Helps to know the district in which responding, engine placement, set backs, building size and types. Realistically, 200' should be plenty for any pre-connect for most incidents.
All our engines have 4 preconnects of 200' of 1 3/4".....two midships as a cross lay, and two off the rear hosebed....all lays are flat lay with a loop at the 1/3 length so that the hose pays out nicely when deployed. We have 200' of 2 1/2" preconnect as a blitz line and that is a minuteman load off the rear hosebed.
For a longer lay or garden apartments, we do have a Lead line (Chicago load, hotel load, whatever) which is 100' of 1 3/4" folded like a high rise pack, attached to a wye and connected to 2 1/2" static load. Pull the load to the door, engineer disconnects the hose and connects to an outlet. Pretty simple.
We have 250' minuteman lays on are trucks 2-1 3/4'' lays and a 200' minuteman lay on our 2'. We use to run 200' but around the lake the homes are to far of the road and most of the driveways are not big enough to get a truck into them. Most we can get with 200' but nothing worse then getting half way into a dwelling and running out of hose. That is our main reason for the 250'.
We use a modified Minuteman for our 1-3/4 crosslays. They are all 200 feet long with 100 feet in a Minuteman (nozzle end) and the rest in a 100-foot flat load.
If we need more than 200 feet, we use a 200 foot leader line (2-1/2) and wye it down to the necessary 1-3/4 length.
We also have break-apart nozzles so if we run out of hose, we can simply shut the bail, spin off the fog tip, and extend the line from the nozzle. It's simple and quick.
Minuteman stacks of more than 100 feet can be difficult to carry and deploy cleanly. With so many departments only having two firefighters to stretch the line, that's why 200 feet is so common for Minuteman lays.
We run 100 dead loaded, a 200 foot preconnected min man load (with only 100 feet actuall in the first shoulder stack)
It works well for us. I like the dead load in case we need to extend it.
We used a 200' 2 1/2" Minuteman up here in Fall River, MA!
I love the Minute man load, I think it is the easiest to deploy around obstacles. Having said that EVERY FD I am on right now uses the flat load. Some utilize ears some do not.
As for lengths of preconnects that, to me anyways, is purely a territorial thing. We have 100, 200, and 300 foot 2 inch pre-connects on both of our engines on my #1 POC FD. We went this route because of some of the occupancies in our territory the 300 footers are for a county highway garage and the nursing home, as well as some larger apartment buildings and agricultural properties. We do also carry an apartment line set-up with 100 feet of 2 inch hose that is attached to a gated wye hooked to 400 feet of 3 inch hose.
Pretty much everything we have in Washington, DC are pre connects. Most engines have two 200' crosslays(some have a 150' depending on their first due area) and a 350' or 400' load off the rear.(again depending on their area) All are minuteman loads of 1.5" hose. Then depending on the engine model and year, many have another 250' load of 1/5"(a modified minuteman) and 200' of 2.5"(another modified minuteman).
Our order book requires that each company have a certain amount of feet of 1.5" hose. However companies will modify it in their own way that works best for their area. Upper NW DC which is full of bigger homes will want it different than most residential neighborhoods that are blocks and blocks of row homes who will want it different than downtown DC which is full of nothing but hundreds and hundreds of high rises.