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Spec's For brush trucks

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  • Spec's For brush trucks

    Guys and Gal's

    We are currently trying to spec a brush truck, We have been looking at the dodge 2500 and the ford f-250 single axle trucks. This has worked for me before. Who has built your truck and would you recommend them to us. We are trying to stay under 70,000. Any suggestions or problems that you had or would do diffrent now that you have your truck or during your spec meetings.

  • #2
    Your not going to be able to carry much with those size trucks. All out type 6 engines are F450 or F550. I would look at bigger trucks.
    "Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all"


    • #3
      Unless your going to use a 100 gallon or smaller tank a 3/4 ton will be overloaded.

      A quick check on retail prices I found an F250 runs about $25,000 (4x4 regular cab, 9200 gvw)

      An F-450 runs about $30,000 but the GVW is 14,000 lbs, and an F550 is $34,000 with a GVW of 17,500 lbs.

      Personally I'd spend the extra $5000-9000, you will end up saving that plus some over the long run in maintenance and replacement costs. Keep in mind these are retail prices I'm sure you can do better from a local dealer.

      A flatbed with a slip on and some truck boxes bolted on may not be the prettiest thing around but they are effective.

      Wildcat builds a nice slip on package for a flatbed, it is basically a copy of the US Forest Service Model 52 which is a nice engine. It would not be hard to build something similar yourself with a commercial slip on and some strage boxes.

      I haven't priced a slip on for a few years but as I recall a basic 200-300 gallon unit ran about $15,000, if you stick with a simple engine you shouldn't have any problem getting an F450 or 550 based brush truck under $70,000.


      • #4

        Most of the type 6's in our part of the world are home made. They consist of a cab and chassis with a flatbed. A skid unit and tool boxes are mounted on top of the flatbed.

        You want as heavy a chassis as you can find or afford. The F550 4x4 is my choice. Any government agency can buy off of the state bid price in South Dakota so it is a savings over retail.

        If you are a government agency you can get a 300 gal Model 52 skid unit from GSA manufactured by METALWORKS OF MONTANA, INC or Wildcat Fire Trucks USA. They are the same company.

        The skid unit discription off of the GSA web page is:114L X 95W (IN), Model 52 Skid unit. Model WCF300 gallon includes: 300 gallon fiberglass tank, control panel, BB-4 pump, Electric Hannay Reel, Primer, piping, stainless steel gas tank, hose rack, two steel boxes with compartments that have Perma-Tech coating inside. All tags are numbered in sequence. Unit will be painted to your color. NOTE: Add $400.00 for poly tank. I am not a sales person for Wildcat, just a fan.

        You could get a type 6 F550, a cheap flatbed, the model 52 skid unit, a light bar, and siren for around $60,000 off of government prices. This price does not include labor to assemble the pieces.



        • #5
          Brus Truck

          Checkout www.danko.net


          • #6
            We bought a 550 Ford 4x4 deisel.It has a snow plow package that is supposed to help the front suspension.It carries 500 gallons with no problem.We got it from Neel Associates in Waco,Tx 2 yrs. ago for $60k.If I did it again I would go with 400 gal. to shorten the tank.I think it is too tall.


            • #7
              There are some pics in the post "who makes skid units".I couldn't get them to post here.


              • #8
                We run a F-350 dualie diesel. We put a skid unit on it with a 300 gal tank and a pump. We mounted some stainless steel diamond plate tool boxes on the sides. We also have a brush guard and a winch on it. We didn't spend over $60K, lights included.


                • #9
                  NFPA 1901 requirement

                  Can anyone tell me if it is a NFPA 1901 requirement to have baffles in a 300 gallon tank on a brush truck?


                  • #10
                    Anybody here think that a 400 gallon tank, setup with tool boxs is going to be a to much for a F-350 dualiy?
                    Courage, Being Scared to Death and Saddling Up anyways.


