper, on the grill gaurd. Some LED work lights all around, an external radio speaker.

                    - Wired in cell phone to complement the radio. Or better yet a sat phone since our coverage can be poor. Maybe this would put us over budget.

                    - Dash mount GPS. Nothing fancier then a <100 dollar hunting unit in a quickmount.

                    Thats about it.

                    Main features for our terrain: the front mount remote control monitor, the diesel pump motor for endurance, and the high capacity water tank. Those 3 items are the most important guts of what we need from a brush truck.
                    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.


                    • #11
                      One more thing, this is very bad:

                      That has the look of most of our fires, except we usualy have a more fuel.

                      Cowboying on a pump and roll attack like this is a black ball offence these days in MT. This used to be the normal procedure, hang on with one hand, shoot with the other. Obvious safety issues.

                      That is the main reason we are so interested in the remote control nozzles.

                      No more rideing the tank, no more heat exhaustion, less smoke eating, and best of all no more busted up legs and heads from fall/jumping off of brush trucks. The other alternative is to jog beside the truck and squirt. Great up till the point you give somebody a heart attack.
                      -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
                      -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

                      -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

                      -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.


                      • #12
                        We have a Ford crewcab with the powerstroke engine-it is awesome. We have a Darly slide in unit that works for us. We also do not ride on the tank as in the picture to get away from it take the booster line and run it through the back window and the passenger can spray from the Front seat. We also have a regular garden house plumbed in so we can do small mop ups without dragging the booster line through everything. Works good on small stuff.

                        Luckily this is the only truck I have posted at our website other than the fleet at this time you can look at.

                        You can search under Michigan fire departments, Monroe County, London-Maybee Raisinville Fire department for a quick look. The truck works great for us and cost 41 grand to build with everything including the lettering and supplies. It will go through a lot of brush-Been there with it.

                        I would like to see some automatic side spray nozzles on it however.
                        Les Hartford
                        Assistant Chief
                        LMR Fire Dept.

                        The views posted here are strickly my own and not of any of the groups I am affiliated with.

                        IACOJ Member


                        • #13
                          A choice we made....

                          ...was to do away with the hose reel and make 2 trays to hold 1 inch forestry hose. We keep 100' preconnected and another 150' deadloaded under each to either add on or make another line. Our grass fire season is in the spring where we have fires burning in dry grass and brush on top of mud that will suck you in if you're not careful so duals on the back are not a great idea, they usually just dig a nice hole. So we had to go with an F-350 crew cab with a slide in and watch the weight. A hose reel eats up a lot of payload. The slide in is all poly (when it's empty 4 people can lift it out)with a tool box going down each side and a 200 gallon water tank. Most of our fires are a half an acre at most anyway so that's usually more than enough water. The pump, unfortunately, is totally wrong for the application. (FYI-DON'T let a chief who KNOWS he won't get re-elected chair a truck committee when the order is going to be placed before elections-he might make changes to suit his plan, not the one the rest of the committee agreed on) It's a 500 gpm volume pump! I can go to the men's room and develop more pressure than this thing will. Plans to change the pump are in the works. Anyway, there's my rant on brush trucks. If anyone wants I can get you some pics, our web page is a little SNAFUed right now and the pics of slide in aren't that great.
                          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.


                          • #14
                            and heres ours...

                            This one was converted to a brush/LD recue/BLS unit from an old local garage service truck.We got it for 100 bucks and converted it ourselves.

                            http://cms.firehouse.com/dept/SeligmanAZ look in the apparatus section...

                            Donna C
                            Fire Chief
                            Bridge Canyon VFD


                            • #15
                              On Long Island we run what we call stump jumpers or GI's and small brush trucks. The stump jumpers go over the trees when they have too and the small brush trucks go around them. The stump jumpers are military 2 1/2's and 5 tons converted to brush trucks.
                              My department runs 2 brush trucks and a stump jumper. I only have a link to 1 brush truck and the stump jumper.
                              The stump jumper is a military 2 1/2 that was converted in house. It carries 300 gallons of water, but could carry much more if designed a little better. It has 3 booster lines and a short 1 3/4 protection line.
                              The small brush truck was built by a company called Firematic Supply . The link has all the specs on the truck. So far it has worked well for us. It also has been used for first response in winter storms.

                              Rayr49 did you find out about the single tires you had asked about?


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