The dept that I started with had a med. Resuce Truck with a rear mount 750 gpm pump to up our ISO rating and to provide us with a charged hose line at an extrication. It was in a compartment on the rear of the rescue. The rescue was on a International 4x4 4 dr cab chassis with rescue style compartments on the side. There was 600 feet of 3" hose in the hose bed and 2 inch 3/4 preconnects in the hosebed also.
It worked, it flowed water good.
Pluses, nice clean appearance from the back with the compartment closed, had pump and roll, flowed good water on a hydrant, we were out of traffic on the freeway (we had 20 miles of 4 lane freeway we responded to), engineer could see both sides of the Rescue.
Minus, congested, with lots of hoses in the same place and it was hard to work on the pump when needed.
Bottom line, great if you don't use it a lot.
My department has one European style engine. This truck is much smaller than the rest of our engines, it has a rear mount. This is ok but if you are pumping on the road you are very exposed to rear approaching traffic. I prefer top mount controls for safety sake.
my department has 2 rear mounts, and we have a ton of problems with them. I am sure newer stuff is better but ours are maintanence nightmares. the first problem is that there is little to no access to the pump to work on it, we just had to cut a hole in the back of a compartment on one to service the relief valve. the next thing is that with a rear mount there is an increibly long drive line for the pump with some pretty steep angles for the u joints. those are just a couple of the problems we have been having
My personal opinion is against rear mount pumps. I feel they expose the engineer to more danger from passing vehicles, etc. I prefer top mount pumps, although my F.D. only has one. Just my 2 cents... stay safe!