I like top mount myself. Like the visibility, the being away from the risk of hoses blowing, and all previously mentioned.
Drawbacks for my fire dept is out primary water source is a river that we usually access via boat ramps, so side mount can be a little stretch to get draft lines to the water and deep enough to get a good draft. Would prefer front and/or rear intakes.
TONY, YOU SAY THE REAR MOUNT IS WHAT YOUR DEPT USES!!!! HERE IN OKLAHOMA I HAVE ONLY SEEN ONE, AND I DO HAVE TO SAY IT WAS A LITTLE DIFFERENT AS AN OPERATOR....WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THINGS YOU SEE OR LIKE ABOUT THE REAR MOUNT PUMP PANEL????AND SOME OF THE THINGS YOU DONT???
BRUCE YOUR LAST COMMENT IS SOOOOO TRUE, WE DO THE SAME IN OUR FIRE DISTRICT...WE COVER ABOUT 70 SQUARE MILES...AND ANYTIME MY GUYS ARE WORKING THERE ANT NO TRAFFIC...GOOD REPLY...BE SAFE OUT THERE BROTHER...
Good points? Visibility is the main one. The all-career fire service in the State capital use only centre mount, with the main panel on the officer's side and a slave panel on the off side. The slave panels have virtually no controls, so if you need to be watching the guages closely (as sometimes you do) then you won't be able to see what's happening on the hot side. A rear panel let's you see what's happening no matter which side of the road the fire is on. Safety? I have rarely worked the pump without at least one more truck between me and the oncoming traffic. And we usually close the road anyway.
I think that 'better' is mainly a subjective view - it's what you're used to.
Here's our panel:
I must get that photo into Photoshop - the emergency lights are blue and red, not blue and amber...
Just a question, if you have lines hooked up to all of the intakes & discharges there on the rear, how in the hell do you even get close enough to see the guages ? let alone operate the valves. And, if there is a catastrophic failure of one of those lines, the operator is in for a world of hurt real fast. Wouldn't even think of having that kind of setup on an engine due to safety concerns.
I have to say that both have their advantages and disadvantages. I like the top mount because of visability( and our only top mount is an enclosed cab) but I prefer side mount especially if I have a supply line. My personal choice is to have my supply line come into the pump panel for the simple reason that I am in constant contact with it and no matter if I am answering someones question or monitoring progress of the attack team or whatever, If my supply line starts to fluctuate It has my attension right away that the supply engine or the hydrant maybe having problems or whatever, but I know it right away before my gages start to show it so I can start to redirect water to the hose team and call to get them out if need be. Just my opinion.
Frank? I could have sworn that I'd answered you yesterday! Oh well, this time I'll press 'Add reply'...
What you see on the back of the pumper are all inlets, outlets are on both sides rear of the wheels. How can we see the guages and operate the valves? No problems at all, not even for me and I'm short.
Catastrophic failure? Any such thing is likely to be nasty, but I've never heard of any happening. The career service in my State use all centre mount, they also have inlets/outlets on both sides, both the main and slave panels. As I've seen in pictures of many North American engines as well. Some of the North American ones I've seen had inlets/outlets at head height too. Any catastrophic failure can have dire consequences.
The rear mount pump is used extensively in Britain and Europe also - they're pretty hot on safety standards up there so can't see any problems with this method of construction. As I said above, 'better' is mainly a subjective view - it's what you're used to.
Well all except our 2 aerial units have top mount panels. Our new tanker we are getting which incidently will carry 3500 gallons of water is going to have an enclosed panel. Truthfully it makes no difference to me, they both have there ups and downs.