                    • #11
                      what we are looking at is this - we are a small southern ohio fd - we are looking at the f-250 / f-350 and dodge 2500 single wheel. the reason we are staying away from the duallies is that we have local fd's that say their duallies suck in the mud and loose enviroment that we have. we have many small creeks and streams that we have to pass, plus we have and abundent amount of trees in the area. this is why we are wanting to stay narrow and with a short wheel base for better movement. what we have found is that we can get a real good skid unit with the max of 300 gallons plus all the other add on's and still be flexable with the gvw.

                      i first want to say thank you to all of you for putting in your two cents worth! with your suggestions we will kinda of put the do's and don'ts that you all suggest and make a great truck.

                      the second thing that i would ask is would you rather build your truck at the fd or buy one that is already made. we know that building one in house would be cheeper but along those line more of a headache.

                      please keep the web sites coming for us to look at. if you have any good dealins with any reps please let me know at

                      [email protected]


                      • #12

                        This's my station's Patrol. F-450 dually 4x4, V-10...full box with internal tank (275 gals) and pump (250GPM or so), 5 gal foam (F-500) tank with internal proportioner, standard-style apparatus pump panel on the driver's side. Has 1 2.5" intake (draft capable), 3 1.5" discharges (bumper, driver side, and rear), and 1 1" booster discharge (driver side also).
                        Cabinets have generator with portable lights and electric reel, full set of med equipment, SCBA/rope compartment, portable pump compartment, hand tool compartments (both structure/vehicle and wildland), and a small Engineer's compartment with a full set of adapters, increasers, reducers, etc.

                        I actually like this style of Patrol much better than the few skid-type units we have, as the pump panel is MUCH more intuitive (so if I tell someone "hey, go pull and charge the bumper line" they can figure it out without any "special" training *LOL*)...also the skid units have gasoline-powered pumps (with rather small tanks) and diesel engines, so you have to constantly monitor your pump's gas supply and carry a few extra cans of gasoline "just in case".

                        About the only thing I would change about our current "non-skid"-style Patrols is the engine and pump to diesel-powered... whatever you do DO NOT go V-10 for a Patrol powerplant! Bad idea...they take forever to get up to speed and suck gas like MAD, even at 55-60MPH. We say (somewhat) jokingly that our Patrol gets 5 gallons to the mile.

                        We also run out in a muddy area with creeks, streams, a river, etc...never had any problems with our dually Patrols getting stuck in the mud, etc, at least none that I've seen or heard about. If you have a half-decent driver/operator at the wheel, you can squeeze our style of Patrol into a lot of "small" and hard to reach areas without much problem.

                        Hope that helps. :-)

                        PS--DIY apparatus? In my opinion--bad idea. Get one from a reputable and knowledgeable builder (or vendor if you're buying used) that specializes in fire apparatus.
                        My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

                        IACOJ--West Coast PITA


                        • #13
                          The dept I work for has both the F-550 w/the flat bad and 400 gal tanks, and the F-350 w/ the single rear wheels with the regular truck bed and 300 gal tanks. I prefer the F-350 mainly because of the width and second the F-550 have the big diamond plate tools boxes that alot have the stations have added other equipment(i.e. airpacks, medbags, extrication equip. etc.) and have added so much weight that now the trucks can't go of pavement of they'll get stuck. Its a brush truck, not a carry all.


                          • #14
                            NonSurfinCaFF - A flatbed with a slip on and some truck boxes bolted on may not be the prettiest thing around but they are effective.

                            jhardyjr - We put a skid unit on it with a 300 gal tank and a pump. We mounted some stainless steel diamond plate tool boxes on the sides. We also have a brush guard and a winch on it. We didn't spend over $60K, lights included.

                            Thats a good idea. We (My Dept) is in the process of putting together that type of truck. We have a 2006 GMC 3500 Extented cab with a diamond plate flate bed. We placed a skid unit and some diamond plate tool boxes, a low profile light bar, strobes in the tail light, a full brush bar w/ wench and a snow plow. The skid unit, tools, hose and misc equipment came off the old brush truck and all equipment, lighting, tool boxes were done inhouse which helped keep the cost down. Within the next 2 weeks we should have it in service and at a total price of 38,000 - 41,000 dollars.

                            We went with a GMC because just outside of our (First due) response area is a GMC dealer. We also have a member of our dept who is a salesman at a ford dealer but the GMC dealer came in a lower bid and was able to have a truck to us sooner then the Ford dealer.

                            Over all Its a little bigger length wise and width (With the X-cab and flat bed) but it works for our area which has a lot of open farm land. The X-cab has no back seat and is used for storing equipment such as turnout gear, EMS equipment/First responder equipment. I hope to get a picture on here some.


                            • #15
                              We use a F550 with 500 gallon tanks. Front mount remote monitor. I can send ya pics if anyone is interested. Just PM me with your email address.


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