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Country Discussion Topics
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Water Tender progress!?
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Willy-N    Posted 09-11-2003 at 11:13:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well I sold the box off the back to a neibor.Got it all unbolted then put a few back in. That box was bolted on with 24 bolts and took a impack wrench end several hours to remove them! Bought all my valves off ebay including the top warning light for on the cab. Saved probley 600.00+ on them alone! Still waiting for the cost on the tank welding, but I got plenty to do to the frame to shorten it first. I will have a picture when the box is off. Mark H.

Red Dave    Posted 09-11-2003 at 11:38:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mark, I've designed a few fire tankers over the years, what kind of tank are you going to build, Square tank, elipticle?
Will it have an onboard pump to unload it, or will it dump into a holding tank? Will you fill it from a static source, or pump into it from a pumper?
Just curious, useta have fun with this kinda stuff.

Willy-N    Posted 09-11-2003 at 11:48:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am going with a 1280 gal 6-Baffle rectangular tank with longitual baffel for a lower center of gravity and better off road stability. I will have a 250+ gpm high presure pump to load and unload plus 350-500 gpm dump/unload capasity for filling tempory fill stations. I have to also have hydrant and top load capacitys. This is used for fire fighting also and filling the smaller trucks. It will have a monitor, side, rear and front spray nozzles along with a hose reel and several places for 1 1/2 inch hoses to hook to. Hope to have it all done by April for inspection for contract work with the Forestry and DNR fire use. Mark H.

Red Dave    Posted 09-11-2003 at 12:21:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Interesting. Sounds like you are setting it up to meet Forestry & DNR operating practices. Hope you can post a few pics when it is done.
Our tankers are very different, but they are made for a different purpose. We would tend to build much larger trucks, (2100 to 4000 gallons) but we would not be looking to take it off the hard road either. Our area uses folding tanks of 3-4000 gal capacity which we dump into and get the tanker back on the road for another load. An engine then drafts from the folding tank as it's reservoir. Typical designed fill and dump rates are in the 1000-1500 GPM range. Different designs for differing needs, but still interesting to see other ideas in action.

Hal/WA    Posted 09-11-2003 at 22:35:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Our local fire districts have the folding canvas tanks that they can set up by a big stationary fire scene for the tankers to dump into and a pumper to draft from. It works pretty well and allows the tankers to shuttle water from a source to the fire scene much more efficiently than having to hook up to the tanker itself with a drafting hose. The tankers end up spending most of their time filling or on the road, rather than sitting at the fire scene waiting to get hooked up. It is interesting to watch and was a really good idea. Whoever thought it up made rural structural fires a lot easier to fight and a lot safer for the firemen working them. It's a lousy feeling to run out of water when you need it in the worst way....

The district that I live in started the dump tank procedure in the 80's and had to demonstrate that they could sustain a given pumper output for several hours in order to get a better insurance rating. I think they ran for 4 hours, using about 6 tankers shuttling water from hydrants about a mile away. They succeeded in that test and have used the system a number of times since then on real fires and in training. Quite a procedure.

From what Mark has previously written, his tanker would be used more for wildland fire fighting than structural use. He plans to contract with agencies fighting forest fires. Those tankers have to be smaller to make it down forest roads and to work off the pavement and gravel. They have to make it in and out of some pretty tight spots. A big tanker would be a nightmare in those places and would probably get stuck.

Mark, I think you have a good plan--low center of gravity, relatively short wheelbase, specifications that the agencies want and the ability to fight some fire on its own. Sounds like a very useful vehicle that you could maybe make some money with. I suppose you are required to have specific insurance by the agencies. Have you talked to your insurance company? Spendy, I bet. One last thing: get super good tires. Nothing worse than flat tires on a fire truck, except maybe blowing out both duals on one side and almost rolling the truck. Unfortunately this happened. We got all new tires the next day! Good luck, interesting topic.

Willy-N    Posted 09-12-2003 at 06:56:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Insurance yes, cost big bucks too! $980.00 for 6 months 1,000,000/2,000,000 rider with no comp on the truck. That is with a 7 year clean driving record too. My tires are a good set of Steel belted non/recap ones. If I remember right 14 ply 22.5 rims duals on the back. Mark H.

Willy-N    Posted 09-11-2003 at 12:30:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
This one is for Wildland Fire Fighting. We have bigger tankers but they have a hard time getting in the small tight spaces and some of our unimproved narrow roads we have to drive on. Mine is a big truck 30,200 lb rated but will be undersized load wise. Should be in the 24,000 lb area with plenty to spare on the springs. I will shorten the wheel base for better turning around. Mark H.

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