Hi all! Just trying to get a feel for what kind of equipment is still in service out there! We've got a 1956 Ward LaFrance that was purchased new by the Dept and is still in active service (although not commonly!). Believe it or not, it's a 750 GPM Pump and is more powerful than a lot of the newer stuff we've got! The newest in the fleet is a 2003 Marion 75' Aerial Ladder. We've got a couple older trucks that are being restored and are collectors, but nothing else that old on the active roster. Anyone else still have good old trucks?
At my current department, we have relatively new apparatus (all 90's/00's vintage), but when I was with my old VFD a couple years ago, we had the following rigs, all of which except the truck are still in service.
1989 Mack CF engine
1987 Mack CF engine
1978 ALF 100 ft' tiller (retired a couple years ago)
1978 AM General 3,700 gallon water tender (ex-USFS)
I should point out that the first out engine was a 1999 E-One...the Macks were second and third out. The truck was essentially retired when I started (the ladder had been decertified) but still was used to carry extrication, rescue and "service" equipment. The tender is still one of the most capable of it's type in the area, and spent close to a month out at the Day Fire in northern LA a couple years ago and the local USFS borrows it every year to do phoschek applications through the local interface area.
Even though it is not in service anymore, up until about five years ago we ran an old truck lovingly known as Molly for a tanker. I always liked this truck because she was homemade and was very uniquely put together. Since the builders had died or moved away before I came along I was unable to ask why she was built the way she was, see what you think.
She was a 1967 Chevrolet flatbed that started her life as a Coca Cola delivery truck till sometime in the early 70's when the founders of our department bought her and hand made her into the work horse of the era. They built a 1500 gallon square tank, no baffles, and welded it to the flatbed. It had PVC and steel piping running underneath the tank and a 5" dump on the rear. She had one 1.5 preconnect that was fed by PVC running into a hole cut in the top of the tank and to the pump and the intake was simply a 2.5 pipe that ran into the same hole. The pump was off an old military truck that put out roughly 300gpm. She was powered by the original 350 engine with a top speed of 60mph and five speed transmission. She had a gumdrop light bar on the roof and a modified air raid siren mounted on the hood. She may not seem like much but on a fire she worked just as hard, if not harder than any other truck onscene. Not to mention she loved breaking in rookies who where stupid enough to ride in the passengers seat with the window down. It was always fun to come to a quick stop and watch them scramble as they where soaked from water comming out the hole in the top of the tank
This truck served faithfully as our only tanker for years until she just got too dangerous. Being the tank had no baffles it took skill to menuvure her around curves and hills. The breaks would wear down in a hurry so it took downshifting to slow or stop. It got to the point to where the one's of us that would even consider driving her wouldn't allow any of the younger guys to even ride with us. Also she was just worn out and not able to keep up with today's demands. So after we aquired a newer tanker we gave her a heroes goodbye and she retired to one of our local farms. I will try and find some pictures of her to post so you can see her in all her glory.
Ironically the tanker we bought to replace her is our oldest truck in service. 1987 Ford Cabover Pumper/Tanker. It looks very similar to the 70's model ALF's.
I've definitely got to agree. We've got a first-out pumper with a rear ride cab. There's something to be said for SCBA seats like we have in our Aerial, but a rear ride gets you out and moving really fast.
We still have a 1967 Chevy 427 we bought new from Alexis Fire Equipment Co. Its got a 5 speed split shift transmission and a 450gpm pump. The truck is still all original with hardly any rust on it. Its our oldest truck but it still runs like a top.
We run a 1965 Ford 500 1100 gal. tanker. Its good to have around on brush fires and when our main tanker, a 2005 Peterbuilt/S&S, cant get into the tight spaces. We bought it from a neighboring dept. who just had it sitting around collecting rust, it took about a year to fully remodel but now she runs like new for the most part.
It was originally a soft top the permanent hard top was taken from an engine that we retired back in 1979 and installed on the ladder. The original motor was gas and was later changed to a diesel. We still get to see it and sometimes drive it. It was bought by a local collector who is related to one of our firefighters for $1500.00. He is going to restore it back to the soft top. In the attached pic you can see the original roof. I wish I had a better pic showing the whole truck.
1: a 1952 American LaFrance Pumper...she runs but eats up fuel pumps like there's no tomorrow..also has an exhaust problem, everytime we crank it, the ole' girl smokes the building up so bad folks thought the department was on fire lol
2: a 1982 Dodge, 4 door brush truck. I call the ole' girl "Clank" because she has some..quirks, the siren sounds as if it's screaming "JEW JEW JEW", has a dome light that looks like something straight out of the Andy Griffith show, it's a 5 speed and shifts fine from 1st to 2nd but is hard to shift to 3rd, 4th is nearly impossible to find and grinds fiercely lol. The parking brake is also in a bad place..if you pull the release handle, the pedal flies up and has busted countless knuckles..she also has some battery issues and has a nasty habit of dying on scene, we've had to roll start it so many times it isn't even funny, we never leave the station without at least 1 can of starter fluid..